As I waited to preach a message on missions last Sunday morning, I contemplated how fortunate we Americans are. Surely in the history of the world, no people have been more greatly blessed.

God has seen fit to make us a rich nation. In the eyes of the poor of the world, the most impoverished among us would seem wealthy. Our temporal blessings are beyond even the imagination of most of the world. The food we throw away because we do not like it would feed much of the world. Each day, we choose something to wear among the plethora of clothing in our closets and bureau drawers. Compare this to the empty bowl and outfit of one dirty tee-shirt and shorts of many who live in Africa.

Our medical system is the best in the world. Though many are without medical insurance, Americans still have the most available care in the world. Unquestionably, the advancements in medicine are made available in a broader context than any nation. Compare this to much of the world where loved ones can do nothing but watch family members suffer in the face of disease without even a common aspirin to relieve pain.

The spiritual realm, however, is the area in which I believe Americans are most blessed. The Gospel of Jesus is available in multiple ways to people across our nation. I cannot remember a time when I did not know about Jesus. His name has been precious to me from the beginning of my life. While millions in our country have not had a personal touch of the Gospel, it is not hidden from the vast majority. This is in stark contrast to the billions who live in darkness, having never heard the name of Jesus.

I do not call attention to these things to make us feel guilty, but to cause us to rejoice. We are a blessed nation. Jesus said to whom much is given much is required. I am thankful that many in America understand that. We are a generous nation. When tragedy strikes the rest of the world, whether friend or foe, America and Americans seek to help.

This is especially true of Southern Baptists. Even today as I write, Southern Baptists are responding to the tragic cyclone that hit Bangladesh. Crews from Oklahoma Disaster Relief are taking the lead in this endeavor. Oklahoma Baptists have given and gone to meet needs wherever a physical tragedy demanded a response.

I am also proud of our response to the greatest tragedy in the world-that of spiritual darkness. We continue to give our brightest and best to light candles throughout the world. Oklahoma Baptist University ranks the highest among Baptist schools producing missionaries. Falls Creek remains the single most fertile ground for people to respond to the call of missions.

And we give generously to missions. This Christmas season, your family and mine will give our most generous gift to Jesus and the telling of His story to the ends of the Earth. It is in our DNA. We are missional people. I have no doubt that this year we will give the greatest offering in our history to international missions through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.

But why shouldn’t we go, give and pray? We among all the peoples of the Earth are the most blessed by God. Thank you, God, for blessing us beyond measure!