by Jeff Boyd
From News Release, November 1, 2014
Daniel R. Jackson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America (NAD), said we serve a sovereign God who created the universe, reigns supreme, and is a God of forethought, designs, and plans who will see His church through any issues humans have generated.
Jackson, preaching a sermon entitled “Frowning Providence, Reverence & Faith,” challenged delegates and guests at the 2014 North American Division Year-End Meeting Sabbath program to look at the character of God and see how He utilizes providence to bring about His plan for His people.
Noting that there are some voices that want to convince members that the church is about to be destroyed by apostasy, Jackson said that it is imperative to remember that God is in control. That is significant to the Seventh-day Adventist Church, he noted, as we prepare for 2015 General Conference Session.
“I have come to believe that, in light of all we face, we will either have to trust in the intervening hand of God or ultimately deny our faith,” Jackson said to the more than 500 guests in attendance and those watching live on The Hope Channel. “Either God is at work in the church—sometimes moving openly, sometimes moving almost imperceptibly—or the church is just an organization of human invention controlled by politicians and political hacks.”
Jackson went on to say that the Church has come to give “too much credence to human power, ingenuity, and stealth.” And that many have come to believe that issues that humans “have generated can actually break apart the Church, as though somehow God is inept—or God is unable. No human has the right or authority to put God into a box!”
Jackson illustrated his theme with the story of Pharaoh Thutmose III, the ancient Egyptian leader who held the Israelites in bondage and refused to release them. By defying God's command relayed through Moses, the ruler was trying to “thwart God’s plan for His movement on earth.”
Jackson said that while God’s character can be difficult for us to comprehend, there should be no doubt that He is a God of forethought—a God of designs and plans. He is not sitting by, wringing His hands as He divines a solution to problems on earth. The life of Jesus is an example of God’s plan for the salvation of His children.
“God’s love compelled Him to give His only begotten Son for the eternal well-being of mankind,” Jackson said. “All men are a part of God’s plan to redeem! Whatever failure we make in our lives.”
Jackson stated that we must remain obedient to God’s heavenly vision. God will not stand by idly and watch mankind destroy His plans for the world and for His Church so long as we keep our eyes on what matters above all—Jesus.
“There is only one true north for the church and his name is Jesus!” Jackson said to a strong “amen” from the audience. “How blind we become when we reject following the light given to us!”
Jackson concluded by emphatically stating: “I love the Seventh-day Adventist movement. It. Will. Not. Fail.”
The sermon also included two important themes for Jackson and the delegates of the NAD Year-End Meetings, young people and transformation evangelism.
On the former he said, “The future of God’s work is dependent on our children. They are so precious.” On the latter he let people know that evangelism was alive and well, but perhaps the way in which it was carried out was not too effective.
“You can’t go into a field with a harvester if you haven’t planted any seed,” Jackson said.
Jackson began his sermon with a moving tribute to his wife, Donna Jackson, who was also on the stage. He related events from earlier in the day, when he was looking for his wife and could not find her.
“I almost panicked this morning. I couldn’t find my wife. I was asking some of you, ‘have you seen my wife?’” Jackson said, suddenly becoming choked with emotion. “I just wanted to tell her, ‘I love you.’”
Unable to continue, he stepped back to where Donna was sitting, and hugged her, continuing, “This beautiful woman.”
He then asked everyone who was sitting next to their spouses, or soon to be spouses, and tell them, “I love you.”
Jackson was introduced by G. Alex Bryant, executive secretary of the NAD telling the audience: “I believe that God still has more work for this Division under the leadership of Daniel Richard Jackson in the years to come.”