Your Maker Deeply Cares About You
“God is not partial, but in every nation the man that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him.”—Acts 10:34, 35.
1. How great has been God’s love for mankind, and so what would it be hard for us to imagine?
THE Most High God has already demonstrated his superlative love for humankind. Though he deeply loved his only-begotten Son, Jehovah God arranged matters for this one to die in our behalf so that we could be reconciled with Him and eventually enjoy everlasting life in perfection. (John 3:16; Rom. 5:6-8) In view of this, could we imagine that God would regard humans as just a mass of “faceless” persons, or that he would select a certain group on which to bestow his favor and then simply ignore the rest?
2. How does Jehovah view each person?
2 That could never happen! God recognizes every person as a distinct individual. His “will is that all sorts of men should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.” (1 Tim. 2:4) The apostle Peter, seeing God’s acceptance of Gentiles into the Christian congregation, exclaimed: “For a certainty I perceive that God is not partial, but in every nation the man [the individual person] that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him”!—Acts 10:34, 35.
3. Why can we be confident that under Christ’s Kingdom rule each individual will receive attention?
3 Jesus Christ was sent by God to give himself “a corresponding ransom for all.” (1 Tim. 2:6) He ‘tasted death for every man,’ buying the entire race. (Heb. 2:9) Would it, then, be logical for God’s Son to have an unconcerned attitude, saying, in effect: ‘I gave my lifeblood for everyone, but of what importance is this one person? Whether he loses his life or not makes no difference to me’? Never! Under his kingdom each individual to whom his ransom applies will receive attention, with opportunity for life.
4. What do we learn from the Bible about the constancy of God’s love?
4 Therefore Jehovah is always willing and ready to grant his help and to show his love to anyone exercising faith in him. And the intensity and constancy of his love are far greater than what we are able to express toward others. Note God’s love for Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who were imperfect men but who served him wholeheartedly. Centuries later, Jehovah’s love was as strong as ever. Moses told the nation of Israel: “To your forefathers did Jehovah get attached so as to love them.” (Deut. 10:15) He put up with the nation’s stubbornness for centuries because of this love.—Mal. 3:6.
5. Does Jehovah want to express love toward just a select few?
5 Jehovah’s love is just as great and lasting for those who serve him today. He is, so to speak, watching for an opportunity to “get attached” to anyone who calls on him in sincerity and truth. “As regards Jehovah,” says the Bible, “his eyes are roving about through all the earth to show his strength in behalf of those whose heart is complete toward him.” (2 Chron. 16:9) “His ears are toward their supplication.”—1 Pet. 3:12.
6. What shows that God does not look for faults?
6 As Jehovah views the earth and sees the many distresses that men undergo, he has deep feeling for humankind. His desire is to help each one of them. Though he does not ‘turn a blind eye’ to wrongdoing, he is looking for people’s good points, rather than their faults. Said the psalmist: “If errors were what you watch, O Jah, O Jehovah, who could stand?” No, rather, in viewing us, Jehovah remembers that we all “are dust.”—Ps. 130:3; 103:14.
7, 8. (a) How did Jesus demonstrate that he really wanted to help people? (b) What should the tender feeling of God and Christ toward humankind move us to do?
7 When on earth, God’s Son was anxious to use his power to help people. When a leper said to him: “If you just want to, you can make me clean,” Jesus “was moved with pity, and he stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him: ‘I want to. Be made clean,’” and with that he cured him.—Mark 1:40, 41.
8 Jesus’ healing of people who came to him for help was accompanied by deep feeling. In the same way Jehovah God and his Son are at this time showing concern and love for anyone who has paused in the affairs of everyday life to give consideration to the “good news” about God’s purpose. Are you right now looking into God’s Word in a genuinely searching way and getting some knowledge about Him? If so, this in itself is evidence that he is interested in you. How can this be said with assurance?
9. What does Jehovah do for one who sincerely examines His Word?
9 That statement is true because God sees some goodness of heart in anyone sincerely inquiring into his Word. As a result, he opens that one’s mind to understanding. Jesus said: “No man can come to me unless the Father, who sent me, draws him.” (John 6:44) You cannot understand the purposes of God without the help of God’s spirit. If you are learning about God’s purpose, you can be sure that he is helping you.
GOD’S APPRECIATION—AN EXAMPLE
10. What shows that Jehovah appreciates his servants?
10 In thus responding to your effort to get understanding, God is displaying another fine quality toward you. That quality is appreciation. You no doubt have and express appreciation for most things that others do for you, and you may say, Thank you, or make some other gesture. But the appreciation that humans feel is far less deep and heartfelt than is God’s appreciation of those who show faith in him and who have respect for his Word. He rejoices in them. Jesus even spoke about joy in heaven over one sinner that repents or forsakes wrong things in order to please God. (Luke 15:10) Why, Jesus said that a person giving just a cup of cold water to one whom he recognized to be a servant of God would by no means lose his reward. (Matt. 10:42) And Jehovah’s reward always far exceeds the value of worship or service that one renders to him. Jehovah observes and appreciates each one who respects his name and treats his people kindly. So his heart and his help go out to that person.
11. How does Mark 14:3-9 reveal that Jesus, too, was appreciative?
11 When a woman came into the house where Jesus was eating a meal and poured perfumed oil on his head, Jesus was so appreciative that he said: “Truly I say to you, Wherever the good news is preached in all the world, what this woman did shall also be told as a remembrance of her.” And his words have proved true, because the woman’s good deed, though small, is recorded in the Scriptures and has been called to the attention of millions.—Mark 14:3-9.
12. What effect should the appreciative spirit of the Father and Son have on us?
12 We, in turn, should show appreciation for God’s kindness in helping us to know about his purpose and in giving us the opportunity to get everlasting life. A person should be thankful that God has seen fit to allow him to be like the people to whom Paul preached in Antioch in Asia Minor. There certain Jews who claimed to serve God opposed the truth. But the record states: “When those of the nations [Gentiles] heard this [the opportunity to be accepted by God], they began to rejoice and to glorify the word of Jehovah, and all those who were rightly disposed for everlasting life became believers.” (Acts 13:48) Those people appreciated God’s kindness. This appreciation helped them to be the kind of people that God is pleased to accept.
A HEARER OF PRAYER
13. Through whom must prayers be addressed to God, and why should we not fear that he might not listen?
13 Now, we know that God has communicated his purpose to us. Can we, in turn, communicate our inmost thoughts and heartfelt desires to God? Yes. That is by means of prayer. You need not fear that God will not listen to you. His only requirement is a sincere heart and the acknowledgment that one is a sinner, needing help. One who cries out to him will be shown what to do. Such a person will come to know that prayers addressed to God must be through Jesus Christ as God’s appointed High Priest. The apostle wrote: “For we have as high priest, not one who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tested in all respects like ourselves, but without sin. Let us, therefore, approach with freeness of speech to the throne of undeserved kindness, that we may obtain mercy and find undeserved kindness for help at the right time.”—Heb. 4:15, 16.
14-16. What can we properly pray for, and why?
14 What are proper subjects for prayer? Anything that will affect one’s relationship to God; anything that will affect one spiritually. The apostle John said: “No matter what it is that we ask according to his will, he hears us.”—1 John 5:14.
15 Asking “according to his will” would mean that we would not pray for things that promote strictly selfish interests, such as riches, position above our fellowman, revenge, selfish pleasures and like things. But, for example, a single person, desiring marriage may petition God for help with regard to finding a suitable mate or in living a balanced and a useful single life if such a mate does not immediately become available. Married couples may pray regarding their having children, or for wisdom in rearing children. We have the examples of Hannah, who prayed to God for a child, and of Samson’s parents, who asked for advice on bringing up their son. (1 Sam. 1:10-17; Judg. 13:8-14) Also, we can pray for harmony in our marriage, asking him to bless our efforts to make our marriage a success. Even a move to another location or another job may be a subject for prayer, because one’s family may be economically and, along with this, spiritually affected.
16 Such matters, though intimately personal, definitely affect our lives and require adjustments in which we need God’s wisdom. God is interested and is pleased to hear us present such prayers to him. Whatever it is, the desire to find and to do God’s will is the primary factor. Of course, each person has his own circumstances, different from those of others, and this will affect the subjects of his prayers.
17. What confidence does Psalm 32:8 give us respecting God’s answering our prayers?
17 The answer from God can be confidently expected in the form of wise guidance suited to the person’s own individual case. God promises: “I shall make you have insight and instruct you in the way you should go. I will give advice with my eye upon you.”—Ps. 32:8.
18. What may acting in harmony with our prayers include?
18 Of course, having prayed, the individual should then be consistent and act in harmony with his prayer. He should seek for counsel on the problem, first, from the Bible. As the psalmist said: “I have called with my whole heart. Answer me, O Jehovah. Your regulations I will observe.” (Ps. 119:145) God, knowing our problems in advance, saw to it that counsel on all human problems was written in his inspired Word. The person may also consult others who can help him to see what the Bible says on the matter, even seeking their prayers in his behalf. He should persist in praying until he gets a clear understanding on what is the wise course to take. If he does not do so, he will not be showing God that he has faith or that he is really concerned about getting God’s answer. That was the point in Jesus’ parable about the widow who persisted in appealing to the judge for relief before he finally granted it.—Luke 18:1-8; Jas. 1:5-8.
19. How can we come to know God better?
19 The person who prays and acts with faith in God can be assured that he will be guided so as to take the most beneficial course. He will really come to know God, who promises: “The intimacy with Jehovah belongs to those fearful of him.” (Ps. 25:14) God’s dealings with him will be a reality, and he will realize that he is ‘walking with God,’ being sustained, guided and loved by God. The fear of God mentioned in the psalm is not a morbid fear, but a wholesome respect for God. If you love God you will want to take your problems to him, and you will have no fear of being rebuffed or rejected. Of such inhibiting fear, the apostle John wrote: “Perfect love throws fear outside, because fear exercises a restraint.”—1 John 4:18.
20. Why should we not fear to come before Jehovah with any problem?
20 You should never be fearful or hesitant to take to Jehovah the most intimate matters, whatever they are, including your sins. He will not view your problem as foolish or laugh at you as humans may do. “He gives generously to all and without reproaching.” “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous so as to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”—Jas. 1:5; 1 John 1:9.
21. How does Jehovah want us to feel about his being a rewarder, and what effect should this have on us?
21 Furthermore, it is entirely proper, and not selfish, to look for God, not only to hear our prayers, but also to reward us for faithfulness to him. Jehovah wants us to look toward the reward of life as something that he enjoys giving, knowing that we appreciate it and will use it in the right way. Jehovah wants us to know that he is the kind of God who rewards those who love him. He is not like many worldly persons who have no appreciation or consideration for those who do things out of love or loyalty. And a god without appreciation for loyalty, who never rewarded his servants, would be unworthy of worship. But Jehovah God is loyal; he is warmhearted and draws close to his friends. To those who have faith in him, he promises: “I will by no means leave you nor by any means forsake you.”—Heb. 13:5.
22. (a) What rewards do we enjoy even now from serving God? (b) What blessings are still future?
22 So, in becoming an intimate friend of God, communicating and walking with him, there is great reward now. And there is a greater reward to look forward to, of things far beyond what we are able to conceive. Our maintaining faithfulness to God gives, first of all, a better life now, with a purpose, and great freedom from the problems and worries that this world experiences. (Eph. 3:20) Then, there is the prospect of being a part of the “foundation” of the “new earth.” What a joy it would be to be in on the “groundwork” of making the earth a paradise! How grand to be on hand to receive others back in the resurrection and to teach, help and train them! There is an exciting future before us—a fine purpose in the life ahead!
23. Why is it important for people not to delay in taking their stand on God’s side, and what does this involve?
23 But do not belittle the marvelous opportunity you have to serve God now. For this is the last time that people will have an opportunity to take their stand for God’s side of the issue of universal rulership amid a whole world of people who do not know God’s provisions. Furthermore, it is the last opportunity to proclaim the “good news” to these people under conditions of opposition. What a fine way to prove your loyalty to God! Doing this brings the greatest reward. Now is the opportunity to work as a member of “God’s household, which is the congregation of the living God, a pillar and support of the truth” in sharing and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom to others.—1 Tim. 3:15.
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Seeking Jehovah’s direction through united prayer can help couples to maintain marital harmony