I have recently returned from an arduous period of travel, visiting many state convention and associational annual meetings and fall church events. In many of those meetings, I heard mention of the upcoming emphasis upon international missions during the Christmas season. I have heard our personnel from the International Mission Board give reports, calling Southern Baptists to rise to the challenge of our $175 million Lottie Moon Christmas Offering goal. That has been a goal for several years, but has not been met. If it were to be met, our IMB would be able to take international missions to a new level.
I do encourage your involvement in that wonderful effort. Many years ago, in fact, several decades ago, my family decided that the most expensive gift we would give at Christmas would be to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions. Over the years, we have maintained that practice.
I believe Southern Baptists ought to give sacrificially, even painfully this year. The need has never been greater. The opportunity has never been more profound. Will you join me and my family in making this year's Lottie Moon Christmas Offering the biggest ever?
It has often been said that people have a giving spirit at Christmas more than any other time. Perhaps that is because we celebrate the greatest gift of all time at Christmas. Someone once said that John 3:16 is one of the greatest Christmas verses. Though not often thought of in that particular way, it speaks of our God being the great giver. Can we respond to His great gift by giving at this time of year? I pray that we will.