One the blessings of our journey to Africa was the opportunity to keep up my journal entries. These writings are very dear to me. They recount my walk with Christ, my relationship with Denise, the grace blessings of every life as well as many, many other things that my mind would not recall.
Here’s a partial entry from Sunday, July 9
What a glorious day!! Sunday worship at Charity Baptist Church was a huge blessing.
- God gave grace to preach the first service.
- The congregational singing was powerful; watching Daniel and Mark Anton lead the congregation is fun to watch; then other men get come up to lead a song which they call a special; the choir of young folk was awesome.
- The offering is received by folks going forward and putting their offering in a basket while the congregation sings.
- Matt preached a powerful sermon from Ruth 2 on the subject of grace.
- The service ended in a very touching way. Pastor Daniel had the whole USA mission team line up across the front. Then he said, “I want our church to come up and greet you and place a love gift in the basket. It won’t buy the team a car but it will buy you a Coke. When you all drink it, think of us and pray for us.” Wow! These poor folks gave out of their poverty. As we sang, hugged and swayed, what a special time it was!!!
- Another brother stood and shared what a blessing it was to have blacks and whites worshiping together in the unity of Christ.
From a pastor’s heart,
This week, I have been writing primarily to the congregation of Boones Creek Bible Church. One of the most blessed aspects of this ministry is joining God in His work through missions! Every Sunday we are brought up to date about two of our supported missionaries through our Adopt-A-Missionary Ministry. Each missionary family is “adopted” by one of our church families. How stirring to hear what God is up around the world as these families give their reports via pictures, videos, praise notes, and prayer requests. Friend, the most exciting event on the planet happens every time a lost soul repents and receives Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. (If you have never been born again, please take time to watch this: Five Questions)
This Sunday is Grace Giving Missions Sunday. This is a special day as look to the Lord for His direction in how He will provide for His mission’s work through His people. BCBC Family, would you consider the questions below after reading the following passages: Matthew 6:25-33; 28:18-20; Mark 12:41-44; Acts 20:35; 2 Corinthians 8 & 9 and Philippians 4:16-19.
- What part will you play in mission’s giving this year at Boones Creek Bible Church so we as a body of believers can be obedient to the Great Commission?
- Have you been asking God to reveal to you the amount that He would have you trust Him for each month?
- How big is your God?
- What is the value of a soul to you and your family?
- What do you need to set aside that is temporal so you can give for the eternal?
- What does your wallet, your checkbook say about your heart for missions, for the lost?
- What will your children learn about giving to missions from your example?
- How much celebrating via giving will you do in 2017?
So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:7-8)
“God directs his people not simply to worship but to sing his praises before the nations. We are called not simply to communicate the gospel to nonbelievers; we must also intentionally celebrate the gospel before them.” (Tim Keller)
One of the many ways we can “celebrate the gospel” before nonbelievers is for them hear how God meets our needs for His work and His glory! How sad that the unbelieving world sees us storing up treasures here, even going into debt for temporal things that have no eternal value, and they never heard the stories of how our great God supplied our needs and especially provided so we could get in on the blessing of giving!! God wants you to celebrate not grumble or be a Mr. Scrooge.
The following passage describes one of the many celebration activities in a believer’s life:
But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:6-8).
One of the most joyful events that occurs in any church service is when the offering is received! Think about it. Look at the following based upon the above passage:
- God promises that if you sow bountifully, you will reap bountifully.
- God does not pressure you to give.
- God does not want you to be miserable when you give but joyful.
- God is able to provide so you can get in on the blessing of giving.
Indeed, it is more blessed to give than receive (Acts 20:35), even when you do not think you have to give. God is able! So, when it comes time to give, do not look at your wallet, look at your God Who is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work (2 Cor. 9:8).
Therefore, people of BCBC, preparing to give and then giving to missions in 2017 should really make you celebrate when you consider 2 Corinthians 9:15!!
I am looking for much celebration in the days to come! God is able!