2 Corinthians, chapters 4-6

“Working together with him, we also urge you not to accept the undeserved kindness of God and miss its purpose.
For he says: ‘In an acceptable time I heard you, and in a day of salvation I helped you.’
Look! Now is the especially acceptable time. Look! Now is the day of salvation.”
~2 Corinthians 6:1,2

Serving God is not necessarily easy nor fun. While it is not burdensome, it does entail considerable effort and sacrifice. (Matt. 7:13,14; Phil. 3:12-14; 1 John 5:3)
It may be tempting to take the easy way out and leave drawing closer to God for a future time when life is more “settled” or we feel more “prepared.”
The reason God’s Day has not come is because he wants us to repent. (Rom. 2:4; 2 Pet. 3:9)
But we do not know what will happen tomorrow or a couple years down the line. (Jas. 4:13,14)
Even if we spent 80 or 90 years studying about Jehovah and Jesus, we would still have so much more to learn about them and all they have done for us. (Job 26:14)
We cannot store up time and return it to God at a later date.
If we meditate on how we can draw closer to him today, we will have fewer regrets when we finally do run out of time. (Is. 30:18; 55:6; Eph. 4:30; Jas. 4:17)

Matthew, chapters 14 & 15

“[…] Out of the heart come wicked reasonings […].”
~Matthew 15:19

Do I ever try to justify unethical behavior to myself when tempted to do something wrong?
It is human nature to have a sinful inclination, but if I am not careful, I could end up a slave to my own whims, and also end up hurting those who matter most, including God. (Jer. 17:9)
Instead of entertaining sinful notions, it is wiser to not let them nest in my heart to begin with. (Prov. 4:23)

Matthew, chapters 1-3

“But after (Joseph) had thought these things over, look! Jehovah’s angel appeared to him in a dream […].”

~Matthew 1:20

How excited Joseph must have been to see his fiance Mary after her three-month trip away from home.
But when Mary told him she was four months pregnant, he must have felt heartbroken and confused. (Matt. 1:18,19; Luke 1:56)

Still, Joseph lovingly considered Mary’s dire circumstances before his feelings.
Thus, he came to the conclusion that he should dissolve their pending marriage in secret.
Otherwise he would have exposed Mary to the fatal punishment dictated by Mosaic Law for adulterers. (De. 5:18; 22:23,24)

When life doesn’t turn out the way we planned it, we do well to follow Joseph’s example and think things through, instead of acting impulsively.
Jehovah God watches over us, ready to guide the meek in the right direction. (Isa. 57:15)

Ecclesiastes, chapters 1-6

“Do not allow your mouth to cause you to sin, and do not say before the angel that it was a mistake. Why make the true God indignant over what you say so that he has to destroy the work of your hands?”
~Ecclesiastes 5:6

Young people who resolve on a life of service to God must make considerable sacrifices to reach their goal. (1 Tim. 4:12-16)
While their friends may focus on making money or partying, they set aside time to regularly read God’s Word and keep up-to-date with Biblical study aids.
They commit to a more rigurous preaching schedule, often getting up before 6 AM to talk to early risers on the street, or conduct Bible studies after a hard day at work. (Eccl. 11:6)
They look for part time jobs and try to live within a modest budget. (Matt. 6:22,31,33)
Sometimes, they learn new languages and move to new cities that don’t have as many volunteers, leaving behind their families and childhood friends. (Matt. 24:14; 28:19,20)
They consider their volunteer ministry work to be their career and leave behind other desires that are not a priority.
As they get older, they may end up starting families or having to care for aging parents.
This might limit how much time they can dedicate to the field ministry and they may feel the burden of having a lower income upon them.
When hard times hit, God’s servants should never regret all they have sacrificed to get the kingdom message out there.
They will never know how many lives they’ve touched or how many people they’ve really helped.
It is impossible to regret doing the right thing.
A young life in God’s service should be appreciated from God’s point of view- He was given the first and best part of that person’s life. (Prov. 3:9; Eccl. 12:1)
And God promises to care for His own. (Ps. 37:25)

Deuteronomy, chapters 1-3

“‘And you saw in the wilderness how Jehovah your God carried you just as a man carries his son, everywhere you went until you came to this place.’ […] Who was going ahead of you on the way, to spy out a place for you to camp. He appeared by fire at night and by a cloud in the daytime to show you the way you should walk.”
~Deuteronomy 1:31,33

During trying times, the future may appear to us like a dark, unknown wilderness.

It becomes much more difficult to discern what direction our life should take.

We need strong faith to trust that God will somehow provide us with all we need to sustain ourselves and our families (Ps. 37:25; Matt. 6:31).

A step in the wrong direction may set us back years financially or psychologically, or may even ruin our most intimate relationships.

Faith helps keep us cool-headed so that we do not rush toward the first available option or needlessly argue with our family, only to later regret it.

During their 40-year wandering, the Israelites lacked nothing (De. 2:7; 8:4).

Jehovah God visibly advised them of when to set up camp or when to move and in what direction.

Their leaders knew that they would some day arrive to the Promised Land if they kept following God’s guidance.

Nowadays, instead of fire or a cloud, we have God’s visible organization funneling spiritual food at the proper time’ to his people all over the earth (Matt. 24:45).

This spiritual food that nurtures our faith now comes in a new video and audio platform: Tv.jw.org.

There, we can find sound entertainment to help develop our ‘power to distinguish right and wrong’ (Heb. 5:14).

A mature faith will help us recognize what direction God wants us to head next and act accordingly.

Thus we will not wander around so much and the time it takes to arrive at the “Promised Land” will seem shorter (Rev. 21:4).