SHOULD not one's life be committed to God every day? Yes, of course. Then why a special day of commitment on October 14, 1974?
There are many reasons.
It was during the month of October, back in 1844, 130 years ago, that the Millerites, our spiritual ancestors, experienced heart-searching and yet very joyous days during which they fully expected to meet their Saviour.
They knew that Daniel's prophecy of the 2300 years was ending. They equated that event with the return of Jesus to this earth. In this respect they were wrong, and of course disappointed, bat it was a rewarding experience. The vivid expectation of seeing the glory of the Second Coming made a deep impression on their lives. Perhaps simply reflecting on that event is ample reason for a day of commitment.
Early autumn, 1874, J. N. Andrews embarked for Europe as the first foreign missionary sent out by the young Seventh-day Adventist Church. Thousands have followed. And today Heaven's representatives preach the ever lasting gospel in almost every land of this earth. Perhaps it is not appropriate to celebrate -such an anniversary in the light of the challenge of our unfinished task, but certainly it is an appropriate time for commitment and recommitment that the work of carrying the good news to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people might soon be completed.
Annual Council, October, 1973, occurred almost one year ago. At that time the church took a different approach in transacting its business. It was also a spiritual approach. A time of adjusting priorities and of putting first things first. Through the providences of God, members of the World Departmental Advisory Council were attending that Annual Council, and together with world administrators they carried around the world the spirit of the 1973 Annual Council, and the church took a turn, a desirable turn. That turn was upward.
Soon world leaders will again assemble, this time in the 1974 Annual Council and on the campus of Loma Linda University, one of the church's great educational centers. We are one year nearer the return of Jesus.
This year we believe that God will lead the whole church into a simultaneous commitment to Him and to His work. Church leaders and pastors on every continent of the earth and members in every Seventh-day Adventist church will be led into a deep experience of commitment. It is not a programmed commitment. There is no prepared text. It is one more opportunity for the pastor to lead his congregation into an experience of meaningful communion with God.
What does commitment mean? Simply this: "Lord, I am Thine, all Thine, completely surrendered to Thy will, doing today what I have always known that I must do in order to be able to meet my re turning Saviour. Lord, take control of my life. It is Thine. Use it to Thy glory." This experience is what God has been waiting for."" This is what God needs in order to be able to wind down the affairs of this old world and open heaven for His saints.
Commitment Day, October 14, 1974. Make it genuine.