Embrace your place in God’s story
    December 15 2014 by Tom Elliff, Guest Column

    When our eldest daughter was only 4 years old, I went to her room to talk with her at the end of a very trying day. Sitting on the edge of her bed, I rehearsed some of the day’s events, hoping she would understand why her behavior had demanded a particularly stern amount of discipline. As I spoke, she fastened her eyes on mine, looking at me in rapt attention.
    “She’s getting it,” I thought to myself, not just a little pleased at the effectiveness of my conversational approach. “I think she understands just how troubling her behavior has been.” My deep thoughts and stern lecture were interrupted by her small voice.
    “You know what, daddy?” she asked in a voice that could not conceal her wonderment. “I can see me in your eyes!” The truth had now surfaced. Her rapt attention had nothing to do with my lecture. Instead, she was overcome at the way her face was reflected in my eyes!
    Since that interchange with my daughter, I have often thought of her exclamation, “I can see me in your eyes!” If you gaze into the eyes of your Heavenly Father, you will see the same. You are in His eyes.
    You have a place in God’s story.
    This year’s Lottie Moon Christmas Offering (LMCO) theme, One Sacred Effort – Find Your Place in God’s Story, is designed to help each of us see our role in God’s great plan of redemption. Yes, you do have a place in His story.
    When the Southern Baptist Convention was formed over 169 years ago, missions was the centerpiece, the stack pole around which Baptists placed their hearts, burning with a desire to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. They believed that missions is the one sacred effort that should bind us together.
    The International Mission Board (IMB) is, in fact, Southern Baptist churches focused together in one sacred effort to fulfill the Great Commission.
    IMB, originally called the Foreign Mission Board, quickly found its place in Southern Baptist hearts. And we found our home in Richmond, Va., from which missionaries of old would travel down the James River, out into the Chesapeake Bay, and from there across the oceans over which many of them would never return. On some occasions missionaries actually packed their belongings inside the very coffin in which they would later be buried.
    One Sacred Effort. That’s what it will take for us to reach the world with the message of Christ. And you, your church and all Southern Baptists have a place in God’s continuing story of redemption. Missions requires teamwork. At the very outset we are each co-missioned by Christ, joining Him and others in the fulfillment of the Great Commission. What is your role? Going? Letting go? Helping others to go? Praying for those who go? What a wonderful sense of fulfillment comes when you find your place in God’s story.

    This year, join Southern Baptists everywhere in One Sacred Effort. Find your place in God’s story.
    Here are some resources:
    • Pray: pray.imb.org.
    • Give: give.imb.org – to the Cooperative Program and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions through your local Southern Baptist church.
    • Go: going.imb.org – has guidance on volunteer, partnership and career service opportunities.
    • Connect: View a related video on One Sacred Effort at vimeo.com/96915293, as well as at imb.org/lmcovideo.
    (EDITOR’S NOTE – Tom Elliff is IMB’s past president.)
    12/15/2014 2:04:52 PM by Tom Elliff, Guest Column | with 0 comments
    Filed under: IMB, Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, Tom Elliff

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