Newsletters | Malones to Japan

October 2018

Please pray for us as we are seeking to take the gospel of Christ to the unreached in Japan!
Theme of the Reformed Baptist Network Missions Conference

"The Missionary Heart of God"

Last week I attended the annual missions conference of the Reformed Baptist Network, hosted by Reformed Baptist Church of Riverside in Riverside, CA. The theme of the conference (as seen above) was "Sacrifice for Missions: He Is Worthy". It would be too much for me to chronicle here everything that happened at the conference, but I will say that it was a huge blessing and I believe some progress was made towards possible future support. While there, a pastor from the Dominican Republic preached a sermon called "The Missionary Heart of God" and I wrote a poem by the same name based on this sermon:

The truth of the gospel preached clearly
Many have never heard.
The Missionary Heart of God
Bids us, "Preach the Word!"

For some of every tribe, tongue, and people
The Lamb of God was slain.
The Missionary Heart of God
Bids us, "Preach His Name!"

The heart of God is for the nations,
Their joy to find in Him.
The Missionary Heart of God
Bids us go to them!

Christ the King, Pre-eminent One,
for Him we count the cost.
The Missionary Heart of God
Bids us reach the lost!

My Missions Table at the Conference

Christ Must Increase

Toward the end of John, chapter 3, a discussion between John the Baptist's disciples and the Jews prompted a question to John about Jesus baptizing and so many people coming to Him. John is quick to explain that he himself is not the Christ (Messiah), but is sent to prepare the way before Him; that Christ is the groom, and John is basically the best man, rejoicing to hear His voice (vss. 27-29). Then he says in verse 30, "He must increase, but I must decrease." Now, this meant for John that as Christ is becoming more well-known, John must now make his way off the scene. As Jesus' ministry grows, John's must begin to decrease and then finally fade away. Why? Because Christ is the one who comes from heaven and is above all (vs. 31); because Christ has the true testimony of God (vss. 32-33); because God has sent Him and gives Him the Spirit without measure (vs. 34); because He is the Son, and the Father loves Him and gives Him all things (vs. 35); and, because by faith in Him alone is found everlasting life, without which, one will only face the eternal wrath of God (vs. 36)!

We know that John is eventually thrown into prison (vs. 24) and beheaded (Matt. 14:1-12). Thankfully this is not the precedence for all who preach the gospel (though it may happen to some), but there is an application for us today. Christ must increase in our lives, and we must decrease. Christ increasing does not mean that we somehow actively make Him bigger, but that we purposefully show Him for who He is! It is the difference between a microscope and a telescope. The microscope makes small things bigger so we can observe them; the telescope, however, makes astronomically large bodies to appear as if they are close. Christ's worth is infinite, and our lives should be like a telescope, showing Christ's true value, and brining His nearness to bear upon our lives and the lives of those around us. As we delight in Him, our ambitions, hopes, plans, desires, etc., become rooted in, and centered around, Him, and our worldly and fleshly ones fall to the wayside. It's just like the old hymn says:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.


May John's declaration of his ministry be the cry of our own hearts- "He must increase, but I must decrease!" Is He increasing in your life today?

Prayer Requests

Our two basic prayer requests remain the same.
1. Preparation. As we continue to work through Pioneers' requirements, please pray that the Lord will prepare our hearts to be useful on the mission field (as well as at home). Currently Bonnie is working through some educational requirements, and plans to finish class 1 of 3 before the baby comes.
2. Provision. Pray that the Lord will provide monthly financial partners for us (both individuals as well as churches). We are struggling to get past the 8-9% mark and are praying the Lord will be pleased to provide this support through His people.

There are however, some other requests:
3. Baby. Bonnie is due to deliver Leonidas on Nov. 1st, but we realize he will come when he's ready! So, as we are only about 4 weeks away from that date, please pray for Bonnie and Leo, the delivery, our family, etc., as well as one family member who will be flying in to be with us during that time.
4. Japan. Japan has recently been hit by some severe weather. Typhoon Trami has caused a few fatalities, many injuries, and has left many without power (including people I know). Typhoon Kong-rey is supposed to be on it's heels. Please pray for Japan, that the Lord would protect them, and that He would also use these types of things to lead them to repentance (Luke 13:1-5).

HOW TO PARTNER WITH US

This kimono shop shows the aesthetic beauty that is a major part of Japanese culture, and such creativity is a reflection of being made in the image of God. Regardless, that image has been marred by sin and needs a Redeemer.