Jesus! Jesus! What a sweet name! At this time of the year, Americans hear this name many times. Even in our increasingly secularized culture, the name sneaks through at Christmas. Secular artists sing about the first Christmas and Baby Jesus; columnists write about Christmas good and bad, but the name Jesus gets through. And of course, Christians in churches and in multiple ways speak the Name of Jesus during this season.
For this reason, it is hard to imagine a world where the Name of Jesus has never been spoken. We live in a universe filled with 3.4 billion people who have no idea there is a God Who loves them and was willing to send His only begotten Son to this world through the manger in Bethlehem. They have never seen a nativity or heard a Christmas carol extolling the great love of God demonstrated through the birth of Jesus. At Christmas and throughout the year, there is nothing but stone cold silence among these people.
If you are having trouble wrapping your mind around this truth, I fully understand. I have been to places where the Name of Jesus is scarce. But my mind cannot mine the depths of the fact that 3.4 billion people have not heard the precious, saving Name of Jesus.
So what can we do about it? Is there anything we can do? Yes, indeed, I think there is. Let me suggest to you a few ways you, from the Bible Belt, can make a difference.
First, go to the International Mission Board (IMB) website at www.imb.org and select a people group who has not been engaged with the Gospel. Ask God to capture your heart for one of these unengaged people groups, do research about them—discover their country, way of life and beliefs. Find out everything you can about them.
Second, begin to pray for the light of the Gospel to shine in the darkness. Ask the Father to send someone to this people group who will carry the Gospel. Pray that the barriers to the Gospel will be removed and the blindness to the true God will fall like scales from the people’s eyes. Cry out to God for the idols and pagan beliefs to be torn down and that the true and living God, and His Son, Jesus, may be exalted among them.
Third, ask your Sunday School class or WMU group to join you in fervent prayer for the people group you chose. Perhaps your pastor would be willing to make this people group the center of a year-long prayer effort in your church.
Fourth, pray that the Father might call out missionaries who have a heart for this people group. Our Father desires to answer the prayers of His people. Ask the Father to call someone from your church to engage this people group. Perhaps God is calling you and your church to become the point persons to carry the Gospel to an unreached people group. If so, you can contact the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma or the IMB. Either organization will help you get started on an exciting journey of planting the Gospel where the Name of Jesus has never been heard.
Finally, give generously to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for international missions. Giving to this offering provides the means for missionaries to be placed on the field among these unreached people groups. We who live in abundance both financially and spiritually have the privilege and responsibility to invest in Kingdom advancement. Through our giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, we can be pioneers in seeing the Gospel planted among people who have never heard the Name of Jesus.