While You Are Young, Choose to Serve Jehovah
“Continue in the things that you learned and were persuaded to believe.”—2 TIM. 3:14.
1. How does Jehovah view the service of his young Witnesses?
THE sacred service of young people is so important to Jehovah that he inspired a prophecy regarding them. “Your people will offer themselves willingly on the day of your military force,” sang the psalmist. “In the splendors of holiness, from the womb of the dawn, you have your company of young men just like dewdrops.” (Ps. 110:3) Yes, Jehovah holds in high esteem youths who are willing to serve him.
2. Young people today face what secular influences concerning their future?
2 You young ones in the Christian congregation, have you made a dedication to Jehovah? Many may find the choice to serve the true God difficult to make. Business leaders, educators, and sometimes family members and friends point youths toward materialistic goals. When young people pursue spiritual goals, the world often scorns them. But the fact is that serving the true God is the best way of life you can pursue. (Ps. 27:4) In this regard, consider three questions: Why should you serve God? How can you succeed in leading a life of dedication to God despite what others may say or do? What wonderful opportunities of sacred service can open up for you?
Serving Jehovah Is the Right Thing to Do
3. How should Jehovah’s creation affect us?
3 Why should you serve the true and living God? Revelation 4:11 gives the main reason: “You are worthy, Jehovah, even our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power, because you created all things, and because of your will they existed and were created.” Jehovah is the wonderful Creator of everything in existence. How beautiful the earth is! The trees, the flowers, the animals, the oceans, the mountains, and the waterfalls—Jehovah has made them all. “The earth is full of [God’s] productions,” states Psalm 104:24. How grateful we can be that Jehovah has lovingly given us a body and a mind that allow us to enjoy the earth and the good things on it! Should not heartfelt appreciation for the wondrous creation make us want to serve him?
4, 5. What divine acts drew Joshua close to Jehovah?
4 Another reason to serve Jehovah is found in the words of the Israelite leader Joshua. Near the end of his life, Joshua told God’s people: “You well know with all your hearts and with all your souls that not one word out of all the good words that Jehovah your God has spoken to you has failed. They have all come true for you.” Why could Joshua say this?—Josh. 23:14.
5 As a child growing up in Egypt, Joshua must have come to know of Jehovah’s promise to give the Israelites a land of their own. (Gen. 12:7; 50:24, 25; Ex. 3:8) Then Joshua watched as Jehovah began to fulfill that promise by bringing the Ten Plagues upon Egypt and forcing obstinate Pharaoh to let the sons of Israel go. Joshua was among those who were delivered through the Red Sea, and then he watched as that sea swallowed up Pharaoh and his army. During a long journey through “the great and fear-inspiring wilderness” of the Sinai Desert, Joshua saw how Jehovah provided everything the Israelites needed. Not a single one died of thirst or hunger. (Deut. 8:3-5, 14-16; Josh. 24:5-7) When the time came for the Israelites to conquer mighty Canaanite nations and take possession of the Promised Land, Joshua saw how the God whom he and the other Israelites worshipped backed them in this work.—Josh. 10:14, 42.
6. What will help you to cultivate the desire to serve God?
6 Joshua knew that Jehovah had kept His promises. Hence, Joshua declared: “As for me and my household, we shall serve Jehovah.” (Josh. 24:15) What about you? When you think of the promises that the true God has already fulfilled and those that he will yet fulfill, do you desire to serve him as did Joshua?
7. Why is water baptism a vital step to take?
7 Contemplating Jehovah’s creative works and reflecting on his wonderful and completely reliable promises should move you not only to make a dedication to Jehovah but also to symbolize that dedication by water immersion. Baptism is a vital step to be taken by those wanting to serve God. This is made clear by our Exemplar, Jesus. Just before starting his work as the Messiah, he presented himself to John the Baptizer for baptism. Why did Jesus take that step? “I have come down from heaven to do, not my will,” he later said, “but the will of him that sent me.” (John 6:38) To symbolize his presentation of himself to carry out his Father’s will, Jesus was baptized.—Matt. 3:13-17.
8. Why did Timothy choose to worship God, and what may you need to do?
8 Consider also the case of Timothy, a young Christian to whom Jehovah eventually gave much work and many privileges. Why did Timothy decide to worship the true God? The Bible tells us that ‘he had learned things and was persuaded to believe.’ (2 Tim. 3:14) If you have studied God’s Word and have been persuaded to believe that its teachings are true, you are in a position similar to that of Timothy. Now you need to make a decision. Why not speak to your parents about what you wish to do? Along with congregation elders, they can help you understand the Scriptural requirements for baptism.—Read Acts 8:12.
9. How may others be affected when you take the step of baptism?
9 If you get baptized, this will be an excellent start in serving the true God. By taking this step, you enter a long-distance footrace in which the rewards are everlasting life and the joy that comes now from doing God’s will. (Heb. 12:2, 3) You will also bring joy to your family members who are already in the race and to your friends in the Christian congregation. Most important of all, you will make Jehovah’s heart rejoice. (Read Proverbs 23:15.) True, others may not understand why you have chosen to worship Jehovah, and they may question your decision. They may even oppose you. But you can successfully meet these challenges.
When Others Question or Oppose You
10, 11. (a) What questions may people ask you about your decision to serve God? (b) What can you learn from the way Jesus answered questions about true worship?
10 Your decision to serve Jehovah may leave schoolmates, neighbors, and relatives perplexed. They may ask you why you have chosen to follow this course and question you about what you believe. How should you respond? Of course, you need to analyze your thinking and feelings so as to be able to explain the reasons for your choice. And in answering questions about your beliefs, what better example can you follow than that of Jesus?
11 When Jewish religious leaders interrogated Jesus about the resurrection, he directed their attention to a scripture that they had not taken into account. (Ex. 3:6; Matt. 22:23, 31-33) When a scribe asked him which was the greatest commandment, Jesus quoted appropriate Bible verses to him. That man was grateful to Jesus for the answer. (Lev. 19:18; Deut. 6:5; Mark 12:28-34) Jesus’ use of the Scriptures and his way of speaking caused “a division over him . . . among the crowd,” and his opposers could not bring harm to him. (John 7:32-46) When you answer questions about your faith, use the Bible and respond “with a mild temper and deep respect.” (1 Pet. 3:15) If you do not know the answer to a question, admit that fact and offer to do research. Later, look into the subject, using the Watch Tower Publications Index or Watchtower Library on CD-ROM if it is available in your language. With good preparation, you will “know how you ought to give an answer.”—Col. 4:6.
12. Why should you not allow persecution to discourage you?
12 You may encounter more than questions about your position and beliefs. After all, God’s enemy, Satan the Devil, controls the world. (Read 1 John 5:19.) It would be unrealistic to expect commendation or approval from everyone, and you may meet up with opposition. Some people may ‘speak abusively of you,’ and they may keep on doing so. (1 Pet. 4:4) But remember, you are not alone. Jesus Christ too suffered persecution. The apostle Peter also did, and he wrote: “Beloved ones, do not be puzzled at the burning [suffering] among you, which is happening to you for a trial, as though a strange thing were befalling you. On the contrary, go on rejoicing forasmuch as you are sharers in the sufferings of the Christ.”—1 Pet. 4:12, 13.
13. Why can Christians rejoice when they are persecuted?
13 Enduring persecution or opposition as a Christian is a reason to rejoice. Why? Because having the world’s approval would indicate that you are living according to Satan’s standards—not God’s. Jesus warned: “Woe, whenever all men speak well of you, for things like these are what their forefathers did to the false prophets.” (Luke 6:26) Persecution indicates that Satan and his world are angry with you because you serve Jehovah. (Read Matthew 5:11, 12.) And “being reproached for the name of Christ” is something to rejoice over.—1 Pet. 4:14.
14. What good can result when a person remains faithful to Jehovah despite persecution?
14 When you remain faithful to Jehovah despite opposition, there are at least four positive results. You give a witness about God and his Son. Your faithful endurance encourages your Christian brothers and sisters. Some observers who do not know Jehovah may be moved to search for him. (Read Philippians 1:12-14.) And as you sense how Jehovah provides strength to endure trials, your love for him grows.
“A Large Door” Is Open to You
15. What “large door” was opened to the apostle Paul?
15 Concerning his ministry in Ephesus, the apostle Paul wrote: “A large door that leads to activity has been opened to me.” (1 Cor. 16:8, 9) It was the door leading to great activity in preaching the good news and making disciples in that city. By going through that door, Paul helped many to learn about Jehovah and worship Him.
16. How did the anointed remnant go through “an opened door” in 1919?
16 In 1919 the glorified Jesus Christ placed “an opened door” before the anointed remnant. (Rev. 3:8) They went through that door and began preaching the good news, teaching Bible truth with more fervor than ever before. What has been the fruitage of their ministry? The good news has now reached to the ends of the earth, and about seven million people have the hope of gaining eternal life in God’s new world.
17. How can you go through “a large door that leads to activity”?
17 “A large door that leads to activity” is still wide open to all of Jehovah’s servants. Those passing through it find joy and satisfaction as they have a greater share in the preaching of the good news. You young servants of Jehovah, how highly do you value the incomparable privilege of helping others to “have faith in the good news”? (Mark 1:14, 15) Have you considered serving as a regular pioneer or as an auxiliary pioneer? Kingdom Hall construction, Bethel service, and the missionary field are other opportunities that may open up to many of you. Since time is running out for Satan’s wicked world, entering these avenues of Kingdom service becomes more urgent every day. Will you go through the “large door” while there is still time?
“Taste and See That Jehovah Is Good”
18, 19. (a) What helped David to have a strong desire to serve Jehovah? (b) What shows that David never regretted serving God?
18 The inspired psalmist invited others to “taste and see that Jehovah is good.” (Ps. 34:8) When King David of ancient Israel was a shepherd boy, Jehovah saved him from the attacks of wild animals. God supported him in his fight with Goliath and rescued him from many other calamities. (1 Sam. 17:32-51; Ps. 18, superscription) Because of God’s great loving-kindness, David was moved to write: “Many things you yourself have done, O Jehovah my God, even your wonderful works and your thoughts toward us; there is none to be compared to you.”—Ps. 40:5.
19 David came to love Jehovah deeply and wanted to praise Him with his whole heart and mind. (Read Psalm 40:8-10.) As the years passed, David never regretted spending his life worshipping the true God. Living with godly devotion was his greatest treasure—a source of happiness without equal. In old age, David said: “You are my hope, O Sovereign Lord Jehovah, my confidence from my youth. And even until old age and gray-headedness, O God, do not leave me.” (Ps. 71:5, 18) David’s trust in Jehovah and friendship with Him became stronger, even though his physical strength had waned.
20. Why is serving God the best way to spend your life?
20 The lives of Joshua, David, and Timothy add proof that serving Jehovah is the best way to spend your life. The short-term material advantages of a career in this world cannot approach the long-range benefits you receive from ‘serving Jehovah with your whole heart and soul.’ (Josh. 22:5) If you have not made a dedication to Jehovah in prayer, ask yourself, ‘What is stopping me from becoming one of Jehovah’s Witnesses?’ If you are already a baptized worshipper of Jehovah, would you like to increase your joy in living? Then expand your ministry, and make steady spiritual progress. The following article will show you how you can grow spiritually by following the example of the apostle Paul.
How Would You Answer?
• Give two reasons why we should serve God.
• What helped Timothy to make a decision to serve God?
• Why should you remain firm in the face of persecution?
• What opportunities for service may open up to you?
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Serving Jehovah is the best way of life
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Can you answer questions about your faith?