Divine gifts galore
God gives, and He gives abundantly. But it does not always feel that way. A divine service by the Chief Apostle opens up a new perspective. God gives more than enough so that we can do good works with it. The hosting congregation set a touching example.
More than 24,000 participated in the divine service in Kombikum in Papua New Guinea on 28 September 2017. The Chief Apostle based his sermon on 2 Corinthians 9: 8: “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.”
God showers us with natural gifts, Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider said, and went on to give some examples.
- God the Father is the source of all life. He sustains His creation.
- God blesses our work. He gives us the strength and the ability to do our work.
- God has given us the people who are around us. Our life would be very difficult if we were alone. It is grace to be part of a family, and it is great grace to be part of a people.
- God has given us the law. This too is grace, he said. Every time we act according to it we have a peaceful and balanced life in society.
God not only gives us the minimum, the Chief Apostle continued. He has given us an abundance of natural gifts so that we have enough to do good works.
- We always have enough so that we can say thank you to God and express our gratitude through offering.
- We always have enough to share—not only with our neighbour. We can afford to not be selfish and think about the next generation when it comes to using the natural resources.
- God has given us enough so that we can keep His law. We are not forced to sin to get what we need.
- We have enough so that we can afford to go to church and take care of our souls. We do not have to neglect our everyday lives to do so.
God also showers us with spiritual gifts, the Chief Apostle continued.
- Jesus Christ has given us a very special gift: He was prepared to die for us so that we could have eternal life.
- The Holy Spirit sustains this life through word and sacrament.
- We belong to the fellowship of God’s children. We are part of the church of Christ. We are grateful for the many brothers and sisters who help us, who pray for us, and who struggle for and with us.
- Jesus Christ has given us a special law. Results or success are not important for Him. All that counts is love and effort.
Again, God has given us enough spiritual gifts so that we can do good works.
- He gives so much that we can do without those things that do not please God.
- It is worth serving the Lord and our neighbour for the glory He has given us and the glory still awaiting us—namely eternal fellowship with God. It is so great that we can even endure hardship on earth.
- We have received so much from Jesus that it does not cost us much to tell Him: I will give up my own ideas and think like You.
- God has given us enough so that we can share our spiritual wealth with our neighbour.
“These are a few examples of the gifts we have received from God,” the Chief Apostle said in conclusion. “We are so thankful for them. Let us do good works.”
A touching example was set by the hosting congregation in Kombikum. In order to be able to feed all the people that would be coming—the divine service was attended by 24,000—the congregation had planted extra crops already months before. They also built shelters because many of the people had to walk up to seven days.
Papua New Guinea, Chief Apostle, Divine service