For Southern Baptists, Christmas season and missions are inextricably linked by the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions. In short, the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering is the major funding source for our overseas missions effort as Southern Baptists.
Lottie Moon, the missionary to China of the 1880s summed up best our reason for giving to missions at Christmas:
“Is not the festive season when families and friends exchange gifts in memory of The Gift laid on the altar of the world for the redemption of the human race, the most appropriate time to consecrate a portion from abounding riches and scant poverty to send forth the good tidings of great joy into all the earth?”
As we enter the month of December, we will join with other Southern Baptists in a season of giving specific for international missions.
Please join me in giving to this year’s offering. Our church’s goal is $150,000.
As you think about giving, let me suggest to you some specific ways that your gift helps.
The IMB has reported that in just one year:
- 811 people groups have been engaged with the Gospel
- 108,714 new believers have come to faith in Christ
- 14,817 pastors have been trained in other nations
- 005 new churches have been planted
Since 1845 The International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention has had one goal: “Take the gospel of Jesus to the lost people of the world.”
Be a part this year of this incredible endeavor.
In the story of Elijah’s epic showdown with King Ahab—which in reality is a showdown between Yahweh, the one true God, and Baal—Elijah asks a great question.
“How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If Yahweh is God, follow Him. But if Baal, follow him.” (1 Kings 18:21)
I see four things about this question.
- This is a question for every generation. Choosing to follow God or not is a question of every generation and every person. Every single one of us must choose.
- This is a question of our own discipleship. The choices are clear, and we must make a clear and decisive choice. We cannot waiver in our decision.
- This is a question that directs our evangelism. In pointing people to Christ, we must point them to a decision. We cannot just talk about Jesus; we must call people to make a choice regarding Jesus.
- This is not a question that automatically gets a response. It didn’t for Elijah for the rest of the verse says, “But the people didn’t answer him a word.”
Pray for someone today who needs to make a decision for Christ!
Can you believe that Saturday is December 1? That means that in your family and mine, we are starting to think Christmas. We are thinking Christmas at First Baptist Church for sure. This week the big tree is going up to prepare for the Singing Christmas Tree, which is happening this year December 14-17. Please take a moment, if you have not done so already, and secure your free tickets to a specific presentation. This is easy to do at fbclaf.org/christmas. Please join me in praying daily between now and then for each of these presentations.
Thursday, we have our Christmas JOY Club Luncheon for Senior Adults. Dr. Rick Brewer, president of Louisiana College, will be our guest. Dr. Brewer will provide entertainment on the piano. We will have ham. Please bring a side dish. Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m.
This Sunday, we will continue our series in Isaiah with the beginning of a four-week study on the description we get of Jesus in Isaiah 9:7. Since our study in Isaiah has focused on God’s provision in the midst of crisis, we will call this study, “Christ for the Crisis.” Join us at either 9:45 or 11:11 a.m.
As you think about the giving of gifts this Christmas season, please pray in earnest about your gift to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions. When you give to charitable organizations of any kind, you should always raise the question, “How much of my gift actually gets to the purpose for which I am giving?” With the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions, that answer is easy. All of it! The Southern Baptist Convention does not take any of it for administrative or other expenses. If you have questions about this offering, I encourage you to go to imb.org for inspirational stories, current projects, and other resources that help tell the story of the missionary force of the Southern Baptist Convention.