How many Bibles does your family own—five, 10, or more? Consider the abundant ways we have in this world of technology to obtain access to the Bible. How many times have you heard the Gospel in the last year? Most of us have heard the Gospel no less than 50 or 60 times on the low side, and many of us have heard the Gospel hundreds of times during the year. Pastors may preach on tithing, but before the sermon ends, a simple Gospel appeal is made.
How often have you heard the name of Jesus throughout the year? Many of us would acknowledge, as the old hymn writer, that “Jesus is the sweetest name I know.” We speak and hear the name of Jesus repeatedly. Christmas has such meaning because we focus on and hear the name of Jesus over and over again.
His Name is the name above all names. We have such attachment to the name because Jesus gives human expression to the divine. He has made God known to us. He is the way of salvation. Nothing nor anyone has ever touched our lives so dramatically and eternally as Jesus.
But what if you never had the opportunity to read even one verse from the Bible? Can you even imagine such a thing? What if you had never seen or read a Bible in your own language? Or can you, with 24/7 access to the Bible and the Gospel, conceive a reality where you had no opportunity to read or hear the saving message of the Gospel in your lifetime?
I admit to you that in my Gospel-saturated world, the statements above are beyond my comprehension. If I had not travelled to mission fields where Gospel access is limited and the hearing of the name of Jesus nearly inaccessible, I would not be able to wrap my mind around those facts.
Yet, there are 3,027 people groups around the world who have no access to the Gospel. They have never heard that God became flesh and dwelt among us. Millions in our world have little access to the Gospel, and they have no idea that the God of Heaven has sent His Son to Earth in a manger. They don’t know that His Son, Who lived a perfect life, died on a cross for their forgiveness, and arose from the grave to give them eternal life. They have NEVER HEARD!
So what does that have to do with you or me? Are we to feel guilty because we have had such unhindered opportunity to read the Bible, to hear the Gospel preached, and to hear the name of Jesus over and over again? The answer is no. We don’t need to feel guilty, but blessed—abundantly, overwhelmingly blessed!
Our abundance in being blessed should find tangible expressions of gratitude. Gratitude means little unless it overflows into action in word and deed. During this season of the year, we have the opportunity through our local church to express gratitude for God’s abundant goodness and kindness toward us for giving unhindered access to the Gospel. We have heard the joyful sound, JESUS SAVES, JESUS SAVES! With joy, we can give so others can hear that same joyful sound. The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions is all about a grateful people giving a generous offering, so that the millions groping in darkness may see the light of the Gospel shone among them.
I urge you to give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering through your local church. You can be a part of the great movement of God among His people to see that no boy or girl, man or woman, would live their lives without ever hearing the story of Jesus. We may not be able to go to those faraway places to share the Gospel, but we can send missionaries—and they cannot go if we do not give.