“Follow Me Continually”
1 Many people center their lives on pleasing themselves, yet often they are unhappy. In contrast, Jesus recommended a course of unselfish giving that brings real happiness. (Acts 20:35) He said: “If anyone wants to come after me, let him disown himself . . . and follow me continually.” (Mark 8:34) This involves more than denying oneself certain pleasures from time to time. It means living each day to please, not ourselves, but Jehovah.—Rom. 14:8; 15:3.
2 Consider the apostle Paul’s example. Because of “the excelling value of the knowledge of Christ Jesus,” Paul left off pursuing personal aspirations and devoted himself to advancing Kingdom interests. (Phil. 3:7, 8) “For my part,” he said, “I will most gladly spend and be completely spent” in serving others. (2 Cor. 12:15) Each of us does well to ask: ‘How am I using my time, energy, abilities, and resources? Am I focused on furthering my own interests, or am I seeking to please Jehovah?’
3 Opportunities to Give: Each year, God’s people devote more than a billion hours to the lifesaving work of Kingdom preaching. Within the congregation, young and old alike care for a variety of assignments that benefit others. There is also much work that is done in connection with assemblies and conventions as well as in the construction and maintenance of buildings used to advance true worship. And think of the loving assistance provided by brothers who serve on Hospital Liaison Committees and Patient Visitation Groups. All such self-sacrificing efforts are a blessing to our Christian brotherhood!—Ps. 110:3.
4 Opportunities to give of ourselves in various ways can arise when a disaster or an emergency occurs. More often, though, we may simply discern that a fellow Christian needs assistance or encouragement. (Prov. 17:17) When we readily extend ourselves to serve others and advance Kingdom interests, we are following Jesus’ example. (Phil. 2:5-8) May we strive to do so continually.