“That’s the only thing that matters”
What does divine salvation have to do with riding a bike? An answer can be found in the book of Micah, an Old Testament prophet. The book talks about threats and bad times, about a helpful attitude, and a clear decision.
Micah is surrounded by people who have turned away from God. The mighty and powerful abuse their power, the rich feather their own nests. Judges, priests, and prophets are corrupt. But none of this could discourage the prophet:
- “Therefore I will look to the Lord;
- I will wait for the God of my salvation;
- my God will hear me” (Micah 7: 7).
“This is how it was many, many centuries ago, and yet it seems very familiar, doesn’t it?” Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider said at the start of the divine service in Orhei in Moldova on 26 November 2022. “Brother, sister, your salvation is not dependent on the situation in this world. Your salvation depends on only one thing: your personal relationship with God. That’s the only thing that matters.”
Look to the Lord
“Let us look to our Lord Jesus Christ in every situation because that is our goal,” the Chief Apostle said and explained that when he was learning to ride a bike he was always told to look where he was going. This is even more important when it comes to our salvation, he said. We are not blind. We notice what is happening around us. We are not stupid either, but we are determined. We know where we want to go, and we never lose sight of our goal.
“Let us look to Jesus Christ, for in Him we recognise the love of God,” the Chief Apostle emphasised. “If ever there is a time you do not understand God, look to Jesus Christ. God loves you as He loved His Son Jesus Christ. He will not spare you from suffering, but He will give you the strength to reach your goal.”
Sure, we listen to what is being said in the world, read what is being written, and see all there is to see. And we have our own thoughts and wonder about things. But the most important thing for us is the word of God, the gospel, the teaching of Jesus Christ. People can tell us and explain what they want, but for us Jesus Christ has the last word.
We also look up to Jesus Christ because He is our example. The Chief Apostle said that it is especially important at this time that we occupy ourselves with the life of Jesus Christ because then we will notice that what we are experiencing right now was already experienced by Jesus. He can understand us. How would He have reacted?
“Then we look at His reward.” And that means: “We can never do what Jesus Christ did. But what the Father has given Him for it in return He wants to share with us, namely the glory of God.”
Wait for God’s salvation
To wait means to watch in hope for the Lord, said the Chief Apostle. “God wants to give us the reward of Jesus Christ. He could ask much more of us. But He does not do that. He says, All I expect from you is that you believe and trust Me, nothing more.”
Let us wait and act in the mind of Christ. We are not simply waiting for the coming of the Lord. As a matter of fact, we are preparing for it. We want to go out to meet the Lord and are working on becoming more like Him.
We are waiting for the salvation of God. We know that we can never be as perfect as Jesus Christ is. But we hope for His grace.
God will hear us
Jesus Christ told us how we should do this: if we pray in His name, we can be sure God will hear us. This does not mean, of course, that it is enough to simply say “in the name of Jesus” at the end of the prayer. Let us rather pray as Jesus prays for us, the Chief Apostle said. If we bring our prayers into line with His thoughts, we can be sure that God will hear us.
“Let us look to the Lord together,” was Chief Apostle Schneider’s concluding appeal: “We are waiting patiently for His appearance. We know that He will keep His promise. We are in the process of preparing for His return and hope for His grace. Let us learn to pray like Jesus Christ more and more. This will give us the confidence that God will hear us.”
Moldova, Chief Apostle, Divine service