COVER SUBJECT | WILL YOU ACCEPT GOD’S GREATEST GIFT?
How Will You Respond to God’s Greatest Gift?
“The love the Christ has compels us . . . He died for all so that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for him who died for them.”—2 Corinthians 5:14, 15.
AN EXTRAORDINARY gift should compel us to express gratitude. Jesus highlighted that lesson after he healed ten men of a debilitating disease that had no cure at the time. One of the ten men “turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice.” Jesus said: “All ten were cleansed, were they not? Where, then, are the other nine?” (Luke 17:12-17) The lesson? How quickly we can forget the kind deeds others do for us!
The ransom is unlike any other gift. It is by far the greatest gift ever given. How, then, should you respond to what God has done in your behalf?
Come to know the Giver. The ransom does not automatically bring everlasting life to all humans. Rather, Jesus said in prayer to God: “This means everlasting life, their coming to know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.” (John 17:3) If someone told you that a man saved your life when you were yet a child, would you not be interested in learning more about that man and why he saved you? Jehovah God, who gave the lifesaving gift of the ransom, wants you not only to know who he is but also to come into a close relationship with him. “Draw close to God,” the Bible urges, “and he will draw close to you.”—James 4:8.
Exercise faith in the ransom. “The one who exercises faith in the Son has everlasting life.” (John 3:36) What does it mean to exercise faith? It means action; to show faith in the ransom requires action. (James 2:17) What kind of action? A gift becomes yours only when you reach out and accept it. So you must reach out and accept the ransom. How? Learn how God wants you to live, and then act accordingly.a Pray to God for forgiveness and a clean conscience. Approach God in full confidence that the ransom guarantees an eternal future of peace, security, and prosperity for all who exercise faith in it!—Hebrews 11:1.
Attend the Memorial of Jesus’ death. Jesus instituted an annual event to remind us of the provision of the ransom. Regarding the observance of that event, he said: “Keep doing this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19) Jehovah’s Witnesses will commemorate Jesus’ death on Tuesday, April 11, 2017, after sundown. The program, which lasts about one hour, will include a discourse explaining the significance of Jesus’ death and how it brings present and future benefits. Last year, some 20 million people around the world attended the Memorial. We warmly invite you to join us in response to God’s greatest gift.
a The best way to come to know God and to draw close to him is to study his Word, the Bible. Learn how to do this by asking one of Jehovah’s Witnesses or by visiting our website, www.jw.org.