Why I Believe In The Cooperative Program

Sand timer on yellow background

The Clock is Ticking

I’ve always loved playing games and competing. Like many of you, I enjoy competition, and I always have. I played sports in high school, competed in various recreation leagues as an adult, and I always enjoy a good board game. Now I have many favorite board games, but one that definitely stands out is the game Catch Phrase.

It’s a simple game, really. The basic idea is to get your team/partner to guess a secret word. If they are able to guess it before the buzzer sounds, you pass to the other team, and so on until the buzzer sounds. Whoever is guessing when the buzzer sounds loses that round.

As the game goes along, the audible timer ticks. Not only does it tick, but it ticks faster and faster until it finally buzzes. Without fail, what always seems to happen is the team with the buzzer goes faster, and the anticipation rises as the ticking timer gets faster and faster. We all instinctively know we need to hurry up as time is running out.

It’s difficult to find any church-going follower of Christ that isn’t aware of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), and it’s also true that almost all Christians understand that the Lord will return for His children one day.

What isn’t as obvious is the urgency to carry out the Great Commission on a daily basis. Certainly no one knows the day or the hour in which Jesus will return for His Bride, but two facts seem undeniable. One – we are closer today than we’ve ever been to Christ’s return. Two – the ticking clock seems to be speeding up with each passing day.

Not only is the Great Commission for every believer, but being generous and sharing what we have been blessed with is also a strong Biblical principle. In 1 Timothy 6:18 (NKJV) we read, “Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share.” And in Hebrews 13:16: “But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”

Now more than ever, the world is starved for the Good News of Jesus! We should be sharing the Gospel, sharing our time with the hurting and weary, sharing our testimony, sharing our time, and sharing our blessings.

Almost every person reading this is in a place where the Gospel can be heard preached. We are in churches where ministry is done well and the Name of Jesus is magnified. But what about those places where this is not true? What about the hard to reach places? What about the areas of even our great state of Alabama where the Gospel message goes nearly unspoken in some cases?

I encourage us all to hear the clock’s ticking as it speeds up. Let us make the Great Commission our clear and unmistakable life’s ambition. Let us join together in sharing our vast resources of our local congregations with other like-minded Baptists so that the Gospel message and God’s incredible love for our neighbor would be propelled to the uttermost parts of the world!

We are responsible, no doubt, to care well for our Jerusalem. We are also responsible, no doubt, to share well, so that Judea, Samaria and the uttermost parts of the world hear about our great and awesome God – Jesus!

State Missionary Jay Stewart serves as director of Cooperative Program and Church Financial Resources. He may be contacted at 1-800-264-1225, ext. 2283, or (334) 613-2283, jstewart@alsbom.org.