Let us consider one another . . . , encouraging one another, and all the more so as you see the day drawing near.—Heb. 10:24, 25.
News of faithfulness on the part of those we have helped in the past can be a real source of encouragement, as it was for the apostle John, who wrote: “No greater joy do I have than this: that I should hear that my children go on walking in the truth.” (3 John 4) Many pioneers can attest to how encouraging it is for them to learn that some of those they helped into the truth years ago are staying faithful and perhaps are even serving as pioneers. Simply reminding a discouraged pioneer of past joys can be a real source of comfort. Many circuit overseers have stated how encouraged they and their wives felt after receiving even a short note of gratitude for their visit to a congregation. The same can be true of elders, missionaries, pioneers, and Bethel family members who receive a word of appreciation for their faithful service. w18.04 4:14-15
[The king] should [not] take many wives for himself, so that his heart [might] not go astray.—Deut. 17:17.
Solomon disobeyed, eventually marrying 700 women. He brought into his household an additional 300 concubines. (1 Ki. 11:3) Many of his wives were non-Israelites, who worshipped false gods. Hence, Solomon also disobeyed God’s law against marrying foreign women. (Deut. 7:3, 4) Solomon’s gradual departure from Jehovah’s requirements led him in time to extreme wrongdoing. Solomon built an altar to the idol goddess Ashtoreth and at least one other altar to the false god Chemosh. There he joined his wives in pagan worship. He built those altars on, of all places, a mountain located directly in front of Jerusalem, where he had built Jehovah’s temple! (1 Ki. 11:5-8; 2 Ki. 23:13) Perhaps Solomon fooled himself into thinking that Jehovah would overlook his disobedience as long as he also continued to offer sacrifices at the temple. But Jehovah never overlooks wrongdoing. w18.07 3:7-9
Take up the large shield of faith, with which you will be able to extinguish all the wicked one’s burning arrows.—Eph. 6:16.
Some of the “burning arrows” that Satan might fire at you are lies about Jehovah—that He does not care about you and that you are unlovable. Nineteen-year-old Ida struggles with feelings of unworthiness. She says, “I have often felt that Jehovah isn’t close to me and that he doesn’t want to be my Friend.” How does she deal with this attack? “The meetings are a giant boost to my faith,” says Ida. “I used to sit there and never comment, thinking that nobody would want to hear what I had to say. Now, though, I prepare for the meetings and try to answer two or three times.” Ida’s experience highlights an important truth: The literal shield given to a soldier had fixed dimensions, but the size of our shield of faith can either shrink or grow. It is up to us. (Matt. 14:31; 2 Thess. 1:3) How important it is that we build up our faith! w18.05 4:12-14