A MESSAGE TO SHARE
Jesus said: “Go and make followers of all people in the world” (Matthew 28:19). Known as “the Great Commission,” these words motivate Seventh-day Adventists.
In 1874, John Nevins Andrews left for Europe as the first official Adventist missionary. He organized a group of believers in Switzerland and helped start a publishing house.
Today the Seventh-day Adventist Church has a presence in more than 200 countries. Its commitment includes satellite television and shortwave radio blanketing the globe, a huge publishing program, thousands of schools, a large network of hospitals and clinics, and hundreds of missionaries. It also includes a worldwide humanitarian work through the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) and Adventist Community Services (ACS).
Mission work encompasses not only sharing the story of Jesus but relieving suffering. Jesus explained that when He returns He will say to His followers: “I was hungry, and you gave me food. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was alone and away from home, and you invited me into your house. I was without clothes, and you gave me something to wear. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me. . . . Anything you did for even the least of my people here, you also did for me” (Matthew 25:35-40).
Seventh-day Adventists generously support mission work through their tithes and offerings. As the church’s mission website states: “As long as there is even one person who doesn’t know God’s love, we will still need missionaries.”
BUILDING A WHOLE LIFE FROM THE BEGINNING
Jesus made a profound statement about children when He told His disciples, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs” (Luke 18:16, NRSV). While the disciples feared that the children might bother Jesus, the Savior embraced them and affirmed their value.
Wise King Solomon said, “Children are a gift of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3, NASB). Seventh-day Adventists agree, creating a culture that encourages child development with youth clubs, summer camps and other outdoor events, international youth gatherings, weekly Sabbath school programs, mission trips, Vacation Bible Schools and a quality educational system from elementary to university level.
Solomon also offered this parenting advice: “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it” (Proverbs 22:6, NLT). The church supports parents through programs and publications, emphasizing the importance of early childhood training. The Seventh-day Adventist approach to child-rearing focuses on spiritual growth. But it also emphasizes healthy lifestyle choices and intellectual learning that leads to useful service in the community and in the world.
Children are a gift to be returned to God. As Ellen White, a co-founder of the church, said: “Fathers and mothers should look upon their children as younger members of the Lord’s family, committed to them to educate for heaven.” (“The Desire of Ages,” p. 515)
God is love, power, and splendor—and God is a mystery. His ways are far beyond us, but He still reaches out to us. God is infinite yet intimate, three yet one, all-knowing yet all-forgiving. We will spend eternity cherishing an ever-deepening relationship with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Despite the distance sin demands, God has revealed Himself in countless ways. The Bible is the story of God striving to reconnect with His children, and is a major method God uses to reach us. A mosaic of authors, styles and perspectives, the Bible reveals a God who is ever-creative, ever-patient and ever-seeking to restore our relationship with Him. Though written by ordinary people, through the Spirit it pierces our hearts, opens our eyes and convicts us to live for Him.
God the Father reached out to us most dramatically through His Son Jesus, who chose not just to visit us, but to become one of us. Born human so we can be reborn in the Spirit, Jesus showed us God’s love and character—and how far God was willing to go to save us from self-destruction. What we could not do for ourselves, He did for us, paying the price for our sins, dying in our place so we can live forever. He conquered death through resurrection, and promised to return to take us home.
Meanwhile, God has not left us alone. The Holy Spirit is here to comfort us, guide us and transform us to live as witnesses for God’s love. The same Spirit who inspired prophets and empowered Jesus, who shaped scripture and created the world, enables and empowers each one of us. The Spirit activates the “body of Christ,” the church, through spiritual gifts and a humble attitude of service and compassion.