Love God all the time, not some of the time, says minister
St Mary-based minister Roland Vassell is a popular Seventh-day Adventist pastor who has been extremely busy over the past 11 months.
During that time, he received an award for his outstanding services in pastoral ministry, helped the church commemorate the 125th anniversary of Adventism in Jamaica, and contributed to crusades and campaigns across the parish, which resulted in more than 20 people being baptised.
Speaking from his church in Stewart Mountain, which is 20-minutes' drive from the historic coastal region of Rio Nuevo, Vassell said he believed it was important for the people of St Mary to understand that there is no other way to resolve their multitude of problems other than through Christ.
He told Family and Religion: "The issue I'm focusing on right now is: 'Jesus is the only way out'. What is happening now is that people are focusing on materialism and getting rich quick. They are also focusing on further education, work promotions, and wage increases, and while these things are all very good, we need to realise: 'Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it (Psalm 127:1).'
"People have to go back to the basics of putting God first, and making Him the centre where we start the day, go through the day, and complete the day with God. We don't wait until trouble comes and then call upon Him because Psalm 110:3 says 'Know ye that the Lord, He is God; it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves.'
He continued: "To deal with all that is happening in the world today, we just need to go back to the basics of putting Christ first and foremost because as Matthew 6:33 says: 'Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you'."
Vassell noted that although St Mary enjoys a healthy population of churchgoers, many of the parish's citizens are yet to commit themselves to God unequivocally.
CRIME ON THE INCREASE
He explained: "St Mary is a very religious parish, and yes, evangelism is high, and there are a lot of churches, crusades and revivals, but crime and violence are still on the increase. You will find there are a number of people who are saying 'Yes' to Jesus, but again, that is also a wakeup call because sometimes we might say we're putting God first, but really, some people are serving two masters," he said.
"Some people might be serving Him, but at the same time, not wholeheartedly. Serving him, yes, to a point, but sometimes it's just a matter of convenience. One thing I've realised is that certain people only come to church when they are blessed, married, or for deaths. Sometimes they start off good and might come to church for a year. And then they start making new year resolutions, but they can't do it on their own.
"As it says in Philippians 4:13: 'I can do all things through Christ,' not of self; so trying to make resolutions without Him will not be effective. Christ has to be a part of the decision-making process at all time."