Is it strange to you that on Jesus’ birthday we give each other gifts? At Christmas, we celebrate God the Father giving us His Son, Jesus, to save us from our sins. This gift of love was extraordinarily generous and is pictured every time we give each other a gift at Christmas. Jesus sacrificed Himself for our well being, so we sacrifice some of our money for the well being of others. He loved us, so we love each other (1 John 4:11).
This Christmas, we wanted to put the generosity of the Good News on display through a Redeemer Bible Church Christmas offering. Every penny raised through this offering will go to bless people in our church, our community and on the other side of the world.
There are three areas of generosity that we’re asking you to focus on, pray about and give to - At Home, In Our Community, Across the World:
1. At Home. We have a steady stream of people who either come to us for help or who we know need help. We vet all of them, obviously, but like Jesus who helped us, we want part of our Christmas Offering to help people who are struggling. All of this money will be used throughout the year to remember the poor (Galatians 2:10).
2. In Our Community. There is a foster care crisis in Arizona. Loving our Valley includes mobilizing our church to help. For almost two years we’ve been praying and planning to do this by starting our own Royal Family Kid’s Camp (please see what this is at rfk.org), a one-week summer camp for foster kids ages 7-11. All of our leaders are trained and ready to step out in faith to host an adventure for the kids that God chooses to participate. This camp will have an estimated cost of $40,000 (that's not part of our operating budget for 2018), which means a good portion of our Christmas Offering will go to helping many hurting kids, all of whom are living through the trials and tensions of foster care.
3. Across the World. One of the missionaries (I’m purposely being vague because he’s in a country closed to the Gospel) we support has planted a church, is planting another one and is giving seminary-level training to pastors all over the country he is in. We want the final portion of our Christmas Offering to bless his ministry, and since he will be visiting us in March, what an incredible moment it will be to surprise him by handing him a check from all of you saying, “We love you. We love the people in your country, and we stand with you in your desire to take the Gospel to them.”
I hope that this explanation of our 2017 Christmas Offering will inspire a deep contemplation of your heart. Any amount will help. You can give online here (https://rbc.churchcenter.com/giving), or you can wait until one of our Christmas Eve Services (11:30a, 1p, 2:30p) where will we take an offering specifically for this project.
Between now and then, please be praying about how you and your family can get involved. What a great teaching moment for kids and grandkids, helping them see what Jesus said is true, it is “more blessed to give than receive” (Acts 20:35).
For Christ and Our Neighbors!