Living True to Our Dedication
All who will ever gain life in God’s new world must thus dedicate themselves to God. And what is more, they must live true to their dedication, as we read: “When you vow a vow to God, do not delay paying it; for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you vow.”—Eccl. 5:4, RS.
Many have not dedicated themselves because of neglecting to take in knowledge of God’s Word. Others foolishly and selfishly hold back from dedicating themselves to God because they prefer fleeting, base or worldly pleasures to the enduring joys of God’s righteous new world. Others, again, hold back because of the reproach that is associated with the name of Jehovah.
Still others hold back because of fear that they will not be able to meet the obligations of dedication to God. Such persons lack faith in Jehovah’s promises and power. But all such cannot escape the issue by not dedicating themselves. Refusal to dedicate themselves for selfish reasons will make them as deserving of destruction as are those who do dedicate themselves and then prove unfaithful.
What does living true to our dedication require of us? Basically it requires “exclusive devotion” to Jehovah. (Ex. 20:5, NW) Exclusive devotion is shown by Jehovah’s servants today along four fields of endeavor. First of all, we must keep on taking in accurate knowledge. We must be transformed by making our minds over so that we may prove what is the good, acceptable and complete will of God. Daily we should feed on God’s Word, reading the Bible or perusing Bible-study aids. Scriptural knowledge gives us strength as well as teaching us how to live true to our dedication.
Secondly, to live true to our dedication we must associate with other dedicated ones to the extent that we have opportunity, even as commanded at Hebrews 10:23-25. As Paul shows elsewhere, Christians are like the members of a human body; we all have need of one another. Living true to our dedication requires that we help others as well as doing our level best. For both, we need the association of others.
Living true to our dedication further requires of us that we strip off our old personality and put on a new, Christlike personality. (Eph. 4:22-24) We must heed the instruction to “deaden, therefore, your body members which are upon the earth as respects fornication, uncleanness, sexual appetite, hurtful desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” In their place we must bring forth the fruitage of the spirit, which is “love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control.”—Col. 3:5; Gal. 5:22-24, NW.
Most important of all, living true to our dedication requires that we preach the good news of Jehovah’s established kingdom, that we witness to his supremacy and name and that we warn the wicked of Jehovah’s impending wrath. And to do all this in a way that is most effective and pleasing to Jehovah we must recognize and co-operate with the instrument he is using at the present time, none other than the New World society of Jehovah’s witnesses. That includes preaching publicly and from house to house as well as incidentally.
The facts show that some 700,000 Christian ministers are thus living true to their dedication. Are you one of them?
For details see The Watchtower, July 1, 1956.