Give Jehovah Exclusive Devotion
“I JEHOVAH your God am a God exacting exclusive devotion.” Thus Jehovah God calls attention to the fact that he tolerates no rivals. Devotees of pagan religions may have a pantheon, but not those worshiping the unique God Jehovah.—Ex. 20:5, NW.a
Today, far from giving exclusive devotion to Jehovah, the great majority of mankind has succumbed to the snare of materialism. Men are lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, worship the creature instead of the Creator and say: “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we are to die.”—1 Cor. 15:32, NW.
All of this represents a clear and present danger that dedicated Christians may be likewise ensnared. One safeguard for us is a wholesome fear, awe and respect for Jehovah, in view of his attributes of justice, wisdom, love and power. That will make us want to give him exclusive devotion, for it makes us realize that we cannot oppose his will without harming ourselves.
But even more, a sense of love and gratitude should tell us that we owe Jehovah exclusive devotion. Is he not our Creator and Life-giver? In view of our first parents’ rebellion, is it not solely because of his undeserved kindness that “we have life and move and exist”? Truly “every good gift and every perfect present is from above,” from Jehovah.—Jas. 1:17, NW.
What does it mean to give Jehovah exclusive devotion? It means that we dedicate our hearts and lives to Jehovah God, that we make the doing of his will the most important thing in our lives, that we be jealous for the honor of his name, defending it and clearing it of reproach at every opportunity and at the same time being careful not to bring reproach upon it by any wrongdoing. Exclusive devotion requires that we love those whom God loves and hate those whom he hates and who hate him. It requires of us that instead of pursuing materialism we keep on “seeking first the kingdom and his righteousness.”—Matt. 6:33, NW.
Exclusive devotion also requires that we love Jehovah with all our heart, mind, soul and strength; which, in turn, means that “we observe his commandments.” In view of the imminent approach of the battle of Armageddon, where he will vindicate his name by wiping out his enemies, his paramount commandment for us today relates to the making known of his name and purposes.—1 John 5:3, NW.
Exclusive devotion, therefore, requires our living up to the name Jehovah’s witnesses; preaching the good news of God’s kingdom in favorable season and in troublesome season and doing so full time, if we are at all able to do so. It also requires equipping ourselves by the study of and meditation on God’s Word, by prayer and by gathering together with other Christian ministers of Jehovah, where we can “hold fast the public declaration of our hope.”—Heb. 10:23, NW.
Further, giving Jehovah exclusive devotion means being alert to buy out the opportune time by giving oral and printed explanations of God’s Word and purposes to all who will hear. We may not idly fold our hands waiting for such opportunities to come to us, but we must look for and create them by going from house to house, by making return visits and by offering passers-by literature on street corners, not being easily discouraged because of inclement weather. At the same time we want to be alert to any opportunities to preach in our everyday activities.
In all such ways we can give God exclusive devotion.
a For details see The Watchtower, January 1. 1956.