Are You Responding to God’s Love?
GOD’S purpose to restore the dead to life is an expression of his love. He is under no obligation to sinful, dying mankind. He does not owe dead humans a resurrection. Yet his love for the world of mankind is so great that he did not spare his dearest Son in order to provide a basis for dealing with mankind and restoring dead humans to life. (Rom. 8:32) As Jesus Christ said: “God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.”—John 3:16.
What Jehovah God did in giving his Son made it possible for millions who died without a real knowledge of him to be restored to life and come to know and love him. In the case of those who have entered into a relationship with God, the resurrection hope has enabled them to endure faithfully to the very death and to find comfort upon losing loved ones.—1 Thess. 4:13, 14; Rev. 2:10.
How are you responding to God’s love? Is it moving you to get to know him better, to learn as much as you can about his ways and dealings with mankind?
By means of his spirit, Jehovah God guided about forty different men over a period of some sixteen centuries to write a dependable record of his purposes, ways and dealings. That record is contained in the sixty-six books of the Holy Bible. It reveals what Jehovah God did in dealing with individuals, peoples and nations through the course of many centuries. It helps us to appreciate God’s reaction to a great variety of circumstances and the reasons for his actions. Thus, by means of the Bible, we can come to know God well.
If you are moved to study the Bible because of a sincere desire to know God better, you are responding to God’s love. You show that you appreciate that God has provided a dependable written record for mankind.
Of course, study of the Bible in itself is not enough. We must also want to apply the things learned, heeding his commands and imitating the endearing qualities of God—his love, justice, compassion and mercy. “This is what the love of God means,” wrote the inspired apostle John, “that we observe his commandments.”—1 John 5:3.
We can rest assured that whatever God commands us in his Word will be for our benefit. Being a God of love, justice and infinite wisdom, he has laid down only such commands as would ensure the happiness and welfare of humankind. A faithful servant of God who deeply appreciated this was King David. He made this acknowledgment: “The law of Jehovah is perfect, bringing back the soul. The reminder of Jehovah is trustworthy, making the inexperienced one wise. The orders from Jehovah are upright, causing the heart to rejoice; the commandment of Jehovah is clean, making the eyes shine. The fear of Jehovah is pure, standing forever. The judicial decisions of Jehovah are true; they have proved altogether righteous. They are more to be desired than gold, yes, than much refined gold; and sweeter than honey and the flowing honey of the combs. Also, your own servant has been warned by them; in the keeping of them there is a large reward.”—Ps. 19:7-11.
One of the commands resting upon Christians is that they meet regularly with those who desire to increase in the accurate knowledge of God. When some were neglecting such meeting together in the first century C.E., they were encouraged: “Let us consider one another to incite to love and fine works, not forsaking the gathering of ourselves together, as some have the custom, but encouraging one another.”—Heb. 10:24, 25.
Assembling with others can be an expression of our love for them. Is it not true that we delight to be with those whom we love? So, then, were we to neglect meeting with those wanting to do God’s will, would we not, in effect, be saying that we do not love them enough to want to be with them?
Meetings of devoted Christians have a wholesome purpose. What is that purpose? It is to provide encouragement to manifest love in all aspects of life and to abound in fine works. Such fine works include rendering material aid and other kindnesses to needy ones, assisting people to gain accurate knowledge of God’s will and maintaining wholesome, upbuilding speech and upright conduct.—Matt. 28:19, 20; Eph. 4:28; Phil. 4:14-19; Titus 2:6-10; Jas. 1:27.
The sincere, heartfelt expressions made by those in attendance at Christian meetings contribute toward ‘inciting others to love and fine works.’ Those hearing such expressions are strengthened thereby to continue in their faithful service to God.
If you are not now associating with Jehovah’s Christian witnesses, we invite you to investigate whether they are truly a people who are responding to God’s love. In making your investigation, apply the rule set forth by Jesus Christ: “By their fruits you will recognize them. Never do people gather grapes from thorns or figs from thistles, do they? Likewise every good tree produces fine fruit, but every rotten tree produces worthless fruit; a good tree cannot bear worthless fruit, neither can a rotten tree produce fine fruit.”—Matt. 7:16-18.
Rightly you should expect to find a people who respect the Bible. They should be demonstrating by word and deed that they believe that “all Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness, that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.”—2 Tim. 3:16, 17.
This means that you should be able to observe in the lives of Jehovah’s Christian witnesses that their applying Bible teaching has produced better husbands and fathers, better wives and mothers and better sons and daughters. You should be able to see a people who are striving to do what God requires of Christians:
“Let all malicious bitterness and anger and wrath and screaming and abusive speech be taken away from you along with all badness. But become kind to one another, tenderly compassionate, freely forgiving one another just as God also by Christ freely forgave you. Therefore, become imitators of God, as beloved children, and go on walking in love, just as the Christ also loved you and delivered himself up for you as an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling odor. Let fornication and uncleanness of every sort or greediness not even be mentioned among you, just as it befits holy people; neither shameful conduct nor foolish talking nor obscene jesting, things which are not becoming, but rather the giving of thanks. . . . Go on walking as children of light, for the fruitage of the light consists of every sort of goodness and righteousness and truth.”—Eph. 4:31–5:9.
If you wish to be among people who desire to conform their lives to these lofty requirements, we invite you to go to the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses nearest your home. Why not do so this week?