FIRST PERSON: 'Open door' moments for missions support
EDITOR'S NOTE: The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions and Cooperative Program fund the presence and missions outreach of nearly 5,000 Southern Baptist personnel internationally. Gifts to the Lottie Moon offering are received through local Southern Baptist churches or online at imb.org/offering. This year's goal is $175 million.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- Many years ago, the Page family gathered to decide the amount of our personal gifts to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering supporting international missions. We decided at that time that by far the most expensive gift we would give at Christmastime would be to international missions through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering!
No longer would our "large" gift be an item for the house or more toys for the children; it would be a missions gift!
This year, the need for sacrificial support for international missions is greater than ever. Though lostness abounds, doors of opportunity are open across the world. Missions volunteers are lined up and ready to go. All that is lacking are the financial resources. History shows us that open doors may be fleeting moments. If we miss these "open door" moments, they can close more quickly than we can imagine.
The theme for this year's Lottie Moon emphasis is, "Totally His … Heart, Hands, Voice."
To be totally His implies an absolute submission of self to the service and work of our Lord. It is to embrace a mindset and lifestyle of Christ-like selflessness. When we think with the mind of Christ and respond to others with the heart of Jesus, His mission becomes our mission. His heart becomes the deep conviction of our hearts. "Am I totally His?" is a question every true believer must answer every day. Have I submitted all that I am to Him?
When that happens, certain areas of our life begin to change. It causes us to focus more clearly according to a biblical agenda. What could be more Christ-like than reaching the nations with the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
I cannot tell you how deeply I am burdened about this issue. As president of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, it is my role to support and encourage the work of the Lord through our ministry entities, including our International Mission Board.
It is time for all believers to refocus and reprioritize our giving patterns. Many members of our churches have failed to follow the Lord in biblical stewardship of their time, talents and treasure. Many churches have declined in their overall mission giving in these opening decades of the 21st century. To be totally His will affect every aspect of our lives. When His Spirit truly permeates every aspect of our being, He moves us to pray more, to give more, to go more -- to be totally His.
Please join me in a recommitment to the heart of our Lord. May we truly be totally His!
Frank Page is president of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).