“Working together with him, we also urge you not to accept the undeserved kindness of God and miss its purpose.”
SONGS: 75, 74
1. Even though Jehovah is the Supreme One, what has he invited others to do?
JEHOVAH is the Supreme One. He created everything, and he has unlimited wisdom and power. After he helped Job understand this, Job said to him: “I know that you are able to do all things and that nothing you have in mind to do is impossible for you.” (Job 42:2) Jehovah can do whatever he decides to do without help from anyone. But he shows love by inviting others to work together with him to accomplish his purpose.
2. What important work did Jehovah invite Jesus to do?
2 God created his Son, Jesus, before he created everyone and everything else. Then, Jehovah allowed his Son to help him create all other things. (John 1:1-3, 18) The apostle Paul wrote about Jesus: “By means of him all other things were created in the heavens and on the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All other things have been created through him and for him.” (Colossians 1:15-17) So Jehovah not only gave his Son an important work but told others about it. What an honor!
3. What did Jehovah invite Adam to do, and why?
3 Jehovah also invited humans to work together with him. For example, he allowed Adam to name the animals. (Genesis 2:19, 20) Imagine the joy Adam felt doing this work! He carefully studied the way the animals looked and acted, and then he chose a name for each one of them. Jehovah had created all the animals, so he could have named them himself. However, he showed Adam how much he loved him by allowing him to name the animals. God also gave Adam the assignment to make the entire earth into a paradise. (Genesis 1:27, 28) But Adam eventually decided to stop working with God, and the result was great suffering for him and all his descendants.
4. How did others work with God to accomplish his will?
4 Later, God invited other people to work with him. Noah built an ark that kept him and his family alive during the Flood. Moses freed the nation of Israel from Egypt. Joshua led the Israelites into the Promised Land. Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem. Mary became mother to Jesus. All these faithful ones and many others worked with Jehovah to accomplish his will.
5. In what work can we share, and did Jehovah need to involve us in this work? (See opening picture.)
5 Today, Jehovah invites us to do all we can to support his Kingdom. There are many ways we can serve God. And even though not all of us are able to serve him in the same way, we can all preach the good news of the Kingdom. Jehovah could have done this work by himself. He could have spoken directly from heaven to people on earth. Jesus said that Jehovah could even make the stones tell others about the King of His Kingdom. (Luke 19:37-40) But Jehovah allows us to be his “fellow workers.” (1 Corinthians 3:9) The apostle Paul wrote: “Working together with him, we also urge you not to accept the undeserved kindness of God and miss its purpose.” (2 Corinthians 6:1) It is a great honor to be invited to work with God. Let us see some reasons why this brings us great joy.
WORKING WITH GOD MAKES US HAPPY
6. How did God’s firstborn Son describe how he felt about working beside his Father?
6 Working with God has always made Jehovah’s servants happy. Before coming to earth, God’s firstborn Son said: “Jehovah produced me as the beginning of his way . . . I was beside him as a master worker. I was the one he was especially fond of day by day; I rejoiced before him all the time.” (Proverbs 8:22, 30) When Jesus worked with his Father, he was happy because he accomplished many things and he knew that Jehovah loved him. But what about us?
7. Why does the preaching work bring us joy?
7 Jesus said that we are happy both when we give and when we receive. (Acts 20:35) It brought us joy when we received the truth, but why does it also bring us joy to share the truth with others? Because we see them become truly happy when they understand what the Bible teaches and begin to have a relationship with God. We are excited to see them change their thinking and their way of life. The preaching work is the most important and the most satisfying work we could be doing. It makes it possible for those who become God’s friends to have everlasting life.
8. What have some said about the joy of working with Jehovah?
8 When we help others learn about God, we know that we are pleasing Jehovah and that he values our efforts to serve him. This also gives us joy. (Read 1 Corinthians 15:58.) Marco, who lives in Italy, says: “I have the priceless joy of knowing that I am giving my best to Jehovah and not to someone who will soon forget what I’ve done.” Similarly, Franco, who also serves in Italy, says: “By means of his Word and his spiritual provisions, Jehovah reminds us every day that he loves us and that everything we do for him is important, even though our efforts may seem like nothing to us. This is why working along with God makes me happy and gives my life meaning.”
WORKING WITH GOD DRAWS US CLOSER TO HIM AND TO OTHERS
9. What relationship existed between Jehovah and Jesus, and why?
9 When we work together with those we love, we draw close to them. We come to know more about their personality and their qualities. We learn what their goals are and how they try to reach them. Jesus worked with Jehovah for perhaps billions of years. Their love and affection for each other became so strong that nothing could destroy their relationship. Jesus explained how close that relationship was when he said: “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30) They were truly united, and they fully cooperated when they worked together.
Preaching strengthens our faith because it reminds us of God’s promises and loving standards
10. Why does preaching draw us closer to God and to others?
10 Jesus asked Jehovah to protect his disciples. Why? He prayed: “So that they may be one just as we are one.” (John 17:11) When we live by God’s standards and share in the preaching work, we better understand his wonderful qualities. We learn why it is wise to trust in him and to follow his direction. And when we draw close to God, he draws close to us. (Read James 4:8.) We also draw close to our brothers and sisters because we experience similar problems and joys and because we have the same goals. We work together, rejoice together, and endure together. Octavia, who lives in Britain, says: “Working with Jehovah draws me closer to others.” She explains that it is because her friendships are now based on “a common goal and direction.” Surely, we feel the same way. When we see the efforts our brothers make to please Jehovah, it draws us closer to them.
11. Why will we draw even closer to Jehovah and to our brothers in the new world?
11 Our love for God and our brothers is strong now, but it will be even stronger in the new world. Think of all the exciting work we will do in the future! We will welcome back those who are resurrected and teach them about Jehovah. We will also work to make the earth into a paradise. It will be a great joy to work together and gradually become perfect under Christ’s rule. All humans will draw even closer to one another and to Jehovah, who will surely “satisfy the desire of every living thing.”
WORKING WITH GOD IS A PROTECTION
12. How is the preaching work a protection?
12 We need to protect our relationship with Jehovah. We live in Satan’s world and we are imperfect, so it is easy for us to start thinking and acting like the world. It is like swimming in a river with a current that pulls us in a direction we do not want to go. So we must use all our strength to swim in the other direction. Similarly, we need to work hard to avoid being influenced by Satan’s world. So how does preaching protect us? When we talk about Jehovah and the Bible, we focus on things that are important and good, not on things that will weaken our faith. (Philippians 4:8) Preaching strengthens our faith because it reminds us of God’s promises and loving standards. It also helps us to maintain the qualities we need in order to protect ourselves from Satan and his world.
When we keep busy in Jehovah’s work, we do not have time to worry too much about our own problems
13. How does one Witness in Australia feel about preaching?
13 When we keep busy preaching, studying, and doing things for others in the congregation, we are protected because we do not have time to worry too much about our own problems. Joel, who lives in Australia, says: “The preaching work helps me not to lose touch with reality. It reminds me of the challenges people are facing and of the benefits I have experienced by applying Bible principles in my life. The preaching work helps me to try to stay humble; it gives me an opportunity to rely on Jehovah and on my brothers and sisters.”
14. Why does our perseverance in preaching show that God’s spirit is with us?
14 Preaching also gives us more confidence that God’s spirit is with us. To illustrate: Imagine that it is your job to give bread to the people in your community. You do not get paid to do this, and you have to pay for your expenses. Also, most people do not want the bread, and some even hate you for bringing it to them. How long would you continue to work at such a job? Very soon, you would feel discouraged, and you would probably quit. Yet, many of us continue in the preaching work year after year, even though this costs us time and money and even though people make fun of us or get angry with us. This proves that God’s spirit is helping us.
WORKING WITH GOD SHOWS OUR LOVE FOR HIM AND FOR OTHERS
15. How is the preaching of the good news connected with God’s purpose for humankind?
15 How is the preaching work connected with Jehovah’s purpose for mankind? God’s purpose was that humans live forever, and his purpose did not change when Adam sinned. (Isaiah 55:11) God made an arrangement for us to be freed from sin and death. How? Jesus came to earth and sacrificed his life. But to benefit from his sacrifice, humans needed to obey God. So Jesus taught people what God requires of them, and he commanded his disciples to do the same. When we preach and help others to become God’s friends today, we are working directly with God in his loving arrangement to save humans from sin and death.
16. How is our preaching linked to God’s greatest commandments?
16 When we help others find the way to everlasting life, we show that we love them and we love Jehovah. His “will is that all sorts of people should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4) When a Pharisee asked Jesus what was God’s greatest commandment, Jesus said: “‘You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. The second, like it, is this: ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:37-39) By preaching the good news, we obey these commandments.
17. How do you feel about the honor to preach the good news?
17 How blessed we are! Jehovah has given us a work that brings us joy, that draws us closer to him and to our brothers, and that protects our relationship with him. It also gives us the opportunity to show our love for God and for others. Jehovah has millions of servants around the world, and all of them have very different circumstances. But whether we are young or old, rich or poor, strong or weak, we do all we can to share our faith with others. We feel like Chantel from France, who says: “The most powerful Person in the universe, the Creator of all things, the happy God, says to me: ‘Go! Speak! Speak for me, speak from your heart. I give you my strength, my Word the Bible, heavenly support, earthly companions, progressive training, and precise instructions at the appropriate time.’ What an immense privilege it is to do what Jehovah asks of us and to work together with our God!”