What Is Your Attitude Toward God’s Name?
NO DOUBT, deep in your heart, you are already convinced that God exists and that he did provide or create the countless lovely things that we see around us. Perhaps you have real respect for God—and yet do not feel close to him. To you, God may seem aloof and inscrutable.
However, to come to know and really love God, to recognize him as the Father of a universal family and to become a part of that great family are matters of paramount importance and pressing urgency. From a personal standpoint, our coming to know, respect and obey God as a loving Father is a matter of life and death. And from a global standpoint, the formation of this worldwide family is the only solution to the terrible mess mankind is in today. Divine prophecy makes it very clear that this old system of things is heading for a global cataclysm that only those who really love God and their neighbors will survive. (Ps. 37:10, 11, 28, 29) But you may ask . . .
“HOW CAN I REALLY GET TO KNOW GOD?”
Suppose you were undertaking studies in a certain field of knowledge and had great admiration for a famous teacher in that field. Also, suppose you desired to know him better and to learn more from him, but he lived in a remote country. What then? Would you not endeavor to read all his writings and whatever was published concerning him? Would you not talk to other students who already knew more about him and his teaching? Then, suppose you wrote to him about some difficult personal questions or problems and you received very satisfying answers. Your admiration and respect for this fine teacher would increase considerably and his help would endear him to you.
Is this also possible with Jehovah, the Greatest Teacher? It certainly is. (Isa. 30:20, 21) But how?
Have you ever read ‘His writings’—the Bible? Perhaps you have tried and have found some parts difficult to understand. Then, why not follow the example of an African state official who also was reading the Scriptures and had questions? What did he do? He asked Philip, a witness of Jehovah, to help him. Why not read about this interesting incident in the book of Acts, chapter 8, verses 26 to 39?
Incidentally, you can do the same thing today. If you read the Bible and have questions, why not consult with Jehovah’s Witnesses? They are always very willing to help those seeking knowledge of the heavenly Father, Jehovah. And they have Bible-based publications (in addition to this magazine) to enlighten sincere students.
Actually, discussion of the Bible with an experienced student of the Scriptures can greatly increase your knowledge of Jehovah and your respect and love for him. For instance, you will learn that Jehovah is “a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness and truth.” (Ex. 34:6) You will note many examples of Jehovah’s mercy and patience, as in the case of David, who sinned outrageously but repented and was spared.—2 Sam. 12:13, 14; Ps. 51.
You will also understand why Jehovah has allowed wickedness to continue, why he has not yet blotted out evil and corruption—something that is just as certain to happen as the sun’s rising tomorrow morning. (Prov. 2:21, 22; 2 Pet. 3:7) You will come to appreciate Jehovah’s great long-suffering, his infinite wisdom and understanding, and his marvelous purpose to clean up the earth and restore peace and paradise.—Compare Isaiah 65:17, 21-25.
“KEEP ON SEEKING”
But you may run into difficulties and opposition. Some people, even from among your own family and friends, may belittle your efforts to study Jehovah’s Word, and they may even try to slander those helping you. Jesus warned his disciples to expect such things.—Matt. 5:11.
However, if you are convinced that there is a sublime Person who holds the key to mankind’s future, then stick to your determination to come to know him and his Son, Jesus Christ. It was this very Son who stated: “This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.” Jesus also said: “Keep on seeking, and you will find; keep on knocking, and it will be opened to you.”—John 17:3; Matt. 7:7.
If you do this, you will be agreeably surprised to discover how near, how approachable, Jehovah really is. Said the apostle Paul in a public speech before a group of Athenians: “He [God] is not far off from each one of us.” (Acts 17:27) And a divinely inspired prophet wrote: “Search for Jehovah, you people, while he may be found. Call to him while he proves to be near.”—Isa. 55:6.
Yes, “call to him.” “Draw close to God, and he will draw close to you.” (Jas. 4:8) If you are searching for truth, if you have grievous problems or sins that weigh you down, call on Jehovah, “the Father of tender mercies and the God of all comfort.” (2 Cor. 1:3) Do so in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, who said: “Come to me, all you who are toiling and loaded down, and I will refresh you.”—Matt. 11:28.
You will be delighted to discover what a deep, satisfying difference your efforts to draw close to Jehovah can make in your life. Your mind will be cleared of disturbing, confusing false religious creeds and views. Also, your study of God’s prophecies and purposes will show you why the world is so full of problems, corruption and fear. Yes, and such consideration of the Bible will reveal the marvelous future in store for the earth and for those privileged to live on it under God’s kingdom.—Matt. 6:9, 10.
Do you not agree that, in this dark hour of man’s history, we have urgent need of understanding, vision and spiritual light? Psalm 119:105 appropriately says of God: “Your word is a lamp to my foot, and a light to my roadway.” Yes, God’s Word can reveal a wonderful new path of life now and grand vistas for the future. It can lead you to accurate knowledge and deep love of the true God, Jehovah.
ATTITUDE TOWARD GOD’S NAME
Whatever one’s race or nationality may be, a firm, kind and loving family head is much to be appreciated. A good father is not only a life-giver but also a provider, a counselor, a protector, a friend in need. A father like that has the respect and love of his children.
Would you not always
—speak of him with praise?
—defend him when he is criticized?
—avoid displeasing him?
—feel proud to bear his name?
Those who become members of Jehovah’s worldwide family always speak of him with praise. They do not support any campaign to suppress God’s name but are keen to make his great name known among the nations. (Ps. 105:1-3) They are always ready to “offer to God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips which make public declaration to his name.”—Heb. 13:15.
Such individuals are always anxious to defend their Father’s name when he is criticized. Having studied his Word carefully, they can refute the God-dishonoring doctrine of ‘hellfire and torment.’ They can show that “God is love.” (1 John 4:8) Moreover, they can point out that he is not “dead” but very much alive and concerned about the situation here on earth and is bringing his purposes for mankind to a grand climax.
Members of this worldwide family also continually endeavor to avoid doing anything displeasing to their Father. They take to heart the ancient commandment: “You must not take up the name of Jehovah your God in a worthless way.” (Ex. 20:7) Although imperfect and, like King David, susceptible to making mistakes, those loving Jehovah try to maintain high standards of conduct—honesty, physical and moral cleanness and the avoidance of idolatry, greed and covetousness. (Luke 12:15; 1 Cor. 6:9, 10; Heb. 13:18; 1 John 5:21; Rev. 19:8; 21:8) They keep clear of political conflicts and violence, which supposedly are carried out in the name of God but actually have brought great reproach on his name. (Isa. 2:4; John 15:19) But God’s servants respect governments and civil authorities and they are law-abiding, tax-paying citizens who render their employers an honest day’s work “that the name of God . . . may never be spoken of injuriously.”—1 Tim. 6:1; Rom. 13:1-7.
PROUD TO BEAR HIS NAME
If you come from a good family, you probably are proud to bear your father’s name. So are those who bear Jehovah’s name today. A great international, worldwide family proudly bear the heavenly Father’s name as Jehovah’s Witnesses. (Isa. 43:10, 12; Rev. 7:4-10) While appreciating the increased knowledge and facilities provided by clever men, they recognize and honor “the living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all the things in them.” He it is who provides “rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling [human] hearts to the full with food and good cheer.” (Acts 14:15-17) And he made the superlative gift of his Son, by whom we may “have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) Praisers of Jehovah are deeply grateful to him for all his gifts.—Jas. 1:17.
As an expression of deep gratitude to their Creator, this dedicated, global family contributes to the sanctifying of God’s glorious, exclusive name by recognizing its rightful place in His own holy book—both the Hebrew and the Christian Greek Scriptures. And, following in the steps of the Master, Jesus Christ, and his first-century followers, they are zealously spreading the vital message for this day: that the kingdom of God is at hand and is mankind’s only hope.—Matt. 4:23; 24:14; 28:19, 20.
We urgently appeal to you to find out more about the true God, Jehovah, his Son, Jesus Christ, and this happy, united family that is ‘declaring God’s name in all the earth.’ (Ex. 9:16; Rom. 9:17) Not only could this change your whole life now, but it could lead to your surviving the coming “great tribulation” and living eternally in God’s promised new system of things.—Matt. 24:21, 22; 2 Pet. 3:13.
It is a fact that your very life depends on the course you pursue. The Scriptures give the assurance that “everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved.” (Rom. 10:13; Joel 2:32) Will you call on the divine name in faith as a devoted worshiper of Jehovah?
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GOD’S BIBLICAL NAME IS PROCLAIMED WORLD WIDE