On Sunday 27 December 2020, District Apostle J Kriel conducted the end of year divine service at Silvertown congregation. This divine service was conducted in English. 

He was accompanied by Community Evangelist W Page, a small musical ensemble and the NACTV crew. This divine service was made available on NACTV, Cape Town TV on DSTV channel 263, as well as Radio KC, Radio Teemaneng Infinity FM and SABIE stereo. Members could also listen to the divine service by calling in from either a mobile phone or landline. This divine service was also streamed live on the NACTV Facebook page.

For members who were unable to watch the divine service, please find the Divine Service Guide written by Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider on which the sermon was based on for the end of year service. 

Bible word: "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found in praise, honour, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 1:6–7

Message

God strengthens our faith in trials.

Introduction
This year, the lives of many have been changed fundamentally by events that no one could have predicted. But God has not changed. His love for us is still the same. His plan of redemption remains unchanged. The return of the Lord has neither been cancelled nor postponed. On this day we praise God for His blessing (verses 3 and 4). The resurrection of Jesus Christ has made it possible for us to be redeemed from the evil one and enter into the kingdom of God. Through the rebirth out of water and the Spirit, God has made us heirs of His Son. And He has cared and provided for us throughout the course of this extraordinary year.

Recognising the care of God
Our Bible word speaks of trials which we must endure, if need be. This does not mean that God wants us to suffer. It is not God but rather evil that is the source of our suffering. We are exposed to this just like all other human beings. After all, God has not taken us out of the world (John 17:15). However, the Almighty can even make use of our afflictions in order to produce good things. In our trials, we can experience the love and care of God, thanks to our faith. Those who believe will be preserved through the power of God (1 Peter 1:5).

Not forgetting the favours of God
Difficult times in our lives offer us the opportunity to test our faith by concentrating on the essential, namely our relationship with God. During their journey through the desert, God provided His people with the water they needed in order to survive. But on Mount Horeb, He allowed them to suffer thirst. Now the moment had come for the Israelites to prove their trust in Him. Unfortunately, they complained against God and forgot all the things He had already given them (Deuteronomy 8:2; Exodus 17:7). God tested Abraham’s faith by asking him to sacrifice Isaac, the beloved son who was to bring him the many descendants God had promised him. Abraham trusted God without trying to understand. On more than one occasion over the past few months, we did not understand why God did not intervene in the manner we would have wished. That does not prevent us from loving Him or trusting Him, however.

God is preparing our salvation
The author of this epistle states that our trials, no matter how difficult and enduring they may be, cannot be compared with the wonderful inheritance that God has prepared for us. That which God gives us is always greater than that which He withholds from us. The closing year will likely remain engraved in our collective memories, however, the events of 2020 will not cause us to forget the most important thing: Christ desires to redeem us, ultimately and forever! All praise and glory be to Him!

Summary

  • Our faith allows us to recognise the providence and care of God.
  • In times of trial, we give priority to our relationship with God and give thanks to Him for His favours.

Jean-Luc Schneider