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Examining the Scriptures Daily
Examining the Scriptures Daily
˘ 2011 WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY OF PENNSYLVANIA All Rights Reserved Publishers Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc. Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A. This publication is not for sale. It is provided as part of a worldwide Bible educational work supported by voluntary donations.
Examining the Scriptures Daily—2012 English (es12-E)
Made in the United States of America
Examining the Scriptures Daily
You have this publication in hand because you appreciate God’s Word. You view the Bible “just as it truthfully is, as the word of God.” (1 Thess. 2:13) By reading the Bible daily, you demonstrate your belief that “all Scripture is inspired of God and beneﬁcial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness.” (2 Tim. 3: 16) And by applying what you learn, you give evidence of whole-souled love for our Creator and his Word.—1 John 5:3. However, not everyone feels the way you do. In fact, those who truly make the Bible their guide are a minority—only about 0.1 percent of the earth’s population. Some even feel that having knowledge of the Bible would cause a person to reject God. “I gave a Bible to my daughter,” said the president of American Atheists. “That’s how you make atheists.” And a renowned physicist recently declared that the universe appeared spontaneously, asserting: “It is not necessary to invoke God to . . . set the universe going.” This type of thinking does not surprise us, for the Bible acknowledges that “faith is not a possession of all people.”—2 Thess. 3:2. True, there have always been unbelievers. But are not more people today prone to scoﬀ at the Bible’s message and to display a lack of respect and reverence for God than ever before? (2 Pet. 3:3, 4) Have you noticed the growing indiﬀerence and apathy? Independent thinking? Even outright hostility toward religion? These trends puzzle religious leaders, who search for ways to reconnect with their ﬂock. We, though, have been enlightened by the truth and understand why these attitudes exist and what they portend.
For instance, we know about the rebellion that began in heaven and that led to wickedness and death for mankind. (Rom. 5:12; 1 John 3:8; 5:19) We have learned why wickedness has increased in our day and why love of God has waned. (Matt. 24:12; 2 Tim. 3:1-5, 13; Rev. 12:12) And rather than succumb to fear and anguish over the worsening conditions around us, we endure, knowing that our salvation is near. (Ps. 46:1, 2; Matt. 24:13) We know, too, that these situations are indications that a new world of righteousness is at hand. (Matt. 24:33; 2 Pet. 3:13) Armed with an understanding of the truth and aided by holy spirit, we ﬁnd comfort and peace of mind when faced with today’s stressful conditions.—2 Cor. 1:3, 4; Phil. 4:6, 7. Although we rejoice in having a knowledge of God’s Word and enjoy fellowship with those who worship Jehovah “with spirit and truth,” we still must do our utmost to remain ﬁrm in the faith. (John 4: 24; 2 Pet. 2:20, 21; 3:14) We realize that the archenemy of God is also our enemy and that his aim is to uproot us from our blessed relationship with Jehovah. (1 Pet. 5:8; Rev. 12:17) Therefore, we must do our best to resist the Devil and his “machinations,” or crafty acts.—Eph. 6:11, 13. This publication, Examining the Scriptures Daily —2012, can help us to “stay awake” and “stand ﬁrm in the faith.” (1 Cor. 16:13) Why not, then, make it a part of your routine to read the text and comments for each day? Take time to meditate on them, and see how you can apply the thoughts in your own life. At times you will ﬁnd it advantageous to read the material surrounding the text or to look up the source for the comments and read more of the article from which they were taken. If you have a family, discussing the daily text together with them can be most beneﬁcial and can bring great happiness to all.—Ps. 1:1-3.
“Your word is truth.” —John 17:17.
“What is truth?” When Pontius Pilate said those words, he was not actually seeking an answer. (John 18: 38) Jesus did not reply, and Pilate did not pursue the matter further. In fact, he just walked out of the audience chamber. So why did he ask the question? Jesus was on trial. He had answered all of Pilate’s questions up to that point. But a statement that Jesus made caught Pilate’s attention. The account relates: “Pilate said to him: ‘Well, then, are you a king?’ Jesus answered: ‘You yourself are saying that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone that is on the side of the truth listens to my voice.’ ”—John 18:37. Pilate’s retort: “What is truth?” was a cynical remark. In eﬀect, he was saying that the concept of truth was too broad and elusive to merit his attention. Actually, Jesus and Pilate were speaking about two diﬀerent things. Jesus had twice used the deﬁnite article, saying “the truth.” He was referring to divine truth—truth that issued from Jehovah God. Pilate, a Roman, had not accepted “the truth” and was not willing to learn from Jesus. So he spoke of truth in general. Many people today think the same way that Pilate did. To them, truth is not absolute but is ever-changing and dependent on the situation at hand. This attitude gives them the freedom to make their own determination of what is right or wrong, what to accept or reject, especially with respect to values and moral standards. Jesus knew where absolute truth could be found. That is why he said in prayer to his Father the words of our yeartext for 2012: “Your word is truth.” (John 17: 17) God’s written Word, the Bible, contains unchanging truth that emanates from Jehovah, the Source of all wisdom and knowledge. (Prov. 2:6) In fact, the Bible calls
Jehovah “the God of truth.” (Ps. 31:5) And since he is eternal, so is his truth. It is always there to guide us in the path of righteousness and life. (Ps. 16:11; Prov. 12:28; 2 Tim. 3:15-17) The truth is not a matter of personal opinion. How happy we are to have the Bible! In it Jehovah has preserved the truth and made it readily available to people everywhere. The Bible reveals things as they actually are. By means of the Scriptures, we can learn about the true God, Jehovah—his attributes, purposes, and commands. Answers to questions that have eluded so many for millenniums are found in the Bible. These questions include: What is the purpose of life? Why do we suﬀer and die? How can global peace and unity be achieved? Think, too, of the beneﬁts of knowing the truth. Jesus told his disciples: “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32) For example, knowing what happens to us when we die frees us from the dread of eternal torment, the fear of retribution by those who have died, and all kinds of superstitious beliefs and practices. (Ps. 146:4; Eccl. 3:20; 9:5, 10) Neither do we mourn inconsolably over the death of a loved one, for we know that God can reverse the situation. (John 5:28, 29; 1 Thess. 4:13, 14; Rev. 21:4, 5) By following Bible principles, we avoid doing things that can harm our health and shorten our life. (Isa. 48:17) Is there anything in the world that compares with such knowledge?—Eccl. 7:12. As we meditate on our 2012 yeartext and what it means for us individually, surely we will feel compelled not only to live by the truth but also to share it with others. Thus we and those who listen to us can live with purpose and peace of mind, now and forever!—1 Tim. 4:16.
DAILY TEXTS AND COMMENTS In the following pages, you will ﬁnd a Scripture text for each day and comments on that text. The comments are taken from the Watchtower (w) issues of April 2010 to March 2011. Figures following the date of the Watchtower issue refer to the number, in order, of each study article (1, 2, 3, 4, or 5) that appears in that issue, followed by the paragraphs where further comments may be found.
Sunday, January 1 He went forth conquering and to complete his conquest. —Rev. 6:2.
Jesus Christ, the Son of man, prophesied: “When the Son of man arrives in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit down on his glorious throne. And all the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will put the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left.” (Matt. 25:31-33) This refers to Christ’s coming as Judge to separate people of “all the nations” into two categories: “the sheep,” those who will have actively supported his spiritual brothers (anointed Christians on earth) and “the goats,” those “who do not obey the good news about our Lord Jesus.” (2 Thess. 1:7, 8) The sheep, described as “righteous ones,” will receive “everlasting life” on earth, but the goats “will depart into everlasting cutting-oﬀ,” or destruction.—Matt. 25:34, 40, 41, 45, 46. w10 9/15 5:15, 16
of Psalm 72. We are rightly impressed with his great compassion for those who were suﬀering. (Matt. 9:35, 36; 15:29-31) For instance, a man aﬄicted with leprosy approached Jesus and pleaded: “If you just want to, you can make me clean.” Jesus replied: “I want to. Be made clean.” And the man was healed! (Mark 1:40-42) Later, Jesus met a widow whose only son had died. “Moved with pity,” Jesus said, “Get up!” and her son did so. He was alive again! —Luke 7:11-15. w10 8/15 4:5, 6
Tuesday, January 3 The spirit of the truth . . . will guide you into all the truth. —John 16:13.
On the day of Pentecost 33 C.E., “the spirit of the truth” arrived, being poured out on about 120 Christians gathered together in Jerusalem. There were visible and audible evidences of this. (Acts 1:4, 5, 15; 2:1-4) The disciples spoke in a variety of tongues “about the magniﬁcent things of God.” (Acts 2:5-11) The prophet Joel had foretold this outpouring of holy spirit. (Joel 2:28-32) Onlookers were witnessing the fulﬁllment in a way none of them had expected, and the apostle Peter took the lead in explaining this development. (Acts 2:14-18) The holy spirit thus acted as a teacher in making clear to Peter that what the disciples had experienced was in fulﬁllment of that ancient prophecy. The spirit also acted as a remembrancer, for Peter quoted not only Joel but two psalms of David as well. (Ps. 16:8-11; 110:1; Acts 2:25-28, 34, 35) What all those assembled saw and heard were truly deep things of God. w10 7/15 4:3, 4
Monday, January 2 Let him save the sons of the poor one.—Ps. 72:4.
Under God’s direction, the Greater Solomon will ‘plead the cause of the aﬄicted ones and save the sons of the poor one.’ His rule will be one of peace and righteousness. (Ps. 72:1-4) While on earth, Jesus provided a preview of what his coming Thousand Year Reign will accomplish. (Rev. 20:4) Consider some of the activities of Jesus Christ that give us a glimpse of what he will do for mankind in fulﬁllment
Wednesday, January 4 If your brother commits a sin, go lay bare his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.—Matt. 18:15.
We must oppose the Devil, giving him no opportunity to harm us spiritually. (Jas. 4:7) Holy spirit helps us to resist Satan. For instance, we can do so by guarding against unbridled rage. Paul wrote: “Be wrathful, and yet do not sin; let the sun not set with you in a provoked state, neither allow place for the Devil.” (Eph. 4:26, 27) If we do become justiﬁably angry, an immediate silent prayer can help us to be “cool of spirit,” displaying self-control instead of acting in a way that could grieve God’s spirit. (Prov. 17:27) So let us not remain in a provoked state and give Satan a chance to induce us to do something evil. (Ps. 37:8, 9) One way to resist him is by settling disputes quickly in harmony with Jesus’ counsel.—Matt. 5:23, 24. w10 5/15 4:9
port entitled “Why Did Jehovah Use a Snake to Represent Satan?” This issue had bothered Brandon because he loves snakes, and he was upset that they were associated with Satan. Some families have occasionally put on Bible dramas, with each member of the family playing a character, reading his part from the Bible, or acting out an event. Not only are these teaching methods fun but they can keep your children involved, so that Bible principles can touch their heart. w10 6/15 5:13
Friday, January 6 We are bringing every thought into captivity to make it obedient to the Christ.—2 Cor. 10:5.
Children can be drawn into pornography by their natural curiosity. If that happens, it may have lasting eﬀects on their view of sexuality. These eﬀects, notes a report, may range from a distorted sense of sexual norms to “diﬃculty maintaining a healthy, loving relationship; an unrealistic view of women; and potentially, pornography addiction, which can interfere with school work, friendships and family relationships.” Even more devastating can be the eﬀects later in a marriage relationship. “Of all the addictions that I had before I became a Witness, pornography was by far the most diﬃcult to break,” wrote a Christian brother. “I still see these images at the oddest times—triggered by a random smell, some music, something I see, or even a stray thought. It is a daily and constant battle.” w10 4/15 3:10, 11
Thursday, January 5 Always rejoice in the Lord. —Phil. 4:4.
The Family Worship evening should not be a dry, somber occasion. After all, we worship “the happy God,” and he wants us to be joyful in our worship. (1 Tim. 1:11) Having an extra evening to discuss spiritual gems from the Bible is a real blessing. Parents can be ﬂexible in their teaching methods, using imagination and ingenuity. For example, one family allowed their ten-year-old son, Brandon, to present a re-
Saturday, January 7 Jehovah’s day will come as a thief, in which the heavens will pass away . . . , and earth and the works in it will be discovered.—2 Pet. 3:10.
What are “the heavens” and the “earth” mentioned here? When used symbolically in the Bible, the term “heavens” often refers to ruling powers, which are elevated above their subjects. (Isa. 14: 13, 14; Rev. 21:1, 2) “The heavens [that] will pass away” represent human rule over ungodly society. The “earth” represents the world of mankind alienated from God. The coming destruction will occur in stages during “the great tribulation.” (Rev. 7:14) In the ﬁrst phase of that tribulation, God will move the political rulers of this world to destroy “Babylon the Great,” thus showing his contempt for that religious harlot. (Rev. 17:5, 16; 18:8) Then, in the war of Armageddon, the ﬁnal phase of the great tribulation, Jehovah himself will wipe out the rest of Satan’s world.—Rev. 16: 14, 16; 19:19-21. w10 7/15 1:2-4
of security—whether physical or emotional. Many people feel that their physical security is threatened by crime, violence, the high cost of living, and even environmental issues. All face the problems of advancing age and ill health. And others who have jobs, homes, adequate ﬁnances, and a reasonable degree of health may wonder how long these will last. It is not surprising, then, that people around us feel extremely insecure or that they simply prefer not to think too deeply about their future. w10 6/15 1:3-5
Monday, January 9 There will be great tribulation such as has not occurred since the world’s beginning until now, no, nor will occur again. —Matt. 24:21.
Jesus stated that the days of that tribulation would be cut short “on account of the chosen ones,” the remnant of anointed Christians still on earth. (Matt. 24:22) Jehovah will not allow this destructive attack on false religion to wipe out anointed Christians and their other sheep companions. Jesus added that “after the tribulation of those days,” there will be signs in sun, moon, and stars, “and then the sign of the Son of man will appear in heaven.” This will cause the nations of the earth to “beat themselves in lamentation.” Not so the anointed, who have a heavenly hope, and their companions, who have an earthly hope. They will ‘raise themselves erect and lift up their heads because their deliverance is getting near.’—Matt. 24:29, 30; Luke 21:25-28. w10 9/15 5:13, 14
Sunday, January 8 Critical times hard to deal with will be here.—2 Tim. 3:1.
Today, the world is a dangerous place for Christians. (2 Tim. 3: 2-5) Satan knows that his days are numbered, and he is out to devour the unwary. (1 Pet. 5:8; Rev. 12:12, 17) However, we are not without protection. Jehovah has provided his people with a safe spiritual refuge—the Christian congregation. Secular society oﬀers only a limited amount
Tuesday, January 10 You must give to your servant an obedient heart to judge your people, to discern between good and bad.—1 Ki. 3:9.
Jehovah appeared to Solomon in a dream and said: “Request what I should give you.” Solomon made only one request, as noted above. As a result of Solomon’s humble request, God gave him what he asked for and more. (1 Ki. 3:5, 10-13) With Jehovah’s blessing, the reign of Solomon resulted in the most remarkable period of peace and prosperity ever realized under any government on earth. (1 Ki. 4: 25) Among those who came to see what Solomon’s rule was like was the queen of Sheba, along with her large entourage. She told Solomon: “True has the word proved to be that I heard in my own land . . . I had not been told the half. You have surpassed in wisdom and prosperity the things heard.” (1 Ki. 10:1, 6, 7) Yet, far greater wisdom was displayed by Jesus, who could rightly say with reference to himself: “Look! something more than Solomon is here.”—Matt. 12:42. w10 8/15 4:3, 4
address it kindly at an opportune time. (Eph. 4:27, 31, 32) Speak with your brother about the matter, frankly but graciously, in a spirit of reconciliation. (Lev. 19: 17; Matt. 18:15) Of course, you should take care to select the proper time. There is “a time to keep quiet and a time to speak.” (Eccl. 3:1, 7) Moreover, “the heart of the righteous one meditates so as to answer.” (Prov. 15:28) This may well involve waiting to talk problems out. Doing so when one is still very upset could make matters worse; but neither is it wise to wait a long time. w10 6/15 4:8, 9
Thursday, January 12 The spirit searches into all things, even the deep things of God.—1 Cor. 2:10.
The apostle Paul highlighted a vital role that the holy spirit plays when he said the words of today’s text. Indeed, Jehovah uses his holy spirit to reveal deep spiritual truths. Without this help, where would we be in our understanding of Jehovah’s purposes? (1 Cor. 2:912) Jesus indicated a twofold way in which the spirit would operate. Shortly before his death, he told his apostles: “The helper, the holy spirit, which the Father will send in my name, that one will teach you all things and bring back to your minds all the things I told you.” (John 14:26) The holy spirit would thus act as a teacher and as a remembrancer. As a teacher, it would help Christians grasp things not previously understood. As a remembrancer, it would help them recall and apply correctly what had been explained. w10 7/15 4:1, 2
Wednesday, January 11 Let the sun not set with you in a provoked state.—Eph. 4:26.
If something a brother has said or done disturbs you so much that you cannot simply pass it over, do not let hateful feelings fester in your heart. (Prov. 19:11) If someone angers you, get your own emotions under control and then take the steps needed to resolve the matter. Because the problem continues to trouble you,
Friday, January 13 If you belong to Christ, you are really Abraham’s seed, heirs with reference to a promise. —Gal. 3:29.
Starting at Pentecost 33 C.E., Jehovah used his spirit to anoint the secondary part of the seed of Abraham, many of whom were not descendants of Abraham. (Rom. 8:15-17) Holy spirit was in evidence upon Jesus’ ﬁrstcentury disciples, enabling them to preach with zeal and empowering them to perform powerful works. (Acts 1:8; 2:1-4; 1 Cor. 12: 7-11) By means of those miraculous gifts, holy spirit revealed a striking development in the outworking of Jehovah’s purpose. Jehovah was no longer using the centuries-old arrangement for worship that centered on the temple in Jerusalem. His favor had shifted to the newly formed Christian congregation. Ever since, Jehovah has been using that anointed congregation to serve his purpose. w10 4/15 2:9
God’s blessing on their nation. Who really does receive God’s blessing, and why? Jehovah foretold that in the last days, he would have a clean and peaceable people from all nations, who would preach the good news of the Kingdom to the ends of the earth despite hatred and opposition. (Isa. 2:2-4; Matt. 24:14; Rev. 7:9, 14) Those of us who have accepted the responsibility to live up to that inspired description want—and need—God’s blessing, for without it we could never hope to succeed. w10 9/15 1:1, 2
Sunday, January 15 If they have persecuted me, they will persecute you also. —John 15:20.
True Christians are not immune to the problems and pressures exerted by Satan’s system of things. (1 John 5:19) In some instances, Christ’s disciples may face certain added stress as they strive to remain faithful to Jehovah. However, even when “we are persecuted,” we are “not left in the lurch.” (2 Cor. 4:9) Why is that so? Jesus said: “Come to me, all you who are toiling and loaded down, and I will refresh you.” (Matt. 11:28) By having full faith in the ransom provision of Christ, we put ourselves in Jehovah’s hands, so to speak. In this way, we obtain “power beyond what is normal.” (2 Cor. 4:7) “The helper,” God’s holy spirit, bolsters our faith signiﬁcantly so that we can not only endure the trials and tribulations we face but also remain joyful.—John 14:26; Jas. 1: 2-4. w10 6/15 5:15, 16
Saturday, January 14 Unless Jehovah himself builds the house, it is to no avail that its builders have worked hard on it.—Ps. 127:1.
“God bless you!” In some lands, it is not uncommon to hear complete strangers say this when a person sneezes. The clergy of various religions can be found blessing people, animals, and inanimate objects. Travelers may be lured to some religious sites by the prospect of receiving a blessing. Politicians regularly invoke
Monday, January 16 See, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world! —John 1:29.
The cost of the ransom can be illustrated by an incident in the life of Jacob. Of all his sons, the one Jacob loved most was Joseph. Sadly, Joseph’s brothers envied and hated him. Yet, Joseph was willing to be sent by his father to see how his brothers were faring. At the time, they were shepherding Jacob’s ﬂock some 60 miles north of their home in Hebron. Imagine how Jacob felt when his sons returned with Joseph’s garment covered with blood! “It is my son’s long garment!” he exclaimed. “A vicious wild beast must have devoured him! Joseph is surely torn to pieces!” All of this had a great impact on Jacob, who mourned over Joseph for many days. (Gen. 37:33, 34) Jehovah does not react to situations exactly as imperfect humans do. Yet, meditating on this incident in the life of Jacob may help us to grasp how God must have felt when his beloved Son was mistreated and cruelly put to death as a man. w10 8/15 2:11, 14
tion on earth. (Eph. 1:22; Col. 1: 13, 18) Jesus guides the Christian congregation by means of Jehovah’s holy spirit, and he has at his service angels who were “made subject to him.” (1 Pet. 3:22) Also by means of holy spirit, Christ gave “gifts in men,” some “as shepherds and teachers” in the congregation. (Eph. 4:8, 11) The apostle Paul urged Christian overseers: “Pay attention to yourselves and to all the ﬂock, among which the holy spirit has appointed you overseers, to shepherd the congregation of God.”—Acts 20: 28. w10 9/15 4:7, 8
Wednesday, January 18 Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.—1 Cor. 5:13.
The ﬁrst-century Corinthian congregation faced the situation of a man who unrepentantly practiced fornication. His conduct threatened the purity of the congregation and was a scandal even among nonbelievers. Hence, Paul rightly directed that the man be removed from the congregation. (1 Cor. 5:1, 7, 11-13) The congregation was thus protected from a corrupting influence, and the sinner was brought to his senses and to sincere repentance. On the basis of the man’s works befitting repentance, Paul indicated in his second letter to that congregation that the man should be reinstated. Paul also directed that the congregation “kindly forgive and comfort [the repentant sinner], that somehow such a man may not be swallowed up by his being overly sad.” (2 Cor. 2:5-8) Should we not likewise ‘conﬁrm our love’ for sinners who truly repent and are reinstated?—Matt. 6:14, 15; Luke 15:7. w10 6/15 2:13-15
Tuesday, January 17 All authority has been given me in heaven and on the earth. —Matt. 28:18.
Jehovah had Jesus pass on holy spirit to strengthen his disciples in Christian truth. (John 15: 26) Jesus poured out this spirit upon the early Christians at Pentecost 33 C.E. (Acts 2:33) That outpouring of the holy spirit marked the founding of the Christian congregation. Jehovah invested his Son with the heavenly leadership of the congrega-
Thursday, January 19 You are worthy, Jehovah, even our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power, because you created all things, and because of your will they existed and were created. —Rev. 4:11.
By reason of his Creatorship, Jehovah God is the Supreme Sovereign of the universe and is above all of his creation. That Jehovah “is a God, not of disorder, but of peace” can be seen by the way in which his angelic family is organized. (1 Cor. 14:33; Isa. 6:1-3; Heb. 12:22, 23) Before anything was created, God existed by himself for countless ages of time. His very ﬁrst creation was the spirit creature known as “the Word” because he was the Sp okesman for Jehovah. The Word is the one through whom all other things came into existence. Later, he came to earth as a perfect human and became known as Jesus Christ.—John 1:1-3, 14. w10 5/15 1:1, 2
Sarah. (Gen. 20:1-18) That was not just an isolated incident. Jehovah delivered Abraham and his family members on a number of occasions. (Gen. 12:14-20; 14:1320; 26:26-29) Regarding Abraham and his descendants, the psalmist could therefore say: “He [Jehovah] did not allow any human to defraud them, but on their account he reproved kings, saying: ‘Do not you men touch my anointed ones, and to my prophets do nothing bad.’ ”—Ps. 105:14, 15. w10 4/15 2:5, 6
Saturday, January 21 The women telling the good news are a large army. —Ps. 68:11.
In the first centur y, women played a signiﬁcant part in spreading Christianity. They preached to others about God’s Kingdom and did things related to that preaching work. (Luke 8:1-3) For example, the apostle Paul called Phoebe “a minister of the congregation that is in Cenchreae.” And in sending greetings to fellow workers, Paul mentioned a number of faithful women, including “Tryphaena and Tryphosa, women who are working hard in the Lord.” He also noted “Persis our beloved one, for she performed many labors in the Lord.” (Rom. 16:1, 12) In our time, a large part of the more than seven million people preaching the good news of God’s Kingdom throughout the world are women of all ages. (Matt. 24:14) Many of them are full-time ministers, missionaries, and members of Bethel families. Jehovah values the part women play in declaring the good news and accomplishing his purposes. w10 5/15 2:14, 15
Friday, January 20 I am a shield for you. —Gen. 15:1.
Those were not empty words. Consider, for example, what happened about 1919 B.C.E. when Abraham and Sarah took up temporary residence in Gerar. Not knowing that Sarah was Abraham’s wife, Abimelech, the king of Gerar, took Sarah with the intention of making her his wife. Was Satan manipulating matters behind the scenes, trying to prevent Sarah from bearing Abraham’s seed? The Bible does not say. What it does tell us is that Jehovah intervened. In a dream, he warned Abimelech not to touch
Sunday, January 22 Immediately in the synagogues [Paul] began to preach Jesus, that this One is the Son of God. —Acts 9:20.
How did some who b ecame apostles respond when Christ called them to be his followers? Regarding Matthew, the account says: “Leaving everything behind he rose up and went following him.” (Luke 5:27, 28) About Peter and Andrew, who were ﬁshing, we read: “At once abandoning the nets, they followed him.” Jesus next saw James and John, who were mending their nets along with their father. How did they react to Jesus’ invitation? “At once leaving the boat and their father, they followed him.” (Matt. 4:18-22) We surely want to imitate the ﬁne examples of those disciples and respond eagerly and without reservation. (Heb. 6:11, 12) And as we vigorously exert ourselves in following the Christ, we enjoy such rich and lasting blessings as peace of mind, satisfaction, contentment, God’s approval, and the prospect of everlasting life.—1 Tim. 4:10. w10 4/15 4:15-17
12:14-18) Although your eye, for example, may be more prominent than your heart, are not both valuable to you? Similarly, Jehovah values all members of the congregation even though some for a time may be more prominent than others. So let us adopt Jehovah’s view of our brothers. Rather than being jealous of others, we can show concern and personal interest in them. By doing so, we contribute to the difference between true Christians and those in the churches of Christendom. w10 9/15 2:3, 12, 13
Tuesday, January 24 Remember, now, your Grand Creator in the days of your young manhood.—Eccl. 12:1.
How old do you young ones need to be in order to accept that warm invitation to worship and serve Jehovah? No age is speciﬁed in the Scriptures. Therefore, do not hold back, thinking that you are too young. No matter how old you are, you are encouraged to respond without delay. Many of you are helped to make spiritual advancement by one or both of your parents. In this way, you are like Timothy of Bible times. When he was just an infant, he was taught the holy writings by his mother, Eunice, and his grandmother Lois. (2 Tim. 3:14, 15) Likely, your parents are training you in a similar way by studying the Bible with you, praying with you, taking you to congregation meetings and larger assemblies of God’s people, and sharing with you in the ﬁeld ministry. Really, teaching you God’s ways is a highly important responsibility that your parents received from Jehovah himself. w10 4/15 1:4, 5
Monday, January 23 The body is one but has many members.—1 Cor. 12:12.
Because of inherited imperfection, we all have “a tendency to envy,” and even longtime Christians may occasionally feel jealous of the circumstances, possessions, privileges, or abilities of others. (Jas. 4:5) To help us avoid jealousy, recall that the Bible compares anointed members of the Christian congregation to parts of the human body. (1 Cor.
Wednesday, January 25 Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you meet with various trials, knowing as you do that this tested quality of your faith works out endurance. —Jas. 1:2, 3.
Consider the example of Jacob’s son Joseph, who was sold into slavery by his own brothers. (Gen. 37:23-28; 42:21) Did Joseph’s faith crumble as a result of that act of cruelty? Did he become embittered against God for allowing evil to befall him? God’s Word clearly answers no! Moreover, that was not the end of Joseph’s trials. Later, he was falsely accused of attempted rape and was imprisoned. Once again, though, he never wavered in his godly devotion. (Gen. 39:921) Rather, he let trials strengthen him, and for this he was richly rewarded. Granted, trials can sadden or even depress us. But instead of becoming downhearted, why not view trials as an opportunity to conﬁrm your love for God and to reﬁne your faith in him and his Word? w10 7/15 2: 13-15
The Scriptures encourage the believing wife to display Christian qualities at all times, however diﬃcult this may be. For example, we read at 1 Corinthians 13:4: “Love is long-suﬀering.” The Christian wife does well, then, to continue to behave “with complete lowliness of mind and mildness, with long-suﬀering,” putting up with the situation in love. (Eph. 4:2) With the help of God’s active force—his holy spirit—it is possible to maintain Christian qualities even under diﬃcult circumstances. w10 5/15 2:6-8
Friday, January 27 [Timothy] was well reported on by the brothers in Lystra and Iconium.—Acts 16:2.
Timothy’s mother, Eunice, and his grandmother Lois were dedicated Christians, but his father was an unbeliever. (2 Tim. 1:5) Paul may have become acquainted with this family on his ﬁrst visit to the area a couple of years earlier. But the apostle now expressed particular interest in Timothy because he seemed to be an exceptional young man. Hence, with the approval of the local body of elders, Timothy became an assistant to Paul in missionary activity. (Acts 16:3) Timothy had much to learn from his older companion. But learn he did, to the extent that, in time, Paul could conﬁdently send Timothy to visit congregations and act as his representative. In the 15 years or so that Timothy enjoyed Paul’s association, the inexperienced and perhaps shy young man progressed to the point of becoming an excellent overseer.—Phil. 2:19-22; 1 Tim. 1:3. w10 6/15 2:6, 7
Thursday, January 26 They may be won without a word.—1 Pet. 3:1.
God’s Word tells the wife to maintain a submissive attitude toward the unbelieving husband. Her good conduct can inﬂuence him to consider what it is that motivates her to behave in such a ﬁne manner. As a result, the husband may look into the beliefs of his Christian wife and eventually accept the truth himself. What, though, if the unbelieving husband does not respond favorably?
Saturday, January 28 Through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin.—Rom. 5:12.
The Biblical account about rebellion in the garden of Eden is well-known. All of us feel the eﬀects of Adam’s sin. No matter how hard we try to do what is right, we make mistakes, for which we need God’s forgiveness. Even the apostle Paul lamented: “The good that I wish I do not do, but the bad that I do not wish is what I practice. Miserable man that I am!” (Rom. 7:19, 24) Our ﬁrst parents, Adam and Eve, foolishly rejected God’s sovereignty in favor of being ruled by “the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan.” (Rev. 12:9) Adam listened to his wife and joined her in eating the forbidden fruit. Thus Adam forfeited his perfect standing with Jehovah and brought us under the cruel yoke of sin and death. At the same time, mankind came under the rival sovereignty of Satan, “the god of this world.” —2 Cor. 4:4, King James Version; Rom. 7:14. w10 8/15 1:1, 3, 4
you like to taste that joy as well? Some brothers and sisters have considered their circumstances and decided that they could move to an area in their country, or even abroad, where there is a greater need for Kingdom publishers. Still others have learned another language to help foreignspeaking people. While expanding our ministry can be challenging, it brings rich blessings, and we may help many others to “come to an accurate knowledge of truth.”—1 Tim. 2:3, 4; 2 Cor. 9:6. w10 4/15 4:14
Monday, January 30 Congregate the people, the men and the women and the little ones . . . , in order that they may listen and in order that they may learn.—Deut. 31:12.
Are young ones today invited to congregate in order to worship Jehovah? Yes! It is, therefore, a source of joy for all of God’s people to observe that so many young servants of God around the world take to heart Paul’s exhortation: “Let us consider one another to incite to love and ﬁne works, not forsaking the gathering of ourselves together, as some have the custom, but encouraging one another, and all the more so as you behold the day drawing near.” (Heb. 10:24, 25) Further, many children share with their parents in preaching the good news of God’s Kingdom. (Matt. 24:14) And as an expression of their heartfelt love for Jehovah, many thousands of young people every year present themselves for baptism and enjoy the blessings that result from being a disciple of Christ.—Matt. 16:24; Mark 10:29, 30. w10 4/15 1:1, 3
Sunday, January 29 The harvest is great, but the workers are few. Therefore, beg the Master of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest. —Matt. 9:37, 38.
A careful consideration of our circumstances may lead us to conclude that we could increase the amount of time we spend in the ministry. For instance, many thousands of our young people who recently graduated from school have expanded their ministry and are now experiencing the joy that comes from zealously serving as pioneers. Would
Tuesday, January 31 If these things exist in you and overﬂow, they will prevent you from being either inactive or unfruitful regarding the accurate knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.—2 Pet. 1:8.
The prophet Jeremiah serves as a ﬁne example for us. He needed the spiritual sustenance he received from Jehovah and deeply appreciated it. That nourishment enabled him to preach with endurance to an unresponsive people. “The word of Jehovah . . . proved to be like a burning ﬁre
shut up in my bones,” he said. (Jer. 20:8, 9) It also helped him to endure the hard times that climaxed with the destruction of Jerusalem. Today, we have the complete written Word of God. When we study it diligently and make God’s thoughts our thoughts, we, like Jeremiah, will be able to endure joyfully in the ministry, stay faithful through trials, and remain morally and spiritually clean. Therefore, be determined not to cancel your Family Worship evening—not even for one week!—Jas. 5:10. w10 7/15 2: 5, 8, 9
Wednesday, February 1 Who makes you to diﬀer from another? Indeed, what do you have that you did not receive? If, now, you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as though you did not receive it? —1 Cor. 4:7.
Pride separates people. A proud person likes to consider himself superior and usually gets selﬁsh pleasure from boasting. But this often stands in the way of unity; those who hear the boasting may become jealous. The disciple James tells us frankly: “All such taking of pride is wicked.” (Jas. 4: 16) It is unloving to treat others as inferior. Remarkably, Jehovah is an example of humility in that he deals with imperfect people like us. David wrote: “It is your [God’s] humility that makes me great.” (2 Sam. 22:36) God’s Word helps us to conquer pride by teaching us to reason properly. Therefore, Paul was inspired to ask the questions in today’s text. w10 9/15 2:11
Thursday, February 2 Love is long-suﬀering and kind. —1 Cor. 13:4.
“For all things I have the strength by virtue of him who imparts power to me,” wrote Paul. (Phil. 4:13) God’s spirit enables a Christian mate to do many things that would not be possible otherwise. For example, harsh treatment by one’s unbelieving spouse may make it tempting for one to retaliate. However, the Bible tells all Christians: “Return evil for evil to no one. . . . For it is written: ‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay, says Jehovah.’ ” (Rom. 12:17-19) Similarly, 1 Thessalonians 5:15 counsels us: “See that no one renders injury for injury to anyone else, but always pursue what is good toward one another and to all others.” With the backing of Jehovah’s holy spirit, what is impossible in our own strength becomes possible. How appropriate that we pray for God’s holy spirit to provide what we lack! w10 5/15 2:8, 9
Friday, February 3 Keep conquering the evil with the good.—Rom. 12:21.
Gracious speech and good communication help to establish and sustain peaceful relationships. In fact, doing what we can to improve our relationships with others can improve our communication with them. Reaching out to others with sincere, kind acts —ﬁnding opportunities to help, giving a gift from the heart, extending hospitality—can contribute to open communication. It can even “heap ﬁery coals” on a person and may bring out good qualities, making it easier to talk things out. (Rom. 12:20) The patriarch Jacob understood this. His twin brother, Esau, was so angry with him that Jacob ﬂed for fear Esau would kill him. After many years, Jacob returned. Esau came out to meet him, along with 400 men. Jacob prayed for Jehovah’s help. Then he sent ahead to Esau a large gift of livestock. The gift achieved its purpose. When they met, Esau’s heart had softened, and he ran and embraced Jacob.—Gen. 27:41-44; 32:6, 11, 13-15; 33:4, 10. w10 6/15 4:10, 11
From the beginning of his ministry on earth, Jesus proved himself to be “Messiah the Leader.” Within a few days, he began gathering disciples, and he performed his ﬁrst miracle. (John 1:35–2:11) His disciples followed him as he traveled the length and breadth of the land, preaching the good news of the Kingdom. (Luke 8:1) He trained them in the preaching work and took the lead in preaching and teaching, setting a ﬁne example. (Luke 9:1-6) Christian elders today do well to imitate him in this respect. w10 9/15 4:4, 5
Sunday, February 5 Jesus . . . gave himself a corresponding ransom for all. —1 Tim. 2:5, 6.
As descendants of Adam, we have inherited an imperfect body prone to sin and eventual death. When Adam sinned, we were in his loins, so to speak. So the sentence of death included us. If Jehovah were to reverse the death process without the payment of a ransom, he would be untrue to his word. In eﬀect, Paul spoke for all of us when he said: “We know that the Law is spiritual; but I am ﬂeshly, sold under sin. Miserable man that I am! Who will rescue me from the body undergoing this death?” (Rom. 7:14, 24) Only Jehovah God could provide the legal basis whereby he could justly forgive us our sins and free us from the penalty of eternal death. This he did by sending his beloved Son from heaven to be born as a perfect human, who could give his life as a ransom for us. Unlike Adam, Jesus remained perfect. Indeed, “he committed no sin.”—1 Pet. 2:22. w10 8/15 2: 9, 10
Saturday, February 4 God sent forth his Son. —Gal. 4:4.
Jehovah sent his angel Gabriel to the prophet Daniel to convey to him a prophecy concerning the coming of “Messiah the Leader.” (Dan. 9:21-25) Exactly on time, in the fall of 29 C.E., Jesus was baptized by John. Holy spirit was poured out upon Jesus, making him the Anointed One—Christ, the Messiah. (Matt. 3:13-17; John 1:29-34) As such, he was to become an incomparable Leader.
Monday, February 6 I shall not set in front of my eyes any good-for-nothing thing. —Ps. 101:3.
Christians avoid entertainment that promotes materialism or the occult or that features violence, bloodshed, and death. Christian parents have the responsibility before Jehovah to be selective about what they allow to be viewed in their home. Of course, no true Christian would deliberately involve himself in spiritism. Still, parents need to be aware of ﬁlms, TV series, video games, and even comics and children’s books that highlight uncanny practices. (Prov. 22:5) Whether we are young or old, our eyes should ﬁnd no pleasure in video games that feature violence and depict killing with gory realism. (Ps. 11:5) We must refuse to focus our mind on any activity that Jehovah condemns. Remember, Satan is targeting our thoughts. (2 Cor. 11:3) Even spending too much time viewing entertainment that may be considered acceptable can encroach on family worship, daily Bible reading, and our preparation for meetings.—Phil. 1:9, 10. w10 4/15 3: 12, 13
supplication that you may succeed in escaping all these things that are destined to occur, and in standing before the Son of man.” (Luke 21:36) Note Jesus’ use of the word “supplication,” which is a very earnest form of prayer. By admonishing us to make supplication, Jesus emphasized that this is no time to be casual about standing before him and his Father. Only those standing in an approved condition will have the prospect of surviving Jehovah’s day. w10 7/15 2:13, 16
Wednesday, February 8 Speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, because we are members belonging to one another.—Eph. 4:25.
Since we are united as “members belonging to one another,” we certainly should not be devious or delib erately tr y to mislead our fellow worshippers, for that is the same as lying to them. Any who were to persist in such a course would end up having no relationship with God. (Prov. 3:32) Deceitful words and actions could disrupt the unity of the congregation. Therefore, we should be like the trustworthy prophet Daniel, in whom others could ﬁnd nothing corrupt. (Dan. 6:4) And we ought to bear in mind Paul’s counsel to Christians with a heavenly hope that each member of “the body of the Christ” belongs to all the others and needs to remain united with Jesus’ truthful anointed followers. (Eph. 4:11, 12) If we hope to live forever on the Paradise earth, we too must speak the truth, thereby contributing to the unity of our worldwide brotherhood. w10 5/15 4:7, 8
Tuesday, February 7 Jehovah knows how to deliver people of godly devotion out of trial.—2 Pet. 2:9.
No matter what trials may befall us, God’s love is there to sustain us. (Rom. 8:35-39) Though Satan will not stop trying to discourage us, he will fail if we remain “sound in mind” and “vigilant with a view to prayers.” (1 Pet. 4:7) Jesus said: “Keep awake, then, all the time making
Thursday, February 9 You have been washed clean, . . . you have been sanctiﬁed, . . . you have been declared righteous in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and with the spirit of our God.—1 Cor. 6:11.
Holy spirit is a force for cleanness among God’s people. Those who play a part in Jehovah’s purpose must be morally clean. (1 Cor. 6:9-11) Some who become true Christians formerly engaged in such immoral practices as fornication, adultery, and homosexuality. The desires that give birth to sinful acts can be deeply entrenched. (Jas. 1:14, 15) Yet, such individuals have been “washed clean,” indicating that they have made the changes in their life needed to please God. What enables a lover of God to resist successfully the impulse to act on wrong desires? “The spirit of our God,” says today’s text. By keeping morally clean, you show that you are letting that spirit be a dominant force in your life. w10 4/15 2:11
ple failed to serve him “with rejoicing and joy of heart.” (Deut. 28:45-47) Jehovah deserves more than mechanical obedience to speciﬁc orders, such as can be performed even by animals or demons. (Mark 1:27; Jas. 3:3) Genuine obedience to God is an expression of love. It is marked by joy that stems from faith that Jehovah’s commandments are not burdensome and that “he becomes the rewarder of those earnestly seeking him.”—Heb. 11:6; 1 John 5:3. w10 9/15 1:3, 4
Saturday, February 11 The Lamb, who is in the midst of the throne, will shepherd them, and will guide them to fountains of waters of life.—Rev. 7:17.
With the total number of his king-priest associates sealed and the sheep identified and placed on his right hand for salvation, Christ can go on to “complete his conquest.” (Rev. 5:9, 10; 6:2) At the head of an army of powerful angels, he will destroy Satan’s entire political, military, and commercial system on earth. (Rev. 2:26, 27; 19: 11-21) Then he will abyss Satan and the demons for a thousand years. (Rev. 20:1-3) Speaking of the “great crowd” of other sheep, who will survive the great tribulation, the apostle John prophesied using the words of today’s text. (Rev. 7:9) Yes, throughout his Thousand Year Reign, Christ will continue to lead the other sheep, who truly listen to his voice, and guide them to everlasting life. (John 10:16, 26-28) May we faithfully follow our royal Leader—now and on into Jehovah’s promised new world! w10 9/15 5:16, 17
Friday, February 10 Blessings are for the head of the righteous one.—Prov. 10:6.
Just before the nation of Israel entered the Promised Land, Jehovah indicated that remarkable prosperity and protection would be theirs if they obeyed his voice. (Deut. 28:1, 2) Jehovah’s blessings would not just come upon God’s people but would “overtake” them. For those obedient ones, the blessings would be absolutely certain. With what attitude were the Israelites to be obedient? God’s Law stated that he would be displeased if his peo-
Sunday, February 12 Power was going out of him and healing them all.—Luke 6:19.
When John the Baptist sent two messengers to seek conﬁrmation that Jesus was the Messiah, they found Him ‘curing many of sicknesses and grievous diseases and wicked spirits and granting many blind persons the favor of seeing.’ Jesus then told the two: “Report to John what you saw and heard: the blind are receiving sight, the lame are walking, the lepers are being cleansed and the deaf are hearing, the dead are being raised up, the poor are being told the good news.” (Luke 7: 19-22) How that message must have encouraged John! True, the relief from suﬀering that Jesus provided during his earthly ministry was only temporary. Those whom he healed or resurrected later died. Yet, the miracles that Jesus performed while on earth were foregleams of the lasting relief humankind will enjoy under his Messianic rule. w10 8/15 4:8, 9
the planning stages for a second journey, he did not want Mark to travel with them. (Acts 13: 1-5, 13; 15:37, 38) Some years later, Paul wrote to Timothy: “Take Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministering.” (2 Tim. 4:11) Yes, Mark had grown in Paul’s estimation. There is a lesson to be learned from this. When brothers overcome diﬃculties and the problems pass, the right thing to do is to move on and continue to help others make spiritual progress. Being positive builds up the congregation. w10 6/15 2:16-18
Tuesday, February 14 Do your utmost to be found ﬁnally by [God] spotless and unblemished and in peace.—2 Pet. 3:14.
Jehovah knows that we need to exert ourselves to remain “spotless and unblemished,” untainted by the ﬁlth of Satan’s world. Exerting ourselves includes protecting our heart from being overtaken by wrong desires. (Prov. 4:23; Jas. 1:14, 15) It also includes standing ﬁrm against those who are puzzled about our Christian way of life and who “go on speaking abusively of [us].” (1 Pet. 4:4) Because of our imperfection, it is a struggle to do what is right. (Rom. 7:21-25) We can hope to succeed only if we turn to Jehovah, who generously gives holy spirit to those sincerely asking him. (Luke 11:13) That spirit, in turn, nurtures within us qualities that merit God’s approval and that help us to cope not only with life’s temptations but also with its trials, which may well increase as Jehovah’s day draws near. w10 7/15 2:10-12
Monday, February 13 John withdrew from them and returned to Jerusalem. —Acts 13:13.
A Scriptural account that shows that we should not harbor negative feelings against those who have disappointed us concerns John Mark. When Paul and Barnabas began their ﬁrst missionary journey, Mark went along to assist them. But at a certain point in their journey and for a reason not speciﬁed, John Mark left his companions and returned home. Paul was so disappointed about this decision that in
Wednesday, February 15 The lips of one who is stupid enter into quarreling.—Prov. 18:6.
Just as we need to show graciousness and restraint when speaking with workmates or with strangers in the ministry, we also need to do so in the congregation and at home. Venting anger without concern for the consequences can cause serious damage to our own and others’ spiritual, emotional, and physical health. (Prov. 18:7) Bad feelings—manifestations of our imperfect nature—must be controlled. Abusive speech, ridicule, contempt, and hateful wrath are wrong. (Col. 3:8; Jas. 1:20) They can destroy precious relationships with other people and with Jehovah. Jesus taught: “Everyone who continues wrathful with his brother will be accountable to the court of justice; but whoever addresses his brother with an unspeakable word of contempt will be accountable to the Supreme Court; whereas whoever says, ‘You despicable fool!’ will be liable to the ﬁery Gehenna.”—Matt. 5:22. w10 6/15 4:7
he points out what we should do. If we are living and walking by holy spirit, we will work hard so that we can care for our family and also have “something to distribute to someone in need.” (1 Tim. 5:8) Jesus and his apostles set aside funds to help the poor, but the betrayer Judas Iscariot carried oﬀ some of the money. (John 12:4-6) He surely was not led by holy spirit. We who are guided by God’s spirit “conduct ourselves honestly in all things.” (Heb. 13:18) We thus avoid grieving Jehovah’s holy spirit. w10 5/15 4:10, 11
Friday, February 17 Everyone that keeps on looking at a woman so as to have a passion for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.—Matt. 5:28.
In today’s world, it has become increasingly common to ‘keep on looking’ at pornography, particularly on the Internet. We do not have to look for such sites—they look for us! In what way? An ad with an enticing picture may suddenly appear on one’s computer screen. Or an innocuous-looking e-mail, once opened, may explode into a pornographic picture designed in such a way as to make exiting from it diﬃcult. Even if a person gets only a glimpse before deleting it, the image has already made an impression on his mind. Just a brief brush with pornography can have sad consequences. It can leave an individual with a guilty conscience and a struggle to erase immoral scenes from his mind. Worse yet, someone who deliberately “keeps on looking” needs to have his illicit desires deadened.—Eph. 5:3, 4, 12; Col. 3:5, 6. w10 4/15 3:8, 9
Thursday, February 16 Let the stealer steal no more, but rather let him do hard work, doing with his hands what is good work.—Eph. 4:28.
If a dedicated Christian were to steal, he would actually ‘assail the name of God’ by bringing reproach on it. (Prov. 30:7-9) Even poverty does not justify theft. Those who love God and neighbor realize that stealing is never justiﬁed. (Mark 12:28-31) In today’s text, Paul does not just mention what we should not do;
Saturday, February 18 In unity I shall set them, like a ﬂock in the pen.—Mic. 2:12.
Micah foretold the elevation of true worship above all other forms of worship, whether of false gods or of the State as a god. (Mic. 4:1, 5) Micah also described how true worship would unite former enemies. (Mic. 4: 2, 3) Those leaving the worship of man-made gods or of nations to embrace the worship of Jehovah enjoy global unity. God instructs them in the ways of love. The global unity of true Christians today is unique and is clear evidence that Jehovah continues to guide his people by means of his spirit. Individuals from all nations are being united on a scale never before seen in human history. This is in remarkable fulﬁllment of what is implied by Revelation 7:9, 14, and it indicates that God’s angels will soon release the “winds” that will destroy the present wicked system of things. (Rev. 7:1-4, 9, 10, 14) Is it not a privilege to be united in the worldwide brotherhood? w10 9/15 2:17-19
refreshment. (Rom. 8:6) For example, some people have turned to drug and alcohol abuse, pornography, extreme sports, or various illicit activities in an eﬀort to excite their senses. The “crafty acts” of Satan are intended to mislead by giving one a perverted sense of refreshment. (Eph. 6:11, ftn.) When we are attuned to Jehovah’s regulations, we recognize that any pleasures oﬀered by this world are momentary. (Heb. 11:25) True refreshment, the kind that brings a deep, longlasting sense of joy and satisfaction, comes from doing our heavenly Father’s will. w10 6/15 5: 17, 19
Monday, February 20 [Epaphroditus] is depressed. —Phil. 2:26.
What could the Philippians do to help Epaphroditus? Paul wrote: “Give him the customary welcome in the Lord with all joy; and keep holding men of that sort dear.” (Phil. 2:29) We too should encourage brothers who are discouraged or depressed. Doubtless there are positive things that we can say about their service to Jehovah. Perhaps they have made great changes in their lives in order to become Christians or to serve in the full-time ministry. We appreciate those eﬀorts, and we can assure them that Jehovah does too. If advancing age or ill health prevents some faithful ones from doing all they once could, they nevertheless merit all our respect for their years of service. Jehovah’s recommendation to all of his faithful ones is: “Speak consolingly to the depressed souls, support the weak, be long-suﬀering toward all.” —1 Thess. 5:14. w10 6/15 2:10-12
Sunday, February 19 Happy are those hungering and thirsting for righteousness. —Matt. 5:6.
Genuine Christians today need to guard against being unduly inﬂuenced by the pleasure-mad spirit of this world. (Eph. 2:2-5) Otherwise, we may be ensnared by “the desire of the ﬂesh and the desire of the eyes and the showy display of one’s means of life.” (1 John 2:16) Or we may mistakenly believe that yielding to the desires of the ﬂesh will bring
Tuesday, February 21 Holy spirit will come upon you, and power of the Most High will overshadow you. For that reason also what is born will be called holy, God’s Son. —Luke 1:35.
Holy spirit was directly involved in the life and ministry of Jesus. Operating in the womb of the virgin Mary, holy spirit accomplished something never done b efore or since. It caused an imperfect woman to conceive and give birth to a perfect Son, who was not under the penalty of death. (Luke 1: 26-31, 34) The spirit later protected the infant Jesus from premature death. (Matt. 2:7, 8, 12, 13) When Jesus was about 30, God anointed him with holy spirit, appointing him to be the heir to David’s throne and commissioning him to preach. (Luke 1: 32, 33; 4:16-21) Holy spirit empowered Jesus to perform miracles, including healing the sick, feeding the crowds, and raising the dead. Such mighty acts were foregleams of the blessings we can expect under Jesus’ kingly rule. w10 4/15 2:8
Originator of marriage—knows exactly what is required for marital happiness. Always do things his way, and ‘the joy of Jehovah will be your stronghold,’ even in today’s troubled world. (Neh. 8: 10) A Christian husband who loves his wife as he does himself will exercise tender, considerate headship. His godly wife will be truly lovable, for she will be supportive and will show him deep respect. Most important of all, their exemplary marriage will honor our praiseworthy God, Jehovah. w10 5/15 2:3, 21, 22
Thursday, February 23 You positively will not die. —Gen. 3:4.
Eve told Satan of God’s clear command that one speciﬁc tree was not to be touched, on pain of death. The Devil, however, deceived Eve into believing that God was withholding something good and that by eating the forbidden fruit, she would become like God, having moral independence. (Gen. 3:1-5) True to his infallible word, Jehovah passed the sentence of death on Adam and Eve. (Gen. 3:16-19) But that did not mean God’s purpose had failed. Far from it! When sentencing Adam and Eve, Jehovah gave their future descendants a bright ray of hope. He did so by announcing his purpose to raise up a “seed” whom Satan would bruise in the heel. That promised Seed, however, would recover from the heel wound and would “bruise [Satan] in the head.” (Gen. 3:15) The Bible elab orates on this theme by stating: “For this purpose the Son of God was made manifest, namely, to break up the works of the Devil.” —1 John 3:8. w10 8/15 1:3, 5
Wednesday, February 22 A man will leave his father and his mother and he must stick to his wife and they must become one ﬂesh.—Gen. 2:24.
Christians joined in wedlock have so many reasons to express gratitude to God! They can walk hand in hand as a happily married couple. Especially can they be thankful for God’s blessed gift of marriage because it aﬀords them the opportunity to blend their lives and walk with Jehovah. (Ruth 1:9; Mic. 6:8) He—the
Friday, February 24 The elements being intensely hot will be dissolved.—2 Pet. 3:10.
“The elements” mentioned by Peter refer to the fundamental things that give the world its ungodly characteristics, attitudes, ways, and goals. “The elements” include “the spirit of the world,” which “operates in the sons of disobedience.” (1 Cor. 2:12; Eph. 2:1-3) That spirit, or “air,” pervades Satan’s world. It impels people to think, plan, speak, and act in ways that reﬂect the mind of Satan, the proud, deﬁant “ruler of the authority of the air.” Therefore, knowingly or unknowingly, those infected by the world’s spirit allow their minds and hearts to be inﬂuenced by Satan, so that they reﬂect his thinking and attitude. As a result, they do what they want, without regard for the will of God. They react to situations on the basis of pride or selﬁshness, they manifest a rebellious attitude toward authority, and they give free rein to “the desire of the ﬂesh and the desire of the eyes.” —1 John 2:15-17. w10 7/15 1:5, 6
som by assigning Jesus to pour out holy spirit upon his disciples on the day of Pentecost 33 C.E. (Acts 2:33) The ransom is totally undeserved. But by exercising faith in it, millions today have become friends of God, with the hope of everlasting life on a paradise earth. Becoming Jehovah’s friends, however, is not an assurance that we will remain in such a relationship with him. To escape God’s future day of wrath, we must keep on showing our deep appreciation for “the ransom paid by Christ Jesus.”—Rom. 3:24. w10 8/15 2:15, 17
Sunday, February 26 This man is a chosen vessel to me to bear my name to the nations.—Acts 9:15.
Right from the start, Jesus personally directed the worldwide preaching and teaching activity. He established the order in which the good news of the Kingdom was to be transmitted to the inhabitants of the earth. During his ministry, he instructed his apostles: “Go continually to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of the heavens has drawn near.’ ” (Matt. 10:5-7) They did this zealously among Jews and proselytes, especially after Pentecost 33 C.E. (Acts 2:4, 5, 10, 11; 5:42; 6:7) Later, by means of holy spirit, Jesus extended the Kingdom-preaching work to the Samaritans and then to other non-Jews. (Acts 8:5, 6, 14-17; 10: 19-22, 44, 45) With a view to promoting the spread of the good news among the nations, Jesus acted personally to move Saul of Tarsus to become a Christian. “This man” became the apostle Paul.—1 Tim. 2:7. w10 9/15 4:9, 10
Saturday, February 25 Keep working out your own salvation with fear and trembling. —Phil. 2:12.
For 40 days, the resurrected Jesus appeared to his disciples, strengthening their faith and preparing them for a great evangelizing work ahead. Then he ascended to heaven. There he offered to God the value of his shed blood, to be used in behalf of his true followers, who exercise faith in the value of his ransom sacriﬁce. Jehovah God showed his acceptance of Christ’s ran-
Monday, February 27 It has now been revealed. —Eph. 3:5.
Many matters needed clariﬁcation for the ﬁrst-century Christians. For example, there were questions about the new covenant that had gone into eﬀect on the day of Pentecost. Was the new covenant limited to Jews and Jewish proselytes? Could Gentiles also be accepted into it and be anointed with holy spirit? (Acts 10:45) Would Gentile males ﬁrst need to be circumcised and to submit to the Mosaic Law? (Acts 15:1, 5) It was through responsible brothers that each issue was raised for consideration by the governing body. Peter, Paul, and Barnabas were at that meeting and recounted how Jehovah had been dealing with uncircumcised Gentiles. (Acts 15: 7-12) After considering this evidence in the light of indications in the Hebrew Scriptures and with the help of holy spirit, the governing body made a decision. Then they wrote to the congregations about it.—Acts 15:25-30; 16: 4, 5. w10 7/15 4:5, 6
and became obedient as far as death.” (Phil. 2:5-8) At all times, Jesus humbly submitted to his Father’s will. He said: “I seek, not my own will, but the will of him that sent me.” (John 5:30) “I always do the things pleasing to [my Father],” he declared. (John 8:29) Toward the end of his life on earth, Jesus said in prayer to his Father: “I have gloriﬁed you on the earth, having ﬁnished the work you have given me to do.” (John 17:4) Evidently, Jesus had no problem with recognizing and accepting God’s headship over him. w10 5/15 1:3-5
Wednesday, February 29 You people will again certainly see the distinction between a righteous one and a wicked one, between one serving God and one who has not served him. —Mal. 3:18.
What a contrast in outlook there is between those who are part of the Christian congregation and those who are not! Even though we as Jehovah’s people have to face many of the same issues and problems our neighbors face, our reaction is quite diﬀerent. (Isa. 65:13, 14) Why? Because we ﬁnd in the Bible a satisfying explanation for the condition in which humanity ﬁnds itself, and we are equipped to deal with life’s challenges and problems. As a result, we are not overly anxious about the future. Being worshippers of Jehovah affords us protection from unsound and unscriptural reasoning, immoral practices, and the consequences of such. Members of the Christian congregation thus experience a tranquillity unknown to others.—Isa. 48:17, 18; Phil. 4: 6, 7. w10 6/15 1:6
Tuesday, February 28 The head of the Christ is God. —1 Cor. 11:3.
How did Jesus feel about submitting to Jehovah’s headship and coming to earth? The Scriptures state: “Christ Jesus, who, although he was existing in God’s form, gave no consideration to a seizure, namely, that he should be equal to God. No, but he emptied himself and took a slave’s form and came to be in the likeness of men. More than that, when he found himself in fashion as a man, he humbled himself
Thursday, March 1 Do not become ashamed of the witness about our Lord. —2 Tim. 1:8.
To handle peer pressure, you ﬁrst have to b e convinced that your beliefs and standards are right. (2 Cor. 13:5) Conviction will help you to be bold, although you may be timid by nature. (2 Tim. 1:7) But even if a person is normally bold, it may be quite diﬃcult for him to stand up for something that he only halfheartedly believes in. So why not prove to yourself that what you have been taught from the Bible is indeed the truth? Start with the basics. For example, you believe in God and you have heard others express why they have faith in his existence. Well, then, ask yourself, ‘What convinces me that God exists?’ The purpose of that question is not to arouse skepticism but to strengthen your faith. In a similar vein, ask yourself, ‘Why am I convinced that these are “the last days”?’ (2 Tim. 3:1-5) ‘What makes me believe that Jehovah’s standards are for my good?’—Isa. 48:17, 18. w10 11/15 2:6
Additionally, diﬀerences in culture and language can result in diﬀerent patterns of thinking and behavior. However, the more you get to know others, the more opportunity you have to start to understand their way of thinking. We should not, therefore, be surprised that our thinking is far diﬀerent from that of Jehovah. Further illustrating this fact, Jehovah told the Israelites: “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”—Isa. 55:8, 9. w10 10/15 1:1, 2
Saturday, March 3 Become imitators of me, even as I am of Christ.—1 Cor. 11:1.
Jesus was a perfect model of zeal and devotion for all his followers. This is what the apostle Paul pointed to when he urged his fellow believers to follow his course, as shown in today’s text. In what way was Paul an imitator of Christ? Primarily in sparing no eﬀort when it came to preaching the good news. In the letters Paul wrote to congregations, we ﬁnd such expressions as “do not loiter at your business,” “slave for Jehovah,” “always having plenty to do in the work of the Lord,” and “whatever you are doing, work at it whole-souled as to Jehovah.” (Rom. 12:11; 1 Cor. 15: 58; Col. 3:23) Paul never forgot his encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus and the words of Jesus that the disciple Ananias must have passed on to him: “This man is a chosen vessel to me to bear my name to the nations as well as to kings and the sons of Israel.” —Acts 9:15; Rom. 1:1, 5; Gal. 1:16. w10 12/15 2:4
Friday, March 2 The thoughts of you people are not my thoughts, nor are my ways your ways.—Isa. 55:8.
Have you ever found it diﬃcult to understand another person’s way of thinking? Perhaps you recently got married, and you feel that you have no way of fully understanding how your spouse thinks. Indeed, men and women think and even speak diﬀerently. Why, in some cultures, men and women actually speak diﬀerent dialects of the same language!
Sunday, March 4 [God] becomes the rewarder of those earnestly seeking him.—Heb. 11:6.
Note that Jehovah rew ards those “earnestly seeking him.” The original-language word used here implies intensity and concentrated eﬀort. How that should assure us of the outworking of the blessing! Its source is the only true God, “who cannot lie.” (Titus 1:2) He has shown over the millenniums that what he promises is absolutely trustworthy. His words never fail; they always come true. (Isa. 55:11) So we can be thoroughly conﬁdent that if we manifest true faith, he will in our case prove to be a Rewarder. However, we cannot hope to acquire a good relationship with Jehovah if we ignore those whom Jesus has appointed to care for his belongings. Without the assistance of “the faithful and discreet slave,” we would neither understand the full import of what we read in God’s Word nor know how to apply it. (Matt. 24:45-47) By putting into practice the things we are learning from the Scriptures, we can secure ourselves God’s blessing. w10 9/15 1:6, 7
am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unrighteous, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week, I give the tenth of all things I acquire.’ But the tax collector standing at a distance was not willing even to raise his eyes heavenward, but kept beating his breast, saying, ‘O God, be gracious to me a sinner.’ ” Jesus concluded by saying: “I tell you, This man went down to his home proved more righteous than that man; because everyone that exalts himself will be humiliated, but he that humbles himself will be exalted.”—Luke 18:914. w10 10/15 2:7
Tuesday, March 6 What is born will be called holy, God’s Son.—Luke 1:35.
Early in Jesus’ life, Mary apparently disclosed to Jesus certain facts about his birth. Thus, on one occasion when Mary and Jesus’ adoptive father, Joseph, found Jesus in God’s temple, the young child asked: “Did you not know that I must be in the house of my Father?” (Luke 2:49) Evidently from an early age, Jesus knew that he was God’s Son. Magnifying God’s righteousness was therefore of great importance to him. Jesus showed his keen interest in spiritual things by regularly attending meetings for worship. With his perfect mind, he must have absorbed everything he heard and read. (Luke 4:16) He also had another precious possession—a perfect human body that could be sacriﬁced in behalf of mankind. When he was baptized, Jesus was praying and may have been thinking about the prophetic words of Psalm 40:6-8.—Luke 3:21; Heb. 10:5-10. w10 8/15 1:6, 7
Monday, March 5 [Jesus] spoke this illustration also to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and who considered the rest as nothing.—Luke 18:9.
Jesus addressed the problem of self-righteousness by relating this illustration: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, the one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and began to pray these things to himself, ‘O God, I thank you I
Wednesday, March 7 These are the wicked, who are at ease indeﬁnitely.—Ps. 73:12.
From early on in mankind’s history, those who chose to serve and obey Jehovah sought to avoid close association with those who did not. Indeed, Jehovah indicated that there would be enmity between his worshippers and those who followed Satan. (Gen. 3:15) Because of their ﬁrm stand for divinely inspired principles, God’s people have acted diﬀerently from those who surround them. (John 17:15, 16; 1 John 2:1517) Taking such a stand has not always been easy. Indeed, some among Jehovah’s servants have on occasion questioned the wisdom of a self-sacriﬁcing course of life. One of Jehovah’s servants who found himself wondering whether he had made wise decisions was the writer of Psalm 73, likely one of Asaph’s descendants. The psalmist asked why it is that the wicked often seem to be successful, happy, and prosperous, while some who strive to serve God suﬀer trials and hardships.—Ps. 73:1-13. w10 6/15 1:8, 9
Jehovah and replied in harmony with his purpose in life—that of doing God’s will. (Heb. 10:7) As a result, Jesus successfully thwarted Satan’s cunning scheme. We can learn much from Jesus’ example. First, no one is immune to Satan’s tactics. (Matt. 24:24) Second, what we focus our eyes on can reinforce the desires of our heart, for good or for bad. Third, Satan will exploit “the desire of the eyes” as much as he can in his attempt to lead us astray. (1 John 2:16; 1 Pet. 5:8) And fourth, we too can oppose Satan, especially if we act without delay.—Jas. 4:7; 1 Pet. 2:21. w10 4/15 3:14-16
Friday, March 9 To [God] be the glory by means of the congregation.—Eph. 3:21.
The unity of the Christian congregation in ancient Ephesus gloriﬁed the true God, Jehovah. Evidently, some Christian brothers there were wealthy slave owners, while others were slaves and probably very poor. (Eph. 6:5, 9) Some were Jews who learned the truth during the three months that the apostle Paul spoke in their synagogue. Others previously worshipped Artemis and had practiced magical arts. (Acts 19:8, 19, 26) Clearly, true Christianity drew together people from many backgrounds. However, the unity of the Ephesian congregation was threatened. Paul warned the elders: “From among you yourselves men will rise and speak twisted things to draw away the disciples after themselves.” (Acts 20:30) Also, some brothers had not completely left behind the divisive spirit that, Paul warned, “operates in the sons of disobedience.”—Eph. 2:2; 4:22. w10 9/15 3:1, 2
Thursday, March 8 The Devil took him along to an unusually high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. —Matt. 4:8.
Jesus did not focus on this tempting oﬀer. He did not let his heart entertain wrong desires. And he did not have to contemplate the Devil’s oﬀer in order to reject it. Jesus reacted immediately. “Go away, Satan!” he commanded. (Matt. 4:10) Jesus kept his focus on his relationship with
Saturday, March 10 He will have subjects from sea to sea and . . . to the ends of the earth.—Ps. 72:8.
Is not your heart stirred by the hope of living forever in an earthly paradise? Surely the impaled evildoer was thrilled when Jesus told him: “You will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43) During Jesus’ Thousand Year Reign, that man will be restored to life. If he submits to Christ’s rulership, he will be able to live on earth forever in perfect health and happiness. Under the rule of Jesus Christ, “the righteous one will sprout,” that is, ﬂourish or prosper. (Ps. 72:7) Christ’s love and tender care will then be abundant, just as they were when he was on the earth. In God’s promised new world, even “the unrighteous” who are resurrected will be given a loving opportunity to conform to Jehovah’s standards and live. (Acts 24:15) Of course, those who refuse to act in harmony with divine requirements will not be allowed to continue living and mar the tranquillity of the new world. w10 8/15 4:11-13
blessings they reaped, and what joy they brought to others! Therefore, let us continue to enjoy a full and meaningful share in the great spiritual harvest now under way. While many suﬀer the pain and frustration that accompany this world’s materialistic and pleasure-seeking lifestyle, we experience genuine joy and contentment. (Ps. 126:6) The Master of the harvest, Jehovah God, will reward us eternally for ‘our work and the love we show for his name.’—Heb. 6:10-12. w10 7/15 3: 19, 20
Monday, March 12 The wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience. —Eph. 5:6.
“The wrath of God is coming” upon all who unrepentantly engage in such practices as fornication, obscene jesting, and “uncleanness of every sort,” which would encompass the persistent viewing of pornography. (Eph. 5: 3-5) Our appreciation for the ransom should keep us busy with “deeds of godly devotion.” (2 Pet. 3:11) Let us set aside ample time for regular and earnest prayer, personal Bible study, meeting attendance, family worship, and zealous Kingdom-preaching activity. And may we “not forget the doing of good and the sharing of things with others, for with such sacriﬁces God is well pleased.” (Heb. 13:15, 16) When Jehovah’s wrath breaks out upon this wicked system of things, how happy we will be that we have exercised faith in the ransom! And in God’s promised new world, we will be eternally grateful for this provision that saved us from God’s wrath.—John 3:16; Rev. 7:9, 10, 13, 14. w10 8/15 2:18-20
Sunday, March 11 Your labor is not in vain in connection with the Lord. —1 Cor. 15:58.
The faithful disciples who responded to Jesus’ training were later empowered by holy spirit at Pentecost 33 C.E. to be witnesses “to the most distant part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) They went on to serve as members of the governing body, as missionaries, and as traveling elders, and they played a key role in preaching the good news “in all creation that is under heaven.” (Col. 1:23) What
Tuesday, March 13 The ones having insight will shine. . . . And the true knowledge will become abundant. —Dan. 12:3, 4.
Who would be the ones having insight and who would shine? Jesus provided a clue in his illustration of the wheat and the weeds. Speaking about the “conclusion of a system of things,” he stated: “At that time the righteous ones will shine as brightly as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” (Matt. 13:39, 43) In his explanation, Jesus identiﬁed “the righteous ones” as “the sons of the kingdom,” anointed Christians. (Matt. 13:38) Would all anointed Christians “shine”? In a sense, yes, for all Christians would participate in preaching, in disciple making, and in building one another up at meetings. Anointed ones would set the example. (Zech. 8:23) In addition to this, however, deep things were to be revealed during the time of the end. The very prophecy Daniel recorded was “sealed up” until that time.—Dan. 12:9. w10 7/15 4:8, 9
angry and threatened the airport staﬀ. But the brothers and sisters remained calm. Eventually, the Witnesses arrived at their destination in time for the ﬁnal part of the dedication program. Although tired, they stayed afterward to enjoy association with the local brothers. Later, they learned that their example of patience and self-control had not gone unnoticed. One of the other passengers told the airline, “If it had not been for the 34 Christians on the ﬂight, there would have been a riot at the airport.” w10 6/15 3:1, 2
Thursday, March 15 Be obedient to those who are taking the lead among you and be submissive, for they are keeping watch over your souls as those who will render an account.—Heb. 13:17.
Jehovah uses his spirit to lead his organization in the direction that he wants it to go. In Ezekiel’s vision, the heavenly part of Jehovah’s organization is depicted as a celestial chariot that is irresistibly on the move to fulﬁll Jehovah’s purpose. What impels the chariot to move in a certain direction? Holy spirit. (Ezek. 1:20, 21) Let us remember that Jehovah’s organization is made up of two parts, one in heaven and the other on earth. If the heavenly part is directed by holy spirit, the same must be true of the earthly part. By being obedient and loyal to the direction received from the earthly part of God’s organization, you show that you are keeping pace with Jehovah’s celestial chariot and are working in harmony with his holy spirit. w10 4/15 2:12
Wednesday, March 14 Do not avenge yourselves, beloved, . . . but keep conquering the evil with the good. —Rom. 12:19, 21.
A group of 34 of Jehovah’s Witnesses were traveling to a branch oﬃce dedication when mechanical trouble delayed their ﬂight along the way. What was supposed to be a one-hour fueling stop turned into a 44-hour ordeal at a remote airport without adequate food, water, or sanitary facilities. Many passengers became
Friday, March 16 When I wish to do what is right, what is bad is present with me. —Rom. 7:21.
Although Paul loved Jehovah, there were times when he found it a struggle to do what was right. How did he feel about this conﬂict within himself? “Miserable man that I am!” he wrote. (Rom. 7:22-24) Can you relate to the way Paul felt? Do you sometimes ﬁnd it diﬃcult to do the right thing? Does that make you feel frustrated, as it did Paul? If so, do not be discouraged. Paul successfully dealt with the challenges he faced, and so can you. Paul succeeded because he allowed himself to be guided by “healthful words.” (2 Tim. 1:13, 14) As a result, he gained the wisdom and understanding needed to cope with challenges and to make good decisions. Jehovah God can help you to acquire wisdom and understanding. (Prov. 4:5) He has provided the best possible advice in his Word, the Bible.—2 Tim. 3:16, 17. w10 11/15 1:1, 2
kept going back “again and again” with their God-given message. (2 Chron. 36:15, 16; Jer. 7:24-26) What helped them to endure? They viewed their assignment from Jehovah’s point of view, not from that of the world. Also, they considered it the greatest honor to bear God’s name. (Jer. 15: 16) We too have the privilege of announcing Jehovah’s name and purpose. Think of this: As a direct result of our preaching work, God’s enemies will not be able to plead ignorance when they come face-to-face with him during his great day. w10 7/15 2:17, 18
Sunday, March 18 Praise Jah, you people, for it is good to make melody to our God.—Ps. 147:1.
When sharing the Kingdom message with others, we oﬀer them spiritual refreshment and, at the same time, sound down precious Bible truths into our own minds and hearts. Could you increase the joy you ﬁnd in praising Jehovah to your neighbors? Granted, in some territories people are more receptive to the good news than they are in others. (Acts 18:1, 5-8) If you live in an area where there is limited response to the Kingdom message, try to focus on the good that you are accomplishing in the ministry. Remember that your continued eﬀort to proclaim Jehovah’s name is not in vain. (1 Cor. 15: 58) Moreover, people’s response to the good news is not the measure of our success. We can rest assured that Jehovah will see to it that righthearted people will be given an opportunity to respond to the Kingdom message.—John 6:44. w10 6/15 5:9, 10
Saturday, March 17 What sort of persons ought you to be in holy acts of conduct and deeds of godly devotion! —2 Pet. 3:11.
Foremost among those deeds is the proclaiming of the good news. (Matt. 24:14) True, in some territories the preaching work may be a challenge, perhaps because of apathy or opposition or simply because people are preoccupied with the everyday concerns of life. Jehovah’s servants of old had to contend with similar attitudes. Yet, they never gave up but
Monday, March 19 There is no one holding strongly with me in these things but Michael, the prince of you people. —Dan. 10:21.
Jude indicates that Michael was involved in the aﬀairs of Israel long before Daniel’s day. After Moses’ death, Satan apparently intended to use the corpse to further his own interests in some way, possibly by inciting Israel to commit idolatry. Michael stepped in to prevent this. Jude relates: “When Michael the archangel had a diﬀerence with the Devil and was disputing about Moses’ body, he did not dare to bring a judgment against him in abusive terms, but said: ‘May Jehovah rebuke you.’ ” (Jude 9) A little later, before the siege of Jericho, it was doubtless Michael, the “prince of the army of Jehovah,” who appeared to Joshua to reassure him of divine backing. (Josh. 5:13-15) When a demon prince tried to prevent an angel from delivering an important message to the prophet Daniel, the archangel Michael came to that angel’s assistance.—Dan. 10:5-7, 12-14. w10 9/15 4:3
ing by God’s standards is the best way of life. In that case, thinking about the consequences that come to those who ignore Bible standards can help you to make up your mind. On the other hand, it could be that you love God’s standards but do not trust yourself to be able to live up to them. Actually, that can be a good sign, for it shows humility on your part. You can be successful if you constantly ‘keep on guard according to God’s word.’ (Ps. 119:9) Whatever reasons there are for your hesitation to get baptized, you need to resolve such issues and concerns. w10 11/15 3:14
Wednesday, March 21 All things . . . that you want men to do to you, you also must likewise do to them.—Matt. 7:12.
When fellow believers show that they appreciate us, we are encouraged. (Prov. 25:11) We feel uplifted by a sincere expression of appreciation and respect. It gives us added strength to continue walking with joy and determination on the road to life. You have no doubt experienced such feelings yourself. Now, since Jehovah knows our inborn need for receiving respect, through his Word he properly urges us to “be eager to show respect for one another.” (Rom. 12:10, Today’s English Version) All Christians who take that timeless counsel to heart contribute to an atmosphere of warmth and love within the Christian brotherhood. Hence, we do well to pause and ask ourselves, ‘When was the last time that I expressed through words and actions my heartfelt respect for a brother or sister in the congregation?’—Rom. 13:8. w10 10/15 3:11, 12
Tuesday, March 20 The heart is more treacherous than anything else.—Jer. 17:9.
Some may hesitate to get baptized out of fear that they may be disfellowshipped at a later time. Do you have this fear? If so, such fear is not necessarily unhealthy in itself. It can mean that you appreciate the serious responsibility that comes with being one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Might there also be another reason? Maybe you are not yet convinced that liv-
Thursday, March 22 He will deliver the poor one crying for help.—Ps. 72:12.
How heartwarming are those words, apparently penned by King David of ancient Israel! Years before writing them, he experienced remorse after committing adultery with Bath-sheba. At that time, David begged God: “According to the abundance of your mercies wipe out my transgressions. . . . My sin is in front of me constantly. . . . Look! With error I was brought forth with birth pains, and in sin my mother conceived me.” (Ps. 51:1-5) Mercifully, Jehovah takes into account our inherited sinful condition. Jehovah understands our lamentable situation. As foretold, however, God’s anointed King “will feel sorry for the lowly one and the poor one, and the souls of the poor ones he will save.” (Ps. 72:13) How will relief be provided? Psalm 72 tells us. Composed regarding the kingship of David’s son Solomon, this song provides foregleams of how the rule of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, will relieve mankind of distress. w10 8/15 4:1, 2
will melt away all “the elements” of Satan’s system, exposing them as totally lacking in ﬁre-resistant qualities. (2 Pet. 3:10) This calls to mind the words of Malachi 4:1: “The day is coming that is burning like the furnace, and all the presumptuous ones and all those doing wickedness must become as stubble. And the day that is coming will certainly devour them.” How important, then, that we “safeguard [our] heart” by exercising godly wisdom in our choice of associates, reading matter, entertainment, and Web sites that we may visit on the Internet! —Prov. 4:23. w10 7/15 1:7
Saturday, March 24 The harvest is great, but the workers are few. Therefore, beg the Master of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest. —Matt. 9:37, 38.
Jehovah God is answering such prayers in an unprecedented way. During the 2009 service year, the number of congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide increased by 2,031, reaching 105,298. On average, 757 individuals were baptized each day! Such growth creates a need for qualiﬁed brothers to take the lead in teaching and shepherding in the congregations. (Eph. 4:11) Over the decades, Jehovah has raised up qualiﬁed men to care for the needs of his sheep, and we are conﬁdent that he will continue to do so. The prophecy recorded at Micah 5:5 assures us that during the last days, Jehovah’s people will have “seven shepherds” and “eight dukes,” representing a considerable number of capable men to take the lead among them. w10 5/15 3:1, 2
Friday, March 23 Look out: perhaps there may be someone who will carry you oﬀ as his prey through the philosophy and empty deception according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary things of the world and not according to Christ.—Col. 2:8.
That injunction of the apostle Paul becomes all the more urgent as Jehovah’s day approaches, for its unprecedented ‘heat’
Sunday, March 25 They fasted and prayed and laid their hands upon them and let them go.—Acts 13:3.
When the time came to expand the work of Kingdom preaching among the non-Jewish nations, heaven directed Paul on missionary journeys in Asia Minor and on into Europe. Luke’s account in Acts states: “The holy spirit said: ‘Of all persons set Barnabas and Saul apart for me for the work to which I have called them.’ ” (Acts 13:2) Jesus had personally called Saul of Tarsus to be His “chosen vessel” to bear His name to the nations; hence, this new impetus to the witnessing work came from Christ, the Leader of the congregation. (Acts 9:15) Jesus’ use of the holy spirit to direct the work became unmistakably clear during Paul’s second missionary trip. The account states that “the spirit of Jesus,” that is, Jesus by means of holy spirit, guided Paul and his traveling companions in the choice of their itinerary, and a vision led them to move on into Europe.—Acts 16:6-10. w10 9/15 4:11
to serve Jehovah must come to grips with and accept the answer to this problem: Is serving and obeying God the best thing to do? This reﬂects the issue that Satan raised in the garden of Eden. It is central to the universal question of divine sovereignty. (Gen. 3:4, 5) So all of us do well to consider the matter that the psalmist raised. Should we envy wicked boasters who seem to be getting along just ﬁne? Should we ‘turn aside’ from serving Jehovah and imitate them? That, of course, is exactly what Satan would like us to do. w10 6/15 1:9, 10
Tuesday, March 27 Diotrephes, who likes to have the ﬁrst place among them, does not receive anything from us with respect.—3 John 9.
Unlike other creatures on earth, humans were created “in the likeness of God.” (Jas. 3:9) Hence, we possess such godly attributes as love, wisdom, and justice. Note what else we have received from our Creator. The psalmist states: “O Jehovah . . . , you whose dignity is recounted above the heavens! . . . You also proceeded to make [man] a little less than godlike ones, and with glory and splendor [“honour,” King James Version] you then crowned him.” (Ps. 8:1, 4, 5; 104:1) Humans in general are crowned, or adorned, by God with a measure of dignity, glory, and honor. Thus, when we dignify another person, we are, in eﬀect, acknowledging the Source of human dignity, Jehovah. Now, if we have valid reasons for showing respect to people in general, how much more ought we to have respect for fellow believers!—John 3:16; Gal. 6:10. w10 10/15 3:5, 7
Monday, March 26 Surely it is in vain that I have cleansed my heart.—Ps. 73:13.
Have the thoughts that the psalmist recorded as found at Psalm 73:1-12 ever come into your mind? If so, there is no need to feel excessively guilty or to think that your faith is crumbling. Actually, a number of Jehovah’s servants, including some whom Jehovah used to write the Bible, had similar thoughts. (Job 21: 7-13; Ps. 37:1; Jer. 12:1; Hab. 1: 1-4, 13) Indeed, all who desire
Wednesday, March 28 God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear, but along with the temptation he will also make the way out in order for you to be able to endure it.—1 Cor. 10:13.
Jehovah sustains us by means of his holy spirit. That spirit also brings back to our mind Scriptural thoughts that we need in order to resist temptation. (John 14:26) Consequently, we are not deceived into following a wrong course. For instance, we understand the related issues of Jehovah’s sovereignty and human integrity. With that knowledge, many have been sustained by God to remain faithful to death. But it was not death that made the way out for them; it was Jehovah’s help that made it possible for them to endure to the end without yielding to temptation. He can do the same for us. In fact, he also uses his faithful angels in our behalf as public servants “sent forth to minister for those who are going to inherit salvation.”—Heb. 1:14. w10 11/15 4: 16, 21
The Greek word rendered “rotten” has been used to describe putrefying fruit, ﬁsh, or meat. Just as we are repulsed by such food, we hate speech that Jehovah considers bad. Our speech should be decent, kind, “seasoned with salt.” (Col. 3:8-10; 4:6) People should be able to discern that we are diﬀerent when they hear what we say. So let us help others by speaking what is “good for building up.” And may we feel as did the psalmist who sang: “Let the sayings of my mouth . . . become pleasurable before you, O Jehovah.”—Ps. 19:14. w10 5/15 4:12, 13
Friday, March 30 Be transformed by making your mind over, that you may prove to yourselves the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.—Rom. 12:2.
One way in which you young ones demonstrate that you want to deepen your desire to serve Jehovah is by daily Bible reading. You can satisfy your spiritual need and acquire precious Bible knowledge by regularly reading God’s Word. (Matt. 5:3) Jesus set the example. On one occasion when he was 12 years old, he was found by his parents in the temple, “sitting in the midst of the teachers and listening to them and questioning them.” (Luke 2: 44-46) As a child, Jesus had already developed a longing for and an understanding of the Scriptures. What helped him to do so? Undoubtedly his mother, Mary, and his adoptive father, Joseph, played an important role. They were servants of God who provided Jesus with divine instruction from his infancy.—Matt. 1:18-20; Luke 2:41, 51. w10 4/15 1:6, 7
Thursday, March 29 Let a rotten saying not proceed out of your mouth, but whatever saying is good for building up. —Eph. 4:29.
The ap ostle Paul does not merely say what we should not do; he tells us what we should be doing. Under the inﬂuence of God’s spirit, we will be moved to ‘say what is good for building up so that it may impart what is favorable to the hearers.’ Furthermore, we should not let a “rotten saying” come out of our mouth.
Saturday, March 31 Jesus set out . . . teaching . . . and preaching the good news of the kingdom.—Matt. 9:35.
What moved Jesus to work tirelessly throughout his ministry? From Daniel’s prophecy, Jesus could have known where he was in relation to Jehovah’s timetable. (Dan. 9:27) Thus, his earthly ministry was to end “at the half of the week,” or after three and a half years. Shortly after his tri-
umphant entry into Jerusalem in the spring of 33 C.E., Jesus said: “The hour has come for the Son of man to be gloriﬁed.” (John 12: 23) Although Jesus knew that his death was imminent, he did not let that become the focus in his life, the prime reason for working hard. Rather, he focused on using every opportunity to do his Father’s will and to show love to his fellow humans. w10 12/15 1:5, 6
Memorial Bible reading: (Events after sunset: Nisan 9) Mark 14:3-9
Sunday, April 1 I came to be beside [Jehovah] as a master worker.—Prov. 8:30.
How did Jesus come to possess the qualities he displayed during his life on earth? In his prehuman existence, he observed his heavenly Father for aeons of time and absorbed his ways. (Prov. 8: 22, 23) In heaven, he had seen Jehovah’s loving way of exercising headship over all His creation and had made that way his own. (1 Cor. 11:3) Would Jesus have been able to do that had he not been submissive? It was a delight for him to be in subjection to his Father, and it was a pleasure for Jehovah to have such a Son. When on earth, Jesus reﬂected perfectly the marvelous qualities of his heavenly Father. What a privilege it is for us to be in subjection to Christ, God’s appointed Ruler of the heavenly Kingdom! w10 5/15 1:10
Memorial Bible reading: (Daytime events: Nisan 9) Mark 11:1-11
Monday, April 2 This is the One decreed by God to be judge of the living and the dead.—Acts 10:42.
How comforting to know that Jesus is incorruptible, that righteousness and faithfulness are like a belt ﬁrmly girded about his loins! (Isa. 11:5) He demonstrated a hatred for greed, hypocrisy, and other evils, and he censured those who were callous toward others’ suﬀering. (Matt. 23:1-8, 25-28; Mark 3:5) Moreover, Jesus showed that he was not deceived by outward appearances, “for he himself knew what was in man.” (John 2:25) Jesus continues to demonstrate his love of righteousness and justice by overseeing the greatest preaching and teaching campaign in the history of the world. No man, no human government, and no wicked spirit can stop this work from being accomplished to God’s complete satisfaction.—Isa. 11:4. w10 12/15 3:13, 14
Memorial Bible reading: (Daytime events: Nisan 10) Mark 11:12-19
Tuesday, April 3 I love the Father. —John 14:31.
When on earth, Jesus displayed great love for his Father. He also demonstrated great love for people. (Matt. 22:35-40) Jesus was kind and considerate, not harsh or overbearing. “Come to me, all you who are toiling and loaded down,” he said, “and I will refresh you.” (Matt. 11:28-30) Sheeplike people of all ages, especially those who were downtrodden and oppressed, found great comfort in Jesus’ delightful personality and uplifting message. Consider how Jesus dealt with women. Throughout history, many men have treated women very badly. That was true of the religious leaders in ancient Israel. But Jesus treated women with respect. This is made evident in his dealings with a woman who had been sick for 12 years with a ﬂow of blood.—Mark 5:25-34. w10 5/15 1:6-8
Memorial Bible reading: (Daytime events: Nisan 11) Mark 11:20–12:27, 41-44
spiritual education program that Jesus began some 2,000 years ago. (Isa. 11:9) That divine education will no doubt include instruction on how to care for the earth and its countless creatures, as Adam was originally commissioned to do. By the end of the 1,000 years, God’s original purpose as stated at Genesis 1:28 will have been fulﬁlled, and the ransom sacriﬁce will have been fully applied. w10 12/15 3:11, 12
Memorial Bible reading: (Daytime events: Nisan 12) Mark 14:1, 2, 10, 11; Matthew 26:1-5, 14-16 Memorial Date After Sundown
Thursday, April 5 The eleven disciples went into Galilee to the mountain where Jesus had arranged for them. —Matt. 28:16.
After his resurrection, Jesus invited his downhearted apostles to attend a special meeting. (Matt. 28:10, 18) Jesus did not reprimand his apostles; nor did he use that meeting to question their motives or to deepen their feelings of guilt by referring to their momentary weakness of faith. Instead, Jesus reassured them of his and his Father’s love by entrusting them with a weighty assignment. (Matt. 28:18-20) They were so upbuilt, encouraged, and consoled that some time after that meeting, they were once again “teaching and declaring the good news.” —Acts 5:42. w10 10/15 4:14, 15
Memorial Bible reading: (Daytime events: Nisan 13) Mark 14:12-16; Matthew 26:17-19 (Events after sunset: Nisan 14) Mark 14:17-72
Wednesday, April 4 [Jesus] felt pity for them. —Matt. 14:14.
Jesus performed miracles, not to ﬂaunt his authority and power, but to demonstrate his compassion and love. “I want to,” he said to a leper who entreated him for a cure. (Mark 1:40, 41) Jesus will demonstrate that same compassion during his Millennial Reign —but on a global scale. Christ and his corulers will also continue the
Friday, April 6 We have as high priest, not one who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tested in all respects like ourselves.—Heb. 4:15.
Jesus has sympathy for us because he understands our imperfect condition. Moreover, Jesus suﬀered for righteousness’ sake, and God allowed him to face trials on his own. Why, Jesus suffered so much emotional distress that “his sweat became as drops of blood falling to the ground”! (Luke 22:44) Later, on the torture stake, he cried out: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:45, 46) We can be sure that Jesus sees our pain and “will deliver the poor one crying for help, also the aﬄicted one and whoever has no helper.” (Ps. 72: 12) How good it is to know that the King Jesus Christ is now ruling in heaven and is eager to bring suﬀering humans relief! w10 8/15 4:14, 15
Memorial Bible reading: (Daytime events: Nisan 14) Mark 15:1-47
learn more about Jehovah. Ask yourself: ‘What does this account teach me about Jehovah as a Person? How does this Bible passage show God’s love and concern for me?’ Taking time to meditate on such questions will help you to learn how Jehovah thinks and feels and what he requires of you. (Prov. 2:1-5) Like young Timothy, you will be “persuaded to believe” what you learn from the Scriptures, and you will be moved to worship Jehovah with a willing heart.—2 Tim. 3:14. w10 4/15 1:9
Memorial Bible reading: (Daytime events: Nisan 15) Matthew 27:62-66 (Events after sunset: Nisan 16) Mark 16:1
Sunday, April 8 Lift up your eyes and view the ﬁelds, that they are white for harvesting.—John 4:35.
Jesus was referring, not to a literal harvest, but to a spiritual ingathering of righthearted individuals who would become his followers. His words were, in eﬀect, a call to action. There was much work to be done and only a brief space of time in which to accomplish it! Jesus’ words about a harvest have special meaning for our day. We live at a time when the world ﬁeld of humanity is “white for harvesting.” Yearly, millions of people receive the invitation to take in life-giving truths, and many thousands of new disciples are baptized. Ours is the privilege to take part in the greatest harvest of all time, under the supervision of the Master of the harvest, Jehovah God.—1 Cor. 15:58. w10 7/15 3:1, 2
Memorial Bible reading: (Daytime events: Nisan 16) Mark 16:2-8
Saturday, April 7 This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God.—John 17:3.
To further your spiritual advancement, you young ones should make daily Bible reading a custom that you keep throughout your teenage years and on into adulthood. (Ps. 71:17) Indeed, as you take in more knowledge of Jehovah, you will ever more clearly see him as a real Person and deepen your love for him. (Heb. 11:27) Therefore, each time you read a portion of the Bible, use that opportunity to
Monday, April 9 You people will certainly say: “The way of Jehovah is not adjusted right.”—Ezek. 18:25.
The ancient Israelites fell into this way of thinking and drew a wrong conclusion concerning Jehovah’s dealings with them. Notice what Jehovah said to them: “Hear, please, O house of Israel. Is not my own way adjusted right? Are not the ways of you people not adjusted right?” A key to avoiding the trap of judging Jehovah by our own standards is to recognize that our viewpoint is limited and at times seriously ﬂawed. Job needed to learn this lesson. During his time of suﬀering, Job struggled with despair and became somewhat selfcentered. He lost sight of the bigger issues. But Jehovah lovingly helped him to broaden his viewpoint. By asking Job over 70 different questions, none of which Job could answer, Jehovah emphasized the limitations of Job’s understanding. Job reacted in a humble way, adjusting his viewpoint.—Job 42:1-6. w10 10/15 1:5, 6
Note how the attitudes recommended in Paul’s words would help them. Then reﬂect on how we can promote unity by cultivating those attitudes. Paul wrote: “[I] entreat you to walk worthily . . . with complete lowliness of mind and mildness, with longsuﬀering, putting up with one another in love, earnestly endeavoring to observe the oneness of the spirit in the uniting bond of peace.” (Eph. 4:1-3) Learning to serve God in unity with other imperfect people is vital because there is only one body of true worshippers. w10 9/15 3:6, 7
Wednesday, April 11 Mere oppression may make a wise one act crazy.—Eccl. 7:7.
The pressures of life in this present wicked system can make people feel angry. Often, this anger leads to hatred and outright violence. Wars rage between and within countries, while family tensions bring conﬂict right into many homes. Such anger and violence have a long history. Cain, the ﬁrst son of Adam and Eve, killed his younger brother Abel out of jealous anger. (Gen. 4:6-8) Despite his inherited imperfection, Cain had a choice in the matter. He could have held back his anger. That is why he bore clear responsibility for his violent act. Similarly, our imperfect state makes it harder for us to avoid anger and angry acts. And other powerful negative forces add stress in these “critical times.” (2 Tim. 3:1) For example, economic woes can put pressure on our emotions. Police and familyhelp organizations link crises in the ﬁnancial system to an increase in angry outbursts and domestic violence. w10 6/15 3:3, 4
Tuesday, April 10 One body there is, and one spirit.—Eph. 4:4.
When imperfect people try to cooperate, they can easily have diﬃculties. For example, what if a mild-tempered brother who often arrives late serves Jehovah along with a brother who is punctual but easily loses his temper? Each might feel that the other’s conduct is lacking something but might forget that aspects of his own conduct are equally inappropriate. How could two such brothers serve together in harmony?
Thursday, April 12 Jesus also was baptized. —Luke 3:21.
John was immersing Jews in symbol of their repentance over sin against the Law. As a close relative, John must have known that Jesus was righteous and therefore in no need of repentance. Jesus assured John that it was ﬁtting for Him to be baptized. As a perfect human, Jesus could have concluded that he, like Adam, had the potential for fathering a perfect race. However, Jesus never desired such a future because it was not Jehovah’s will for him. God had sent Jesus to the earth to fulﬁll the role of the promised Seed, or Messiah. This included Jesus’ sacriﬁcing his perfect human life. (Isa. 53:5, 6, 12) Of course, Jesus’ baptism did not have the same meaning as ours does. It did not involve dedication to Jehovah, since Jesus was already part of God’s dedicated nation of Israel. Rather, Jesus’ baptism symbolized the presentation of himself to do God’s will as outlined in the Scriptures for the Messiah. w10 8/15 1:7-9
life where you can do that, then what lies before you is the greatest privilege of all—that of serving Jehovah wholeheartedly and living in a way that shows that you are truly dedicated to him. Immediately after baptism, you may feel a surge of enthusiasm for serving God. Soon, though, you may face trials that will test your faith and resilience. (2 Tim. 3:12) Do not feel that you have to deal with these trials alone. Jehovah cares for you, and he will give you the strength needed to face any circumstance that may arise. w10 11/15 3:16, 17
Saturday, April 14 Look! Now is the especially acceptable time. Look! Now is the day of salvation.—2 Cor. 6:2.
To what was Paul here referring? Since the Edenic rebellion, all mankind has been alienated and estranged from Jehovah. (Rom. 3:10, 23) That alienation has plunged mankind in general into spiritual darkness, leading to suﬀering and death. “We know that all creation keeps on groaning together and being in pain together until now,” wrote Paul. (Rom. 8:22) But God has taken steps to urge, actually to “beg,” people to come back, or to become reconciled, to him. (2 Cor. 5:20) That was the ministry entrusted to Paul and his fellow anointed Christians back then. That “acceptable time” could prove to be a “day of salvation” for those who put faith in Jesus. All anointed Christians and their companions, the “other sheep,” who are working along with them, continue to invite people to beneﬁt from the “acceptable time.” —John 10:16. w10 12/15 2:5, 7
Friday, April 13 Throw all your anxiety upon [God].—1 Pet. 5:7.
Baptism is a life-altering step that should not be taken lightly. Are you mature enough to consider this step seriously? Maturity means more than being able to give good talks from the platform or impressive answers during a meeting. It requires being able to make decisions based on an understanding of Bible principles. (Heb. 5:14) If you are at a stage in
Sunday, April 15 This generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur.—Matt. 24:34.
Although we cannot measure the exact length of “this generation,” we do well to keep in mind several things about the word “generation”: It usually refers to people of varying ages whose lives overlap during a particular time period; it is not excessively long; and it has an end. (Ex. 1:6) How, then, are we to understand Jesus’ words about “this generation”? He evidently meant that the lives of the anointed who were on hand when the sign began to become evident in 1914 would overlap with the lives of other anointed ones who would see the start of the great tribulation. That generation had a beginning, and it surely will have an end. The fulﬁllment of the various features of the sign clearly indicates that the tribulation must be near. By maintaining your sense of urgency and keeping on the watch, you show that you are keeping up with advancing light and following the leadings of holy spirit.—Mark 13:37. w10 4/15 2: 13, 14
Bible translations put it, being “excessively righteous” or “overrighteous,” could even cause us to question Jehovah’s way of handling matters. We need to remember, though, that if we question the fairness or rightness of Jehovah’s decisions, we are, in effect, starting to put our standard of righteousness above Jehovah’s standard. It is as if we put Jehovah on trial and judged him by our own standards of right and wrong. But Jehovah is the one who has the right to set the standard for righteousness, not us!—Rom. 14: 10. w10 10/15 2:8, 9
Tuesday, April 17 All things, therefore, that you want men to do to you, you also must likewise do to them. —Matt. 7:12.
Our gracious words can lighten the load of our brothers and sisters. Harsh criticism, however, can make those loads feel heavier and even cause some to wonder if they have lost Jehovah’s approval. Therefore, let us sincerely communicate encouraging things to others, “whatever saying is good for building up as the need may be, that it may impart what is favorable to the hearers.” (Eph. 4:29) Elders, in particular, should be “gentle” and treat the ﬂock with tenderness. (1 Thess. 2:7, 8) When elders are called upon to give counsel, their goal is to do so “with mildness,” even when speaking with those “not favorably disposed.” (2 Tim. 2:24, 25) Elders should also be gracious in expressing themselves in written correspondence with another body of elders or with the branch oﬃce. They should be kind and tactful, in line with today’s text. w10 6/15 4:12, 13
Monday, April 16 Do not become righteous overmuch, nor show yourself excessively wise.—Eccl. 7:16.
The person who becomes “righteous overmuch” sets his own standards for righteousness and judges others by them. Yet, he fails to realize that by doing so, he is elevating his standards above those of God and thereby proving himself to be unrighteous in God’s sight. Being “righteous overmuch,” or as some
Wednesday, April 18 Her mouth she has opened in wisdom, and the law of lovingkindness is upon her tongue. —Prov. 31:26.
The weighty message that King Lemuel of ancient times received from his mother included this important qualiﬁcation of a good wife. Loving-kindness is desirable up on the tongue of a wise woman as well as all others who want to please Jehovah God. (Prov. 19:22) Lovingkindness should be evident in the speech of all true worshippers. As the very term suggests, lovingkindness includes the traits of love and kindness. It involves kindness, that is, taking a personal interest in others and showing that concern by helpful deeds and thoughtful words. Since love is also a factor, displaying lovingkindness calls for taking an interest in the welfare of others out of love for them. Loving-kindness is the kindness that willingly and loyally attaches itself to someone until its purpose regarding that person comes to fruition. w10 8/15 3:1, 3
meet the qualiﬁcations set out in the Scriptures. (1 Tim. 3:1-10, 12, 13; Titus 1:5-9) If you are a dedicated male, ask yourself: ‘Do I have a full share in the preaching work, and am I assisting others to do so? Am I building up my fellow worshippers by taking a sincere interest in their welfare? Do I have the reputation of being a good student of God’s Word? Am I improving the quality of my comments? Do I diligently care for the assignments entrusted to me by the elders?’ (2 Tim. 4:5) Such questions merit serious consideration. w10 5/15 3:4, 5
Friday, April 20 The Devil, having concluded all the temptation, retired from him until another convenient time. —Luke 4:13.
If you are an adolescent, you are at a time of life in which your “power of reason” is developing as never before. (Rom. 12: 1, 2) Use this period to give serious thought to what being one of Jehovah’s Witnesses means to you personally. Such meditation will help you to build conﬁdence in your beliefs. Then, when you are faced with peer pressure, you will be able to reply promptly and with conﬁdence. Yes, it takes effort to remain ﬁrm for what you know is right. (Luke 13:24) And you may wonder if it is worth it. But remember this: If you appear apologetic or ashamed of your stand, others will sense that, and they may well add even more pressure. If you speak with conviction, however, you may be surprised how quickly your peers will back oﬀ. w10 11/15 2:9, 10
Thursday, April 19 If any man is reaching out for an oﬃce of overseer, he is desirous of a ﬁne work.—1 Tim. 3:1.
A Christian man does not automatically become an overseer. He must reach out for this “ﬁne work.” It includes serving fellow believers by genuinely caring for their needs. (Isa. 32:1, 2) One seeks to qualify as a ministerial servant and reaches out for the oﬃce of overseer by striving to
Saturday, April 21 We have left our own things and followed you.—Luke 18:28.
Because the preaching work is of such importance to us, it deserves our giving it as much of our time, energy, and attention as possible. Commendably, many are doing just that. A sense of urgency is usually connected with a time limit, a deadline, an end. We are living in the time of the end, and there is plenty of evidence —both Scriptural and historical—to prove that. (Matt. 24:3, 33; 2 Tim. 3:1-5) Still, no man knows the exact time when the end will come. When giving the details of “the sign” marking “the conclusion of the system of things,” Jesus speciﬁcally said: “Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Matt. 24:36) That being so, some might ﬁnd it diﬃcult to maintain a sense of urgency year after year, especially if they have been doing so for a long time. (Prov. 13: 12) Do you at times ﬁnd yourself feeling that way? w10 12/15 1:3, 4
spiritual truths that have been published. (Acts 4:13) How might we go about improving our understanding of the deep things of God? One way is to pray for holy spirit. When we are about to consider Scriptural material, we should ﬁrst ask in prayer for holy spirit to guide us. This is true even if we are alone or the time we have available is short. Such humble petitions will surely warm our heavenly Father’s heart. As Jesus indicated, Jehovah will provide his holy spirit freely at our sincere request. —Luke 11:13. w10 7/15 4:11, 12
Monday, April 23 In showing honor to one another take the lead.—Rom. 12:10.
Paul urged his fellow believers in Rome not merely to show honor but to take the lead in showing honor. Why does that make a difference? Think of this example. Would a teacher urge a group of literate students to learn to read? No. They already know how to read. Instead, the teacher would want to help the students to read better. Similarly, having love for one another, which moves us to show honor, is already the identifying mark of true Christians. (John 13:35) However, just as literate students can make further progress by improving their reading skills, so we can make further progress by taking the lead in showing honor. (1 Thess. 4:9, 10) That speciﬁc assignment is given to each one of us. We might ask ourselves, ‘Am I doing that —taking the initiative in honoring others in the congregation?’ w10 10/15 3:2, 14
Sunday, April 22 Do not become anxious about how or what you will speak. —Luke 12:11.
All faithful Christians beneﬁt from the holy spirit’s role in revealing the deep things of God. Like the first-centur y Christians, we today study and later recall and apply information that the holy spirit helps us to understand. (Luke 12:12) We do not need extensive formal education in order to comprehend deep
Tuesday, April 24 Let the one who has an ear hear what the spirit says to the congregations.—Rev. 3:22.
Jesus followed closely what was going on within the congregations of his anointed followers in the ﬁrst century C.E. He had intimate knowledge of the spiritual condition of each congregation. This becomes apparent when we read Revelation chapters 2 and 3. He names seven congregations, all located in Asia Minor. (Rev. 1:11) Jesus commended some of the congregations and gave ﬁrm counsel to the others. As a loving spiritual overseer—even to those to whom he gave strong admonition—Jesus stated: “All those for whom I have aﬀection I reprove and discipline. Therefore be zealous and repent.” (Rev. 3: 19) Although in heaven, Jesus was leading the congregations of his disciples on earth by means of holy spirit. At the end of the messages to those congregations, he said the words of today’s text. w10 9/15 4:12, 13
ly true of words spoken by someone a woman loves and wants to respect. An experienced married brother illustrated why a husband should treat his wife gently, as “a weaker vessel.” “When you hold a precious and delicate vase, you must not grasp it too ﬁrmly, or it may crack. Even if repaired, the crack may remain visible,” he said. “If a husband uses words that are too strong with his wife, he may hurt her. This might cause a lasting crack in their relationship.”—1 Pet. 3:7. w10 6/15 4:14, 15
Thursday, April 26 Earth and the works in it will be discovered.—2 Pet. 3:10.
During the great tribulation, Jehovah will lay bare Satan’s world, exposing it as being against Him and His Kingdom and thus deserving of destruction. (Isa. 26: 21) Those who have been molded by the world and its evil spirit will display their true nature, even slaughtering one another. In fact, it could well be that the numerous forms of violent entertainment popular today are conditioning the minds of many for the time when each man’s hand “will actually come up against the hand of his companion.” (Zech. 14: 13) How important, then, that we reject anything—movies, books, video games, and so on—that may engender within us traits that are detestable to God, such as pride and the love of violence! (2 Sam. 22:28; Ps. 11:5) Rather, let us cultivate the fruitage of God’s holy spirit, for such qualities will prove to be incombustible when the ﬁgurative heat is on.—Gal. 5:22, 23. w10 7/15 1:8, 9
Wednesday, April 25 Keep on loving your wives and do not be bitterly angry with them.—Col. 3:19.
It is easy to underestimate the impact that our words, facial expressions, and body language have on others. Some men, for example, may not be fully aware of how deeply their words aﬀect women. One sister said, “It frightens me when my husband angrily raises his voice at me.” Strong words may exert greater force on a woman than on a man and may stay with her for a long time. (Luke 2:19) This is especial-
Friday, April 27 Become kind to one another, tenderly compassionate, freely forgiving one another just as God also by Christ freely forgave you.—Eph. 4:32.
As imperfect humans, all of us need to work hard to control our thoughts and actions. If we were to give free rein to “malicious bitterness and anger and wrath,” we would be grieving God’s spirit. (Eph. 4:30, 31) The same is true if we kept score of wrongs committed against us, manifested a resentful attitude, and refused to become reconciled to the oﬀender. Even if we are deeply hurt by some wrong done to us, let us forgive, as God does. (Luke 11:4) Suppose a fellow believer has said something negative about us. In an eﬀort to straighten matters out, we approach him. He expresses true sorrow and asks for forgiveness. We forgive him, but we need to do more. “You must not take vengeance nor have a grudge against the sons of your people,” says Leviticus 19:18, “and you must love your fellow as yourself. I am Jehovah.” w10 5/15 4:14, 15
gins to ﬂow, and you work as fast and as hard as you can. That is urgency! For true Christians today, nothing is more urgent than preaching the good news of the Kingdom and making disciples of people of all the nations. (Matt. 24:14; 28:19, 20) Quoting Jesus, the disciple Mark wrote that this work must be done “ﬁrst,” that is, before the end comes. (Mark 13:10) That, of course, is the way it should be. Jesus said: “The harvest is great, but the workers are few.” A harvest cannot wait; it must be brought in before the season is over.—Matt. 9:37. w10 12/15 1:1, 2
Sunday, April 29 I am with you all the days until the conclusion of the system of things.—Matt. 28:20.
During his earthly ministry, Jesus took the lead in the preaching work. And after his resurrection, he exercised close oversight of the spreading of the Kingdom good news. By means of holy spirit, Jesus would eventually extend the witnessing work to the ends of the earth. Before ascending to heaven, Jesus told his disciples: “You will receive power when the holy spirit arrives upon you, and you will be witnesses of me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the most distant part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8; 1 Pet. 1:12) Under Christ’s direction, a tremendous witness was given in the ﬁrst century. (Col. 1:23) But Jesus himself indicated that this work would continue into the time of the end, as shown in today’s text. Since being invested with kingly power in 1914, Christ is more than ever “with” his disciples and active as their Leader. w10 9/15 4:14-16
Saturday, April 28 The harvest is great, but the workers are few.—Matt. 9:37.
You have a document that needs a certain person’s attention by the end of the day. What do you do? You mark it “URGENT!” You are on your way to an important appointment, but you are late. What do you do? You tell the driver, “Please hurry; it’s URGENT!” Yes, when you have a task that must get done and time is running out, you feel tense and excited. Your adrenaline be-
Monday, April 30 From every bad path I have restrained my feet.—Ps. 119:101.
It is unwise to wait until something worthless confronts us before we decide what we will do. Matters that the Scriptures condemn have been made clear to us. We are not ignorant of Satan’s schemes. When was Jesus tempted to change stones into loaves of bread? After he had fasted for 40 days and nights and “felt hungry.” (Matt. 4:1-4) Satan
is able to perceive when we are weak and more likely to succumb to temptation. Thus, now is the time to give careful consideration to these matters. Do not put it oﬀ! If we keep our dedication vow to Jehovah in mind day by day, we will be ﬁrmly determined to turn away from what is worthless. (Prov. 1:5; 19:20) Remember, our eyes feed our mind and our mind feeds our heart. How important it is, therefore, that we keep on considering what is valuable.—Phil. 4:8. w10 4/15 3:17, 19
Tuesday, May 1 The one whom Jehovah loves he reproves.—Prov. 3:12.
What can help you young ones to beneﬁt from discipline you receive? Remember that your parents likely realize that if they fail to correct you, it is the same as showing hatred toward you! (Prov. 13:24) Also, understand that making mistakes is part of the learning process. So when you are corrected, why not look for nuggets of wisdom in what is being said? “Having [wisdom] as gain is better than having silver as gain and having it as produce than gold itself.” (Prov. 3: 13, 14) Parents, however, do make mistakes. (Jas. 3:2) When disciplining you, they may sometimes speak thoughtlessly. (Prov. 12:18) What could cause your parents to act this way? They may be under stress, or they may view your mistakes as a failure on their part. Rather than dwelling on what you feel is an injustice, why not show appreciation for their earnest desire to be helpful? The ability to accept discipline will serve you well when you reach adulthood. w10 11/15 1:8, 9
Wednesday, May 2 We shall all stand before the judgment seat of God. —Rom. 14:10.
Although none of us would deliberately want to judge God, our imperfect nature can lead us down this path. This can easily happen when we see something that we view as unfair or if we personally suﬀer hardship. Even the faithful man Job made this mistake. When beset by a series of calamities that to him appeared to be unfair, Job was led to declare “his own soul righteous rather than God.” (Job 32: 1, 2) Job, however, did not know of the meetings of the angelic sons of God in heaven where Satan falsely accused him. (Job 1: 7-12; 2:1-6) He did not realize that his problems were actually caused by Satan. In fact, we cannot be certain that Job even knew the true identity of Satan! So he wrongly assumed that his problems were caused by God. Therefore, if we ﬁnd ourselves thinking similarly, remember that it is easy to come to the wrong conclusion when we do not know all the facts. w10 10/15 2:9-11
Thursday, May 3 I love the Father.—John 14:31.
Because Jesus truly loved his heavenly Father, he was delighted to do God’s will and found it deeply satisfying to present his body as a sacriﬁce. It also pleased him to know that the value of his perfect life could be oﬀered to God as a ransom to buy us back from slavery to sin and death. Did God approve of Jesus’ presentation of himself to shoulder these great responsibilities? He did indeed! All four Gospel writers testify to Jehovah God’s clear expression of approval as Jesus came up from the waters of the Jordan River. “I viewed the spirit coming down as a dove out of heaven,” testiﬁed John the Baptizer, “and it remained upon [Jesus] . . . And I have seen it, and I have borne witness that this one is the Son of God.” (John 1:32-34) Moreover, on that occasion Jehovah declared: “This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved.” —Matt. 3:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 3: 22. w10 8/15 1:10, 11
of evildoers. He could see that their course and choices in life put them on “slippery ground.” All those immorally leaving Jehovah, the psalmist perceived, will inevitably come to their end in “sudden terrors,” whereas those serving Jehovah will be supported by him. (Ps. 73:16-19, 27, 28) No doubt you have seen the truth of that statement. Living for self without regard for divine law might seem attractive to many, but the bad consequences of such a course are inescapable.—Gal. 6: 7-9. w10 6/15 1:11
Saturday, May 5 There are new heavens and a new earth.—2 Pet. 3:13.
The “new heavens” is God’s heavenly Kingdom, which was established in the year 1914. This royal government is made up of Christ Jesus and his 144,000 corulers. In the book of Revelation, these chosen ones are portrayed as “the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” (Rev. 21:1, 2, 22-24) Just as earthly Jerusalem was the seat of government in ancient Israel, the New Jerusalem and her Bridegroom make up the government of the new system of things. This celestial city will ‘come down out of heaven’ by directing its attention to the earth. The “new earth” refers to the new earthly society of humans who will have demonstrated their willing submission to God’s Kingdom. The spiritual paradise that God’s people enjoy even now will at last be in its rightful setting in that beautiful “inhabited earth to come.”—Heb. 2:5. w10 7/15 1:10, 11
Friday, May 4 Surely on slippery ground is where you place them. You have made them fall to ruins. —Ps. 73:18.
What helped the psalmist overcome his doubts? (Ps. 73:1-13) Although he admitted nearly turning aside from righteousness, his viewpoint changed when he entered “the grand sanctuary of God”—that is, when he associated with spiritual people in God’s tabernacle or temple and reﬂected on God’s purpose. Then it became clear to the psalmist that he did not want to share the lot
Sunday, May 6 You will receive power when the holy spirit arrives upon you, and you will be witnesses of me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the most distant part of the earth. —Acts 1:8.
Holy spirit emp owers us to declare the good news. What else could explain how the good news has been preached earth wide? Think about it. You may be among those who, perhaps because of extreme shyness or apprehension, once thought, ‘I could never go preaching from house to house!’ Yet, you now have a zealous share in that work. Many faithful Witnesses of Jehovah have continued preaching in the face of opposition or persecution. Only God’s holy spirit can empower us to overcome daunting obstacles and to do things that would be impossible in our own strength. (Mic. 3:8; Matt. 17: 20) By having a full share in the preaching work, you show that you are cooperating with that spirit. w10 4/15 2:15
lem, what can you do? Proverbs 22:3 states: “Shrewd is the one that has seen the calamity and proceeds to conceal himself.” By taking a diﬀerent route, you may be able to avoid the encounter altogether. That is not a matter of being fearful; it is the course of wisdom. If a schoolmate dares you to accept a cigarette from him, you could say, “No thanks” and then add, “I thought you were too smart to smoke!” Rather than your having to explain why you do not smoke, your peer is compelled to think about why he does. w10 11/15 2:11, 14
Tuesday, May 8 He that is showing favor to the lowly one is lending to Jehovah, and his treatment He will repay to him.—Prov. 19:17.
How should the principle found in those words aﬀect us as we endeavor to take the lead in showing honor? (Rom. 12:10) Most people manage to show honor to their superiors, but they may treat those whom they consider to be their inferiors with little or no respect. However, Jehovah is not like that. He states: “Those honoring me I shall honor.” (1 Sam. 2:30; Ps. 113:5-7) Jehovah shows honor to all those who serve and honor him. He does not ignore “the lowly ones.” (Isa. 57:15; 2 Chron. 16:9) Of course, we wish to imitate Jehovah. Thus, if we want to measure how we fare in showing genuine honor, we do well to ask ourselves, ‘How do I treat those who have no prominent, or responsible, position in the congregation?’ (John 13:14, 15) The answer to that question reveals much about the degree of heartfelt respect we have for others. —Phil. 2:3, 4. w10 10/15 3:15, 16
Monday, May 7 The heart of the righteous one meditates so as to answer. —Prov. 15:28.
An important step in resisting peer pressure is preparation. Being prepared means thinking in advance about what situations are likely to arise. Sometimes a little forethought can help you to prevent a big confrontation. For example, suppose you see a group of your schoolmates up ahead and they are smoking. How likely is it that they will oﬀer you a cigarette? Anticipating a prob-
Wednesday, May 9 Not one of mankind can get [the tongue] tamed.—Jas. 3:8.
What can help us to bridle this b ody memb er that is so difﬁcult to control? Jesus’ words to the religious leaders of his day give us insight. He said: “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Matt. 12:34) To have loving-kindness safeguard our tongue, we need to implant that quality in our heart—our inner person. Although reﬂecting loving-kindness in our speech is by no means easy, meditation and prayer help us to do just that. Jehovah God is “abundant in lovingkindness,” states the Bible. (Ex. 34:6) “Your loving-kindness, O Jehovah,” sang the psalmist, “has ﬁlled the earth.” (Ps. 119:64) The Scriptures contain numerous accounts of how Jehovah showed loving-kindness to his worshippers. Taking time to meditate appreciatively on ‘Jehovah’s dealings’ can instill in us the desire to cultivate this godly quality.—Ps. 77:12. w10 8/15 3:5, 6
that their greatness depended on ‘making themselves small’ in the eyes of others. Jehovah would bless them and use them only if they showed true humility. To this day, many in the world dedicate their lives to the pursuit of power, wealth, and position. As a result, they have little or no time for spiritual interests. (Matt. 13:22) In contrast, Jehovah’s people are happy to ‘make themselves small’ in the eyes of others in order to win the blessing and approval of the Master of the harvest.—Matt. 6:24; 2 Cor. 11:7; Phil. 3:8. w10 7/15 3:4, 5
Friday, May 11 We received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is from God.—1 Cor. 2:12.
Many of the people we come in contact with are “lovers of themselves,” “haughty,” and even “ﬁerce.” It is very easy for bad characteristics like these to rub oﬀ on us and anger us. (2 Tim. 3: 2-5) In fact, movies and TV programs often portray vengeance as noble and violence as a natural and justiﬁable solution to problems. Typical story lines lead viewers to look forward to the moment when the villain “gets what he deserves”—usually a violent end at the hands of the story’s hero. Such propaganda promotes, not God’s ways, but “the spirit of the world” and of its angry ruler, Satan. (Eph. 2:2; Rev. 12:12) That spirit caters to the imperfect ﬂesh and is in total opposition to God’s holy spirit and its fruitage. Indeed, a fundamental teaching of Christianity is not to retaliate under provocation.—Matt. 5:39, 44, 45. w10 6/15 3:5, 6
Thursday, May 10 Whoever will humble himself [or, “whoever makes himself small,” “Byington”] like this young child is the one that is the greatest in the kingdom of the heavens.—Matt. 18:4.
The disciples have just argued about who is the greatest. So Jesus calls a young child to stand in their midst and says the words above. (Matt. 18:1-3) Instead of thinking like the world, which measures a person by his power, wealth, and p osition, the disciples needed to understand
Saturday, May 12 You are standing ﬁrm in one spirit, with one soul striving side by side for the faith of the good news.—Phil. 1:27.
Christian overseers promote unity by taking the lead in preaching. The spirit of companionship that unites those who work together in God’s service is far stronger than the spirit that unites others in the world who merely socialize together. The Christian congregation was founded, not to function as a social club, but to honor Jehovah and to get a job done—the work of preaching the good news, making disciples, and building up the congregation. (Rom. 1:11, 12; 1 Thess. 5:11; Heb. 10:24, 25) Accordingly, as Jehovah’s people, we are united because we accept Jehovah’s sovereignty, love our brothers, hope in God’s Kingdom, and respect the ones God uses to take the lead among us. Jehovah helps us to overcome certain attitudes that because of our imperfection could otherwise threaten our unity.—Rom. 12:2. w10 9/15 2: 9, 10
riﬁce, Jehovah made it possible for those who exercise faith to be forgiven of their trespasses and to be restored to friendship or harmony with him. Furthermore, he sent out his emissaries to urge people everywhere to make peace with him while they could. (1 Tim. 2:3-6) Sensing God’s will and recognizing the time in which he lived, Paul tirelessly expended himself in “the ministry of the reconciliation.” (2 Cor. 5:18) Jehovah’s will has not changed. His hand is still extended in our day. What a merciful and compassionate God Jehovah is!—Ex. 34:6, 7. w10 12/15 2:8, 9
Monday, May 14 Become imitators of me, even as I am of Christ.—1 Cor. 11:1.
The elders in the Christian congregation are under obligation to learn to be like Christ. Peter gave the older men, or elders, this exhortation: “Shepherd the ﬂock of God in your care, not under compulsion, but willingly; neither for love of dishonest gain, but eagerly; neither as lording it over those who are God’s inheritance, but becoming examples to the ﬂock.” (1 Pet. 5:1-3) Christian elders are not to be dictatorial, domineering, arbitrary, or harsh. Imitating Christ’s example, they endeavor to be loving, considerate, humble, and kind in their dealings with the sheep entrusted to their care. Those taking the lead in the congregation are imperfect men, and they should constantly be aware of that limitation. (Rom. 3:23) So they must be eager to learn about Jesus and imitate his love. They need to ponder over the way that God and Christ deal with people and then strive to imitate them. w10 5/15 1:11-13
Sunday, May 13 God was by means of Christ reconciling a world to himself, not reckoning to them their trespasses, and he committed the word of the reconciliation to us. —2 Cor. 5:19.
What makes the call to reconciliation all the more remarkable is that even though the breach was solely one-sided—caused by man’s rebellion in Eden—God himself took the initiative to mend the breach. (1 John 4:10, 19) By providing the ransom sac-
Tuesday, May 15 Do not be grieving God’s holy spirit.—Eph. 4:30.
Even in private, we could be tempted to do something displeasing to God. For instance, a brother may have been listening to questionable music. Eventually, his conscience becomes troubled because of ignoring Bible counsel presented in publications of “the faithful and discreet slave.” (Matt. 24:45) He may pray about this problem. Firmly determined to do nothing that would grieve God’s spirit, he resolves to avoid questionable music from now on. Jehovah will bless the spirit the brother shows. Therefore, let us constantly guard against grieving God’s spirit. Unless we are vigilant and prayerful, we could succumb to an unclean or wrong practice that would constitute a grieving of the spirit. Because the holy spirit produces qualities that are expressive of our heavenly Father’s personality, when we grieve it we grieve, or sadden, him—something we surely do not want to do.—Eph. 4:30, ftn. w10 5/15 4:16, 17
seeing and desiring. He stated: “A covenant I have concluded with my eyes. So how could I show myself attentive to a virgin?” (Job 31:1) Not only did Job refuse to touch a woman in an immoral way but he would not even allow his mind to entertain such a thought. Jesus emphasized that the mind must be kept clean of immoral thoughts when he said: “Everyone that keeps on looking at a woman so as to have a passion for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”—Matt. 5: 28. w10 4/15 3:8
Thursday, May 17 Children, be obedient to your parents in union with the Lord. —Eph. 6:1.
While at home, you children have an obligation to obey your parents. (Eph. 6:2, 3) Gaining the right perspective of your parents’ rules and requirements can make it easier for you to abide by them. Your parents make rules primarily because they are concerned about you. In addition, Christian parents know that they are accountable to Jehovah for the way they care for you. (1 Tim. 5:8) Really, obeying your parents’ rules is like paying oﬀ a debt that you owe to a bank—the more reliable you are in making your payments, the more inclined the bank will be to extend credit to you. Similarly, you owe your parents respect and obedience. (Prov. 1:8) The more obedient you are, the more likely your parents will be to extend greater freedom to you. (Luke 16:10) Of course, if you continually break the rules, do not be surprised if your parents reduce or even close down your “line of credit.” w10 11/15 1:3-5
Wednesday, May 16 I pummel my body and lead it as a slave, that, after I have preached to others, I myself should not become disapproved somehow.—1 Cor. 9:27.
True Christians are not immune to the desire of the eyes and of the ﬂesh. Therefore, God’s Word encourages us to exercise self-discipline in connection with what we look at and long for. (1 Cor. 9:25; 1 John 2:15-17) The upright man Job was one who recognized the strong link between
Friday, May 18 When . . . Jesus raised his eyes and observed that a great crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip: “Where shall we buy loaves for these to eat?” —John 6:5.
Why did Jesus ask Philip this question? Was Jesus worried about what to do? No. What really was his thinking? The apostle John, who also was there, explains: “[Jesus] was saying this to test him, for he himself knew what he was about to do.” (John 6:6) Jesus here tested the spiritual progress of his disciples. By asking this question, he got their attention and gave them an opportunity to express their faith in what he could do. But they missed this opportunity and showed how limited their viewpoint really was. (John 6:7-9) Jesus then went on to show that he could do something they had not even imagined. He miraculously fed those thousands of hungry people.—John 6:10-13. w10 10/15 1:8, 9
presence.” (2 Thess. 2:3, 8) It will furnish concrete proof that Christ has moved into action as Jehovah’s appointed Judge. (2 Tim. 4:1) The annihilation of the most reprehensible part of Babylon the Great will serve as a prelude to the total destruction of that wicked world empire of false religion. Jehovah will put it into the hearts of political leaders to devastate this spiritual harlot. (Rev. 17:1518) That will be the ﬁrst part of the “great tribulation.”—Matt. 24:21. w10 9/15 5:13
Sunday, May 20 This good news of the kingdom will be preached.—Matt. 24:14.
Have you ever entertained the thought of how wonderful it must have been to be alive when Jesus was on earth? You might think of the prospect of being healed by Jesus and thus spared the distress of some troublesome physical aﬄiction. Or you might consider the sheer pleasure of being able to see and hear Jesus—to be able to learn from him or to see him perform some miracle. (Mark 4:1, 2; Luke 5:3-9; 9:11) What a great privilege it would have been to be present when Jesus did all those works! (Luke 19:37) No generation since then has witnessed such things, and what Jesus accomplished on earth “through the sacriﬁce of himself” will not be repeated. (Heb. 9:26; John 14: 19) Our present era, though, is also momentous. It is during this time that we have the grand privilege of declaring the “good news of the kingdom” worldwide, telling people about the hope of the Paradise to come—a never-tobe-repeated work. w10 4/15 4:1, 2
Saturday, May 19 Where is this promised presence of his? . . . All things are continuing exactly as from creation’s beginning.—2 Pet. 3:4.
Christ’s “presence” since 1914 has gone unnoticed by most of earth’s inhabitants. Soon, however, he will make his presence manifest by executing Jehovah’s judgments on the various elements of Satan’s system of things. The destruction of “the man of lawlessness,” the clergy of Christendom, will be an unmistakable “manifestation of his
Monday, May 21 He gave gifts in men.—Eph. 4:8.
As loving shepherds, these “gifts in men” help to maintain our unity. For example, if a congregation elder notices two brothers “stirring up competition with one another,” he can contribute powerfully to the unity of the congregation by oﬀering private counsel “to readjust [them] in a spirit of mildness.” (Gal. 5:26–6:1) As teachers, these “gifts in men” help us to build ﬁrm faith based on Bible teachings. Thus they promote unity and help us advance to Christian maturity. Paul wrote that this is “in order that we should no longer be babes, tossed about as by waves and carried hither and thither by every wind of teaching by means of the trickery of men, by means of cunning in contriving error.” (Eph. 4:13, 14) Every Christian should contribute to the unity of the brotherhood, just as every member of our physical body builds up the others by helping to supply what is needed.—Eph. 4:15, 16. w10 9/15 3:8, 9
ing certainly includes taking to heart what is said in God’s Word and the spiritual food that he provides. (Matt. 24:45) It also means obeying God and his Son. Jesus said: “Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will.” (Matt. 7:21) And listening to God means willingly submitting oneself to the arrangement he has set in place, the Christian congregation with appointed elders, “gifts in men.”—Eph. 4:8. w10 12/15 3: 17, 18
Wednesday, May 23 They know each one his own plague and his own pain. —2 Chron. 6:29.
‘Our own pain’ may result from the eﬀects of certain past experiences in life. Mary, a Witness of Jehovah in her 30’s, writes: “I have every reason to be happy, but often my past brings up feelings of shame and disgust. Deep sadness results, and I tend to cry, as though everything happened yesterday. Ingrained memories still produce overwhelming feelings of worthlessness and guilt.” Many of God’s servants can identify with these feelings, but what can help to give them the strength needed in order to endure? “Genuine friends and a spiritual family now bring me happiness,” Mary says. “I also try to focus on what Jehovah promises for the future, and I have conﬁdence that my cries for help will be turned into cries of joy.” (Ps. 126:5) We need to place our hope in God’s provision of his Son, his appointed Ruler, who promises to care for us.—Ps. 72: 13, 14. w10 8/15 4:16-18
Tuesday, May 22 All these blessings must come upon you and overtake you, because you keep listening to the voice of Jehovah your God. —Deut. 28:2.
To Abraham’s ﬂeshly seed, the nation of Israel, God once said the above. The same can be said to God’s servants today. If you desire Jehovah’s blessing, “keep listening” to his voice. Then his blessings “must come upon you and overtake you.” What, though, does “listening” involve? Listen-
Thursday, May 24 Hear what the spirit says to the congregations.—Rev. 2:29.
We receive “food at the proper time” through the slave class. (Matt. 24:45) The “slave” fulﬁlls its assignment by supplying Scriptural material and by arranging programs for study and meetings. There are wellthought-out reasons for asking “the whole association of brothers” to consider certain information. (1 Pet. 2:17; Col. 4:16; Jude 3) We cooperate with the holy spirit when we do our best to follow the recommendations provided. When preparing for Christian meetings, we do well to look up the cited Scriptures and to try to discern how each applies to the subject at hand. This practice will gradually deepen our understanding of the Bible. (Acts 17: 11, 12) Looking them up makes a mental impression that the holy spirit can help us recall. Additionally, if we see the text on the page in the Bible, this will leave a visual impression that can help us ﬁnd the passage when we need to. w10 7/15 4:13, 14
asperating” them or ‘provoking them to wrath.’ (Col. 3:21; Eph. 6:4, ftn.) Even if the children must be disciplined, parents and elders should speak to them respectfully. In this way, older ones make it easier for the youths to correct their course and maintain their relationship with God. That is so much better than conveying the impression that we have given up on them, whereupon they may give up on themselves. Younger ones might not remember all the counsel they received, but they will remember how others spoke to them. w10 6/15 4:16, 17
Saturday, May 26 You will be witnesses of me . . . to the most distant part of the earth.—Acts 1:8.
Despite your best intentions, does it seem that you just never have enough time to do what you want and need to do? If so, you should examine your priorities. If you put things like recreation in ﬁrst place, you will never seem to have enough room in your life for the big things —spiritual pursuits. But if you follow the Bible’s admonition to “make sure of the more important things,” you will ﬁnd that you have room for both Kingdom interests and a measure of recreation. (Phil. 1:10) At present, you have the opportunity to share in the most exciting and important work in human history, a worldwide preaching and teaching campaign. You could choose to be a spectator and watch others do this work. Or you could be part of the action. Do not hold back from contributing your talents toward furthering Kingdom interests. w10 11/15 3:18-20
Friday, May 25 The truly wise woman has built up her house, but the foolish one tears it down with her own hands.—Prov. 14:1.
“A discreet wife,” one in whom her husb and can really “put trust,” is considerate of his feelings, just as she wants him to be of hers. (Prov. 19:14; 31:11) Parents and children likewise should speak to one another with graciousness. (Matt. 15:4) When talking to younger ones, thoughtfulness will help us to avoid “ex-
Sunday, May 27 Jehovah’s day will come as a thief.—2 Pet. 3:10.
We do not know exactly when that day will come, but we know it is near. We believe God’s Word when it says that by giving a thorough witness in the short time that remains, we will save both ourselves and those who listen to us. (1 Tim. 4:16) We recognize that the end could come at any time; Jehovah’s timing is not contingent on our giving a personal witness to every individual on the planet. (Matt. 10:23) Moreover, we receive good direction on how to carry out our preaching work eﬀectively. In faith, we participate in this work to the best of our ability, using whatever resources are at our disposal. Will we always preach in the most productive territory? Really, how could we know in advance? (Eccl. 11:5, 6) Our job is to preach, trusting that Jehovah will give us his blessing. (1 Cor. 3:6, 7) By means of his holy spirit, he will provide whatever speciﬁc direction we need.—Ps. 32:8. w10 9/15 1:11, 12
weigh me in accurate scales and God will get to know my integrity.” (Job 31:6) In that regard, Job mentioned a number of situations that could put an integrity keeper to the test. But Job actually passed the test successfully, as implied by his words recorded in Job chapter 31. We are not suﬀering exactly as Job did. However, we must be faithful to God in matters large and small if we are to bolster our position as integrity keepers and supporters of his sovereignty.—Luke 16:10. w10 11/15 5:1-3
Tuesday, May 29 Come to me, all you who are toiling and loaded down, and I will refresh you.—Matt. 11:28.
In imitation of Jesus, elders today view meetings as opportunities to reassure fellow believers of the unfailing love that Jehovah has for his people. (Rom. 8: 38, 39) Hence, in their meeting parts, elders focus on their brothers’ strengths, not on their weaknesses. They do not question their brothers’ motives. Rather, their expressions reveal that they view their fellow believers as individuals who love Jehovah and want to do what is right. (1 Thess. 4:1, 9-12) Of course, the elders may at times need to give corrective counsel to the congregation in general, but if just a few individuals need to be readjusted, such counsel is usually best given in a private conversation with those involved. (Gal. 6:1; 2 Tim. 2:24-26) When addressing the entire congregation, elders strive to speak in such a way that at the end of the meeting, all in attendance are refreshed and energized.—Isa. 32:2; Acts 15:32. w10 10/15 4:16
Monday, May 28 As for me, in my integrity I shall walk.—Ps. 26:11.
In ancient times, objects were often weighed on a beam scale. It usually consisted of a horizontal beam, or bar, that pivoted on a peg at its center. A pan hung from each end of the bar. The object being weighed was put in one pan and a weight in the other. God’s people were to use honest scales and weights. (Prov. 11:1) When the godly man Job was suﬀering under satanic attack, he said: “[Jehovah] will
Wednesday, May 30 Out of much tribulation and anguish of heart I wrote you with many tears, not that you might be saddened, but that you might know the love that I have more especially for you.—2 Cor. 2:4.
Serving others involves hard work and requires a spirit of selfsacriﬁce. Because Christian overseers are spiritual shepherds, the problems of the ﬂock concern them deeply. From the words of today’s text, it is evident that Paul put his heart into his work. A self-sacriﬁcing spirit has always been the hallmark of men who have labored in behalf of Jehovah’s servants. For example, we can hardly imagine Noah telling others in his household: ‘Let me know when the ark is ﬁnished so that I may join you.’ Moses did not tell the Israelites in Egypt: ‘I will meet you at the Red Sea. Get there the best way you can.’ Joshua never said: ‘Let me know when the walls of Jericho fall.’ And Isaiah did not point to someone else and say: ‘There he is! Send him.’ —Isa. 6:8. w10 5/15 3:7, 8
Thursday, May 31 We do have the mind of Christ. —1 Cor. 2:16.
It is good to remember that being whole-souled is not a matter of how much time we spend in the ministry. Individual circumstances vary. A person who spends just an hour or two in ﬁeld service each month may be very pleasing to Jehovah if that really is all his health allows him to do. (Compare Mark 12:41-44.) Hence, to determine what wholesouled service to God means for us personally, we need to make a frank appraisal of our abilities and circumstances. As followers of Christ, we also want to harmonize our viewpoint with his. (Rom. 15:5) What did Jesus put foremost in his life? He told the crowds from Capernaum: “I must declare the good news of the kingdom of God, because for this I was sent forth.” (Luke 4: 43; John 18:37) With Jesus’ zeal for his ministry in mind, evaluate your circumstances to see if you could further expand your ministry.—1 Cor. 11:1. w10 4/15 4:13 comments in your own words and respectfully repeat their remarks back to them. Your doing so will reassure them that you heard what they said. What if you want to give an explanation for your speech or actions? In most cases, it is wise to ‘keep your lips in check’ until after you have complied with your parents’ wishes. (Prov. 10:19) Once your parents see that you have listened to them, they will be far more inclined to listen to you. Such a mature approach proves that you are being guided by God’s Word. w10 11/15 1:10
Friday, June 1 Be swift about hearing, slow about speaking, slow about wrath.—Jas. 1:19.
Children, would you like to cope more eﬀectively with your parents’ rules and correction? If so, you need to improve your communication skills. How may you do that? The ﬁrst step is to listen. Rather than being quick to justify yourself, try to control your emotions and absorb what your parents have to say. Focus on what is said, not on how it is delivered. Then, rephrase your parents’
Saturday, June 2 Whenever it is that they are saying: “Peace and security!” then sudden destruction is to be instantly upon them.—1 Thess. 5:3.
The cry “Peace and security!” will be just another demoninspired lie; yet, it will not fool Jehovah’s servants. “You are not in darkness,” wrote Paul, “so that that day should overtake you as it would thieves, for you are all sons of light and sons of day.” (1 Thess. 5:4, 5) So let us stay in the light, far away from the darkness of Satan’s world. Peter wrote: “Beloved ones, having this advance knowledge, be on your guard that you may not be led away with them [false teachers within the Christian congregation] by the error of the law-defying people and fall from your own steadfastness.” (2 Pet. 3:17) Note that Jehovah does not simply tell us to ‘be on our guard’ and then leave it at that. Rather, he digniﬁes us by kindly granting us “advance knowledge” in the form of a general outline of what is to occur in the future. w10 7/15 1:12-14
and you sense anger building inside you, it may help to leave the scene, thus giving your emotions time to settle. (Prov. 17:14) If the one with whom you are speaking starts to get angry, make an extra eﬀort to speak graciously. A cutting or aggressive remark would add fuel to the ﬁre even if it is delivered in a gentle voice. (Prov. 26:21) So when a situation tries your self-control, be “slow about speaking, slow about wrath.” Pray for Jehovah’s spirit to help you to say good things, not bad.—Jas. 1:19. w10 6/15 4:18, 19
Monday, June 4 First let the children be satisﬁed, for it is not right to take the bread of the children and throw it to the little dogs.—Mark 7:27.
On one occasion, Jesus and his apostles were in the vicinity of Tyre and Sidon. While there, they met a Greek woman who begged Jesus to heal her daughter. At ﬁrst, Jesus ignored the woman. But when she kept on insisting, Jesus told her the words of today’s text. (Mark 7:24-26) Why did Jesus at ﬁrst refuse to help this woman? Was Jesus testing her to see how she would react, giving her an opportunity to display her faith? His tone of voice, although not revealed in the written text, did not discourage her. His use of the term “little dogs” softened the comparison. So perhaps Jesus was acting like a parent who intends to grant a child’s request but withholds any outward sign of that intent in order to test out the child’s seriousness. Whatever the case, once the woman expressed her faith, Jesus willingly granted her request. —Mark 7:28-30. w10 10/15 1:10, 11
Sunday, June 3 An answer, when mild, turns away rage, but a word causing pain makes anger to come up. —Prov. 15:1.
Handling anger calmly is not simply a matter of putting on a serene face. So do not bottle up anger and let it explode later. Pray for Jehovah’s help to rid your heart of hurtful feelings. Let Jehovah’s spirit transform your mind and heart to conform to his will. (Rom. 12:2; Eph. 4:23, 24) Take practical steps. If you ﬁnd yourself in a tense situation
Tuesday, June 5 Bad associations spoil useful habits.—1 Cor. 15:33.
Jacob’s daughter Dinah was an example of one who got into serious trouble because of associating with worldly companions. The Genesis account about her tells us that she was in the habit of associating with the young Canaanite women in the area where her family dwelled. The Canaanites did not have the same high moral standards as Jehovah’s worshippers. (Ex. 23:23; Lev. 18:225; Deut. 18:9-12) A local man, Shechem, described as “the most honorable of the whole house of his father,” saw Dinah “and then took her and lay down with her and violated her.” (Gen. 34:1, 2, 19) What does this account teach us? That we simply cannot socialize with unbelievers and hope to suﬀer no ill consequences. On the other hand, association with people who share your beliefs, your high moral standards, and your love for Jehovah is a safeguard. Such good association will encourage you to act wisely. —Prov. 13:20. w10 6/15 1:13-15
to the disciples’ mind the prophetic words of today’s text. Why? Because what Jesus did involved a great deal of risk and danger. After all, the temple authorities —the priests, the scribes, and others—were behind the scandalous proﬁt-making business taking place there. To expose and disrupt their scheme, Jesus was pitting himself against the religious establishment of the day. As the disciples correctly assessed the situation, ‘zeal for God’s house,’ or zeal for true worship, was clearly in evidence. w10 12/15 1:7, 8
Thursday, June 7 Everyone that keeps on looking at a woman so as to have a passion for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.—Matt. 5:28.
To maintain our integrity to Jehovah, we must adhere to his moral standards, just as Job did. He declared: “A covenant I have concluded with my eyes. So how could I show myself attentive to a virgin? . . . If my heart has been enticed toward a woman, and I kept lying in wait at the very entranceway of my companion, let my wife do the grinding for another man, and over her let other men kneel down.” (Job 31:1, 9, 10) Determined to maintain integrity to God, Job avoided gazing at a woman lustfully. As a married man, he did not ﬂirt with a single woman or pursue romantic objectives with another man’s wife. In today’s text, found in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus made a powerful statement regarding sexual morality—surely a point integrity keepers need to keep in mind. w10 11/15 5:4, 5
Wednesday, June 6 Sheer zeal for your house has eaten me up.—Ps. 69:9.
Early in his ministry, in the Passover season of 30 C.E., Jesus and his disciples came to Jerusalem and saw in the temple “those selling cattle and sheep and doves and the money brokers in their seats.” What was Jesus’ response, and what impression did it make on his disciples? (John 2: 13-17) What Jesus did and said on that occasion ﬁttingly brought
Friday, June 8 The plans of the diligent one surely make for advantage. —Prov. 21:5.
At times, pressure to engage in unwholesome activity may come from other youths who claim to be servants of Jehovah. For example, what if you arrive at a gathering arranged by such a person and discover that there is no adult supervision? Or what if a youth claiming to be a Christian brings alcohol to a gathering and you and others present are not of legal age to drink? A number of situations may arise in which you will need to follow your Bibletrained conscience. One teenage Christian relates: “My sister and I walked out of a movie that contained a lot of swearing. Others in the group decided to stay. Our parents praised us for what we did.” If you are going to a gathering, have an exit plan in case things are not as you expected them to be. Some youths have an agreement with their parents that a simple phone call is all that will be needed to get an early ride home.—Ps. 26:4, 5. w10 11/15 2: 16, 17
persons ought you to be in holy acts of conduct and deeds of godly devotion, awaiting and keeping close in mind the presence of the day of Jehovah!” (2 Pet. 3: 11, 12) Peter’s words emphasize the need to keep close watch during these last days to make sure that our life remains centered on deeds of godly devotion. Such deeds include the preaching of the good news. What a joy it is, therefore, for us to observe the zeal with which our brothers worldwide are carrying out Christ’s preaching commission! w10 4/15 4:3, 4
Sunday, June 10 Well done, good and faithful slave!—Matt. 25:21.
A quality that we need in order to have a full share in the harvest work is diligence. Jesus illustrated this in the parable of the talents. (Matt. 25:14-30) No doubt your heart’s desire is to imitate the diligent slaves in Jesus’ parable. It is good to note that the master in the parable recognized that each of his slaves had diﬀerent potential. He indicated this when he assigned talents to “each one according to his own ability.” (Matt. 25:15) As expected, the ﬁrst slave produced signiﬁcantly more than the second slave. However, the master recognized the diligent eﬀorts of both of these slaves by pronouncing the slaves “good and faithful” and giving them identical rewards. Similarly, Jehovah knows that your circumstances aﬀect what you are able to do in his service. He will not fail to recognize your whole-souled eﬀorts to serve him and reward you accordingly.—Mark 14:3-9; Luke 21:1-4. w10 7/15 3:8-10
Saturday, June 9 You will be witnesses of me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the most distant part of the earth. —Acts 1:8.
That work would involve a global teaching activity. The goal? To make disciples—additional followers of the Christ—before the end comes. (Matt. 28:19, 20) What must we do if we want to succeed in fulﬁlling Christ’s commission? Note this exclamation of the apostle Peter: “What sort of
Monday, June 11 Let us by love grow up in all things.—Eph. 4:15.
Following the way of love rules out fornication and loose conduct. Paul urged his brothers not to “go on walking just as the nations also walk.” Those people were “past all moral sense,” and “they gave themselves over to loose conduct.” (Eph. 4:1719) The immoral world in which we live threatens our unity. People joke about fornication, sing about it, watch it for entertainment, and practice it either in secret or openly. Yet, even ﬂirting, which may involve acting as though you are sexually attracted to someone you have no intention of marrying, can move you away from Jehovah and the congregation. Why? Because it so easily leads to fornication. Also, ﬂirting that leads a married person into adultery can cruelly separate children from parents and innocent partners from marriage mates. Divisive indeed! No wonder Paul wrote: “You did not learn the Christ to be so”!—Eph. 4:20, 21. w10 9/15 3:9, 10
how a few loving words or a simple act of kindness can lift another person’s spirit. Shepherding is a work that I enjoy very much.” (John 21:16) When it comes to the ﬂock of God, dedicated men in the congregation surely want to reﬂect the attitude of Jesus, who said: “I will refresh you.” (Matt. 11:28) Faith in God and love for the congregation move Christian men to reach out for this ﬁne work, not thinking that the price is too high or that it is too demanding. w10 5/15 3:9, 10
Wednesday, June 13 I do you no wrong. —Matt. 20:13.
In the illustration of the workers in the vineyard, Jesus describes a householder who pays the same amount of money to all his workers, whether they worked the whole day or just one hour. (Matt. 20:8-16) Does that seem fair? Actually, the householder treated all the workers as those having a right to a living. Even though the situation could be viewed as a buyer’s market, with no shortage of workers, he did not take advantage of them by oﬀering less than what was fair. All his workers returned home with enough to feed their families. Taking these points into consideration may change our view of his actions. His decision was a loving one and not an arbitrary abuse of authority. What lesson can we learn? That considering just some of the facts can cause us to jump to the wrong conclusion. Indeed, this parable highlights the superiority of God’s righteousness, which is not based on legal regulations and human merit alone. w10 10/15 2: 12, 14
Tuesday, June 12 God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.—John 3:16.
S h o u l d n o t Je s u s ’ s e l fsacriﬁcing love in serving as mankind’s Redeemer evoke an appreciative response in us? When describing his feelings for the ﬂock, one longtime elder said: “Jesus’ words to Peter—shepherd my little sheep—deeply move me. I have come to appreciate
Thursday, June 14 The sons of Jacob . . . became hurt in their feelings and they grew very angry.—Gen. 34:7.
Jacob’s sons Simeon and Levi took vengeance on Shechem for having violated their sister Dinah. Next, the other sons of Jacob attacked Shechem’s city, plundered it, and took the women and children captive. They did all of this not only because of Dinah but likely also because it was a question of pride, of losing face. Dinah’s tragic experience must have grieved Jacob deeply; yet, he condemned his sons’ vengeful course. Simeon and Levi still tried to justify their actions, saying: “Ought anyone to treat our sister like a prostitute?” (Gen. 34: 31) But that was not the end of the matter, for Jehovah was displeased. Many years later, Jacob foretold that because of the violent, angry acts of Simeon and Levi, their descendants would be scattered among the tribes of Israel. (Gen. 49:5-7) Yes, their uncontrolled anger brought disfavor both from God and from their father. w10 6/15 3:7, 8
unity and respect for one another in the congregation. Surely, we should not encourage cliques by forming exclusive groups among God’s people. Paul wrote: “I exhort you, brothers, . . . that you should all speak in agreement, and that there should not be divisions among you, but that you may be ﬁtly united in the same mind and in the same line of thought.” (1 Cor. 1:10) Jehovah is willing and able to help us avoid grieving his spirit. Let us continue to pray for holy spirit and be determined not to grieve it. w10 5/15 4:2, 19, 20
Saturday, June 16 My food is for me to do the will of him that sent me and to ﬁnish his work.—John 4:34.
Jesus taught others about God’s Kingdom. By miraculously healing the sick, feeding the hungry crowds, and even raising the dead, he demonstrated what the Kingdom would accomplish for mankind. (Matt. 11:4, 5) Instead of personally taking the credit for his teachings and works of healing, Jesus set an outstanding example by humbly directing all praise to Jehovah. (John 5: 19; 11:41-44) Jesus also made known the most important matters about which we should pray. Our prayers should include requests that God’s name, Jehovah, “be treated as holy” and that God’s righteous sovereignty replace Satan’s wicked rule so that His “will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth.” (Matt. 6:9, 10; ftn.) Jesus also urged us to act in harmony with such prayers by “seeking ﬁrst the kingdom and [God’s] righteousness.”—Matt. 6: 33. w10 8/15 1:12, 13
Friday, June 15 He who is sowing with a view to the spirit will reap everlasting life from the spirit.—Gal. 6:8.
By means of his holy spirit, God furthers the love, joy, and unity of his people. (Ps. 133: 1-3) Therefore, we should refrain from grieving the spirit because of engaging in harmful gossip or by saying things that would undermine respect for those who are spirit-appointed shepherds. (Acts 20:28; Jude 8) Instead, we ought to promote
Sunday, June 17 He went forth conquering and to complete his conquest. —Rev. 6:2.
Christ was enthroned as King of Jehovah’s Messianic Kingdom in 1914. The Psalms and the book of Revelation depict him as an energetic king on horseback, riding forth “conquering and to complete his conquest,” continuing to ultimate “success.” (Ps. 2: 6-9; 45:1-4) Christ’s ﬁrst kingly action after his enthronement was his victory over “the dragon and its angels.” As the archangel Michael in command of his angels, Christ hurled Satan and his demons out of the holy heavens and conﬁned them to the vicinity of the earth. (Rev. 12:7-9) Then, in his role as Jehovah’s “messenger of the covenant,” Jesus came with his Father to carry out an inspection of the spiritual temple. (Mal. 3:1) He judged Christendom, the most reprehensible part of “Babylon the Great,” ﬁnding her guilty of bloodshed and of spiritual adultery with the political system of this world.—Rev. 18:2, 3, 24. w10 9/15 5:1, 2
inal entity ruling by fraud, violence, and murder. The illegal organization is a challenge to the sovereign rulership and tests the loyalty of all citizens to their government. A similar situation exists on a universal scale. There is the legally constituted government of the “Sovereign Lord Jehovah.” (Ps. 71:5) But mankind is now threatened by a criminal organization headed by “the wicked one.” (1 John 5:19) It presents a challenge to the duly constituted government of God and tests the loyalty of all people to his sovereign rulership. w10 11/15 4:1-3
Tuesday, June 19 He gave gifts in men. —Eph. 4:8.
Our attitude toward Christ’s spiritual brothers is a major factor that will determine how we will be judged during the coming great tribulation. (Matt. 25:34-40) Thus, one aspect of the way we gain a blessing is by giving our loyal support to God’s anointed ones. The “gifts in men” also include members of Branch Committees, traveling overseers, and congregation elders—all of whom have been appointed by holy spirit. (Acts 20:28) These brothers’ primary responsibility is to build up God’s people “until . . . all attain to the oneness in the faith and in the accurate knowledge of the Son of God, to a full-grown man, to the measure of stature that belongs to the fullness of the Christ.” (Eph. 4:13) Granted, like the rest of us, they are imperfect. Still, we bless ourselves when we respond appreciatively to their loving shepherding.—Heb. 13:7, 17. w10 12/15 3:18-20
Monday, June 18 The scene of this world is changing.—1 Cor. 7:31.
Today, a drama of utmost importance is under way—and it involves you! Especially does it relate to the vindication of Jehovah God’s sovereignty. This drama can be illustrated by a situation that might exist in a certain land. On the one hand, there is the duly constituted government that maintains order. On the other hand, there is a crim-
Wednesday, June 20 Let each one keep seeking, not his own advantage, but that of the other person.—1 Cor. 10:24.
As Christians, we live busy lives, and carrying out our numerous important congregation activities takes much of our time. Not surprisingly, therefore, we view time as precious. We realize, too, that we should not demand that our brothers and sisters give us inordinate amounts of their time. Likewise, we appreciate it when others in the congregation understand that they should not be demanding when it comes to asking us for our time. Nonetheless, we also recognize that our willingness to interrupt our activities in order to give some time to fellow believers demonstrates that we have respect for them. In what way? By dropping our activities to give some time to our brothers, we say to them, in effect, ‘You are so valuable in my eyes that it is more important to me to spend some time with you than to continue what I am doing.’—Mark 6:30-34. w10 10/15 3: 17, 18
obstacles. What if we feel overwhelmed by temptation? We can draw strength from Paul’s words found at Romans 7:21, 25 and 8:11. Yes, “the spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead” can go to work in our behalf, empowering us to win the ﬁght against ﬂeshly desires. That passage was written to spirit-anointed Christians, yet the principle applies to all of God’s servants. All of us gain life by exercising faith in Christ, by exerting ourselves to deaden improper desires, and by living in accord with the spirit’s direction. w10 9/15 1:13, 15
Friday, June 22 Write down the vision, and set it out plainly.—Hab. 2:2.
In this complicated world, we often have to w ait for someone or something. If we carry with us a publication that we have not read or have only partially read, we may be able to use these opportunities to read a portion. Some keep up-to-date by listening to audio recordings of our publications while walking or while riding in a vehicle. Carefully researched but written for enjoyment by average readers, all this material deepens our appreciation for spiritual things. When you read the Bible or publications based on it, take time to think. As you carefully follow the line of thought, questions may occur to you. You might make a note of such questions and follow up on them later. It is often when we pursue matters that intrigue us that we delve the deepest. The understanding we acquire becomes part of the personal treasure we can draw from as we need to.—Matt. 13:52. w10 7/15 4:15, 16
Thursday, June 21 [Jehovah] proceeded to ﬁll him with the spirit of God. —Ex. 35:31.
We should ask Jehovah to give us his holy spirit to heighten whatever abilities we have in his service. (Luke 11:13) God’s spirit can qualify people for a work or a service privilege regardless of their previous circumstances or experience. Jehovah’s spirit operates in a variety of ways. That spirit is available to all of God’s servants, and it helps them to surmount formidable
Saturday, June 23 There will come to be plenty of grain on the earth; on the top of the mountains there will be an overﬂow.—Ps. 72:16.
Since grain is not ordinarily produced on mountaintops, these words emphasize how productive the earth will become. Just think! No more food shortages, no one undernourished, nobody starving! All will then enjoy “a banquet of well-oiled dishes.” (Isa. 25:6-8; 35:1, 2) To whom will credit go for all these blessings? Primarily to the Eternal King and Universal Ruler, Jehovah God. Psalm 72:1719 states: “Let his name [that of the King Jesus Christ] prove to be to time indeﬁnite; before the sun let his name have increase, and by means of him let them bless themselves; let all nations pronounce him happy. Blessed be Jehovah God, Israel’s God, who alone is doing wonderful works. And blessed be his glorious name to time indeﬁnite, and let his glory ﬁll the whole earth. Amen and Amen.” w10 8/15 4:19, 20
They recognize that the four angels whom the apostle John saw in a prophetic vision are “holding tight the four winds of the earth, that no wind might blow upon the earth.” Thus, it is still “the day of salvation” and “the especially acceptable time.” (Rev. 7:1-3) For this reason, since the early 20th century, the anointed remnant have been zealously applying themselves to the task of “the ministry of the reconciliation” to the far corners of the earth. w10 12/15 2:10
Monday, June 25 Jehovah is near to all those calling upon him.—Ps. 145:18.
Meaningful prayer involves more than words. It includes your innermost feelings. In your prayers, convey your warm love, deep respect, and full reliance on Jehovah. Jehovah will draw close to you, strengthening you to oppose the Devil and to make the right choices in life. (Jas. 4: 7, 8) Consider how Cherie gained strength from having a close relationship with Jehovah. When she ﬁnished school, she was oﬀered a scholarship that would enable her to pursue higher education. She realized, though, that pursuing further education would require her to devote most of her time to studying and preparing for sporting events—with little time left for serving Jehovah. “After praying to Jehovah, I declined the scholarship and began serving as a regular pioneer,” Cherie said. “I don’t have any regrets. Really, if you put God’s Kingdom ﬁrst, all other things will be added to you.”—Matt. 6:33. w10 4/15 1:12, 13
Sunday, June 24 Look! Now is the especially acceptable time. Look! Now is the day of salvation.—2 Cor. 6:2.
The ﬁrst ones to beneﬁt from this expression of undeserved kindness were those “in union with Christ.” (2 Cor. 5:17, 18) For them, “the day of salvation” began at Pentecost 33 C.E. From then on, such ones have been entrusted with the task of proclaiming “the word of the reconciliation.” Today, the remnant of anointed Christians are still carrying out “the ministry of the reconciliation.” (2 Cor. 5:18, 19)
Tuesday, June 26 [Jehovah] will weigh me in accurate scales and God will get to know my integrity.—Job 31:6.
Jehovah weighs all mankind in “accurate scales.” As in Job’s case, God uses his perfect standard of justice to measure our integrity as his dedicated servants. If we were to become devious or deceptive, we would not be maintaining our integrity to God. Integrity keepers have “renounced the underhanded things of which to be ashamed” and are not “walking with cunning.” (2 Cor. 4:1, 2) But what if we were devious in word or action, thus causing a fellow believer to petition God for help? Then, too bad for us! “To Jehovah I called in the distress of mine, and he proceeded to answer me,” sang the psalmist. “O Jehovah, do deliver my soul from false lips, from the tricky tongue.” (Ps. 120:1, 2) It is good to remember that God can look into our very depths, “testing out heart and kidneys” to determine whether we are genuine integrity keepers.—Ps. 7:8, 9. w10 11/15 5:6, 7
per and fail to give glory to God. Moses very clearly communicated how he felt, but Jehovah was not pleased. After 40 years of leading the Israelites, Moses did not have the privilege of taking them into the Promised Land. (Num. 12:3; 20:10, 12; Ps. 106:32) The Scriptures commend the exercising of restraint and discretion when we speak. (Prov. 17:27) Yet, discretion does not mean never expressing oneself. It means speaking “with graciousness,” using the tongue to heal rather than to hurt.—Prov. 12:18; 18:21; Col. 4:6. w10 6/15 4:4-6
Thursday, June 28 [God] is kind toward the unthankful and wicked. —Luke 6:35.
Before learning the truth and acting on it, we were recipients of God’s kindness, or general kindness. (Matt. 5:45) As his worshippers, however, we have become the objects of his loyal love—his steadfast loving-kindness. (Isa. 54:10) How thankful we can be for that! And what a powerful reason that is for displaying lovingkindness in our speech as well as in other aspects of our daily life! An invaluable aid in our cultivating loving-kindness is the privilege of prayer. This is because love and kindness—elements of loving-kindness—are aspects of the fruitage of Jehovah’s holy spirit. (Gal. 5:22) We can instill loving-kindness in our hearts by coming under the inﬂuence of that spirit. The most direct way to receive Jehovah’s holy spirit is to ask for it in prayer. (Luke 11: 13) It is appropriate that we repeatedly pray for God’s spirit and accept its guidance. w10 8/15 3: 9, 10
Wednesday, June 27 The one keeping his lips in check is acting discreetly. —Prov. 10:19.
Good communication does not mean saying everything you are thinking and feeling at any given moment, especially if you are upset. The Scriptures show that uncontrolled expression of anger is a mark of weakness, not of strength. (Prov. 25:28; 29:11) Moses—“by far the meekest” of all men then alive—once let the rebelliousness of the nation of Israel cause him to lose his tem-
Friday, June 29 Do not be grieving God’s holy spirit.—Eph. 4:30.
Paul did not want his beloved fellow believers to endanger their spirituality. Grieving the spirit can be the ﬁrst step leading to the total loss of the inﬂuence of God’s active force in a Christian’s life. That this is possible is evident from what David said after he had sinned in connection with Bath-sheba. David repentantly begged Jehovah: “Do not throw me away from before your face; and your holy spirit O do not take away from me.” (Ps. 51:11) Only those anointed ones who prove “faithful even to death” will receive the “crown” of immortal life in heaven. (Rev. 2:10; 1 Cor. 15:53) Christians with an earthly hope also need holy spirit if they are to maintain integrity to God and receive his gift of life on the basis of faith in Christ’s ransom sacriﬁce. (John 3:36; Rom. 5:8; 6:23) Hence, all of us must guard against grieving Jehovah’s holy spirit. w10 5/15 4:3, 4
Saturday, June 30 I myself have become full of power, with the spirit of Jehovah. —Mic. 3:8.
How will Jehovah use his holy spirit in the coming new world? That spirit will be the force behind the new scrolls that will be opened at that time. (Rev. 20:12) What will these contain? Evidently, Jehovah’s detailed requirements for us during the thousand years. Do you look forward to examining the contents of those scrolls? With eager anticipation, we await that new world. Let us never forget that Jehovah’s unfolding purpose is certain to succeed, for he uses his holy spirit —the most powerful force in the universe—to carry it out. That purpose involves you. Therefore, let it be your ﬁrm determination to supplicate Jehovah for his spirit and work in harmony with its leadings. (Luke 11:13) Thus you may have the prospect of living as Jehovah purposed humans to live —forever in Paradise on earth. w10 4/15 2:15, 17, 18 of obeying his laws out of fear of punishment. Rather, our love for God motivates us to endeavor to please him by upholding his standards, not establishing our own. We realize that this is the right thing to do, the very thing that we have been designed to do. Like Jesus Christ, the King of God’s Kingdom, we must love righteousness. (Heb. 1:8, 9) Seeking ﬁrst God’s righteousness results in a harmonious relationship with Jehovah that, in turn, leads to our very salvation.—Rom. 3:23, 24. w10 10/15 2:3, 4
Sunday, July 1 Keep on, then, seeking ﬁrst the kingdom and his righteousness. —Matt. 6:33.
What does it mean to seek ﬁrst God’s righteousness? Simply stated, it means to do God’s will in order to please him. Seeking his righteousness includes trying to live according to his values and perfect standards and not our own. (Rom. 12:2) This way of life involves our very relationship with Jehovah. It is not a matter
Monday, July 2 Money is for a protection. —Eccl. 7:12.
God’s Word encourages us to respect money, not to love it. (1 Tim. 6:9, 10) “A wise person will listen and take in more instruction, and a man of understanding is the one who acquires skillful direction,” wrote Solomon. (Prov. 1:5) Therefore, learn to manage money skillfully. Otherwise, you may ﬁnd yourself quickly plunging into debt if you buy items on impulse or spend money just to impress your friends. When it comes to spending money, you must learn to discipline yourself. Making and managing money is an important part of life. However, Jesus said that real happiness comes to those who are “conscious of their spiritual need.” (Matt. 5:3) He warned that a person’s interest in spiritual matters can be choked by such things as “the deceptive power of riches.” (Mark 4:19) How important it is, then, that you let yourself be guided by God’s Word and maintain a balanced view of money! w10 11/15 1:11-14
God gives his holy spirit “to those obeying him as ruler.” (Acts 5: 32) So pour your heart into every assignment. Always look to Jehovah for success. (Mark 11:23, 24) As you do, be assured that “everyone seeking ﬁnds.” (Matt. 7:8) Spirit-anointed ones will be blessed with “the crown of life” in the heavens. (Jas. 1:12) Christ’s “other sheep” will delight to hear Him say: “Come, you who have been blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you.”—John 10:16; Matt. 25:34. w10 9/15 1:16, 18
Wednesday, July 4 All of you gird yourselves with lowliness of mind toward one another.—1 Pet. 5:5.
In their dealings with God’s ﬂock, the appointed men in the congregation are to exhibit ﬁne qualities. Romans 12:10 states: “In brotherly love have tender affection for one another. In showing honor to one another take the lead.” Elders and ministerial servants show honor to others. Like Christians in general, these men are ‘to do nothing out of contentiousness or out of egotism but with lowliness of mind are to consider that the others are superior to them.’ (Phil. 2:3) Those taking the lead should certainly view others as being superior to them. By doing so, the appointed men will be following Paul’s counsel: “We, though, who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those not strong, and not to be pleasing ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor in what is good for his upbuilding. For even the Christ did not please himself.”—Rom. 15:1-3. w10 5/15 1: 13, 14
Tuesday, July 3 To you I will cause my spirit to bubble forth.—Prov. 1:23.
Can we expect God to impart to us his active force without any eﬀort on our part? No. Besides praying for it, we must diligently feed on God’s inspired Word. (Prov. 2:1-6) In addition, God’s spirit rests upon the Christian congregation. Our regular meeting attendance manifests our desire to “hear what the spirit says to the congregations.” (Rev. 3:6) Moreover, we must humbly respond to what we learn. Indeed,
Thursday, July 5 Make my eyes pass on from seeing what is worthless. —Ps. 119:37.
How precious our sight is! Through it, we perceive beauty, appreciate the wonders of creation, and receive evidence of God’s existence and glory. (Ps. 8:3, 4; 19:1, 2; 104:24; Rom. 1: 20) And as a highly important channel of communication to the mind, sight plays a major role in our acquiring knowledge of Jehovah and building faith in him. (Josh. 1:8; Ps. 1:2, 3) What we look at, however, can also be to our detriment. The link between our sight and our mind is so strong that what we see with our eyes can initiate or intensify ambitions and desires in our heart. And because we live in a depraved and self-gratifying world ruled by Satan the Devil, we are bombarded with images and propaganda that can easily lead us astray —even if we would give them only a quick glance. (1 John 5:19) It is no wonder, then, that the psalmist implored God to help him, as expressed in the words of today’s text. w10 4/15 3:1, 2
ses’ response revealed his faith and trust in Jehovah’s justice. His reaction showed, not selfish interest, but concern over Jehovah’s name. He did not want it to be defamed. Moses thereby showed that he understood “the mind of Jehovah” concerning this matter. (1 Cor. 2:16) What was the outcome? Because Jehovah was not ﬁrmly committed to a certain course of action, he “began to feel regret.” In Hebrew, this expression can simply mean that Jehovah did not bring about the calamity he stated that he was inclined to bring upon the whole nation.—Ex. 32:11-14. w10 10/15 1: 13, 15, 16
Saturday, July 7 The word of God is alive and exerts power.—Heb. 4:12.
The Christian congregation has helped many individuals to cleanse themselves of deﬁling practices. When the apostle Paul wrote his ﬁrst letter to the congregation in Corinth, he commented on changes that Christians there had made to live in conformity with God’s standards. Some had been fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, homosexuals, thieves, drunkards, and so on. “But you have been washed clean,” Paul told them. (1 Cor. 6:9-11) People who have no faith lack sound guiding principles. They set their own course or they may simply be adrift in a sea of moral abandon, as was true of some of those ancient Corinthians before they became believers. (Eph. 4:14) Accurate knowledge of God’s Word and purposes, however, has the power to transform for the better the lives of all who apply the Scriptures.—Col. 3:5-10. w10 6/15 1:16, 17
Friday, July 6 Let me be, that my anger may blaze against them and I may exterminate them, and let me make you into a great nation. —Ex. 32:10.
Although Jehovah expressed what he was inclined to do, this was not his ﬁnal judgment. In eﬀect, Jehovah was here testing Moses. Would he take this opportunity to encourage Jehovah to forget about Israel and to make a mighty nation from Moses’ own descendants? Mo-
Sunday, July 8 Do not beg oﬀ. —Heb. 12:25.
That warning against the tendency to “beg oﬀ” from embracing God-given responsibilities also applies to Christians today. We realize that we need to be determined never to take our Christian responsibilities lightly or to allow our zeal for God’s service to diminish. (Heb. 10:39) After all, rendering sacred service is a matter of life and death. (1 Tim. 4: 16) What will help us to guard against excusing ourselves from fulﬁlling our obligations to God? One important way to ﬁght that tendency is by regularly meditating on the meaning of our dedication vow. In essence, we promised Jehovah that we would put the doing of his will foremost in our lives, and we want to keep that promise. (Matt. 16:24) Therefore, at times we need to pause and ask ourselves: ‘Do I still feel as determined to live up to my dedication to God as I did at the time of my baptism? Or have I lost some of my initial zeal in the years since then?’ w10 4/15 4:5-7
lation . . . Just as jealousy in husband or wife is the forceful assertion of an exclusive right, so God asserts His claim, and vindicates it, on those who are His sole possession.” Thus, zeal in the Biblical sense is more than fervor or enthusiasm for a certain pursuit, such as many fans show for their favorite sport. David’s zeal was jealousy in the positive sense, that is, an intolerance of rivalry or reproach, a strong urge to protect a good name or to correct an injury. w10 12/15 1:8, 10
Tuesday, July 10 I shall . . . empty out upon you a blessing until there is no more want.—Mal. 3:10.
Jehovah created you with the capacity for enjoying life, and he wants you to be happy. (Eccl. 11:9) Remember that what many of your peers experience is only “the temp orary enjoyment of sin.” (Heb. 11:25) The true God wants you to have something far beyond that. He wants you to be happy forever. Hence, when you face temptation to do something that you know is bad in God’s eyes, remember that in the long run, what Jehovah asks of you is always in your best interests. As a youth, you need to realize that even if you were to gain the approval of your peers, years from now most of them likely will not even remember your name. In contrast, when you resist peer pressure, Jehovah takes note of it, and he will never forget you or your faithfulness. Moreover, he generously supplies his holy spirit to make up for any lack you may now have. w10 11/15 2: 18, 19
Monday, July 9 Sheer zeal for your house has eaten me up.—Ps. 69:9.
The word “zeal” in D avid’s psalm is derived from a Hebrew word that is often translated “jealous” or “jealousy” in other parts of the Bible. The New World Translation sometimes renders it “exacting exclusive devotion.” (Ex. 20:5; 34:14; Josh. 24: 19) One Bible dictionary says of this term: “It is often used in connection with the marriage re-
Wednesday, July 11 You are an examiner of the heart.—1 Chron. 29:17.
Think of the account of David’s adultery with Bath-sheba. (2 Sam. 11:2-5) According to the Mosaic Law, they deserved to be executed. (Lev. 20:10; Deut. 22: 22) Although Jehovah punished them, he did not enforce his own law. Was that unfair on Jehovah’s part? Did he show favoritism to David and violate His own righteous standards? Remember, this law on adultery was given by Jehovah to imperfect judges, who could not read hearts. Despite their limitations, they were enabled by this law to be consistent in their judgments. On the other hand, Jehovah can read hearts. So we should not expect that Jehovah would have to be restricted by a law he designed for imperfect judges. Jehovah could read the hearts of David and Bathsheba and see their genuine repentance. Taking such a factor into consideration, he judged them accordingly, in a merciful and loving manner. w10 10/15 2: 16, 17
a more respectful attitude toward others. For example, a man who speaks abusively to his wife should strive to change his attitude toward her, especially as he learns how Jehovah honors women. God even anoints some women with holy spirit, giving them the prospect of ruling as kings with Christ. (Gal. 3:28; 1 Pet. 3:7) Similarly, a woman who habitually screams at her husband should be moved to change as she learns how Jesus restrained himself when provoked.—1 Pet. 2:22, 23. w10 9/15 3:13
Friday, July 13 Father, glorify your name. —John 12:28.
As the time for his sacriﬁcial death drew near, Jesus became increasingly aware of the weighty responsibility he bore. His Father’s purpose and reputation depended upon Jesus’ enduring an unjust trial and a cruel death. Five days before his death, Jesus prayed: “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? Father, save me out of this hour. Nevertheless, this is why I have come to this hour.” After expressing these natural human feelings, Jesus unselﬁshly switched his focus to the matter of greater importance and said the words of today’s text. Jehovah immediately responded: “I both gloriﬁed it and will glorify it again.” (John 12: 27, 28) Yes, Jesus was willing to go through the greatest test of integrity any human has ever had to face. But hearing those words of his heavenly Father undoubtedly gave Jesus strong conﬁdence that he would succeed in magnifying and vindicating Jehovah’s sovereignty. And succeed he did! w10 8/15 1:14
Thursday, July 12 Christ suﬀered for you, leaving you a model for you to follow his steps closely.—1 Pet. 2:21.
Jehovah teaches us to promote respect and unity in both the congregation and the family by setting ﬁrm limits on the way we speak. “Let a rotten saying not proceed out of your mouth . . . Let all malicious bitterness and anger and wrath and screaming and abusive speech be taken away from you along with all badness.” (Eph. 4:29, 31) One way to avoid oﬀensive speech is to cultivate
Saturday, July 14 What sort of persons ought you to be in holy acts of conduct and deeds of godly devotion, awaiting and keeping close in mind the presence of the day of Jehovah!—2 Pet. 3:11, 12.
Never will the faithful slave class and its Governing Body take a casual view of those earnest words! Indeed, it is the “evil slave” who concludes that the Master is delaying. (Matt. 24:48) That evil slave is part of a group described at 2 Peter 3:3, 4. “In the last days,” wrote Peter, “there will come ridiculers” who, “according to their own desires,” mock those who obediently keep Jehovah’s day close in mind. Such ridiculers focus on themselves and on their own selﬁsh desires. Let us never develop such a disobedient and dangerous frame of mind! Rather, may we “consider the patience of our Lord as salvation” by keeping busy in the Kingdom-preaching and disciple-making work and by not being overly anxious about the timing of events that belongs to Jehovah God.—2 Pet. 3:15; Acts 1:6, 7. w10 7/15 1:15, 16
sus had prophesied that “on arriving” to inspect his domestics during “the conclusion of the system of things,” he would ﬁnd a slave providing them “food at the proper time.” He would pronounce that slave happy and would “appoint him over all his belongings” on earth. (Matt. 24:3, 45-47) As Head of the Christian congregation, Christ has used this “faithful and discreet slave” to administer His Kingdom interests on earth. He has provided direction for the anointed “domestics” and their “other sheep” companions by means of a Governing Body. —John 10:16. w10 9/15 5:2, 4
Monday, July 16 Go up in peace to your house. See, I have listened to your voice that I may have consideration for your person.—1 Sam. 25:35.
King David had numerous opportunities to take revenge, but he did not. (1 Sam. 24:3-7) On one occasion, however, he nearly gave in to anger. A wealthy man named Nabal screamed abuses at David’s men, though they had protected Nabal’s ﬂocks and shepherds. Perhaps feeling offended, especially for his men, David was about to strike back violently. While David and his men were on their way to attack Nabal and his household, a young man informed Abigail, Nabal’s discreet wife, of what had happened and urged her to act. Immediately, she put together a large gift and went to meet David. She humbly apologized for Nabal’s insolence and appealed to David’s fear of Jehovah. David came to his senses and said: “Blessed be you who have restrained me this day from entering into bloodguilt.” —1 Sam. 25:2-34. w10 6/15 3:9
Sunday, July 15 There will come to His temple the true Lord . . . and the messenger of the covenant. —Mal. 3:1.
When Jehovah and Jesus came to inspect the spiritual temple, they found faithful anointed Christians doing their utmost to provide timely spiritual food for the household of faith. From 1879 onward, through thick and thin, they had been publishing Biblical truths about God’s Kingdom in the pages of The Watchtower. Je-
Tuesday, July 17 If any one of you is lacking in wisdom, let him keep on asking God, for he gives generously to all and without reproaching; and it will be given him. —Jas. 1:5.
Do you believe this inspired statement? A Christian man may feel that he lacks suﬃcient wisdom to handle congregation responsibilities. If this is the case, perhaps he can gain wisdom by being a more diligent student of God’s Word and Bible-based publications. He might well ask himself, ‘Am I setting aside time to study God’s Word, and am I praying for wisdom?’ In answer to Solomon’s prayer, God gave him “a wise and understanding heart” that enabled him to discern between good and bad when rendering judgment. (1 Ki. 3:7-14) True, Solomon’s case was special. Yet, we can be conﬁdent that God will give wisdom to men entrusted with congregation responsibilities so that they can care for his sheep properly.—Prov. 2:6. w10 5/15 3:12
Maker of these wonderful things. Many of David’s compositions can be found in the book of Psalms. (Ps. 8:3, 4, 7-9) The songs that this God-fearing musician and song writer composed have stood the test of time. Just think of it! Today, more than 3,000 years after David’s birth, millions of people from all walks of life and living in all parts of the earth regularly turn to the psalms of David for comfort and hope.—2 Chron. 7:6; Ps. 34:7, 8; 139:2-8; Amos 6:5. w10 12/15 4:1, 2
Thursday, July 19 In the Sovereign Lord Jehovah I have placed my refuge. —Ps. 73:28.
“Sovereignty” is supremacy in power or rulership. A sovereign exercises supreme authority. There are good reasons for viewing Jehovah God as the Supreme One. (Dan. 7:22) As the Creator, Jehovah God is the Sovereign of the earth and the entire universe. (Rev. 4:11) Jehovah is also our Judge, Statute-Giver, and King, for within himself he combines the judicial, legislative, and executive branches of universal government. (Isa. 33:22) Since we owe our very existence to God and are dependent on him, we should view him as our Sovereign Lord. We will be motivated to uphold his lofty position if we always bear in mind that “Jehovah himself has ﬁrmly established his throne in the very heavens; and over everything his own kingship has held domination.” (Ps. 103:19; Acts 4:24) To support Jehovah’s sovereignty, we must maintain our integrity to him. w10 11/15 4:4-6
Wednesday, July 18 I will make melody to my God as long as I am.—Ps. 146:2.
In his youth, D avid sp ent countless hours in the ﬁelds near Bethlehem tending his father’s ﬂocks. As he watched over the sheep, David could observe Jehovah’s magniﬁcent creative works: the starry heavens, “the beasts of the open ﬁeld,” and “the birds of heaven.” He was deeply aﬀected by what he saw—so much so that he was moved to compose heartstirring songs of praise to the
Friday, July 20 In showing honor to one another take the lead.—Rom. 12:10.
There are many ways in which we can show honor to fellow believers. For instance, when giving them of our time, we should also give them our attention. Jehovah sets the example. The psalmist David states: “The eyes of Jehovah are toward the righteous ones, and his ears are toward their cry for help.” (Ps. 34:15) We strive to imitate Jehovah by turning our eyes and ears—our full attention—toward our brothers, especially those who approach us for help. By doing so, we show them honor. We also look for opportunities to be the ﬁrst in expressing honor to all, including lowly ones. By taking these steps, we will strengthen the bond of brotherly love and unity in the congregation. Therefore, let all of us continue not only to show honor but especially to take the lead in showing honor to one another. Are you determined to do just that? w10 10/15 3:2, 19, 20
ule or sacriﬁce nonessential activities so that you can regularly support congregation ﬁeld service arrangements. Keep in mind that diligence springs from an appreciative heart. (Ps. 40:8) Therefore, we need to cultivate and maintain a warm relationship with Jehovah. Set aside time to study and meditate on his appealing qualities—his love, patience, and mercy. In that way, you will be moved from the heart to do your best in his service. —Luke 6:45; Phil. 1:9-11. w10 7/15 3:12, 13
Sunday, July 22 We also entreat you not to accept the undeserved kindness of God and miss its purpose. —2 Cor. 6:1.
The purp ose of God’s undeserved kindness is to ‘reconcile a world to himself’ by means of Christ. (2 Cor. 5:19) Do we appreciate that this is the time for us to apply ourselves even more zealously to sounding out the entreaty: “Become reconciled to God”? (2 Cor. 5:20) Our task is not simply to tell people that if they turn to God, he will help them with all their problems and they will feel better. Many are looking merely for that when they go to church, and the churches are eager to cater to this desire. (2 Tim. 4:3, 4) That is not the goal of our ministry. The good news we preach is that Jehovah, out of his love, is willing to forgive trespasses by means of Christ. Thus, individuals can break free from alienation and become reconciled to God. (Rom. 5:10; 8:32) “The especially acceptable time,” however, is fast coming to a close.—2 Cor. 6:2. w10 12/15 2:13-15
Saturday, July 21 [Buy] out the opportune time for yourselves.—Col. 4:5.
If current circumstances in life limit the time that you have available to spend in the ministry, you could still try to increase your share by making your ministry more productive. When you carefully apply the practical suggestions presented at the weekly Service Meeting, you will hone your preaching skills and explore new witnessing opportunities. (2 Tim. 2:15) Also, if it is possible, you could resched-
Monday, July 23 Be wise, my son, and make my heart rejoice, that I may make a reply to him that is taunting me.—Prov. 27:11.
You young ones can demonstrate that you are serving Jehovah with a willing heart by your conduct. Jehovah blesses youths who remain morally clean. (Ps. 24:3-5) We live in a world ﬁlled with people who are lovers of themselves, haughty, disobedient to parents, unthankful, disloyal, ﬁerce, puﬀed up with pride, lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God—to name some of the characteristics listed by Paul. (2 Tim. 3:1-5) So it can be a real challenge for you to maintain exemplary conduct despite being surrounded by this wicked environment. However, each time you do what is right and refuse to share in ungodly conduct, you prove that you are on Jehovah’s side of the issue of universal sovereignty. (Job 2:3, 4) Moreover, knowing that you have Jehovah’s approval will strengthen you in your desire to serve him. w10 4/15 1:14, 15
ern the tongue of the wife. Her speech should not be inﬂuenced by the spirit of the world. Having “deep respect for her husband,” she speaks well of him in public and increases the respect others may already have for him. (Eph. 5:33) Not wanting to diminish the respect the children have for their father, she refrains from disagreeing with him or questioning his opinion in front of them. “The truly wise woman has built up her house,” says the Bible. (Prov. 14:1) Her home is a pleasant and comfortable place for the entire family. w10 8/15 3:11, 12
Wednesday, July 25 We all stumble many times. —Jas. 3:2.
Despite their best eﬀorts, even family members and our dear spiritual brothers and sisters may at times blurt out things that hurt our feelings. Instead of quickly taking oﬀense, patiently analyze why they may have said what they did. (Eccl. 7:8, 9) Were they under pressure, fearful, not feeling well, or struggling with some external or internal problem? Recognizing the factors may help us to understand why people sometimes say and do things they should not and may move us to be forgiving. All of us have said and done things that hurt others, and we hope that they will graciously forgive us. (Eccl. 7:21, 22) Jesus said that in order for us to receive God’s forgiveness, we must forgive others. (Matt. 6: 14, 15; 18:21, 22, 35) Therefore, we should be quick to apologize and quick to forgive, thus maintaining love—the “perfect bond of union”—within our family and within the congregation.—Col. 3: 14. w10 6/15 4:20, 21
Tuesday, July 24 The two will become one ﬂesh. —Eph. 5:31.
Jehovah expects husbands to stick loyally to their wives, always showing them loving-kindness. A husband, then, would not expose the faults of his wife in public or speak disparagingly of her. He is happy to praise her. (Prov. 31:28) If friction arises in the relationship, loving-kindness moves the husband to restrain his tongue from humiliating his wife. Loving-kindness should also gov-
Thursday, July 26 If . . . the eyes of the widow I would cause to fail, and I used to eat my morsel by myself, while the fatherless boy did not eat from it . . . let my own shoulder blade fall from its shoulder.—Job 31:16, 17, 22.
The poetic expressions in today’s text may remind us of the words of the disciple James: “The form of worship that is clean and undeﬁled from the standpoint of our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their tribulation.” (Jas. 1:27) We may also recall Jesus’ warning: “Keep your eyes open and guard against every sort of covetousness, because even when a person has an abundance his life does not result from the things he possesses.” Jesus then gave an illustration about a covetous rich man who died as one “not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:15-21) To be integrity keepers, we must not succumb to sinful covetousness or greed. Covetousness is idolatry because the object of a greedy person’s craving diverts attention from Jehovah and thus becomes an idol. (Col. 3:5) Integrity and greed do not mix! w10 11/15 5: 10, 11
someone who would be a pleasant companion; rather, he sought a spiritually-minded woman who was a worshipper of Jehovah. The eﬀort Jacob put forth to ﬁnd the right wife reﬂected his conﬁdence in Jehovah’s promise. Jacob was not seeking wealth to accommodate his family. His mind was on his heritage. His focus was on the outworking of Jehovah’s will. Jacob was determined to do everything in his power to obtain God’s blessing despite obstacles. He carried that attitude into his old age, and Jehovah blessed him for it.—Gen. 32:24-29. w10 9/15 1: 8-10
Saturday, July 28 God’s wrath is being revealed from heaven against all ungodliness.—Rom. 1:18.
Is it too late for individuals to break free from Satan’s domination and come into God’s favor? No, for the door leading to reconciliation with Jehovah is still wide open. Anointed Christians, who are “ambassadors substituting for Christ,” are spearheading a public ministry by means of which people of all nations are being entreated: “Become reconciled to God.” (2 Cor. 5:20, 21) The apostle Paul said that Jesus “delivers us from the wrath which is coming.” (1 Thess. 1:10) That ﬁnal expression of Jehovah’s anger will result in the everlasting destruction of unrepentant sinners. (2 Thess. 1: 6-9) Who will escape? The Bible states: “He that exercises faith in the Son has everlasting life.” (John 3:36) Yes, all who are alive and who are exercising faith in Jesus and the ransom when this system reaches its end will escape the consequences of God’s ﬁnal day of wrath. w10 8/15 2:5-7
Friday, July 27 [God] will give to you the blessing of Abraham.—Gen. 28:4.
Jacob did not know how God’s promise to Abraham would work out, but he believed that Jehovah would greatly multiply the oﬀspring of his grandfather, whose descendants would become a great nation. Thus, in 1781 B.C.E., Jacob traveled to Haran to ﬁnd a wife. He was not merely interested in ﬁnding
Sunday, July 29 O Hearer of prayer, even to you people of all ﬂesh will come. —Ps. 65:2.
Even during the time that Israel was God’s covenant people, foreigners who came to Jehovah’s temple could approach him in prayer. (1 Ki. 8:41, 42) God is not partial. Those who observe his commandments have the assurance that he will listen to them. (Prov. 15:8) Surely, “people of all ﬂesh” include you young ones. You know that the basis of any real friendship is good communication. Likely, you enjoy sharing your thoughts, concerns, and feelings with a close friend. Similarly, by oﬀering heartfelt prayers, you communicate with your Grand Creator. (Phil. 4:6, 7) Speak to Jehovah as if you were pouring out your heart to a loving parent or to a close friend. In fact, there is a strong link between how you pray and how you feel about Jehovah. You will notice that the stronger your friendship with Jehovah becomes, the more meaningful your prayers will be. w10 4/15 1:10, 11
deals with subjects or questions the family has asked to consider. Jesus said that the spirit would act as a helper. So we should not shrink back from studying the deeper truths of God’s Word. Such truths are part of the precious “knowledge of God,” and we are invited to search into them. (Prov. 2:1-5) They reveal much about “the things that God has prepared for those who love him.” As we make the eﬀort to learn more about Jehovah’s Word, holy spirit will help us, for “the spirit searches into all things, even the deep things of God.”—1 Cor. 2:9, 10. w10 7/15 4:17, 18
Tuesday, July 31 The head of every man is the Christ.—1 Cor. 11:3.
All in the Christian congregation, especially the men, should continually work hard to imitate Christ’s qualities. As Christ imitated his Head, the true God, Christian men should strive to imitate their head—the Christ. Upon becoming a Christian, the apostle Paul did just that. “Become imitators of me,” he exhorted fellow Christians, “even as I am of Christ.” (1 Cor. 11:1) And the apostle Peter said: “To this course you were called, because even Christ suﬀered for you, leaving you a model for you to follow his steps closely.” (1 Pet. 2:21) The admonition to imitate the Christ is of particular interest to men for still another reason. They are the ones who become elders and ministerial servants. As Jesus found joy in imitating Jehovah, Christian men should ﬁnd joy in imitating Christ and his qualities. w10 5/15 1:11
Monday, July 30 You will ﬁnd the very knowledge of God.—Prov. 2:5.
What do you consider during Family Worship evenings? Some read the Bible, researching verses that raise questions in their mind and making brief explanatory notes in their Bible. Many families take time to make family application of the material studied. Certain family heads select material that they feel the family needs to consider or that
Wednesday, August 1 Is the Judge of all the earth not going to do what is right? —Gen. 18:25.
If at times we see something that we feel is unfair on Jehovah’s part—whether we read it in a Bible account or experience it in our personal life—let us never judge God by our own standards of righteousness. Remember that we do not always have all the facts and that our viewpoint may be distorted or limited. Never forget that “man’s wrath does not work out God’s righteousness.” (Jas. 1:19, 20) In this way, our hearts will never become “enraged against Jehovah himself.” (Prov. 19:3) Like Jesus, let us always acknowledge that Jehovah alone has the right to set the standard for what is righteous and good. (Mark 10:17, 18) Strive to gain an “accurate knowledge” of his standards. (Rom. 10:2; 2 Tim. 3:7) By accepting these and conforming our lives to Jehovah’s will, we show that we are seeking ﬁrst “his righteousness.” —Matt. 6:33. w10 10/15 2:17-19
vah is aﬀected by your actions because “he cares for you.” (1 Pet. 5:7) He wants you to listen to him so that you can beneﬁt yourself. (Isa. 48:17, 18) When some of Jehovah’s servants in ancient Israel ignored his counsel, they caused him to feel pain. (Ps. 78:40, 41) On the other hand, Jehovah felt deep aﬀection for the prophet Daniel, for an angel called him a “very desirable man.” (Dan. 10:11) Why? Daniel remained loyal to God not only when in public but also in private.—Dan. 6:10. w10 11/15 1: 15, 16
Friday, August 3 I will laud you in the big congregation.—Ps. 35:18.
Some who in the past chose to leave the Christian congregation now bitterly regret that decision. One sister, whom we will call Tanya, explains that she was “raised around the truth,” but when she was 16, she left the congregation to “pursue worldly enticements.” Among the results she experienced were an unwanted pregnancy and an abortion. She now says: “The three years I spent away from the congregation left ugly scars on my emotions that will not go away. Something that continues to haunt me is that I killed my unborn child. . . . I want to tell all the young ones who are wishing they could ‘taste’ the world even for just a little while: ‘Don’t!’ It may taste good at ﬁrst, but it leaves an extremely bitter aftertaste. The world has nothing but misery to oﬀer. I know. I tasted it. Stay in Jehovah’s organization! It’s the only way of life that brings happiness.” w10 6/15 1:18, 19
Thursday, August 2 Be wise, my son, and make my heart rejoice.—Prov. 27:11.
When you are at school or at work, your spiritual defenses are likely up. You are alert to possible spiritual danger. It is when you are relaxing and your guard is down that you become most vulnerable to an attack on your moral standards. Why should you want to obey Jehovah even when you are alone? Remember this: You are able either to hurt Jehovah’s feelings or to make his heart rejoice. (Gen. 6:5, 6) Jeho-
Saturday, August 4 You will receive power when the holy spirit arrives upon you. —Acts 1:8.
Jesus knew that his disciples in their own strength were not capable of observing all that he had commanded. Considering the scope of their preaching commission, the strength of their opponents, and the frailty of the human ﬂesh, it was clear that they needed superhuman power. Thus, just before his ascension to heaven, Jesus assured his disciples that they would receive divine power and added: “You will be witnesses of me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the most distant part of the earth.” That promise began to have its fulﬁllment at Pentecost 33 C.E. when holy spirit empowered the followers of Jesus Christ to ﬁll Jerusalem with their preaching. No opposition was able to halt it. (Acts 4: 20) “All the days until the conclusion of the system of things,” Jesus’ faithful followers, including us, would be in urgent need of that same God-given strength. —Matt. 28:20. w11 1/15 4:1, 2
of Jehovah’s fury,” everything in which Satan’s world puts its trust will come crashing down. Gold, silver, and other valuable things will provide no security whatsoever. (Zeph. 1:18; Prov. 11:4) The only refuge will be our “Rock of times indeﬁnite.” (Isa. 26:4) So let us demonstrate our full trust in Jehovah now by walking obediently in his righteous ways, by proclaiming his Kingdom message despite our having to face apathy or opposition, and by rolling all our anxieties on him. w11 3/15 2:17, 20
Monday, August 6 It was something to be longed for to the eyes.—Gen. 3:6.
Eve’s interest in eating the forbidden fruit was heightened when she “saw that the tree was good for food and . . . desirable to look upon.” Looking at the tree with longing led Eve to disobey God’s command. Her husband, Adam, also disobeyed, with disastrous consequences to all humankind. (Gen. 2:17; 3:2-6; Rom. 5: 12; Jas. 1:14, 15) In the days of Noah, some angels were also inﬂuenced by what they saw. Referring to them, Genesis 6:2 relates: “The sons of the true God began to notice the daughters of men, that they were good-looking; and they went taking wives for themselves, namely, all whom they chose.” Lustfully looking upon the daughters of men aroused in the rebellious angels an unnatural desire for sexual relations with humans, and those angels fathered violent oﬀspring. Man’s badness at that time resulted in the destruction of all mankind, with the exception of Noah and his family.—Gen. 6:4-7, 11, 12. w10 4/15 3:3, 4
Sunday, August 5 As for the one listening to me, he will reside in security and be undisturbed from dread of calamity.—Prov. 1:33.
None of us know what tomorrow may bring, for “time and unforeseen occurrence” befall us all. (Eccl. 9:11) However, uncertainty about tomorrow need not rob us of peace of mind today, as it often does those who lack the security of a warm relationship with God. (Matt. 6:34; Phil. 4:6, 7) During the rapidly approaching “day
Tuesday, August 7 The love the Christ has compels us.—2 Cor. 5:14.
The love Christ showed in laying down his life in our behalf according to God’s will is so outstanding that as our appreciation grows, our heart is deeply moved. Christ’s love controlled Paul. It restrained him from acting selfishly and helped him to conﬁne his objectives to serving God and fellow humans inside and outside the congregation. Meditating on the love Christ has for people stirs up gratitude within us. As a result, we realize that it would be most unﬁtting for us to keep on ‘sowing with a view to the ﬂesh’ by pursuing selﬁsh goals and living largely to gratify ourselves. Instead, we adjust our aﬀairs to give ﬁrst place to the work God has given us to do. We are moved to “slave” for our brothers out of love. (Gal. 5:13) If we view ourselves as slaves working humbly in behalf of Jehovah’s dedicated servants, we will treat them with dignity and respect. w10 5/15 3: 13, 14
suﬀered, Jesus maintained his integrity and proved Satan to be a monstrous liar. Regarding all who support God’s sovereignty, Satan had made this challenge: “A person will give up everything he has to save his life.” (Job 2:4, Complete Jewish Bible) By his faithfulness, Jesus showed that Adam and Eve could have proved faithful under their much easier test. Most important of all, Jesus’ life and death upheld and magniﬁed the righteousness of Jehovah’s sovereignty.—Prov. 27:11. w10 8/15 1:15
Thursday, August 9 Just as the body is one but has many members, and all the members of that body, although being many, are one body, so also is the Christ.—1 Cor. 12:12.
Jehovah created mankind to be interdependent. The human race exhibits a wide variety of looks, personalities, and skills. Additionally, he endowed the ﬁrst humans with godly qualities that would enable them to cooperate with each other and to depend on each other. (Gen. 1:27; 2:18) Nevertheless, the world of mankind in general is now alienated from God and has never, as a whole, been able to act in unity. (1 John 5:19) Therefore, considering that the ﬁrst-century Christian congregation was composed of people as diverse as Ephesian slaves, prominent Greek women, educated Jewish men, and former idol worshippers, their unity must have seemed miraculous. (Acts 13:1; 17:4; 1 Thess. 1:9; 1 Tim. 6:1) True worship enables people to cooperate as harmoniously as the members of our own body.—1 Cor. 12:13. w10 9/15 2:2, 3
Wednesday, August 8 It has been accomplished! —John 19:30.
What great things Jesus was able to accomplish with God’s help during the three and a half years from his baptism until his death! When Jesus died, there was a violent earthquake, and the Roman army oﬃcer in charge of the execution was moved to say: “Certainly this was God’s Son.” (Matt. 27:54) The oﬃcer had app arently seen Jesus b eing mocked for claiming to be God’s Son. Despite everything that he
Friday, August 10 The way I am directing my blows is so as not to be striking the air. —1 Cor. 9:26.
If you were going to travel on an unfamiliar trail, you might want to take along a map and a compass. The map would help you to identify your current position and aid in plotting out a course. The compass would allow you to orient yourself. However, both the map and the compass would be of little use if you did not know where you were headed. To avoid wandering aimlessly, you would need a clearly deﬁned destination. You face a similar situation as you grow toward adulthood. You have available both a reliable map and a compass. The Bible is a map that can help you to know which path to choose. (Prov. 3:5, 6) If properly trained, your conscience can be a great help in keeping you on the right course. (Rom. 2:15) It can serve as a compass. For your life to be successful, though, you also need to know where you are headed. You need clearly deﬁned goals. w10 11/15 3:1, 2
over you with rejoicing.” (Zeph. 3:16, 17) These reassuring words ﬁrst applied to the Israelites of old who returned to Jerusalem from captivity in Babylon. However, this assurance still holds true for God’s people today. Since the work we do is Jehovah’s work, we should keep in mind that both Jehovah and his Son back us up and strengthen us to discharge fully our God-given responsibilities. (Matt. 28:20) If we strive to continue to do God’s work with zeal, he will bless us and help us to go on prospering spiritually. w10 4/15 4:8
Sunday, August 12 It is useless to serve God; and what proﬁt is it that we have kept his charge?—Mal. 3:14, “An American Translation.”
Today, many people draw the same conclusion. Led on by materialistic desires, they view God’s purpose as unattainable and his laws as no longer applicable. To them, the preaching of the good news is a waste of time and a source of irritation. The driving force behind such ideas goes back to the garden of Eden. It was Satan who persuaded Eve to disregard the real value of the wonderful life Jehovah had given her and to disdain His approval. Today, Satan eggs people on to believe that nothing is to be gained by doing God’s will. However, Eve and her husband discovered that losing God’s favor meant losing their lives. Those who now follow their bad example will soon come to realize the same bitter truth. —Gen. 3:1-7, 17-19. w11 2/15 2: 18, 19
Saturday, August 11 For all things I have the strength by virtue of him who imparts power to me.—Phil. 4:13.
If an honest self-examination proves that we have slackened the hand somewhat, we do well to recall the invigorating words spoken by the prophet Zephaniah. He stated: “May your hands not drop down. Jehovah your God is in the midst of you. As a mighty One, he will save. He will exult
Monday, August 13 The great day of Jehovah is near.—Zeph. 1:14.
A storm that threatens the very existence of the human race is approaching. It is a ﬁgurative “day of storm.” This “great day of Jehovah” will aﬀect all mankind. However, we can ﬁnd the refuge we need. (Zeph. 1:15-18) The day of Jehovah will break out with the destruction of all false religious systems on earth. As to how to ﬁnd refuge, we can look for the answer in the history of God’s ancient people. The great day of Jehovah that struck Jerusalem in 607 B.C.E. was an indication of the judgment to come upon apostate Christendom in our time. Furthermore, the rest of “Babylon the Great,” the world empire of false religion, will be destroyed. Thereafter, the remaining parts of Satan’s wicked system of things will be annihilated. Yet, God’s people as a group will survive because they are taking refuge in Jehovah.—Rev. 7:14; 18:2, 8; 19:19-21. w11 1/15 1:2, 3, 5
listened. Then note how things turned out for them. (1 Cor. 10: 8-11) 3. Reﬂect on the mental and emotional harm that sin can cause to you and to your loved ones. 4. Think how God must feel when one of his servants falls into gross sin. (Ps. 78:40, 41) 5. Imagine the joy that ﬁlls Jehovah’s heart when he sees a loyal worshipper reject bad and do what is right, whether in public or in private. (Ps. 15:1, 2; Prov. 27:11) You too can show you trust in Jehovah. w11 3/15 2:6
Wednesday, August 15 The insight of a man certainly slows down his anger. —Prov. 19:11.
If a fellow Christian, especially one with privileges in the congregation, is thoughtless or acts in an unchristian way, it can hurt us or make us angry. ‘How can such things occur among Jehovah’s people?’ we might ask. Actually, such things occurred even among anointed Christians in the days of the apostles. (Gal. 2:1114; 5:15; Jas. 3:14, 15) How should we respond when we are aﬀected? “I learned to pray for anyone who hurt me,” said one sister. “It always helps.” Jehovah wants his servants on earth to get along. We look forward to living together peacefully and happily forever, and Jehovah is teaching us to do so now. He wants us to cooperate in doing his great work. Therefore, let us resolve problems or simply “pass over” transgression and move ahead together. Instead of drawing away from our brothers when problems arise, we ought to help one another remain among God’s people.—Deut. 33:27. w10 6/15 3: 12, 13
Tuesday, August 14 We all at one time conducted ourselves in harmony with the desires of our ﬂesh, doing the things willed by the ﬂesh and the thoughts, and we were naturally children of wrath even as the rest.—Eph. 2:3.
Turning away from bad begins in the mind. (Rom. 8:5) How, then, can you strengthen your resolve to reject bad thoughts? Consider these ﬁve ways: 1. Seek God’s help through prayer. (Matt. 6:9, 13) 2. Meditate on Bible examples of those who failed to listen to Jehovah and those who
Thursday, August 16 Let those in Judea begin ﬂeeing to the mountains.—Luke 21:21.
After the Roman armies invaded Judea in 66 C.E., faithful Christians acted on Jesus’ admonition to ﬂee the city of Jerusalem at the ﬁrst opportunity. (Luke 21:20-23) They knew that Jehovah would never forsake his loyal ones. (Ps. 55:22) We too must fully trust in Jehovah, for he alone will be our salvation when the present system undergoes the greatest tribulation of all human history. At some point after the beginning of the great tribulation but before Jehovah executes his judgment upon the rest of the world, people will “become faint out of fear and expectation of the things coming upon the inhabited earth.” However, while God’s enemies tremble with fear, Jehovah’s loyal servants will feel no dread. On the contrary, they will rejoice because they know that their deliverance is near.—Luke 21:25-28. w10 7/15 1:17, 18
serving at Bethel. If you are still young and unmarried, are you making the most of your opportunities? Although most young people would like to marry eventually, there are good reasons not to rush into marriage. Paul encourages youths to wait at least until they are past “the bloom of youth,” when sexual desires are most powerful. It takes time to understand yourself and acquire the experience in life that is needed to choose a suitable mate. Making a marriage vow is a serious decision, one that should last for life.—Eccl. 5:2-5. w11 1/15 3: 9, 11
Saturday, August 18 Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Do not gaze about, for I am your God. I will fortify you. I will really help you. I will really keep fast hold of you with my right hand of righteousness. —Isa. 41:10.
True Christians are at war! Our enemy is powerful, cunning, and battle-hardened. He has at his disposal a weapon so eﬀective that it has subdued the majority of mankind. But we need not feel powerless or doomed to defeat. We have a defense available to us that is impenetrable and unbeatable. Our war is not physical; it is spiritual. Our enemy is Satan the Devil, and a prime weapon that he uses is “the spirit of the world.” (1 Cor. 2:12) Our key defense against his attacks is God’s spirit. To survive this war and remain spiritually vibrant, we need to ask for God’s spirit and then display its fruitage in our lives. —Gal. 5:22, 23. w11 3/15 1:1, 2
Friday, August 17 Let him do what he wants. —1 Cor. 7:36.
Many young ones in the congregation today appreciate that singleness allows for “constant attendance upon the Lord without distraction.” (1 Cor. 7:35) This is a real advantage. Opportunities abound—pioneering, serving where the need for Kingdom preachers is greater, learning a foreign language, assisting with Kingdom Hall or branch construction, attending the Bible School for Single Brothers, and
Sunday, August 19 The hour has come to reap, for the harvest of the earth is thoroughly ripe.—Rev. 14:15.
In fulﬁllment of the vision given to John, Jesus has been conducting a worldwide harvest work. “The harvest of the earth” began with the gathering of the remaining ones of the 144,000 “sons of the kingdom,” “the wheat” of Jesus’ parable. (Matt. 13:24-30, 3641) The distinction between true and false Christians became ever more apparent after World War I, so much so that it has contributed to the second part of “the harvest of the earth”—the ingathering of the other sheep. These are not “the sons of the kingdom” but, rather, “a great crowd” of willing subjects of that Kingdom. They are harvested from among all “peoples, national groups and languages.” They submit to the Messianic Kingdom, made up of Christ Jesus and the 144,000 “holy ones” who will be associated with him in that heavenly government. —Rev. 7:9, 10; Dan. 7:13, 14, 18. w10 9/15 5:5, 7
youths are a source of refreshment to their parents and to all of Jehovah’s people. (Prov. 23:25) You young ones today who courageously stick to Bible principles may motivate honesthearted individuals to get to know Jehovah. In the future, faithful young people will be counted among those who will survive into God’s promised new world. (Rev. 7:9, 14) There, they will experience untold blessings as they continue to grow in appreciation for Jehovah, and they will be able to praise him to time indeﬁnite.—Ps. 148: 12, 13. w10 4/15 1:16-18
Tuesday, August 21 Put them all away from you, wrath, anger, badness, abusive speech, and obscene talk out of your mouth.—Col. 3:8.
Even in the privacy of their home, marriage mates must use their tongues in a way that shows that they have respect for each other. When children are accustomed to hearing loving and kind speech, not only will they thrive but they will be more likely to imitate their parents’ way of speaking. The psalmist wrote of Jehovah: “May your loving-kindness serve, please, to comfort me.” (Ps. 119:76) An outstanding way in which Jehovah comforts his people is by giving them exhortation and guidance. (Ps. 119:105) How can family heads beneﬁt from the example of our heavenly Father and use their tongue to comfort those under their care? They can do so by providing needed direction and encouragement. What a ﬁne opportunity the Family Worship evening provides to discover spiritual treasures!—Prov. 24:4. w10 8/15 3:13, 14
Monday, August 20 The father of a righteous one will without fail be joyful; the one becoming father to a wise one will also rejoice in him. —Prov. 23:24.
All of us in Jehovah’s worldwide organization are thrilled to see the many thousands of zealous young ones who are sharing in true worship! These youths strengthen their desire to worship Jehovah by daily Bible reading, by praying, and by conducting themselves in harmony with God’s will. Such exemplary
Wednesday, August 22 You husbands, continue dwelling in like manner with [your wives] according to knowledge, assigning them honor as to a weaker vessel, the feminine one. —1 Pet. 3:7.
To honor someone means to hold that individual in high esteem. Thus, you would consider the opinions, needs, and wants of such a person and may defer to that one where there is no vital issue at stake. That is how a husband should deal with his wife. When telling husbands to honor their wives, Peter adds a warning: “In order for your prayers not to be hindered.” That clearly shows how seriously Jehovah views the way a man treats his wife. Failure to show honor to her could hinder his prayers. Moreover, do not wives generally respond positively to being treated honorably by their husbands? On the matter of loving one’s wife, God’s Word counsels: “Husbands ought to be loving their wives as their own bodies.”—Eph. 5:28. w10 5/15 1: 15-17
strengthen spiritually all in attendance. The apostle Paul emphasized that each part delivered at congregation meetings should have the same objective —“the upbuilding of the congregation.” (1 Cor. 14:3, 12) Upbuilding, or edifying, meetings are ﬁrst of all the result of the inﬂuence of God’s spirit. Therefore, we begin each congregation meeting with a heartfelt prayer to Jehovah in which our heavenly Father is asked to bless our gathering by means of his holy spirit. w10 10/15 4:1, 2
Friday, August 24 Everything that a man has he will give in behalf of his soul. —Job 2:4.
Some 6,000 years ago, a spirit creature challenged the rightfulness of Jehovah’s sovereignty. A selﬁsh desire to be worshipped was at the root of that rebel’s words and actions. He induced the ﬁrst human pair, Adam and Eve, to become disloyal to divine sovereignty and tried to tarnish Jehovah’s name by claiming that He had lied. (Gen. 3:1-5) The rebel became the great Adversary, Satan (Resister), Devil (Slanderer), serpent (deceiver), and dragon (devourer). (Rev. 12:9) By lying and turning Adam and Eve away from God, Satan called into question Jehovah’s right to require obedience of mankind. Moreover, by inducing the ﬁrst human pair to disobey God, Satan also called into question the loyalty of all intelligent creatures. As revealed in the case of Job, who was loyal to Jehovah’s sovereignty, Satan claimed that he could turn all humans away from God. w10 11/15 4:7, 9
Thursday, August 23 When you come together, . . . let all things take place for upbuilding.—1 Cor. 14:26.
‘That was such an upbuilding meeting!’ Have you expressed similar sentiments after attending a meeting at the Kingdom Hall? No doubt you have! Congregation meetings truly are a source of encouragement, but that is not surprising. After all, just as in the days of the early Christians, an important objective of our meetings today is to
Saturday, August 25 Jehovah . . . has sent me to you. —Ex. 3:15.
Apparently, early training by his parents allowed Moses to discern the folly of idol worship practiced by the Egyptians. (Ex. 32:8) The educational system of Egypt and the material splendor of the royal house did not cause Moses to abandon true worship. He must have pondered deeply over God’s promises to his forefathers and had a keen desire to prove himself ready to do the divine will. As time progressed, Moses faced disappointments. Yet, he watched for opportunities to honor Jehovah and wholeheartedly encouraged his fellow Israelites to do so. (Deut. 31:1-8) Why? Because he loved Jehovah’s name and sovereignty more than his own name. (Ex. 32:10-13; Num. 14:11-16) Despite disapp ointments or setbacks, we too must continue to support God’s rulership, conﬁdent that his way of doing things is wiser, more righteous, and better than any other. (Isa. 55:8-11; Jer. 10:23) Is that how you feel? w11 3/15 3:13, 15
tav Adolph II of Sweden, who fought in the Thirty Years’ War, is thought to have worn armor that had the name Iehova featured prominently on the collar. Some of God’s people who have been attacked by demons have found refuge in Jehovah by calling his name out loud. Still, an object that features God’s name should not be considered a talisman or used as a charm in everyday life as if it had some magical power of protection. This is not what it means to take refuge in the name of Jehovah. w11 1/15 1: 14, 15
Monday, August 27 You will . . . ﬁnd your exquisite delight in Jehovah.—Isa. 58:14.
Jehovah commanded the nation of Israel: “Six days you are to do your work; but on the seventh day you are to desist, in order that your bull and your ass may rest and the son of your slave girl and the alien resident may refresh themselves.” (Ex. 23:12) Yes, out of consideration for those under the Law, Jehovah lovingly arranged for a day of rest so that his people might “refresh themselves.” Was the Sabbath just a day for relaxation? No, it was an integral part of the Israelites’ worship of Jehovah. Keeping the Sabbath allowed family heads time to teach their family to “keep Jehovah’s way to do righteousness.” (Gen. 18:19) It also provided an opportunity for family and friends to get together to reﬂect on Jehovah’s deeds and to have joyous association. More important, the Sabbath prophetically pointed forward to a time when true refreshment would come through Christ’s Millennial Reign.—Rom. 8:21. w10 6/15 5:1, 2
Sunday, August 26 Do not put your trust in fallacious words.—Jer. 7:4.
Some Israelites viewed the temple as a talisman that would protect them from enemies. (Jer. 7:1-4) Earlier, Israelites viewed the ark of the covenant as a charm that would protect them in battle. (1 Sam. 4:3, 10, 11) Constantine the Great p ainted the Greek letters khi and rho, the ﬁrst two letters of the title “Christ” in Greek, on his soldiers’ shields in hopes of protecting his soldiers in battle. And King Gus-
Tuesday, August 28 You must be holy, because I am holy.—1 Pet. 1:16.
We can meet that important requirement by taking steps to be washed clean, ﬁguratively speaking. How can that be done? With the help of God’s word of truth. God’s word of truth is likened to water that cleanses. For instance, the apostle Paul wrote that the congregation of anointed Christians is clean in the sight of God, like a chaste bride for Christ, who cleansed it “with the bath of water by means of the word . . . , that it should be holy and without blemish.” (Eph. 5:25-27) Earlier, Jesus too had spoken of the cleansing power of the word of God, which he proclaimed. In speaking to his disciples, Jesus stated: “You are already clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.” (John 15:3) Hence, the truth of God’s word has power to carry out moral and spiritual cleansing. Only if we allow God’s truth to cleanse us in this way will our worship be acceptable to him. w10 7/15 3:14, 15
valuable relationships. Christians should work at being forgiving, not holding a grudge and not talking about the matter again. (Ps. 37:8; 103:8, 9; Prov. 17:9) Paul advised the Ephesians: “Be wrathful, and yet do not sin; let the sun not set with you in a provoked state, neither allow place for the Devil.” (Eph. 4:26, 27) Failure to control one’s anger would give the Devil an opportunity to sow disunity and even conﬂict in the congregation. w10 9/15 3:14
Thursday, August 30 If I used to rejoice at the extinction of one intensely hating me, or I felt excited because evil had found him . . . , I did not allow my palate to sin by asking for an oath against his soul. —Job 31:29, 30.
Job was neither malicious nor cruel. He knew that such traits would betray a lack of integrity. Upright Job never rejoiced if calamity befell someone hating him. A later proverb warns: “When your enemy falls, do not rejoice; and when he is caused to stumble, may your heart not be joyful, that Jehovah may not see and it be bad in his eyes and he certainly turn back his anger from against him.” (Prov. 24: 17, 18) Since Jehovah can read the heart, he knows if we are secretly rejoicing over another person’s calamity and surely does not approve of such an attitude. (Prov. 17:5) God may deal with us accordingly, for he says: “Vengeance is mine, and retribution.” —Deut. 32:35. w10 11/15 5:14, 15
Wednesday, August 29 A man given to anger stirs up contention, and anyone disposed to rage has many a transgression.—Prov. 29:22.
Anger can separate people who belong to one another. Anger is like a ﬁre. It can easily get out of control and cause disaster. One who is justiﬁed in expressing his displeasure must carefully control his anger to avoid damaging
Friday, August 31 They bind up heavy loads and put them upon the shoulders of men.—Matt. 23:4.
The religious scene around us today is similar—if not worse—than it was in Jesus’ day. For example, recall that the ﬁrst thing Jesus taught his followers to pray for concerned God’s name: “Let your name be sanctiﬁed.” (Matt. 6:9) Do we see the religious leaders, especially the clergy of Christendom, teaching people to know God by his name and to sanctify, or honor, that name?
On the contrary, they have misrepresented God by such false teachings as the Trinity, immortality of the human soul, and hellﬁre, making God appear mysterious, unfathomable, cruel, even sadistic. They have also brought reproach on God by their scandals and their hypocrisy. (Rom. 2:21-24) Furthermore, they have done everything possible to hide God’s personal name, even removing it from their translations of the Bible. They thus hinder people from drawing close to God and cultivating a personal relationship with him.—Jas. 4:7, 8. w10 12/15 1:11, 12
Saturday, September 1 [Jehovah] is giving to the tired one power; and to the one without dynamic energy he makes full might abound.—Isa. 40:29.
When we are tired or under pressure, we must never reason that the way to deal with stress is to cut back on spiritual activities. That is the worst thing we could possibly do. Why? Because such activities as personal and family Bible study, ﬁeld service, and meeting attendance are the means by which we receive revitalizing holy spirit. Christian activities are always refreshing. (Matt. 11:28, 29) How often brothers and sisters arrive at meetings feeling weary, but when the time comes to go home, it is as if their energy has been renewed, their spiritual batteries recharged! This is not to say, of course, that the load of Christian discipleship is weightless. It takes eﬀort to be a faithful Christian. (Matt. 16:2426; Luke 13:24) Nevertheless, by means of holy spirit, Jehovah can give the tired one strength. w11 1/15 4:14, 15
Sunday, September 2 They all in common started to beg oﬀ.—Luke 14:18.
All of God’s people can learn a lesson from Jesus’ parable at Luke 14:16-21. What is it? We should never allow personal matters, such as those mentioned in Jesus’ illustration, to become so important to us that they push aside our service to God. If a Christian does not keep personal aﬀairs in their proper place, his zeal in the ministry will gradually diminish. (Luke 8:14) To prevent that from happening, we live by Jesus’ admonition: “Keep on, then, seeking ﬁrst the kingdom and his righteousness.” (Matt. 6: 33) How encouraging it is to observe that God’s servants—young and old alike—are applying that vital counsel! In fact, many have taken steps to simplify their lifestyle so that they can give more time to the ministry. They learn ﬁrsthand that zealously seeking ﬁrst the Kingdom brings true happiness and great satisfaction. w10 4/15 4:9, 10
Monday, September 3 Let each one of you individually so love his wife as he does himself.—Eph. 5:33.
To what extent should husbands love their wives? “Husbands,” wrote Paul, “continue loving your wives, just as the Christ also loved the congregation and delivered up himself for it.” (Eph. 5:25) Yes, a husband should be willing even to lay down his life for his wife, just as Christ did for others. When the Christian husband deals with his wife tenderly, considerately, attentively, unselﬁshly, it is easier for his wife to submit to his headship. Is assigning honor to wives in this way too much to expect from husbands? No, Jehovah would never ask them to do something that is beyond their capabilities. Besides, Jehovah’s worshipp ers have access to the greatest force in the universe—God’s holy spirit. In their prayers, husbands can ask that by means of his spirit, Jehovah will help them in their dealings with others, including their wives.—Acts 5:32. w10 5/15 1:17, 18
kind or another. Some of them may need help to understand the deeper things of God’s Word. Others are sick or depressed, or they may be suﬀering the consequences of unwise decisions. And we all have to live in an ungodly world. None of us like to see fellow Christians suﬀer or struggle. The apostle Paul likened the congregation to a body and said that “if one member suﬀers, all the other members suﬀer with it.” (1 Cor. 12:12, 26) In such circumstances, we should strive to support our brothers and sisters. w10 6/15 2:1, 2
Wednesday, September 5 A good man brings forth good out of the good treasure of his heart, but a wicked man brings forth what is wicked out of his wicked treasure; for out of the heart’s abundance his mouth speaks. —Luke 6:45.
To remain loyal to God when you are by yourself, you must develop your “perceptive powers . . . to distinguish both right and wrong” and then train those powers “through use” by acting on what you know is right. (Heb. 5: 14) For example, when choosing the music you listen to, the movies you watch, or the Internet sites that you visit, here is what will help you choose what is right and avoid what is wrong. Ask yourself the following questions: ‘Will this material encourage me to be tenderly compassionate or will it inﬂuence me to rejoice “at another’s disaster”?’ (Prov. 17:5) ‘Will it help me to “love what is good” or will it make it diﬃcult for me to “hate what is bad”?’ (Amos 5:15) What you do when you are alone reveals the values you really treasure. w10 11/15 1:17
Tuesday, September 4 Keep comforting one another and building one another up. —1 Thess. 5:11.
Being a member of the Christian congregation is a great blessing indeed. You have a good relationship with Jehovah. Your reliance on his Word as a guide shields you from the bad consequences of an unchristian lifestyle. You are surrounded by genuine friends, who want you to do well. Yes, the blessings are many. Most Christians, however, are struggling with problems of one
Thursday, September 6 I consider it right . . . to rouse you up by way of reminding you.—2 Pet. 1:13.
When the apostle Peter wrote his second inspired letter, the Christian congregation had already endured much persecution, but this had not dampened its zeal or slowed its growth. So the Devil employed another tactic, one that had succeeded many times before. As revealed by Peter, Satan tried to corrupt God’s people by means of false teachers who had “eyes full of adultery” and “a heart trained in covetousness.” (2 Pet. 2:1-3, 14; Jude 4) Accordingly, Peter’s second letter is a heartfelt exhortation to faithfulness. Peter desired that his timely reminders would live on. (2 Pet. 1:15) And, indeed, they became part of the Bible and can be read by all of us today. Chapter 3 of Peter’s second letter is of particular interest to us, for it focuses on “the last days” of the present system of things and on the destruction of the ﬁgurative heavens and earth. —2 Pet. 3:3, 7, 10. w10 7/15 2:1, 2
other, tenderly compassionate, freely forgiving one another just as God also by Christ freely forgave you.” (Eph. 4:29, 32) Jehovah kindly forgives imperfect people like us. Should we not likewise forgive others when we see their imperfections? The unity of God’s people gloriﬁes Jehovah. His spirit moves us in diﬀerent ways to promote unity. We surely would not want to resist the spirit’s leading. Unity is a treasure worth protecting. It brings joy to all those who share in it and glory to Jehovah. w10 9/15 3:16, 17
Saturday, September 8 After we had ﬁrst suﬀered and been insolently treated (just as you know) in Philippi, we mustered up boldness by means of our God to speak to you the good news of God with a great deal of struggling.—1 Thess. 2:2.
It is not unusual to get discouraged at times in the face of opposition, indiﬀerence, or diﬃcult circumstances. (2 Cor. 1:8) But like Jeremiah, let us keep going. Do not lose heart. May each of us continue to supplicate God, lean on him, and ‘muster up boldness’ as we look to him for help. Being true worshippers, we must continue to keep awake to our Godgiven responsibilities. We need to be determined to keep preaching without letup about the destruction of Christendom, which was foreshadowed by that of unfaithful Jerusalem. The Jeremiah class will declare not just “the year of goodwill on the part of Jehovah” but also “the day of vengeance on the part of our God.”—Isa. 61:1, 2; 2 Cor. 6:2. w11 3/15 4:11
Friday, September 7 Do not be grieving God’s holy spirit.—Eph. 4:30.
The unity of the Christian congregation is the result of all being moved by love for God to treat others with love. Appreciation for Jehovah’s kindness motivates us to make an earnest eﬀort to apply the counsel: “[Speak] whatever saying is good for building up as the need may be, that it may impart what is favorable to the hearers. . . . Become kind to one an-
Sunday, September 9 A slave of the Lord does not need to ﬁght, but needs to be gentle toward all.—2 Tim. 2:24.
Satan and the demons are actively trying to disrupt happy families and congregations. They try to sow discord, knowing that internal divisions are destructive. (Matt. 12:25) In combating their evil inﬂuence, we do well to follow Paul’s counsel above. Remember that our ﬁght is, “not against blood and ﬂesh, but . . . against the wicked spirit forces.” To succeed in this ﬁght, we need to employ spiritual armor, including “the equipment of the good news of peace.” (Eph. 6:12-18) From outside the congregation, Jehovah’s enemies launch vicious attacks on his peaceful people. Some of these enemies assault Jehovah’s Witnesses physically. Others slander us in the press or in the courts. Jesus told his followers to expect this. (Matt. 5: 11, 12) How should we react? We must never “return evil for evil,” in word or in deed.—Rom. 12:17; 1 Pet. 3:16. w10 6/15 3:14, 15
leave or forsake us. (Heb. 13:5) Obedience to his inspired Word protects and fortiﬁes us. Moreover, God’s spirit can impel fellow believers to impart the assistance we need when we need it most. May all of us continue to seek holy spirit through prayer and study of the Scriptures. May we go on “being made powerful with all power to the extent of [God’s] glorious might so as to endure fully and be long-suﬀering with joy.”—Col. 1: 11. w11 1/15 5:18, 19
Tuesday, September 11 Cursed be the day on which I was born!—Jer. 20:14.
Many of our brothers serve in territories where endurance is a special challenge. The prophet Jeremiah served in such an environment—the kingdom of Judah during its tumultuous last days. Daily he was buﬀeted by tests of faith because he obediently announced God’s judgment messages. At one point, even his loyal secretary, Baruch, complained of weariness. (Jer. 45:2, 3) Did Jeremiah give in to discouragement? Well, on occasion, he did feel depressed. “Why is it that I have come forth from the very womb in order to see hard work and grief,” he exclaimed, “and that my days should come to their end in mere shame?” (Jer. 20:15, 18) Yet, Jeremiah did not give up. He continued to trust in Jehovah. As a result, this faithful prophet experienced the fulﬁllment of Jehovah’s own words recorded at Jeremiah 17:7: “Blessed is the able-bodied man who puts his trust in Jehovah, and whose conﬁdence Jehovah has become.” w11 3/15 2:7, 8
Monday, September 10 [God] will . . . make the way out in order for you to be able to endure it.—1 Cor. 10:13.
Jehovah’s people are not surprised to meet up with temptation, discouragement, persecution, and peer pressure. The world is basically hostile toward us. (John 15:17-19) Yet, holy spirit can make us equal to any challenge we might face in our service to God. Jehovah will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear. He will by no means ever
Wednesday, September 12 [God] is not a man like me that I should answer him, that we should come together in judgment.—Job 9:32.
We should never impose our limitations on Jehovah and judge him by our standards and thinking. Like Job, when we start to understand the mind of Jehovah, we cannot help but exclaim: “L ook! These are the fringes of his ways, and what a whisper of a matter has been heard of him! But of his mighty thunder who can show an understanding?” (Job 26:14) As we read the Scriptures, what should we do if we come across a passage that is diﬃcult to understand, especially with regard to Jehovah’s thinking? If after researching the matter we still do not have a clear answer, we can view this as a test of our trust in Jehovah. Remember, at times certain statements allow us an opportunity to express our faith in Jehovah’s qualities. Let us humbly acknowledge that we do not understand everything that he does.—Eccl. 11:5. w10 10/15 1:19, 20
though you are facing a maze of options. But if you plot out your course ahead of time, basing your decisions on the truths and principles found in God’s Word, you will not be tempted to head in the wrong direction. (2 Tim. 4:4, 5) Why should your choices in life be governed by a desire to please God? One reason is that Jehovah gave us every good thing we have. (Jas. 1:17) Really, everyone owes Jehovah a debt of gratitude. (Rev. 4:11) What better way could there be for you to show your appreciation than keeping Jehovah in mind when you set goals? w10 11/15 3:3, 5
Friday, September 14 I got much joy and comfort over your love.—Philem. 7.
Early Christians received much support by encouraging one another and building one another up in love. (1 Cor. 16:17, 18; Eph. 4:11, 12, 16) When Titus went to Corinth to minister to the brothers there, Paul wrote back to the congregation, saying: “His spirit has been refreshed by all of you.” (2 Cor. 7:13) Likewise today, Jehovah’s Witnesses ﬁnd genuine refreshment through upbuilding Christian fellowship. You know from experience that congregation meetings are a source of great joy. There we ﬁnd an “interchange of encouragement . . . each one through the other’s faith.” (Rom. 1:12) Our Christian brothers and sisters are not mere passing acquaintances, superﬁcial associates with whom we casually meet now and again. They are true friends, people we love and respect. We receive much joy and comfort by regularly assembling with them at our meetings. w10 6/15 5:3, 4
Thursday, September 13 The way I am running is not uncertainly; the way I am directing my blows is so as not to be striking the air.—1 Cor. 9:26.
The apostle Paul summed up the beneﬁts of setting goals and endeavoring to reach them when he wrote the above. If you have goals, you can run with certainty. You can make the best decisions regarding worship, employment, marriage, and family, to name a few. At times, you may feel as
Saturday, September 15 The easygoingness of the stupid is what will destroy them. As for the one listening to me, he will reside in security and be undisturbed from dread of calamity. —Prov. 1:32, 33.
We ﬁnd refuge today in the spiritual security enjoyed by God’s people as a whole. (Ps. 91:1) Through “the faithful and discreet slave” and elders in the congregation, we are alerted to trends in the world that could endanger that security. (Matt. 24:45-47; Isa. 32:1, 2) Think of how often we have been warned about materialism, and consider how such warnings have protected us from spiritual calamity. And what about the danger of developing an easygoing attitude, which could lead to our becoming inactive in Jehovah’s service? Striving to keep morally clean also helps us to maintain our spiritual security. Think, too, of the encouragement from the faithful slave to follow Jesus’ command to preach the good news of the Kingdom in all the inhabited earth.—Matt. 24:14; 28:19, 20. w11 1/15 1:16, 17
shippers are also united because they look to God’s Kingdom as the only hope for mankind. They know that God’s Kingdom will shortly replace human governments and bless obedient mankind with genuine, lasting peace. (Isa. 11:4-9; Dan. 2:44) Thus, Christians heed what Jesus said about his followers: “They are no part of the world, just as I am no part of the world.” (John 17:16) True Christians remain neutral in conﬂicts of the world; hence, they are able to enjoy unity even when those around them are at war. w10 9/15 2:4-6
Monday, September 17 Should the righteous one . . . reprove me, it would be oil upon the head, which my head would not want to refuse.—Ps. 141:5.
What should we do if we observe a Christian heading in a direction that conﬂicts with Bible principles? Would not loving-kindness move us to use our tongue to try to correct him? If we come to know of a serious sin committed by a fellow believer, loyal love moves us to encourage the wrongdoer to “call the older men of the congregation to him” so that they can “pray over him, greasing him with oil in the name of Jehovah.” (Jas. 5:14) If the wrongdoer fails to contact the elders, our not reporting the matter is neither loving nor kind. Some among us may be discouraged, lonely, aﬄicted with feelings of unworthiness, or overwhelmed by disappointments. A ﬁne way for us to demonstrate that the law of lovingkindness is upon our tongue is that we “speak consolingly to the depressed souls.”—1 Thess. 5:14. w10 8/15 3:16
Sunday, September 16 Look! How good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!—Ps. 133:1.
Though true Christians are imperfect, they worship together in unity because they have learned to love one another. Jehovah teaches them to love as no one else can. (1 John 4:7, 8) From personal experience, have you not seen that this unity is a distinguishing feature of true worship? (John 13:35; Col. 3:14) True wor-
Tuesday, September 18 I am he who searches the kidneys and hearts, and I will give to you individually according to your deeds.—Rev. 2:23.
To the ancient congregation of Thyatira, Jesus sent this message: “I know your deeds.” (Rev. 2: 18, 19) He rebuked members of that congregation for their immoral, self-indulgent lifestyle, telling them the words of today’s text. That statement indicates that Christ observes not only the collective conduct of each congregation but also the lifestyle of its individual members. Jesus commended Christians in Thyatira “who did not get to know the ‘deep things of Satan.’ ” (Rev. 2: 24) Today, he likewise approves of those, young or old, who refrain from delving into the “deep things of Satan” by means of the Internet or violent video games or by indulging in permissive human reasonings. How happy he is to observe the eﬀorts and the sacriﬁces of the many Christians today who do their utmost to follow his lead in all aspects of their lives! w10 9/15 5:9
tion.” (Rom. 12:9) Of course, having brotherly love involves more than merely having warm feelings toward others. Such feelings need to be demonstrated by actions. After all, no one will know of our love and aﬀection unless we give out samples, so to speak. Hence, Paul adds the admonition: “In showing honor to one another take the lead.” The Greek word translated “honor” in the Bible conveys the sense of esteem, value, preciousness. (Luke 14:10) Yes, those we honor are precious, valuable to us. w10 10/15 3:1-3
Thursday, September 20 Be wise, my son, and make my heart rejoice, that I may make a reply to him that is taunting me.—Prov. 27:11.
With the passing of the centuries, Satan has built up a powerful criminal organization. Jehovah will eventually destroy it and the Devil, giving overwhelming proof of God’s rightful sovereignty. Jehovah God was so certain of a positive outcome that he foretold it when the rebellion took place in Eden. (Gen. 3:15) Many humans have exercised faith and maintained their integrity with respect to Jehovah’s sovereignty and the sanctiﬁcation of his name. Their number includes Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Moses, Ruth, David, Jesus, the early disciples of Christ, and millions of integrity keepers today. Such upholders of divine sovereignty share in proving Satan a liar and in clearing Jehovah’s name of the reproach that the Devil has heaped upon it by boasting that he could turn all mankind away from God.—Job 2: 1-5. w10 11/15 4:10, 11
Wednesday, September 19 In brotherly love have tender affection for one another. In showing honor to one another take the lead.—Rom. 12:10.
In his letter to the Romans, the apostle Paul emphasizes the importance for us as Christians to show love within the congregation. He reminds us that our love should be “without hypocrisy.” He also mentions “brotherly love” and notes that such love should be shown with “tender affec-
Friday, September 21 A man will leave his father and his mother and he must stick to his wife.—Gen. 2:24.
When trust within a marriage breaks down, love begins to wither. In some ways, loyalty is like a protective fence around the family home that keeps out unwelcome visitors and threats, providing a measure of security for those inside the home. Thus, when a husband and wife are loyal to each other, they can reside together safely and open their heart to each other, letting their love grow. Yes, loyalty is vital. As today’s text indicates, former ties to friends and relatives have to be adjusted. Each mate must ﬁrst give the other his or her time and attention. Friends and relatives can no longer take priority at the expense of the new family; nor should the couple allow parents to interfere in family decisions or disagreements. The couple must now stick to each other. That is God’s direction. w11 1/15 2:8, 9
be compared to mapping out a detailed path, whereas a purpose may involve having in mind a goal but not necessarily one specific manner of reaching it. When it comes to carrying out his will, Jehovah has, not a ﬁxed plan, but an unfolding purpose. (Eph. 3:11) This purpose involves what he originally intended for mankind and the earth—that this globe be turned into a paradise home, where perfect humans can live in peace and happiness forever.—Gen. 1:28. w10 4/15 2:1, 2
Sunday, September 23 Let your kingdom come. —Matt. 6:10.
Though Christendom’s religious leaders often repeat that prayer, they have urged people to support political and other human institutions. Moreover, they belittle those who endeavor to preach and bear witness to this Kingdom. In prayer to God, Jesus clearly stated: “Your word is truth.” (John 17:17) And before leaving the earthly scene, Jesus indicated that he would appoint “the faithful and discreet slave” to provide spiritual food for his people. (Matt. 24:45) Though quick to claim stewardship of God’s Word, have the clergy of Christendom proved to be faithful to the Master’s trust? No. They have been inclined to label what the Bible says as fable or myth. Rather than feeding their ﬂock with spiritual food, thus bringing them comfort and enlightenment, the clergy have tickled the believers’ ears with human philosophy. In addition, they have watered down God’s moral standards to cater to the so-called new morality. —2 Tim. 4:3, 4. w10 12/15 1:13, 14
Saturday, September 22 My word . . . will have certain success in that for which I have sent it.—Isa. 55:11.
Imagine that two men are each preparing to take a trip by car. One maps out a speciﬁc, detailed path to his destination. The other has his destination clearly in mind, but he also knows many alternate routes. He is prepared to adjust his course as necessary to deal with any contingency. In some respects, the diﬀerent approaches of these two men illustrate the distinction between a plan and a purpose. A plan might
Monday, September 24 Outside no alien resident would spend the night; my doors I kept open to the path.—Job 31:32.
Job was hospitable. (Job 31:31, 32) Although we may not be rich, we can “follow the course of hospitality.” (Rom. 12:13) We can share something simple with others, remembering that “better is a dish of vegetables where there is love than a manger-fed bull and hatred along with it.” (Prov. 15: 17) Eating with a fellow integrity keeper in a loving atmosphere will make even a simple meal enjoyable and will surely beneﬁt us spiritually. It must have been spiritually upbuilding to enjoy Job’s hospitality, for he was not a hypocrite. He was not like the ungodly men who slipped into the ﬁrst-century congregation and were “admiring personalities for the sake of their own beneﬁt.” (Jude 3, 4, 16) Nor did Job cover over his transgression or ‘hide his error in his shirt pocket,’ fearing contempt if others learned of it. He was willing to be examined by God.—Job 31:33-37. w10 11/15 5: 16, 17
tion to our physical hygiene, so we must regularly submit to the purifying inﬂuence of God’s word of truth. This involves reading the Bible and attending Christian meetings. It also means making a sincere eﬀort to apply God’s reminders in our life. Doing so will enable us to combat our own sinful tendencies and resist the contaminating inﬂuences of this world. (Ps. 119:9; Jas. 1:2125) Yes, how comforting it is to know that with the help of God’s word of truth, we can be “washed clean” of even serious sin!—1 Cor. 6:9-11. w10 7/15 3:16
Wednesday, September 26 Let ministerial servants be husbands of one wife, presiding in a ﬁne manner over children and their own households. —1 Tim. 3:12.
The spirituality and reputation of a married brother’s family have a direct bearing on his appointment in the congregation. This underscores the importance of the family’s role in supporting the husband and father as he seeks to serve the congregation’s interests as a ministerial servant or an elder. (1 Tim. 3: 4, 5) It takes balance for a family head to handle congregation responsibilities and preside over his household “in a ﬁne manner.” Hence, it is vital that an elder or a ministerial servant study the Bible with his wife and children so that all can beneﬁt from Family Worship every week. He should participate in the ﬁeld ministry with them on a regular basis. By the same token, it is important for family members to cooperate with the eﬀorts of the head of the household. w10 5/15 3:15, 16
Tuesday, September 25 You have been washed clean. —1 Cor. 6:11.
To become workers in God’s harvest, we ﬁrst eliminate all morally and spiritually deﬁling practices from our life. (John 4: 35) Yes, in order to continue to qualify for the privilege of being a harvest worker, we must be exemplary in upholding Jehovah’s high moral and spiritual standards. (1 Pet. 1:14-16) Just as we give constant atten-
Thursday, September 27 Israel has sinned, . . . and they have also taken some of the thing devoted to destruction and have also stolen.—Josh. 7:11.
Achan’s eyes seduced him into stealing some items from the captured city of Jericho. God had commanded that all things in that city should be destroyed except for certain things that were to be given to the treasury of Jehovah. The Israelites were warned: “Keep away from the thing devoted to destruction, for fear you may get a desire” and take some items from the city. When Achan disobeyed, the people of Israel suﬀered defeat at the city of Ai, and a number of them died. Achan did not admit to his theft until he was exposed. “When I got to see” the items, Achan said, “then I wanted them, and I took them.” The desire of his eyes led to his destruction, along with “everything that was his.” (Josh. 6:18, 19; 7:1-26) Achan desired in his heart what was forbidden to him. w10 4/15 3:5
opportunity to bring glory to Jehovah. Loyalty, unity, and spirituality are godly qualities that fortify a marriage. So whether we are preparing for, strengthening, or trying to save our marriage, we must ﬁrst see marriage for what it is: a divine and sacred institution. Keeping that truth in mind will move us to do our best to make marital decisions based on God’s Word. In this way we show respect not just for the gift of marriage but also for the Giver of that gift, Jehovah God. w11 1/15 2:19, 20
Saturday, September 29 God set [Jesus Christ] forth as an oﬀering for propitiation through faith in his blood.—Rom. 3:25.
Jehovah rewarded Jesus with a resurrection to a position superior to the one he had before coming to the earth. Jesus now enjoys immortality as a glorious spirit creature. (Heb. 1:3) As High Priest and King, the Lord Jesus Christ continues to help his followers to magnify God’s righteousness. And how thankful we are that our heavenly Father, Jehovah, is the Rewarder of all who do this and loyally serve him in imitation of his Son! (Ps. 34:3; Heb. 11:6) Faithful humans all the way back to Abel enjoyed a close relationship with Jehovah because they exercised faith and had conﬁdence in the promised Seed. Jehovah knew that his Son would be an integrity keeper and that his death would provide a perfect covering for “the sin of the world.” (John 1:29) Thus, Jesus’ death also beneﬁts people living today.—Rom. 3:26. w10 8/15 1: 16-18
Friday, September 28 Do all things for God’s glory. —1 Cor. 10:31.
For many today, the only thing that matters is their personal happiness. But a servant of Jehovah sees things diﬀerently. He knows that God provided marriage as a gift to further His purpose. (Gen. 1:26-28) If Adam and Eve had respected that gift, the whole earth would have become a paradise ﬁlled with happy, righteous servants of God. Above all, God’s servants see marriage as an
Sunday, September 30 You will receive power when the holy spirit arrives upon you. —Acts 1:8.
Jesus promised his disciples that ‘they would receive power when the holy spirit arrived upon them.’ The terms “power” and “spirit” are distinct in their meaning. God’s spirit, his active force, describes energy that is projected and exerted on people or things to accomplish God’s will. Power, however, can be deﬁned as the “ability to act or pro-
duce an eﬀect.” It can lie dormant in someone or something until it is needed to produce a given result. Thus, holy spirit might be likened to the electric current that energizes a rechargeable battery, whereas power is more like the latent energy that is then stored in the battery. The power that Jehovah grants to his servants by means of holy spirit gives each one of us the ability to fulﬁll our Christian dedication and, when necessary, to resist negative forces that are exerted upon us.—Mic. 3:8; Col. 1: 29. w11 1/15 4:3
Monday, October 1 The trumpeters and the singers were as one in causing one sound to be heard in praising and thanking Jehovah. —2 Chron. 5:13.
During Solomon’s reign, music was featured in pure worship in a large way. At the inauguration of the temple, there was a fullscale orchestra, with a brass section composed of 120 trumpets. (2 Chron. 5:12) As soon as that joyful sound had gone up, “the house itself was ﬁlled with a cloud,” indicating Jehovah’s approval. How thrilling, how aweinspiring it must have been to hear the sound of all those trumpets along with thousands of singers blending as one! Music was also used in worship by the early Christians. Of course, ﬁrstcentury worshippers met, not in tabernacles or in temples, but in private homes. Because of persecution and other factors, the conditions under which they met were often less than favorable. Still, those Christians did praise God in song. w10 12/15 4:9, 10
Tuesday, October 2 Happy is the man . . . [whose] delight is in the law of Jehovah. —Ps. 1:1, 2.
To help strengthen your faith, why not set some short-term goals? One goal could b e to pray each day. To help keep your prayers fresh and speciﬁc, you could make a mental or a written note of a day’s speciﬁc events that you want to include in your prayers. Be sure to mention not only the challenges you faced but also the things you enjoyed. (Phil. 4:6) Another goal is to read the Bible each day. Did you know that if you read about four pages a day, you will complete the whole Bible in just one year? A third shortterm goal you could set is that of preparing an answer for each congregation meeting. At ﬁrst, you may want to read the answer or a scripture. Later, you could have the goal of answering in your own words. Really, each time you answer, you are oﬀering a gift to Jehovah.—Heb. 13:15. w10 11/15 3:7, 8
Wednesday, October 3 What sort of persons ought you to be in holy acts of conduct and deeds of godly devotion! —2 Pet. 3:11.
Peter was not posing a question but making a rousing statement, an exclamation. Peter knew that only those who do Jehovah’s will and exhibit godly traits will be preserved through the coming “day of vengeance.” (Isa. 61:2) Thus, the apostle added: “You, therefore, beloved ones, having this advance knowledge, be on your guard that you may not be led away with them [false teachers] by the error of the lawdefying people and fall from your own steadfastness.” (2 Pet. 3:17) Being among those who had “advance knowledge,” Peter knew that in the last days, Christians would have to be especially on guard in order to maintain their integrity. Later, the apostle John clearly explained why. He foresaw Satan’s eviction from heaven and his “great anger” against those “who observe the commandments of God and have the work of bearing witness to Jesus.”—Rev. 12:9, 12, 17. w10 7/15 2:3, 4
brutality—to appeal to our ﬂeshly desires. Satan does not mind if part of our heart is loving what is right as long as part of it loves what is bad, what he promotes. (Ps. 97:10) On the other hand, God’s spirit moves those who receive it to be chaste, peaceable, and full of mercy. We would do well to ask ourselves, ‘Does the entertainment I choose encourage positive qualities in me?’ The wisdom from above is “not hypocritical.” (Jas. 3:17) Those who are inﬂuenced by God’s spirit do not preach chastity and peace to their neighbors and then revel in watching sadistic violence and immorality in the privacy of their homes. w11 3/15 1:7, 8
Friday, October 5 Due to the abundance of dynamic energy, he also being vigorous in power, not one of them is missing.—Isa. 40:26.
Our unimaginably vast universe gives evidence that Jehovah’s power and energy are inexhaustible. Modern science is aware that matter can be changed into energy and energy into matter. Our sun, a star, provides an example of matter being turned into energy. Every second, the sun converts about four million tons of matter into sunlight and other forms of radiant energy. The small fraction of that energy that reaches us is suﬃcient to sustain life on the earth. Obviously, tremendous power and energy were required to create not just the sun but also all the other billions of stars. Jehovah possesses the energy that was needed—and much more. We are surrounded by evidence that God used his holy spirit in a very orderly way. w11 2/15 1:5, 6
Thursday, October 4 Anyone loving violence [Jehovah’s] soul certainly hates. —Ps. 11:5.
Satan tries to alienate us from God by stirring up love of violence in our hearts. The Devil knows that Jehovah hates anyone who loves violence. Therefore, Satan tries to use literature, movies, music, and electronic games —some of which incite players to simulate gross immorality and
Saturday, October 6 As they traveled on through the cities they would deliver to those there for observance the decrees that had been decided upon by the apostles and older men who were in Jerusalem.—Acts 16:4.
First-century Christians enjoyed unity because they all received encouragement from the same source. They recognized that Jesus was teaching and directing the congregation through a governing body, composed of the apostles and older men in Jerusalem. These devoted men based their decisions on God’s Word and had traveling overseers communicate their instructions to the congregations in many lands. (Acts 15:6, 19-22) Similarly today, a Governing Body composed of spirit-anointed Christians contributes to the unity of the worldwide congregation. The Governing Body publishes spiritually encouraging literature in many languages. This spiritual food is based on God’s Word. Thus, what is taught is not from men but from Jehovah.—Isa. 54: 13. w10 9/15 2:7, 8
peace. I showed them Galatians 5:22 and 23, where love, mildness, self-control, and peace are mentioned. Then I left. Later, while calling on homes across the street, I saw the family sitting on their front steps. They called me over. ‘What now?’ I thought. The man had a jug of cool water and oﬀered me a drink. He apologized for his rudeness and commended me for my strong faith. We parted on good terms.” Because the brother controlled himself and spoke graciously, the outcome was good. w10 6/15 4:1-3
Monday, October 8 A man . . . must stick to his wife and they must become one ﬂesh. —Gen. 2:24.
When the apostle Paul spoke about his close friends Aquila and Priscilla, he did not mention one without the other. This united couple is a good example of what God meant when he said that a husband and a wife should become “one ﬂesh.” They constantly worked together in their home, in their secular work, and in the Christian ministry. For example, when Paul ﬁrst arrived in Corinth, Aquila and Priscilla kindly invited him to stay in their home, which he apparently used for a time thereafter as a base for his activities. Later, in Ephesus, they used their home for holding congregation meetings and worked together to help new ones, such as Apollos, to grow spiritually. (Acts 18:2, 18-26) This zealous couple then went to Rome, where they again opened their home for congregation meetings. Later, they returned to Ephesus, strengthening the brothers.—Rom. 16:3-5. w11 1/15 2:11
Sunday, October 7 Let your utterance be always with graciousness.—Col. 4:6.
“While preaching from door to door, I met a man who became so angry that his lips quivered and his whole body shook,” reports one brother. “I calmly tried to reason with him from the Scriptures, but his anger only intensiﬁed. His wife and children joined in berating me, and I knew it was time to leave. I assured the family that I had come in peace and wished to go in
Tuesday, October 9 Let him that can make room for it make room for it. —Matt. 19:12.
Marriage is unquestionably one of God’s most precious gifts to mankind. (Prov. 19:14) Yet, both Jesus Christ and the apostle Paul referred to singleness, like marriage, as a gift from God. (Matt. 19:11, 12; 1 Cor. 7:7) A single person often has more time and greater personal freedom than a married person does. (1 Cor. 7: 32-35) These are unique advantages that may allow him to expand his ministry, widen out in love for others, and draw closer to Jehovah. A number of Christians, therefore, have come to appreciate the beneﬁts of singleness and have decided to “make room for it,” at least for a time. Others may not have initially planned for singleness, but when their circumstances changed, they prayerfully reﬂected on their situation and realized that with Jehovah’s help they too could be settled in their heart. Thus, they accepted their changed circumstances and made room for singleness.—1 Cor. 7:37, 38. w11 1/15 3:1-3
persuade us against all logic.” No wonder advertisers bombard us with images that are cleverly designed to make the greatest visual impact and stimulate desire for their goods or services! One researcher stated that advertising is “designed not just to convey cognitive information, but more importantly, to produce particular emotive and eﬀectual responses.” Provocative sexual imagery is one form that is often used. “Sex sells” is a wellknown adage. How important it is, then, that we control what we look at and what we allow to enter into our mind and heart! w10 4/15 3:6, 7
Thursday, October 11 Look out: perhaps there may be someone who will carry you oﬀ as his prey.—Col. 2:8.
Today, there is a rising tide of atheistic and evolutionist propaganda dependent on ﬂawed and baseless reasoning. We should not let this ﬂood of faulty thinking confuse or intimidate us. All Christians must prepare themselves to resist such an onslaught and the peer pressure associated with it. Faith in the Bible and in God himself is sure to be strengthened by an honest examination of the evidence in favor of creation. In contemplating the origin of the universe and mankind, many would like to rule out the inﬂuence of any force outside the physical realm. If we were to discuss matters from that standpoint, though, we would not be weighing all the evidence impartially. Moreover, we would be ignoring the obvious existence of orderly, purp oseful creations “without number.”—Job 9:10; Ps. 104:25. w11 2/15 1:17, 18
Wednesday, October 10 We are not ignorant of his designs.—2 Cor. 2:11.
Of all the “designs” used by Satan to mislead mankind, the appeal to “the desire of the eyes” is most powerful. (1 John 2:16) Modern commercial advertisers well know the age-old power of eye appeal. “Sight is the most seductive sense of all,” states a leading European marketing expert. “It often overrules the other senses, and has the power to
Friday, October 12 In showing honor to one another take the lead.—Rom. 12:10.
What is involved in honoring others? It starts with respect. In fact, the words “honor” and “respect” are often used together because they are closely related. Honor is the manifestation, or outward demonstration, of respect. In other words, respect refers primarily to how we view our brother while honor refers to how we treat our brother. How can a Christian show genuine honor to fellow believers if he does not have heartfelt respect for them? (3 John 9, 10) Just as a plant can ﬂourish and last only if it is rooted in good soil, so honor can be genuine and lasting only if it is rooted in heartfelt respect. Since insincere honor does not grow out of genuine respect, it will wither sooner or later. No wonder, therefore, that Paul preceded his admonition to show honor with the clear-cut statement: “Let your love be without hypocrisy.”—Rom. 12:9; 1 Pet. 1: 22. w10 10/15 3:4, 5
ble translations and from other uses. One indication of this is the Letter to the Bishops’ Conferences on ‘the Name of God,’ dated June 29, 2008. In it the Roman Catholic Church advised that the Tetragrammaton in its various renderings should be replaced by “Lord” and that God’s personal name should not be used in hymns and prayers during Catholic religious services. And the leaders of other religions inside and outside of Christendom have also hidden the identity of the true God from millions upon millions of worshippers. w11 1/15 1:6, 9
Sunday, October 14 Continue considering these things.—Phil. 4:8.
When resisting Satan’s direct attack on his faith, Jesus quoted the Scriptures. (Luke 4:1-13) When confronting his religious opposers, Jesus used God’s Word as his authority. (Matt. 15:3-6) Jesus’ whole life revolved around knowing and fulﬁlling God’s law. (Matt. 5:17) We too want to keep feeding our mind with the faithstrengthening Word of God. (Phil. 4:9) Finding time for personal and family study may prove to be a challenge for some of us. Rather than ﬁnd time, though, we may have to make time. (Eph. 5:15-17) “The faithful and discreet slave” has helped us to have time for personal and family study by arranging for a Family Worship evening each week. (Matt. 24:45) Are you making wise use of this arrangement? To help you gain the mind of Christ, could you include in your study session a systematic consideration of what Jesus taught on subjects of your choice? w11 3/15 1:20, 21
Saturday, October 13 Everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved. —Rom. 10:13.
In the Middle Ages, God’s personal name was rather widely known in Europe. That name, represented by four Hebrew letters called the Tetragrammaton and commonly transliterated YHWH (or JHVH), appeared on coins, on facades of houses, in many books and Bibles, and even in some Catholic and Protestant churches. However, the trend in recent times is to eliminate the name of God from Bi-
Monday, October 15 Every branch in me not bearing fruit [my Father] takes away, and every one bearing fruit he cleans, that it may bear more fruit.—John 15:2.
Do you welcome the cleansing inﬂuence of God’s word of truth in your life? How do you react, for example, when you are alerted to the dangers of this world’s degrading entertainment? (Ps. 101:3) Do you avoid unnecessary fellowship with schoolmates and fellow workers who do not share your beliefs? (1 Cor. 15:33) Are you sincere in your eﬀorts to overcome personal weaknesses that could make you impure in Jehovah’s eyes? (Col. 3:5) Do you keep separate from this world’s political disputes and the nationalistic spirit that permeates many competitive sports? (Jas. 4:4) Your faithful compliance in such matters will bring excellent results. Comparing his anointed disciples to the branches of a vine, Jesus stated the words of today’s text. As you submit to the cleansing water of Bible truth, you will produce even more fruit. w10 7/15 3: 17, 18
pleasure in a regular pattern of loving-kindness. Consider how he blesses those who pursue it. Proverbs 21:21 states: “He that is pursuing righteousness and loving-kindness will ﬁnd life, righteousness and glory.” Among the blessings such a person will experience is that he will ﬁnd life —not a brief existence but life without end. Jehovah helps him to “get a ﬁrm hold on the real life.” (1 Tim. 6:12, 19) By all means, then, let us “carry on with one another loving-kindness.”—Zech. 7:9. w10 8/15 3:17-19
Wednesday, October 17 Just as the days of Noah were, so the presence of the Son of man will be.—Matt. 24:37.
Imagine the challenges Noah had to face as rebel angels materialized in human form and cohabited with attractive women! These unnatural unions produced superhuman oﬀspring, “mighty ones” who used their superior power to bully others. (Gen. 6:4, 5, 11, 12) Think of the violence that was fomented as these giants caused havoc wherever they went. Consequently, wickedness prevailed and man’s thinking and behavior became thoroughly depraved. Jesus prophesied that the conditions in our day would be similar to those in the days of Noah. Today, we also witness interference by wicked spirits, who plant murderous attitudes in the hearts and minds of people. (Rev. 12:7-9, 12) For example, 1 out of every 142 children born in the United States will become a murder victim. With senseless violence so prevalent, do you think that Jehovah will take less notice today than he did in Noah’s day? Will he fail to act? w11 3/15 3:3-5
Tuesday, October 16 There exists a friend sticking closer than a brother. —Prov. 18:24.
Loyal love should be evident in all our dealings with fellow worshippers of Jehovah. Even under diﬃcult circumstances, the law of loving-kindness should not depart from our tongue. When the loving-kindness of the sons of Israel became “like the dew that early goes away,” Jehovah was displeased. (Hos. 6:4, 6) On the other hand, Jehovah takes
Thursday, October 18 Here I am! Send me. —Isa. 6:8.
Gaining God’s approval involves the proper exercise of our free will. This is because Jehovah does not coerce anyone into serving him. In Isaiah’s time, He asked: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” By recognizing the prophet’s right to decide, Jehovah digniﬁed him. Imagine Isaiah’s satisfaction in responding with the words of today’s text. Humans are free to serve God or not to do so. Jehovah wants us to serve him willingly. (Josh. 24: 15) Any who begrudge God their worship cannot be pleasing to him; nor does he accept the devotion of those whose true intent is only to please other humans. (Col. 3:22) If we rendered sacred service “hesitantly” by allowing worldly interests to interfere with our worship, we would not win God’s approval. (Ex. 22:29) Jehovah knows that serving him whole-souled is good for us. Moses urged the Israelites to choose life ‘by loving Jehovah their God, by listening to his voice and by sticking to him.’—Deut. 30:19, 20. w11 2/15 2:8, 9
So if you often feel tired and under pressure, you might beneﬁt from reviewing how you meet the demands of secular work, the frequency with which you travel for pleasure, and the intensity with which you pursue sports or other leisure activities. Reasonableness and modesty should move all of us to recognize our limitations and keep unnecessary commitments to a minimum. Do not let fatigue cause you to miss out on eternal blessings. Every trial—whether caused by temptation, tiredness, or discouragement—will pass, if not immediately, then in God’s new world. w11 1/15 4:16, 18
Saturday, October 20 Happy are those hungering and thirsting for righteousness, since they will be ﬁlled.—Matt. 5:6.
The world we live in is ruled by the wicked one. (1 John 5:19) If we pick up a newspaper in any country, we ﬁnd reports of cruelty and violence on an unprecedented scale. Man’s inhumanity to man is troubling for a righteous person to contemplate. (Eccl. 8:9) As those who love Jehovah, we know that only he can satisfy the spiritual hunger and thirst of individuals desiring to learn righteousness. The ungodly will soon be removed, and lovers of righteousness will no longer experience the distress caused by law-defying people and their evil deeds. (2 Pet. 2:7, 8) What a relief that will be! So let us not lose heart or be amazed that oppression and violence have taken away righteousness in this satanic world. (Eccl. 5:8) Jehovah, the Most High, knows what is taking place and will soon deliver lovers of righteousness. w11 2/15 3:14-16
Friday, October 19 Let us also put oﬀ every weight . . . , and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.—Heb. 12:1.
Likening the Christian life course to a long-distance footrace, the apostle Paul recommended the above. His point was that we must avoid needless pursuits, needless weights, that will tire us out. It may be that some of us are simply trying to squeeze too much into already busy lives.
Sunday, October 21 Then I shall give to peoples the change to a pure language. —Zeph. 3:9.
What is this pure language? The pure language is the truth about Jehovah God and his purposes as found in his inspired Word. You are in a sense using that language when you share with others the correct understanding of God’s Kingdom and how it will sanctify his name, when you stress the vindication of God’s sovereignty, and when you happily talk about the everlasting blessings faithful humans will enjoy. As a result of so many speaking this ﬁgurative language, a growing number are ‘calling upon the name of Jehovah’ and ‘serving him shoulder to shoulder.’ Yes, millions around the world are now ﬁnding refuge in Jehovah. (Ps. 1:1, 3) No political state today, nor the United Nations organization, will fully solve mankind’s problems. So why should one regard political institutions and alliances as a refuge?—Isa. 28:15, 17. w11 1/15 1: 17-19
the world where I served Jehovah. I knew that this practice was wrong but told myself that my service to God was still acceptable.” What changed this brother’s thinking? He states: “Although it was the most diﬃcult thing I have ever done, I decided to tell the elders about my problem.” This brother eventually broke free from this degrading habit. “After I cleansed my life of this sin,” he admits, “I ﬁnally felt that I had a truly clean conscience.” Those who hate lawlessness must learn to hate pornography. w11 2/15 4:9, 10
Tuesday, October 23 The head of a woman is the man.—1 Cor. 11:3.
Because of the rebellion of our ﬁrst parents, the perfect situation in the garden of Eden was lost. (Rom. 5:12) But the headship arrangement remained in eﬀect. When properly followed, it brings great beneﬁt and happiness in marriage. Because of imperfection, men are no longer capable of being perfect heads, nor are women able to demonstrate perfect subjection. When husbands and wives continue to work at doing the best they can, however, the arrangement results in the greatest possible contentment in marriage at this time. Crucial to the success of a marriage is that the marriage mates apply this Scriptural counsel meant for all Christians: “In brotherly love have tender aﬀection for one another. In showing honor to one another take the lead.” (Rom. 12: 10) Also, both husband and wife should work hard to “become kind to one another, tenderly compassionate, freely forgiving one another.”—Eph. 4:32. w10 5/15 2:4, 5
Monday, October 22 Everyone that keeps on looking at a woman so as to have a passion for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.—Matt. 5:28.
Satan promotes sexual immorality by means of pornography. Those who view pornography ﬁnd it diﬃcult to erase the immoral scenes from their minds. They can even become addicted to pornography. Consider what happened to one Christian. He says: “I secretly viewed pornography. I created a fantasy world that I thought was disconnected from
Wednesday, October 24 With a man there is nothing better than that he should eat and indeed drink and cause his soul to see good because of his hard work.—Eccl. 2:24.
The Israelites used to travel to Jerusalem for worship at three festivals each year. (Ex. 34:23) Going up to the temple resulted in “great rejoicing” as those present were ‘oﬀering praise to Jehovah.’ (2 Chron. 30:21) Many of Jehovah’s servants today likewise ﬁnd that traveling with their family to visit Bethel, the nearby branch facilities of Jehovah’s Witnesses, results in great rejoicing. Could you include such a visit in your next family vacation? Getting together with family and friends for social gatherings can also be encouraging. Social gatherings not only refresh the soul but also strengthen our bond of love with fellow Christians as we get to know them better. However, it is best to keep social gatherings small and to make sure that they are properly supervised, especially if any alcohol is served. w10 6/15 5:6, 7
congregation” can do a great deal for you. The disciple James says: “Let them pray over [the wrongdoer], greasing him with oil in the name of Jehovah. And the prayer of faith will make the indisposed one well, and Jehovah will raise him up. Also, if he has committed sins, it will be forgiven him.” (Jas. 5:14, 15) Admittedly, this may result in some embarrassment and perhaps some unpleasant consequences. But if you have the courage to ask for help, you will spare yourself any further damage and will feel the relief that comes from regaining a clear conscience.—Ps. 32:1-5. w10 11/15 1:18
Friday, October 26 [God] cares for you. —1 Pet. 5:7.
Perhaps you were an elder or a ministerial servant at one time but are not presently serving in that capacity. You love Jehovah and can be sure that he still cares for you. If you are a brother in that situation, do not become discouraged. Reﬂect on how Jehovah is blessing your ministry and your household. Build your family up spiritually, visit the sick, and encourage the weak. Above all, cherish your privilege of praising God and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. (Ps. 145:1, 2; Isa. 43:10-12) The need for overseers and ministerial servants is greater today than ever before. So each baptized male can ask, ‘If I am not a ministerial servant or an elder, should I analyze the reasons why I am not serving?’ Let God’s spirit help you to get the right focus on this vital matter. w10 5/15 3:17-19
Thursday, October 25 He that is covering over his transgressions will not succeed, but he that is confessing and leaving them will be shown mercy. —Prov. 28:13.
What should you do if you have secretly been engaging in conduct that you know to be wrong? Remember the text above. How unwise it would be to continue in a wrong course and “be grieving God’s holy spirit”! (Eph. 4:30) In this regard, “the older men of the
Saturday, October 27 Always oﬀer to God a sacriﬁce of praise.—Heb. 13:15.
Jeremiah stuck to the Source of life-sustaining “water” and took to heart everything Jehovah told him. (Ps. 1:1-3; Jer. 20:9) What a ﬁne example Jeremiah is for us, especially those of us who serve God in diﬃcult territories! If that is your situation, continue to rely heavily on Jehovah, who will grant you endurance as you “make public declaration to his name.” To help us cope with life during these last days, Jehovah has given us a truly verdant spiritual estate. Among other things, he has provided the complete Word of God, which is being accurately translated into more and more languages. He has made available an abundance of timely spiritual food through the faithful and discreet slave class. And he has given us the supportive companionship of a vast throng of fellow believers at meetings and assemblies. Do you take full advantage of these provisions? w11 3/15 2:9, 10
ic utterance concerning his Son: “Look! As a witness to the national groups I have given him, as a leader and commander to the national groups.” (Isa. 55:4) The international congregation of anointed Christians and their “other sheep” companions want no leader other than the one Jehovah has given them. (John 10:16) They subscribe to Jesus’ statement: “Your Leader is one, the Christ.” w10 9/15 4:1
Monday, October 29 The name of God is being blasphemed on account of you people.—Rom. 2:24.
Because of all the wicked things that have been done—supposedly in the name of the God of the Bible—many sincere people have become disillusioned or have completely lost their faith in God and in the Bible. They have fallen prey to Satan and his wicked system of things. When you see and hear about such things taking place day after day, how do you feel? As a servant of Jehovah, when you see the reproach and blasphemy heaped upon God’s name, do you not feel impelled to do what you can to right the wrong? When you see sincere and honesthearted people being deceived and exploited, do you not feel moved to bring comfort to the oppressed souls? When Jesus saw people of his day being “skinned and thrown about like sheep without a shepherd,” he did not just feel pity. He “started to teach them many things.” (Matt. 9:36; Mark 6:34) We have every reason to be zealous for true worship, as Jesus was. w10 12/15 1:12, 15
Sunday, October 28 Do not . . . be called “leaders,” for your Leader is one, the Christ.—Matt. 23:9, 10.
Christendom’s churches have human leaders, such as the pope of Rome, the patriarchs and metropolitans of the Eastern Orthodox churches, and the heads of other religions. Jehovah’s Witnesses recognize no human as their leader. They are not disciples or followers of any man. This is in line with Jehovah’s prophet-
Tuesday, October 30 Your word becomes to me the exultation and the rejoicing of my heart.—Jer. 15:16.
Jeremiah found joy in his work. For him, it was a privilege to represent the true God and preach his word. It is of interest that when Jeremiah focused on the ridicule from the people, he lost his joy. When he turned his attention to the beauty and importance of his message, his joy was rekindled. (Jer. 20:8, 9) To maintain joy in the preaching work in our day, we need to feed ourselves on “solid food,” deep truths of God’s Word. (Heb. 5:14) Deeper study builds faith. (Col. 2:6, 7) It impresses on us how our actions really touch Jehovah’s heart. If we are struggling to ﬁnd time to read and study the Bible, we should reexamine our schedule. Even a few minutes of study and meditation each day will draw us closer to Jehovah and will contribute to ‘the exultation and rejoicing of the heart,’ as was true in Jeremiah’s case. w11 3/15 4: 12, 13
Wednesday, October 31 Do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the wicked one.—Matt. 6:13.
Jehovah will not abandon his faithful servants who make this request. On another occasion, Jesus said that “the Father in heaven [will] give holy spirit to those asking him.” (Luke 11:13) How reassuring that Jehovah promises to grant us this force for righteousness! This, of course, does not mean that Jehovah will prevent us from being tempted. (1 Cor. 10:13) But when we face temptation, that is a time to pray even more intensely. (Matt. 26:42) In answer to the Devil’s temptations, Jesus quoted scriptures. God’s Word was clearly in Jesus’ mind when he responded: “It is written . . . Again it is written . . . Go away, Satan! For it is written . . .” Love for Jehovah and for his Word impelled Jesus to reject the allurements that the Tempter put before him. (Matt. 4:110) After Jesus repeatedly resisted temptation, Satan left him. w11 1/15 4:5, 6 force was originally employed in order to produce our orderly universe? We humans are limited in our ability to identify that force through scientiﬁc observation and experimentation alone. However, the Bible has identiﬁed it as God’s holy spirit, the most powerful force in the universe. The psalmist sang: “By the word of Jehovah the heavens themselves were made, and by the spirit of his mouth all their army.” (Ps. 33:6) And with our eyes, we can see only a very small part of that “army” of stars as we survey the night sky! w11 2/15 1:5, 7
Thursday, November 1 Who has created these things? It is the One who is bringing forth the army of them even by number, all of whom he calls even by name.—Isa. 40:26.
When we raise our eyes and telescop es heavenw ard, we ﬁnd an immense and highly ordered system of galaxies, stars, and planets, all moving with great precision. This could not be the product of chance or of an unplanned and uncontrolled cosmic accident. So we must ask, What
Friday, November 2 They are like a protective wall in his imagination.—Prov. 18:11.
The spirit of the world promotes “the desire of the eyes” by encouraging greed and materialism. (1 John 2:16) It has nurtured in many a determination to be rich. (1 Tim. 6:9, 10) That spirit would have us believe that a stockpile of material things will provide lasting security. We should ask ourselves, ‘Has my life become focused on a quest for material comforts and pleasures?’ By contrast, God’s spiritinspired Word encourages us to have a balanced view of money and to work hard to provide material necessities for ourselves and our family. (1 Tim. 5:8) God’s spirit helps those who receive it to reﬂect Jehovah’s generous personality. Such ones are known as givers, not takers. They value people more highly than things and gladly share what they have when they can aﬀord to do so. (Prov. 3:27, 28) And they never allow the pursuit of money to take precedence over serving God. w11 3/15 1:10, 11
ter how many years we may have been attending meetings, it remains a true pleasure to listen to the comments made by our brothers and sisters. We are touched by a heartfelt answer expressed by an elderly, faithful fellow believer; we feel uplifted by an insightful observation made by a caring elder; and we cannot help but smile when a child blurts out a spontaneous comment that expresses genuine love for Jehovah. Clearly, by giving comments, all of us share in making Christian meetings upbuilding. w10 10/15 4:10, 11
Sunday, November 4 Let us always oﬀer to God a sacriﬁce of praise, that is, the fruit of lips which make public declaration to his name.—Heb. 13:15.
Young ones, what are some long-term goals you can reach out for? You might occasionally want to help congregations to preach in seldom worked territory. You may also choose to use your strength and good health in the auxiliary or regular pioneer work. Tens of thousands of happy pioneers will tell you that full-time service is a rewarding way to remember your Creator during your youth. These are goals that you can achieve while living at home. Your local congregation will also beneﬁt from your reaching them. Other longterm goals could lead you beyond your home congregation. For example, you could plan to serve in another area or country where the need is greater. You might want to help construct Kingdom Halls or branch facilities in foreign lands. You may even be able to enter Bethel service or become a missionary. w10 11/15 3:8, 10, 11
Saturday, November 3 With the mouth one makes public declaration for salvation. —Rom. 10:10.
Paul’s description of Christian meetings found at 1 Corinthians 14:26-33 gives us insight into how those gatherings were conducted in the ﬁrst century. Early Christians viewed congregation meetings as opportunities to express their faith. Expressing our faith at meetings greatly contributes to “the upbuilding of the congregation.” (1 Cor. 14:12) Surely you will agree that no mat-
Monday, November 5 Trust in Jehovah, you people, for all times.—Isa. 26:4.
We live in a world where millions no longer know whom or what to trust, p erhaps b ecause they have been hurt or disappointed too many times. What a contrast to Jehovah’s servants! Guided by godly wisdom, they know better than to place their trust in this world or its “nobles.” (Ps. 146:3) Rather, they place their lives and their future in Jehovah’s hands, knowing that he loves them and that he always fulﬁlls his Word. (Rom. 3:4; 8:38, 39) Joshua of old attested to God’s trustworthiness. Toward the end of his life, he said to his fellow Israelites: “You well know with all your hearts and with all your souls that not one word out of all the good words that Jehovah your God has spoken to you has failed. They have all come true for you.” (Josh. 23:14) Jehovah fulﬁlls his promises, not just out of love for his servants but especially for the sake of his own name.—Ex. 3:14; 1 Sam. 12:22. w11 3/15 2:1-3
ty.” (Eph. 4:24) As we strive to live up to God’s righteous standards, we may sometimes become discouraged because of our shortcomings. What can help us to overcome debilitating discouragement and learn to love and practice righteousness? (Prov. 24: 10) We must regularly approach Jehovah in prayer “with true hearts in the full assurance of faith,” exercising faith in the ransom sacriﬁce of Jesus Christ and in his services as our great High Priest.—Rom. 5:8; Heb. 4:14-16; 10:19-22. w11 2/15 3:4, 5
Wednesday, November 7 Jehovah . . . is cognizant of those seeking refuge in him. —Nah. 1:7.
In stark contrast with what other religions are doing, Jehovah’s Witnesses honor and glorify the divine name. They sanctify it by using it in a digniﬁed way. Jehovah takes pleasure in those who trust in him, and he becomes whatever is necessary to bless and protect his people. (Acts 15: 14) Although the majority in ancient Judah had become apostate, there were some who took “refuge in the name of Jehovah.” (Zeph. 3:12, 13) Yes, when God punished faithless Judah by allowing the Babylonians to conquer the land and take her people captive, some individuals, such as Jeremiah, Baruch, and Ebedmelech, were spared. They had lived “in the midst” of an apostate nation. Others stayed faithful while in captivity. In 539 B.C.E., the Medes and Persians under Cyrus conquered Babylon. Cyrus soon issued a decree allowing a Jewish remnant to return to their homeland. w11 1/15 1:10, 11
Tuesday, November 6 Keep on, then, seeking ﬁrst the kingdom and his righteousness. —Matt. 6:33.
Seeking God’s righteousness involves more than our spending time preaching the good news of the Kingdom. For our sacred service to be acceptable to Jehovah, our everyday conduct must harmonize with his high standards. What has to be done by all who are seeking Jehovah’s righteousness? They must “put on the new personality which was created according to God’s will in true righteousness and loyal-
Thursday, November 8 He was despised, and we held him as of no account.—Isa. 53:3.
Undoubtedly, not only have you heard the phrase “peer pressure” but you have also come to know what it is by personal experience. At one time or another, perhaps someone has urged you to do something that you know is wrong. How do you feel when that happens? “Sometimes I wish I could just disappear,” says 14year-old Christopher, “or else be like the rest of my schoolmates so I wouldn’t have to stand out as diﬀerent.” Do your peers exert a powerful inﬂuence on you? If so, why? Could it be that you want them to accept you? In itself, that desire is not wrong. In fact, adults want to be accepted by their peers too. No one —young or old—savors the bitter taste of rejection. Realistically, though, standing up for what is right will not always win praise from others. Even Jesus had to deal with that reality. Still, Jesus always did the right thing. w10 11/15 2:1, 2
miles and faced great hardships in the ministry. (2 Cor. 11:23-27) Although he may have been married earlier, Paul chose to stay single after he was commissioned as an apostle. (1 Cor. 9:5) For the sake of the ministry, both Jesus and Paul encouraged others to imitate their example where possible. Yet, neither of them set celibacy as a requirement for ministers. (1 Tim. 4:1-3) Today, some have likewise made the conscious choice to remain single so that they can better pursue their ministry. w11 1/15 3:16, 17
Saturday, November 10 [God’s] will is that all sorts of men should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.—1 Tim. 2:4.
God wants people to come to a knowledge of the truth so that they too can learn to worship and serve him and be blessed. We are impelled to exert ourselves in the ministry, not primarily because of a time limit, but because we want to honor God’s name and help people to come to know his will. We are zealous for true worship. (1 Tim. 4:16) As Jehovah’s people, we have been blessed with the knowledge of the truth about God’s purpose for mankind and the earth. We have the means to help people ﬁnd happiness and a sure hope for the future. We can point them to the way to stay safe when destruction comes upon Satan’s system of things. (2 Thess. 1:7-9) Rather than feel frustrated or discouraged because Jehovah’s day seems to be delayed, we should be glad that there is still time for us to be zealous for true worship.—Mic. 7:7; Hab. 2:3. w10 12/15 1:16, 17
Friday, November 9 I wish all men were as I myself am. Nevertheless, each one has his own gift from God, one in this way, another in that way. —1 Cor. 7:7.
Jesus did not marry; he had to prepare for and carry out his assigned ministry. He traveled extensively, worked from early in the morning until late at night, and eventually laid down his life in sacriﬁce. Singleness was an advantage in his case. The apostle Paul traveled thousands of
Sunday, November 11 Those knowing your name will trust in you.—Ps. 9:10.
Soon the ﬁgurative hailstorm of Jehovah’s day will strike the earth. Human schemes will not be able to provide protection; neither will nuclear shelters nor wealth. Isaiah 28:17 points out: “The hail must sweep away the refuge of a lie, and the waters themselves will ﬂood out the very place of concealment.” Both now and during that future development, God’s people will ﬁnd real security in their God, Jehovah. Zephaniah’s name, meaning “Jehovah Has Concealed,” points to this true source of concealment. Fittingly, we have the wise advice: “Take refuge in the name of Jehovah.” (Zeph. 3:12) Even now we can and should take refuge in the name of Jehovah, trusting in him implicitly. Let us daily keep in mind this inspired assurance: “The name of Jehovah is a strong tower. Into it the righteous runs and is given protection.”—Prov. 18:10. w11 1/15 1: 20, 21
friend or a family member. But how should true Christians react to such pressure? Pleasing our greatest Friend, Jehovah, is always the right thing to do. When we put him ﬁrst, others who love him will respect us for our loyalty and become true friends. We should never allow place for the Devil in the Christian congregation. If we were to do so, we truly would grieve Jehovah’s holy spirit. We act in harmony with it, however, by working to keep the Christian congregation pure. —Eph. 4:27. w11 1/15 5:10, 12
Tuesday, November 13 They are no part of the world. —John 17:16.
Details regarding mankind and Jehovah’s sovereignty are presented throughout the Bible. The ﬁrst three chapters tell us about creation and the fall of man into sin, whereas the last three deal with mankind’s recovery. The intervening pages provide details regarding steps taken by the Sovereign Lord Jehovah to accomplish his purpose for humankind, the earth, and the universe. Genesis shows how Satan and wickedness entered the world, and the concluding portion of Revelation reveals how evil will be eliminated, the Devil will be destroyed, and the will of God is to be done on the earth as it is in heaven. Indeed, the Bible reveals the cause of sin and death and shows how they will be removed from the earthly scene and be replaced by unbounded joy and life eternal for integrity keepers. But to beneﬁt from this and enjoy the many blessings foretold in God’s Word, we must uphold Jehovah’s sovereignty now. w10 11/15 4:13-15
Monday, November 12 Do not be grieving God’s holy spirit.—Eph. 4:30.
Some young ones might face a dilemma if they learn that a friend has engaged in unscriptural conduct. They may refuse to speak about the matter because of a misguided sense of loyalty. A wrongdoer may even pressure his friends to keep his sin hidden. Of course, this kind of problem is not unique to young people. Some adults too may ﬁnd it diﬃcult to approach congregation elders concerning the wrongdoing of a
Wednesday, November 14 [Jehovah] is my rock and my salvation, my secure height. —Ps. 62:6.
As foretold, a rising ﬂood of woes is aﬀecting mankind. (Matt. 24:6-8; Rev. 12:12) When literal ﬂooding occurs, a common reaction is to run to higher ground or to climb onto the roof of a building—anywhere of higher elevation. Similarly, as the world’s problems mount, millions seek refuge in seemingly lofty ﬁnancial, political, or religious institutions, as well as in science and technology. But none of these give real security. (Jer. 17:5, 6) Jehovah’s servants, on the other hand, do have a sure refuge—Jehovah, “the Rock of times indefinite.” (Isa. 26:4) How do we make this Rock our refuge? We cling to Jehovah when we heed his Word, which often runs contrary to human wisdom. (Ps. 73:23, 24) For instance, Jesus exhorts us always to put Kingdom interests ﬁrst and thereby store up “treasures in heaven,” where they will be absolutely secure.—Matt. 6:19, 20. w11 3/15 2:11, 12
attitude toward heavy drinking? (Luke 21:34) If I need to counsel others on this matter, do I have freeness of speech? Do I drink to escape worries or to ease stress? How much alcohol do I consume each week? How do I react when someone implies that I might be drinking too much? Do I become defensive or even resentful?’ Allowing ourselves to become enslaved to a lot of wine can aﬀect our ability to reason things out properly and to make wise decisions. Followers of Christ strive to safeguard their thinking ability. —Prov. 3:21, 22. w11 2/15 4:4, 5
Friday, November 16 Keep on . . . admonishing one another with psalms, praises to God, spiritual songs with graciousness.—Col. 3:16.
After Paul and Silas were thrown into prison, they b egan “praying and praising God with song,” although they had no songbook to follow. (Acts 16:25) If you were thrown into prison, how many of our Kingdom songs would you be able to sing from memory? Since music has an honorable place in our worship, we do well to ask ourselves: ‘Do I show proper appreciation for it? Do I sing out with feeling? Do I encourage my children not to view the song between the Theocratic Ministry School and the Service Meeting or the one between the public talk and the Watchtower Study as a sort of intermission, an opportunity for them to leave their seats unnecessarily, perhaps just to stretch their legs?’ Singing is part of our worship. Yes, all of us can—and should—unite our voices to Jehovah’s praise. w10 12/15 4:11, 12
Thursday, November 15 Do not be getting drunk with wine, in which there is debauchery, but keep getting ﬁlled with spirit.—Eph. 5:18.
Misuse of alcohol can lead to other serious sins. Thus, the apostle Paul wrote the words found in today’s text. He also admonished the aged women in the congregation not to be “enslaved to a lot of wine.” (Titus 2:3) If you choose to drink alcoholic beverages, you would do well to ask yourself: ‘Do I share Jesus’
Saturday, November 17 I raised up over you people watchmen.—Jer. 6:17.
Jeremiah may have been close to 25 years old when he received from Jehovah his commission as a watchman. (Jer. 1:1, 2) He had scathing denunciations and fearful judgments to proclaim, especially to the priests, false prophets, and rulers, as well as to those who took “the popular course” and developed “an enduring unfaithfulness.” (Jer. 6:13; 8:5, 6) Clearly, the message that Jeremiah was commissioned to deliver was urgent! In modern times, Jehovah has lovingly provided mankind with a group of anointed Christians who act as ﬁgurative watchmen to warn about his judgment of this world. For decades, this Jeremiah class has been urging people to pay attention to the times in which we live. The Bible emphasizes that Jehovah, the Great Timekeeper, is not slow. His day will come exactly on time, at an hour that humans do not expect.—Zeph. 3:8; Mark 13: 33; 2 Pet. 3:9, 10. w11 3/15 4:4, 5
wanted him to accomplish during his earthly ministry as the Messiah. (Isa. 42:1; Luke 3:21, 22; John 12:50) Because he was empowered by holy spirit and perfect in body and mind, Jesus was not only the greatest man who ever lived on earth but also the greatest Teacher. (Matt. 7:28) For one thing, Jesus was able to address the root causes of mankind’s problems—sin, imp erfection, and spiritual ignorance. Also, he could see what people really were at heart and deal with them accordingly.—Matt. 9:4; John 1:47. w10 12/15 3:7, 8
Monday, November 19 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their hard work.—Eccl. 4:9.
Unity in goals and activities strengthens a marriage. (Eccl. 4: 10) Unfortunately, many couples today spend little time together. They work long hours at their separate jobs. Others travel extensively for their secular work or move abroad alone to work to send money back home. Even at home, some marriage partners ﬁnd themselves isolated from each other because of the time they spend on television, hobbies, sports, video games, or the Internet. Is that true in your household? If so, can you adjust your circumstances to spend more time together? What about sharing in such common tasks as preparing meals, washing the dishes, or working in the yard? Could you work together as you care for the children or assist your aging parents? Most important, regularly spend time together in activities related to worship of Jehovah. w11 1/15 2:13, 14
Sunday, November 18 Jehovah’s spirit is upon me. —Luke 4:18.
Jesus was anointed by holy spirit “to declare good news to the poor, . . . to preach a release to the captives and a recovery of sight to the blind, to send the crushed ones away with a release, to preach Jehovah’s acceptable year.” (Luke 4:18, 19) When Jesus was baptized, holy spirit evidently made him aware of things he had learned during his prehuman existence, including what God
Tuesday, November 20 God is love. —1 John 4:8.
We do not need to know everything about creation in order to have faith in God as well as love and profound reverence for him. Like friendship with a human, faith in Jehovah is based on more than cold facts. Just as a relationship between friends grows as they get to know each other better, our faith in God increases as we learn more about him. Indeed, his very existence is impressed upon us when he answers our prayers and we note the good eﬀects of applying his principles in our life. We draw ever closer to Jehovah as we see mounting evidence that he is guiding our steps, protecting us, blessing our eﬀorts in his service, and supplying the things we need. All of this provides powerful conﬁrmation of God’s existence and of the operation of his holy spirit. Careful study of the Scriptures can build our faith in God as the one who created all things. (Rev. 4: 11) Jehovah became the Creator as an expression of his endearing quality of love. w11 2/15 1:19, 20
ed. (Heb. 11:7) As family head, Noah stayed alert spiritually and avoided the corruption of that ancient world. (Gen. 6:9) He knew that his family needed to guard against adopting the violent ways and deﬁant attitude of the people around them. It was important that they not become engrossed in the everyday aﬀairs of life. God had a work for them to do, and it was vital that the entire family center their lives on it. (Gen. 6: 14, 18) How encouraging today to see within our worldwide brotherhood family heads who are doing their utmost to imitate Noah! w11 3/15 3:6, 7, 9
Thursday, November 22 In the Sovereign Lord Jehovah I have placed my refuge. —Ps. 73:28.
We can cultivate love for God by reading his Word daily and meditating on what it reveals about him. In heartfelt prayer, we can praise Jehovah and thank him for his goodness to us. (Phil. 4: 6, 7) We can sing to Jehovah and beneﬁt from regular association with his people. (Heb. 10:23-25) Then, too, our love for God will grow as we engage in the ministry and declare “the good news of salvation by him.” (Ps. 96:1-3) We uphold Jehovah’s sovereignty and maintain our integrity by preaching righteousness, making disciples, applying Scriptural counsel, and assembling with fellow believers at meetings, assemblies, and conventions. Such activities help us to be courageous, spiritually strong, and successful in doing God’s will. This is not too diﬃcult for us because we have the support of our heavenly Father and his Son.—Deut. 30:1114; 1 Ki. 8:57. w10 11/15 5:21, 23
Wednesday, November 21 [Noah] did just so. —Gen. 6:22.
Noah was informed of God’s decision to bring a deluge of waters upon the earth, bringing all ﬂesh to ruin. (Gen. 6:13, 17) Jehovah instructed Noah to build an ark shaped like a huge chest. Noah and his family went to work. What helped them to obey and prove themselves ready when God’s judgment arrived? Deep faith and godly fear moved Noah and his family to do as God command-
Friday, November 23 We do not give up. —2 Cor. 4:16.
It may be that some among us feel a measure of discouragement because the end of this system of things has not come as soon as we expected. (Prov. 13:12) Any who feel this way, however, can draw encouragement from the words found at Habakkuk 2:3: “The vision is yet for the appointed time, and it keeps panting on to the end, and it will not tell a lie. Even if it should delay, keep in expectation of it; for it will without fail come true. It will not be late.” We have Jehovah’s assurance that the end of this system of things will come right on schedule! Surely, all of Jehovah’s faithful servants long for the day when tiredness and discouragement will be gone, when all alive will enjoy “youthful vigor.” (Job 33:25) Even now we can be made mighty on the inside through the action of holy spirit as we participate in invigorating spiritual activities.—Eph. 3:16. w11 1/15 4: 17, 18
study, in prayer, and in meeting with our fellow Christians. That will help us to have the “ﬁre” to sustain the “boiling” that will keep us “aglow with the spirit.” (Acts 4:20; 18:25) As dedicated Christians, our objective is to do whatever Jehovah wants us to do, even as Jesus did. (Heb. 10:7) Today, Jehovah’s will is that as many as possible become reconciled to him. Let us, therefore, apply ourselves zealously—in imitation of Jesus and Paul—to this most important, yes urgent, task to be done today.—1 Cor. 11:1. w10 12/15 2:16-18
Sunday, November 25 My lips will cry out joyfully. —Ps. 71:23.
Jeremiah’s work of building and planting bore fruitage. Some Jews as well as non-Israelites survived Jerusalem’s destruction in 607 B.C.E. We know of the Rechabites, Ebed-melech, and Baruch. (Jer. 35:19; 39:15-18; 43: 5-7) These loyal and God-fearing friends of Jeremiah well illustrate those having an earthly hope today who befriend the Jeremiah class. Great is the pleasure of the Jeremiah class in spiritually building up this “great crowd.” (Rev. 7:9) Likewise, these loyal companions of the anointed ﬁnd immense satisfaction in assisting honesthearted ones to come to a knowledge of the truth. God’s people appreciate that the preaching of the good news is not only a public service to those who hear it but also an act of worship to our God. Whether we ﬁnd a receptive ear or not, rendering sacred service to Jehovah by means of our preaching brings us great joy.—Rom. 1:9. w11 3/15 4:14, 15
Saturday, November 24 Be aglow with the spirit. —Rom. 12:11.
The word translated “aglow” literally means “boiling.” (Kingdom Interlinear) To keep a kettle of water boiling, we need a steady supply of heat. Similarly, to “be aglow with the spirit,” we need a constant ﬂow of God’s spirit. The way to have that is to use all the provisions that Jehovah makes to fortify us spiritually. That means taking seriously our family and congregation worship—being regular in personal and family
Monday, November 26 He was well reported on by the brothers in Lystra and Iconium. —Acts 16:2.
Timothy was a young man who made good use of his singleness. From infancy he was taught “the holy writings” by his mother, Eunice, and his grandmother Lois. (2 Tim. 1:5; 3:14, 15) But they likely embraced Christianity only during Paul’s ﬁrst visit to Lystra, their hometown, about 47 C.E. Two years later, when Paul visited a second time, Timothy was perhaps in his late teens or early 20’s. Despite being relatively young both in age and in the truth, he was “well reported on” by the Christian elders in Lystra and neighboring Iconium. (Acts 16:1) So Paul invited Timothy to join him as a traveling companion. (1 Tim. 1:18; 4:14) We cannot say for certain that Timothy never married. But we do know that as a young man, he cheerfully accepted Paul’s invitation, and for many years thereafter, he enjoyed serving as a single missionary and overseer.—Phil. 2:20-22. w11 1/15 3:7
To please God, a person must ‘become holy in all his conduct.’ (1 Pet. 1:14-16) Another sacriﬁce that Jehovah delights in has to do with our power of speech. Those loving Jehovah have always spoken well of him at all times. (Ps. 34:1-3) Read Psalms 148-150, and observe how often these three psalms encourage us to praise Jehovah. Truly, “on the part of the upright ones praise is ﬁtting.” (Ps. 33:1) And our Exemplar, Jesus Christ, stressed the importance of praising God by preaching the good news.—Luke 4:18, 43, 44. w11 2/15 2:12, 13
Wednesday, November 28 Seek righteousness.—Zeph. 2:3.
As we await the arrival of the great day of Jehovah, we must continue to seek his righteousness. Let us, therefore, manifest a genuine love for Jehovah God’s upright ways. That includes keeping “the breastplate of righteousness” ﬁrmly in place to protect our ﬁgurative heart. (Eph. 6:14) Jehovah’s “eyes are roving ab out through all the earth to show his strength in behalf of those whose heart is complete toward him.” (2 Chron. 16:9) How comforting those words are to us as we do what is right in the face of increasing instability, violence, and wickedness in this troubled world! True, our righteous ways may be puzzling to the masses of mankind alienated from God. But we beneﬁt ourselves greatly by adhering to Jehovah’s righteousness. (Isa. 48:17; 1 Pet. 4:4) So, then, with a complete heart, let us be determined to continue ﬁnding enjoyment in loving and practicing righteousness with all our heart. w11 2/15 3:18, 19
Tuesday, November 27 Present your bodies a sacriﬁce living, holy, acceptable to God. —Rom. 12:1.
Gaining God’s approval requires that a person keep his body acceptable to God. If he were to deﬁle himself with tobacco, betel nut, illicit drugs, or alcohol abuse, that oﬀering would have no value. (2 Cor. 7:1) Moreover, since he that “practices fornication is sinning against his own body,” immoral conduct of any kind renders his sacriﬁce offensive to Jehovah. (1 Cor. 6:18)
Thursday, November 29 The whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one. —1 John 5:19.
Music and its accompanying lyrics can strongly inﬂuence our emotions and, therefore, our ﬁgurative heart. Music itself is a gift from God and has long held a place in true worship. (Ex. 15:20, 21; Eph. 5:19) But Satan’s wicked world promotes music that gloriﬁes immorality. How can you tell whether the music you listen to is deﬁling you or not? You might start by asking yourself: ‘Do the songs I listen to glorify murder, adultery, fornication, and blasphemy? If I were to read the lyrics of certain songs to someone, would that person get the impression that I hate lawlessness, or would the words indicate that my heart is deﬁled?’ We cannot hate lawlessness in word while glorifying it in song. “The things proceeding out of the mouth come out of the heart,” said Jesus, “and those things deﬁle a man.” —Matt. 15:18; compare James 3: 10, 11. w11 2/15 4:11, 12
Friday, November 30 Jesus said to him: “Go away, Satan! For it is written, ‘It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service.’ ” —Matt. 4:10.
Since Jesus relied on the Scriptures to resist the Devil’s temptations, how much more so should we! Indeed, our ability to resist the Devil and his agents begins with a determination to be acquainted with God’s standards and to adhere to them fully. Many people have been moved to live by Bible standards as they studied the Scriptures and came to appreciate God’s wisdom and righteousness. Indeed, “the word of God” exerts a power that is capable of discerning “thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Heb. 4:12) The more one reads and ponders over the Scriptures, the more one can gain ‘insight into Jehovah’s trueness.’ (Dan. 9:13) That being so, we do well to meditate on scriptures that deal with our speciﬁc weaknesses. w11 1/15 4:6, 7 priorities were, he knew that the long-awaited time for many Messianic prophecies to be fulﬁlled was at hand. (1 Pet. 1:11; Rev. 19: 10) There was work for him to do to make clear his identity as the promised Messiah. He had to bear thorough witness to Kingdom truth and to gather those who would be future joint heirs with him in the Kingdom. And he had to lay the foundation for the Christian congregation, which would carry out the preaching and disciple-making work to the ends of the earth.—Mark 1:15. w10 12/15 2:1, 2
Saturday, December 1 For everything there is an appointed time, even a time for every aﬀair under the heavens. —Eccl. 3:1.
Many endeavors are worthwhile, yet we need to discern what is the most important work that we must do at any given time. In other words, we must have our priorities straight. When on earth, Jesus was keenly aware of the time in which he was living and what he needed to do. Having clearly in mind what his
Sunday, December 2 He struck three times and stopped.—2 Ki. 13:18.
To illustrate the importance of being zealous in God’s service, note an event that took place in the life of King Jehoash of Israel. Concerned over the apparent fate of Israel at the hands of Syria, Jehoash came weeping to Elisha. The prophet instructed him to shoot an arrow out the window toward Syria, indicating victory by Jehovah’s hand against that nation. This certainly should have invigorated the king. Elisha next told Jehoash to take his arrows and strike the earth with them. Jehoash struck the earth three times. Elisha was incensed at this, for striking the earth ﬁve or six times would have indicated “striking down Syria to the ﬁnishing point.” Now Jehoash would enjoy only three partial victories. Because he acted with a lack of zeal, Jehoash experienced limited success. (2 Ki. 13:14-19) Likewise, Jehovah will abundantly bless us only if we do his work wholeheartedly and with zeal. w10 4/15 4:11
like or have I slipped back into some bad habits of speech and conduct?’ Clothing ourselves with “the new personality” will help us to become more loving and kind. (Col. 3:10) We will be inclined to forgive one another freely, even if there seems to be a legitimate cause for complaint. We will no longer react to perceived injustices with outbursts of “malicious bitterness and anger and wrath and screaming and abusive speech.” Instead, we will put forth eﬀort to become “tenderly compassionate.”—Eph. 4:31, 32. w11 3/15 1:12, 13
Tuesday, December 4 The large jar of ﬂour itself will not get exhausted, and the small jar of oil itself will not fail. —1 Ki. 17:14.
All that the widow in Zarephath had for food was “a handful of ﬂour in the large jar and a little oil in the small jar.” She felt that she was in no position to give the prophet any food, and she told him so. (1 Ki. 17:8-12) Still, Elijah insisted that she make him “a small round cake ﬁrst,” assuring her that Jehovah would continue to provide food for her and her son. The issue before the widow was more critical than deciding what to do with her last bit of food. Would she trust in Jehovah to save her and her son, or would she put her material needs ahead of gaining God’s approval and friendship? A similar question stands before all of us. Will we show greater concern for gaining Jehovah’s approval than for seeking material security? We have every reason to trust and serve God. And there are steps we can take to seek and gain his approval. w11 2/15 2:1-3
Monday, December 3 Strip oﬀ the old personality with its practices.—Col. 3:9.
A real test as to whether we are inﬂuenced by God’s spirit or the spirit of the world comes, not when things are going well, but when they are not, such as if a Christian brother or sister ignores us, oﬀends us, or even sins against us. (1 Cor. 2:12) Additionally, in the privacy of our homes, it may become evident which spirit holds sway. Ask yourself, ‘Over the past six months, has my personality become more Christ-
Wednesday, December 5 That is why a man will leave his father and his mother and he must stick to his wife and they must become one ﬂesh. —Gen. 2:24.
Jehovah God, the Originator of marriage, surely deserves our respect. As our Creator, Sovereign, and heavenly Father, he is rightly described as the Giver of “every good gift and every perfect present.” (Jas. 1:17; Rev. 4:11) The Bible presents marriage as one of these “good” gifts from God. (Ruth 1:9; 2:12) When he performed the ﬁrst wedding, Jehovah gave the couple, Adam and Eve, speciﬁc instructions on how to succeed. (Matt. 19:4-6) Like that ﬁrst couple, many people today make marital decisions with little or no regard for Jehovah’s direction. Some reject marriage outright, while others try to redeﬁne it to suit their own desires. (Rom. 1:24-32; 2 Tim. 3:1-5) They ignore the fact that marriage is a gift from God, and by disrespecting that gift, they also disrespect the Giver, Jehovah God. w11 1/15 2:1-3
tablish their own righteousness. One way we could fall into this trap is by viewing our service to God as a competition, comparing ourselves to others. This attitude could easily lead us to become overconﬁdent as to our abilities. But, really, if we were to act that way, we would be forgetting Jehovah’s righteousness. (Gal. 6:3, 4) The correct motive for doing the right thing is our love for Jehovah. Any attempts to prove our own righteousness could invalidate our claim to love him.—Luke 16:15. w10 10/15 2:5, 6
Friday, December 7 Make for us a god who will go ahead of us.—Ex. 32:1.
On one occasion, Moses’ brother, Aaron, succumbed to peer pressure. When the Israelites urged him to make a god for them, he did so. Aaron was not a weakling. Previously, he stood with Moses when they confronted Pharaoh, the most powerful man in Egypt. Aaron then spoke boldly, declaring God’s message to him. But when fellow Israelites put pressure on him, Aaron caved in. What power peer pressure can exert! Aaron found it easier to stand up to the king of Egypt than to stand up to his peers. (Ex. 7: 1, 2; 32:2-4) As the example of Aaron shows, peer pressure is not limited to those who are young. Peer pressure can aﬀect even those who sincerely want to do what is right, including you. Your peers may try to coerce you into wrongdoing by means of a dare, an accusation, or a taunt. Whatever form it takes, peer pressure is diﬃcult to face. Resisting it successfully starts with developing conﬁdence in what you believe. w10 11/15 2:4, 5
Thursday, December 6 Because of not knowing the righteousness of God but seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.—Rom. 10:3.
In writing to the Christians in Rome, the apostle Paul highlighted a danger we all need to avoid if we are to be successful in seeking ﬁrst God’s righteousness. According to Paul, his fellow Jews did not understand the righteousness of God because they were too busy trying to es-
Saturday, December 8 Jehovah your God is in the midst of you. As a mighty One, he will save. He will exult over you with rejoicing. He will become silent in his love. He will be joyful over you with happy cries. —Zeph. 3:17.
Regarding those who would enjoy that restoration of true worship, Zephaniah foretold that Jehovah would save them and rejoice over them. (Zeph. 3:14-16) This has proved true in our time too. After God’s Kingdom was set up in heaven, Jehovah delivered the faithful remnant of anointed ones from spiritual captivity to Babylon the Great. And he rejoices over them down to this day. Those with the hope of living forever on earth have also got out of Babylon the Great and enjoy spiritual liberation from false religious teachings. (Rev. 18:4) Thus, Zephaniah 2:3 ﬁnds its major fulﬁllment in our time: “Seek Jehovah, all you meek ones of the earth.” Meek ones of all nations, whether they cherish the heavenly or the earthly hope, are now taking refuge in Jehovah’s name. w11 1/15 1:12, 13
what is good, and we will oﬀer in return the young bulls of our lips.” (Hos. 14:1, 2) A bull was the costliest animal that an Israelite could oﬀer to Jehovah. Hence, “the young bulls of our lips” referred to sincere, well-thoughtout words spoken in praise of the true God. How did Jehovah respond to those making such sacriﬁces? He said: “I shall love them of my own free will.” (Hos. 14:4) To those oﬀering such sacriﬁces of praise, Jehovah granted his forgiveness, approval, and friendship. Praising Jehovah publicly has always been a prominent part of true worship. w11 2/15 2:14-16
Monday, December 10 Shrewd is the one that has seen the calamity and proceeds to conceal himself.—Prov. 22:3.
What enticements to err do you have to resist? It would be wise to meditate on how one false step could lead to another and then to serious wrongdoing. (Jas. 1:14, 15) Think about the pain that an unfaithful act would bring to Jehovah, to the congregation, and to your family. A clean conscience, on the other hand, results from maintaining loyalty to divine principles. (Ps. 119:37) Whenever you face such tests, be determined to pray for strength to resist them. Satan looks for convenient times to test our integrity. It is vital, therefore, that we keep ourselves spiritually strong. Satan often attacks when he perceives that his target is at its weakest point. So whenever we feel tired or discouraged, we should be more determined than ever to petition Jehovah for his protective help and holy spirit. —2 Cor. 12:8-10. w11 1/15 4:9, 10
Sunday, December 9 Please take pleasure in the voluntary oﬀerings of my mouth, O Jehovah.—Ps. 119:108.
By preaching with zeal, we give evidence of our love for Jehovah and our desire for his approval. For example, consider how the prophet Hosea exhorted the Israelites who had taken up false worship and had lost God’s favor. (Hos. 13:1-3) Hosea told them to plead: “May you [Jehovah] pardon error; and accept
Tuesday, December 11 Put on the complete suit of armor from God.—Eph. 6:11.
Whether we have recently dedicated ourselves to Jehovah or we already have decades of sacred service behind us, it is crucial that we check our spiritual armor every day. Why? Because the Devil and his demons have been cast down to the vicinity of the earth. (Rev. 12:7-12) Satan is angry, and he knows that his time is limited. Thus, he has intensiﬁed his attacks on God’s people. Do we appreciate the importance of having on “the breastplate of righteousness”? (Eph. 6:14) A breastplate protects the physical heart. Because of our imperfect nature, our ﬁgurative heart tends to be treacherous and desperate. (Jer. 17:9) Since our heart is inclined to do what is wrong, it is vital that it be trained and disciplined. (Gen. 8:21) If we appreciate our need for “the breastplate of righteousness,” we will not temporarily remove it by choosing to be entertained by what God hates; nor will we allow ourselves to fantasize about engaging in wrongdoing. w11 2/15 3:6, 7
today. What about those who are of the “other sheep”? (John 10:16) Although they have not yet been adopted as God’s children, they can appropriately call one another brother and sister because they form one united worldwide Christian family. (1 Pet. 2:17; 5:9) Thus, if those of the other sheep fully appreciate what they are saying when using the terms “brother” or “sister,” then they too have a powerful reason for having heartfelt respect for their fellow believers.—1 Pet. 3:8. w10 10/15 3:8, 9
Thursday, December 13 Trust in Jehovah, you people, for all times, for in Jah Jehovah is the Rock of times indefinite.—Isa. 26:4.
Ask yourself: ‘Do I know Jehovah well enough to have absolute trust in him? Do I face the future with conﬁdence, knowing that God is in full control?’ It is one thing to trust in Jehovah when it comes to his promise of Paradise or the resurrection—things for which we yearn. But it may be an entirely different thing to trust in him in moral matters, to be thoroughly convinced at heart that submitting to his ways and standards is right and will lead to the greatest happiness. King Solomon wrote this admonition: “Trust in Jehovah with all your heart and do not lean upon your own understanding. In all your ways take notice of him, and he himself will make your paths straight.” (Prov. 3:5, 6) Note the reference to our “ways” and “paths.” Yes, our whole way of life—not just our Christian hope—should reﬂect our trust in God. w11 3/15 2:4, 5
Wednesday, December 12 In brotherly love have tender aﬀection for one another. In showing honor to one another take the lead.—Rom. 12:10.
Paul wrote those words to anointed Christians, all of whom had been adopted as children by the same Father, Jehovah. So in a very signiﬁcant sense, they were a close family. (Rom. 12:5) Hence, anointed Christians in Paul’s day truly had a powerful reason for respecting one another. The same holds true for anointed ones
Friday, December 14 That which corresponds to this is also now saving you, namely, baptism.—1 Pet. 3:21.
How would you describe the purpose of baptism? Some might think that it is to protect them from giving in to sin. However, baptism is not a contract that restrains you from doing things that you would secretly like to do. You should get baptized when you are fully aware of what being one of Jehovah’s Witnesses involves and when you are sure that you are ready and willing to take on this responsibility. (Eccl. 5:4, 5) One reason to undergo baptism is that Jesus commissioned his followers to “make disciples . . . , baptizing them.” (Matt. 28:19, 20) Moreover, baptism is an important step for those who want to be saved. This does not mean, though, that baptism is like an insurance policy that you obtain in case a disaster should strike. Instead, you get baptized because you love Jehovah and want to serve him with your whole heart, soul, mind, and strength.—Mark 12:29, 30. w10 11/15 3:12, 13
month or one year. A sister who pioneered with her husband says: “The ministry was one of the ways we could spend time together and really talk. Because we both had the common goal of helping others spiritually, I felt that we were a real team. I felt closer to him not just as a husband but also as a good friend.” As you work together in worthwhile pursuits, your interests, priorities, and habits will gradually harmonize with those of your spouse until, like Aquila and Priscilla, you will increasingly think, feel, and act as “one ﬂesh.”—Gen. 2:24. w11 1/15 2:14
Sunday, December 16 He felt pity for them. —Matt. 9:36.
What motivated Jeremiah to preach despite challenging circumstances? He had love for people. Jeremiah knew that false shepherds were causing much of the trouble the people faced. (Jer. 23:1, 2) This knowledge helped him do his work with love and compassion. He wanted his countrymen to hear God’s words and live. (Jer. 8:21; 9:1) When you see people being “skinned and thrown about like sheep without a shepherd” today, do you not feel a desire to bring them the comforting news of God’s Kingdom? Jeremiah suﬀered at the hands of the very people he wished to help, yet he did not retaliate or become bitter. He was long-suﬀering and kind, even toward corrupt King Zedekiah! After Zedekiah turned him over to be put to death, Jeremiah still pleaded with him to obey the voice of Jehovah. (Jer. 38:4, 5, 19, 20) Is our love for people as strong as Jeremiah’s? w11 3/15 4:7, 8
Saturday, December 15 Become steadfast, unmovable, always having plenty to do in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in connection with the Lord. —1 Cor. 15:58.
Discussing the daily text together and sharing in family worship provide excellent opportunities to keep your family’s thinking and goals aligned. Also share together in the ministry. If possible, try pioneering together, even if your circumstances allow you to do it only for one
Monday, December 17 In that [Jesus] himself has suffered when being put to the test, he is able to come to the aid of those who are being put to the test.—Heb. 2:18.
Jesus’ own experience as a human did much to help qualify him as King. The apostle Paul wrote: “He was obliged to become like his ‘brothers’ in all respects, that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, in order to oﬀer propitiatory sacriﬁce for the sins of the people.” (Heb. 2:17) Because Jesus was “put to the test,” he can sympathize with those who are undergoing trial. Jesus’ compassion was clearly manifest during his earthly ministry. The sick, the disabled, the downtrodden—even children—felt free to approach him. (Mark 5:22-24, 3842; 10:14-16) The meek and spiritually hungry were also drawn to him. On the other hand, the proud, the arrogant, and those who did “not have the love of God” in them rejected, hated, and opposed him.—John 5:40-42; 11:4753. w10 12/15 3:9
It was said with reference to Jesus: “You loved righteousness, and you hated lawlessness [wickedness].” (Heb. 1:9; Ps. 45:7) This shows that we must develop not only a love of righteousness but also a hatred of sin, or lawlessness. It is noteworthy that the apostle John speciﬁcally stated: “Everyone who practices sin is also practicing lawlessness, and so sin is lawlessness.” (1 John 3:4) As Christians, then, we do well to ask ourselves, ‘Do I hate lawlessness?’ w11 2/15 4:1-3
Wednesday, December 19 I will by no means leave you nor by any means forsake you. —Heb. 13:5.
Does your attitude toward “the world” and “the things in the world” reﬂect your complete trust in God? (1 John 2:15-17) Are spiritual riches and privileges of Kingdom service more desirable and important to you than the things the world oﬀers? (Phil. 3:8) Do you strive to maintain a ‘simple eye’? (Matt. 6:22) Of course, God does not want you to be imprudent or irresponsible, especially if you have a family to care for. (1 Tim. 5:8) But he does expect his servants to trust fully in him—not in Satan’s dying world. For example, Roy and Petina, who still have a daughter at home, were able to cut back their secular work so as to share in the ministry full-time. “We pioneered before we had our son and daughter, and we never lost the desire to pioneer,” says Roy. “So when our children had grown up, we got back into the full-time ministry. No amount of money can compare with the blessings we have received.” w11 3/15 2:13, 16
Tuesday, December 18 By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love among yourselves.—John 13:35.
Jesus commanded his followers to show self-sacriﬁcing love toward one another. (John 13:34) That love would be their identifying mark. Jesus also exhorted them: “Continue to love your enemies and to pray for those persecuting you.” (Matt. 5:44) In addition to teaching his disciples about love, however, Jesus taught them what to hate.
Thursday, December 20 Stand still and show yourself attentive to the wonderful works of God.—Job 37:14.
Adversity may take many forms —a ﬁnancial reversal, the loss of employment, a natural disaster, the death of a loved one, a health crisis, and so on. Since we live in “critical times,” it is to be expected that sooner or later all of us will have to deal with some kind of trial. (2 Tim. 3:1) When that occurs, it is important not to panic. Holy spirit can empower us to endure any kind of adversity. Job suﬀered one adversity after another. He lost his livelihood, children, friends, and health, and his wife lost conﬁdence in Jehovah. (Job 1:13-19; 2:7-9) What helped Job to endure his trials? And what can help us to endure ours? Remembering and pondering the various manifestations of Jehovah’s holy spirit and power. (Job 38:1-41; 42:1, 2) Perhaps we recall times in our own life when we saw evidence of God’s interest in us personally. He is still interested in us. w11 1/15 5:13, 14
fort to resist them and rely on God to sustain us, we can maintain our integrity. Jehovah never forsakes us to the point of permitting us to come into situations that make it humanly impossible to do his will. (Ps. 94:14) By strengthening us to resist temptation, Jehovah makes “the way out.” He will not allow the situation to develop to the point where we cannot remain faithful to him. God can fortify our faith and give us the spiritual strength we need in order to maintain integrity. w10 11/15 4:16, 17, 19, 20
Saturday, December 22 The vision is yet for the appointed time . . . Keep in expectation of it; for it will without fail come true. It will not be late.—Hab. 2:3.
The prophet Habakkuk gives us this assurance concerning the end of this wicked system. Ask yourself: ‘Does my life truly reﬂect the urgency of our times? Does my way of life show that I expect the end to come soon? Or do my decisions and priorities indicate that I do not expect the end anytime soon or even that I am not sure if it will ever come?’ The work of the watchman class is not yet over. (Jer. 1:17-19) What a source of joy it is that the anointed remnant are standing immovable, like “an iron pillar” and “a fortiﬁed city”! They have their “loins girded about with truth” in that they allow God’s Word to strengthen them until their commissioned work is completed. (Eph. 6:14) With similar determination, those of the great crowd actively support the Jeremiah class in carrying out its divine assignment. w11 3/15 4:16-18
Friday, December 21 God . . . will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear, but along with the temptation he will also make the way out.—1 Cor. 10:13.
What is the source of the temptation mentioned by Paul, and how does God make the way out for us? As illustrated by Israel’s experiences in the wilderness, the “temptation” comes through circumstances that could induce us to break God’s law. (1 Cor. 10: 6-10) The temptations that we face are common to human experience. If we put forth needed ef-
Sunday, December 23 [Keep] close in mind the presence of the day of Jehovah. —2 Pet. 3:12.
Noah, his wife, his sons, and their wives may have worked on building the ark for some 50 years. As they built the ark, they must have gone in and out of it hundreds of times. They waterproofed it, stocked it with food, and brought in the animals. Picture the scene. The big day ﬁnally arrives, and they go into the ark. Jehovah shuts the door, and it begins to rain. The water canopy, or heavenly ocean, bursts open, and a torrential downpour pounds the ark. (Gen. 7:11, 16) People outside the ark are dying while those inside are being saved. What might Noah’s family have felt? Profound gratitude to God, yes. But undoubtedly they thought, ‘How glad we are that we walked with the true God and proved ourselves ready!’ (Gen. 6:9) Can you picture yourself on the other side of Armageddon, your heart swelling with similar appreciation? w11 3/15 3: 10, 11
complished and all the nations might hear it; and I was delivered from the lion’s mouth.” (2 Tim. 4: 17) Paul could therefore assure fellow believers that there was no need to “be anxious over anything.” (Phil. 4:6, 7, 13) At times, it might seem that our prayers are not being answered—at least not right away or in the way we expect. If so, doubtless there is a good reason. Jehovah knows it, but it may become clear to us only in the future. Of one thing we can be sure—God does not abandon his faithful ones.—Heb. 6:10. w11 1/15 5:15, 17
Tuesday, December 25 They pained even the Holy One of Israel.—Ps. 78:41.
What can we do to train our conscience? When we study the Scriptures and our Bible-based publications, it is important to remember that “the heart of the righteous one meditates so as to answer.” (Prov. 15:28) Consider how this proves beneﬁcial when we face questions regarding employment. If a certain type of work is plainly in conﬂict with Scriptural requirements, most of us quickly respond to the direction provided through the faithful and discreet slave class. When the answer to an employment question is not clear-cut, however, Bible principles should be noted and considered prayerfully. This applies to such principles as the need to avoid oﬀending the consciences of others. (1 Cor. 10:31-33) Especially should we be concerned with principles involving our relationship with God. Ask yourself, ‘Would my doing this work make Jehovah feel hurt, causing him pain?’—Ps. 78:40. w11 2/15 3:12
Monday, December 24 Do not be anxious over anything. —Phil. 4:6.
The apostle Paul endured many life-threatening adversities for the sake of his faith. (2 Cor. 11:2328) How did he maintain balance and emotional stability under those trying circumstances? By prayerful reliance on Jehovah. During the time of testing that apparently culminated in his martyrdom, Paul wrote: “The Lord stood near me and infused power into me, that through me the preaching might be fully ac-
Wednesday, December 26 No one has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or ﬁelds for my sake and for the sake of the good news who will not get a hundredfold now. —Mark 10:29, 30.
All unmarried Christians who are doing their best to serve Jehovah deserve our genuine commendation and encouragement. We love them for who they are and for the signiﬁcant contribution they make to the congregation. They will never have to feel lonely if we truly become their spiritual “brothers and sisters and mothers and children.” Some gifts are eagerly anticipated, while others are completely unexpected. Some are immediately appreciated, while others are valued only over time. Much, then, depends on our attitude. What can you do to make the most of your singleness? Draw closer to Jehovah, have plenty to do in God’s service, and widen out in your love for others. Singleness can be rewarding when we view it from God’s perspective and make wise use of this gift. w11 1/15 3:18, 19
just as Jehovah helped those servants of old to praise him publicly, God will help you to oﬀer sacriﬁces of praise. (Heb. 13:15) How can you receive Jehovah’s help in overcoming your fear of giving comments? First, prepare well for the meeting. Then, before you go to the Kingdom Hall, approach Jehovah in prayer and specifically petition him to give you the courage to give a comment. (Phil. 4:6) You are requesting something that is “according to his will,” so you can be conﬁdent that Jehovah will answer your prayer. —Prov. 15:29. w10 10/15 4:12
Friday, December 28 They will persecute you also. —John 15:20.
Many Christians, past and present, who have faced and overcome persecution report that at the height of their trials, they experienced inner peace, one aspect of the fruitage of God’s holy spirit. (Gal. 5:22) That peace, in turn, helped to guard their hearts and mental powers. Yes, Jehovah uses his active force to empower his servants to cope with trials and to act wisely when adversity strikes. Onlookers have been amazed by the determination of God’s people to maintain their integrity even in the face of vicious persecution. The Witnesses seemed imbued with superhuman strength, and indeed they were. The apostle Peter assures us: “If you are being reproached for the name of Christ, you are happy, because the spirit of glory, even the spirit of God, is resting upon you.” (1 Pet. 4:14) That we are persecuted for upholding righteous standards indicates that we have divine approval.—Matt. 5:10-12. w11 1/15 5:6, 7
Thursday, December 27 This is the conﬁdence that we have toward him, that, no matter what it is that we ask according to his will, he hears us. —1 John 5:14.
For those who are timid, giving comments at meetings can be a real challenge. If that is the case with you, it may be helpful to remember that your situation is not unusual. In fact, even such faithful servants of God as Moses and Jeremiah expressed a lack of conﬁdence in their ability to speak in public. (Ex. 4:10; Jer. 1:6) Yet,
Saturday, December 29 Keep on, then, seeking ﬁrst the kingdom and his righteousness. —Matt. 6:33.
What is God’s righteousness? The original-language words for “righteousness” can also be translated “justice” or “uprightness.” Hence, God’s righteousness is uprightness according to his personal standards and values. As the Creator, Jehovah has the right to set the standard for what is good and what is bad, what is right and what is wrong. (Rev. 4:11) God’s righteousness, however, is not a cold, rigid set of laws or an endless list of rules and regulations. Rather, it is based on Jehovah’s personality and his cardinal attribute of justice together with his other cardinal attributes of love, wisdom, and power. God’s righteousness, then, is linked with his will and purpose. It includes what he expects of those who desire to serve him. w10 10/15 2:1, 2
and cause harm to others by their lawless practices. God’s Word commands that unrepentant sinners be removed from the congregation. (1 Cor. 5:9-13) This is necessary for at least three reasons: (1) to keep Jehovah’s name free from reproach, (2) to protect the congregation from contamination, and (3) to help the sinner come to repentance if possible. Do we share Jesus’ view of those who have become set in their lawless course? w11 2/15 4:13-15
Monday, December 31 They had John also as an attendant.—Acts 13:5.
In his youth, John Mark used his single years to good advantage. He and his mother, Mary, as well as his cousin Barnabas were early members of the Jerusalem congregation. Mark’s family may also have been comfortably situated, since they owned their own home in the city and had a servant. (Acts 12:12, 13) Despite these advantages, however, even as a young man, Mark was not self-indulgent or self-centered; nor was he content to settle down and lead a comfortable family life. His early association with the apostles likely instilled in him a desire for missionary service. So he eagerly joined Paul and Barnabas on their ﬁrst missionary tour and served as their attendant. Later, he traveled with Barnabas, and later still, we ﬁnd him serving with Peter in Babylon. (Acts 15:39; 1 Pet. 5:13) Mark earned an excellent reputation as someone who was willing to minister to others and do more in God’s service. w11 1/15 3:8
Sunday, December 30 Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of the heavens.—Matt. 7:21.
Jesus said that he came to call sinners, or lawless ones, to repentance. (Luke 5:30-32) How, though, did he view those who became hardened in a course of sin? Jesus gave strong warnings against being inﬂuenced by such ones. (Matt. 23:15, 23-26) He will reject those who unrepentantly practice lawlessness, saying: “Get away from me.” (Matt. 7:22, 23) Why such a judgment? Because such individuals dishonor God
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