“We are God’s fellow workers.”
1. How does Jehovah feel about work, and what does he do about it?
JEHOVAH enjoys his work. (Psalm 135:6; John 5:17) He wants angels and humans to enjoy their work as well, so he assigns them work that is enjoyable and satisfying. Jehovah involved his firstborn Son in His work of creation. (Read Colossians 1:15, 16.) The Bible tells us that before he came to earth, Jesus was with God in heaven “as a master worker.”
2. How do we know that angels have always had important and satisfying work?
2 From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible explains that Jehovah has always assigned work to the angels. When Adam and Eve sinned and had to leave Paradise, God gave the angels an assignment. In Genesis, we read that God “posted at the east of the garden of Eden the cherubs and the flaming blade of a sword that was turning continuously to guard the way to the tree of life.” (Genesis 3:24) And in Revelation, we learn that Jehovah “sent his angel to show his slaves the things that must shortly take place,” or to reveal the future.
WORK ASSIGNMENTS FOR MANKIND
3. While he was on earth, how did Jesus imitate his Father?
3 When Jesus was on earth, he joyfully did the work Jehovah assigned him. And he imitated his Father by assigning important work to his disciples. He made them feel excited about their assignment by telling them: “Most truly I say to you, whoever exercises faith in me will also do the works that I do; and he will do works greater than these, because I am going my way to the Father.” (John 14:12) Jesus helped his disciples to see that their work was urgent when he explained: “We must do the works of the One who sent me while it is day; the night is coming when no man can work.”
4-6. (a) Why are we thankful that Noah and Moses did what Jehovah told them to do? (b) What two things result from God’s work assignments for humans?
4 Long before Jesus came to earth, Jehovah assigned satisfying work to humans. Even though Adam and Eve did not complete their assignment, many humans did finish what God asked them to do. (Genesis 1:28) Jehovah gave Noah specific instructions on how to build an ark so that he and his family could survive the Flood. Noah did exactly what Jehovah said. We are alive today because he carefully followed Jehovah’s instructions.
5 Jehovah gave Moses specific instructions on how to build the tabernacle and how to organize the priesthood. Moses did exactly what Jehovah told him to do. (Exodus 39:32; 40:12-16) What do we learn today from Moses’ hard work and obedience? As the apostle Paul explained, the tabernacle and the priesthood symbolized “good things to come.”
When we do what Jehovah assigns us, our work glorifies him
6 As God’s purpose develops, his servants receive different assignments. But even though the work assignments may change, they have always glorified Jehovah and benefited humans. This is true of the work that Jesus did both before he came to earth and while he was on earth. (John 4:34; 17:4) Today, when we do what Jehovah assigns us, our work glorifies him. (Matthew 5:16; read 1 Corinthians 15:58.) Why can we say that?
KEEPING A POSITIVE VIEW OF WORK ASSIGNMENTS
7, 8. (a) Describe the work that Christians today have the privilege to do. (b) How should we respond to Jehovah’s direction?
7 It is an honor that Jehovah invites imperfect humans to serve with him as his fellow workers. (1 Corinthians 3:9) Some Christians have the privilege to do building work, as did Noah and Moses. Some may help build Assembly Halls, Kingdom Halls, and branch offices. Whether you are renovating a local Kingdom Hall or building the world headquarters at Warwick, New York, cherish your privilege! (See opening picture for artist’s rendering.) It is sacred service. While only some may do physical building work, all Christians share in a spiritual building work. This is the preaching work, which glorifies Jehovah and benefits humans. (Acts 13:47-49) God’s organization directs the preaching work. Sometimes this means that we will receive a new assignment.
8 Jehovah’s faithful servants have always been eager to follow his direction. (Read Hebrews 13:7, 17.) We may not understand all the reasons why we receive a new assignment or new direction. But we cooperate with Jehovah because we know that the changes come from him and that they will have good results.
9. What good example do the elders set for the congregation?
9 The elders show their strong desire to do Jehovah’s will by the way they take the lead in the congregation. (2 Corinthians 1:24; 1 Thessalonians 5:12, 13) The elders are eager to work hard and follow direction, and they are quick to learn new methods of preaching. They see good results when they organize telephone witnessing, harbor witnessing, or public witnessing, even though some may have wondered how these new methods would work. For example, four pioneers in Germany decided to preach in business territory that had not been worked in a long time. One of them, Michael, said that they were very nervous because they had not tried this form of service for several years. He added: “Jehovah must have known this, for he gave us an unforgettably pleasant morning of service. How happy we were that we followed the direction given in Our Kingdom Ministry and relied on Jehovah for support!” Are you eager to try new methods of witnessing in your territory?
10. What adjustments in the organization have been made in recent years?
10 Sometimes changes are made at Bethel. For example, in recent years, some smaller branch offices have been closed and their work has been moved to larger branch offices. This has affected those who serve at these branches. They had to make adjustments, but they later saw the advantages. (Ecclesiastes 7:8) These willing workers are happy to have a part in the modern-day history of Jehovah’s people!
Are you eager to try new methods of witnessing in your territory?
11-13. What challenges have some faced because of organizational adjustments?
11 We can learn some important lessons from those who served at branch offices that were combined. Many of these brothers and sisters served in these branches for decades. One couple who served in a small Bethel were asked to move to Mexico, where there were almost 30 times more Bethelites. The husband, Rogelio, says: “Leaving family and friends was very hard.” Juan, another Bethelite who was asked to move to Mexico, felt as if he were starting life all over again. He says: “You must form new bonds. It requires adjusting to new customs and ways of thinking.”
12 When some branches in Europe were combined, many Bethelites were asked to move to the branch office located in Germany. They too faced challenges, as it is not always easy to leave one’s homeland. Some who moved from Switzerland miss the beautiful Alps, and some who moved from Austria miss being part of a smaller Bethel family.
13 Brothers and sisters who move to a branch in another country have to make many changes. They have to get used to a new home, new workmates, and possibly a new work assignment. They also have to get used to a new congregation, a new territory, and maybe even a new language. Making these changes can be difficult, but many Bethelites have gladly made them. Why? Let us hear from some of them.
“When I remembered that the invitation came from Jehovah, I accepted it gladly”
14, 15. (a) How have many shown that they cherish the privilege of working with Jehovah? (b) How are they a fine example for us?
14 Grethel says: “I accepted the invitation because it was my way of showing Jehovah that my love for him went beyond a country, a building, or a certain privilege.” Dayska says: “When I remembered that the invitation came from Jehovah, I accepted it gladly.” André and Gabriela agree, saying: “In this we saw a further opportunity of serving Jehovah by pushing personal desires into the background.” They feel that when Jehovah’s organization makes changes, it is better to embrace them happily than to resist them.
15 When branches are combined, some Bethelites are reassigned to serve as pioneers. This happened to many Bethelites when the branches in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden were merged to form the Scandinavia branch. A couple named Florian and Anja say: “We view our new assignment as an exciting challenge. For us, it is wonderful to be used by Jehovah no matter where we serve. We can honestly say that we feel richly blessed!” Even though most of us are not in this situation, we can imitate the willing attitude of these brothers and sisters and put Kingdom interests first. (Isaiah 6:8) We can be sure that Jehovah will always bless those who cherish their privilege of working with him, wherever that may be.
CONTINUE ENJOYING YOUR PRIVILEGE OF WORKING WITH JEHOVAH!
16. (a) What does Galatians 6:4 tell us to do? (b) What is the greatest privilege we can have?
16 Because we are imperfect, we often compare ourselves with others. But God’s Word tells us to focus on what we personally are able to do. (Read Galatians 6:4.) Not all of us can be elders, pioneers, missionaries, or Bethelites. While these are fine privileges, the greatest privilege is one that all of us have. It is to be a publisher of the good news, a fellow worker with Jehovah. Let us cherish this privilege!
17. In this system of things, what is the reality? But why should we not be discouraged?
17 In this system of things, we may not be able to serve Jehovah in the way that we would like to. We may have circumstances we cannot control, such as family responsibilities or health problems. We should not be discouraged, though. No matter what problems we have, we can always preach about Jehovah’s name and Kingdom. The most important thing is that we do as much as we can for Jehovah, as we pray that he will help those who are able to do more than we can. Remember, every person who praises Jehovah’s name is precious in his eyes!
Every person who praises Jehovah’s name is precious in his eyes
18. What can we look forward to in the future, but what great privilege do we already have?
18 Jehovah allows us to be his fellow workers even though we are imperfect. What a wonderful privilege it is to work with our God in these last days! We look ahead to the future, to “the real life,” when we will be able to enjoy life in ways not possible today. Soon, in his new world, Jehovah will bless us with everlasting life in happiness and peace.
19. What happy future does Jehovah promise us?
19 God’s promised new world will soon be here. We think of what Moses told the Israelites right before they entered the Promised Land: “Jehovah your God will make you abundantly prosperous in all the work of your hands.” (Deuteronomy 30:9) After Armageddon, Jehovah will give the earth to those who have been working with him, just as he promised. Then, our new work assignment will be to make the earth a beautiful paradise!