“Happy Are Those Conscious of Their Spiritual Need”
WHEN birds wake up in the morning, they often chirp for a while and then fly off in search of food. In the evening, they return to their roosts, chirp a little more, and go to sleep. In certain seasons they mate, lay eggs, and raise their young. Other animals follow a similarly predictable pattern.
We humans are different. True, we eat, sleep, and reproduce, but most of us are not content with just those things. We want to know why we are here. We seek meaning in our lives. We also desire a hope for the future. These deeper needs point to a quality that is unique to humankind—spirituality, or the need and capacity for spiritual things.
Made in God’s Image
The Bible explains the reason for the spiritual side of man’s nature, saying: “God proceeded to create the man in his image, in God’s image he created him; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27) Our being formed “in God’s image” means that even though we have been tarnished by sin and imperfection, we have the ability to mirror certain qualities of God. (Romans 5:12) For example, we can be creative. We also have a measure of wisdom, a sense of justice, and the ability to show self-sacrificing love for one another. Furthermore, we can reflect on the past and plan for the future.—Proverbs 4:7; Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11; Micah 6:8; John 13:34; 1 John 4:8.
Our spiritual capacity is most clearly demonstrated in our innate desire to worship God. Unless we properly satisfy the need to be in touch with our Creator, we cannot find true and lasting happiness. “Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need,” Jesus said. (Matthew 5:3) We must be careful, however, to satisfy that need with spiritual truth—facts about God, his standards, and his purpose for mankind. Where can we find spiritual truth? In the Bible.
“Your Word Is Truth”
The apostle Paul wrote: “All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight.” (2 Timothy 3:16) Paul’s words harmonize with those of Jesus, who said in prayer to God: “Your word is truth.” Today, we know that Word as the Holy Bible, and we are wise to check that our beliefs and standards measure up to it.—John 17:17.
By comparing our beliefs with God’s Word, we imitate the people of ancient Beroea, who made sure that Paul’s teachings harmonized with the Scriptures. Rather than criticize the Beroeans, Luke commended them for their attitude. They “received the word with the greatest eagerness of mind,” he wrote, “carefully examining the Scriptures daily as to whether these things were so.” (Acts 17:11) In view of the contradictory religious and moral teachings that abound today, it is important that we imitate the example of the noble-minded Beroeans.
Another way to identify spiritual truth is to see how it influences people’s lives. (Matthew 7:17) For example, living according to Bible truth should make one a better husband, a better father, a better wife, or a better mother, thus adding to family happiness and enhancing one’s contentment. “Happy are those hearing the word of God and keeping it,” said Jesus.—Luke 11:28.
Jesus’ words remind us of those of his heavenly Father, who said to the ancient Israelites: “I, Jehovah, am your God, the One teaching you to benefit yourself, the One causing you to tread in the way in which you should walk. O if only you would actually pay attention to my commandments! Then your peace would become just like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.” (Isaiah 48:17, 18) All who love goodness and righteousness would surely be moved by such a warm appeal!
Some Prefer to Have Their “Ears Tickled”
God made that heartfelt appeal to the Israelites because they were being misled by religious lies. (Psalm 106:35-40) We too must be on guard against falsehoods. Concerning professed Christians, Paul wrote: “There will be a period of time when they will not put up with the healthful teaching, but, in accord with their own desires, they will accumulate teachers for themselves to have their ears tickled; and they will turn their ears away from the truth.”—2 Timothy 4:3, 4.
Religious leaders tickle people’s ears by condoning practices that appeal to wrong desires, such as sex outside of marriage, homosexuality, and drunkenness. The Bible clearly states that those who approve of such things and those who practice them “will not inherit God’s kingdom.”—1 Corinthians 6:9, 10; Romans 1:24-32.
To be sure, it takes courage to live by Bible standards, especially in the face of ridicule, but it can be done. Among Jehovah’s Witnesses are many individuals who used to be drug addicts, drunkards, fornicators, street fighters, thieves, and liars. Yet, they took God’s Word to heart and with the help of holy spirit made changes in their lives so as to “walk worthily of Jehovah.” (Colossians 1:9, 10; 1 Corinthians 6:11) Having made peace with God, they also gained inner peace and, as we shall see, a genuine hope for the future.
The Kingdom Hope
The Bible hope of lasting peace for obedient humans will be fulfilled through the Kingdom of God. “Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth,” said Jesus in his model prayer. (Matthew 6:10) Yes, only God’s Kingdom can ensure that God’s will is done on earth. Why? Because that heavenly Kingdom—a government in the hands of Jesus Christ—is God’s means of expressing His rightful sovereignty over the earth.—Psalm 2:7-12; Daniel 7:13, 14.
As King of that heavenly Kingdom, Jesus Christ will liberate obedient humans from every form of bondage, including the viselike grip of Adamic sin and its legacy of sickness and death. Says Revelation 21:3, 4: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind . . . And he [Jehovah God] will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”
Lasting peace will prevail earth wide. Why can we be sure of that? The reason is revealed at Isaiah 11:9, which says: “They [the Kingdom’s subjects] will not do any harm or cause any ruin in all my holy mountain; because the earth will certainly be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah as the waters are covering the very sea.” Yes, every human on earth will have accurate knowledge of God and be obedient to him. Does that prospect warm your heart? If so, now is the time to begin taking in the precious “knowledge of Jehovah.”
Will You Listen to the Kingdom Message?
By means of the Kingdom, God will undo all the works of Satan and educate people in His righteous ways. Hence, it comes as no surprise that the Kingdom was the focus of Jesus’ teaching. “I must declare the good news of the kingdom of God,” he said, “because for this I was sent forth.” (Luke 4:43) Christ commanded his disciples to share that same message with others. (Matthew 28:19, 20) “This good news of the kingdom,” he foretold, “will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14) That end is fast approaching. How important, then, that honesthearted people listen to the lifesaving good news!
Albert, mentioned in the preceding article, heard the Kingdom message when his wife and son began to study the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses. At first, Albert was skeptical. He even asked a local clergyman to visit his wife and son in order to expose the Witnesses. But the clergyman did not want to get involved. So Albert decided to listen in on a Bible discussion to point out any errors. After just one session, he joined in the study, eager to learn more. He later explained why his attitude had changed. “This was what I had always been looking for,” he said.
At last, Albert began to satisfy his spiritual need, and he never looked back. Bible truth gave him what he had been searching for all his life—the solution to the injustice and corruption that permeate society and a hope for the future. Bible truth gave him inner peace. Is your spiritual need being satisfied? Why not take a moment to read through the questions listed in the box on page 6? If you desire additional information, Jehovah’s Witnesses will be delighted to help you.
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IS YOUR SPIRITUAL NEED BEING SATISFIED?
Are you satisfied with the spiritual food you are receiving? We invite you to read the following questions and check those you can answer correctly.
□ Who is God, and what is his name?
□ Who is Jesus Christ? Why did he have to die? How can his death benefit you?
□ Is there a Devil? If so, where did he come from?
□ What happens to us when we die?
□ What is God’s purpose for the earth and for mankind?
□ What is the Kingdom of God?
□ What are God’s standards of morality?
□ In the family, what are the God-assigned roles of the husband and of the wife? What are some Bible principles that promote family happiness?
If you are unsure of the answers to any of these questions, you may request a copy of the brochure What Does God Require of Us? Published by Jehovah’s Witnesses in nearly 300 languages, this brochure discusses 16 basic Bible topics and provides a Scriptural answer to all the questions listed above.
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Unlike animals, humans have a spiritual need
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“They will accumulate teachers for themselves to have their ears tickled.”—2 Timothy 4:3
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Lasting peace will be brought about through the Messianic Kingdom of God