A true friend shows love at all times.—Prov. 17:17.
Aristarchus, a Macedonian Christian from Thessalonica, proved to be a loyal friend to the apostle Paul. We first read about Aristarchus when Paul visited Ephesus on his third missionary tour. While accompanying Paul, Aristarchus was captured by a mob. (Acts 19:29) When he was finally set free, he did not seek his own safety but loyally stayed with Paul. Some months later, in Greece, Aristarchus was still at Paul’s side even though opposers continued to threaten Paul’s life. (Acts 20:2-4) In about 58 C.E. when Paul was sent to Rome as a prisoner, Aristarchus accompanied him on the long journey, and together they endured shipwreck along the way. (Acts 27:1, 2, 41) Once in Rome, he apparently spent some time in prison with Paul. (Col. 4:10) Little wonder that Paul felt encouraged and comforted by such a loyal companion! Like Aristarchus, we can be a loyal friend by sticking to our brothers and sisters not only in good times but also during “times of distress.” w20.01 9 ¶4-5
Happy and holy is anyone having part in the first resurrection.—Rev. 20:6.
Someone who has been anointed may feel unworthy of this precious privilege. But he does not for one minute doubt that Jehovah has chosen him. His heart bursts with joy and appreciation when he thinks of his future prospects. (1 Pet. 1:3, 4) So does this mean that anointed ones want to die? The apostle Paul answers that question. He compared their human body to a tent and said: “In fact, we who are in this tent groan, being weighed down, because we do not want to put this one off, but we want to put the other on, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.” (2 Cor. 5:4) These Christians have not lost interest in this life, wanting it to end quickly. On the contrary, they enjoy life and want to use each day to serve Jehovah with their family and friends. Yet, no matter what they are doing, they always remember the glorious hope that they have for the future.—1 Cor. 15:53; 2 Pet. 1:4; 1 John 3:2, 3. w20.01 23 ¶12-13
Those whom Jehovah loves he disciplines.—Heb. 12:6.
As part of our training, our loving Father disciplines us when necessary. He does so in many ways. For instance, something we read in his Word or hear at our meetings may correct us. Or perhaps the help we need comes from the elders. Regardless of the form it takes, Jehovah’s discipline is always motivated by love. (Jer. 30:11) Jehovah supports us through trials. Just as a caring human father supports his children during difficult times, our heavenly Father sustains us through trials. He uses his holy spirit to protect us from spiritual harm. (Luke 11:13) Jehovah also protects us emotionally. For example, he gives us a marvelous hope. That hope for the future helps us to endure difficulties. Consider this: No matter what bad things happen to us, our loving Father will undo any injury we suffer. Whatever trials we are facing, these are only temporary, but the blessings Jehovah gives are everlasting.—2 Cor. 4:16-18. w20.02 5 ¶14-15
The spirit that has taken up residence within us keeps enviously longing.—Jas. 4:5.
We can win the battle against envy! Consider the example of Joseph’s brothers. Years after they had mistreated Joseph, they met him in Egypt. Before Joseph revealed his real identity to his brothers, he tested them to find out if they had changed. He arranged a meal at which he gave the youngest brother, Benjamin, significantly more attention than he gave the others. (Gen. 43:33, 34) Yet, there is no indication that his brothers became envious of Benjamin. Instead, they showed genuine concern for their brother and for their father, Jacob. (Gen. 44:30-34) Because Joseph’s brothers had let go of envy, they were able to help restore peace in their family. (Gen. 45:4, 15) Similarly, if we uproot any feelings of envy, we will help to keep our family and our congregation peaceful. Jehovah wants us to fight envy and to pursue peace. If we cultivate humility, contentment, and appreciation, we will leave no room for envy. w20.02 19 ¶17-18
I love Jehovah because he hears my voice, my pleas for help.—Ps. 116:1.
One way to respond to Jehovah’s love is by talking to him in prayer. Your love for God will grow as you tell him about your concerns and thank him for all that he does for you. And the bond between you and Jehovah will be strengthened as you see how he answers your prayers. You will become convinced that he understands you. But to grow close to Jehovah, you need to understand his way of thinking. And you need to know what he wants from you. The only way you will gain that knowledge is by studying his Word, the Bible. So learn to appreciate it. Only the Bible contains the truth about Jehovah and his purpose for you. You show that you appreciate the Bible by reading it each day, by preparing for your personal Bible study session, and by applying what you learn. (Ps. 119:97, 99; John 17:17) Do you have a personal Bible reading schedule? Do you follow that schedule, making sure that you read the Bible each day? w20.03 5 ¶8-9
He began to reason . . . with those who happened to be on hand.—Acts 17:17.
If you are unable to do much walking, you might be able to sit in a public area where you can preach to passersby. Or you might be able to witness informally, write letters, or do telephone witnessing. Many publishers with severe limitations experience much joy and satisfaction in these other avenues of the preaching work. Despite health limitations, you can accomplish your ministry fully. Paul said: “For all things I have the strength through the one who gives me power.” (Phil. 4:13) Paul needed that power when he got sick on one of his missionary trips. He explained to the Galatians: “It was because of a physical illness that I had my first opportunity to declare the good news to you.” (Gal. 4:13) Similarly, your health limitations may give you opportunities to declare the good news to others, such as to doctors, nurses, and health-care providers. Many of these people are at work when publishers may be calling at their homes. w19.04 4-5 ¶10-11
All those desiring to live with godly devotion in association with Christ Jesus will also be persecuted.—2 Tim. 3:12.
In 2018, more than 223,000 publishers of the good news lived in lands where our spiritual activities were banned or severely restricted. This is not surprising. True Christians expect to be persecuted. No matter where we live, secular authorities may suddenly and unexpectedly ban us from worshipping our loving God, Jehovah. If a government bans our worship, we might wrongly conclude that we do not have God’s blessing. But remember, persecution does not mean that Jehovah is unhappy with us. Take, for example, the apostle Paul. He certainly had God’s approval. He had the privilege of writing 14 letters of the Christian Greek Scriptures, and he was an apostle to the nations. Yet, he faced intense persecution. (2 Cor. 11:23-27) We learn from the apostle Paul’s experience that Jehovah allows his faithful servants to be persecuted. w19.07 8 ¶1, 3
We have a struggle . . . against the wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places.—Eph. 6:12.
One of the most heartwarming ways in which Jehovah shows his concern for us as his servants is by helping us to resist our enemies. Our main enemies are Satan and the demons. Jehovah warns us about these enemies, and he gives us what we need to resist them. (Eph. 6:10-13) When we accept Jehovah’s help and rely on him completely, we can succeed in opposing the Devil. We can have the same kind of confidence that the apostle Paul had. He wrote: “If God is for us, who will be against us?” (Rom. 8:31) As true Christians, we are not fascinated with Satan and the demons. We focus most of our attention on learning about Jehovah and serving him. (Ps. 25:5) However, we do need to know the basic ways that Satan operates. Why? So that we can avoid being outwitted by him.—2 Cor. 2:11; ftn. w19.04 20 ¶1-2
Everyone must be quick to listen, slow to speak.—Jas. 1:19.
When dealing with a distressed person, are we a good listener? It involves more than staying still and saying nothing. We can show sympathy and tender compassion while listening. At times, a few tactful, warm words may show how we feel. You might say: “I am so sorry that happened to you!” Perhaps you could ask a question or two to make sure you understand what the anguished friend is saying. You might ask, “Can you please help me understand what you mean?” or “When you said that, I concluded . . . Did I get it right?” Such loving expressions may assure the person that you are truly listening, trying to make sure that you understand. (1 Cor. 13:4, 7) Be careful, though, to remain “slow to speak.” Do not interrupt to give advice or to correct the person’s thinking. And be patient! Rather than trying to provide solutions, we offer sympathy and tender compassion.—1 Pet. 3:8. w19.05 17-18 ¶15-17
Husbands, continue loving your wives, just as the Christ also loved the congregation and gave himself up for it.—Eph. 5:25.
In the family, a husband is to love his wife “as the Christ does the congregation.” (Eph. 5:28, 29) A husband must imitate the self-sacrificing love of Christ by putting his wife’s needs and interests ahead of his own. Some men may find it difficult to show such love, perhaps because they were not raised in an environment where treating others fairly and lovingly was valued. It may be difficult for them to unlearn bad habits, but they must make these changes in order to obey the law of the Christ. A husband who shows self-sacrificing love gains his wife’s respect. A father who truly loves his children would never abuse them by what he says or does. (Eph. 4:31) Instead, he expresses his love and approval in ways that make his children feel safe and secure. Such a father gains the love and trust of his children. w19.05 6 ¶21
Jehovah God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule as King over the house of Jacob forever.—Luke 1:32, 33.
What did those words of Gabriel mean to Mary? Did she take Gabriel’s words to mean that Jesus would replace King Herod—or one of his successors as the ruler in Israel? If Jesus did become king, Mary would be the queen mother, and her family would live in the royal palace. Yet, never do we read that Mary asked for a position of favor in the Kingdom. Mary was an extremely humble woman! Let us remember that our ultimate goal in studying God’s Word and our Christian publications is to draw closer to Jehovah. We also want to see more clearly “what sort of person” we are and what changes we need to make in order to please God. (Jas. 1:22-25; 4:8) At the beginning of each study period, then, we should ask Jehovah for his spirit. We should beg him to help us to benefit fully from the material and to see ourselves as he sees us. w19.05 31 ¶18-19
I am . . . under great stress.—1 Sam. 1:15.
Sometimes, we must face a number of stressful problems at the same time. Consider the following examples. A Witness named John, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, was devastated when his wife abandoned him after 19 years of marriage. Then his two daughters stopped serving Jehovah. A couple named Bob and Linda faced a different set of challenges. They both lost their jobs, and then they lost their home. In addition to those problems, Linda was diagnosed with a potentially fatal heart-related illness, and another disease began to damage her immune system. We can be sure that our Creator and loving Father, Jehovah, understands how stress affects us. And he wants to help us deal with the challenges we face. (Phil. 4:6, 7) God’s Word contains many accounts that describe the challenges his servants endured. It also records how Jehovah helped them deal with those stressful situations. w19.06 14 ¶2-3
A true friend shows love at all times and is a brother who is born for times of distress.—Prov. 17:17.
When we do small acts of kindness to those who no longer have a marriage mate, we reassure them of our love. More than ever, they need good friends. How can you prove that you are their friend? You could invite them over for a simple meal. And you might offer to spend some time with them in recreation or in the field ministry. Another option would be to ask them occasionally to join you for family worship. If you do, you will make Jehovah happy, for he is “close to the brokenhearted” and is “a protector of widows.” (Ps. 34:18; 68:5) Soon, when God’s Kingdom rules the earth, all “distresses will be forgotten.” How we look forward to the time when “the former things will not be called to mind, nor will they come up into the heart.” (Isa. 65:16, 17) Until that day, let us support one another and prove by both our speech and our actions that we love all in our spiritual family.—1 Pet. 3:8. w19.06 25 ¶18-19
Jehovah is my helper; I will not be afraid.—Heb. 13:6.
Many years ago, The Watchtower observed: “The person who knows God best will trust him the most in time of test.” How true! To face persecution successfully, we must love Jehovah and trust in him completely. (Matt. 22:36-38; Jas. 5:11) Read the Bible daily with the goal of drawing closer to Jehovah. (Jas. 4:8) As you read, focus on Jehovah’s tender qualities. Feel his love and affection expressed in the things he says and does. (Ex. 34:6) Some may struggle to believe that God loves them because they have never been shown love. If you face that challenge, try making a list each day of ways that Jehovah has shown mercy and kindness to you. (Ps. 78:38, 39; Rom. 8:32) As you consider your own experiences and meditate on what you have read in God’s Word, you will likely be able to list many things that Jehovah has done for you. The more you appreciate what Jehovah does, the stronger your bond with him will be.—Ps. 116:1, 2. w19.07 2-3 ¶4-5
We are [not] the masters over your faith, but we are fellow workers for your joy, for it is by your faith that you are standing.—2 Cor. 1:24.
Jehovah has not given us authority to make personal decisions for others. Someone who makes needless rules is not protecting his brother’s safety—he is trying to become the master of his brother’s faith. Satan the Devil will not stop trying to persecute Jehovah’s faithful servants. (1 Pet. 5:8; Rev. 2:10) Satan and his agents will try to ban our worship of Jehovah. However, there is no reason for us to be paralyzed by fear! (Deut. 7:21) Jehovah is on our side, and he will continue to support us even if our work is banned. (2 Chron. 32:7, 8) May we have the same resolve as did our first-century brothers, who told the rulers of their day: “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, judge for yourselves. But as for us, we cannot stop speaking about the things we have seen and heard.”—Acts 4:19, 20. w19.07 13 ¶18-20
The thoughts of a man’s heart are like deep waters, but the discerning man draws them out.—Prov. 20:5.
When preaching, we must try to understand the factors that have influenced the people we meet. The apostle Paul grew up among Jews. He surely had to adapt his preaching to Gentiles, people who knew little or nothing about Jehovah and the Scriptures. We might have to do some research so that we can empathize with and understand the people in our territory. (1 Cor. 9:20-23) Our goal is to find “deserving” ones. (Matt. 10:11) To be effective, we must invite people to express their opinions and then listen attentively. A brother in England asks people for their opinion about how to have a happy marriage, how to raise children, or how to cope with injustice. After listening to their comments, he says, “What do you think of this advice written nearly 2,000 years ago?” Then, without saying the word “Bible,” he shows them well-chosen scriptures on his phone. w19.07 21-22 ¶7-8
God recommends his own love to us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.—Rom. 5:8.
How much should we love God? Jesus told a Pharisee: “You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind.” (Matt. 22:36, 37) We do not want our love for God to be half-hearted. Rather, we want our love for him to grow stronger each day. We need to know God in order to love him. The Bible says: “Whoever does not love has not come to know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:8) The apostle Paul indicated that our love for God would grow stronger as we gain “accurate knowledge and full discernment” of Him. (Phil. 1:9) When we first studied the Bible, we developed love for God based on a limited knowledge of his wonderful qualities. Then the more we learned about Jehovah, the stronger our love for him became. No wonder we view regular Bible study and meditation on God’s Word as being among the most important things in our life!—Phil. 2:16. w19.08 9 ¶4-5
Two are better than one.—Eccl. 4:9.
If you are in a new assignment, you need to make new friends. Remember that to have a friend, you need to be a friend. Share the rich experiences Jehovah has given you, and let others sense your joy in Jehovah’s service. If you had to leave your assignment because of your mate’s health, do not blame him or her. On the other hand, if you yourself had health problems, do not feel guilty, thinking that you let your mate down. Remember, you are “one flesh,” and you promised before Jehovah to care for each other under all circumstances. (Matt. 19:5, 6) If you left an assignment because of an unplanned pregnancy, make sure your child knows that he is more important to you than your assignment was. Reassure your child that you view him as “a reward” from God. (Ps. 127:3-5) Also, tell him about the rewarding experiences you had in your assignment. Doing so can motivate your child to use his life in Jehovah’s joyful service just as you have done. w19.08 22 ¶10-11
I will show you the judgment on the great prostitute.—Rev. 17:1.
Babylon the Great, the world empire of false religion, has brought much reproach on God’s name. She has taught lies about God. She has prostituted herself spiritually by forming alliances with earth’s rulers. She has used her power and influence to exploit her flocks. And she has spilled much blood, including the blood of God’s servants. (Rev. 18:24; 19:2) Jehovah will destroy “the great prostitute” by means of “the ten horns” of “a scarlet-colored wild beast.” That figurative wild beast represents the United Nations. The ten horns represent the current political powers supporting that organization. At God’s appointed time, those political powers will turn on symbolic Babylon. They “will make her devastated and naked” by plundering her wealth and exposing her wickedness. (Rev. 17:3, 16) That swift destruction—as if in one day—will come as a shock to those who supported her, for she has long boasted: “I will never see mourning.”—Rev. 18:7, 8. w19.09 10 ¶10-11
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me.—Matt. 11:29.
That invitation is open to all—Jesus will never reject anyone who sincerely wants to serve God. (John 6:37, 38) All of Christ’s followers have been given the privilege of sharing in the work that Jehovah has asked Jesus to do. We can be certain that Jesus will always be there to help us do that work. (Matt. 28:18-20) Humble people were drawn to Jesus. (Matt. 19:13, 14; Luke 7:37, 38) Why? Consider the contrast between Jesus and the Pharisees. Those religious leaders were cold and arrogant. (Matt. 12:9-14) Jesus was warm and humble. The Pharisees were ambitious and proud of their high position in society. Jesus discouraged undue ambition, and he taught his disciples to view themselves as lowly servants. (Matt. 23:2, 6-11) The Pharisees dominated others through fear and intimidation. (John 9:13, 22) Jesus refreshed others by loving acts and kind words. Have you learned these lessons from Jesus? w19.09 20 ¶1; 21 ¶7-8; 23 ¶9
Draw close to God, and he will draw close to you.—Jas. 4:8.
Meetings help us to draw closer to Jehovah. Our attitude toward attending meetings is a good indicator of how successful we will be at dealing with persecution in the future. (Heb. 10:24, 25) Why so? If we allow small obstacles to keep us from attending meetings now, what will happen in the future if we have to risk our safety to meet with fellow believers? On the other hand, if we develop a firm resolve to attend meetings, we will not give in when opposers try to stop us from gathering together. Now is the time to develop a love for our meetings. When we love to attend meetings, no opposition, not even a government ban, will stop us from obeying God rather than men. (Acts 5:29) Memorize your favorite scriptures. (Matt. 13:52) Your memory may not be perfect, but Jehovah can use his powerful holy spirit to bring those scriptures back to your mind. (John 14:26) Those scriptures will help you to stay close to Jehovah—and to endure faithfully. w19.07 3 ¶5; 4 ¶8-9
Know this, that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here.—2 Tim. 3:1.
Were you born after the year 1914? If so, you have lived your entire life during “the last days” of the present system of things. All of us have heard about the events that Jesus foretold for this time. These include wars, food shortages, earthquakes, pestilences, an increasing of lawlessness, and the persecution of Jehovah’s people. (Matt. 24:3, 7-9, 12; Luke 21:10-12) We have also seen people behave in the way foretold by the apostle Paul. As worshippers of Jehovah, we are convinced that we are living during “the final part of the days.” (Mic. 4:1) Because so much time has passed since 1914, we must now be living in the last of “the last days.” Since the end is so near, we need to know the answers to some important questions: What events will occur at the end of “the last days”? And what does Jehovah expect us to do while we wait for those events? w19.10 8 ¶1-2
The one who endures to the end will be saved.—Matt. 24:13, ftn.
Our endurance does not depend on favorable circumstances. We can strengthen our endurance by relying on Jehovah. (Rom. 12:12) Jesus’ promise in today’s text means that we must remain faithful despite any challenges we face. By enduring each trial now, we can become stronger before the outbreak of the great tribulation. As with endurance, true courage comes from relying on Jehovah. How can we strengthen our reliance on him? By reading his Word every day and meditating on how Jehovah saved his people in the past. (Ps. 68:20; 2 Pet. 2:9) When the nations attack us during the great tribulation, we will need to be courageous and to trust in Jehovah as never before. (Ps. 112:7, 8; Heb. 13:6) If we rely on Jehovah now, we will have the courage we need to face Gog’s attack. We are convinced that we can remain ever safe under Jehovah’s loving protection.—1 Cor. 13:8. w19.10 18 ¶15-16
The whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.—1 John 5:19.
The Devil controls this system of things, and he uses it to appeal to our natural human desires and fleshly weaknesses. (Eph. 2:1-3) His goal is to divide our affections so that we are not exclusively devoted to Jehovah. After writing about the end of Satan’s world and the new world to come, the apostle Peter stated: “Beloved ones, since you are awaiting these things, do your utmost to be found finally by him spotless and unblemished and in peace.” (2 Pet. 3:14) When we obey that counsel and do our best to remain morally and spiritually clean, we prove that we are exclusively devoted to Jehovah. Satan and his system will continue to tempt us to change our priorities. (Luke 4:13) But despite any challenges we face, we will not allow anyone or anything to take Jehovah’s place in our heart. We are determined to give Jehovah what he alone deserves—our exclusive devotion! w19.10 27 ¶4; 31 ¶18-19
I was troubled by my sin.—Ps. 38:18.
Some types of anxiety are good. For example, we are properly concerned about pleasing Jehovah and Jesus. (1 Cor. 7:32) If we commit a serious sin, we are anxious to restore our friendship with God. We are also anxious to please our marriage mate and to care for the welfare of our family members and fellow believers. (1 Cor. 7:33; 2 Cor. 11:28) On the other hand, undue anxiety may cause us to constantly worry about having enough food and clothing. (Matt. 6:31, 32) To ease that worry, we might focus on gaining material possessions. If we allow that to happen, our faith in Jehovah will become weak and we will suffer serious spiritual harm. (Mark 4:19; 1 Tim. 6:10) Or we might fall victim to becoming overly concerned about gaining the approval of others. We may then fear being ridiculed or persecuted by men more than we fear displeasing Jehovah. To protect ourselves from that danger, we must beg Jehovah to give us the faith and courage we need to face the challenge.—Prov. 29:25; Luke 17:5. w19.11 15 ¶6-7
If any one of you is lacking in wisdom, let him keep asking God, for he gives generously to all.—Jas. 1:5.
Some important decisions we would never change. For example, we stick to our decision to serve Jehovah, and we are determined to be faithful to our marriage mate. (Matt. 16:24; 19:6) Other decisions, though, may need to be adjusted. Why? Because circumstances change. What steps can help us to make the best decisions possible? Pray for wisdom. In some respects, we are all “lacking in wisdom.” So rely on Jehovah both when making a decision and when reviewing that decision. Jehovah will then help you to make wise choices. Do thorough research. Consult God’s Word, read the publications of Jehovah’s organization, and talk to people whom you can trust. (Prov. 20:18) Such research is vital before making a decision to change jobs, to move, or to choose appropriate education to help you support your ministry. w19.11 27 ¶6-8
Miserable man that I am! Who will rescue me from the body undergoing this death?—Rom. 7:24.
Happily, God arranged a way for us to be rescued, or freed from sin. Jesus is the key to that liberation. In the eighth century before our Common Era, the prophet Isaiah foretold a future grand liberation. That grand liberation would accomplish far more than did the liberation during Israel’s Jubilee year. He wrote: “The spirit of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah is upon me, because Jehovah anointed me to declare good news to the meek. He sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives.” (Isa. 61:1) To whom does that prophecy apply? That important prophecy about liberation began to be fulfilled after Jesus started his ministry. When he went to the synagogue in his hometown of Nazareth, Jesus read those very words of Isaiah to the Jews assembled there and applied them to himself.—Luke 4:16-19. w19.12 9-10 ¶6-8
We mustered up boldness by means of our God to tell you the good news of God in the face of much opposition.—1 Thess. 2:2.
To face persecution, you need courage. If you feel that you lack that quality, what can you do? Remember that true courage does not depend on your size, strength, or ability. Consider the example of young David when he faced Goliath. Compared with that giant, David was smaller, weaker, and poorly armed. David did not even have a sword. Yet, he was full of courage. David boldly ran to fight that arrogant giant. Why was David so courageous? He firmly believed that Jehovah was with him. (1 Sam. 17:37, 45-47) David did not concentrate on how big Goliath was compared with him. Instead, he focused on how tiny Goliath was compared to Jehovah. What do we learn from this account? We will feel courageous if we are confident that Jehovah is with us and if we are certain that our opposers are tiny in comparison to Almighty God.—2 Chron. 20:15; Ps. 16:8. w19.07 5 ¶11-13
My fellow workers . . . have become a source of great comfort to me.—Col. 4:11.
Tychicus stands out as a loyal Christian companion to the apostle Paul. (Acts 20:4) About 55 C.E., Paul organized the collection of relief funds for Judean Christians, and he may have let Tychicus help with this important assignment. (2 Cor. 8:18-20) Later when Paul was imprisoned in Rome for the first time, Tychicus served as his personal messenger. He delivered Paul’s letters and messages of encouragement to the congregations in Asia. (Col. 4:7-9) Tychicus remained Paul’s trustworthy friend. (Titus 3:12) Not all Christians back then were as dependable as Tychicus. About 65 C.E., during his second imprisonment, Paul wrote that many Christian men in the province of Asia avoided associating with him, possibly because they were afraid of opposers. (2 Tim. 1:15) In contrast, Paul could rely on Tychicus and gave him yet another assignment. (2 Tim. 4:12) Paul surely appreciated having a good friend like Tychicus. w20.01 10 ¶7-8
It is to us God has revealed them.—1 Cor. 2:10.
Perhaps you are wondering if you have been anointed by holy spirit. If so, think about these important questions: Do you have a burning desire to do Jehovah’s will? Do you feel that you are especially zealous in the preaching work? Are you a keen student of God’s Word who loves to learn about “the deep things of God”? Do you feel that Jehovah has given you wonderful results in the preaching work? Do you have a deep inner feeling of responsibility to help others spiritually? Have you seen proof that Jehovah has helped you in many specific ways in your life? If you answer these questions with a resounding yes, does this prove that you now have the heavenly calling? No, it does not. Why not? Because all of God’s servants can feel this way. In fact, if you are wondering whether you have been anointed by holy spirit, such doubt in itself would mean that you have not been. Those called by Jehovah do not wonder whether they have been anointed or not! They know! w20.01 23 ¶14