Be Industrious—Inherit the Promises
1 Our study of the Scriptures has revealed to us the many wonderful promises Jehovah has made. But who will inherit these? The apostle Paul, writing the Hebrews, answers: “God is not unrighteous so as to forget your work and the love you showed for his name, in that you have ministered to the holy ones and continue ministering. But we desire each one of you to show the same industriousness so as to have the full assurance of the hope down to the end, in order that you may not become sluggish, but be imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” (Heb. 6:10-12) Jehovah is the Great Worker and he appreciates work done by us. So Paul reminds us that Jehovah will not forget our work, if it is the right kind of work. There must be industriousness, which means to be steadily and perseveringly active and diligent. If we have been in Jehovah’s work in the past, this is good, but our determination is to continue showing this same industriousness down to the end, because the reward is indeed great.
2 Now we are in the midst of the Watchtower subscription campaign. It is a time when we put forth an extraordinary effort to get new subscriptions. We can do much good by getting subscriptions from people in all walks of life. By now we have probably offered subscriptions to the interested persons we have met during the past year or those with whom we conduct studies. Perhaps through some of them we may get referrals and have opportunities to place subscriptions with people they know. However, such contacts may be limited in number.
3 Obviously, therefore, the best place for us to get our new subscriptions now would be by going from door to door and offering the subscriptions with enthusiasm. It is easy to be enthusiastic about the information in the Watchtower magazine. It always tells many good things and reveals good news about Jehovah’s wonderful promises. And Awake! appeals to many kinds of people because of its great variety of very interesting information. We really have something available for everyone. Therefore we are equipped to succeed in our work, and we should learn to use our tools effectively.
4 An important step in equipping ourselves is to know what the magazines contain. So if we make it a point that as soon as possible after we receive our magazine we read through it, and as we do so we mark some outstanding points that we believe would appeal to people in our neighborhood, we will be in a good position to present the subscription offer in an interesting and convincing way. As we have become skillful in our work we have learned that we must present the offer if we are going to succeed in placing it. The magazines will have greater appeal to householders if we draw attention to at least one main point in an article.
5 Many of us are not now subscribers ourselves but are getting our magazines at the magazine counter in the Kingdom Hall. But this should not make us think that subscriptions are unimportant. We are able to get to the Kingdom Hall regularly so we do not miss any copy of the magazine. But people whom we meet in our field service are not in that position. We are such busy people that perhaps we will not be able to go back and deliver each magazine regularly throughout the year, and especially so during winter’s stormy days. So, since the magazines contain information that is vital to the people, the best arrangement for them is to be subscribers and get every issue throughout the year by mail, because they need the truth to help them to gain everlasting life.
6 While we are on this subject, it is good to mention that if there are any publishers who do not get to the Kingdom Hall regularly because of living far away or because of infirmity, it would be good for all of those to have their own personal subscription. Thus they will always have the spiritual food coming to their home and will not have to wait for weeks sometimes before getting their spiritual nourishment at the Kingdom Hall.
7 Satisfaction comes from being thorough in our work. Our objective in this campaign is to help people through placing the subscription. However, we have learned from practical experience that, because of many differing circumstances, not everyone will subscribe. What then? The next step could be to offer one of the small pocket-size books along with two magazines for a contribution of 35 cents. The small books do not weigh much, so it would be good to have a few copies available to offer when a subscription cannot be taken. Also, we many offer individual magazines.
8 Another step in our industriousness would be making a record of the placement made and, wherever subscriptions cannot be obtained but some interest has been shown, an extra effort can be made to return and build up a magazine route, placing the magazine issues regularly. Eventually some on our route may become subscribers.
9 Some weeks have passed since the start of the Watchtower campaign, and during that time we have been able to contact many people. Some show interest to a degree, while a few manifest much interest. Did you get any subscriptions during January? Have you called back on those new subscribers yet? It is wise, once we have kindled the fire of interest, to return before too much time passes and add fuel so there will be a larger flame of interest. Our diligence moves us to want to help the new ones to appreciate the spiritual benefits they have. We know that often people require aid to understand articles on prophecy and the deeper things that appear in The Watchtower, and that is where we have to be on the job. To prevent their losing interest in the magazines because of being unable to understand everything, our presence at their home is vital. If we talk to them about the magazines they are getting, they may bring up points they wish clarified.
10 Some, we may find, will not have taken the magazine out of the wrapper yet. A good way to benefit them is to talk about an interesting point you learned through reading the latest issue and inquire if they received their copy. This will be doing a good service to them to get them started on reading, for we know that unopened magazines do not benefit the people.
11 Winter has its bad weather, with some problems in getting about in the territory, but these same travel problems affect the people who have shown interest and often cause them to spend more time at home. So winter has its advantages too. Farm people may have more time to read and it may be the best season of the year for you to begin Bible studies. If they will study the Truth book with us it will aid them better to understand the Watchtower articles. Do not miss out on the advantages of wintertime for Bible study work. In very good weather, too, it will be easier for you to be busy in the service if you have Bible studies.
12 Many are the benefits coming from industriousness. For those we meet in the field ministry, there is the opportunity of gaining everlasting life. For us who are diligent, there is the assurance that God does not forget our work, that it is not in vain but that we will inherit the promises.—1 Cor. 15:58.
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Do not beg off from industriousness down to the end.
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Know the contents of each magazine.