Do You Honor Jehovah With Your Valuable Things?
“Dear Brothers: How are you? I want to be a missionary when I grow up. Please use this dollar to help missionaries.” So wrote three-year-old Shelley. Her childish scrawl was interpreted at the bottom of the letter by her mother.
More informally, Stephen wrote: “Dear Bible and Tract Society. I’m 8 years old. I live at 89 St. I hope you are having a fun time. I’m giving you one dollar for the Kingdom Hall fund. Send me a letter back soon.”
WHY did these youngsters write to the Watchtower Society’s headquarters? Because they wanted to honor Jehovah by using what they had in furtherance of his praise. They were following the Biblical injunction: “Honor Jehovah with your valuable things and with the firstfruits of all your produce.”—Proverbs 3:9.
Certainly Jehovah is worthy of this honor. None can be compared to him. As Revelation 4:11 states: “You are worthy, Jehovah, even our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power, because you created all things, and because of your will they existed and were created.” Not only is it true that “by him we have life and move and exist,” but he has provided the very best for us. (Acts 17:28) As the Bible writer James reminds us, God is the Giver of “every good gift and every perfect present.”—James 1:17.
However, not all appreciate the need to praise and honor Jehovah. In fact, millions of people have not even learned his name! Many worship the things created “rather than the One who created.” (Romans 1:25) Sincere-hearted ones need to be enlightened. They need to know that Jehovah will soon swing into action. By means of the rulership of his Son, he will forever clear the earth of oppressors and their oppression, set things back in perfect balance, and restore Paradise and man’s ability to live forever in perfect health. (Daniel 2:44; Revelation 21:1, 3, 4) Indeed, the very lives of those seeking righteousness depend on their taking in and acting on such knowledge.—Zephaniah 2:3; John 17:3.
Willingness and Appreciation Needed
Would you also like to share in this life-saving work? Much is involved in spreading the “good news” of that Kingdom to “all the inhabited earth.” (Matthew 24:14) Willing workers have to be trained, equipped, and sent out to preach. How gratifying it is to see over 2,800,000 people now honoring Jehovah by preaching the Kingdom good news worldwide! Record numbers of these are doing so on a full-time basis, many even moving to areas where there is a greater need. Thousands of missionaries have already been sent to pioneer the preaching work in other lands, and more are continually being added to their ranks.
To oversee, maintain, and support all this activity requires a vast organization. New branch facilities and missionary homes around the globe have had to be built and expanded. Local places of worship—Kingdom Halls and Assembly Halls—are presently being constructed at an unprecedented rate. It is heartwarming to see how willingly Jehovah’s people have responded, showing a readiness to use their all in Jehovah’s service. (Psalm 110:3) But the foretold ‘speeding up’ of the ingathering work in these last days now calls for an intensified willingness to honor Jehovah with our valuable things. (Isaiah 60:22) What, then, is required of us?
Appreciation is one thing—appreciation for all that Jehovah has given us. Yes, our assets are actually gifts from Jehovah. “Indeed,” asks the apostle Paul, “what do you have that you did not receive?” (1 Corinthians 4:7) And for what purpose has God given them to us? So that we can use such gifts in honoring him!—1 Peter 4:10, 11.
These gifts include our physical, mental, spiritual, and material assets—yes, life itself. And how generous Jehovah has been to each one of us! What a fine example he has set in giving! Surely, having received so much of Jehovah’s bounty should move us to show appreciation for such provisions. Are we thus not moved to honor him with what we have?
Perhaps you feel limited in what you can do. After all, not everyone can serve as a missionary in a distant land or devote himself to some other feature of full-time service. Nor do most of us have the ability or means to go and assist on construction projects. Individual circumstances also limit those who can devote their lives to serve at branch offices where vital publications, such as this magazine, are printed. Yet each of us can experience the greater happiness that comes from giving. (Acts 20:35) And all of us can use our lives and speech in ways that please God and bring honor and praise to him.—Colossians 3:23.
How It Can Be Done
Though of tender years, Shelley and Stephen found a way. They realized that their contribution to the Watchtower Society would be used for the furtherance of the worldwide preaching work. And their donation, regardless of the amount, was certainly appreciated. Stephen received his letter of acknowledgment. So did little Shelley. It is not the amount but the motive that counts, for to be acceptable a gift must be completely voluntary. (2 Corinthians 9:7) Jehovah is pleased with our contributions, whether large or small, when they represent our whole-souled devotion to him.—Luke 21:1-4.
Appreciation, then, is followed up with action. Have we taken stock of what valuable things we have that may be used for honoring God? Our lives, with whatever vigor and strength we have, are certainly precious and not to be wasted on vain pursuits. Do we spend as much time as we can in developing and strengthening a close, personal relationship with Jehovah? Do we honor him by proclaiming his name and message with our lips? (Hebrews 13:15, 16) Young children are also a precious possession given by Jehovah. (Psalm 127:3) Do we encourage them toward dedicating their life in service to God?
Then there are our literal gold, silver, and other monetary assets. Contributions of such a nature support our local congregations, including the maintenance of the Kingdom Halls and Assembly Halls that serve as centers of Bible instruction and preaching activities in our communities. When sent to the Watchtower Society’s headquarters or branch office in a particular country, these contributions help advance the worldwide Kingdom-preaching work. Such gifts can be earmarked for use in whatever avenue we wish. Young Shelley, with her goal of missionary service in mind, wanted to help missionaries. Stephen, hearing of the great need for hundreds of additional Kingdom Halls and the tremendous expense involved, wanted his donation added to the Society Kingdom Hall Fund. Others contribute toward special needs, such as providing relief in times of disaster.
Oftentimes, though, individuals prefer to let the branch office determine how the money will be spent, since those brothers know which need is the most pressing. One contributor wrote: “Please find enclosed check for the Society to use as they see fit in furthering the preaching work. We’re very happy to see the fine increase due to the efforts of all of Jehovah’s people with Jehovah’s blessing on the work.” Another letter said: “Recently, upon retirement, I was the recipient of a lump-sum distribution from the company I had worked for. It is the sincere desire of both my wife and myself that some of this money be put to use in furthering the Kingdom proclamation. So please find the enclosed check offered on behalf of us and our children. May Jehovah bless you as you determine how this money may best be used.”
Jehovah is pleased to see such willingness to honor him with our valuable things. He continues with the promise: “Then your stores of supply will be filled with plenty; and with new wine your own press vats will overflow.” As in ancient Israel, so today Jehovah abundantly rewards such a generous spirit. The use of one’s valuable things in honoring him does not mean depletion of them but their being increased due to Jehovah’s blessing on the giver!—Proverbs 3:9, 10.
What a privilege we have to be able to honor Jehovah and stand out as different “among a crooked and twisted generation”! And what a privilege is ours to be able to share in the Kingdom proclamation, the work he has assigned to be done before this wicked system of things ends. (Philippians 2:15; Matthew 24:14; 28:19, 20) Soon the inspired vision will be fulfilled when “every creature,” no matter where, will everlastingly ascribe honor, glory, and might to Jehovah. (Revelation 5:13; 7:12) By all means, let us even now honor Jehovah with our valuable things.
[Box on page 22]
“Just How Is Your Work Financed?”
Many ask this question. They are surprised when Witnesses calling at their door do not solicit funds. Others are likewise amazed when, attending a Witness assembly or visiting a Kingdom Hall for the first time, they find that no collection is ever taken. How, then, is the witness work financed? The answer: through voluntary contributions from those who want to honor Jehovah with their valuable things. Following are some ways this is accomplished.
Gifts: Donations of money may be sent directly to the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, 25 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, New York 11201, or in other countries to the Society’s branch office located there. A brief letter stating that such is a donation should accompany these contributions. Property can also be donated.
Conditional Donation Arrangement: Money, stocks, bonds, and property can be given to the Society with the provision that, in cases of personal need, returns may be made to the donor. This method avoids the expense and uncertainties of probate of will, while ensuring that the Society receives the property in event of death.
Insurance: The Watch Tower Society may be named as the beneficiary of an insurance policy and should be thus informed. Likewise, bank savings accounts can also be placed in trust for the Society.
Wills: Property or money may be bequeathed to the Watch Tower Society by means of a legally executed will. A copy should be sent to the Society.
Further information or advice can be obtained by writing to the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, Office of the Secretary and Treasurer, 25 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, New York 11201 or to any local branch office.