Oh, my God.
I love you. I love you so much.
The reality of your infinite existence leaves me in awe.
You are the definition of beautiful.
Everything you do is perfectly balanced, perfectly thought through, perfectly established.
Everything you say is truth, clear and powerful.
You are overwhelming and awesome and yet so close and peaceful.
God, I desire to see you, to touch you, to smell you, to hear you, … to be with you.
I want to breathe in the holiness of your presence.
I want to see you move, talk and smile.
I want to see you create, walk and fly.
My God. My God. Who are you and who am I?
God, only in your presence is healing and eternal joy.
This earth is not my home.
Oh, my God. The day when I hear you sing will be the day that will make me forget every memory of darkness and brokenness.
I will rejoice in you.
You will rejoice in me.
I can not wait.
God, I love you.
At GYC 2016 in Houston, TX, I was asked to present a brief eight-minute presentation on “Why I believe in righteousness by faith”. Click on the video below to jump right to the presentation. It goes from 24:12-33:14
Elder Finley, you are a pastor, evangelist, church planter, author of numerous books and served as the Vice President of Evangelism for the General Conference. You have led thousands to Christ. What keeps you going?
I think it’s my own personal relationship with Jesus, that’s one thing. But the bible says “they that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength, they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not be worried, they will walk and not faint.” I think anytime we do service for Christ everything we do is based on who we are – being is more important for me than doing. So, one of the things that keeps me going is the fact that Jesus lives in my life, fills my heart, gives me strength. The second thing is that I love what I do. I am passionate about it.
The thing that keeps me going is the fact Jesus lives in my life, fills my heart, gives me strength.
I think if you love what you do, what you do is not drudgery but it’s rather renewing to your energy. And I think the third thing is, that I am commited to the Adventist message. I believe that God has raised up the Adventist church and that we do have something to say to the world. If you look at your work in ministry as an occupation, that you’re just employed to get money to do, then you lose energy for it quickly.
“Revival and Reformation”, those are words we hear a lot from the General Conference. Why is the GC putting such a big emphasis on this topic?
Because the bible does. The Bible talks about spiritual renewal. What is a revival? It’s the rekindling of your spiritual life of the soul. What about a reformation? A reformation is the reordering of your life and has to do with spiritual growth, with sanctification, with holiness. And Seventh-Day Adventists believe that just before the coming of Jesus there will be a mighty revival, a mighty reformation and that that will prepare the way for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Revival is the rekindling of your spiritual life. Reformation is the reordering of your life.
We don’t seek revival for revival’s sake. We believe the Spirit is here today, He has always been with the church, but before the coming of Jesus there will be a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit and that’s what we seek in revival for the finishing of God’s work on earth.
Can true revival really be “produced” by a program? What is true revival? How does one get it?
True revival can’t be produced by a program. But programs can help people to pave the way for revival. True revival is produced by the Holy Spirit. So revival comes really in three ways. One, as we seek God in prayer. Two, as we actively study God’s word. But even if you pray and study the bible you may not have true revival!
If revival doesn’t lead to witnessing, something is wrong.
The Pharisees prayed and studied the bible and they cruzified Jesus. The third is service and witness. So, all prayer and all bible-study opens our hearts to be filled with the Living Christ and His Holy Spirit, so that we can participate in witnessing and service. If revival doesn’t lead to witnessing, something is wrong. If reformation leads to an inward kind of holiness or an inward desire to be holy, and it leads me to be critical and separate from others, something is wrong. So, bible-study, prayer and service lead to true revival.
Is Revival something “new”?
Revival is the ongoing work of the church in every generation. Revival is not something new. It’s not a program, it’s a way of life. The bible says “His mercies are new every morning” in the book of lamentations. So we seek revival daily as each great biblical individual did through history.
You are constantly “on the run” for God. How do you stay focused? How can you uphold a personal relationship with Jesus?
I think you have to put priority on it. You have to take advantage of opportunities to read the Bible, to study, to pray. And I think I have the same battles, same struggles as others do to keep that focus. I think also health is an important thing. For me personally to try to get daily exercise and to try to eat a healthful diet and to try to get adequate sleep. And although I am on the road I try to be quite conscious of my health and I think if you are, your mind is clearer to receive guidance and directions of the Holy Spirit.
What is your vision for the Adventist youth?
My vision for the youth would be that they know Jesus Christ, that they share Jesus. That they know and share the Adventist message, that they really know scripture and are passionate about sharing it with others. The youth has tremendous potential. One thing that I noticed about youth is they don’t want a shallow, superficial Christianity.
My vision for the youth would be that they know Jesus Christ, that they share Jesus.
They want something that’s genuine, they want something that’s real. They don’t want something that’s make-believe. And I really pray to God that our youth will see in Adventism a genuine message that can reach people for this hour of world’s history and they’d be so passionate about Jesus that they will long to share Him with others.
You have been in the ministry since a few decades now, does God still surprise you sometimes?
Oh, God surprises me regularly. I just had an evangelistic meeting in Alabama. I met a business lady, actually from Germany in the parking lot of the church and she had just driven up to the church. She was looking for answers to questions – she was eventually baptized. I met another couple, that came across Hope Channel on TV. They were baptized. Met another person who found on the ground a little advertisement for a bible-study and they were baptized. That surprises me. When a person finds a bible-study advertisement on the ground, when I meet somebody in the parking lot, when somebody is flipping the dial of the TV, pushing the remote. So I would say, every day I live, God gives me some surprise.
Thank you for the interview!
This interview was originally published in ‘Salvation & Service’, Summer 2012 issue.
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. – Colossians 3:17
Have you ever wondered what music will sound like in heaven? The angelic choirs, amazing instruments, music in frequencies we can not hear with our weak human ears, and last but not least God himself singing! (See Zeph 3:17)
It will be wonderful and most glorious!
In Testimonies Volume 1, p.123 Ellen White said: “I saw the beauty of heaven. I heard the angels sing their rapturous songs, ascribing praise, honor, and glory to Jesus. I could then realize something of the wondrous love of the Son of God.”
Heavenly music is God-centered. It glorifies Him. That means it points to Him, His character and reveals only true statements about who He is and what He does.
Heavenly music has the power to reveal to us “something of the wondrous love of the Son of God”.
This is the high standard for Christian musicians. Nothing that we do in our work as musicians should be about ourselves. Every chord we play, every note we sing, every harmony we produce – it should all draw ourselves and our listeners to realize “something of the wondrous love of the Son of God”.
How can we live up to such a standard?
There is only one way.
If you want your music to be heavenly music, you first need heaven in your heart.
If you want your music to draw others to realize something of the wondrous love of the Son of God, you first need to realize this love yourself.
Don’t let the temptation to glorify self rob somebody else of an opportunity to meet Jesus through your music.
Get to know His love, His character.
Make Heaven’s standard, your standard.
It is my prayer, that as you behold Jesus and His wondrous love, you will through your music, become a channel of His love to others.