June 2011

Where is your treasure?

June 20 2011 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer

Does the thought of giving an offering to God seem more like a task instead of a privilege? When you hear your pastor or Bible study leader talk about the importance of giving money to God, do you silently ask the question “why?”

Do you ever wonder what the right motive is for giving to God?

We know we can never repay God for all He has done for us. The wonder, power and beauty of the gospel is that we are not expected to do so. Jesus Christ died once and for all as the sacrifice for sin. For those who trust Jesus as their personal Savior, there is no longer condemnation.

This means that we do not give monetary contributions because we are trying to earn God’s favor. Instead, we should give to God because of our love for the Savior and our desire to obey His commands. The Barna Group recently released a report indicating a drop in the number of Americans giving to a church or religious center.

The national tithing rate is also down, as Barna reports that four percent of adults in America tithe, a decrease from last year’s seven percent.

When I see numbers like this I can’t help but think about Matthew 6:21 which says, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

If we are not giving back a portion to God of what is already His — is our treasure really in heaven or is it in our checkbooks? We should give our tithe not out of a sense of duty or because it’s just a good thing to do. We give because we love God — and this is one way we demonstrate that.

Under the practices of the Old Testament law, the prophet Malachi (3:8) radically declared that we are guilty of stealing from God if we refuse to give tithes and offerings to Him. If you want to be blessed immensely, then don’t give under the law; instead, give with a heart of grace as you are guided by the Holy Spirit.

Remember the words found in 2 Corinthians 9:6-7: “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”

Our giving to God also takes on other forms such as our time and our talents. Are you investing time in serving Christ in your local church and home community? Are you using the gifts God has endowed you with in order to bless others?

Since you received the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, you have been given much. As an expression of gratitude, will you give of your time, your tithes and your talents to glorify God and to bless others in His name? You will discover immeasurable joy when your treasure is in Christ.
6/20/2011 7:23:00 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer | with 0 comments

Students answer God’s call

June 6 2011 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer

The summer months are a busy and exciting time. Summer means vacation for many families.

Churches often host special outreaches and send out mission teams. Your Convention staff is busy helping host many camps and missions opportunities for children and youth.  

I know many students look forward to summer because it brings a much needed break from the classroom and from all their studies. Yet, some students find themselves working just as hard in the summer because they choose a very special way to spend summer vacation.  

I want to share with you about a special group of students and ask you to please join me in committing to consistently praying for them these next few months.  

They are our Baptist students involved in summer missions.  

Our Baptist Campus Ministry and Student Ministry Team offer many opportunities for summer missions. This summer college students from all across the state will serve in a variety of different ways.  

Students on the BeDoTell team make Caswell their summer home and lead worship, Bible studies and skits.  

They help minister to the thousands of middle and high school students who come to Youth Weeks each year.  

The testimonies of how God works in the hearts of youth and how they respond to the Holy Spirit’s leading during these weeks at Caswell is remarkable.  

Students serving with Deep Impact travel the state to various locations in order to help lead the camp weeks.  

Deep Impact provides youth and their leaders the chance to join with other youth groups and spend one week serving a community through outreach such as Vacation Bible School, senior adult ministry, construction/clean up projects, sports camps and medical clinics.  

Deep Impact allows students to learn about missions during the worship and teaching times each day, but also gives them a hands-on experience.  

Many churches are not able to hire a full time youth minister.  

Youth Corps connects a student with one of these churches for the summer; a valuable experience for both the church and summer youth minister.  

Baptist Campus Ministry provides local, national and international mission opportunities.  

For example, this year two students are serving with the Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina. Students are ministering in our partnership areas of Toronto and New York, at an orphanage in South Africa, and with inner city ministry in East St. Louis and Waco, Texas.

Pastors, youth leaders and parents: if you know a student serving in missions this summer please let them know you are praying for them. Your support and encouragement is invaluable to them.

These students give us examples of how the Acts 1:8 mission is being carried out as we seek to fulfill the Great Commission.  

Adults, let’s not just encourage our students in their mission this summer. Let’s seek to follow the example they are setting and join God where He is at work.  

“Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” — 1 Timothy 4:12
6/6/2011 8:36:00 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer | with 0 comments