Nu’uanu Baptist Church December 7, 2022
It’s that time of year again! No, not the time to try to get everything done for Christmas before relatives come. It’s the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering time for international missions. Every year, here at Nu'uanu Baptist Church, we have a Week of Prayer for International Missions and then throughout the month of December we give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Due to the faithfulness of the folks here at Nu'uanu, we usually reach our goal, which is the highest goal of all our special offerings for the year, which includes our Annie Armstrong offering and the Sue Nishikawa Offering.
This week, I would like us to think about two questions, why and why! Why do we give to international missions? And, why do we give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for international missions?
When I was growing up in Denver, Colorado, my pastor said, on more than one occasion, that we needed to take care of our own backyard before we go and try and clean up someone else’s backyard. Every time I heard that, I thought, “I understand he is trying to tell us that we need to share the gospel with our family, neighbors and friends, but I hope he isn’t saying we need to do that before we share the gospel with people in other parts of the world.” Remember Jesus’ “Great Commission” in Matthew 28:18-20: “Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Jesus doesn’t tell us to wait until we have shared the gospel with everyone in America before we share it with our world. He tells all of His followers to “Go!”
One of the reasons I am a member of a Southern Baptist church is because since the SBC was formed back in 1845 in Augusta, Georgia, Southern Baptists have been a “sending denomination," sending missionaries to other parts of America and around the world to share with people who need to know Jesus and the salvation He came to give. That’s one of the reasons I went to Japan right after college. I remember hearing something like three quarters of the people of the world who have never heard about Jesus live outside of the United States, but three quarters of the Christian workers in the world live inside the United States. So, Gail and I lived 36 years outside the United States, so we could tell some of the three quarters of the world who don’t know Jesus about His great love for them.
The Bible makes it clear that we are to tell our family, neighbors and friends about Jesus and we are to tell people in places like Africa, South America, Europe, and Asia about Jesus too.
Jesus’ parting words to His followers in Acts 1:8 before His ascension, make it very clear, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” That is what our church tries to do.
So, the next question is, “Why give to the Lottie Moon Christmas offering, aren’t there other groups trying to reach people in countries around the world?” The answer is, “Yes, there are.” That’s good. However, one of the good things about giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, as well as, the Cooperative Program, is that we join with other churches, big and small, in supporting over 3,500 missionaries throughout the world. Occasionally we hear about a large church supporting four international missionary families. That’s pretty good, however, a church of less than 50 members couldn’t do that, unless they join with 47,000 other churches in supporting missionaries. That’s what we do. When Gail and I were missionaries with the International Mission Board, we knew we were supported by thousands of churches, both big and small. We were grateful for every church, every member. When we give our offerings to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and the Cooperative Program, we join with a great family of believers making it possible for missionaries to serve in unreached, unengaged places, meaning these are places that have no access, or very little access to the gospel; very few Christians or none at all; no missionary presence. Maybe God is calling you to join them by becoming a missionary too. Is there any reason you can’t go? If you go, we will support you through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.
Another good thing about giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering is that every penny given goes to support the work of missionaries, not administrative costs. Our giving can have a great impact on sharing of the gospel with people who have never heard about Jesus. Thank you for giving!
Grace and blessing,
1. Wednesday Night Bible Study starts back up tonight at 7 pm. It will be a topical study this month on prayer. Everyone come!
2. Prayer Meeting at 5 pm on Sunday night in the fellowship hall.
3. Christmas Cantata at Olivet Baptist Church, on Sunday, December 11, at 6 pm. It’s always a wonderful presentation of the Christmas gospel story through music.
4. International Missions Study on the Philippines on Sunday evening was well attended, including a few from Mililani Fil-Am church. Philip and Ashleigh Irwin did a great job, and we learned much and we prayed much.
5. Christmas Trolley Ride is Monday evening, Dec. 12, rides at 6 pm and 7 pm. $7 per person. Reservations are limited so sign up with Kristie Duarte at email@example.com.
6. Keep praying during this Week of Prayer for International Missions, using your “Prayer Guide” you received on Sunday.
7. Bowling Night, for those who signed up, has been postponed to Friday, December 23, 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm at Aiea Bowl.