April 2014

Mother’s Day Offering a gift of hope

April 22 2014 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

Each year, compassionate North Carolina Baptists help people who face overwhelming financial crises because of serious illness through the annual Mother’s Day Offering. Those who receive medical care at Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem may find their financial burden lightened through your generous support of this offering. It’s good to know that with the many changes taking place in health care, Baptist Hospital continues to assist families in dire need.
Our churches have partnered with Baptist Hospital for 90 years through the Mother’s Day Offering.
The hospital is now working to expand and strengthen this partnership with the Baptist Convention of North Carolina, associations and churches through FaithHealthNC, a partnership program between faith communities and health care providers. This cooperation will extend the healing ministry of Jesus to the whole person.
Thanks to your generous gifts, you have helped people like Craig Hutchison, a Vietnam veteran and 30-year veteran of the police force.
When Craig was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, he and his family were inundated with hospital bills they could not afford to pay. But when Craig received an unexpected letter informing him that much of his hospital bill had been paid through the Mother’s Day Offering, his life was changed.
Your gifts have also helped Sherri Sexton who had no one to turn to before she received a similar letter. She had incurred the high cost of medical care after a stroke required her to stay in the intensive care unit for an extended period of time.
Through the Mother’s Day Offering, North Carolina Baptists provide hope to people like Craig and Sherri each year. They are people who have no one to turn to for help because they have too much to qualify for government assistance or charity care, but not nearly enough to pay their hospital bills. A group of North Carolina Baptist ministers and laypersons prayerfully determine how much assistance can be provided for these special situations from gifts the hospital receives from North Carolina Baptist churches.
In 2013, North Carolina Baptists gave more than $600,000 to the offering. The goal for 2014 is $650,000. Every dollar you give to this offering helps individuals and families pay their hospital bills.
As Mother’s Day draws near, please pray about how you, your family and your church congregation can participate in giving to this year’s offering. You will be blessed, and some families with catastrophic financial obligations can be rescued. Think of it this way: you can give this offering to God because you recognize a need, and you want to be a blessing to others.
For more information about giving to the Mother’s Day Offering, promotional resources, and personal stories from those who have been blessed by the offering, visit mothersdayoffering.com.
But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased” Hebrews 13:16 (NKJV).
4/22/2014 1:01:27 PM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments

Suffering Servant, resurrected Savior, exalted King

April 8 2014 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

The two great pillars of Christianity are Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross and His triumphant bodily resurrection. Christ literally died for our sins and was physically raised from the dead for our justification.
Something was achieved on that cross that affected all mankind. Without His death, there could not have been a resurrection but without His resurrection, His death would not have achieved its full purpose. When Adam and Eve broke God’s law, they were doomed to live and die under the curse of sin – just like you and I. Even though God is love, His righteousness and justice demand that we be accountable for our sin.
What was God’s option for the problem of man’s sin? How could His justice and mercy be reconciled? The solution: God’s grace demonstrated through His Son. Christianity is a gospel of redemption. Jesus was many things – prophet, priest and physician – but supremely, He came to be our savior. “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3).
He did for us what we could not do for ourselves. He paid a price we could not pay. Jesus died vicariously. He shed His blood to pay the penalty for our sin. Jesus became God’s provision for man’s predicament.
In Philippians 2:8, Paul declared that Jesus Christ, the suffering servant, “took upon Himself the form of a servant and became obedient unto death, even the death on a cross.” He was divinely appointed as we are told in John 3:16, and He was adequate to pay for our sin because He was sinless, holy and perfect (Hebrews 4:15). There is only “one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5).
Can you visualize that supreme event – Christ’s atoning death on a lonely cross? Oh, the wonder of this gospel! Can we see Him on the cross? Can we see ourselves?
His death was undeserved, but it was necessary, and it was also sufficient for the payment of our sin.
We celebrate that the story of redemption did not end with the death of Christ.
The day of His death was sad and appeared hopeless, but Resurrection Sunday came. Through His death, Christ paid the penalty for our sin according to God’s plan of redemption. He defeated death and hell when He arose from the grave.
It demonstrated that Jesus was not just a man.
Jesus was God in human flesh. Paul wrote in Philippians 2:9-11, “God also hath highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow … and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.”
This is the reason for the Easter season! In the Old Testament, Christ was portrayed as the suffering servant, but in the New Testament He is recognized as the resurrected savior.
When He comes again, we will proclaim Him as King of kings and Lord of lords.
4/8/2014 2:10:14 PM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments