I behold in my members another law warring against the law of my mind and leading me captive to sin’s law.
What weaknesses did Paul strive to overcome? Though he did not specify them, he did write to Timothy that he had been “an insolent man.” (1 Tim. 1:13) Before his conversion, Paul’s fury against Christians had been intense. Regarding his feelings about Christ’s followers, he confessed: “I was extremely mad against them.” (Acts 26:11) Paul learned to control his temper, yet he at times must have struggled to control his feelings and his words. (Acts 15:36-39) What helped him to succeed? Paul struck at his imperfect human nature with well-directed spiritual blows. (1 Cor. 9:26, 27) Very likely, he looked for points of counsel in the Scriptures, supplicated Jehovah for help to apply them, and worked hard to improve. We can benefit from his example because we wage similar fights against our imperfect inclinations. w13 4/15 2:8-10
Select for yourselves seven reputable men . . . that we may appoint them over this necessary matter.
The apostles’ response to the report that certain “widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution” of food illustrates that the congregation can help to care for needy members. (Acts 6:1-5) Paul gave Timothy instructions outlining the circumstances under which Christian widows would qualify for material assistance from the congregation. (1 Tim. 5:3-16) The inspired Bible writer James likewise acknowledged the Christian obligation to look after orphans, widows, and others in cases of tribulation or need. (Jas. 1:27; 2:15-17) The apostle John too reasoned: “Whoever has the material possessions of this world and sees his brother in need and yet refuses to show him compassion, in what way does the love of God remain in him?” (1 John 3:17) If individual Christians have such obligations toward the needy, is that not also true of the congregations? w14 3/15 3:13, 14
[Abraham] came to be called Jehovah’s friend.
Jehovah referred to the patriarch and ancestor of the Israelites as “Abraham my friend.” (Isa. 41:8) Second Chronicles 20:7 also calls Abraham a friend of God. What was the basis for that faithful man’s enduring friendship with his Creator? It was Abraham’s faith. (Gen. 15:6; Jas. 2:21-23) Like Abraham, the more you learn about Jehovah, the stronger your faith in him becomes, and your love for him deepens. Think back to the time when you discovered that God is a real Person, someone with whom you could develop a close relationship. When we learned about his provision of Jesus’ ransom sacrifice and exercised faith in that provision, we began to build a friendship with God. As we look back now, we might well ask ourselves: ‘Am I making progress in my friendship with God? Is my trust in him strong, and is my love for my beloved Friend, Jehovah, growing each day?’ w14 2/15 4:3-6