Here is a copy of a letter I am sending to our people this morning.
How are the sheep today? I pray you are well and as always that the Gospel is advancing in you and through you. Remember, you are our evangelism strategy for Baton Rouge. Christ in you is the hope of glory (Col. 1:27). May Christ be evident in all of us today.
I'm writing you in July and want to challenge you to begin to think about Christmas. Some of you think about it already, but specifically I want to challenge you to think about the Lottie Moon Christmas offering. Usually, this offering is collected in December, but if you are like us (2 birthdays and Christmas in December), then there is not a lot of money left over. Paul gave some wisdom to the church at Corinth that I want to pass along to you:
1 Cor. 16:1-2 "Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come."
Paul's wisdom to the churches he ministered to was this: "Look I will be coming to collect an offering for our brothers and sisters in Jerusalem, so be intentional to participate weekly in storing up for this offering. I don't want to arrive and start the process. You guys start the process and as you prosper over the next period of time set aside gifts for this offering."
December will come quickly. If we are not intentional in our planning then we may not be able to give as much as we would desire. Let me encourage you in a few ways. First, give yourselves to the Lord (2 Cor. 8:5). Hold nothing back. It's not about giving your money it's about giving your life. Second, earnestly pursue satisfaction in God (Ps. 63). When He is your joy then all other treasures can be released. Third, as you prosper set some aside (1 Cor. 16:2). Some of you will have some financial blessings this fall. As the Lord prospers you, set some aside for the purpose of global disciple-making. Fourth, do not be anxious about what you will eat or wear (Matthew 6:19-34). Your Father knows what you need before you ask. Trust Him to provide for you even as you provide for others.
Giving to Lottie Moon is one of my favorite offerings. 100% of the funds goes directly to the mission field. My prayer is that as we are satisfied in God, that we might sacrifice for Him like never before. In light of putting this opportunity on your radar, you may not want to wait until December, but you may want to give along the way. We will be happy to collect Lottie Moon offerings throughout the fall. There is no wrong time to give so that God's name may be proclaimed in the nations.
Just sharing with you what's on my heart this morning. Love you much.
Contending for Christ,