MISSION MINDED: Traveling Outside My Box

Why I Want To Take My First Mission’s Trip Abroad

February 1, 2018 – Copyright © Speak True Life, Wanda J. Murry

God continues to be gracious and merciful unto me.  I live a comfortable life and try to keep it that way.  My life revolves around church, work, home, family, and the occasional movies and dinner with friends.  I have enough to live on, although there is always room for better stewardship of my resources.

It’s a comfortable life!  Unfortunately, getting comfortable has its drawbacks.  I recently heard of a person who believed they had learned all they needed to learn from the scriptures and felt all they needed to do at their stage of the Christian walk was maintain what they’ve learned.  Of course, at first, some might agree that sounds good.  But, with careful consideration, you realize it’s only justifiable if you’re talking about material things.

Speaking truth to myself is a necessary reality[noun, 2.] because I understand that I am opposed by an uncouth roaring lion looking to wreck my life.  I cannot allow myself to get so comfortable in my spiritual life that I leave myself open to becoming a casualty in this spiritual war.  Every time I read the bible there are new truths being revealed that I hadn’t grasped before.  Comfortability brings about a spiritual laziness that lures one into believing they are giving God their best when, according to the scriptures, even our best is as filthy rags.

The fear of spiritual complacency is one reason I’m using the 52 Weeks of Pursuit bible study by Mark Trotter for this year’s reading through the bible.  Every year I look to go deeper into the word to get a better understanding to help me more rightly divide the Word.  There is power in the confidence of knowing what you are talking about.

I know fear is not of God, but a healthy reverence for him is a reminder that he is a holy God; there is no other (no matter how many new theories arise — the earth is flat; worship of the created things, I alone am master of my destiny, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera).  The thought of missing an opportunity to go ye therefore and teach all nations leaves me with an unpleasant feeling in the pit of my stomach.

If I were willing to remain in this current, comfortable spiritual state, I have no doubt it would render me ineffective for the kingdom of God in many ways.  I don’t want to be lured into forgetting that I will stand before God one day to give an account of what I did with his gifts!  This is one of the reasons I jumped at the opportunity to take my first Mission’s Trip abroad.

Witnessing the increasing sense of entitlement our society (young and old) exhibits is another thing that spurs me toward mission mindedness.  I find it both frightening but biblically anticipated, since we are so full of ourselves that we’ve relegated God to the backseat instead of letting him lead.  We are the modern reality and future of Revelation 3:14-22.  Pride is the attribute[noun, 2.] that gets us in trouble with God and man, and personally, I don’t need that kind of trouble in my life!

This leads me to the inspiration behind today’s postWhen the door was opened in October 2017 for my pastor, Ray Stewart, to embark on an overseas mission trip to Malawi, Africa, I was both excited and scared for him.  I prayed earnestly for his safety, Mark Trotter and all who those traveling and working together on this mission trip.  Working through the ministry of The Passion Center for Children / Passion Center for Pastors, my pastor proclaimed the gospel in the villages and helped to equip local pastors in their study of Scripture to help them “rightly divide the Word of Truth” and, to stand against Islam/witchcraft.

MALAWI, AFRICA — A place I had never heard of before, and most likely, you either.  My pastor shared some of the highlights from his trip with the congregation.  We learned of Malawi’s richness, and they are underdeveloped.  The statistics were saddening:  only 9% of the entire country has electricity and running water; only 20% of children attend secondary school; and, the infant mortality rate is high due to HIV and AIDS. [Read the article on Pastor Ray’s trip by clicking here.]

I was gracefully convicted of my own wasteful and careless spending habits.  Becoming a $40 a month donor to the Passion Center for Children was a spiritual no-brainer.  Not surprisingly, I haven’t missed a dime of it!  In fact, I was blessed instead.  As I mentioned in my first post of this year, the excitement and pleasure of meeting and talking with Pastors Mark Trotter and Malawi Pastor Pilira Chibwana was a blessing.

It’s confession time. Since making the decision to join the October mission team this year in Malawi, I have been attacked with fear.  My consolation, however, is implementing a lesson I learned to push past the fear.  I wrestle control of my heart and mind out of the grip of my flesh (our enemy), and reposition myself back under the control of the Holy Spirit.  I never forget to expect spiritual attacks the moment my heart service to the Lord increases.

I’m encouraged to enjoy the comfortable interludes in my spiritual walk with God.  But, I don’t want to stay there 20, 30 years.  God desires fruit, and my knowledge is increasing on how to be a more profitable sower.  I want to bear more fruit.  Being mission-minded is another part of the process that will help me do that so I don’t become stagnate in my Christian walk.  I am honored for the door God has opened for me to participate as part of the Mission Team.   Malawi is a spirit-led open invitation to travel outside my box!

Let the preparations begin!

 

Any Support You Can Give Helps Send Our 7-Person Mission Team to Malawi, Africa.

Donations are acceptable in two forms:

Grace & Truth Baptist Church, c/o 4000 SW Kamryn Drive, Lee’s Summit, MO 64082

or

Give as a Guest on our church app on our website:

https://pushpay.com/g/gtckcmissouri?src=hpp

(Give as a guest: select Missions (not General Fund) – Forward a copy

of your receipt to graceandtruthadmin@icloud.com so that we can

acknowledge you on our website and Facebook page)

TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

BE INTENTIONAL: Honor Those Called to Duty

Spiritually empowered Shepherds understand the full dynamics of the battle & develop well-trained troops

Our nation recognized its veterans this pass Saturday. Many businesses offered free services to military persons who are serving or have served this country. It is an honor that bears year round observance.  As an Army veteran, I count it a privilege to have had the opportunity to be used in preserving the freedoms this country enjoys! To those who gave so much more than just their time and service I say – THANK YOU – GOD BLESS YOU – GOD KEEP YOU!

Today, I want to honor another group that has been called to dutyThe Good ShepherdThe PastorI firmly believe God is the only Commander-in-Chief who directs one to this very important office and God directs and guides the Shepherd in the abundance of his duties toward the sheep.  Without God operating from the very seat of the Shepherd’s heart, it is easy for the church to be infiltrated by those who have today, have crept in unawares, to cast shame upon the gospel of Jesus Christ:

Jude 1:4 (KJV) – For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Moses gives us an awesome picture of what the Shepherd’s mission is – to bring a people out of bondage. Moses was called to bring a nation out of bondage, which in itself is a far cry from just managing a congregation of 50-3000 people. His call was simply stated:

Exodus 3:10 (KJV) – 10 Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.

Egypt is a picture of the world, and Moses was called to pull this great nation out the world, which is a picture of bondage.  No true Shepherd nonchalantly throws his hat into a ring like this shouting, “pick me, me, me, pick me!”  A true Shepherd spiritually discerns and recognizes that there is an overwhelming responsibility appointed to those in this position, and he bombards heaven with his prayers for confirmation. Moses was described as one who was very meek and faithful.  I wonder if in addition to his fear of being rejected by his people for his past, if a part of his reluctance was also his experience with the inherent difficulties of getting sheep to follow directions.

Today, I want to honor those Shepherds who, totally dependent on God for guidance and instruction, organize their bodies through the teachings of the bible, to the mission ministries, into a fitly joined body working together to accomplish the main goals of ministry.  I have observed some qualities I associate with good Shepherds I’ve admired and been under:

They Have A Heart For Making Disciples – Matthew 28:19-20 (KJV)

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

They Devote Themselves To Studying The Word Of God – Acts 6:3-6 (KJV)

But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

They Sacrifice Their Lives For The Ministry – Acts 20:23-25 (KJV)

24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

Their Ministry Is Christ & Mission Centered – 2 Corinthians 4:1-5 (KJV)

For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.

Their Ministry Is Focused On Reconciling The Lost – 2 Corinthians 5:17-19 (KJV)

18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

They Strive To Maintain A Blameless Ministry – 2 Corinthians 6:1-10 (KJV)

Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed:

They Build The Ministry Through Servanthood – Ephesians 4:8-16 (KJV)

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Their Ministry Endures Through Hardships – 2 Timothy 4:1-5 (KJV)

But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

Believers are the sheep of the congregations where we worship and learn the ways in which God desires his children to develop their Christ-likeness and impact the world that surrounds us.  We stumble, we go astray, we are afflicted, but God uses his Shepherds to draw us back to the way, the truth and the life. We are no different than the Nation of Israel in the wilderness:  we complain; do our own thing; do our dirt; and then, cry out for God to deliver us from the error of ways.

If you think it is easy to Shepherd people, I question if you understand the full picture given in the wilderness experience for both the shepherd and the sheep.  I want to leave a picture from the wilderness experience in the hopes that there would be a greater honor associated and demonstrated daily to those who answered the call of duty to Shepherd God’s people, and who do so with a heart sold out entirely to building the spiritual kingdom of God; not a kingdom on earth.

True Shepherds don’t want to be put upon a pedestal and/or treated as kings. True Shepherds are Christ servants serving God’s people to expand the kingdom of God.  True Shepherds train men, women and children to be dedicated, faithful, and steadfast soul winners.  True Shepherds look for open doors in the community to serve and share the gospel message of redemption.  And, True Shepherds thrive on going beyond the four walls into the mission fields to minister in the word of reconciliation.

To the True Shepherds Called to Duty

THANK YOU FOR YOUR HUMBLE SERVICE

THANK YOU FOR YOUR DAILY SACRIFICE

THANK YOU FOR YOUR DEDICATED LEADERSHIP

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVANT’S HEART

THANK YOU FOR ANSWERING THE CALL TO DUTY!

Psalm 106

We as Sheep…

Sometimes …

  • Lack spiritual discernment – v.7a
  • Forget God’s mercy of before – v.7b
  • Provoke God – v.7c

Yet God …

  • Saved us for his namesake to prove his might – v.8
  • Leads us through dry land and valleys – v.9
  • Protects and redeems us from our enemy – v.10

We then …

  • Believe his words and sing his praise – v.12

But we …

  • Again forget his works and his counsel – v.13
  • Lust after the world’s offerings – v.14
  • Gain the world, but lack grace and spiritual comfort – v.15
  • Exchange God’s glory for other gods – vv.19-20
  • Forget yet again – vv.21-22
  • Despise his provisions & word – v.24
  • Complain more & listen less – v.25
  • Join ourselves to the unrighteous – v.28
  • Provoke our Shepherds to do them a disservice – vv.32-33
  • Mingle with the works of the world – vv.33-39