“And, behold, one came and said unto Him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? ... Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow Me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions” (Matt. 19:16, 21–22, KJV).
Letting go of his possessions and reaching his hand to grasp what Jesus offered was too high a cost for the rich young ruler to pay for the free gift of eternal life. And while Jesus didn’t tell the young man to go, He didn’t beg him to stay either.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7, NKJV).
As I prepared for a final exam during my senior year of college, I became overwhelmed with worry about how I would do. My degree would be in Early Childhood Education, so I sought my grandmother Helen’s guidance, since she was a retired teacher. She comforted me with this Bible verse and spoke of the many times she turned to it in times of fear. It’s been more than 20 years since this conversation, and I still hide these words in my heart.
Referencing this verse, the Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary (SDABC) says, “Genuine Christianity doesn’t produce cowards” (vol. 7, p. 329).
Story by Debra Anderson
Lola Moore-Johnston grew up in Newark, N.J., and at an early age felt God’s call on her life. Her leadership gifts were evident early in her spiritual development, as she led out in her local church and while attending college at La Sierra University (Calif.). In her youth, God was preparing her to be a change agent and a history maker.
Moore-Johnston joined the Potomac Conference in 2018 as the pastor of the Woodbridge (Va.) church. On July 1, she was installed as the lead pastor of the Restoration Praise Center in Bowie, Md. This is the first time in the history of the Potomac Conference that a female has been selected the lead pastor of a congregation.*
Story by Vicki Swetnam
God has blessed Ohio Conference's Spring Valley Academy (SVA) with unprecedented growth over the past several years. With an enrollment nearing 500 this school year, the current facility is at maximum capacity. As SVA completed the first phase of the Fritzsche Center for Worship and Performing Arts in 2018, it became clear that the next project needed to address the need for more classroom space. Plans began for a new high school addition along the southwest corner of the existing facility.