~ by Mary Yonazi ~
Seventh–day Adventists are known for having an extended hand in missionary works, volunteering for the church, and keeping Friday- Saturday as the Sabbath. But what do we really understand about Adventism? Who are we as “Seventh-day Adventists”? An Adventist is a member of a Christian denomination who believes in Jesus’ second coming to take home those who believe in their salvation through Christ.
As Seventh–day Adventists we are known for what we represent. We represent Christ. If we want to have His identity, we may aim to do as He did. Christ was committed to His mission, so we should emulate His example. Christ came to serve us and to give us salvation out of His love and grace.
We believe we are passing through this old earth and are New Earth bound. While we are here, we believe in being disciples for Jesus and of service to others in such a way that they see Jesus through us. It is our joy to serve Him in any and many types of ways. Those may include feeding the homeless, helping a disabled person clean the house, or read, baby-sitting for less privileged families, or a simple act like walking someone’s dog.
We do not have to be perfect to be disciples. We are made to serve the Lord, and show others His love as we journey through this earth. We will use this time wisely, to do all for the glory of God. If we know our purpose as Seventh-day Adventists, then we can be motivated to do what we are called to do.
The time to serve the Lord is now. We should trust Him to give us the strength to do His will. On our own, we cannot achieve anything, but with Him we are assured of victory.
Glen was a young boy eager to get baptized. He had learned about baptism in his Sabbath school baptism class, and felt the need to be closer to Jesus than ever before. He was eager to get baptized especially now that there was an evangelistic effort coming up in his school. Glen rushed home to tell his parents of the meeting.
“Mom! Dad! Can I get baptized, please? I already know all the baptism notes, and I know I need Jesus in my life.”
“You’re not ready for that commitment yet.”
“But I want to get baptized.”
Why won’t they let me? Glen thought. I know it’s my final decision on judgment day. Glen felt the decision was his, so he planned to be baptized whenever he had the chance.
Making the Choice
His parents were not around to advise him on his commitment, so he decided to participate in the effort the following Monday. He sat among the throng in the middle of the crowd and waited. Between the pews, people were of all types and backgrounds; they had come from outside school, and some of his teachers and schoolmates had gathered there too. He listened as the pastor spoke of “the three angels’ message” and the call to true faith and belief, not the “beast’s” false worship, as well as the message: “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water” (Rev. 14:6-7, NIV).
At the end of the sermon, the pastor gave an altar call. Glen was courageous and he knew what his mission was. He discovered it was his call, and he answered it.
Living for God
Alana wanted to do something special for her mother. She heard her mum say that she would take care of extra chores when she had the time. Alana knew that her mother was busy with her work and the cooking. Because she loved her mother, she thought, Why not me? I could water the flowers and the garden too. It would help our home look beautiful.
She wanted to surprise her mother with extra help. Alana watered all the plants the next day, then waited for her mother to come home. Her mother was overjoyed at her daughter’s thoughtfulness, and to Alana’s surprise, her mum had also bought her a present. Alana hugged her mum and felt happy to help her. “I promise I’m going to take care of your flowers and garden from now on” she told her mother.
What if . . . we lived our calling?
How many of us hesitate and don’t have the faith of a young child? Our time on earth is limited, and we have to decide to serve God. In Matthew 28, Jesus’ advice to his disciples is, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28: 19-20, NIV).
To be disciples is a serious undertaking. It requires a heart full of service. In the Bible, Jesus says, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Matt. 17:20 NIV). If we take Christ as our role model, we will definitely succeed.
The best thing about serving God is that anyone can participate, even if they are young. God therefore gives us ample time to do it. Beneath the surface, we were all called and created to serve God, to worship Him, and to love one another.
Mary Yonazi is a junior communication: public relations major from Arusha, Tanzania, attending Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska.