December 2023 Mind of the Missionary

“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21)


Who is four foot tall, makes tea cakes, and lives a life of radical obedience to the Lord? Give up…Lottie Moon! Really, Lottie Moon. Yes, Lottie Moon. The same woman who shares the name of the annual SBC International Missions Offering. Her life was one in which living for Christ was more important than anything else, even death. It is said that Lottie empathized so much with the starving Chinese that she stopped eating. Of course, this radical step eventually led to her physical death.

How radically obedient are we for the Gospel? I’m not saying go on a hunger strike, but I am asking the question of whether or not our faith chooses to “deny ourselves, take up our crosses daily, and follow Him” before anything else. But, Brother Lyle, Lottie Moon didn’t marry, or it was a different century, or whatever. Maybe so. However, Lottie did have an opportunity to marry and even wrote her family to prepare for a wedding, but it never came. Her only explanation was “God had first claim on my life, and since the two conflicted, there could be no question about the result”.

Some might say it was a simpler and an easier time in which to live. Weeell, you’d be wrong! She faced the China-Japanese war, the Boxer rebellion, and the Chinese revolution which led to famine and plagues. Through each of these circumstances, her obedience was tested. Would she remain on the field? Or would she return to the States? Each time, she chose to remain in China. How would you respond if placed in a similar situation?

As we go into this Christmas season, let us remember the example and the life of Lottie Moon. She gave everything, even life itself, to further the Kingdom of God. Will we give our lives in radical obedience to fulfill His call? Let’s not forget that Someone special came “to give His life as a ransom for many”. Paul wrote, “He (Jesus) made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to death-even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:7-8) Will we humble ourselves to obey the Lord – even death?


Merry Christmas to Each of You!

Lyle and Claren Dease