“The word of God is alive and exerts power.”
1, 2. What did Jehovah tell Moses to do, and what promise did Jehovah make?
IMAGINE that you had to speak to the most powerful ruler on earth as a representative of God’s people. How would you feel? You would probably feel anxious, afraid, and unable to speak. How would you prepare what to say? Would you be able to speak with authority as a messenger of God?
2 Moses was in that exact situation. He was a very humble person. (Numbers 12:3) But Jehovah sent him to speak to Pharaoh, a very rude and proud man. Jehovah asked Moses to give an order to Pharaoh. The order was to free millions of God’s people from slavery. (Exodus 5:1, 2) We can understand why Moses asked Jehovah: “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” Moses probably felt that he did not have the ability to speak to Pharaoh. But Jehovah promised Moses that he would not be alone. “I will prove to be with you,” said Jehovah.
3, 4. (a) Why was Moses afraid? (b) Why might your feelings be similar to those of Moses?
3 Why was Moses afraid? He was afraid that Pharaoh would not receive or pay attention to a messenger of Jehovah God. Moses was also afraid that the Israelites would doubt whether God had chosen him to lead them out of Egypt. He 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.’”
4 What about you? You may never have to speak to a powerful ruler. But what if it is difficult for you to talk to people in your territory about Jehovah and his Kingdom? Jehovah’s command to Moses and what happened afterward can teach us a very important lesson.
“WHAT IS THAT IN YOUR HAND?”
5. What did Jehovah put in Moses’ hand, and how did it help him to have confidence? (See opening picture.)
5 When Moses said to Jehovah that he was afraid people would not believe him, God prepared Moses so that he would be successful. The Bible 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.’” (Exodus 4:2-5) By God’s power, the rod became a snake in Moses’ hand! This miracle would prove that Moses was God’s messenger and had authority from Him. Jehovah told him: “You will take this rod in your hand and perform the signs with it.” (Exodus 4:17) With this proof, Moses could have the confidence needed to go to speak to Pharaoh and also to God’s people.
With proof of Jehovah’s support, Moses could have the confidence needed to go to speak to Pharaoh
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 When we share God’s message with others, what do we have in our hand? We have the Bible, and we are eager to use it. Some people think that the Bible is simply a good book. But the Bible is more than that. It contains God’s message to us. (2 Peter 1:21) It contains God’s promises and tells us what his Kingdom will do. Paul wrote: “The word of God is alive and exerts power.” (Read Hebrews 4:12.) How is the word of God alive? All the promises of Jehovah progress toward their fulfillment, and they will be completely successful. (Isaiah 46:10; 55:11) When a person grasps these facts about God’s Word, what he reads in the Bible can have a powerful effect on his life.
Our goal is to touch the hearts of those who listen to us
7. How can we handle “the word of the truth aright”?
7 Jehovah has given us his living Word, the Bible. With this tool, we can prove that what we say can be trusted and comes from God. That is why when Paul was training Timothy, he encouraged him to handle “the word of the truth aright.” (2 Timothy 2:15) How can we apply Paul’s counsel? By carefully choosing the scriptures we will read to others. Our goal is to touch the hearts of those who listen to us. The tracts we received in 2013 were designed to help us do that.
READ A SCRIPTURE THAT IS CAREFULLY CHOSEN
8. What did one service overseer say about the tracts?
8 All the new tracts have the same format. So when we learn how to use one, we know how to use them all. 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.” Why are the tracts so easy to use? He feels that this is because of the question and the possible answers found on the front of them. The householder does not have to worry about giving a wrong answer. The brother says that because of the way the tracts are written, many more people are willing to talk, and this leads to interesting conversations.
9, 10. (a) How are our tracts designed to help us use the Bible? (b) Which tracts have you had the most success using, and why?
9 Each tract contains a carefully chosen scripture that we can read to the householder. Take, for example, the tract Will Suffering Ever End? Ask the householder the question on the cover. He can pick “yes,” “no,” or “maybe” as the answer. Whatever his answer is, turn to the inside page and simply say, “Here is what the Bible says.” Then read Revelation 21:3, 4.
10 When you use the tract How Do You View the Bible? it does not matter which of the three answers the householder chooses. Just turn to the inside of the tract 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) In what way can you use tracts to make your ministry more enjoyable? (b) How can tracts help you prepare for return visits?
11 You may decide to read and discuss more from the tract. This will depend on the reaction of the householder. But no matter how people react, they will have received the message from the tract, and you will have read some of God’s Word to them. Even if you read only one or two verses the first time you visit them, you can return later and continue the conversation.
12 On the back of each tract there is the subtitle “To Think About.” Under this subtitle, there are scriptures and a question that can be discussed on a return visit. In the tract How Do You View the Future? the question 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.
Our tracts are designed to help us start Bible studies
13. Explain how to use the tracts to start Bible studies.
13 These tracts are designed to help us start Bible studies. A person can scan the QR Code * on the back of a tract, and he will be directed to our Web site. There, he will be invited to study the Bible. These tracts also feature the brochure Good News From God! Each tract refers to a lesson in this brochure. For example, the tract Who Really Controls the World? leads to lesson 5 of that brochure. The tract What Is the Key to Happy Family Life? leads into lesson 9. These tracts are designed to help us use the Bible on our first visit and on return visits. This way we may start more Bible studies. What else can you do to use God’s Word in an effective way?
DISCUSS A SUBJECT THAT PEOPLE THINK ABOUT
14, 15. How can you imitate Paul’s example in your ministry?
14 Paul was very interested in understanding the thinking of “as many people as possible” in his ministry. (Read 1 Corinthians 9:19-23.) Why? He wanted to help “people of all sorts,” both Jews and others, to learn the truth so that they might be saved. (Acts 20:21) How can we imitate Paul’s example as we prepare for the ministry and preach to “all sorts of people”?
15 Each month, Our Kingdom Ministry contains suggestions on how to present our message. Try using them. But what if people in your territory are concerned about a different subject? Prepare to say something that is of interest to them. What concerns the people around you? Choose a scripture that is related to that subject. A circuit overseer and his wife describe how they are able to use the Bible more in their ministry: “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.” In the following paragraphs, we will consider some topics, questions, and scriptures that have proved to be successful in the ministry. You might want to try using some of them in your territory.
16. Explain how Isaiah 14:7 could be used in the ministry.
16 If you live in an area where there is crime and violence, you might ask a person: “Can you imagine this news being on the front page of the newspaper: ‘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 will soon come.” Then offer to read one of those promises from the Bible.
17. How can we use Matthew 5:3 in a conversation?
17 Is it hard for many men in your area to provide for their families? 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?” After the person responds, you might say: “Many men earn much more than that, but their families are still not satisfied. 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 area suffering as a result of a recent tragedy? You could begin a conversation 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.’ It is nice to know that he wants us to have a good life. But how is that possible?” Then turn to an appropriate lesson in the Good News brochure.
19. Explain how Revelation 14:6, 7 can be used when talking with people who are interested in religion.
19 Do you live in an area 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.) This angel says ‘fear God,’ so to which God was he referring? To ‘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.” Then offer to explain more about Jehovah God.
20. (a) How can Proverbs 30:4 be used to teach someone God’s name? (b) What scripture have you used with success in your ministry?
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.) No human can do these things, so this verse must be referring to our Creator. * (See footnote.) How can we find out what his name is? I would be happy to show it to you in the Bible.”
USE THE POWER OF GOD’S WORD IN YOUR MINISTRY
21, 22. (a) How can a scripture that has been chosen carefully change a person’s life? (b) What are you determined to do in your ministry?
21 You never know how people will react to a scripture that has been chosen carefully. For example, 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 Psalm 83:18. “I was floored!” the woman says. “After they left, I drove 56 kilometers (35 miles) 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, she and her future husband began studying the Bible, and later they got baptized.
You never know how people will react to a scripture that has been chosen carefully
22 God’s Word has the power to change people’s lives. When someone reads the Bible, he can build strong faith in Jehovah’s promises. This faith will motivate him to apply what he learns. (Read 1 Thessalonians 2:13.) The Bible’s message is more powerful than anything we could ever say. So let us be determined to use the Word of God in our ministry as much as possible. It is alive!