Who's on top of your Christmas list?
December 7 2002 by Jim Royston , BSC Executive Director-treasurer

Who's on top of your Christmas list? | Saturday, Dec. 7, 2002

Saturday, Dec. 7, 2002

Who's on top of your Christmas list?

By Jim Royston BSC Executive Director-treasurer

Most of us have already begun (maybe finished?) our Christmas shopping. In the Raleigh area, there is certainly no shortage of places to shop (we've added two major malls this year) for interesting gifts to tempt us to overspend our budgets. Even with a downturn in the economy across our state, we appear to be headed for a better than average Christmas season.

But after all of the gifts have been bought, wrapped and put under the tree, how much have I spent honoring the One whose birthday we celebrate? Exchanging gifts with one another - a tradition I enjoy as much as anyone - must never overshadow God's greatest gifts to the world, the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

A question we must all ask ourselves each Christmas season: Whom have I put at the top of my Christmas list? Where did I spend most of my money (priorities) during this Christmas shopping season?

I ran across one Christian organization several years ago that asks only for a tithe - 10 percent - of the total amount you will spend on all Christmas gifts for that year. For some people, that would be a significant amount!

Several years ago our state convention promoted a program asking individuals to take the money they would normally spend on someone's Christmas gift and give that amount to the Southern Baptist Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for foreign missions. You would receive a card from the donor indicating that a gift had been made, in your name, to the special offering.

Besides the Lottie Moon Offering, still the most popular special offering among our churches, other Christmas giving programs in our churches include the Samaritans' Purse Operation Christmas Child (Shoebox Ministry) and the Global Missions Offering of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.

Another option - and one we too often overlook - is to make a "Christmas contribution" to your local church. Because of the downturn in the economy, many of our churches are struggling to meet their basic budget requirements. We should always place a high priority on the ministry needs in our own church community. For without strong churches none of our convention ministries - or even those of parachurch groups - could long survive.

Christmas is a wonderful time of the year. It is a time of giving and receiving. But most importantly, it is a time to remember how much God has given us and how we should, in return, cheerfully give back to Him.

May you know the joy of giving and the peace of Christ during this Advent season.

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12/7/2002 12:00:00 AM by Jim Royston , BSC Executive Director-treasurer | with 0 comments
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