Meetings Keep Us Together
1 Nothing can be more important than preserving a good relationship with Jehovah and our brothers. Meetings play a vital role in doing that. Now, more so than ever, ‘gathering ourselves together’ is a custom we cannot afford to forsake.—Heb. 10:25.
2 A good relationship with Jehovah depends on the way we worship him. Mere passive worship has never been acceptable. Every requirement of pure worship involves “earnest effort.” (2 Pet. 1:5) Attending meetings is one of the ways we make that effort.
3 Our meetings are designed to teach us about Jehovah and to help us to understand his will more clearly. It pleases him when we take a keen interest in learning. Faithfully returning to weekly meetings can be likened to an often-repeated petition to Jehovah, saying, “Instruct me . . . in your way. (Ps. 27:11) When all assume the role of humble learners before him, it is his good pleasure to reveal himself intimately for our blessing.
4 Our verbal expression in meetings constitutes a “public declaration of our hope” and this is pleasing to him. (Heb. 10:23; 13:16) The never-ending study of his marvelous qualities shows him our desire to imitate them in our own lives. (Eph. 5:1) This effort to “draw close to God” through meetings elicits his goodwill and helps to establish firmly the basis for an enduring friendship.—Jas. 4:8.
5 Meetings also draw us close to our brothers. The wholesome atmosphere is conducive to the ways of peace. Minds are filled with godly thoughts that produce a unifying display of the fruits of God’s spirit. Strong ties with others are readily formed when reverence before Jehovah minimizes feelings of personal importance. A sharing of common interests dispells distrust ordinarily separating those from differing backgrounds. Our very presence is a gesture inviting friendship. An effort to share with others what we have learned confirms our love for them and our desire to see them obtain Jehovah’s blessing.
6 As we increase the number of acquaintances among our brothers, we are rewarded with a greater appreciation for the “entire association” of brothers around the world. (1 Pet. 5:9) The better we get to know them, the stronger our confidence becomes in their love for us. When difficulties threaten, we feel no dread, knowing that our brothers care and will do all they can to help us. In times of stress, these bonds help the weak to be strong and all to endure hardship. (Eccl. 4:11, 12) Each one’s faith is made more firm by the constant “interchange of encouragement.” (Rom. 1:11, 12) What other provision has contributed so much to the joy and unity of Jehovah’s people.
7 Many blessings have come to us because we have made the effort to preserve good relations with Jehovah and our brothers. Constant instruction has made us, religiously speaking, the best-informed people in the world. We know our God as we know a close friend, appreciating all the good things about him that have won our respect. Cultivating the fruits of his spirit in our lives has brought deep personal satisfaction as well as an assured hope for the future. With so many evidences of his goodwill, we have proof that Jehovah really does care for us.—1 Pet. 5:7.
8 We are happy when we are with our brothers, secure in the company of those genuinely at peace. No more are we drained by tension and competition that accompany the pursuit of selfish interests. We can warmly welcome new ones, showing genuine hospitality. From our own experience, we can testify that love is indeed “a perfect bond of union.”—Col. 3:14.
9 Besides the regular meetings that we enjoy each week, many of us will be refreshed by one of the “Divine Sovereignty” assemblies during July. Anticipating the blessings to be enjoyed, who would think of not attending? Do you not feel grateful to Jehovah for these abundant spiritual provisions at a time when we have such a great need? When do we feel closer to him and our brothers than we do at meetings? How fitting that We conclude every meeting with a prayer of heartfelt thanks, then go home “joyful and feeling good at heart.”—2 Chron. 7:10.
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Preserve Good Relations and Communication Through Meetings.