An Invitation to Make a Difference

By Pastor Mark Tanious

It has been an incredible Christmas week for our church. We had a beautiful service of lessons and carols where we walked through the entire story of the Bible through Scripture and song. Our Christmas Eve Candlelight Service was absolutely wonderful. There were hundreds of friends and family members in attendance who got to hear the good news of Christmas—God with us.

And on Christmas Day, we gathered as a church family, as we do every Sunday, to celebrate not only the birth of Jesus but the resurrection of Jesus. We also invited all the children up on stage to help them understand why Jesus is the greatest gift.

I recognize this is not just a season of joy, but a season of sorrow and pain. We had several church members who spent Christmas day in the hospital. Suffering doesn’t take a break during Christmas. It is still very real.

But, that’s why the ministry of Grace Baptist Church is so vital. We are a church that seeks to bring glory to God by making fully devoted followers of Christ. Fulfilling this mission is only possible as we walk with people through the ups and downs of life. We want Jesus Christ to be embraced as our all-surpassing treasure. This is a ministry that requires time, sacrifice, and resources.

I want you to know that our church is making a difference. After the Christmas Eve service, I heard a church guest say that she was overwhelmed with the love that we have shown her and her family over the last few weeks. She is actually searching for a church home.

While we don’t announce it publicly, every year during Christmas we are able to help several families who are struggling financially. I wish you could see the look on their faces when we show up and present the gifts on behalf of the church family. They know they are loved. But, in that moment, they see love in action.

This week, I had dinner with a young family in our church that has sensed the call of God to become full-time missionaries in India. I celebrate the fact that we have committed to being their sending church – providing prayer and financial support as they make that transition.

I could share so many other testimonies. I just want to say how much I love our church family. I am thankful to be a part of a generous church.

As the year comes to a close, I would like to ask each of you to consider making a year-end gift. Our vision is far greater than our resources. And I believe that’s exactly the way it should be. We are entirely dependent on God providing through God’s people to take God’s message to our community and to our world.

There are still several days left to be able to give a tax-deductible gift for 2016. The easiest way to give to our church is to give online by going here. You can also mail a check (postmarked by Dec. 31) or drop one off at the church during business hours this week.

I have no hesitation asking you to give generously to your church. That’s because I get to see the lives that are changed through our ministry in this community. I get to see the church being the church in countless ways. And I am humbled to be a part of what God is doing here. As you look back over the last year, I pray you can say that you too have seen God at work through our church. I pray that you have seen, firsthand, the transforming power of Jesus. If so, I invite you to join me in celebrating God’s goodness by generously investing in God’s kingdom. Your investment will make a difference for eternity.