Fifty years ago, on Memorial Day weekend in May 1972, my dear dad died at the age of 57. He was what you would consider a “lay preacher” in the Sunday church we attended. The legacy my dad left me from his love for the Lord was to continue to live for Jesus.
I recall the many nights that he would spend a few moments encouraging me not to be weary in doing well and to never give up no matter what I might encounter in life. He reminded me not to look for anything on this earth but to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus, because a greater reward is waiting for me. My dad encouraged me not to let what other people say or do discourage me. He shared a scripture text that has become one of my favorites. It helps to keep me focused through the good times and the tough times. “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not”—Galatians 6:9. When I feel low and challenged, my dad’s words of encouragement always come back to me.
Fifty years ago, in September 1972, I had my first, “God-directed,” connection with the Adventist Church. It was easy to become fully involved in my newfound church and its activities. I watched God carve a path for me that involved using my gifts in service to Him and service to others. I became an ambassador for Him, or you might say, an evangelist.
Evangelism is the buzzword in every conference across the Atlantic Union. Take a look through this issue and other issues of the Gleaner, and you will see some of the many forms that evangelism takes and the many people who are God’s evangelists—youth, young adults, adults, and seniors. In addition to spreading the gospel by public preaching and personal witnessing, evangelism takes place through service and member involvement in advocating for a cause. Each of us has a place in the Master’s work to influence others for good and share the message of His soon return.
My heart hurts as I hear about tragedy after tragedy where innocent lives are being snuffed out. I am pained when I see the devastation caused by leaders of countries determined to annihilate people for no conceivable reason. I am saddened to see the economic conditions in the United States and the negative impacts on the disenfranchised. It is distressing to see the damage caused as the earth groans and storms and disasters increase.
As we watch these events unfold, we must know that time is short, and God is looking for those who will be committed to helping get the message out to those who are in need of a Savior. The beauty of evangelism is that it’s not a one-size-fits-all type of ministry, but it’s a “bring your spiritual gift to the table and let God show you how to use it to meet the needs of His people” type of ministry.
As I remember this 50th anniversary of my dad’s death, I am encouraged again by his words to stay strong and not be weary. We need to get busy for Jesus and remember, “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me’ ”—Matthew 25:34-36 (NKJV).
The King is coming! I want to be ready to meet Him and be found actively helping others to prepare to meet Him, too. While we wait, let’s not get weary, but, instead, let’s get busy for Jesus.