One Lady Makes a Difference

It would not be shocking at all if every one of us could think of one lady who has made a difference in our lives. She may be called Mom. It could have been a teacher or possibly a wife. For some, she could have been the Sunday School worker. For others she may have been a doctor, a nurse, a coach or a friend. The Bible is filled with ladies who made a difference in their world and certainly in the Kingdom of God. You are aware of most of their names and some of their incredible stories of grace, faith and leadership. There are women like Jochebed, Miriam, Deborah, Vashti, Esther, Ruth, Elizabeth, Lois, Eunice, and, of course, Mary the mother of our Lord Jesus. Probably, I should say, in a larger sense, the Mary’s that are sprinkled throughout the New Testament who joined this long line of great women who have made a difference in the work of the Kingdom of God that will last for eternity.

This time of the year all across the Southern Baptist Convention, our attention turns to a world in need of Jesus and our call to be involved in missions that will carry this message to every corner of our world. Our focus on the world today is sharpened because of the work, commitment, and sacrificial love exhibited by one woman over 100 years ago. The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions is the largest, single mission effort to tell the world about Jesus by evangelicals every year.

This year the goal is $175 million. Your immediate response may be something like, “Well, what I am able to give really will not make any difference at all.” If so, you would be very wrong. I think of one young lady who almost 150 years ago was struggling with her call from God to go and be a missionary. How could that be possible and how could her one life make any difference in a world of so many then and even more now? Yet, that young woman whose name was actually Charlotte Diggs Moon said, “Lord, I will go!”

For 40 years she served and shared the saving power of Jesus. The challenges would be many and the sacrifices would be even more, but the harvest would be great and the impact of her love and care would challenge each of us to this very day. One lady makes a difference. Does one person make a difference today? Absolutely! As with Lottie, it makes a difference in the person’s life who is obedient to the Lord. When that takes place it makes a difference in an ever growing circle of friends and influence that are affected by that dedication.

At the time, Lottie Moon was only one of a handful of missionaries who Baptists were sending to places around the world. Today there are almost 5,000 missionaries that God has called, gifted, and sent out from our Baptist family. You and I have the privilege of being the support mechanism so that they can go and serve and to help those who are waiting now to go to join this ever increasing voice of God’s people telling the world about Jesus. Lottie would write often to friends and family at home to explain the work that she was doing and the great need that was there in China. She would very directly ask them to do several things.

If she were alive and serving today, she would no doubt do the same thing and say to you and to me above all, please pray.Pray for the missionaries. Pray for those who are being told the story of Jesus for the first time. Pray that their hearts will be receptive. Pray that the power of God will touch them and that their understanding will be clear of how much Jesus loved them and came and died for their sins. Pray that this great work of God that we have the privilege of being a part of will continue to expand so that there will not be a place, a people group, or a person who does not have the opportunity to hear of the saving name of Jesus.

Secondly, Lottie would often encourage believers to be a part of the mission effort. In her day, the light of the Gospel was desperately needed in a dark world. Today the need is even greater. What can you do to honor Jesus and to bless a world that is in need of His saving power? You can give and it will be used directly to carry out His mission. Sometimes we look at a goal whether it is in our church or the national goal, and we somewhat give for the goal. While that may be fine, a greater goal is to give because we have been given. Do not give to reach a goal but give to reach a world that is in need of Jesus.

One other thing that Lottie Moon often encouraged others to do is related to the personal call that may come to an individual’s life from the Lord to do what He wants us to do. Maybe He is calling you and your family to the mission field. The Lord is not just calling other people. He may be calling you. If He is, today is the day to answer Him and say, “Yes, Lord.” One lady makes a difference, and you and I can be difference makers also.

Jim Futral
Executive Director-Treasurer