Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift. (2 Corinthians 9:15 HCSB)
Christmas is about giving. I heard that on a Hallmark movie and got all offended. My first thought was, "Christmas is about Jesus." And it is. But that happened because God gave. Christmas is God giving us His gift, Jesus Christ. that gift is so wonderful that words cannot describe it. Christmas is about giving the gift of our lives and hearts to Jesus. Christmas is about giving the gift of our love that has been "shed abroad in our hearts to others." Christmas is for giving.
You see, Christmas started in the heart of God before the world began. We know that Jesus was "the lamb slain before the foundation of the world." Why would He do that? Why would He choose to be slain before we were even in the picture. It was so He could be our indescribable gift. It was because of love. Love always gives. God is love. Christmas is for giving.
You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving. It is our giving that demonstrates where our heart is. Jesus said, wherever your treasure is there will your heart be also. You want to know what you love? Look at your bank statement. Look who you give to. Do you remember the last time you gave sacrificially? To others? To some who cannot reciprocate? To God's work? It is at Christmas that we should take stock of our gifts and our giving hearts. Christmas is for giving.
Giving to God's Work
Through Reality youth ministry, Sunday morning worship, and other ministries such as ScareMare, Oceanside Church has seen lives transformed. There were nearly as many saved this year as we averaged on Sunday morning.
Because of that, it seems that we should be packed out. As a matter of fact, that has happened several times. But, this year, some have transferred their service by ministering in other churches, while others have moved away. In addition, many are still immature in their faith and as we disciple them, they are continually growing into fully mature Christ-followers and learning the importance of their church attendance. I'm excited about what God is doing!
Many that are coming to faith have a deep desire to follow Jesus as Lord. Oceanside has been baptizing outside for several months. Recently, we planned to do the same thing, but because the cold, rainy weather, we decided to move it inside. Due to an oversight, the couple being baptized was not informed of the change. They came to church that morning fully thinking they would be baptized outside in the inclement weather. And they still wanted to be baptized! Talk about commitment!Here is some of what has happened at Oceanside in 2012:
|Baptizing one of many at Oceanside this year.|
- 18 were saved at ScareMare.
- Needy families in foreign counties were given goats and sheep to provide them milk, offspring to sell and eat, as well as provide ongoing economic help.
- Indigenous Evangelists were supplied with training and materials to aid them in reaching those without Christ.
- 1000's of new East Cooper residents were contacted and prayed for through our phone ministry.
- Helped Pastor Orhan in Samsun, Turkey reach people with the Gospel
- Supported missions worldwide.
- Trained and prepared our young people to stand up for Christ in school and with friends.
- Had a Christian concert for our Students
- Led our first Muslim to Christ (We'll tell you more in a video testimony, later).
- Adults and youth were saved and baptized
- The Spirit of Christ has moved mightily in worship service after worship service
They will glorify God for your obedience to the confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with others through the proof provided by this service. (2 Corinthians 9:13)
God gets the glory when we are faithful to the Gospel by being generous to His work.
Your Gifts Make an Impact
- In the average church in the U.S. - It fakes 12 people to reach 1.
- At Oceanside Church - It only takes 1.5 people to reach 1.
"This week, 128 people served 933 people and we saw i person saved." Interestingly enough, In that same week, Oceanside had 50 people introduce 25 to Christ.
We are thankful for every person that comes to Christ, no matter what it takes, but I have to ask, in this time of shrinking financial resources, shouldn't you commit to invest in God's work through Oceanside Church? We are reaching people as never before with your generous and sacrificial gifts. Oceanside is committed to being both frugal and faithful as we reach more for Christ in 2013.
We are asking you to again make that sacrificial end of the year offering to our Lord in order to see His kingdom continue to expand. Let me say, without you, it does not happen. Missionaries like Pastor Orhan in Turkey might not get the supplies needed to reach lost Muslims. Poor, international families could go without much needed goats and chickens. Ministry would have to be scaled back here in Mount Pleasant. Evangelists and missionaries might not have what they need to continue their work. That could be if you choose to ignore our offering. I know that is not you.
God's people have always been the ones who have spearheaded the ministry here. We are not supported by some outside entity that helps us with our buildings, ministries, or evangelism. It happens because of you.
Oceanside's Christmas offering takes place this Sunday just before Christmas. Our staff is giving fewer presents, doing fewer things, eating out less, and forgoing our gifts in order to give this year. Personally, we are sacrificing. That's how much we believe in Oceanside Church's ministry and vision. So, we are asking you to come ready to give sacrificially this Sunday, December 23rd. We will give our treasures to Jesus at church just as the wisemen did on that first Christmas 2000 years ago. Christmas is a time for giving.
Will you choose to participate in our Christmas Offering this year and make a difference in someone's life for eternity?
Christmas is a time for giving.
Building God's Kingdom together,
Pastor Trey Rhodes.
How Can You give to Oceanside Church?
- Giving Kiosk at Oceanside Church with your debit or credit card
- Online through Paypal (go to www.MyOceansideChurch.com and follow the link to online giving)
- By check or cash at the worship service on Sunday, December 23rd.
- By mail through sending your gift to 1728 Rifle Range Rd., Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
Remember there is no gift too small nor unimportant. Your gift matters!