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Jehovah’s Witnesses

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THE WATCHTOWER (STUDY EDITION) AUGUST 2014

Use the Word of God—It Is Alive!

Use the Word of God—It Is Alive!

“The word of God is alive and exerts power.”HEB. 4:12.

1, 2. What assignment did Jehovah give Moses, and what assurance did He provide?

CAN you imagine how you would feel if you had to stand before the most powerful ruler on earth and speak up in behalf of Jehovah’s people? You would likely feel anxious, inadequate, and intimidated. How would you prepare your presentation? What could you do to add power to your words as a representative of the almighty God?

2 Moses was in that exact situation. Jehovah had told him, “the meekest of all the men on the face of the earth,” that he was being sent to Pharaoh to rescue God’s people from their oppression and slavery in Egypt. (Num. 12:3) As events would prove, Pharaoh was a disrespectful and arrogant man. (Ex. 5:1, 2) Yet, Jehovah wanted Moses to order Pharaoh to let several million of his slaves leave the country! Understandably, Moses asked Jehovah: “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” Moses must have felt inadequate and incapable. But God assured him that he would not be alone. “I will prove to be with you,” said Jehovah.Ex. 3:9-12.

3, 4. (a) Moses had what fears? (b) In what respect may you be able to relate to the challenge that Moses faced?

3 What fears did Moses have? Evidently, he was afraid  that Pharaoh would not receive or pay attention to a representative of Jehovah God. Moses also feared that his own people would not believe that Jehovah had appointed him to lead them out of Egypt. Thus, Moses said to Jehovah: “Suppose they do not believe me and do not listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘Jehovah did not appear to you.’”Ex. 3:15-18; 4:1.

4 Jehovah’s response to Moses and the events that followed can teach each one of us a powerful lesson. True, you may never have to appear before a high government official. But have you ever found it challenging to talk about God and his Kingdom even to common, everyday people whom you meet? If so, consider what can be learned from Moses’ experience.

“WHAT IS THAT IN YOUR HAND?”

5. What did Jehovah put in Moses’ hand, and how did that allay his fears? (See opening image.)

5 When Moses expressed his fear that his words would not be taken seriously, God prepared him to deal with what lay ahead. The account recorded in Exodus states: “Jehovah said to [Moses]: ‘What is that in your hand?’ He answered: ‘A rod.’ He said: ‘Throw it on the ground.’ So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it. Jehovah now said to Moses: ‘Reach out your hand and seize it by the tail.’ So he reached out and seized it, and it became a rod in his hand. God then said: ‘This is so that they may believe that Jehovah . . . has appeared to you.’” (Ex. 4:2-5) Yes, God put in Moses’ hand the means by which he could prove that his message was from Jehovah. What seemed to others like nothing more than a rod came to life by God’s power! What force such a miracle would add to Moses’ words, proving conclusively that he had Jehovah’s backing! Hence, Jehovah told him: “You will take this rod in your hand and perform the signs with it.” (Ex. 4:17) With that proof of God’s authority in his hand, Moses could go forth and confidently represent the true God before his own people and before Pharaoh.Ex. 4:29-31; 7:8-13.

6. (a) What should be in our hand when we preach, and why? (b) Explain how “the word of God is alive” and how it “exerts power.”

6 The same question may be asked of us when we go forth to share the Bible’s message with others: “What is that in your hand?” In many cases, the Bible will be in our hand, ready for use. Although some may view the Bible as nothing more than a book, Jehovah speaks to us through his inspired written Word. (2 Pet. 1:21) It contains God’s promises concerning the things that will occur under the rule of his Kingdom. That is why the apostle Paul could write: “The word of God is alive and exerts power.” (Read Hebrews 4:12.) All of Jehovah’s promises are dynamic, not static, because he is constantly working toward their fulfillment. (Isa. 46:10; 55:11) Once a person realizes this about Jehovah’s Word, what he reads in the Bible can exert a powerful force in his life.

7. How can we ‘handle the word of the truth aright’?

7 Yes, Jehovah has put in our hand his living written Word with which we can prove that our message is credible and is from him. No wonder that after writing to the Hebrews, Paul urged his spiritual protégé Timothy to ‘do his utmost to handle the word of the truth aright.’ (2 Tim. 2:15) How can we apply Paul’s counsel? By reading aloud well-chosen  scriptures that can touch the hearts of those who will listen to us. The tracts that were released in 2013 were designed to help us do just that.

READ A WELL-CHOSEN SCRIPTURE!

8. What did one service overseer say about the tracts?

8 All the new tracts follow the same format. So when we have learned to use one of them, we have learned to use all of them. Are they easy to use? One service overseer in Hawaii, U.S.A., wrote: “Little did we realize how effective these new tools would be both in the house-to-house work and in public witnessing.” He has found that the way the tracts are written prompts people to respond much more readily, and this often leads to stimulating conversations. He feels that this is because of the question and multiple-choice answers that appear on the front of the tracts. The householder does not have to worry about giving a wrong answer.

9, 10. (a) How do our tracts prompt us to use the Bible? (b) Which tracts have you had the most success using, and why?

9 Each tract prompts us to read a well-chosen scripture. For example, look at the tract Will Suffering Ever End? Regardless of whether the householder picks “yes,” “no,” or “maybe” in response to that question, turn to the inside page and without adding anything more, say, “Here is what the Bible says.” Then read Revelation 21:3, 4.

10 Likewise, when using the tract How Do You View the Bible? it does not matter which of the three choices on the front of the tract the householder selects. Just turn to the inside page and say, “The Bible says that ‘all Scripture is inspired of God.’” You could add, “Actually, that passage says much more.” Then open your Bible, and read all of 2 Timothy 3:16, 17.

11, 12. (a) What satisfaction do you get from the ministry? (b) How can tracts help you prepare for return visits?

11 The householder’s reaction will determine how much more of the tract you might read and discuss. In any case, besides putting the tracts in people’s hands, you have the satisfaction of having read some of God’s Word to them—even if you could read only one or two  verses on the initial call. Later, you can continue the discussion.

12 The back of each tract provides a question under the heading “To Think About” and scriptures that can be discussed on a return visit. In the tract How Do You View the Future? the question for the next call is “How will God change our world for the better?” Matthew 6:9, 10 and Daniel 2:44 are cited. For the tract Can the Dead Really Live Again? the question is “Why do we grow old and die?” Genesis 3:17-19 and Romans 5:12 are cited.

13. Explain how to use the tracts to start Bible studies.

13 Use the tracts as stepping-stones for starting Bible studies. When a person scans the QR Code * on the back of a tract, he will be directed to something on our Web site that may encourage him to study the Bible. The tracts also highlight the brochure Good News From God! and point to a specific lesson in it. For example, the tract Who Really Controls the World? leads into lesson 5 of that brochure. The tract What Is the Key to Happy Family Life? leads into lesson 9. By using the tracts in the way intended, you will be following the good routine of using the Bible on initial calls and on return visits. In turn, that may result in starting more studies. What else can you do to use God’s Word effectively in your ministry?

DISCUSS A TOPIC THAT WEIGHS ON PEOPLE’S MINDS

14, 15. How can you imitate Paul’s attitude toward the ministry?

14 Paul had an earnest desire to relate to “as many people as possible” in his ministry. (Read 1 Corinthians 9:19-23.) Notice that it was Paul’s hope “to gain Jews . . . , to gain those under law . . . , to gain those without law . . . , to gain the weak.” Yes, he wanted to reach “people of all sorts, so that [he] might by all possible means save some.” (Acts 20:21) How can we imitate Paul’s attitude as we prepare to share the truth with “all sorts of people” in our territory?1 Tim. 2:3, 4.

15 Suggested presentations appear in Our Kingdom Ministry each month. Try them. But if other topics are weighing on the minds of people in your territory, formulate interest-arousing presentations to meet those needs. Think about the environment in which you live, about the other people who live there, and about what concerns them the most. Then, think of a scripture that addresses their needs. A circuit overseer says this about the way he and his wife focus on the Bible: “Most householders will allow us to read one verse if we are brief and to the point. After a customary greeting with our open Bibles in hand, we read the scripture.” Consider a few field-tested examples of topics, questions, and scriptures that you might try in your territory.

Are you using the Bible and tracts effectively in your ministry? (See paragraphs 8-13)

16. Explain how Isaiah 14:7 could be used in the ministry.

16 If you live in a region where peace is often disrupted, you might ask a person: “Could you ever imagine this as being the lead news story of the day: ‘The whole earth now rests, free of disturbance. People cry out for joy’? That is what the Bible says at Isaiah 14:7. In fact, the Bible contains God’s many promises of peaceful times that are coming in our future.” Then offer to read one of those promises from the Bible.

17. How can you introduce Matthew 5:3 in a conversation?

 17 Is it hard for many men in your area to make a living? If so, you might start a conversation by asking: “How much money does a man have to make in order for his family to be happy?” Follow the person’s response with: “Many men earn much more than that, but their families are still not content. So, what is really needed?” Then read Matthew 5:3 and offer a Bible study.

18. To comfort others, how can you use Jeremiah 29:11?

18 Are people in your locality suffering from the effects of a recent tragedy? You could begin your presentation by saying: “I came to your door to offer some comfort. (Read Jeremiah 29:11.) Did you notice the three things God wants for us? ‘Peace,’ ‘a future,’ and ‘a hope.’ Isn’t it nice to know that he wants us to have a good life? But how is that possible?” Then direct attention to an appropriate lesson in the Good News brochure.

19. Explain how Revelation 14:6, 7 can be used in talking with religious people.

19 Do you live in a neighborhood where people are interested in religion? If so, you might start a conversation by asking: “If an angel spoke to you, would you listen to what he had to say? (Read Revelation 14:6, 7.) Since this angel says ‘fear God,’ would it not be important to identify which God he has in mind? The angel gives us a clue when he says that it is ‘the One who made the heaven and the earth.’ Who was that?” Then read Psalm 124:8, which says: “Our help is in the name of Jehovah, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Follow that up with an offer to explain more about Jehovah God.

20. (a) In what way can Proverbs 30:4 be used to teach someone God’s name? (b) Is there a particular scripture that you use with good results?

20 You might start a conversation with a young person by saying: “I would like to read a scripture that asks a very important question. (Read Proverbs 30:4.) There is no human who fits this description, so it must be describing our Creator. * How can we find out what his name is? I would be happy to show it to you in the Bible.”

LET GOD’S WORD EMPOWER YOUR MINISTRY

21, 22. (a) How can a well-chosen scripture change a person’s life? (b) What are you determined to do as you carry out your ministry?

21 You never know how people will react to a well-chosen scripture. For instance, two Witnesses in Australia knocked on a young woman’s door. One of them asked her, “Do you know God’s name?” and then read one scripturePsalm 83:18. “I was floored!” the woman says. “After they left, I drove 35 miles (56 km) to a bookstore to check other Bible translations and then looked up the name in a dictionary. Having convinced myself that God’s name is Jehovah, I wondered what else I didn’t know.” Soon thereafter, she and her future husband began studying the Bible, and later they got baptized.

22 God’s Word changes the lives of those who read it and develop faith in Jehovah’s living promises. (Read 1 Thessalonians 2:13.) The Bible’s message is more powerful than anything we might say to try to reach the heart of another person. That is why, at every possible opportunity, we should use the Word of God. It is alive!

^ par. 13 QR Code is a registered trademark of Denso Wave Incorporated.

^ par. 20 See “Questions From Readers” in The Watchtower of July 15, 1987, page 31.