To profess to be disciples of Jesus and to attempt to speak for Him without a distinct understanding of the requirement to show care, compassion and concern in our daily lives is to receive the indictment of Matthew 25:42-45 that testifies:
“For I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me. Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying,’ ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, You did not do it to Me.’”
To diminish the malaise of this kind of reality in the Church, Ellen White offers a road map for effective ministry to people—modeled after the behavior of Jesus—when she says: “Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Saviour mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, ‘Follow Me’” (Ministry of Healing, p. 143).
To follow Jesus, then—to be His heart, hands, and feet to a world perishing in despair—we must live by the words of Isaiah 1:17 that insist: “Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow.”
When our hearts are filled with love for humanity because we are saturated with the Spirit of Jesus, we will be able to hear the voice of Jesus clearly and embrace the call to discipleship like Isaiah did when he declared: “Also I heard the voice of the Lord saying: ‘Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me’” (Isaiah 6:8).
With unequivocal confidence, Isaiah responds to God’s call by declaring with an assurance only possible when filled with God’s Spirit: “I Will Go!”
The Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Strategic Focus for the 2020-2025 quinquennium is “I Will Go!” The theme for the 2021 newly rebranded Family Ministries Resource Book is “I Will Go with My Family”, which is also Adventist Family Ministries’ emphasis for the 2020-2025 quinquennium. It is our hope that the contents of this manuscript will bring pastors, church members, and leaders in Family Ministries to sense a new calling from God on your lives. And, that this calling will include your family and their involvement in the primary mission of the Church of being light and salt to those who are in darkness, in desperate need of the Savior; while also being mindful of people’s need for food, clothing, shelter, security, friendship and a sense of wellbeing.
May the signs of the times help us sense the urgency of the hour and, like Isaiah be able to also declare with conviction, “I WILL GO!!!”
Willie and Elaine Oliver, Directors
Adventist Family Ministries
Seventh-day Adventist Church