Embracing Our Savior's Vision

As we move forward together in this new year, I am hopeful. My hope is found in God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son and the Holy Spirit. And with Jesus at the head of our beloved church, I’m confident He will guide us through whatever is ahead.

It’s human nature for us to drift toward political solutions when faced with differences of opinion in the church and community. Indeed, the world of politics has its important place, but it is not God’s chosen method for His church. Christ commanded us to love each other as He loved us, yet Christians are as prone as anyone to denigrate those who do not agree with their personal views. Political action groups may be important to champion certain issues within public and civic government, but they are beginning to make inroads into our church as well. I believe this is happening in part because you and I have too often become distracted from our God-given calling to reach people for the kingdom. We become like what we behold, and we will never be able to move forward together on His mission unless we change our vision.

So, I invite you to join me in recalibrating our focus away from the polarizing extremes to the purpose God longs for us to embrace as our full-time mission. The counsel of Romans 12 reminds us we have a choice to make. We can choose to let evil overcome us by continuing to fight sideline skirmishes, or we can choose to overcome evil with good by looking to Jesus and letting Him fill us with light and purpose. When we learn to love Him and love like Him, we’ll want to spend our time telling others about our best Friend who is coming back soon. This is a beautiful place to begin together.

By focusing on Jesus, we’ll want to pour ourselves — our time and energy — into the salvation of others. In partnership with Christ, we will reach out to family, friends, neighbors and work associates to bring hope for the hopeless and wholeness to the broken. We all have a work to do because we are all ministers for Christ to suffering humanity and empowered to serve by the Holy Spirit.

This is what I hope for in myself and for my church as we move forward together further into whatever 2019 will bring. Imagine what respect for each other in our common calling to do His will can bring. Imagine how the Spirit can move to bring thousands more into Christian fellowship, when we love each other for God’s glory.

This year, please join me in choosing to dedicate our lives to the mission of sharing this distinctive, Christ-centered, Seventh-day Adventist message of hope and wholeness.