Editor’s Note: Below is a transcript of a message, posted to YouTube on December 2, 2021, from President of the Adventist Church, Ted N.C. Wilson. You can see past messages here
Greetings, friends! As we come to the final month of this year, I invite you to consider with me this important question—Have you, have I, put God first in our lives this year? Has He had first place in our time, relationships, health and energy, finances, and other resources?
As Christians, it is good practice for us to contemplate how we are using our God-given resources, and this coming week is an excellent time to do just that! Designated by the world church as "Stewardship Revival Week," this is a time to examine ways in which we can put God first in our lives. This Stewardship Revival Week is an annual initiative where Seventh-day Adventists around the globe are invited to renew their commitment to God as His stewards. The focus is on practical reformation in response to these admonitions we read in the wonderfully inspiring book, Christian Service:
"A revival and a reformation must take place under the ministration of the Holy Spirit. Revival and reformation are two different things. Revival signifies a renewal of spiritual life, a quickening of the powers of mind and heart, a resurrection from the spiritual death. Reformation signifies reorganization, a change in ideas and theories, habits and practices . . . Revival and reformation are to do their appointed work, and in doing this work they must blend" (Christian Service, pp. 41-42).
To aid us in this journey, the General Conference Stewardship Ministries Department has provided a wonderful downloadable resource, titled God First. This beautiful magazine contains seven thoughtful, biblical sermons, helping us to focus on what matters most, followed by a call to action. Its purpose is to lead us into deciding to put God first in seven crucial aspects of our spiritual life, guiding us into a deeper relationship with God. This journey, taken by faith, should become a continual exercise of trust in the Lord.
This magazine, along with accompanying PowerPoint slides, is available in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese for free download at the link shown at the bottom of the screen: stewardship.adventist.org/stewardship-revival-week-2021.
Friends, as we think about all that God has done for us, and all He has entrusted to each of us, I invite you to consider this wonderful promise found in Christ's sermon on the Mount: "Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble" (Matt. 6:31-34).
Let's put God first in our lives and reap the many beautiful blessings He is just waiting to pour out upon us!
I invite you to pray with me just now. Father in Heaven, thank you so much for providing so many blessings for each of us, every day. Physical and mental and social and spiritual blessings. Now as we contemplate the end of the year and the need to make sure that we are in a right relationship with you, help us do use our time, our talents, our abilities and our resources to participate in the great proclamation of your last message the Three Angels’ Messages proclaiming Christ's power and sovereignty and his soon second coming. For we know, this great Three Angels’ Messages combination portrays turning people back to the true worship of God before Christ returns. Lord, help us to always make God first in all we do. Thank you for hearing us and for the promise that you will be with us to the end of time as we place ourselves in your care. In Jesus name we ask it, amen.