Kingdom Proclaimers Report
The Transforming Power of God’s Word
BY HIS own admission, he used to be “a blasphemer and a persecutor and an insolent man.” (1 Timothy 1:13) But he changed! The apostle Paul’s transformation was so great that he was later able to declare: “Become imitators of me, even as I am of Christ.”—1 Corinthians 11:1.
Today, hundreds of thousands of sincere worshipers all over the world are making similar changes. What enables them to do so? They are taking in knowledge of God’s Word and are applying it to their lives. The following experience highlights the transforming power of God’s Word.
In Slovenia an older couple lived alone outside a village. The husband, Jože, was about 60 years of age and had a severe problem with alcoholism. Still, he took care of his sick wife, Ljudmila. One day Jože was approached by two Kingdom proclaimers. He invited the Witnesses into his home, where they met his wife. Upon hearing the Kingdom message, tears of joy streamed down Ljudmila’s face. Jože too enjoyed what he heard and asked many questions. After placing some Bible literature with the couple, the Witnesses left.
One month later the Witnesses were able to return, and they noticed the book You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth sitting on the table. When asked where he got it from, Jože said: “I saw an advertisement on the back page of one of the magazines that you left with me. So I wrote your office in Zagreb and requested the book.” In view of his interest, he was invited to attend the upcoming Memorial of Christ’s death that was to be held at the Kingdom Hall. To the Witnesses’ joy, he showed up!
Soon a Bible study was started, and good progress was made. For example, when Jože was shown from the Bible that “you must not make for yourself a carved image or . . . bow down to them nor be induced to serve them,” he promptly gathered up all the religious images that were in the house, including pictures, and threw them away.—Exodus 20:4, 5.
Jože’s thirst for spiritual truth was being satisfied. Unfortunately, though, he still had another thirst. For some 18 years, he had consumed about seven quarts [7 L.] of wine each day. Because of his drinking problem, he did not pay much attention to his personal appearance. But after learning God’s view of the misuse of alcohol, he was determined to change.
He endeavored to overcome his drinking problem gradually, keeping track of how much he was drinking on a daily basis. Soon he was no longer enslaved to wine. In the course of his Bible studies, he also learned that true Christians are required to maintain good personal hygiene. Hence, he gave money to the Witnesses and said: “Well, go and buy whatever clothing items I need to be presentable at Christian meetings and in field service!” The Witnesses returned with underwear, socks, shoes, shirts, suits, ties, and a briefcase.
After studying the Bible for one year, Jože and Ljudmila qualified to accompany the Witnesses in the house-to-house preaching work. Three months later they symbolized their dedication to God by water baptism at a district convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Despite old age and poor health, Jože shared regularly in preaching the good news and later, until his death in May of 1995, faithfully served as a ministerial servant in the congregation. The positive fruitage produced in the lives of this humble man and his wife gives testimony to the transforming power of God’s Word!