Wednesday, May 31
Take good care of your sheep.—Prov. 27:23.
The principle recorded at James 1:19 certainly applies to those who give counsel. James wrote: “Everyone must be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.” An elder may assume that he has all the facts, but does he really? Proverbs 18:13 reminds us: “When anyone replies to a matter before he hears the facts, it is foolish and humiliating.” It is best to get the facts directly from the person himself. That involves listening before speaking. The elder might ask: “What has been happening in your life?” “How can I help?” If elders take the time to get the facts, they are more likely to help and encourage their brothers and sisters. Giving effective counsel involves more than simply reading a few scriptures or offering a suggestion or two. Our brothers and sisters need to sense that we care for them, that we understand them, and that we want to help them. w22.02 8:14-15
Thursday, June 1
A poor widow came and dropped in two small coins of very little value.—Mark 12:42.
Life is very difficult for the widow; she likely struggles to obtain the basic necessities of life. Yet, she goes to one of the chests and discreetly puts in two small coins, which perhaps hardly make a sound as they are dropped into the chest. Jesus knows what she deposited—two lepta coins, the smallest coins in circulation at the time. That is not even enough money to buy a single sparrow, among the cheapest birds sold for food. Jesus is deeply impressed by this widow. So he calls his disciples, draws their attention to the widow, and says: “This poor widow put in more than all the others.” Then he explains: “They [especially the rich people] all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her want, put in everything she had, all she had to live on.” (Mark 12:43, 44) When this faithful widow gave her last bit of money that day, she was putting her life in Jehovah’s caring hands.—Ps. 26:3. w21.04 14:17-18
Friday, June 2
Look! you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching.—Acts 5:28.
Jesus maintained a positive attitude throughout his ministry on earth, and he wants his followers to remain positive about the ministry as well. (John 4:35, 36) While Jesus was with his disciples, they were enthusiastic about the preaching work. (Luke 10:1, 5-11, 17) With the arrest and death of Jesus, however, the disciples temporarily lost their desire to preach. (John 16:32) After his resurrection, Jesus urged them to focus on preaching. And after his ascension to heaven, they preached with so much zeal that their enemies complained as noted in today’s text. Jesus directed the work done by those first-century Christians, and Jehovah blessed them with growth. At Pentecost 33 C.E., for example, about 3,000 got baptized. (Acts 2:41) And the number of disciples continued to grow dramatically. (Acts 6:7) Still, Jesus foretold that the preaching work would have even greater success in the last days.—John 14:12; Acts 1:8. w21.05 20:1-2