August 17 is recognized as National Black Cat Appreciation Day, National Thrift Shop Day, Baby Boomers Recognition Day and National Workers Comp Adjuster Day.
While those are aspects of life deserving recognition, nearer and dearer to our hearts is the fact that August 17 is also National Nonprofit Day.
SWRC is blessed to be one among many fine Christian nonprofit organizations. We thank God for raising up nonprofit ministries across America which are faithful to the truth of God’s word and are committed to sharing the love of Jesus.
American-based Christian mission agencies spread the gospel around the world. Christian disaster relief nonprofits share love and hope during times of crisis. Christ-centered Christian schools, camps, and children’s ministries train the next generation with a biblical worldview. Bible teaching ministries like ours work hard to proclaim God’s truths that transform our lives.
How can we support godly nonprofits on National Nonprofit Day? I know what you’re thinking. “Here’s the money talk I was waiting on.” Nope. That’s not where I’m going right now. Let’s consider three ways we can support godly nonprofits.
I need to share an important word before we proceed with our list. Jesus gave us the church, a crucial element of His ministry that he left to His disciples. I do not consider the local church to be a nonprofit organization. Rather, I see Christian nonprofits as serving under the church to help fulfill its mission in unique ways.
Each of these principles I will share applies first and foremost to your local church and then flows to other areas of ministry.
There was a lady in my church who served in any capacity she could. Over the years, her health failed and she was homebound. Arthritis crippled her so badly that she even couldn’t move around her house without assistance.
She would call me from time to time to talk and pray together. Every Sunday she would watch her clock. As each of our service times rolled around, she prayed. Have you ever heard the phrase, “prayer warrior”? She fits that description. I know her heart longed to be back in the church and actively serving as she once had. On those phone calls, she would often say, “All I can do is pray.”
I understood her sentiment but I encouraged her: “The most important thing we can do is pray!”
Even in the Christian community, there can be a temptation to not take prayer seriously. The world sees the statement, “Thoughts and prayers” as a Christian excuse to not do anything. “Prayer” is much more than a token term we lightly throw around. It is humbly yet boldly entering the presence of the Creator King of the universe and expressing our heart to Him.
SWRC’s motto has long been, “God is still on the throne and prayer changes things.” The power to change things is not in our prayers. None of us can pray fire down from heaven. If you study your Bible closely, you will understand neither did Elijah when he stood on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18).
Power is in the God we are praying to. He can change things.
The false prophets screamed and cried out to their “god” who was supposed to control lightning. What was the response? Nothing. Elijah prayed a simple yet big prayer to the one true God and he answered powerfully by sending fire down from heaven!
John Bunyan, the 17th-century pastor who wrote “Pilgrim’s Progress,” is quoted as saying, “You can do more than pray after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed.” Let’s take that to heart as we remember the God we are praying to. I encourage you to pray for Christian nonprofits that are faithfully serving the Lord.
Christian nonprofits are always looking for volunteers. There are numerous ways you can use your time and talents to help your community and spread the good news of Jesus. I have served with all kinds of Christian nonprofits over the years.
I can’t recall one instance where someone said, “We have too much help.”
Start with your local church and find ways you can help. If time permits, help a Christian nonprofit that is doing something you are passionate about. Perhaps you’re great at building things. Consider serving a Christian camp or a disaster relief team. Whatever it may be, there are many unique opportunities for you to serve around the world.
The story is told of a well-known Christian leader who attended a banquet for a Christian ministry. He sat at a table with a Christian physician. As their conversation progressed, the Christian leader asked, “Have you ever served on any Christian medical mission trips?” The physician replied, “No, not yet. I’m just waiting on God to open a door.” The Christian leader stood up and said, “Open a door?! Just open your eyes!
“There are doors open all over the place! Step through one!”
If you’re passively waiting for someone to beg you to serve, you have the wrong idea. There are opportunities all around you. Christians have the greatest news the world desperately needs. Actively seek out opportunities to serve the Lord. Don’t let time and opportunity rob you of investing in eternity.
Investing in eternity involves praying, serving and giving. Giving and serving are closely linked because you give of yourself when you serve. However, investing in eternity also applies to how we use the financial blessings God gives us.
Jesus had a lot to say about money during His earthly ministry. He often used it as an example in His teaching. Perhaps one of His most popular teachings on money comes from the Sermon on the Mount. He taught that it is better to lay up treasure in heaven than on earth and concluded His statement by saying, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matt. 6:21).
What we do with our money is a good indicator of where our heart is. Ask God to help you realize where your heart really is. I’m not here to put you on a guilt trip. I’m simply asking you to consider your finances in the light of eternity.
Are you investing in eternal things? Are you laying up treasure in heaven?
The unbelieving world invests billions of dollars each year to advance their beliefs through education, arts and entertainment. Politicians spend untold millions of dollars to win an election. Consider this question.
How would the world be different two years from now if Bible-believing Christians prayerfully advanced their investments into eternity?
As we approach National Nonprofit Day on August 17, we want to thank you for praying, serving and giving to the ministry of SWRC. Without partners like you, we would not have the time and resources to do what God has called us to do. From the depths of our hearts, we thank you for faithfully standing with us. Pray that God would continue to expand the horizons of every Christ-centered nonprofit ministry so that we can impact this world with His truth until He calls us home.