“Let us not give up in doing what is fine.”
1, 2. How is our confidence heightened by contemplating Jehovah’s universal organization?
IT IS awe-inspiring to contemplate that we are part of a vast universal organization. The visions recorded in Ezekiel chapter 1 and Daniel chapter 7 vividly portray Jehovah maneuvering matters to a grand climax. Jesus is taking the lead in directing the earthly part of Jehovah’s organization to focus on preaching the good news, to care spiritually for those carrying out this work, and to promote the true worship of Jehovah. What confidence this gives us in Jehovah’s organization!
2 Are we personally in step with this wonderful organization? Is our enthusiasm for the truth ever-increasing, or is it decreasing? When considering such questions, we may note that we have begun to tire out or perhaps have lost some of our zeal. That can happen. In the first century, the apostle Paul had to exhort fellow Christians to consider the zealous example of Jesus. Paul said that this would help them not to “get tired and give out in [their] souls.” (Heb. 12:3) In a similar manner, careful examination of the preceding article, which shows what is being accomplished by Jehovah’s organization, ought to have done much toward helping us maintain our enthusiasm and endurance.
3. What is needed in order for us not to tire out, and what will we consider in this article?
3 Paul, however, indicated that more is needed if we are not going to tire out. He stated that we would need to work at “doing what is fine.” (Gal. 6:9) Thus, action is needed on our part. Let us consider five areas of activity that can help us to remain steadfast and to keep pace with Jehovah’s organization. Then we can personally decide whether there are aspects to which we or our families need to give greater attention.
MEET FOR ENCOURAGEMENT AND WORSHIP
4. Why can we say that gathering together is an integral part of true worship?
4 Gathering together has always been a key activity for Jehovah’s servants. In the invisible realm, spirit creatures are invited into Jehovah’s immediate presence at appropriate times. (1 Ki. 22:19; Job 1:6; 2:1; Dan. 7:10) In ancient Israel, the nation was to gather “in order that they may listen and in order that they may learn.” (Deut. 31:10-12) Jews in the first century had the custom of going to the synagogues to read from the Scriptures. (Luke 4:16; Acts 15:21) This emphasis on meeting together continued with the formation of the Christian congregation, and it is still a major part of our worship. True Christians “consider one another to incite to love and fine works.” We need to keep on “encouraging one another, and all the more so as [we] behold [Jehovah’s] day drawing near.”
5. How can we encourage one another at our meetings?
5 One important way in which we encourage one another is by having a share in our meetings. We can make a public expression of our faith by answering a printed question, by giving an application of a scripture, by relating a brief experience that illustrates the wisdom of following Bible principles, or in other ways. (Ps. 22:22; 40:9) Surely you will agree that no matter how many years we have been attending meetings, it remains a source of encouragement to listen to the heartfelt comments made by our brothers and sisters
6. How do our meetings help us to stay spiritually active?
6 For what other reasons does our God place such importance on our regularly gathering together? Our meetings, assemblies, and conventions help us to have courage to speak with boldness and to deal with opposition or apathy in our territories. (Acts 4:23, 31) We are strengthened and made firm in the faith by the Scriptural discussions. (Acts 15:32; Rom. 1:11, 12) The teaching and interchange of encouragement that we receive at our gatherings for worship help us to experience real happiness and give us “quietness from days of calamity.” (Ps. 94:12, 13) The Teaching Committee of the Governing Body oversees the preparation of all spiritual programs for the instruction of Jehovah’s people earth wide. How thankful we can be for the provisions that are made for us to enjoy wholesome teaching at our meetings every week of the year!
7, 8. (a) What is the primary purpose of our congregation meetings? (b) How do the meetings help you spiritually?
7 There is something even more important, however, than the personal benefits we receive from our meetings. The primary purpose of our gathering together is to worship Jehovah. (Read Psalm 95:6.) What a privilege we have to praise our wonderful God! (Col. 3:16) Jehovah deserves our regular worship through our attendance and participation at theocratic gatherings. (Rev. 4:11) It is no wonder, then, that we are exhorted ‘not to forsake the gathering of ourselves together, as some have the custom’!
8 Do we see our Christian meetings as a provision to help us endure until Jehovah acts against this wicked system of things? If so, the meetings will be among “the more important things” that we make room for in our busy lives. (Phil. 1:10) It would have to be something extremely significant to cause us to miss an opportunity to be united with our brothers in worship of Jehovah.
SEARCH FOR THE HONESTHEARTED
9. How do we know that the preaching work is important?
9 Having a full share in the preaching work also helps us to keep in step with Jehovah’s organization. Jesus set this work in motion when he was here on earth. (Matt. 28:19, 20) Since then, the Kingdom-preaching and disciple-making work has been a main focus of Jehovah’s entire organization. Many modern-day experiences give evidence that the angels are supporting our work and guiding us to those “rightly disposed for everlasting life.” (Acts 13:48; Rev. 14:6, 7) The earthly part of Jehovah’s organization is in place today and organized to support this all-important work. Is the ministry also the focus of our life?
10. (a) Illustrate how we might maintain our enthusiasm for the truth. (b) How has the ministry helped you not to tire out?
10 Being zealous in the ministry helps us to maintain our enthusiasm for the truth. Consider the comments of Mitchel, a longtime elder and regular pioneer. He states: “I love telling people about the truth. I think about a new article in The Watchtower or Awake! and just marvel at the wisdom, insight, and perfect balance in each issue. I want to get out in the ministry to see how people will react, how I can spark their interest. My ministry keeps me stable. I force everything else to take place either before or after the time slot set aside for the ministry.” Likewise, our staying busy in our sacred service can help us to continue steadfast in these last days.
PARTAKE OF SPIRITUAL PROVISIONS
11. Why should we make full use of the spiritual food we receive from Jehovah?
11 Jehovah has provided a bounteous supply of written spiritual food to give us strength. No doubt, you can think of a time when after reading a publication, you thought: ‘That is exactly what I needed! It is as if Jehovah had that written just for me!’ That is not a coincidence. Through these provisions, Jehovah does instruct and guide us. He has said: “I shall make you have insight and instruct you in the way you should go.” (Ps. 32:8) Do we strive to take in all the spiritual food we receive and meditate on it? Doing so will help us to continue to bear fruit and not wither spiritually in these difficult last days.
12. What can help us not to take our spiritual provisions for granted?
12 It is good for us to consider the work that is involved in making sure that we receive this regular flow of healthy spiritual provisions. The Writing Committee of the Governing Body oversees the process of researching, writing, proofreading, illustrating, and translating our printed publications as well as material posted on our Web site. Printing branches ship literature to congregations near and far. Why is all this work done? So that Jehovah’s people are well-fed spiritually. (Isa. 65:13) May we be diligent in partaking of all the spiritual food we receive through Jehovah’s organization.
SUPPORT ORGANIZATIONAL ARRANGEMENTS
13, 14. Who are supporting Jehovah’s arrangements in the heavens, and how can we show similar support on earth?
13 In the vision given to the apostle John, Jesus is seen riding on a white horse to conquer those rebelling against Jehovah. (Rev. 19:11-15) How faith-strengthening it is to know that right behind Jesus are the faithful angels and with him are the anointed conquerors from the earth, who have already received their heavenly reward! (Rev. 2:26, 27) What a superlative example that is of supporting Jehovah’s arrangements!
14 In like manner, the great crowd fully supports the work of Christ’s anointed brothers who are still on earth and who are taking the lead in the organization today. (Read Zechariah 8:23.) How can we show our individual support for Jehovah’s arrangements? One way is by being in subjection to those taking the lead. (Heb. 13:7, 17) This starts right in our own congregation. Do our comments about the elders build respect for them and their office of oversight? Do we encourage our children to respect these faithful men and to look to them for Scriptural advice? Additionally, do we discuss as a family how we can use our finances to support the worldwide work through our donations? (Prov. 3:9; 1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 8:12) Do we view as important the privilege of sharing in the upkeep of the Kingdom Hall? Jehovah’s spirit flows freely where there is such respect and unity. Through that spirit, we receive continuous help not to tire out in these last days.
LIVE IN HARMONY WITH OUR MESSAGE
15. Why must we constantly battle to live in harmony with Jehovah’s lofty purpose?
15 Finally, to endure and to stay in step with Jehovah’s organization, we must keep our personal lives consistent with the message that we bear by “making sure of what is acceptable to the Lord.” (Eph. 5:10, 11) Because of our imperfect flesh and the efforts of Satan and this wicked world, we are constantly battling negative influences in our lives. Some of you dear brothers and sisters have a hard fight every day to maintain your relationship with Jehovah. That endears you greatly to him. Do not give up! Living our lives in harmony with Jehovah’s purpose will give us great satisfaction and ensure that our worship is not futile.
Diligently help others to appreciate that they too can be part of Jehovah’s vast organization
16, 17. (a) What should we do if we commit a serious sin? (b) How can we benefit from the example of Anne?
16 What should we do, however, if we commit a serious sin? Get help as soon as possible. Keeping the matter hidden will only make matters worse. Remember, David said that when he kept silent about his sins, ‘his bones wore out through his groaning all day long.’ (Ps. 32:3) Yes, hiding secret sins will just cause us to tire out emotionally and spiritually, but “he that is confessing and leaving them will be shown mercy.”
17 Consider the example of Anne. * When Anne was in her late teens, she served as a regular pioneer. However, she began to live a double life. This affected her greatly. She states: “What was left of my conscience felt guilty. I was unhappy and depressed all the time.” What did she do? She states that one day at the meeting, James 5:14, 15 was discussed. Anne realized that she needed help and went to the elders for assistance. Looking back, she says: “Those scriptures are a prescription written by Jehovah for spiritual healing. The medicine is not easy to swallow, but it does heal. I heeded the advice found in those scriptures, and it worked.” Some years have passed, and with renewed strength Anne is again zealously serving Jehovah with a good conscience.
18. What should be our determination?
18 What a privilege it is to live in these last days and to be part of Jehovah’s incredible organization! Let us be determined never to take what we have for granted. Instead, let us work together as a family to be regular in meeting for worship with our local congregation, to search diligently for honesthearted ones in our territory, and to cherish the regular provisions of spiritual food we receive. Let us also support those taking the lead and live our lives in harmony with the message we bear. If we do so, not only will we find ourselves in step with Jehovah’s organization but we will never tire out in doing what is fine!
^ par. 17 Name has been changed.