As the Christmas season approaches, I have been taking some time to ponder the spirit of giving that surrounds this time of the year. When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, God gave the world the greatest gift it would ever know. Our Heavenly Father gave us a gift to save us from our sins.
When we give, we celebrate God’s very nature – His love, grace and kindness. Fittingly, this season is also the time when Southern Baptists throughout the country give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering (LMCO), an offering that supports missionaries and their ministries around the world.
This year, the offering theme is “Because of who He is” – a reminder that all we do is ultimately for Him and His glory. He is worthy to be worshipped by all the nations.
Lottie Moon, the offering’s namesake, spent much of her life making the name of Jesus known to the people of China. Now, the offering that bears her name helps make Christ’s name known in countries around the world through those who are serving with the International Mission Board (IMB).
This year, the offering’s goal is $175 million. Last year, your support of the LMCO helped 1.75 million people to hear a gospel witness, 275,000 people to become new believers, 14,000 new churches to be formed and 4,000 new groups to be formed.
Because of your support for the LMCO, a missionary was able to get access to the resources to dub DVD presentations of the gospel in the native languages of Central Asia. These DVDs were then broadcast on a local television station so that more people might have access to the gospel.
Join me in praying for and giving to the LMCO this year. When we give, we are helping to take the gospel to the corners of the world, providing a way for those who might have never heard the name of Jesus to come to faith in Him. In the words of Lottie Moon herself, “Why should we not … do something that will prove that we are really in earnest in claiming to be followers of Him who, though He was rich, for our sake became poor?”
For more information about the LMCO, visit imb.org for downloadable resources including videos, prayer guides and more.
There is more I would like to share with you from my own perspective about what has happened in recent weeks and will happen with the IMB, but I will do that at another time. Suffice to say for now that I believe our president of the IMB, David Platt, is making decisions that had to be made. I believe he has done and is doing the right thing.
I encourage you to pray for and trust our leader during these days. In consideration of all the necessary changes that are happening with IMB and our international missionary force, this is a time of challenge for individuals to give sacrificially to support this annual missions offering. In 2014, N.C. Baptist churches led the Southern Baptist Convention state conventions in contributing $12.6 million to this offering.
Will 2015 be the greatest LMCO that NC Baptists have ever given?
“Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples.” – Psalm 96:3 (NKJV)