Whoa! Not Wow, but Whoa! This is a good Oklahoma word used as a command to your horse to get it to stop running. I am not a horse, nor are you, but I am suggesting that this would be a good time for Oklahoma Baptists to holler “Whoa!” I would propose that it is of utmost importance because we won’t shout “WOW!” if we don’t “Whoa!”

Now, let me explain. If we are honest with ourselves, we stay so focused on doing that we rarely stop to rejoice and praise because we have another project to complete for Jesus or another goal to reach for the Master. Yet, He, by His Almighty hand, does great things among us, and we are too busy to come to a screeching halt just to bask in the glorious things He has done.

Not going to happen—not this time! I ask you to join me in giving overflowing praise to our great God for His marvelous provision in 2012; it was a record-setting year in giving to the work of the Lord.  He has opened the windows of Heaven and blessed Oklahoma Baptists in our “together” ministries in remarkable ways. Giving through the Cooperative Program and special offerings to state, national, and international missions demonstrated an overflowing of generosity among God’s people called Oklahoma Baptists.

We pause in the flurry of activities to lift our hands and hearts to our gracious Lord who “is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think—according to the power that works in us—to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. AMEN!”

While He has worked in and through His willing servants to give these gifts, we give praise to Him alone!  As David said, “May You be praised, LORD God of our father Israel, from eternity to eternity. Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the splendor and the majesty, for everything in the heavens and on Earth belongs to You.  Yours, LORD, is the kingdom, and You are exalted as head over all. Riches and honor come from You, and You are the ruler of everything . . . But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? For everything comes from You, and we have given You only what comes from Your own hand.”

By His provision through His people, there will be ministry and missions accomplished from the front door of the church to the ends of the Earth.  More people will hear the Gospel and respond in repentance and faith because of the record-setting gifts. In short, the work of the Kingdom will advance, and it will be expanded into the hearts of new believers. More people will be trained and sent into the mission field and into local churches to serve.  God’s glory will be trumpeted around the world because of these gifts.

So stop—slow down. Don’t read past these words without taking time to praise the Giver of all gifts into our hands. Praise Him for raising up faithful people across Oklahoma who give with generosity. Give Him Glory!  Know that when you have praised Him, He is worthy of 10,000 times more praise.

Whoa!  Now it is time to say “WOW!”  What a mighty God we serve!