Above all the things that you guard, safeguard your heart.—Prov. 4:23.
Against what hardening traits must we be on guard? They include inordinate pride, the practice of sin, and a lack of faith. These could foster a disobedient, rebellious spirit. (Dan. 5:1, 20; Heb. 3:13, 18, 19) King Uzziah of Judah certainly displayed pride. (2 Chron. 26:3-5, 16-21) At first, Uzziah did “what was right in Jehovah’s eyes,” and “he kept searching for God.” But “as soon as he was strong, his heart became haughty,” even though his strength was from God! He even attempted to burn incense at the temple—a privilege reserved for the Aaronic priests. Then, when the priests confronted him, proud Uzziah became enraged! The result? He had a humiliating “crash” at God’s hands and died a leper. (Prov. 16:18) If we failed to guard against pride, we too could begin “to think more of [ourselves] than it is necessary to think,” perhaps even to the point of resisting Scriptural counsel.—Rom. 12:3; Prov. 29:1. w16.06 2:3, 4
Song 14 and Prayer
Opening Comments (3 min. or less)
TREASURES FROM GOD’S WORD
“The Kingdom of the Heavens Has Drawn Near”: (10 min.)
[Play the video Introduction to Matthew.]
Mt 3:1, 2—John the Baptist proclaimed that the future Ruler of the heavenly Kingdom would soon appear (“preaching,” “Kingdom,” “Kingdom of the heavens,” “has drawn near” study notes on Mt 3:1, 2, nwtsty)
Digging for Spiritual Gems: (8 min.)
What has this week’s Bible reading taught you about Jehovah?
What other spiritual gems have you discovered in this week’s Bible reading?
Bible Reading: (4 min. or less) Mt 1:1-17
APPLY YOURSELF TO THE FIELD MINISTRY
LIVING AS CHRISTIANS
Annual Service Report: (15 min.) Talk by an elder. After reading the letter from the branch office regarding the annual service report, interview publishers, selected in advance, who had outstanding experiences in the ministry during the past year.
Congregation Bible Study: (30 min.) jy chap. 2
Review Followed by Preview of Next Week (3 min.)
Song 137 and Prayer