Her rival wife taunted her relentlessly in order to upset her.—1 Sam. 1:6.
The prophet Samuel’s mother, Hannah, had to deal with some difficult problems. For many years she was unable to have children. (1 Sam. 1:2) In Israelite culture, a woman who was barren was believed to be cursed. This left her feeling humiliated. (Gen. 30:1, 2) To make matters worse for Hannah, her husband had another wife, Peninnah, who bore him children and taunted Hannah about it. Hannah did not cope well with these difficult challenges. She was so upset that “she would weep and not eat.” She became “extremely bitter” at heart. (1 Sam. 1:7, 10) How did Hannah find comfort? Hannah poured out her feelings to Jehovah in prayer. After she prayed, she explained her situation to High Priest Eli. He then told her: “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant your petition.” What was the result? Hannah “went on her way and ate, and her face was no longer downcast.” (1 Sam. 1:17, 18) Prayer helped Hannah to regain peace. w20.02 21 ¶4-5
Let your words always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should answer each person.—Col. 4:6.
Soon, Jehovah will bring this system to an end. Only those who are “rightly disposed for everlasting life” will survive. (Acts 13:48) So it is natural that we would also want our relatives to serve Jehovah with us. Our loving Father, Jehovah, “does not desire anyone to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance.” (2 Pet. 3:9) We need to keep in mind that there is a right way and a wrong way to share the message of salvation. Although we may be tactful when witnessing to a stranger, we may be too blunt when talking with our relatives. Many of us may look back with regret on our initial attempt to witness to our relatives and wish we had dealt with them differently. It is good to remember the apostle Paul’s advice, mentioned in today’s text, when we approach our relatives. Otherwise, we might end up alienating them rather than persuading them. w19.08 14-15 ¶3-5
Christ [left] a model for you to follow his steps closely.—1 Pet. 2:21.
What was your reaction when you learned the following truths about the Son? Jesus is the second most important person in the universe. He is our Ransomer. He willingly gave his life for us. When we show by our actions that we have faith in the ransom, we can have our sins forgiven, develop a friendship with God, and gain everlasting life. (John 3:16) Jesus is our High Priest. He wants to help us to benefit from the ransom and to have a close relationship with God. (Heb. 4:15; 7:24, 25) As King of God’s Kingdom, he is the one through whom Jehovah will sanctify His name, end wickedness, and bring eternal blessings in the coming Paradise. (Matt. 6:9, 10; Rev. 11:15) Jesus is our model. He set an example for us in devoting his life to doing God’s will. (John 4:34) When you accept what the Bible teaches about Jesus, you come to love God’s dear Son. That love moves you to use your life to do God’s will, as Jesus did. w20.03 10 ¶12-13
Pray constantly.—1 Thess. 5:17.
Jesus prayed often throughout the last day of his life on earth. When he instituted the commemoration of his death, he prayed over the bread and the wine. (1 Cor. 11:23-25) Before leaving the place where they had held the Passover, he prayed with the disciples. (John 17:1-26) When he and the disciples arrived at the Mount of Olives that night, he prayed repeatedly. (Matt. 26:36-39, 42, 44) And the very last words Jesus spoke before dying were uttered in prayer. (Luke 23:46) Through prayer, Jesus included Jehovah in every major event on that momentous day. One reason why Jesus could endure his trial was that he turned to his Father in prayer. The apostles, on the other hand, failed to persevere in prayer that night. As a result, their courage weakened when the hour of test arrived. (Matt. 26:40, 41, 43, 45, 56) When we face trials, we will remain faithful only if we follow Jesus’ example and “pray continually.” w19.04 9 ¶4-5
I am Jehovah; I do not change.—Mal. 3:6.
Jehovah hates spiritism! He told the Israelites: “There should not be found in you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, anyone who employs divination, anyone practicing magic, anyone who looks for omens, a sorcerer, anyone binding others with a spell, anyone who consults a spirit medium or a fortune-teller, or anyone who inquires of the dead. For whoever does these things is detestable to Jehovah.” (Deut. 18:10-12) Christians are not under the Law that Jehovah gave to the Israelites. However, we know that his feelings about spiritism have not changed. Jehovah warns us against spiritism because he knows that Satan uses it to harm people. Satan uses spiritism to promote lies—including the lie that the dead are alive in some other realm. (Eccl. 9:5) Satan also uses spiritism to keep people in fear and to turn them away from Jehovah. His aim is that people who practice spiritism will trust in wicked spirits instead of in Jehovah. w19.04 21 ¶5-6
If you are doing what is bad, be in fear.—Rom. 13:4.
Child abuse is a grave sin. The child abuser hurts the child in devastating ways. He betrays the child’s trust, robbing the child of his or her security. Children must be protected from such a wicked deed, and those who have been victimized by it need comfort and help. (1 Thess. 5:14) When someone who is a part of the congregation becomes guilty of child abuse, he brings reproach on the congregation. (Matt. 5:16; 1 Pet. 2:12) We do not tolerate in our midst individuals who unrepentantly commit wicked deeds and who bring reproach on the good name of the congregation. If someone in the congregation becomes guilty of violating a criminal law, such as by committing child abuse, he is sinning against the secular authorities. (Compare Acts 25:8.) While the elders are not authorized to enforce the law of the land, they do not shield any perpetrator of child abuse from the legal consequences of his sin. w19.05 9 ¶4-7
The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.—1 Cor. 3:19.
We can face any challenge—all because Jehovah is our Grand Instructor. (Isa. 30:20, 21) His Word gives us everything we need to be “fully competent” and “completely equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:17) When we live by Bible teachings, we become wiser than those who promote “the wisdom of this world.” (Ps. 119:97-100) Regrettably, the wisdom of the world often appeals to our fleshly desires. So we might find it difficult to resist thinking and acting like those who are part of the world. For good reason, the Bible says: “Look out that no one takes you captive by means of the philosophy and empty deception according to human tradition.” (Col. 2:8) As the Bible foretold about the last days, people would to a remarkable degree become “lovers of pleasures.” (2 Tim. 3:4) The prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases, such as AIDS, is just one indication that the wisdom of the world is foolishness.—2 Pet. 2:19. w19.05 21 ¶1-2; 22 ¶4-5
Stand firm against the crafty acts of the Devil.—Eph. 6:11.
Satan deceived the Israelites into believing that to prosper, they had to adopt the practices of their pagan neighbors. Those neighbors believed that certain rituals were needed to get their gods to act and bring the needed rain. Those who lacked faith in Jehovah believed that this was the only way to avoid a prolonged drought, so they performed pagan rituals in honor of the false god Baal. Satan also appealed to immoral desires. The pagan nations worshipped their gods by engaging in grossly immoral acts. This perverted form of worship included both female and male temple prostitution. Homosexuality and other forms of sexual immorality not only were tolerated but became normal! (Deut. 23:17, 18; 1 Ki. 14:24) The pagans believed that these rituals encouraged their gods to make the land fertile. Many Israelites were attracted by the pagans’ sexually immoral rituals and allowed themselves to be lured into serving false gods. w19.06 2 ¶3; 4 ¶7-8
God is not unrighteous so as to forget your work and the love you showed for his name.—Heb. 6:10.
Thousands of Bethel family members and others have received new assignments. These faithful brothers and sisters may find it challenging to leave a cherished assignment. If you are one of them, what can help you to deal with the change? Remain close to Jehovah by reading the Scriptures daily and pondering on them. Also, continue to be fully involved in preaching the good news in your new congregation. Jehovah remembers those who continue to serve him faithfully, even if they cannot do all they did before. Keep your life simple. Do not let the anxieties of Satan’s world “choke” your spiritual activity. (Matt. 13:22) Reject pressure from the world or from well-meaning friends or relatives to seek financial security in Satan’s system. (1 John 2:15-17) Trust in Jehovah, who promises to provide for all our spiritual, emotional, and material needs “at the right time.”—Heb. 4:16; 13:5, 6. w19.08 20 ¶4; 21-22 ¶7-8
Throw your burden on Jehovah, and he will sustain you.—Ps. 55:22.
Are you dealing with a stressful situation? How comforting it is for us to know that Jehovah understands our emotional struggles. He knows our limitations, and he even knows what we are thinking and feeling. (Ps. 103:14; 139:3, 4) By relying on Jehovah, we will receive help to deal with problems that cause us stress. Stress can cause you to think negatively, making you feel discouraged. If that happens, remember that Jehovah will help you deal with stress. How will he help you? He invites you to share your concerns with him. And he will answer your cries for help. (Ps. 5:3; 1 Pet. 5:7) So pray to Jehovah often about your problems. He will not speak directly to you, but he will speak to you through his Word, the Bible, and through his organization. The accounts you read in the Bible can comfort you and give you hope. Also, your brothers and sisters can encourage you.—Rom. 15:4; Heb. 10:24, 25. w19.06 16 ¶7-8
You will be hated by all the nations on account of my name.—Matt. 24:9.
When persecuted, pray to Jehovah, “pour out your heart like water,” and tell your loving Father about all your fears and anxieties. (Lam. 2:19) The more you pray this way, the closer you will feel to Jehovah. (Rom. 8:38, 39) Be convinced that the blessings of God’s Kingdom will come true. (Num. 23:19) If your faith in such promises is weak, it will be easier for Satan and his agents to terrify you. (Prov. 24:10; Heb. 2:15) Make it a study project to examine God’s promises about his Kingdom and the reasons why you can be certain that they will come true. How will that help? Consider the example of Stanley Jones, who was imprisoned for seven years because of his faith. What helped him to endure faithfully? He said: “Being fortified with a knowledge of God’s kingdom, being sure of it, never doubting it for a moment, I couldn’t be moved.” If you have strong faith in God’s promises, you will not give in to fear.—Prov. 3:25, 26. w19.07 2 ¶1; 3 ¶6-7
Into whatever city or village you enter, search out who in it is deserving, and stay there until you leave.—Matt. 10:11.
Why is the disciple-making work so important? Because only disciples of Christ can be friends of God. In addition, those who follow Christ improve their lives now and have the hope of enjoying endless life in the future. (John 14:6; 17:3) Certainly, Jesus has entrusted us with an important responsibility, but we do not do this work by ourselves. The apostle Paul wrote about himself and certain close associates: “We are God’s fellow workers.” (1 Cor. 3:9) What a privilege Jehovah and Christ have given to imperfect humans! Also, the disciple-making work can bring us much joy. We take the first step in making disciples when we “search out” those with the right heart condition. We prove that we truly are Jehovah’s Witnesses by witnessing to all whom we meet. We prove that we are genuine Christians by following Christ’s command to preach. w19.07 15 ¶3-5
Wisdom is a protection just as money is a protection, but the advantage of knowledge is this: Wisdom preserves the life of its owner.—Eccl. 7:12.
Many people are first attracted to the practical wisdom found in the Bible. In New York, a sister who visits Mandarin-speaking people says: “I try to take an interest in people and listen to them. If I learn that they are new immigrants, I might ask: ‘How are you settling in? Have you found work? Are the local people treating you well?’” Sometimes this opens the way to introduce a Bible teaching. When appropriate, the sister may add: “What would you say is the key to getting along with people? May I show you a proverb from the Bible? It says: ‘Beginning a fight is like opening a floodgate; before the quarrel breaks out, take your leave.’ Do you think that this advice could help us to get along with others?” (Prov. 17:14) Such conversations can help us to identify people who would welcome further visits. w19.07 23 ¶13
What will happen to the one who falls with no one to help him up?—Eccl. 4:10.
Those who have moved to a new assignment need, not pity, but understanding. They may be struggling to deal with their own health problems or those of their relative. They may be grieving over the death of a loved one. And they also may grieve, even if in private, over the loss of association with their spiritual family in their former assignment. It takes time to process such deep and often very mixed emotions. In the meantime, your support and example can help them to adjust. “In my previous assignment, I conducted Bible studies every day,” says a sister who served for many years in a foreign land. “In my new one, it was difficult even to get the opportunity to open the Bible or to show a video in the ministry. But local publishers invited me on their calls and studies. This gave me a more positive outlook. I learned to start conversations in the new territory. All of this helped me to regain joy.” w19.08 22 ¶10; 24 ¶13-14
I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.—Phil. 4:2.
Like Euodia and Syntyche, we may face a major obstacle to cultivating a close bond of love with others—the tendency to focus on imperfections. All of us make mistakes every day. If we stay focused on the imperfections of others, our love for them will cool. For example, if a brother forgets to help us clean the Kingdom Hall, we may become irritated. If we then begin to list all the other mistakes we know our brother has made, our irritation will grow and our love for him will diminish. If you find yourself in a similar situation, it would be good to reflect on this fact: Jehovah sees our imperfections as well as those of our brother. Yet, in spite of these imperfections, he still loves our brother and he still loves us. For that reason, we need to imitate Jehovah’s love and keep a positive view of our brothers. When we work hard to love our brothers, we strengthen our bond of unity with them.—Phil. 2:1, 2. w19.08 9-10 ¶7-8
Jehovah . . . takes note of the humble.—Ps. 138:6.
Jehovah loves humble people. Only those who are truly humble can have a warm, personal relationship with him. On the other hand, “the haughty he knows only from a distance.” All of us want to please Jehovah and experience his warm love, so we have good reasons to learn to cultivate humility. Humility is lowliness of mind and freedom from pride or arrogance. The Bible indicates that a humble person has a proper view of his relationship with Jehovah God and with his fellow man. The humble person acknowledges that everyone is superior to him in some way. (Phil. 2:3, 4) Some people only appear to be humble. They may have an unassuming personality. Or they may show deference or politeness because of their culture and upbringing. But deep down, they may actually be very prideful. Sooner or later, they will reveal what they truly are at heart.—Luke 6:45. w19.09 2 ¶1, 3-4
He brings vengeance on those . . . who do not obey the good news about our Lord Jesus.—2 Thess. 1:8.
“The good news about our Lord Jesus” includes all the truths that Jesus taught. We obey the good news when we apply it in our lives. That obedience includes keeping Kingdom interests in first place, living by God’s righteous standards, and announcing God’s Kingdom. (Matt. 6:33; 24:14) It also includes supporting Christ’s anointed brothers as they care for their weighty responsibilities. (Matt. 25:31-40) Soon they will be able to return the kindness shown them by those of the “other sheep.” (John 10:16) How so? Before the war of Armageddon begins, all of the 144,000 will have been raised to heaven as immortal spirits. They will then be part of the heavenly armies that will crush Gog and safeguard “a great crowd” of sheeplike ones. (Rev. 2:26, 27; 7:9, 10) Yes, what a privilege the great crowd will have had to support Jehovah’s anointed servants while these were still on earth! w19.09 12-13 ¶16-18
You will find refreshment.—Matt. 11:29.
Why is it refreshing for us to do the work Jesus has given us? Because we have the best overseers. Jehovah, our Supreme Overseer, is not a thankless or harsh master. He appreciates the work we do. (Heb. 6:10) And he gives us the power that we need to carry our load of responsibility. (2 Cor. 4:7; Gal. 6:5, ftn.) Jesus, our King, leads by example. (John 13:15) And the elders who shepherd us try to imitate Jesus, “the great shepherd.” (Heb. 13:20; 1 Pet. 5:2) They strive to be kind, encouraging, and courageous as they feed and protect us. Also, we have the best companions. No other people have a sense of purpose or a bond of love like ours. Just think: We have the privilege of working with people who have the highest moral standards but who are not self-righteous. They consider others superior to them. They view us not only as fellow workers but also as friends. And that bond is so close that they are willing to give their lives for us! w19.09 20 ¶1; 23 ¶12-14
You are not in darkness, so that the day should overtake you as it would thieves.—1 Thess. 5:4.
In his exhortation, the apostle Paul mentions “Jehovah’s day.” (1 Thess. 5:1-6) As used in this context, this refers to the time period that begins with the attack on “Babylon the Great,” the world empire of false religion, and ends with Armageddon. (Rev. 16:14, 16; 17:5) Paul also tells us how we can make sure that we are ready for “Jehovah’s day.” We should “not sleep on as the rest do.” We must “stay awake” and remain alert to the danger of compromising our neutrality by getting drawn into the world’s political issues. If we were to get involved, we could become “part of the world.” (John 15:19) We know that God’s Kingdom is the only hope for world peace. We also want to help others wake up to what the Bible foretold would happen in the world. Once the great tribulation begins, it will be too late for people to turn to Jehovah. That is why our preaching work is so urgent! w19.10 8 ¶3; 9 ¶5-6
Take a scroll and write in it all the words that I have spoken to you against Israel and Judah.—Jer. 36:2.
When the time came for the contents of the scroll to be revealed, Jeremiah had to rely on his friend Baruch to deliver the message. (Jer. 36:5, 6) Baruch courageously fulfilled his dangerous assignment. Can you imagine how proud Jeremiah must have felt when Baruch went to the temple courtyard and did what he had been asked to do? (Jer. 36:8-10) The princes of Judah heard what Baruch had done, and they commanded him to read the scroll aloud to them! (Jer. 36:14, 15) The princes decided to tell King Jehoiakim what Jeremiah had said. King Jehoiakim got so angry when he heard the words written by Jeremiah that he burned the scroll and ordered the arrest of Jeremiah and Baruch. However, Jeremiah took another scroll, gave it to Baruch, and as Jeremiah dictated Jehovah’s message, Baruch wrote “all the words of the scroll that King Jehoiakim of Judah had burned in the fire.”—Jer. 36:26-28, 32. w19.11 3-4 ¶4-6
God . . . energizes you, giving you both the desire and the power to act.—Phil. 2:13.
Jehovah can become whatever is necessary in order to accomplish his purpose. For instance, Jehovah has become a Teacher, a Comforter, and an Evangelizer, just to name a few of his many roles. (Isa. 48:17; 2 Cor. 7:6; Gal. 3:8) Still, he often uses humans to carry out his purposes. (Matt. 24:14; 28:19, 20; 2 Cor. 1:3, 4) Jehovah can also give any of us the wisdom and strength we need in order to become whatever is necessary to fulfill his will. This is all part of the meaning of Jehovah’s name, as it is suggested by a number of scholars. All of us want to be useful to Jehovah, but some may doubt that Jehovah is using them. Why? Because they feel limited by their age, circumstances, or abilities. On the other hand, others may be quite satisfied with what they are already doing and fail to see the need to make further progress. w19.10 20 ¶1-2
The love of money is a root of all sorts of injurious things.—1 Tim. 6:10.
Materialism can cause us to become distracted and neglect our shield of faith. The apostle Paul said: “No man serving as a soldier involves himself in the commercial businesses of life, in order to gain the approval of the one who enrolled him.” (2 Tim. 2:4) In fact, Roman soldiers were not allowed to get involved in any trade. Like good soldiers, we do not become distracted from our primary goal—gaining the approval of our Commanders, Jehovah and Christ. We view that as being more valuable than gaining anything Satan’s world has to offer. We make sure that we have the time and energy we need to serve Jehovah and to keep our shield of faith and the rest of our spiritual armor in good condition. We must never let down our guard! Why? The apostle Paul warned that “those who are determined to be rich” will be “led astray from the faith.”—1 Tim. 6:9, 10. w19.11 17 ¶12, 14-15
Then sudden destruction is to be instantly on them.—1 Thess. 5:3.
The proclamation of “peace and security” precedes “Jehovah’s day.” (1 Thess. 5:1-6) At 1 Thessalonians 5:2, “Jehovah’s day” refers to “the great tribulation.” (Rev. 7:14) How will we know when that tribulation is about to begin? The Bible tells us about a most unusual proclamation. It will serve as a signal announcing the great tribulation. That will be the foretold proclamation of “peace and security.” Will religious leaders participate? Possibly. Nevertheless, the proclamation will be just another demon-inspired lie. But this lie will be especially dangerous because it will give people a false sense of security just before the greatest tribulation in human history begins. Yes, “sudden destruction is to be instantly on them, just like birth pains on a pregnant woman.” What about Jehovah’s loyal servants? They may be surprised by the sudden start of Jehovah’s day, but they will not be caught off guard. w19.09 9 ¶7-8
When making decisions, be specific. The more specific you are, the more likely you are to complete what you start. For example, you may have decided to read the Bible more often. But if you do not have a specific schedule in mind, you may not achieve your objective. Or the elders in a congregation may decide to shepherd the flock more often, but after some time, they have not followed through on that decision. To be successful, they could ask such questions as these: “Have we identified the brothers and sisters who could especially benefit from more shepherding? Have we set a specific time to visit them?” Also, be realistic. None of us have the time, resources, or energy to do everything that we would like to do. So be realistic and reasonable. When necessary, you may need to change a decision that was beyond your ability to accomplish. w19.11 29 ¶11-12
These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.—Rev. 7:14.
A prophetic description of life on earth is found at Isaiah 65:21-23. That life will not be a life of idleness. Rather, the Bible indicates that God’s people at that time will be doing useful, satisfying work. At the end of that period, we can be sure that “the creation itself will also be set free from enslavement to corruption and have the glorious freedom of the children of God.” (Rom. 8:21) Just as Jehovah arranged for the Israelites to balance work and rest, so it will be for his people in the coming Thousand Year Rule of Christ. There will certainly be time for spiritual activities. Worship of God is essential to happiness today, and it will be so in the new world. Yes, we have good reason to rejoice over the good work and spiritual activity that we can expect when believing mankind enjoys life during Christ’s Millennial Reign. w19.12 12 ¶15; 13 ¶17-18
These words . . . must be on your heart, and you must inculcate them in your sons.—Deut. 6:6, 7.
“To inculcate” means “to teach and impress by frequent repetitions.” To do so, parents need to spend time regularly with their young ones. It could at times seem frustrating to have to repeat instructions to the children. However, parents can strive to see this as a way to help their children understand God’s Word and apply it. So be discerning. Psalm 127 compares children to arrows. (Ps. 127:4) Just as arrows can be made from different materials and can vary in size, no two children are precisely alike. So parents need to determine how to train each of their children. A couple in modern-day Israel who successfully raised two children to serve Jehovah tell what they found to be helpful, “We conducted a Bible study with each child separately.” Of course, each family head will decide whether studying in that way is necessary or possible. w19.12 26-27 ¶18-20
All things . . . that you want men to do to you, you also must do to them.—Matt. 7:12.
When we are going through a hard time, how we appreciate those who offer support in practical ways! “There are so many routine things that seem to be impossible to do when you are suffering,” says Ryan, whose father died unexpectedly in a tragic accident. “Practical assistance—even when it seems very little—goes a long way.” Never underestimate how comforting your practical yet simple acts of kindness can be. The first-century disciple Mark was a busy Christian. Yet, Mark made time to comfort the apostle Paul, and Paul felt free to ask for Mark’s assistance. Angela, who had to cope with the violent death of a family member, appreciated the willingness of those who comforted her. “When friends genuinely want to help, they are approachable,” she says. “They don’t seem reluctant or hesitant.” We can ask ourselves, ‘Am I known for being willing to comfort fellow worshippers in practical ways?’ w20.01 11-12 ¶14-16
Whoever eats the loaf or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will be guilty.—1 Cor. 11:27.
How might an anointed one partake “unworthily” at the Memorial? He would do so if he ate and drank the emblems but was not living up to Jehovah’s righteous standards. (Heb. 6:4-6; 10:26-29) Anointed ones realize that they must stay faithful if they want to receive “the prize of the upward call of God by means of Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:13-16) Jehovah’s holy spirit helps his servants to be humble, not proud. (Eph. 4:1-3; Col. 3:10, 12) So anointed ones do not feel that they are better than others. They know that Jehovah does not necessarily give anointed ones more holy spirit than he gives his other servants. They do not feel that they have a deeper understanding of Bible truths than anyone else. And they would never tell someone else that he too has been anointed and should start partaking at the Memorial. Instead, they humbly acknowledge that only Jehovah invites people to go to heaven. w20.01 27-28 ¶4-5
Draw close to God, and he will draw close to you.—Jas. 4:8.
Jehovah wants us to draw close to him and to communicate with him. He urges us to “persevere in prayer,” and he makes himself available at all times. (Rom. 12:12) He is never too busy or too tired to listen to us. In turn, we listen to him by reading his Word, the Bible, along with publications that help us to understand it. We also listen to him by paying close attention at Christian meetings. Regular communication with Jehovah helps us remain close to him. Jehovah wants us to pour out our hearts to him in prayer. (Ps. 62:8) We do well to ask ourselves this question: ‘Do my prayers tend to be like superficial, reprinted messages, or are they like heartfelt, handwritten letters?’ No doubt you love Jehovah deeply, and you want to keep your relationship with him strong. To do that, you must communicate with him regularly. Confide in him. Share your joys and your pains with him. Be confident that you can go to him for help. w20.02 9 ¶4-5
Shepherd the flock of God under your care, serving as overseers.—1 Pet. 5:2.
Jehovah has entrusted elders with the important responsibility to shepherd his people. Elders can learn much from examining how Nehemiah dealt with Jehovah’s people. As governor of Judah, Nehemiah had considerable authority. (Neh. 1:11; 2:7, 8; 5:14) Imagine some of the challenges that Nehemiah faced. He had learned that the people had defiled the temple and were not supporting the Levites financially as the Law directed. The Jews were violating the Sabbath law, and some of the men had married foreign women. Governor Nehemiah would have to handle this difficult situation. (Neh. 13:4-30) Nehemiah did not abuse his authority by imposing his own standards on God’s people. Instead, he sought Jehovah’s guidance in earnest prayer, and he taught the people Jehovah’s Law. (Neh. 1:4-10; 13:1-3) Nehemiah also humbly worked alongside his brothers, even helping them to rebuild Jerusalem’s walls.—Neh. 4:15. w19.09 16 ¶9-10