God’s love, Jesus’ truth, our service
The love of God is boundless. Jesus helps us identify evil and trust in what is truly good. And all believers are called to help along in achieving His great goal. Following is an overview of the core messages of the divine services in March.
The season of Lent falls on the beginning of March this year. According to Christian tradition, believers do penance and commemorate Jesus and His sufferings for the forty days preceding and including Holy Saturday (the day before Easter Sunday). Following the service for the departed on the first Sunday of March, the remaining divine services in the month therefore focus attention on the many facets associated with the events of Easter.
God is always there
God knows all things and sees all things. For some, this might sound a bit like a threat, however, it is also a comfort: God knows everything about every human being—and loves each individual. Despite all of their mistakes, God loves all human beings.
“If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me” (Psalm 139: 9–10). This is part of the Bible text for the first Sunday of the month, and is intended to express that nothing can stop God. There are no limits for him. Not even the boundary of death can stop God. He gives his love and help to the living and the dead alike.
Jesus battles evil
Jesus Christ fought against the devil and triumphed! When the devil is bound for all eternity, no one will ever be able to cast this into doubt again.
In the second divine service of March, everything revolves around Jesus’ battle against evil.
- When the devil attempts to destroy trust in God, Jesus demonstrates the perfect love of God to all human beings.
- When the devil causes people to become arrogant, Jesus shows them that they are all in need of the help of God.
- And when the devil gets people to trust in him, Jesus shows them his true nature.
Jesus tells us about the kingdom of God
Already in the Old Testament, the people of Israel failed to remain faithful to God, and turned to other gods again and again. The Israelites hoped that these gods would give them something that they could not receive from God. Is God nothing more than a problem solver or a guarantor of earthly well-being? No! God is much more than that! Jesus showed this by teaching that the main objective is not only to satisfy personal wishes and desires, but rather to build up a loving relationship between God and humankind. Jesus made it clear: the kingdom of God is at hand!
And despite this, God is not indifferent to the personal desires and problems of His children. To those who pray to Him He grants the necessary strength to manage these desires and cope with problems.
Jesus serves us human beings
Jesus was not overly fond of being served. We read that Martha prepared food for Jesus, and that Simon’s mother-in-law served Jesus out of gratitude for healing her. However, He actually rebuked Martha on one occasion and told her to listen—because it was with the words He spoke that He served the people. In so doing, He showed them the love of God.
Nevertheless, this does not mean that Christians should simply allow themselves to be served by Jesus. No! According to the New Apostolic understanding, believers must likewise do their part to serve, and thereby follow the example of Jesus. Among other things, this includes helping one’s neighbours—whether in a material way or by bringing the gospel to them—as well as one’s brothers and sisters in the congregation. Even a smile can already be of help!
Photo: Sansert -stock.adobe.com