You are not alone!
“I have never enjoyed going to school on a Saturday that much.” This is how Chief Apostle Schneider said goodbye to the congregation of Ho in Ghana, where he had conducted a divine service in the assembly hall of Mawuli School.
He had chosen John 8: 29 as basis for the divine service. “And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.”
Chief Apostle Schneider began his sermon by referring to this year’s motto: Together in Christ. “It is a great joy to meet you and to gather together here in this nice place. Our joy is that we are together, but together in Christ. We are together because we have the same Saviour and the same Master. We are together because we have the same goal. We want to become like Christ and we want to be together with Christ in His kingdom.”
And that is why the faithful are preparing for the return of Christ, the Chief Apostle said. It is important that we always ask what God’s will is and align ourselves to it.
Jesus fulfilled this will. He “listened to the Holy Spirit and believed in His message. He believed that God is His loving Father, that the will of God is the salvation of man, and that He was sent to contribute to the plan of salvation of God”. Jesus knew the will of God and obediently carried it out.
An example from everyday life
In life, there are different reasons why someone is obedient. “Often people are obedient; they obey the Lord because they do not want to be punished.”
The Chief Apostle illustrated this using an everyday example. When driving, no one believes that it is dangerous to drive a little faster than the speed limit allows. People are merely afraid of being caught by the police and having to pay a fine.
In this case, people are obedient out of fear. They do not want to be punished.
“Others are obedient because they hope for a reward. They say, ‘Okay, if I am obedient, if I do what I am told to do, then I will get something.”
Christ was obedient, the Chief Apostle said, because He loved God and the people and because He wanted to be one with His Father. Jesus Himself said: “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.” With this Jesus wanted to bring to expression that that doing the will of God was as essential for Him as eating.
Jesus was willing to learn to be obedient. And then there was something very interesting, the Chief Apostle said, “He had to learn to be obedient as a man.” At the beginning of His activity, His focus was on the people of Israel. “But then He met several very believing Gentiles. He met the Greek woman. He met the Roman centurion. They did not belong to the people of Israel,” the Chief Apostle said. “But Jesus was impressed by them, and through these encounters the Holy Spirit taught Him.” Thanks to this learning process, Jesus was then also able to state clearly: “I have been sent for all those who believe in Me. All those who believe in Me will have eternal life.”
Not My will, but Yours, be done
Even when things became difficult, Jesus had to learn to submit to the will of God, the Chief Apostle said. This becomes clear in Luke 22: 42: “…nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”
Because He was completely one with His Father, He experienced the proximity of God in a special way. Jesus knew: “God has all things in His hand. Everything is going according to His plan. God is at work. And that was a big comfort for Him: I am not alone. God is at work. He is working for Me. He is working on His plan.”
Chief Apostle Schneider specified how God repeatedly sent help to His Son.
- “First, God gave Him the disciples who went with Him. He received help from some women, from some men, good friends.”
- “On the Mount of Olives, He received help from an angel who was sent by God to strengthen Him.”
- “And, finally, when He had to carry His cross, God sent Him Simon of Cyrene to carry the cross.”
This is how God showed Jesus that He is not alone. He sent people and angels to help Him. “God helped Him to remain faithful and to resist temptation until the end. With God’s help He was able to fulfil His mission in a perfect manner. And finally, God exalted Him.”
At the end of his sermon, the Chief Apostle posed the question: “What about you? His will is that you love God and your neighbour. His will is that you trust Him and follow Him out of love. His will is to lead you into His kingdom, but also your brother, your sister, and your neighbour. And His will is that you contribute to their salvation. His will is that you contribute to the unity of the Church. Are you willing to do the will of God?”