At our office in Southern California, we have a long-standing practice of passing around letters we receive in response to our work. A few days ago, our staff circulated a fresh batch of letters that included three short but poignant stories. One note came from a man named Ken, who wrote:
I am listening to “Grace to You” for the first time online, and I started with Genesis. Oh, what a blessing to hear the word day defined. I know that sounds small but my denomination is struggling with defining it. I have always believed that the Bible is simple in the sense that God is not trying to confuse us. Now I feel so liberated, hearing you explain Genesis just like I have always believed. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I look forward to listening to all the Grace to You sermons. Hopefully there are some on the trinity.
We also received a note from a man in Kenya named Denish. He wrote to let us know he is about to begin distributing 6,500 copies of Who Do You Think I Am?, our little gospel tract, on the streets of his town in Kenya. He made these two personal requests as he ended his note:
Will you uplift me in prayer for God’s will to be done with this work I have started today? [And] pass my greetings to John. I do pray that God may uplift you all and the ministry as you minister the Word of God to the entire world.
Then there was this brief letter to our staff from Dave and Sandra:
Thank you for your faithful and godly ministry. It has been used greatly in our lives these many years. Right now I’m doing the study on Revelation. Everyone in our small group finds comfort in knowing Jesus Christ is the victor. Despite the horrors of the tribulation, and while acknowledging the godless craziness of our present world, we are comforted and can have peace in Christ. Thank you and may God continue to bless you.
Those three stories capture why we are so encouraged, enthusiastic, grateful, and filled with expectation about the future. God’s Word is reaching people with the light of biblical truth, bringing the spiritually dead to life, and bearing eternal, abundant fruit. Amid the ebb and flow of human history and the widespread anxieties about the current political and social landscape, the Lord is at work building His church. His people, armed with His truth, are busy about His work, caring for the lost, serving one another, using their spiritual gifts, making friends for eternity, and living Christ-exalting, joyful, productive, consequential lives that are directed at God’s glory and the heaven that awaits. The real heaven.
All those blessings go back to God and His precious Word. His Word—the divine truth of Holy Scripture—is what Grace to You is all about. This ministry is a conduit of biblical nourishment to the Body as we teach the Bible clearly, carefully, and unapologetically through mass media. That has been our focus since we began as a simple, local tape ministry in 1969. We are joyful, hopeful, and expectant about the future because God has promised to bless His Word. We have seen Him bless it in remarkable ways this year, and we have supreme confidence that He will do so in the days ahead.
As we look toward 2017 and new opportunities to serve His people, our plan is to continue doing just what we’ve been doing. I’ll be writing new books, preaching new sermons, and recording new interviews for family members like you. We’ll be airing new series on radio and television, adding resources to our new website, and looking for strategic ways to put our materials into more people’s hands—in particular, through the Grace Reaches Out initiative.
However we can’t do any of that without help from God’s people. Now is an especially important time to hear from folks who are benefiting from this ministry and who want to have a role in keeping it available for others. About 20 percent of each year’s budget needs are met by the gifts that arrive between now and the end of the year. What the Lord provides this month and next will, to a large degree, set the boundaries and pace for our reach in the year ahead.
If you share Grace to You’s commitment to divine truth, to the church, and to biblical ministry, and you are able to give, I encourage you to do so. You will be making a positive, profound difference in people’s spiritual health and growth.
Know that we’ll receive your support with gratitude and a serious commitment to using it wisely for kingdom purposes. I’m honored to serve with you as we launch into 2017.
Love in the Truth,