Silver Spring, Maryland, United States …. [ANN Staff]

“Give of your best for the Lord. Let us give Him every opportunity to use you and me,” declared Pastor Jan Paulsen, world president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, in a New Year’s message for 2005 offered to the 25 million people who attend weekly worship in 203 countries and areas of the world.

“You are the church, I want to thank you for what you bring to the ministry of the church, the service we try to give to the world,”

Pastor Paulsen told the Adventist world wide family of believers. “So many of you, whether employed by the church or as supporting organizations or as individual lay persons, so many of you have brought and are bringing so much to the ministry and the service that the Church attempts to provide on behalf of Christ. I want to thank you for your commitment, for your dedication and for that which you provide to the Lord.”

At the same time, Pastor Paulsen acknowledged concerns some might have over their actions in the year just ending.

“I suppose for all of us there are moments in the past year that we wish were not there. There are events that happened that we wish we could take away; things we did and said that we wish we had not. And yet, you know well that the past is done, it’s gone, it’s history; we cannot relive it, we cannot rewrite it,” he said.

“So, let us not spend too much time in the past. Let’s look to the New Year, with the opportunities, the moments that God provides for us, and let us resolve to approach the future with the intent to give of our best for the Lord,” Pastor Paulsen added.

In 2004 the Seventh-day Adventist Church experienced another year of record growth. Final figures for the year are not in, but it is believed that one million people will have joined the movement this year; as of the third quarter of 2004, worldwide membership stood at nearly 14 million, more than half of the number who attend services.

Concluding his remarks, Pastor Paulsen appealed that “as we look to the future, let us give of our best so that, the love and compassion of Jesus Christ may find expression in your life and in my life, and that the people who are troubled by despair rather than hope, may find in what I bring and what you bring.” He asked Adventists to live so that others would see “there is in fact much to be hopeful for because Jesus Christ owns the future and he offers this to each of us.”

Copyright (c) 2004 by Adventist News Network.

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