I am fleshly, sold under sin.—Rom. 7:14.
We see proof of Jehovah’s love for us in the way he responded to the problems that first arose within his earthly family. When Adam disobeyed his heavenly Father, he lost his place in Jehovah’s happy family, both for himself and for his descendants. (Rom. 5:12) Jehovah, however, stepped in to help. Jehovah punished Adam, but he did not leave Adam’s unborn offspring without hope. He immediately promised that obedient humans would be brought back into his family. (Gen. 3:15; Rom. 8:20, 21) Jehovah arranged for this on the basis of the ransom sacrifice of his beloved Son, Jesus. By giving his Son in our behalf, Jehovah proved how dearly he loves us. (John 3:16) He is the ideal Father. He hears our prayers and provides what we need, both materially and spiritually. He trains and supports us. He also has wonderful blessings in store for us. It warms our heart to know that our Father loves and cares for us! w20.02 6 ¶16-17; 7 ¶20
When anxieties overwhelmed me, you comforted and soothed me.—Ps. 94:19.
Have you ever been plagued by anxiety? Perhaps it was because of what others have said or done or because of what you have said or done. For example, you may have made a mistake, and you worry that Jehovah will never forgive you. To make matters worse, you may believe that because you are overwhelmed by anxiety, you must lack faith—you must be a bad person. Consider, though, a few Scriptural examples. Hannah, the prophet Samuel’s mother, was a woman of great faith. Yet, she was overcome by anxiety when a member of her household treated her badly. (1 Sam. 1:7) The apostle Paul had strong faith, but he was overwhelmed with “anxiety for all the congregations.” (2 Cor. 11:28) King David had such strong faith that Jehovah developed a special fondness for him. (Acts 13:22) Even so, David made mistakes that caused him to suffer bouts of crushing anxiety. (Ps. 38:4) Jehovah comforted and soothed each one of them. w20.02 20 ¶1-2
If anyone wants to come after me, let him disown himself.—Matt. 16:24.
When you make a dedication, you approach Jehovah in earnest prayer and tell him that you will use your life to serve him forever. When you dedicate yourself to God, you “disown” yourself. You now belong to Jehovah, which is a great privilege. (Rom. 14:8) You are telling him that from now on, you will be focused on serving him and not on pleasing yourself. Your dedication is a vow—a solemn promise made to God. Jehovah does not force us to make such a vow. But when we do, he expects us to fulfill it. (Ps. 116:12, 14) Your dedication is personal and private; it is between you and Jehovah. Baptism is public; it takes place in front of others, usually at an assembly or a convention. When you get baptized, you show others that you have already dedicated yourself to Jehovah. So your baptism lets others know that you love Jehovah your God with your whole heart, soul, mind, and strength and that you are determined to serve him forever.—Mark 12:30. w20.03 9 ¶4-5