As we approach the end of 2012, many of us consider making year-end gifts. Even though we have tithed throughout the year, we desire to bless the work of God. In fact, there will be many year-end appeals made through direct mail, television, radio, Internet, etc. You will have the opportunity to pray through these appeals, and hopefully God will lead you to give generously. Polla and I enjoy making these kinds of gifts, because we know we can help ministries achieve Kingdom impact.
I encourage you to make your church the first stop for year-end giving. There are special projects and ministries that will go unaccomplished without generous above-and-beyond giving. Talk to your pastor about opportunities that will help advance the work of your church in reaching your community and serving the body of Christ.
Another worthy consideration is the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Each year, this offering, taken in our churches for international missions, becomes a more significant and vital part of spreading the Gospel to the ends of the Earth. There is a growing tide of people called to missions, and this offering is a significant way to ensure these missionaries are supported.
For those of us living in a Gospel-saturated America, it is hard to connect with the depth of lostness around the world. To hear that billions have never heard the Gospel is almost beyond our comprehension. Yet, our inability to comprehend this reality does not change it. Billions have still not heard the story of Jesus; in fact, they have never heard the Name of Jesus. I have heard that sweet Name thousands of times throughout my life, but there are billions who have never read or heard of Him. They are lost and waiting for someone to bring the Gospel to them. The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering provides needed funds to send workers into the harvest field.
For me, one of the most-needed ministries for year-end giving is Falls Creek. You have read of the historic year of professions of faith and young people surrendering to missions and ministry in 2012. We come to the beautiful tabernacle and soak up the joy of worship provided in that facility, but in reality, there is still a $4.8 million debt. We could ignore this debt and hope someone shows up with a check that would remove it. Understand, I do not doubt that God can pull that off—He just might ask someone to sell some of His cattle on a thousand hills that they are taking care of for Him. If He does, I will rejoice and humbly accept the check.
But God might also be talking to hundreds of us who enjoy the blessing of the tabernacle. He might be speaking to a dad and mom whose child walked the aisle of the tabernacle to receive Christ, or to a grandparent who had the joy of hearing their grandson or granddaughter rush to their home upon return from Falls Creek to declare they have been called by God to serve in ministry or missions. Perhaps you are a man or woman who sat in a seat in the tabernacle at a retreat and had your life radically changed by the Gospel.
Maybe God wants to pay the debt through gifts both large and small from those of us who have been so blessed by this wonderful place we call Falls Creek. As we approach the end of 2012, would you consider giving a gift to reduce the debt? Every gift, great or small, will make a difference. If you feel led of God to eliminate the debt, then we all will rejoice and give gifts for the future of Falls Creek.
I am assured of this—when the debt is paid off, through one gift or many, it will be the work of Almighty God through His people. He alone will receive glory and honor.