“Let us not give up in doing what is fine.”
1, 2. What do the visions of Jehovah’s universal organization move us to do?
IT IS amazing to think that we are part of a huge universal organization. The visions we read about in Ezekiel chapter 1 and Daniel chapter 7 wonderfully describe how Jehovah is working to make his purpose come true. Jesus is leading the part of Jehovah’s organization that is on earth. He is directing it to do the preaching work, to instruct and encourage those who do this work, and to help others become worshippers of Jehovah. This moves us to trust in Jehovah’s organization.
2 Are you following the example of the organization by staying busy in God’s service? Maybe you feel that you have begun to lose some of your zeal. This happened to Christians in the first century. The apostle Paul had to remind them of the zealous example of Jesus. Paul said that this would help them not to “get tired and give out.” (Hebrews 12:3) In the last article, we discussed the wonderful work Jehovah’s organization is doing today. Just as the example of Christ encouraged Christians in the first century, the example of Jehovah’s organization can help us today to endure in God’s service and to keep our zeal.
3. What must we do so that we do not tire out? What will we discuss in this article?
3 But if we do not want to “tire out,” or lose zeal in our service to God, we must do more than think about the example of God’s organization. Paul said that we must keep “doing what is fine.” (Galatians 6:9) Let us discuss five things we must do to keep our zeal and to follow the lead of Jehovah’s organization. Then we can decide whether we or our families need to work on some of these things.
MEET FOR ENCOURAGEMENT AND WORSHIP
4. Why can we say that meetings have always been an important part of true worship?
4 Meetings have always been very important for Jehovah’s servants. In heaven, Jehovah meets with the angels. (1 Kings 22:19; Job 1:6; 2:1; Daniel 7:10) In ancient times, God told the Israelites to meet together “in order that they may listen and in order that they may learn.” (Deuteronomy 31:10-12) In the first century, Jews met regularly in special meeting places to read from the Scriptures. (Luke 4:16; Acts 15:21) Meetings continued to be important when the Christian congregation was formed, and they are still very important in our worship. True Christians “consider one another to incite to love and fine works.” We need to keep on “encouraging one another,” especially because we live in the last days.
5. How can we encourage one another at our meetings?
5 One important way we can encourage one another at our meetings is by giving comments. For example, we can answer the question for the paragraph, comment on a scripture, or give a brief experience that shows how Bible principles help us. (Psalm 22:22; 40:9) All the comments we hear at the meetings, from both older and younger ones, encourage us very much. This is true no matter how long we have been in the truth.
6. What are some ways our meetings help us?
6 Our meetings, assemblies, and conventions help us in many other ways. For example, they help us to have courage to preach even when people in our territory oppose us or do not want to listen to us. (Acts 4:23, 31) The talks and other parts based on the Bible strengthen our faith. (Acts 15:32; Romans 1:11, 12) Being with our brothers and sisters gives us real happiness and comfort. (Psalm 94:12, 13) The Teaching Committee of the Governing Body organizes the program of instruction at the meetings of Jehovah’s people. We are so thankful for the excellent instruction we receive at our meetings every week of the year!
7, 8. (a) What is the most important reason to be at the meetings? (b) How do the meetings help you?
7 But we do not go to our meetings only for the benefits we receive. The most important reason to be at the meetings is to worship Jehovah. (Read Psalm 95:6.) It is a great honor to be able to sing praises to our wonderful God! (Colossians 3:16) We also praise Jehovah by giving comments at the meetings. Jehovah certainly deserves the worship we give him in these ways. (Revelation 4:11) We can understand, then, why it is so important that we are always at our meetings!
The most important reason to be at the meetings is to worship Jehovah
8 Our meetings are a gift from Jehovah to help us endure until he destroys this wicked world. Is that how we feel? If we do, we will make the effort, even in our busy lives, to be at all the meetings. (Philippians 1:10) We should never miss a meeting unless there is a serious reason.
9. How do we know that the preaching work is important?
9 To follow the lead of Jehovah’s organization, we must preach zealously. Jesus started the preaching work when he was here on earth. (Matthew 28:19, 20) Since then, preaching and making disciples has been one of the most important activities for Jehovah’s entire organization. Many experiences show that the angels are supporting our work and helping us find those who will accept the truth. (Acts 13:48; Revelation 14:6, 7) And the whole purpose of the visible part of Jehovah’s organization is to organize and support the preaching work. Is this work also one of the most important things in your life?
When we preach zealously, our love for the truth stays strong
10. (a) How does one brother keep his love for the truth strong? (b) How has the ministry helped you to keep your love for the truth strong?
10 When we preach zealously, our love for the truth stays strong. This is how Mitchel, an experienced elder and regular pioneer, feels. He says: “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.” Mitchel also says that his ministry helps him keep the most important things first in his life and that he makes sure nothing takes time away from it. We can also endure in these last days if we stay busy in God’s service.
BENEFIT FROM THE PUBLICATIONS
11. Why should we read our publications and meditate on what we read?
11 One way Jehovah gives us strength is through the many publications we receive. You probably remember a time when you read a publication and thought, ‘That is exactly what I needed! It is as if Jehovah had that written just for me!’ There is a reason you felt that way. Jehovah uses the publications to teach us and direct us. He has said: “I shall make you have insight and instruct you in the way you should go.” (Psalm 32:8) Do we do our best to read all the publications we receive and meditate on what we read? This will help us to endure and to keep our zeal in God’s service in these difficult last days.
12. What can help us to value our publications?
12 We will value our publications more if we think about all the work that is done to make them. It is necessary to research, write, proofread, illustrate, and translate every publication we print or post on our Web site. The Writing Committee of the Governing Body is responsible for this work. Branches that print the publications then send them to the many congregations in their territory. Why is all this work done? So that Jehovah’s people can receive the instruction and direction they need to stay faithful. (Isaiah 65:13) Let us benefit from all the publications we receive through Jehovah’s organization.
SHOW SUPPORT FOR JEHOVAH’S ORGANIZATION
13, 14. Who in heaven are supporting Jehovah’s organization? How can we show similar support?
13 In a vision, John saw Jesus ride out on a white horse to win the fight against those who rebel against Jehovah. (Revelation 19:11-15) He also saw the faithful anointed who have been resurrected to heaven and the faithful angels riding horses right behind Jesus. This shows that they support Jesus as their Leader. (Revelation 2:26, 27) Their excellent example teaches us that we should show support for those who take the lead in Jehovah’s organization.
Does what we say about the elders encourage others to respect them and the work they do?
14 In a similar way, the great crowd shows full support for the work of Christ’s anointed brothers who are still on earth. (Read Zechariah 8:23.) How can you show support for the organization? One way is by being obedient to those who take the lead. (Hebrews 13:7, 17) Does what we say about the elders in our congregation encourage others to respect them and the work they do? Do we teach our children to respect these faithful men and to listen to their advice? There are other ways we can show support for the organization. For example, do we plan as a family to donate toward the preaching work? (Proverbs 3:9; 1 Corinthians 16:2; 2 Corinthians 8:12) Also, do we help clean and maintain the Kingdom Hall? When Jehovah sees that we support the organization in these ways, he gives us his holy spirit. And his spirit gives us the strength we need to endure in these last days.
LIVE IN A WAY THAT PLEASES GOD
15. Why must we continue to fight hard to do what is right?
15 If we want to endure and follow the lead of Jehovah’s organization, we must live in a way that pleases Jehovah. (Ephesians 5:10, 11) Satan, this wicked world, and our imperfection make it very difficult for us to do what is right. Some of you dear brothers and sisters have to fight hard every day to keep your friendship with Jehovah. Jehovah loves you for the efforts you make. Do not give up! When we live in a way that pleases him, we have a meaningful and happy life and we can be sure of Jehovah’s approval.
16, 17. (a) What should we do if we commit a serious sin? (b) What can we learn from the example of Anne?
16 But what should you do if you commit a serious sin? Do not try to hide it. Get help as soon as possible. Remember how David felt when he tried to keep his sins secret. He said: “My bones wore out through my groaning all day long.” (Psalm 32:3) If we try to hide serious sins, we will lose our joy and maybe even our friendship with Jehovah. But if we confess them, we “will be shown mercy.”
If we try to hide serious sins, we will lose our joy and maybe even our friendship with Jehovah
17 Think about the example of Anne. * (See footnote.) While Anne was a teenager and serving as a regular pioneer, she began to do bad things. As a result, she had a guilty conscience. She says, “I was unhappy and depressed all the time.” One day at the meeting, James 5:14, 15 was discussed. Anne realized that she needed help. What did she do? She followed the advice in this scripture and talked to the elders. It was not easy, but she says that it was as if she were sick and Jehovah had given her the medicine she needed. She explains, “The medicine is not easy to swallow, but it does heal.” Now Anne is again zealously serving Jehovah with a good conscience.
18. What should we work hard to do?
18 We should always remember that it is an honor to be part of Jehovah’s organization in these last days! Together with our family, let us work hard to be at our meetings regularly, to preach zealously in our territory, and to benefit from all the publications. Let us also show support for those taking the lead, and let us live in a way that pleases Jehovah. If we do these things, we will be following the lead of Jehovah’s organization and we will not tire out.
^ par. 17 Name has been changed.