RICHMOND, Va. – Years ago, in my wife's home church, the pastor received an unusual call on Sunday afternoon from the chairman of the church's finance committee. That morning, the church had begun collecting its annual Lottie Moon Offering for International Missions. As they were tallying the results in order to give a report that evening, the committee found an interesting response in one envelope. The envelope had been turned inside out, and the names of a couple from the congregation were printed inside.
Wanting to ensure that an offering had not fallen out, the chairman asked the pastor to phone the couple and explain the situation.
"Yes, that was our offering," said the husband when the pastor called, "and we meant it."
When asked by the pastor what they meant, the husband responded, "We couldn't think of anything better to give the Lord than ourselves. This is our decision to surrender everything to the Lord."
"Totally His!" Now that is the kind of commitment Christ expects, honors and blesses! Once it is settled that we are His … heart, hands and voice, the Lord then moves us into places of incredible effectiveness.
Paul commended the churches of Macedonia by saying that, in spite of their affliction and deep poverty, they were noted for their generosity. "For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord," he wrote to the believers in Corinth.
How were these churches able to give so generously? "They first gave themselves to the Lord," Paul continued. In other words, their remarkable generosity sprung from hearts that were totally His!
During this year's Lottie Moon Offering emphasis, you will have the opportunity to hear about individuals from around the globe who have determined that Christ is worthy of their all. They are working together with Southern Baptist churches right here at home. God is using their combined efforts in some of the darkest corners of the globe. Together they are touching others with the gospel in remarkable ways.
IMB's role is to assist you and your church in the fulfillment of the Great Commission. When you give generously to the Lottie Moon Offering, you are ensuring that you have people on the ground in some of the most broken and lost communities of the world. These are missionary personnel you have placed in position there to assist your church in fulfilling its mission.
Please join in praying that this year's emphasis will be, first and foremost, about offering ourselves to the Lord in total commitment. And once that is in place, the stage is set for an offering that reflects the kind of generosity only God inspires.
Totally His! That should be our goal at any season of the year!
See how others are being Totally His … heart, hands, voice at totallyhis.imbresources.org. Add your story and join the journey.
Through IMB's Embrace initiative, you and your church can take the gospel to an unevangelized people group. To learn more, go to call2embrace.org.
Give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions through your local Southern Baptist church or online at imb.org/offering, where there are resources for church leaders to promote the offering.
(EDTIOR’S NOTE – Tom Elliff is president of the International Mission Board.)