He continued subject to them.—Luke 2:51.
Early in his human life, Jesus chose to be submissive to his parents. He never rejected his parents’ direction, reasoning that he knew more than they did. Jesus no doubt took his responsibility as the oldest son seriously. He surely worked hard to learn a trade from his adoptive father so that he could help support his family. Jesus’ parents likely told him about his miraculous birth and what God’s messengers had said about him. (Luke 2:8-19, 25-38) Jesus was not satisfied with what he was told; he also studied the Scriptures for himself. How do we know that Jesus was a good student of God’s Word? Because while he was still a boy, the teachers in Jerusalem were “in constant amazement at his understanding and his answers.” (Luke 2:46, 47) And at only 12 years of age, Jesus had already proved to himself that Jehovah was his Father.—Luke 2:42, 43, 49. w20.10 29-30 ¶13-14
Christ has been raised from the dead.—1 Cor. 15:12.
Belief in the resurrection of Jesus is central to our Christian hope. Early in the apostle Paul’s discussion of the resurrection, he brought up three realities. They are (1) “Christ died for our sins.” (2) He “was buried.” (3) He “was raised up on the third day according to the Scriptures.” (1 Cor. 15:3, 4) What do Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection mean for us? The prophet Isaiah foretold that the Messiah would be “cut off from the land of the living” and be “given a burial place with the wicked.” More was involved, though. Isaiah added that the Messiah would carry “the sin of many people.” Jesus did this by providing the ransom. (Isa. 53:8, 9, 12; Matt. 20:28; Rom. 5:8) So the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus provide a solid basis for our hope of being set free from sin and death and being reunited with our loved ones who have died. w20.12 2-3 ¶4-6; 5 ¶11
I, if anyone, do have grounds for confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinks he has grounds for confidence in the flesh, I have more.—Phil. 3:4.
The apostle Paul preached often in Jewish synagogues. In the synagogue in Thessalonica, for example, “for three sabbaths he reasoned with [the Jews] from the Scriptures.” (Acts 17:1, 2) Paul likely felt comfortable in the synagogue. He was raised as a Jew. (Acts 26:4, 5) Paul could relate to the Jews, so he was able to preach to them with confidence. (Phil. 3:5) After Paul was forced by persecutors to flee Thessalonica and then Beroea, he arrived in Athens. Once again, “he began to reason in the synagogue with the Jews and the other people who worshipped God.” (Acts 17:17) While preaching in the marketplace, however, Paul now had a different audience. Among his listeners were philosophers and other Gentiles who viewed Paul’s message as a “new teaching.” They said to him: “You are introducing some things that are strange to our ears.”—Acts 17:18-20. w20.04 9 ¶5-6
When I wish to do what is right, what is bad is present with me.—Rom. 7:21.
Do not condemn yourself if you are struggling with a weakness. Remember that none of us can earn a righteous standing before God. We all need God’s undeserved kindness by means of the ransom. (Eph. 1:7; 1 John 4:10) And we can turn to our brothers and sisters—our spiritual family—for encouragement! They may provide a listening ear when we need to talk and offer reassuring words that can cheer us up. (Prov. 12:25; 1 Thess. 5:14) Joy, a sister in Nigeria who has battled with discouragement, says: “Where would I be without the brotherhood? My brothers and sisters are proof that Jehovah answers my prayers. I have even learned from them how to encourage others who are downhearted.” We need to keep in mind, though, that our brothers and sisters may not always know when we need encouragement. So we may need to take the initiative to approach a mature fellow believer and open up about our need for help. w20.12 23-24 ¶7-8
I have called you friends.—John 15:15.
Usually, the first step in building a close friendship with someone you meet is to spend time with the person. As you talk to each other, sharing thoughts and experiences, you become friends. When it comes to building a close friendship with Jesus, however, we face challenges. One of them is that we have not met Jesus personally. Many Christians in the first century faced the same challenge. Even so, the apostle Peter observed: “Though you never saw him, you love him. Though you do not see him now, yet you exercise faith in him.” (1 Pet. 1:8) So it is possible to form a close relationship with Jesus without having met him personally. Also, we are not able to speak to Jesus. When we pray, we direct our thoughts to Jehovah. True, we do pray in Jesus’ name, but we do not talk directly to him. In fact, Jesus does not want us to pray to him. Why not? Because prayer is a form of worship, and only Jehovah should be worshipped. (Matt. 4:10) Even so, we can express our love for Jesus. w20.04 20 ¶1-3
[God] will make you firm, he will make you strong.—1 Pet. 5:10.
The runners in the Greek games had to overcome challenges, such as tiredness and pain. But all they had to rely on was their training and their own strength. We are like those runners in that we receive training in how to run the race we are in. But we have an advantage over the literal runners. We can draw on an unlimited source of power. If we rely on Jehovah, he promises not only to train us but also to make us strong! The apostle Paul had to deal with many challenges. In addition to being insulted and persecuted by others, he at times felt weak and he had to cope with what he called “a thorn in the flesh.” (2 Cor. 12:7) But rather than view those challenges as a reason for giving up, he saw them as an opportunity to rely on Jehovah. (2 Cor. 12:9, 10) Because Paul adopted this viewpoint, Jehovah helped him through all his trials. w20.04 29 ¶13-14
No man can come to me unless the Father . . . draws him.—John 6:44.
We have the unseen treasure of “working together” with Jehovah and the heavenly part of his organization. (2 Cor. 6:1) We do so whenever we share in the disciple-making work. Paul said of himself and those who share in this work: “We are God’s fellow workers.” (1 Cor. 3:9) When we participate in the Christian ministry, we are also Jesus’ fellow workers. Recall that after commanding his followers to “make disciples of people of all the nations,” Jesus said: “I am with you.” (Matt. 28:19, 20) And what about the angels? What a blessing it is to be directed by angels as we declare “everlasting good news . . . to those who dwell on the earth”! (Rev. 14:6) With such heavenly support, what is being accomplished? As we sow the Kingdom message, some seeds fall on receptive hearts and grow. (Matt. 13:18, 23) Who causes those seeds of truth to grow and become fruitful? Jesus explains that in today’s text. w20.05 30 ¶14-15
Stop being molded by this system of things.—Rom. 12:2.
Millions of families today have been divided by divorce. Even families who stay in the same house may become virtual strangers. “Mom, dad, and the kids are all disconnected from each other and connected to a computer screen, tablet, smartphone, or video game console,” says one family counselor. “Although these families live under the same roof, they barely know each other.” We do not want to be molded by the world’s loveless spirit. Instead, we need to cultivate tender affection not only for our family members but also for those who are related to us in the faith. (Rom. 12:10) What is tender affection? It is a term that specifically describes the warm friendship between close family members. That is the kind of love we should cultivate for our spiritual family, our Christian brothers and sisters. When we show tender affection, we help maintain the unity that is a vital part of true worship.—Mic. 2:12. w21.01 20 ¶1-2
Unify my heart to fear your name.—Ps. 86:11.
A sports team that is united is more likely to have success than one that is not. Your heart can be like that successful team if your thoughts, desires, and emotions are united in serving Jehovah. Remember, Satan would love to divide your heart. He wants your thoughts, desires, and emotions to be at odds and in conflict with Jehovah’s standards. You, however, need your heart to be whole in order for you to serve Jehovah. (Matt. 22:36-38) Never let Satan divide your heart! Pray to Jehovah as did David: “Unify my heart to fear your name.” Make it your aim to live up to that prayer. Each day, be determined that your decisions, from small to great, show that you hold Jehovah’s holy name in profound awe. In so doing, as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, you will reflect well on that name. (Prov. 27:11) And all of us will be able to say, along with the prophet Micah: “We will walk in the name of Jehovah our God forever and ever.”—Mic. 4:5. w20.06 13 ¶17-18
He will go out in a great rage to annihilate and to devote many to destruction.—Dan. 11:44.
This attack by the king of the north, acting along with the rest of the world’s governments, provokes the Almighty and brings on the war of Armageddon. (Rev. 16:14, 16) At that time, the king of the north, along with the rest of the nations that make up Gog of Magog, comes to his end, and there will be “no helper for him.” (Dan. 11:45) The very next verse in Daniel’s account gives more details about how the king of the north and his allies will come to their end and how we will be saved. (Dan. 12:1) What does this verse mean? Michael is another name for our ruling King, Christ Jesus. He has been “standing in behalf” of God’s people since 1914 when his Kingdom was established in the heavens. In the near future, he will “stand up,” or take significant action, at the war of Armageddon. That battle will be the final event in what Daniel calls the greatest “time of distress” in history.—Rev. 6:2; 7:14. w20.05 15-16 ¶15-17
Joseph was taken down to Egypt.—Gen. 39:1.
While a slave and later in prison, Joseph had limited options and freedom of movement. How did he keep his balance? Instead of focusing on what he was no longer able to do, he diligently applied himself to the work he was assigned to do. Joseph kept Jehovah as the most important Person in his life. In turn, Jehovah blessed everything Joseph did. (Gen. 39:21-23) We are reminded that this world is cruel and that people will treat us unjustly. Even a fellow believer may hurt us. But if we view Jehovah as our Rock, or Refuge, we will not lose heart or stop serving him. (Ps. 62:6, 7; 1 Pet. 5:10) Recall, too, that Joseph may have been about 17 when Jehovah dealt with him in a special way. Obviously, Jehovah has confidence in young servants of his. Today, many young ones are like Joseph. They too have faith in Jehovah. Some of them have even been unjustly imprisoned because they would not compromise their loyalty to God.—Ps. 110:3. w20.12 16 ¶3; 17 ¶5, 7
They summoned the apostles, flogged them, and ordered them to stop speaking on the basis of Jesus’ name.—Acts 5:40.
The apostles Peter and John viewed it as an honor to be persecuted for following Jesus and sharing his teachings. (Acts 4:18-21; 5:27-29, 41, 42) The disciples had no reason to feel ashamed. In the long run, those humble first-century Christians did more good for mankind than any of their opposers did. For example, the inspired books written by some of those Christians continue to give help and hope to millions of people. And the Kingdom they promoted not only is now in existence but will soon rule all of mankind. (Matt. 24:14) By comparison, the great political power that persecuted the Christians has collapsed into the ash heaps of history, whereas those loyal disciples are now kings in heaven. Their opposers, however, are dead; and if they are ever resurrected, they will be subjects of the Kingdom that was promoted by the Christians whom they hated.—Rev. 5:10. w20.07 15 ¶4
[Abraham] was awaiting the city having real foundations, whose designer and builder is God.—Heb. 11:10.
Abraham had such strong faith in God’s promises that it was as if he could see the Anointed One, or Messiah, who would be King of God’s Kingdom. For this reason, Jesus could tell the Jews in his day: “Abraham your father rejoiced greatly at the prospect of seeing my day, and he saw it and rejoiced.” (John 8:56) Clearly, Abraham knew that his descendants would form a Kingdom that had Jehovah’s backing, and he was willing to wait for Jehovah to fulfill that promise. How did Abraham show that he was waiting for the city, or Kingdom, designed by God? First, Abraham did not join himself to any earthly kingdom. He remained a nomad, choosing not to settle down and give his support to a human king. In addition, Abraham did not try to set up his own kingdom. Instead, he kept obeying Jehovah and waited for Him to fulfill His promise. In doing so, Abraham showed extraordinary faith in Jehovah. w20.08 3 ¶4-5
The one who has died has been acquitted from his sin.—Rom. 6:7.
Jehovah promises that no one living under Christ’s rule will say: “I am sick.” (Isa. 33:24) Thus, those who are raised from the dead will be re-created with healthy bodies. However, they will not immediately be perfect. If they were, they might seem unfamiliar to their loved ones. It seems that all mankind will gradually grow to perfection during the Thousand Year Reign of Christ. It is only at the end of the thousand years that Jesus will hand the Kingdom back to his Father. Then the Kingdom will have accomplished its work completely, including the raising of mankind to a perfect state. (1 Cor. 15:24-28; Rev. 20:1-3) Imagine what it will be like to greet your loved ones again. Will the joy you feel make you laugh or cry? Will you fill the air with songs of praise to Jehovah? One thing is certain, you will feel intense love for your caring Father and his unselfish Son because of the wonderful gift of the resurrection. w20.08 16-17 ¶9-10
Each one has his own gift from God, one in this way, another in that way.—1 Cor. 7:7.
The apostle Paul encouraged Christians to consider whether they could serve Jehovah as single people. (1 Cor. 7:8, 9) Certainly Paul did not look down on single Christians. In fact, he chose young Timothy, a single brother, to care for weighty assignments. (Phil. 2:19-22) Obviously, then, it would be wrong to think that a brother is more qualified or less qualified based solely on whether he is married or not. (1 Cor. 7:32-35, 38) Neither Jesus nor Paul taught that Christians must marry or that they must remain single. What, then, can we say about marriage and singleness? The Watchtower of October 1, 2012, stated it nicely when it said: “Really, both [marriage and singleness] can be described as gifts from God. . . . Jehovah does not view [singleness] as a cause for shame or grief.” With this in mind, we need to respect the place of single brothers and sisters in the congregation. w20.08 28 ¶8-9
Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, . . . only the Father.—Matt. 24:36.
In some countries, people respond eagerly when they hear the good news. It is just what they have been waiting for! In other lands, people show little interest in God or the Bible. What is the common response where you live? Whatever it is, Jehovah expects us to keep right on preaching until the work is completed to his satisfaction. At Jehovah’s set time, the preaching work will reach its conclusion and “the end will come.” (Matt. 24:14) Jesus foretold events and conditions that would mark the last days and that could distract his followers from accomplishing the preaching work. He admonished his disciples to “keep on the watch.” (Matt. 24:42) Today, we face distractions similar to those that prevented the people of Noah’s day from paying attention to the warning proclaimed by Noah. (Matt. 24:37-39; 2 Pet. 2:5) Therefore, we want to stay focused on the work Jehovah has given us to do. w20.09 8 ¶1-2, 4
All those desiring to live with godly devotion in association with Christ Jesus will also be persecuted.—2 Tim. 3:12.
Satan has “great anger,” and we would be fooling ourselves if we were to imagine that we could somehow avoid his wrath. (Rev. 12:12) In the near future, all of us will face tests of our integrity. Soon, the world will experience “great tribulation such as has not occurred since the world’s beginning until now.” (Matt. 24:21) During that time, family members may turn against us and our work may be banned. (Matt. 10:35, 36) Will we personally, like King Asa, trust in Jehovah for help and protection? (2 Chron. 14:11) Jehovah has been preparing us spiritually for what lies ahead. He is guiding “the faithful and discreet slave” to provide nourishing spiritual “food at the proper time” to help us remain steadfast in our worship. (Matt. 24:45) But we must do our part and build unshakable faith in Jehovah.—Heb. 10:38, 39. w20.09 18 ¶16-18
A king’s heart is like streams of water in Jehovah’s hand. He directs it wherever He pleases.—Prov. 21:1.
When it is in harmony with his purpose, Jehovah may use his powerful holy spirit to cause people in authority to do what he desires. Humans can dig a canal to divert the water of a stream in a direction that fits their plans. Similarly, Jehovah can use his spirit to divert the thoughts of rulers in a direction that is in harmony with his purpose. When that occurs, people in authority feel motivated to make decisions that benefit God’s people. (Compare Ezra 7:21, 25, 26.) What can we do? We can pray “concerning kings and all those who are in positions of authority” when these individuals are called on to make decisions that affect our Christian life and ministry. (1 Tim. 2:1, 2, ftn.; Neh. 1:11) As the first-century Christians did, we too pray intensely to God for our brothers and sisters who are in prison.—Acts 12:5; Heb. 13:3. w20.11 15 ¶13-14
Make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them.—Matt. 28:19.
If you are the one who studied with the new disciple, how thrilling for you to witness that one’s baptism! (1 Thess. 2:19, 20) Newly baptized disciples are fine “letters of recommendation,” not just for those who studied with them but also for the whole congregation. (2 Cor. 3:1-3) It is very good to see that in a four year period, on average, some 10,000,000 Bible studies have been reported every month worldwide. And during those same years, on average, over 280,000 got baptized each year as Jehovah’s Witnesses and new disciples of Jesus Christ. How can we help more of those millions of Bible students to get baptized? As long as Jehovah is patiently allowing people the time and opportunity to become Christ’s disciples, we want to do all we can to help them progress to baptism as quickly as possible. Time is fast running out!—1 Cor. 7:29a; 1 Pet. 4:7. w20.10 6 ¶1-2
God opposes the haughty ones, but he gives undeserved kindness to the humble ones.—Jas. 4:6.
King Saul did not obey Jehovah. And when the prophet Samuel confronted him about the matter, Saul did not acknowledge his mistake. Instead, he tried to justify his actions by minimizing the consequences of his disobedience and shifting the blame to others. (1 Sam. 15:13-24) Earlier, Saul had displayed a similar attitude. (1 Sam. 13:10-14) Sadly, he allowed his heart to become haughty. He did not correct his thinking, so Jehovah reproved him and rejected him. To learn from Saul’s example, we do well to ask ourselves these questions: ‘When I read counsel from God’s Word, do I tend to justify my thinking? Do I minimize the consequences of disobedience? Do I shift the blame for my actions to someone else?’ If our answer to any of those questions is yes, we must adjust our thinking and attitude. Otherwise, our heart can become so haughty that Jehovah will reject us as his friend. w20.11 20 ¶4-5
Remember . . . your Grand Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of distress come and the years arrive when you will say: “I have no pleasure in them.”—Eccl. 12:1.
Young ones, decide whom you will serve. You have to prove to yourself who Jehovah is, what his purpose involves, and how his will relates to your life. (Rom. 12:2) Then you will be able to make the most important decision of your life, the decision to serve Jehovah. (Josh. 24:15) If you keep a regular schedule of Bible reading and study, your love for Jehovah will continue to grow and your faith in him will become stronger. Choose to put Jehovah’s will first in your life. Satan’s world promises that if you use your talents for your own benefit, you will be happy. In truth, those who focus on material goals stab themselves “all over with many pains.” (1 Tim. 6:9, 10) On the other hand, if you listen to Jehovah and choose to put his will first in your life, you will be successful and “you will act wisely.”—Josh. 1:8. w20.10 30-31 ¶17-18
I must . . . declare the good news of the Kingdom of God . . . , because for this I was sent.—Luke 4:43.
In the first century, the message that Jesus preached offered hope to all mankind. He commanded his followers to continue the work he started, to give a witness “to the most distant part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) Of course, they could not do this work in their own strength. They would need holy spirit—“the helper” that Jesus had promised them. (John 14:26; Zech. 4:6) Jesus’ followers received the holy spirit at Pentecost 33 C.E. With the help of that spirit, they immediately began to preach, and in a short time, thousands accepted the good news. (Acts 2:41; 4:4) When opposition arose, the disciples did not give in to fear but turned to God for help. They prayed: “Grant to your slaves to keep speaking your word with all boldness.” They were then filled with holy spirit and kept “speaking the word of God with boldness.”—Acts 4:18-20, 29, 31. w20.10 21 ¶4-5
Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and . . . he was raised up.—1 Cor. 15:3, 4.
Why can we be certain that Jehovah brought Jesus back to life? There were many eyewitnesses who testified that Jesus had been raised. (1 Cor. 15:5-7) The first witness on the apostle Paul’s list was the apostle Peter (Cephas). A group of disciples confirmed that Peter saw the resurrected Jesus. (Luke 24:33, 34) In addition, “the Twelve,” the apostles, saw Jesus after he was raised. Then Christ “appeared to more than 500 brothers at one time,” perhaps at the joyous event in Galilee mentioned at Matthew 28:16-20. Jesus also “appeared to James,” likely Jesus’ half brother, who previously had not put faith in Jesus as the Messiah. (John 7:5) After seeing the resurrected Jesus, James was convinced. Significantly, about 55 C.E. when Paul wrote this letter, many eyewitnesses of the resurrection were alive, so any doubter could consult with living, credible witnesses. w20.12 3 ¶5, 7-8
Jehovah will sustain him on his sickbed.—Ps. 41:3.
When we are not feeling well and especially if we are dealing with a chronic illness, we may find it hard to think positively. So turn to Jehovah for support. While he does not cure us miraculously now, he does comfort us and can give us the strength we need so as to endure. (Ps. 94:19) For example, he may move fellow Christians to come to our aid when we need help with chores. He may move our brothers to pray with us. Or he may bring back to our mind comforting thoughts found in his Word, such as the wonderful hope of perfect life without sickness and pain in the coming new world. (Rom. 15:4) However, we may feel limited in what we can do in the ministry. A sister named Laurel was confined to an iron lung for 37 years! She endured cancer, major surgeries, and chronic skin disorders. But it did not silence her. She witnessed to nurses and attendants who came to her home and helped at least 17 people come to an accurate knowledge of the Bible! w20.12 24 ¶9; 25 ¶12
Jehovah is on my side; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?—Ps. 118:6.
The apostle Paul needed help. About 56 C.E., a crowd dragged him outside the temple in Jerusalem and tried to kill him. The next day, when Paul was brought before the Sanhedrin, he was almost torn apart by his enemies. (Acts 21:30-32; 22:30; 23:6-10) At that point, Paul may have wondered, ‘How much longer can I endure this treatment?’ What help did Paul receive? The night after Paul was arrested, “the Lord,” Jesus, stood by him and said: “Take courage! For just as you have been giving a thorough witness about me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness in Rome.” (Acts 23:11) What timely encouragement! Jesus commended Paul for the witness he had given in Jerusalem. And he promised that Paul would safely reach Rome, where he would give a further witness. After receiving that assurance, Paul must have felt as secure as a child nestled in his father’s arms. w20.11 12 ¶1, 3; 13 ¶4
We have this hope . . . , both sure and firm.—Heb. 6:19.
Our Kingdom hope serves “as an anchor for the soul,” giving us stability despite challenging circumstances or anxious thoughts. Meditate on Jehovah’s promise of a future in which negative thoughts will be gone. (Isa. 65:17) Picture yourself in the peaceful new world, where distressing situations will no longer exist. (Mic. 4:4) You will also strengthen your hope as you share it with others. Do all you can in the preaching and disciple-making work. If you do, you can “have the full assurance of the hope down to the end.” (Heb. 6:11) As this system of things comes to its end, we will experience more challenges that could produce anxious thoughts. We will be able to face those challenges and remain calm, not in our own strength, but through our trust in Jehovah. Let us show by our actions that we have faith in Jehovah’s promise: “Your strength will be in keeping calm and showing trust.”—Isa. 30:15. w21.01 7 ¶17-18
Jehovah is very tender in affection.—Jas. 5:11.
Note that James 5:11 links Jehovah’s tender affection to another quality that draws us to him—his mercy. (Ex. 34:6) One way in which Jehovah shows us mercy is by forgiving us for the mistakes we make. (Ps. 51:1) In the Bible, mercy involves much more than forgiveness. Mercy is an intense feeling that springs from inside a person when he or she sees someone in distress and is moved to try to help the person. Jehovah describes the intense desire he has to help us as being greater than the feelings that a mother has for her child. (Isa. 49:15) When we are in distress, Jehovah’s mercy moves him to help us. (Ps. 37:39; 1 Cor. 10:13) We can show mercy to our brothers and sisters by forgiving them and not holding a grudge when they disappoint us. (Eph. 4:32) But a primary way we can show mercy is by supporting our brothers and sisters through the hardships they face. Thus we imitate Jehovah, the supreme example of tender affection.—Eph. 5:1. w21.01 21 ¶5
Christ . . . [left] a model for you to follow his steps closely.—1 Pet. 2:21.
A family head needs to maintain the right balance. He should not become so involved in secular work to support his family that he fails to care properly for his family’s spiritual and emotional needs and provide them with training. Jehovah trains and disciplines us with our best interests in mind. (Heb. 12:7-9) Like his Father, Jesus trains those under his authority in a loving manner. (John 15:14, 15) He is firm but kind. (Matt. 20:24-28) He understands that we are imperfect and prone to make mistakes. (Matt. 26:41) A family head who imitates Jehovah and Jesus makes allowances for the imperfections of family members. He does not become “bitterly angry” with his wife or children. (Col. 3:19) Instead, he applies the principle recorded at Galatians 6:1 and tries to readjust them “in a spirit of mildness,” remembering that he too is imperfect. Like Jesus, he realizes that the best way to teach is by example. w21.02 6-7 ¶16-18
Every breathing thing—let it praise Jah.—Ps. 150:6.
By means of the ransom, Jehovah purchased the lives of each individual in the congregation and, potentially, of all humankind. (Mark 10:45; Acts 20:28; 1 Cor. 15:21, 22) So it is fitting that he appointed Jesus, who gave his life as a ransom, as head of the congregation. As our head, Jesus has the authority to make and to enforce rules that govern the conduct of individuals, of families, and of the entire congregation. (Gal. 6:2) But Jesus does more than just make rules. He feeds and cherishes each one of us. (Eph. 5:29) Sisters show that they respect Christ by following the direction given by the men he has appointed to take care of them. Brothers show that they understand the headship arrangement by respecting and honoring sisters. When all in the congregation understand and respect the principle of headship, the congregation enjoys peace. And more important, we bring praise to our loving heavenly Father, Jehovah. w21.02 18-19 ¶14-17
David inquired of Jehovah.—1 Sam. 30:8.
During the time when David and his men were fugitives, they had left their families to go on a mission. While the men were away, an enemy force raided their homes and took their families captive. David could have concluded that with all the experience he had as a warrior, he could surely devise an effective strategy for rescuing the captives. Instead, David looked to Jehovah for guidance. David inquired of Jehovah: “Should I chase after this marauder band?” Jehovah indicated that David should do so and assured him that he would be successful. (1 Sam. 30:7-10) What can you learn from this incident? Seek advice before you make decisions. Young ones, consult your parents. You can also get good advice by talking to experienced elders. Jehovah trusts these appointed men, and you can too. Jehovah views them as “gifts” to the congregation. (Eph. 4:8) You will benefit by imitating their faith and by listening to the wise suggestions they give. w21.03 4-5 ¶10-11
[Nothing] will be able to separate us from God’s love.—Rom. 8:38, 39.
Jesus said that if we do not apply what we learn, we are like a man who builds his house on sand. He works hard, but he is wasting his effort. Why? Because when a storm and flood hit his house, it will collapse. (Matt. 7:24-27) Similarly, if we do not apply what we learn, we will have wasted our effort. When our faith is tested by trials or persecution, it will not be strong enough. On the other hand, when we study and apply what we learn, we make better decisions, we gain more peace, and we develop stronger faith. (Isa. 48:17, 18) To maintain our integrity under trial, we need to rely on Jehovah in prayer and maintain a good study routine. And we must always remember that one of the most important things we can do is to bring glory to Jehovah. We can be certain that Jehovah will never abandon us and that there is nothing anyone can do to break his love for us.—Heb. 13:5, 6. w21.03 15 ¶6; 18 ¶20