A daily choice: what really matters

People make decisions—and often the wrong ones. It is all a question of priority. But God loves human beings, and especially those who have distanced themselves from Him. He has proved it. And how do we react?

The people had a choice, but instead of sending the murderer to his death they condemned an innocent man. Why? This is how the divine service in Cottbus in Germany began on 30 March 2018. The Bible text was John 3: 16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Why did the people demand the death of Jesus? The religious authorities feared for their power, Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider said. The people were disappointed because they had been waiting for the Messiah to free them from the oppressive yoke of the Romans. And the Romans wanted to prevent an uproar.

Something very similar had already happened in Paradise: “The people had been given a choice between good and bad. Their earthly well-being was more important to them than their relationship with God. That was the reason for their bad decision.”

But God did not stop loving mankind. “The human beings who had chosen evil, who had separated themselves from God, are precisely those whom God loves—and it is exactly for these human beings that God gave His Son.”

Entirely on the side of man

“I am united with you.” This is the central message of Jesus’ life on earth, the Chief Apostle emphasised.

  • “Jesus lived His life on earth as a man. He knows what it means to suffer. He knows what pain means. He even went through death. God wanted to show that He was on the side of those who suffer.”
  • “There is nothing worse for a human being than to be crucified. By taking this upon Himself, Jesus demonstrated: ‘I am also united with the worst of all criminals.’”
  • “He demonstrated that He also loved those who betrayed Him, that He loved those who sentenced Him, that He loved those who killed Him.”
  • “By taking the burden of man’s sin upon Himself He experienced what it was like to be remote from God. This is the sign that God gave, the evidence of His love: ‘I am on your side.’”

A rock-solid connection to the Father

“As a man, Jesus proved that it is possible for a human being to overcome evil,” the Chief Apostle made clear. This was based on Jesus’ attitude: “The most important thing for Me is fellowship with God.”

  • “I am firmly united with my Father. You cannot alter that. No matter what you try, even if I must die, I will not give up.”
  • “He knew exactly what His Father wanted from Him. He carried out the will of God until the end because it was important to Him.”
  • “He also trusted in God until the end. Because of His fellowship with God, He knew that everything that God does is right.”

With His victory over evil, Jesus Christ created the possibility for human beings to come to God. The prerequisite for this is no longer the perfect fulfilment of the commandments, but first and foremost belief in Christ.

A new decision every day

“Now it is up to us: what choice do we make?” the Chief Apostle asked. “Dear brothers and sisters, let us always decide for Jesus Christ.”

  • “Let us die to sin and live in Jesus Christ.”
  • “Let us not allow ourselves to be separated from God, whether things are going good for us or very, very badly.”
  • “We do His will. He wants us to keep the commandments. He wants us to serve Him and our neighbour. He wants us to be one.”
  • “The resurrection will take place. We will celebrate the marriage supper with Jesus Christ in His kingdom. We have this assurance and continue to trust in it.”

In conclusion, the Chief Apostle said, “We have to make new decisions every day. Let us prove time and again that our priority is fellowship with God.”

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Andreas Rother
2.05.2018
Germany, Chief Apostle, Divine service