“See what sort of love the Father has given us!”—1 JOHN 3:1.
1. What did the apostle John encourage us to think about, and why?
THE apostle John encouraged us to think deeply about Jehovah’s great love for us. At 1 John 3:1, we read: “See what sort of love the Father has given us!” When we meditate on how much Jehovah loves us and how he shows his love for us, we draw closer to him and we love him even more.
2. Why is it difficult for some to understand that God loves them?
2 Sadly, some do not understand how God can love them. They think that God does not care about people. They might believe that God only makes rules and punishes those who do not obey him. Because of false teachings, some even think that God is cruel and that it is impossible to love him. Others feel that God loves all people no matter what they do. But your study of the Bible has helped you to come to know the truth about Jehovah. You know that love is his greatest quality and that he gave his Son as a ransom for you. (John 3:16; 1 John 4:8) Yet, because of your experiences in life, it may be difficult for you to understand how much Jehovah loves you.
3. What will help us understand Jehovah’s love for us?
3 To help us understand Jehovah’s love for us, we first need to understand that Jehovah is the one who made us. He gave us life. (Read Psalm 100:3-5.) That is why the Bible describes the first human as a “son of God.” (Luke 3:38) And Jesus taught us to call Jehovah “our Father in the heavens.” (Matthew 6:9) So Jehovah is our Father, and he loves us the way a good father loves his children.
4. (a) What kind of Father is Jehovah? (b) What will we discuss in this article and in the next?
4 It is hard for some to think of a father as a loving person. They might have painful memories of their childhood because their father treated them cruelly. Jehovah would never do that to his children. He is the best Father we could have. (Psalm 27:10) He loves us very much and takes care of us in so many ways. The more we feel loved by Jehovah, the more we will love him. (James 4:8) In this article, we will discuss four ways that Jehovah shows his love for us. And in the next article, we will see four ways that we can express our love for him.
JEHOVAH IS LOVING AND GENEROUS
5. What does God give to all people?
5 When the apostle Paul was in Athens, Greece, he noticed that there were many idols and that people believed that their gods gave them life. So he told them about “the God who made the world and all the things in it.” He said that God “gives to all people life and breath and all things” and that “by him we have life and move and exist.” (Acts 17:24, 25, 28) Jehovah gives us everything we need to live and to enjoy life. Think about some of the things he has given us because of his love for us.
6. What kind of home did Jehovah give us? (See opening picture.)
6 For example, Jehovah prepared a beautiful home for us. (Psalm 115:15, 16) Out of all the planets that he created, the earth seems to be unique. Scientists have explored space and have discovered many planets, but they still cannot find another planet that has everything humans need to survive. Jehovah not only gave us everything we need to stay alive, but he also made the earth a beautiful, comfortable, and safe place where we can enjoy life. (Isaiah 45:18) When we think about the home that our Father, Jehovah, has given us, we truly feel how much he loves us.—Read Job 38:4, 7; Psalm 8:3-5.
7. How does the way Jehovah created us show that he truly loves us?
7 Another way Jehovah has shown his love for us is by creating us with the ability to imitate him. (Genesis 1:27) This means that we can feel his love for us and then express our love for him. He knows that this is what makes us truly happy. After all, children are happiest when they feel that their parents love them. And remember, Jesus taught us that we will be happy if we are close to our Father, Jehovah. (Matthew 5:3) He gives us “all the things we enjoy.” Clearly, he is very generous and loves us very much.—1 Timothy 6:17; Psalm 145:16.
JEHOVAH TEACHES US THE TRUTH
8. Why do we want Jehovah to teach us?
8 Fathers love their children and do not want them to be misled or deceived. But many parents today do not accept the Bible’s standards of right and wrong. So they cannot properly guide their children, which often results in unhappiness and confusion. (Proverbs 14:12) However, Jehovah gives his children the best guidance because he is “the God of truth.” (Psalm 31:5) He is pleased to teach us the truth about himself. He also teaches us how to worship him and shows us the best way to live. (Read Psalm 43:3.) So, what has Jehovah taught us that shows how much he loves us?
9, 10. (a) Why does Jehovah tell us about himself? (b) What does he teach us about his purpose for us?
9 First of all, Jehovah tells us about himself. He wants us to get to know him. (James 4:8) So he tells us what his name is. In fact, the Bible mentions his name more than any other name. Jehovah also tells us what kind of Person he is. When we look at the things he created, we learn that he is powerful and wise. (Romans 1:20) And when we read the Bible, we learn how fair he is and how much he loves us. As we get to know Jehovah’s beautiful personality, we feel closer to him.
As we get to know Jehovah’s beautiful personality, we feel closer to him
10 Jehovah also teaches us what his purpose is. He tells us that we are part of his family. He also explains what he expects from us so that we can work unitedly and peacefully with everyone in his family. The Bible clearly shows that God did not create us with the right to decide for ourselves what is good and what is bad. (Jeremiah 10:23) Jehovah knows what is best for us. And only by accepting his authority and obeying him can we have a peaceful and satisfying life. Jehovah has taught us this important truth because he loves us.
11. What has our loving Father told us about the future?
11 A loving father thinks seriously about the future of his children. He wants them to have a satisfying life. Sadly, most people today are worried about the future, and many waste their lives working for things that will not last. (Psalm 90:10) How grateful we are that our Father, Jehovah, has not only taught us how to live a satisfying life now but has promised us a wonderful future!
JEHOVAH GUIDES AND DISCIPLINES HIS CHILDREN
12. How did Jehovah try to help Cain and Baruch?
12 When Jehovah saw that Cain was in danger of doing something very bad, he tried to help Cain by asking him: “Why are you so angry and dejected? If you turn to doing good, will you not be restored to favor?” (Genesis 4:6, 7) Cain refused Jehovah’s help, and he suffered as a result. (Genesis 4:11-13) Another time, Jehovah noticed that Baruch’s wrong attitude was making him feel tired and discouraged. So Jehovah told Baruch that his thinking was wrong and that he needed to change. Baruch listened to Jehovah’s counsel, and it saved his life.—Jeremiah 45:2-5.
13. What did faithful servants of Jehovah learn from trials?
13 Jehovah guides and disciplines us because he loves us. He not only corrects us when necessary, but he also trains us. (Hebrews 12:6) In the Bible, we read of faithful servants whom Jehovah trained to become better people. For example, Joseph, Moses, and David went through extremely difficult times. During their trials, Jehovah was with them. And the things they learned during those trials helped them when Jehovah gave them greater responsibilities. As we read in the Bible how Jehovah supports and trains his people, we feel that Jehovah truly loves us.—Read Proverbs 3:11, 12.
14. If we do something wrong, how does Jehovah show us love?
14 Even when we do something wrong, Jehovah continues to show us love. If we respond to his discipline and repent, he will forgive us “in a large way.” (Isaiah 55:7) What does that mean? David’s words about Jehovah’s forgiveness show us what a merciful Father we have: “He forgives all your errors and heals all your ailments; he reclaims your life from the pit and crowns you with his loyal love and mercy. As far off as the sunrise is from the sunset, so far off from us he has put our transgressions.” (Psalm 103:3, 4, 12) Jehovah disciplines and guides us in different ways. Are you quick to make changes? Always remember that Jehovah disciplines us because he loves us.—Psalm 30:5.
JEHOVAH PROTECTS US
15. What is another way Jehovah shows he loves us?
15 A loving father protects his family from danger. That is what our Father, Jehovah, does for us. The psalmist says about Jehovah: “He is guarding the lives of his loyal ones; he rescues them from the hand of the wicked.” (Psalm 97:10) Think about this: Just as you are quick to protect your eyes because they are precious to you, Jehovah is quick to protect his people because they are precious to him.—Read Zechariah 2:8.
Jehovah is quick to protect his people because they are precious to him
16, 17. How has Jehovah protected his people in the past and in our time?
16 One way Jehovah has protected his people, both in the past and today, is by means of his angels. (Psalm 91:11) One angel killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in one night and saved God’s people. (2 Kings 19:35) In the first century, angels rescued Peter, Paul, and others from prison. (Acts 5:18-20; 12:6-11) Recently, there was a terrible war in one country in Africa. The country was in chaos because of all the fighting, stealing, raping, and killing. Although none of the brothers died, many lost everything they owned. But they all felt Jehovah’s love and knew that he was taking care of them. Despite everything they had suffered, they were still happy. When a headquarters representative visited them and asked the brothers and sisters how they were doing, they said, “All is well, thanks to Jehovah!”
17 Of course, some of Jehovah’s servants, such as the disciple Stephen and others like him, have died because they were faithful. Jehovah does not always prevent this from happening. But he does protect his people as a group by warning them about the different ways Satan tries to trick them. (Ephesians 6:10-12) We find these warnings in the Bible and in the publications from Jehovah’s organization. For example, we learn about the dangers of the Internet, of loving money, and of immoral and violent movies, books, or games. Clearly, Jehovah loves us and wants to protect us.
A GREAT HONOR
18. How do you feel about Jehovah’s love for you?
18 When Moses thought about all the years that he had been serving Jehovah, he was convinced that Jehovah loved him. Moses said: “Satisfy us with your loyal love in the morning, so that we may shout joyfully and rejoice during all our days.” (Psalm 90:14) We are blessed to be able to understand and to feel Jehovah’s love for us. What a great honor it is to be loved by Jehovah! We feel like the apostle John, who said: “See what sort of love the Father has given us!”—1 John 3:1.