Five ways to collect treasures

Going on a treasure hunt—a childhood dream for many. In many religious contexts this is also a topic, albeit at a totally different level. This was the case in a divine service in Ndola (Zambia), where the Chief Apostle was referring to spiritual riches.

Ndola is the third largest city in Zambia and is located more or less in the middle of the country. This is where Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider celebrated a divine service on Saturday, 20 July 2019, in which Charles and Ruby Ndandula received a blessing on their fortieth wedding anniversary. A day later, on Sunday in Lusaka, District Apostle Ndandula was bidden a special farewell.

Divine treasures are divine gifts

“We are committed to preserving the treasure God has given us,” was one finding in the divine service with the Chief Apostle. He based his sermon on Luke 12: 34: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” The Chief Apostle appealed to the congregation that everyone needs to watch out for their soul, to defend their freedom in Christ, to strive for the forgiveness of sins, to promote divine life, and to commit themselves to the Church. A comprehensive and demanding programme! The Chief Apostle then went on to cite the parameters.

Watch out for your soul!

“In the Bible, the heart is considered the seat of our decisions, the source of our willpower. This word of Jesus can therefore be understood as follows: we dedicate all our strength to preserve what truly matters to us. God has given us a great spiritual treasure that we must preserve.” God has endowed us with a spirit and soul that are immortal. He has also given us the possibility to communicate with Him. “We can hear His word and speak to Him. He has given us the ability to reason, to perceive His love, and to love.” This is spiritual wealth.

Addressing the congregation, he recommended that we should be wise in dealing with these riches. “Let us be wise in caring for our spiritual well-being. Let us seek dialogue with God and defend human dignity. Every person is a being loved by God and deserves our respect,” the Chief Apostle said.

Use your freedom!

He made special mention of the keyword “freedom”. “At our baptism God freed us from the bondage of sin and gave us the opportunity to come to Him.” This kind of freedom is very precious, he said. “We do not want to become slaves of sin again. Just think of liars who are sometimes trapped by their own lies for years.” Also a foreign yoke can be a big burden, the Chief Apostle said, for example, in the form of money. It is therefore important that we overcome evil with good.

Strive for the forgiveness of sins!

The forgiveness of sins is an invaluable grace that believers can obtain from God, the Chief Apostle continued. To obtain this we need to

  • examine ourselves carefully to discern our faults;
  • to regret our faults and be determined to overcome them; and
  • to be willing to forgive others.

Nourish the divine life!

The sacrament of Holy Sealing is a great spiritual wealth that provides the new creation with the nourishment it needs: God’s word and Holy Communion. It is up to the individual to renounce everything that could hinder this development.

Commit yourself to the Church!

In closing he said that the fellowship of God’s children is a treasure that we cherish. Let us

  • take care not to harm the Church by our words and actions.
  • preserve unity at all costs.
  • put our strength and gifts to work for the congregation.

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Peter Johanning
Zambia, Chief Apostle, Divine service