Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Giving So Others May Know

Lottie Moon's Mirror at our church Christmas 2008.

Lottie Moon is a familiar name for anyone who has ever attended a Southern Baptist Church. When I was little, I thought she was a lady the church gave money to because she was poor! Have you ever seen Lottie's picture? She looks like she could use a little more to eat - at least to a 6-year-old! For all my readers who are non-Southern Baptists, Lottie Moon is our annual offering for international missions. It is always at Christmas, which brings me to the point of this post.

Many church members would probably say that we should have the Lottie Moon offering at some other time, because Christmas is such a busy and expensive time of the year. While both of those things are true, I believe that Christmas is the best time to collect an offering for our international missionaries. As Josh explained Sunday morning before our Lottie Moon offering, "At Christmas we celebrate Christ taking on flesh and dwelling among us. Our international missionaries do the same thing as they take on the culture, language, and country of the people they are dwelling among. They illustrate with their lives how Christ came and took on our culture and language and left the glory of heaven to save us from our sin." Praise God for the over 5,000 SBC missionaries who are dwelling among a foreign people, often in dangerous circumstances, so that all people may hear the good news!

A common excuse for not giving to Lottie Moon is, "I don't have the money right now. I have to buy gifts for my family." Josh and I both know the temptation to not give (or not to give sacrificially) because you want to have enough money to give to your family or do something else, and so we decided to plan to give to Lottie Moon. At the beginning of the year, we talk about what amount of money we want to give to Lottie Moon in December, and then we budget for it every month. We have a savings account and part of what we put into savings every month is a portion of what we will give to Lottie Moon in December.

If you are Southern Baptist and don't give to Lottie Moon, I encourage you to give so that the gospel can go forth to those who have never heard. There are so many people in the world who have never heard the name of Jesus. They don't know what Christmas is or if they do, they don't know why we celebrate this holiday.

If you are Southern Baptist and do give to Lottie, but would like to give more, I encourage you to set a goal for what you would like to give next December and save for it all year. It isn't hard to give more, when you have saved all year.

Lastly, if you aren't Southern Baptist, I encourage you to find out how you can support missionaries your church or denomination sends out.

For those missionaries who read my blog, I want you to know how much I appreciate you and thank the Lord for you. While we may sacrifice a little to give to support you, you and your families sacrifice everything to go and share the gospel with those who have never heard. May the Lord bless you greatly as you continue to serve Him and share with all nations!

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