Word of the Month

Drawing love

March 2002

Whoever wants to find salvation in Christ must allow himself to be drawn by the Father. In His unending love He would like to draw all unto Himself. He does not, however, employ irresistible force, but offers His grace. Whoever accepts it thankfully and in a believing manner, and allows himself to be drawn, feels the divine strength with which the Almighty completes His plan of redemption.

Where does the Lord draw us first of all? To His altar! That is the place at which He meets us, where He serves, strengthens and comforts us, where He answers questions and creates clarity. At the altar, however, we also receive blessing, as well as the forgiveness of our sins, and share the intimate fellowship with our Redeemer at Holy Communion. The Almighty draws us with loving strength; let us not struggle against it, rather let us allow ourselves to be drawn!

God also "draws" us to make sacrifices. Many think that bringing sacrifices in our materialistic environment is no longer in keeping with the times. And nevertheless, that is the condition for the greatest of all blessings. If we offer our time to the dear God, He will bless our time. If we submit our will to His will, we will not turn into spineless creatures with whom anyone can do just as he pleases. On the contrary, because we follow God's commandments and obey His word, we will become personalities of faith, who in this tumultuous time have a worthwhile goal. Let us therefore remain at the hand of God and allow ourselves to be drawn!

The Lord also "draws" us to follow Him. In the Apostles of His Son He has given leaders who are commissioned and empowered to lead the fold of Christ on the path that He has laid down. Without following it is not possible to reach the goal. How wonderful not to have to walk in darkness, but rather to know where we stand and walk. Whoever follows faithfully can make progress with a sure step: upward, heavenward!

That is where our Heavenly Father wants to lead us at last! God's plan of salvation has many highlights: He sent His Son in the flesh for the redemption of mankind. Through Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, hell, death and the grave have been conquered. The Son of God rose up to the Father after His resurrection, but He wants to come again to take His own with Him to their eternal home. "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to myself," He has promised (cf. John 12:32).

Is there any more beautiful evidence of the drawing love of God than the prospect of being permitted to be with Him for eternity? Let us not withdraw from His grace, rather let us allow ourselves to be drawn to His altar, to sacrifice, to follow and, finally, to our own ascension into heaven.

(Excerpt from a divine service of the Chief Apostle)