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Encourage: Challenge and opportunities

The challenges we have faced in 2020 remind us that we live in a broken world. As Christians, this should come as no surprise. Jesus Himself told us that in this world, we will have trouble. But He said we should “take heart,” because He has overcome the world (John 16:33).

Jesus also teaches us to embrace brokenness as opportunity for the Gospel. This year’s Edna McMillan Oklahoma State Missions Offering seeks to embrace brokenness as opportunity.

This offering impacts key areas of brokenness in society—hunger, foster care, imprisonment, addiction—with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. People who are distressed and downcast like shepherdless sheep are people who have value to Jesus. He calls us to give them help and to give them the hope of the Gospel.

Consider two realities connected to this 2020 State Missions Offering. First, God is glorified when people give in unity—giving together to advance the Gospel together. This act of putting our money together to advance the Gospel in our state will glorify God. This offering is an undeniable display of our fellowship in the Gospel.

Second, God is glorified when people give out of scarcity. I know that this year finds many of our people, and many of our churches, with real financial challenges. If we merely give our surplus, we might not give much. However, we are called to sacrificial giving, and God is glorified through sacrificial giving. Remember Paul’s description of this kind of giving from Philippi and the other churches of northern Greece.

Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia, that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality. For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord” (2 Cor. 8:1-3 NASB).

Through this year’s offering, both of these realities can come together: a unified commitment in a time of scarcity that glorified our Lord.

Thank you for your sharing in the Gospel through this offering. I am praying that Oklahoma Baptists will give more in the year of scarcity than we have ever given in years of abundance.

Please pray about how you and your church can participate in this year’s Edna McMillan Oklahoma State Missions Offering. Let’s consider how, together, we can embrace challenging times as an opportunity for the greater advancement of the Gospel.

EDITOR’S NOTE: For more information on the State Missions Offering, visit oklahomabaptists.org/smo

 

Hance Dilbeck

Author: Hance Dilbeck

Hance Dilbeck is executive director-treasurer with Oklahoma Baptists

View more articles by Hance Dilbeck.

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