September 13, 2019—Itú, Brazil
Time is flying, and there is now less than a week left of the General Conference Delegation Session. We could feel the guidance of the Holy Spirit as God truly blessed us during the session. We have now elected the representatives for all the regions of the world, and the brethren elected promised to work tirelessly, by the grace of God, to fulfill the Gospel commission. Our focus at this time is to evangelize the world, to spread the good news to every nation, kindred, and tongue, telling them the great redemption story.
This was also the topic of this morning’s worship time presented by Brother G. Lavrik of Ukraine: "The Plan of Redemption—a Gift." Brother Lavrik spoke about the gift that was given to our first parents, Adam and Eve. They were given a garden to care for, to dress it, and keep it. What happens if you do not water a garden? The soil will dry up and the plants and trees can wither and even die. But if watered, the gardens or even the desert places will blossom and flourish. Mankind as a result of sin was like a garden without water, destined to dry up and die. But Christ came to bear the sins of the world and bring hope and salvation for mankind.
“As the plan of redemption begins and ends with a gift, so it is to be carried forward. The same spirit of sacrifice which purchased salvation for us will dwell in the hearts of all who become partakers of the heavenly gift.” —Lift Him Up, p. 278. Brother Lavrik explained, "When we understand what the plan of redemption means to us personally, we will not be able to keep it to ourselves. We will go and spread this message to all the world."
After a delicious breakfast, Brother Peter Lausevic, the Chairman of the Session, addressed the delegates and spoke on the subject of the First Angel’s Message. He emphasized the fact that the angel is to preach the Gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. This means the Gospel needs to be preached in all languages spoken in the world. When we become comfortable, we begin to depart from God, and apostasy is the result. Brother Lausevic spoke against congregating in areas where we can enjoy the Gospel privileges and thus neglect new territories. How can we preach the First Angel’s Message like this? "Brethren, we need to take the challenge," Brother Lausevic exhorted, "and learn new languages and go to places where we have no one yet. God calls for one hundred missionaries where there is now only one."
The minutes of the previous day were read by Brother Liviu Tudoroiu, GC Secretary. It was accepted by all the delegates. Thus began another work day.
The Temporary Bylaws Committee
The Temporary Bylaws Committee presented several proposals to the delegation, some were voted on and carried. Others were tabled for further discussion. These resolutions were related to the administration and bylaws; nevertheless, they needed to be discussed and voted on by the full delegation in session.
The delegation left for their respective Committees and worked until lunchtime. Being Friday, the delegation adjourned to prepare for the Sabbath.
As the day was dying in the west, the Sabbath hours began with the evening worship presented by Brother Edison Meirelles Ribeiro of Portugal who spoke about the sanctity of the Sabbath and the preparation for this special day. The Sabbath is a very sacred day as parents and children come together and rest from their everyday activities. On this day, they come into communion with God. They also spend time in nature and are to refresh their mind by admiring the works of God’s creation. God commanded man to "remember" his Creator on this day of rest.
Friday, the day of preparation, is when all work should be done, and gotten ready for the Sabbath day. Our houses should be cleaned, our clothes prepared, shoes polished, baths taken, yet there is something even more important than all this preparation. Our hearts need to be prepared. At the end of each day, before the sun goes down, differences with one another must be put aside. This ought especially to be done on the preparation day before we enter the holy hours of the Sabbath. We need to forgive each other and also ask God's forgiveness for all the wrongdoings committed. Let us remember this every week.
A blessed and happy Sabbath to all!