Lottie Moon: An inspiration for missions
December 2, 2003
“Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; as it is written, He scattered abroad, He gave to the poor, His righteousness endures forever.
“Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.”
— 2 Cor. 9:6-10
This is the traditional month that Southern Baptists across North America turn the spotlight center stage on missions and our Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions. Why is Lottie Moon our poster child for foreign missions? Because her life continues to speak to us about a total life commitment to Christ and International Missions. She chose Christ even over personal desires for a husband and family.
Professor Crawford H. Toy proposed marriage and suggested mission work together in Japan . He was known as a brilliant linguist and theologian. However, following the Civil War he studied in Europe , where he was exposed to Darwinian evolution and to "the new ideas of the German scholars" on Old Testament history and inspiration, more commonly known as the higher critical method of Biblical interpretation. This theological position basically teaches that the Bible came to us through, and is still in, an evolutionary process of development.
Lottie Moon seriously considered marriage to Toy, but rejected his proposal in 1879 because she considered his theological position untenable. When asked by a relative in later years if she had ever been in love, she answered, “Yes, but God had first claim on my life, and since the two conflicted, there could be no question about the result.”
Later in China , heated letters arrived, and, "The temptation is great. The professor, however, now espouses theories that do not square with God’s Word." She rejected Toy’s proposal, Harvard (where Toy eventually taught after becoming a universalist), and glory, declaring that, "My cross is loneliness … .”
Lottie Moon literally laid her life down for the Gospel as a missionary to China . She served the people of China with such dedication that she broke her health from giving all her food to starving Chinese people. She died aboard a ship in a port just off the Japanese coast on the trip back to America . She is annually remembered and honored as an inspiration for missions.
Are you willing to sacrifice this month and give a God-honoring offering for the very causes that Lottie Moon gave her life for? Give so the Gospel may be carried and preached to the world! Give generously, joyfully and by God’s revelation of what you are to give, not what you think you can afford to give. Join me and my family as we give a special gift to the Lord Jesus in the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions.