The leaves are on the ground, a chill is in the air, and it feels like midnight a little after dinner, all of which can only mean onething…the Lottie Moon Christmas offering (LMCO) is near! Sure, that other thing with presents, lights, and trees is alsonear, but let’s hold off on that for a moment. After all, it seems right to focus on giving to the Lord’s work before we focuson gifting others when we look at the Word of God.
In Acts 20:35, Paul quotes Jesus when he says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” On the surface that seems like a perfect Christmas message, right? Giving is better than receiving. Sure, you didn’t get all of the presents that you wanted, but it’s not a big deal because giving is better than receiving. Your kid gets a little pouty over their Christmas, remind them that it’s not about what they received, but what they gave. That’ll show them.
But when you look at the verse in its context, you see that Paul intends much more than the surface meaning. He is about to leave, not knowing whether he would see the Ephesian church again. And he, and the the church, are agonized by this.But this is what he must do. Before he leaves, he reminds them that he never took advantage of them. He never asked them for financial support because he wanted to show them that it is better to give than to receive.
In other words, he gave himself for their salvation and sanctification without asking for anything in return. And he did that to follow the example of Christ who gave up everything for us. Modern-day missionaries do the same. They give up safety, comfort, financial security, treasured experiences with their families, and more, to seek and save the lost. They go without asking for anything in return, but they need help.
We can step in and provide the support that they need to do the work to which they have been called. One hundred percent of what we give through the LMCO goes to enabling Gospel transformations around the world. This year, we’re looking to raise $60,000, which is the cost for one missionary to be sent for one year. Let’s do our part and get one more Lottie out on the field through our generosity and sacrifice. Remember, it is more blessed to give than to receive.