19 June 2024 at 00:00:00 JST

In a divine service recently, Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider said that we always have a reason to rejoice. This is because God loves His children as He loves Jesus. He explained how this manifests itself and how we can share in this joy.

 

 

Easter had just passed when Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider conducted a divine service in Sarandí in Argentina on 4 April, where he once more spoke about the theme of Easter joy. He recalled Jesus’ resurrection and the encounters we can still have with the Risen Lord today. “And now Jesus stands before me, and it is truly my wish for all of us that we can experience the presence of our Lord in word and sacrament tonight,” he said in his opening words.

 

Das Wort von Jesus stand in diesem Abendgottesdienst am 4. April in Johannes 15, 9.11: „Wie mich mein Vater liebt, so liebe ich euch auch. Bleibt in meiner Liebe! Das habe ich euch gesagt, auf dass meine Freude in euch sei und eure Freude vollkommen werde.“

 

As the Father loves the Son ...

The Chief Apostle used examples to show just how much God the Father loves His Son:

  • He protected Him and took care of Him. When Jesus was hungry, God provided food. When He needed comfort, God sent angels to comfort Jesus.
  • God said to Jesus, “You are My beloved Son.” He told Him this when He was baptised and repeated it on the mount of transfiguration.
  • Jesus was able to experience the love of His Father. He said, ‘’If I ask My God, My Father, for something, He will give it to Me. He answers My prayer.”
  • God did not spare Him from suffering and death, but He was with Jesus in suffering and death, and gave Him the strength He needed to overcome suffering and death.
  • Out of love for Jesus, God raised Him from death and gave Him a new body, the resurrection body. He gave Jesus all power on earth and in heaven and led Him into His kingdom.

 

... He loves all His children

And now Jesus says to us, “As the Father loved Me, I love you.” The Chief Apostle said, “And that’s just incredible because Jesus was perfect.” Unlike human beings. “We are far from perfect. We are weak sinners. We have promised God a hundred times that we are going to do this or that. And we haven’t done it.” And yet Jesus provides us with what we need for our daily lives. He protects us. Through His sacrifice, the sending of the Holy Spirit, and by sending the Apostles, He has given us the possibility to become a child of God. And through the Holy Spirit He tells us: “You are My beloved child.” And we can experience this love of God. He answers our prayers because He loves us. The Chief Apostle said that just as Jesus was not spared from suffering, believers today are not spared either. “But through His word and through Holy Communion, He gives us the strength to overcome suffering.” And there will be further proof of God’s love in the future: “Out of love He will give us the same resurrection body, the same glory that He gave Jesus.”

 

How we can remain in God’s love

There is only one condition: “You know how much I love you, remain in My love,” Jesus said. The Chief Apostle explained what this means:

  • We must believe in God’s love. And that means we must trust Him.
  • No matter what happens, our first concern is to preserve our love and our relationship with Jesus Christ. We need to be close to Him. We need to experience His presence and His nearness because we love Him and want to remain in this love.
  • Our motivation to serve the Lord does not depend on success. We don’t do it for others, for our own glory, to be successful, or for a salary. We do it because Jesus loves us and because we love Him.
  • If other people hurt you, attack you, harm you, then continue to remain in the love of Christ. “Continue to pray for their salvation, even and especially for your enemies.”

 

What joy means

“And if we do that, the joy of Jesus will abide in us,” the Chief Apostle promised. “The joy of Jesus consists in the fact that God the Father is always with me.” The Chief Apostle explained what we can rejoice in today already.

  • Jesus said, “If you do the will of My Father, if you keep the commandments, then I will come with My Father and abide with you, and you will experience our presence.”
  • Our joy is that although the devil wants to judge us, he has no reason to do so because our sins have been forgiven. Sure, we suffer from evil, we suffer from all that happens in the world, but His joy dwells in our hearts: at the end of the story, Jesus will be victorious!
  • The marriage feast with Christ will take place soon and then we will be with Christ forever.

“Of course, we don’t feel like singing a hallelujah every day,” the Chief Apostle admitted. “Sometimes we weep and suffer. But that does not stand in the way of the joy of Christ that lives in our hearts. Because this joy remains, no matter what happens. This joy does not depend on what is happening in our lives now. And at the return of Jesus Christ, our joy will be absolutely perfect.”

Author: Katrin Löwen

https://nac.today/en/158033/1290264

nac.today: New Apostolic Church International

 

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