“As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” This tenth verse of 1 Peter 4 was the bases of the festive divine service at our Depok Church by our Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider, 21 May 2017.
The epistle of Peter is addressed to Christians confronted with the hostility of a pagan society. The author urges them to persevere in faith and support one another. His words are still relevant. We too have tribulations. All of us are called to serve our neighbour with the gifts that we have received through grace. Let us think in particular of:
- The gift of faith. Faith is a gift from God. It is through grace that we can discern God’s activity and recognize in Jesus Christ the Son of God who became man for our salvation. Let us glorify God for His great deeds and profess our faith in Jesus Christ. Through our testimony, mankind can discover God’s will and salvific activity;
- The gift of God’s love, poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Rom 5: 5). Our love for God enables us to persevere when we must suffer as Christians (v. 16). United in the love of Christ, we support one another in the fiery trial (v. 12);
- The gift of grace. Even if we win victories over evil, we remain completely dependent on grace. As we grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, we become more and more aware of His perfection and the importance of forgiveness of sins. How could we access fellowship with Jesus Christ without grace! This awareness only increases our gratitude for the forgiveness that God gives us. We express our thankfulness to Him by forgiving those who offend us;
- The talents which God has provided us with. Through the Holy Spirit, we have learned to express our prayers so that God can answer them (Rom 8: 26)—we pray in the name of Jesus, by conforming our prayers to His. Let us use this talent to intercede for our neighbour’s salvation. Let us develop our personal talents and use them for the glory of God rather than our own. We will thus become a source of blessing for many;
- The material gifts. What we have, we owe to our efforts, but especially to the grace of God. Let us show our thankfulness to Him by bringing our offering and showing generosity to others (Gal 6: 10; 1 Tim 6: 18). Let us do it without murmuring (v. 9): also let us not demand that our offering is only used for the needs of our congregation or district.
We thank God for His gifts of grace by professing our faith, loving our neighbour, forgiving those who offend us, using our talents for Him and showing generosity.
“Often our life as followers of Christ is not easy. But let us do this advice in everyday life,“ the Chief Apostle affirmed. As God has promised: “Do it! And I will be with you.”
In this divine service which also be transmitted throughout Indonesia, the Chief Apostle assigned Apostle Edy Isnugroho as a District Apostle Helper for the Southeast Asia region.
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