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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Should we attempt to please God as though working toward some kind of reward?

It is only natural to want, and to look for, the conclusion of the wickedness and suffering that occurs in this system today. Jesus' own apostles wondered when the "conclusion of the system of things" would happen. (Matt. 24:3)

Unfortunately, it has been observed how a few today have made it their main focus on the prospect of seeing the end of the system of things and then get disappointed and obsess about the fact that it hasn't happened yet and lose sight of the real reason why we follow Jehovah God's guidance.

We need to focus our attention on loving Jehovah God and serving Him for as long as He wishes. Take the focus off the End, though keep the urgency in mind. Use Peter as an example. He KNEW that he would die before the End, yet this is what he said:

(1 Peter 1:6-7) "In this fact YOU are greatly rejoicing, though for a little while at present, if it must be, YOU have been grieved by various trials, in order that the tested quality of YOUR faith, of much greater value than gold that perishes despite its being proved by fire, may be found a cause for praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ."

(1 Peter 4:7) "But the end of all things has drawn close. Be sound in mind, therefore, and be vigilant with a view to prayers."

(2 Peter 3:11-12) "Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of persons ought YOU to be in holy acts of conduct and deeds of godly devotion, awaiting and keeping close in mind the presence of the day of Jehovah..."

(2 Peter 3:14) "Hence, beloved ones, since YOU are awaiting these things, do YOUR utmost to be found finally by him spotless and unblemished and in peace..."

The children and grandchildren of those who read Peter's words were probably a bit distressed that the End did not come quite as soon as it sounded like it might. But they apparently realized how important it was to really understand why we worship Jehovah God and pay attention to His commandments in the first place. It is not worded as though their main focus was to please Jehovah God as though working toward some kind of reward...such as seeing the end of the system of things and living through it (or even living forever for that matter). Rather, they sought to please the One who made us because He deserves that praise. They tried to live the way that He wants us to live (which is really the most beneficial way to live and best for us in the long run anyway).

The lesson is to keep that sense of urgency, live each day as though it could be the last, but plan for the future here so as to be able to keep active for as long as Jehovah God sees fit to let this system go on.

Today, even if we may not last in order to see the End, many have concluded that living according to the direction that they received from God's Word still imparts the best life now.

The more people learn about God and His beneficial instructions for us, the more they appreciate how much He just wants us to be happy. "His commandments are not burdensome." (1 John 5:3) Many problems that we suffer are caused by our own selves. If we will just listen to Him and heed His advice found in His Word, we can avoid all kinds of problems.

God's words at Isa. 48:17, 18 can be reminiscent of a concerned and loving parent who genuinely desires to have them "pay attention to (His) commandments" simply in order for them to "benefit" themselves and have "peace":

"This is what Jehovah has said, your Repurchaser, the Holy One of Israel: "I, Jehovah, am your God, the One teaching you to benefit [yourself], the One causing you to tread in the way in which you should walk. O if only you would actually pay attention to my commandments, Then your peace would become just like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea." (NWT)

Perhaps if we faithfully and unselfishly live our lives for Jehovah God as though we may die without seeing the End in our lifetimes or even die without being resurrected, then, perhaps we would prove ourselves as someone Jehovah God would want to share His eternal gift with.

Also see:

If we don't go to heaven or hell, then what motivates us to serve God? (Search For Bible Truths)

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