The treasure in our hearts

Christians have a treasure that needs to be protected—and shared. The Chief Apostle examines some of the gems of this treasure and reveals why they are sometimes hard to recognize.

Some 1,700 people attended the divine service on 11 September 2016 in Innsbruck in Austria. It was the conclusion of the Day of the Youth, to which young people from eastern Switzerland, Spain, Italy, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Bulgaria had been invited.

Hidden among the imperfections

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.” This text from 2 Corinthians 4: 7 was the focus of Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider’s sermon. He explained that this treasure was the gospel of Jesus Christ. “This message renews. And through this message I can enter the kingdom of glory.”

This message is not always easy to recognize, because people carry this treasure in earthen vessels: “We are weak and not perfect, nor are we great public speakers or all that gifted. We are simple people. There are many who work differently. We are not always successful. But that is not what matters. Important is the message of the gospel.”

A close look at some of the gems

The Chief Apostle presented five gems from the treasure of the gospel.

  • Jesus is the truth: “The treasure of the gospel is that we have this assurance that whatever Jesus Christ says will be eternally valid. Nothing will change in this respect. This is something we can be certain of.”
  • Jesus is love: “Is it not a precious treasure to know that every person has at least someone who deeply loves him as he is. That is Jesus Christ.”
  • Jesus is grace: “Right up to the Last Judgement, Jesus grants man the opportunity to change and choose the good. Everybody has a chance.”
  • Jesus is the victor: “No matter how great the power of evil is, in the end, goodness and love will prevail. Not even death can change that, because the love of Jesus does not end with death.”
  • Jesus is the bridegroom: “He will return soon and take us to Himself and incorporate us into the eternal fellowship with God.”

“When we think about this then we realize: I need this treasure.” Also other people need this treasure, the Chief Apostle said. “What kind of a world is this in which people do not know that there is someone who loves them?” Therefore, let us make sure that we do not lose the gospel, this treasure. We have to make sure that we keep it in our hearts and share it with others.”

Nobody is too small or too weak for this. “Divine truth is always true. And even if no one were to believe it any more, God’s truth would still be the truth and eternally valid. This is something we firmly hold on to, even if we do not see any success at the moment.”

The heart urges us to act

“Let us follow the example set by Jesus and shape our lives accordingly,” Chief Apostle Schneider said. “There are many ways we can treat our neighbour. But seeing that we carry this treasure in our hearts, let us always follow the path of love and mercy with our neighbour.”

“Of course we also aspire to a good life on earth, but we have a far greater goal ahead of us.” The Chief Apostle concluded: “You can reach this goal because Jesus Christ is with you. He gives you the strength to become a new man like Jesus Christ, and He grants you the possibility to have eternal fellowship with God.”

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