Love—“A Perfect Bond of Union”
This has been a thrilling year of increase for Jehovah’s Witnesses. Few of Jehovah’s people living some decades ago could have foreseen such phenomenal growth in Kingdom publishers as was recorded this past service year. The expansion in the building of branches and the renovating of old ones, along with the great variety of other activities taking place, is nothing short of extraordinary. Especially this year, has there been felt a growing spirit of unity and self-sacrifice among the brotherhood. The enthusiasm for the pioneer ministry has been exceptional. As a result, the happiness of God’s people at meetings and in the service has been marvelous to behold!
We can say humbly with the psalmist that Jehovah has richly crowned the year with his goodness. (Ps. 65:11) This is evident not only by the growth in publishers but also by the unity and peace that have been ours to enjoy in this disunited world. Oh, what a grand privilege it is to be one of Jehovah’s Witnesses at this time of the end!
The developments in the world, which this brief report of Kingdom activity touches on, are significant as part of “the sign . . . of the conclusion of the system of things.” (Matt. 24:3) As mankind advances ever deeper into the time of the end, we are forewarned by the Scriptures that conditions will grow even more difficult to deal with, more critical. (2 Tim. 3:1-5) We trust that the reading of this report about the activities of Jehovah’s Witnesses for the 1983 service year will increase the reader’s faith in Jehovah and in his organization, and that it will strengthen our hope in the Kingdom and our confidence in the many spiritual provisions for gaining everlasting life.
Throughout the 1983 service year Jehovah’s Witnesses have kept before themselves the Scriptural command found at Colossians 3:14; it is indeed a challenging one. It tells them: “Besides all these things, clothe yourselves with love, for it is a perfect bond of union.” That inspired command is being carried out by Jehovah’s Witnesses in all the earth, to Jehovah’s glory.
The millions of people who attended the “Kingdom Unity” District Conventions this year were able to appreciate more fully what is involved in ‘clothing themselves with love.’ The unity and love that permeated the conventions could be seen and felt by all in attendance. Especially was this evident when the declaration of their unity was presented.
Let all of Jehovah’s Witnesses who responded with a “Yes” to what was said in that Declaration of Unity earnestly continue to display an active and meaningful faith. And our prayer is that all of Jehovah’s Witnesses may continue worthy of the love that Jehovah has expressed toward them, always appreciating the privilege they have of bearing his name and of publishing the good news of the Kingdom under Christ.
The past year has taught Jehovah’s Witnesses that the big thing today is to be active in God’s organization, proclaiming to all the good news of his Kingdom. (Matt. 24:14) Those who are to gain everlasting life must now take in knowledge of Jehovah and of his Son, Jesus Christ. (John 17:3) Fully appreciating this, Jehovah’s Witnesses have stressed the house-to-house ministry and the need to search out interested persons and to conduct Bible studies with them.—Acts 20:20; Matt. 28:19, 20.
Jehovah’s people feel the urgency of the times. They are well aware that they are living in the last days of this system of things. With the increase in publishers, there has come a great demand from the field for more literature. To meet that demand, new branch buildings have been built in a number of countries—Denmark, Spain and the Netherlands, to name a few. Great expansion has taken place at the world headquarters of the Witnesses in Brooklyn, New York, with the purchase of buildings and new printing equipment. Construction continues at Watchtower Farms, also in Germany, South Africa and in other parts of the earth.
It is important that all who love righteousness and who desire to live under Kingdom rule recognize the one united world organization that Jehovah is using to get the preaching work done. (1 Cor. 1:10) As loyal servants of Jehovah, may we stand firm in one spirit, “with one soul striving side by side for the faith of the good news.” (Phil. 1:27) We rejoice to be a part of the only true international brotherhood on the face of the earth.
All readers are assured of our warmest love and best wishes as they heed the advice of the apostle Peter: “Go on growing in the undeserved kindness and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity.”—2 Pet. 3:18.
Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses