ASI Conventions

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript



Series Code: ASIC

Program Code: ASIC000016A

00:01 ¤ ¤
00:20 I just feel like when I come to ASI I get some wind under my
00:24 wings. How about you Mark?
00:26 Amen. All the way. I'm just very very thankful to be here.
00:29 We've been coming to ASI actually as a family for a long
00:33 time. Probably 20 years plus.
00:35 And it's been such a blessing for our children. They just kind
00:40 of grew up as ASI kids. So we're glad that you're here and we
00:46 just pray that you will receive a blessing at this last meeting.
00:51 Yes, I was in the exhibit hall earlier and there are many
00:55 aspects to the convention that are not just in this room. So
00:58 the exhibit hall, the dining room and the visiting that goes
01:01 on and the children's divisions. are just awesome. Well I
01:05 mentioned to our neighbor
01:07 in the next booth it's so nice to be around so many nice people
01:12 Amen. And the enthusiasm really comes from God because that's
01:16 the root of that word and it's just inspiring and that's the
01:19 root of that word too. The Holy Spirit is here and we want the
01:23 Holy Spirit to go with us as we go home.
01:26 Amen. You know when I come to ASI it's such a blessing to be
01:30 around God's people and to see the Holy Spirit working in your
01:35 lives and to hear what God is doing through you and in you.
01:40 It kind of sets my course for the whole year so I just want
01:44 to thank you for being here.
01:47 Okay. So as you can bow your heads with me. We'd like to open
01:51 again and ask God's special blessing on our meeting tonight.
01:55 Father in heaven, we thank you for being a source of the
01:59 blessings this weekend. We thank you for, as Patty said, being
02:04 the wind under our wings to lift us up and encourage us and I
02:08 know the efforts put into for making this convention what it
02:13 has been have been to that end so that we cannot only enjoy
02:17 this time but be inspired to go home and do more for you with
02:22 full commitment and the blessing of you going before us by your
02:27 Holy Spirit not only here but the rest of our lives until you
02:31 come. So we thank you and we know that prayer is not just a
02:37 form but it is a real life infusing event that we need to
02:43 take part of every single day, every moment. So please bless
02:48 this evening as we pray in Jesus' name Amen. Amen.
02:52 Before you go, good evening ASI family. We just want to say a
03:00 special word of thank you to Patty. For those of you who
03:04 don't know, she's been backstage the whole convention running the
03:08 program from back there and for the previous 10 months we have
03:13 been spending on the telephone doing hour and two-hour phone
03:18 conferences selecting speakers, arranging seminars and doing all
03:22 of those things and we just wanted to take this opportunity
03:26 Patty and Mark both. I know Mark has sacrificed that you can do
03:30 this. So thank you guys so much for what you've done and we're
03:34 praying for God's blessing upon you and appreciate your work on
03:39 behalf of ASI.
03:40 Thank you so much. It's been a pleasure. It really has. Thank
03:43 you so much. (Applause)
03:51 I have the privilege this evening of introducing a very
03:56 special person in this world and in my life. The secretary
04:02 treasurer of ASI Pastor Kyle Allen. Born and raised in
04:07 Tennessee Kal is what he is frequently called his family was
04:13 introduced to Adventism when he was five and since a young age
04:18 he's had a heart for God. As a young boy he remembered
04:22 attending an evangelistic series by Mark Finley and feeling so
04:27 excited to receive a Bible signed by him. Little did he
04:32 know that one day he would be sharing a stage with him and
04:36 many other dedicated leaders in the church. As Kal grew
04:41 older he wrestled with his calling in life taking political
04:45 science in the hope of one day becoming a lawyer and
04:49 simultaneously completing his degree in religion just in case
04:53 God was really calling him into pastoral ministry. He finally
04:59 gave in to God's calling in his life and he went to seminary at
05:03 Andrews and accepted a call after that as a youth pastor in
05:07 California and then senior pastor of the Mentone church.
05:11 Three-and-a-half years ago he was called to serve as the
05:16 Secretary-Treasurer of ASI at the North American Division
05:21 and he felt humbled to serve such a powerful ministry. Kyle
05:26 is a lover of God and as exemplified in his life genuine
05:31 commitment to the service of Christ. For all the talents he
05:36 possesses and the opportunities give to him, he is extremely
05:41 humble praising God for using broken vessel like him. As he
05:45 shares from his heart tonight my prayer is that our ears will
05:49 be open to hear what the Spirit has to say to each and every one
05:53 of us through the servant of Christ. Pastor Kyle Allen.
05:57 ¤ ¤
06:12 ¤I walked today where Jesus walked in days of long ago¤
06:25 ¤I traveled down each path he knew with reverent steps and¤
06:37 ¤slow. Those little lanes, they have not changed. A sweet¤
06:50 ¤peace fills the air. I walked today where Jesus¤
07:02 ¤walked and felt his presence there. My pathway led through¤
07:18 ¤Bethlehem. Ah, memories ever sweet. The little town of¤
07:32 ¤Galilee that knew those childish feet. The Mount of¤
07:47 ¤Olives, hallowed scenes that Jesus knew before. I saw the¤
08:00 ¤mighty Jordan roll as in the days of old. ¤ ¤
08:24 ¤I knelt today where Jesus knelt where all alone he prayed. The¤
08:37 ¤Garden of Gethsemane. My heart was unafraid. I picked my¤
08:51 ¤heavy burden up and with him by my side, I climbed the hill¤
09:04 ¤of Calvary, I climbed the hill of Calvary, I climbed the hill¤
09:21 ¤of Calvary where on a cross he died. I walked today where¤
09:38 ¤Jesus walked and felt him close to me. ¤
09:58 Thank you so much Juan Carlos. Good evening everyone. Have you
10:05 had a blessed Sabbath? God has been good to us here at ASI. I
10:11 just have to say that I couldn't start my sermon after Ranella
10:15 introduced me without saying she's the most beautiful woman
10:19 in the world and I love her and I'm so privileged and blessed to
10:24 have her as my girlfriend. I'm glad you guys can't make any
10:29 comments right now because I'm all the way up here. God is good
10:35 and I believe with all my heart that Jesus is coming soon. We
10:41 are here at ASI 2017 the 70th anniversary celebrating our
10:48 well not celebrating but looking at our 70 years and hoping that
10:52 we're not here another 70 because Jesus needs to come.
10:57 Amen? Tonight I have a burden on my heart that I want to share
11:03 with you as we close this convention but before I do that
11:09 I invite you to bow your heads with me as we pray. Father in
11:14 heaven tonight Lord we come before you pleading with you
11:18 that you would send your Spirit into this auditorium. Father I
11:22 pray that you would hide me behind the cross that Jesus
11:26 would be lifted up and that you would speak to our hearts what
11:32 you would have us to do as we close this ASI convention. Lord
11:38 Jesus, please come to be with us here right now. We ask this
11:45 in your name. Amen. I don't know about you but I loved hearing
11:50 stories from my grandpa and I especially loved hearing stories
11:55 when he was talking about his experiences in the war.
11:59 I remember as a kid I would listen to him talking about
12:02 what it was like when he was in the Marines and going to battle.
12:06 My one grandpa, my mom's dad, had a harder time talking about
12:11 it though because he went through some very hard times in
12:15 war. And when he did talk about it, it was hard for the words to
12:18 come out and often tears would come into his eyes and he would
12:21 just clam up and stop talking. But there were a few times
12:25 when I remember him talking about his experience in the
12:29 battle of Iwo Jima. One of the bloodiest battles of World War
12:33 II. Twenty-five thousand men died in a nearly month long
12:37 struggle for that small Pacific Island. I remember my grandpa
12:41 telling me what it was like when they stormed the beach. When
12:46 that ramp opened you didn't have a decision at that point. You
12:50 had made your commitment. You were going through the water and
12:54 going on that beach. And I remember him telling me that the
12:58 bullets were flying by and the guys around him, guys he knew
13:02 were falling. They had just one mission and that was to take the
13:06 Island. They were committed to their mission even if it meant
13:11 paying the ultimate price. You know a number of years ago the
13:16 Marine Corps actually had a slogan, a slogan to recruit new
13:20 young people into the Marine Corps and that slogan said
13:24 No applications, only commitments.
13:27 No applications here. If you want to be a part of the Marine
13:31 Corps, you are going to be committed, committed totally
13:37 even to possible paying the ultimate price. You know some
13:41 have called that generation of my grandfather, the generation
13:46 of my grandparents, the greatest generation. But today we often
13:50 look around the world and when we see the society that we live
13:55 in it's hard to find commitment is it not? In our families, in
13:58 our communities and yes even in the church it can be hard to
14:04 find commitment. George Barna in a study of few years ago said
14:11 that less than one half of the people who call themselves
14:13 Christians say they're absolutely committed to their
14:16 faith. Tonight as we close this 2017 ASI convention I want to
14:22 ask you this question: Are you and I fully and totally
14:28 committed to this message? Are you and I fully committed to the
14:33 mission that Jesus has given us as soldiers of the cross? So
14:39 tonight turn with me in scripture. We're going to look
14:41 at a couple passages that talk about commitment and we're
14:44 going to see what the Lord wants us to know as we leave
14:48 this ASI convention. Turn with me to Luke chapter 5, Luke
14:52 chapter 5 starting with verse 1. We're going to just look at this
14:55 story, the calling of the disciples. Now you remember
14:59 Jesus is at the Sea of Galilee and he's teaching the people
15:02 and but there's so many people that he has to get into Simon
15:05 Peter's boat and he pushes out a little bit from land and he's
15:07 teaching and then as soon as he's finished he tells Peter
15:12 put out the boats and put down your nets. And they go and they
15:15 put down their nets and they catch more fish than they can
15:18 even hold in that boat. So they pulled the next boat over and
15:22 Peter is so overcome by the fact that Jesus knew where the fish
15:26 were. I mean, he had been fishing all night and hadn't
15:28 caught anything. But Jesus tells him where to go and his boat is
15:31 overflowing and he's convicted that Jesus is the Son of God.
15:36 And at that moment Jesus comes to him and in verse 10 of Luke
15:41 chapter 5 Jesus says to Simon do not be afraid. From now on
15:46 you will catch men. And the Bible says in verse 11, So when
15:52 they had brought their boats to land they forsook all and
15:57 followed him. The call of Christ This is a call not from human
16:05 beings. This call to Peter, James and John came from the
16:08 Son of God. Now why would they simply leave their fishermen's
16:14 nets. Jesus just comes along and they leave. Why? Because they
16:19 sensed in Jesus one whose vision was so great, one whose mission
16:25 was so broad, so much bigger than anything in their lives.
16:28 There was more to God's plan for their lives than catching fish.
16:34 Nothing wrong with catching fish but they had a higher calling.
16:36 Similarly tonight Jesus comes to you and to me here at ASI and he
16:42 says I have called you. I know you. I've seen you working hard.
16:48 I know you know how to make money. You know how to be a
16:50 banker, you know how to be a doctor or a lawyer or a nurse or
16:54 an entrepreneur. You know how to catch fish. But he comes to you
16:58 and he says tonight I have called you and I have chosen you
17:03 I have chosen you to take my message to the world. I have
17:09 chosen you to fish for men. You may know how to have a career
17:14 but our lives mean so much more than a career. That is the
17:19 mission of ASI because as lay people we are called, we are
17:23 chosen to have a higher purpose. Jesus says to you tonight, I
17:27 have called you to take the Gospel, the three angels'
17:31 messages to the world in this generation. And there is always
17:36 a call. When Jesus gives a call there's always a call to
17:40 something and a call from something. In this case, Jesus
17:44 is calling all of us, Jesus is calling us to witness. Jesus is
17:47 calling us to a vision greater that ourselves and he's calling
17:51 us away from something as well. He's calling us away from our
17:55 nets, away from our boats, away from... Nothing wrong with the
17:59 nets and the boats but away from a preoccupation with secular
18:03 employment. He's calling us to live a life of complete
18:08 commitment to the things of eternity. But you say well Kal
18:12 I know God has called. We always talk as pastors about
18:15 how God called us.
18:16 I mean Ranella shared a little bit of my testimony and I wish I
18:18 could share it here tonight. It's been a struggle for me to
18:22 know what God called me to do in my life. But one thing I've
18:25 been convicted of as time has gone on is that the reality is I
18:29 may be called to have been a pastor but each one of you is
18:34 just as called. Do you believe that tonight? The call comes to
18:37 each one. I want you to look at this statement from Prophets and
18:41 Kings, page 22, powerful statement:
19:18 Every enterprise in which we engage should be a means to
19:21 spreading the three angels' messages. What do you say
19:25 tonight. But you say Lord that's scary. I know how to make money,
19:28 I know how to run my business, but I don't know how to witness.
19:33 Jesus says to you just like he said to Peter, what did he say?
19:39 He said don't be afraid. Do not fear because I am with you.
19:44 Jesus understands. He is the one who called you and he is the one
19:47 who will empower you to fulfill the mission he has given you.
19:52 Remember James was the first disciple who was martyred. John
19:56 was on that boat that day. The longest living disciple. Wrote
20:00 Revelation but suffered a life of persecution and Peter
20:03 crucified upside down. But none of them ever lost sight of the
20:10 fact that Jesus was always with them. There's a story of a self
20:15 supporting missionary that I wanted to share with you tonight
20:20 It's such a powerful story that I had to share it. A guy named
20:24 Abram La Rue. How many of you have heard of Abram La Rue?
20:27 Okay, I see a few hands. Some of you have. I've got to tell
20:30 this story. He was a seaman. He had traveled around the world
20:34 but in his 50s he settled in San Francisco and he invested all
20:38 of his life savings into his property. He bought some
20:40 property there only the have it destroyed by fire a short time
20:44 later. He lost all of his savings. So discouraged and
20:49 penniless he moves out of the city but God had a plan for this
20:52 man because just a few months later someone gives him a Bible
20:56 tract, the Signs of the Times. And he reads the tract and he
20:59 gets so excited about what he's reading, he starts reading his
21:03 Bible and he's converted. And not only is he converted, he is
21:06 so on fire now he wants to go to the mission field. There's only
21:09 one problem, he's in his 60s and he feels, well other people think
21:12 he's too old. He writes to the General Conference and he says
21:16 please I really have a burden. I have a burden to go to China
21:20 to share with the Chinese people the three angels' messages of
21:23 the gospel. And you know what the brethren say? They said Um
21:28 thank you for your commitment, thank you for your interest. Why
21:32 don't you... I forgot to say that he had been serving a
21:34 little bit of time in Hawaii as a colporteur. Why don't you just
21:37 stay in the islands of the Pacific, thinking he'd just stay
21:41 in Hawaii. Well he said okay I'll tell you what. He looked at
21:45 a map, islands of the Pacific. He saw that Hong Kong was an
21:48 island in the Pacific. It was a little bit on the edge but it
21:51 was right next to China so he said let me go to Hong Kong. So
21:55 he goes to Hong Kong. He opens up a mission by himself, by the
21:58 way. He begins passing out tracts, studying the Bible with
22:01 people. He converts the soldiers and sailors there in Hong Kong.
22:05 Some of these sailors by the way go back to England, take the
22:09 Gospel and start work in places where it hadn't started in
22:12 England. All over the world people carried the tracts that
22:16 Abram La Rue had given them in Hong Kong. Fourteen years he
22:21 labors, from 1888 until 1902 when the next missionaries come.
22:25 And shortly after those next missionaries come nine people
22:30 were baptized. And just a year later in 1903 Abram La Rue
22:34 passed to his rest. A committed Christian, he stood alone.
22:38 Fourteen years in a distant land carrying on a self-supporting
22:42 work. This was a true ASI missionary. The power that urged
22:46 him onward was his firm belief in the soon coming of Jesus. A
22:50 few days before he died he gave the little money he had to the
22:54 work in China. Totally committed to following the call of the
22:57 Savior. Friend it doesn't matter how old you are. You can be
23:01 young, you can be old. Jesus is calling you tonight. Jesus is
23:05 calling you. Jesus is calling each one of us to a life of
23:10 commitment. So Jesus calls us. Christ called us and also Christ
23:15 calls us to commitment and I want us to turn to our next
23:18 passage, Luke chapter 9 and we're going to look quickly here
23:22 at Luke chapter 9 because the problem is that when we get the
23:26 call sometimes we make excuses don't we? Sometimes we make
23:31 excuses. And Jesus speaks about this in Luke chapter 9. In this
23:34 story Jesus meets three men on the road and he gives three
23:38 responses that shed light on the excuses we often give that
23:42 keep us from living a committed life. Verses 57 and 58 say: Now
23:46 it happened as they journeyed on the road that someone said to
23:50 him, Lord I will follow you wherever you go. And what does
23:54 Jesus say? He says to him, foxes have holes and birds of the air
23:59 have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.
24:05 He calls this man to a commitment of sacrifice.
24:07 The call of Christ to the human heart is the call to make the
24:12 sacrifice. Jesus is saying the things of eternity far outweigh
24:16 the things here on earth. There is something that you give up.
24:20 There's a surrender that you make. Martin Luther... We're
24:23 celebrating 500 years since the reformation. Martin Luther said
24:27 a religion that gives nothing, costs nothing and suffers
24:30 nothing is worth nothing. One of the former vice presidents of
24:36 the general conference was traveling far back in a mountain
24:41 region of Asia. As he's there he's talking to two pioneer
24:44 missionaries traveling from village to village. They're
24:47 preaching the gospel and as he's talking to them he asks them a
24:50 question. He says, is there anything you need? They look
24:52 at each other. They put their heads down and they say well
24:55 there's one thing very important to us. He says, well how can I
25:00 help you. He says well we only have one pair of shoes. So
25:05 whoever walks to the furtherest village gets the shoes for that
25:09 day. Well pastor if we only had one more pair of shoes so both
25:14 of us could have shoes. And yet that didn't stop them from
25:18 sharing the gospel. This is the commitment of those who follow
25:22 Christ. No excuses. Willing to make sacrifices. The Bible
25:27 continues in verse 59 of Luke chapter 9. Jesus said to another
25:32 man follow me. But he said Lord first let me go and bury my
25:36 father. And Jesus said, let the dead bury their own dead but you
25:39 go and preach the kingdom of God Now some of you say well that's
25:43 strange. Why would Jesus respond like that? Well think about this
25:46 for a minute. If the man's father was dead he wouldn't have
25:49 been there. Because in Jewish culture when a person died they
25:53 were buried that same day. You see what the man was saying was
25:57 let me wait until my father is dead and buried and then I will
26:00 come and follow you Jesus. Just let me go back and care for the
26:04 affairs of my father whether it be six months or a year, however
26:07 long, and then I will follow you In other words, he was putting
26:11 off what Christ wanted him to do. And often times we make that
26:15 excuse. We won't commit because there are other things that come
26:18 first. First let me do this, first let me do that. Friends
26:21 Jesus needs us to commit to being available when he calls
26:25 us. So commitment not only requires sacrifice, it requires
26:29 availability. Now number three in this passage in Luke 9. Another
26:32 man said to Jesus, verse 61, Lord I will follow you, but
26:35 first let me go and bid them farewell who are in my house.
26:40 But Jesus said to him, No one having put his hand to the plow
26:46 and looking back is fit for the kingdom of God. For this excuse
26:51 the man is saying that he is occupied primarily with other
26:54 things. Nothing wrong with taking care of your family,
26:57 right? Right? But the problem is when the things in your life
27:01 begin to overshadow the greater purpose to which we are called,
27:05 even if they are good things, they can become problems in and
27:09 of themselves. Jesus called him to have an undivided heart. So
27:14 commitment requires sacrifice, it requires availability and it
27:18 requires and undivided heart. When I think of a story that
27:23 talks about people that have no excuses, nothing could be better
27:27 than the story that we heard this afternoon. I don't know if
27:31 you were here but we talked about the history of ASI and the
27:34 history of self-supporting work. When I think of the story in
27:38 particular of Sutherland and Magan, the men who founded
27:42 Madison College who were the founders of ASI. They were so
27:45 committed to God's work, they were so committed to leaving the
27:48 comforts of normal life. They knew God's plan for education
27:52 they were committed to following it wherever it lead. They were
27:55 committed to whatever sacrifice it took. You know it's
27:59 interesting, and I read that book God's Beautiful Farm. Have
28:01 you guys read it. I encourage you to pick it up before you
28:04 leave. We have it still at the booth. But in that book there
28:06 are a few stories that stand out and one of them that stands out
28:10 is when they first moved the college to Andrews, what is now
28:13 Andrews in Berrien Springs, that first winter you know they were
28:16 trying to be out in the country and have a more rural setting
28:20 for the college. They endured a winter in those cabins without
28:24 heat. Can you imagine Berrien Springs without heat. I've been
28:29 there with heat and it's still freezing. They were willing to
28:33 follow wherever God led them because they were so committed.
28:37 But once they got the work established at Andrews they
28:39 felt the call to Madison and they went there even though
28:43 there were severe trials. Even Percy's wife got sick and
28:47 passed away. And yet Percy could still say in 1903 I know that
28:51 these trials are sent to us not to bring bitterness out of our
28:55 characters but to bring all the fragrance that God can possibly
28:59 bring into our lives. That didn't stop these two men of
29:05 faith. They were committed to following God no matter what the
29:08 sacrifice. And they heard the call of Jesus to leave Emmanuel
29:12 Missionary College and to found Madison College and you know
29:16 it's such an incredible story but the particular scene that
29:19 stands out in my mind is that moment when the boat breaks down
29:23 and they have to go out the boat and it happens to be at the
29:26 property where Ellen White had seen in vision that this was
29:29 where the school needed to be. But Sutherland and Magan did
29:32 not want to have the school at this place. It looked too
29:35 foreboding, too hard. There were rocks and there were old
29:38 buildings and they struggled with it. And yet Ellen White was
29:42 telling them, boys, this is the place. And they didn't, oh they
29:46 struggled in their hearts. But as the story goes they knelt
29:49 down and they agonized with God in prayer and they both knew
29:53 that they needed to follow the counsel of the servant of the
29:56 Lord. And in end, after prayer, they were convicted that they
30:00 must commit to following it and to accepting the sacrifice that
30:04 would come. And so they said yes and we know the rest of the
30:08 story. God blessed them beyond measure. It was a hard road, it
30:12 was a difficult road, but it was worth it because it was the road
30:17 Jesus had called them to take. Jesus said if anyone wishes to
30:22 come after me let him deny himself and take up his cross
30:27 and follow me. Luke chapter 8. And in Help With Daily Living
30:32 page 477 this quote speaks to my heart. The servant of God says
30:53 So my friends tonight we've seen the call of Christ. Each of us
30:58 is called to a vision greater than ourselves, taking the
31:01 gospel to the world in this generation. We've seen the
31:05 commitment to Christ. Christ calls us to commitment. It
31:08 requires sacrifice, being available and having an
31:10 undivided heart. But now let's look at the motivation for all
31:13 of it which is the cross of Christ. Ultimately what
31:17 motivated Sutherland and Magan, what motivated Abram La Rue and
31:21 what motivated Peter, James and John to take the gospel in their
31:25 generation was the cross of Christ, the one who gave us the
31:29 greatest example of commitment. The only one who can enable us
31:34 to live a life of commitment. The preeminent ASI member, Jesus
31:39 a self-supporting missionary. He worked in a carpenter shop in
31:44 Nazareth, supported by donations His life reveals the ultimate
31:49 example of commitment and because he was committed to you
31:53 and to me as Philippians chapter 2 says, he humbled himself and
32:00 became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the
32:05 cross. In Luke 23 we read the story of the crucifixion and
32:09 just to draw our minds to the sacrifice of Christ tonight I'll
32:14 just look at verse 33 and verses 44-46. The Bible says when they
32:19 came to the place called the Skull they crucified him along
32:24 with criminals, one on his right and the other on his left.
32:28 Verses 44-46, the Bible says, now it was about the sixth hour
32:31 and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.
32:34 The sun was darkened. The veil of the temple was torn in two
32:37 and when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, he said
32:41 Father into your hands I commit my spirit. Having said this he
32:46 breathed his last. The cross reveals more clearly than any
32:51 other place in scripture the self-sacrificing ministry of
32:56 Jesus. It shows the depth that heaven would go to to redeem you
33:01 and me. What is it about the cross that leads us to
33:04 commitment. Jesus was committed not only to death in this life,
33:09 he was committed to giving up his life for eternity for you,
33:15 for me. I can't fathom that. He believed it was worth it to
33:19 cease from existing so we could have a chance at eternal life.
33:23 The sacrifice of Christ on the cross reveals the true value of
33:28 each one of us to God. In the light of this sacrifice can we
33:33 do anything less. The commitment of Christ should stir us to a
33:39 deep desire to be committed to him. Jesus said in John 17
33:44 verse 4...
33:53 Jesus was committed to the work that the father had given him to
33:59 do to the very end. When we come to the end of our life will we
34:04 be able to say God I was faithful to finish the work you
34:09 have given me to do. This week some of you may have heard
34:13 little snapshots of a life of someone named Vera Oncobo.
34:17 Vera was a personal friend of mine, close friend of my
34:22 girlfriend Ranella. She was a modern day, 21st century
34:27 Enoch, committed to the calling of God in her life. A
34:31 nurse by trade and by ministry she grew up in a loving home,
34:36 spiritual home and yet in her senior year in college she
34:40 wrestled with questions about the true nature of God. But she
34:44 began to study the Bible and she began devouring the Bible and
34:47 particularly she loved the book Revelation Speaks by Mark Finley
34:52 Every day she would read it. God captivated her life. Every day
34:56 she would pray and pour over the scriptures and God began to
35:00 change her heart and from there the Lord continued to grow this
35:04 young woman and gave her many missionary opportunities. She
35:08 began to do travel nursing so that she could have more money
35:12 so that she could less and work more for Jesus. At one point in
35:16 her life she was so convicted by the words of Ellen White to
35:19 do literature evangelism she would work three days of the
35:22 week as a nurse and the remaining four days every day
35:24 she would take 12 people with her door to door to do
35:27 literature evangelism. And then on Sabbath she would train
35:31 church members. She continued this for over seven years.
35:35 Through the faithful efforts of this woman churches grew and
35:39 church members were revived to a life of witnessing. The church
35:43 never paid her but she was committed to Christ and the
35:48 calling that he had given her. Most recently she was a
35:53 volunteer Bible worker at a church in Michigan. She lived in
35:55 the basement of some friends' house so she could pay off the
35:58 last year of her debt and she wanted more than anything to go
36:01 be a missionary in the Middle East. She commuted an hour and a
36:05 half to work every day to the hospital she worked at working
36:08 the night shift. The family that lived with her said sometimes
36:12 they wouldn't see her until 2 p. m. and she would come to
36:15 sleep for a few hours and then drive right back to the hospital
36:18 that evening. When asked where she was the whole morning she
36:21 would say that she and developed Bible study contacts in that
36:25 area and she couldn't come back until she gave Bible studies.
36:29 She was totally sold out and committed to living God's
36:33 calling in her life. Vera touched the lives of people she
36:36 had known for years, months or even minutes. I know. She
36:40 touched my life. Many people knew that when she looked at you
36:43 she didn't see what you looked like, what your social status
36:47 was or educational background. All she saw was a soul for whom
36:51 Jesus died. Less than two weeks ago my girlfriend Ranella was on
36:55 a brief phone call with her asking her to co-speak at a
36:59 seminar at ASI, Total Member Involvement. She agreed, she was
37:03 very excited. She wanted to be here this weekend. Little did
37:07 any of us know that less than a week later she would be lying on
37:11 a hospital bed fighting for her life. The doctors tried all day
37:14 and into the night to get her heart to beat again but it had
37:17 suddenly stopped that morning and it was over. She was only
37:22 36 year old. And now after her sudden death those of us that
37:26 knew her and interacted with her knew that this was bright light
37:31 that the world had lost. But perhaps the good that God will
37:35 bring out of it here on earth is the fact that her legacy of
37:38 commitment to Christ lives one. The bright light is still
37:42 shining and God is shining her example into your hearts
37:45 tonight to tell you this one thing. When it is all said and
37:49 done at the end of the day, if we take our last breath here on
37:53 earth before Jesus comes the only thing that will matter and
37:56 that will live on is a life of sacrificial commitment that we
38:00 live for others and the Savior we love. The only thing that
38:04 will matter are the souls that we win for Jesus. Vera's life of
38:09 selfless service, the love that she exuded for others, her
38:12 devotion to Jesus that led her to give away almost all of her
38:14 salary before her death, all of this is a testimony to the
38:17 power that shakes the world when God's people pledge their lives
38:20 to him holding nothing back. What would happen if we all
38:24 lived like Vera? What would happen if we all lived like
38:29 Jesus? How soon would Jesus return? How much of Christ's
38:34 love would penetrate the darkest parts of the earth until the
38:38 earth is lighted with the glory of God and we would see Vera and
38:41 our loved ones who have passed away in then sin and death and
38:47 suffering and separation from God would be no more. Here is a
38:52 woman who was unselfishly committed to Christ and his
38:55 service. My friends tonight you and I don't know what's around
39:01 the corner. We never know what's going on in our bodies from a
39:06 health standpoint. I mean many a person has felt well and then
39:11 the next day they go to the doctor and they find out they
39:15 have cancer. We don't know what's around the corner. Vera
39:19 didn't know what was around the bend. God calls us to commitment
39:24 now. God calls us to commitment tonight, to faithfulness tonight
39:30 to service tonight. You may not have another ASI convention. I
39:36 cannot guarantee you that tonight. But today is the day
39:41 that you can say with all of your heart Lord Jesus I've been
39:44 here at ASI. I've heard these messages, I've been convicted
39:46 by your Spirit to do something for you. Please help me to live
39:50 for you. Help me to lay aside the sin that so easily ensnares
39:53 me and to run the race that you have called me to run. Thinking
39:59 back to my grandpa and those Marines who fought to take the
40:02 beaches of Iwo Jima, you know they had a mission. They were
40:07 committed to their mission no matter the cost. But how much
40:12 greater is our mission, our mission to take the gospel to
40:16 every nation and kindred and tongue and people. My friends
40:19 the grandest mission ever entrusted to human beings is
40:22 given to you to take the three angels' messages to the ends of
40:27 the earth in this generation. ASI tonight Jesus is calling you
40:31 Jesus is calling me. The work of God on this earth will never
40:36 be finished until each and every one of us does all we can by the
40:41 power of God uniting together to take the gospel to the world.
40:47 This was Vera's mission. Her story reminds us of the need for
40:53 total commitment to Christ. Just want to say as I ask you to pull
40:58 out this appeal card tonight. You were handed this as you came
41:05 in. Sometimes it's hard to make a commitment. I struggled with
41:12 commitment in my own life. I wrestled with the cost, but I
41:18 can tell you tonight that I am so grateful because Jesus
41:25 promises, like he said to Peter, that he will be with us. He is
41:31 with you. Jesus is calling you tonight to give your heart to
41:35 him. I want to invite you as we close just take a look at this
41:40 card and if you want to surrender your plans and your
41:44 heart and your life to God for the first time tonight, just
41:49 check that box. If you look at the second box on the card it
41:53 says I long to have a renewed focus on heaven and I desire to
41:57 recommit my life to Jesus again tonight, check that box, make
42:01 that decision tonight. And the third box is for you. I want you
42:05 to take this card and put it in your Bible and pray over it as
42:09 you go home. As you have been here at ASI undoubtedly the Holy
42:13 Spirit has been speaking to your heart and he has said to you
42:18 John or Mary or Ranella, you need to do something for me.
42:22 You need to volunteer in that ministry. You need to work for
42:26 me in this field, you need to just maybe sell your business.
42:30 I don't know what it is, but Jesus is calling you to
42:32 something tonight and I want you to write that on this card and
42:37 pray over it as you go home. Tonight I want to ask you this
42:42 question because I know there are some of us here tonight that
42:47 need to make a change in our priorities. We recognize that
42:52 Jesus has called us and we recognize that we need to make a
42:55 change. I want to make a simple appeal tonight, two appeals
42:59 actually for us. Firstly there may be some here who have
43:07 served Christ. You've been committed to his work but you
43:09 realize tonight that you need to make some changes as you go home
43:12 You need to rearrange you priorities to be totally
43:15 committed. You want to go home different. Would you just raise
43:23 your hand. I want to pray for you. Put them down. Secondly
43:31 there also may be someone here tonight you have not been
43:34 involved in service but during this ASI convention you have
43:37 heard Jesus saying to you follow me and I will make you a fisher
43:41 of men. And the Spirit is speaking to you tonight. For the
43:45 first time you realize that you need to give your life in
43:49 service to your master. You cannot go home the same. You
43:53 need to make a radical turn in the direction of your life.
43:55 Would you raise your hand tonight if that is you. I want
44:04 invite you as we hear this song. If you have heard God speaking
44:14 to your heart tonight and during this ASI convention, if you want
44:18 to say to the Lord Jesus, Lord Jesus I want to commit my life
44:23 to your service. Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord
44:27 to thee. If that is your prayer tonight I want to invite you
44:31 forward during this song and we're going to have a prayer of
44:36 dedication and commitment at the end.
44:38 ¤ ¤
44:52 ¤Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord to thee¤
45:09 ¤Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of thy love.¤
45:28 ¤Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for thee.¤
45:48 ¤Take my voice and let me sing only glory for my King.¤
46:04 ¤Take my lips and let them be filled with messages from thee.¤
46:23 ¤Take my silver and my gold not a mite would I withhold.¤
46:34 ¤Not a mite would I withhold.¤
46:46 ¤Take my will and make it Thine it shall be no longer mine.¤
47:07 ¤Take me heart, it is Thine own, it shall be Thy royal throne.¤
47:29 ¤ ¤
47:46 Father in heaven tonight we have seen that the greatest example
47:56 of commitment that any of us have ever known is you. You gave
48:05 the ultimate sacrifice. You made the ultimate commitment to us.
48:12 A commitment and a sacrifice that we can never understand but
48:18 for which we will be eternally grateful. Lord Jesus thank you
48:23 for giving your life to save us. Thank you for calling us and for
48:29 choosing us and for enabling us to be committed to you. O Father
48:34 forgive us for we have often made excuses, we have often been
48:39 distracted, we've often had a divided heart but tonight we
48:42 want to come to you and those who have come forward and those
48:46 who are in their seats Lord we recognize that we're not
48:51 guaranteed tomorrow and like Vera we want to live a life of
48:56 total commitment. We want others to know that Jesus you are
49:01 number one, that your mission is the most important thing to
49:05 us. Lord, we lay it all on the altar tonight. There is someone
49:09 here tonight that is sensing the call of God. Empower them by
49:14 your Spirit to go from this ASI convention to where you have
49:19 called them to go. Help us to rearrange our priorities so that
49:25 you are number one. Oh Lord, we long to see you come. We long to
49:30 be reunited with our loved ones that we have lost. We long to
49:34 see everyone on this earth know you. We long to see this world
49:38 lighted with the glory of God. Lord Jesus, please empower your
49:42 church. Help us to take the three angels' messages to the
49:45 world in this generation. We can't do it on our own. We don't
49:48 have the strength but by your power and by your grace we know
49:52 that you can finish this work. Help our church Lord. Please,
49:56 we pray. Pour out your Spirit upon this generation that this
50:01 may be the generation that finishes the work and we will
50:05 give you all the praise when we see you coming in the clouds of
50:09 heaven. Oh Lord, keep us faithful, keep us committed,
50:16 keep our eyes on you. We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ
50:21 our Savior, our Lord and our coming king. Amen


Revised 2018-03-28