What was the most expensive Christmas gift you purchased last year?
I challenge those I pastor each year to take the cost of the most expensive Christmas gift they purchase, add at least a dollar to it, and give that amount of money to them. That way the biggest Christmas gift they give each year is to those people!
I ask our church members each year to give their largest Christmas gift to our missionaries who make great sacrifices to share the greatest story ever told, the gospel, the story of Jesus Christ dying for our sin and rising from the dead so we can have a relationship with the Father and eternal life!
To summarize Acts 13-14: it’s the first time a church sent out missionaries.
Today Balboa Baptist Church and our 50,000 sister churches support about 3,800 full time international missionaries. We support them all year long, but in December we collect the largest single offering of the year to support them.
I’m amazed at their commitment. They leave hometowns where they grew up. Husbands and wives move with their children, spend years in seminary training, and learning a new language. Then they live with the people of another country, assimilate into their culture, and seek to tell the gospel in their heart language.
I grew up hearing their stories, watching their slide shows, and touching the native artifacts of the culture where they live. I pray for them. I give so they can keep doing the work Jesus commanded.
I want my biggest Christmas gift not to go to myself or a family member, but to God’s work. I like to think of it as giving God my most expensive gift each Christmas.
Many retailers’ survival depend on consumers piling up debt on plastic cards to give gifts to family and friends. Making sure I at least give my biggest gift outside of all the hoopla is a small way to stay focused on what is really important.
Father, please bless our missionaries around the world as they tell the greatest news of salvation in Jesus Christ and as they make disciples who follow Him.