Consider closely the one who has endured such hostile speech from sinners.—Heb. 12:3.
After describing various men and women of faith, Paul highlighted the most outstanding example of all—our Lord Jesus Christ. “For the joy that was set before him,” states Hebrews 12:2, “he endured a torture stake, despising shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Indeed, we should “consider closely” Jesus’ example of faith in the face of the severest of trials. Like Jesus, early Christian martyrs, such as the disciple Antipas, refused to compromise their integrity. (Rev. 2:13) They would have the reward of a resurrection to heavenly life—surpassing the “better resurrection” that ancient men of faith looked forward to. (Heb. 11:35) Sometime after the Kingdom’s birth in 1914, all such faithful anointed ones, who were sleeping in death, were raised to spirit life in heaven to share with Jesus in his rulership over mankind.—Rev. 20:4. w16.10 3:12
Keep on encouraging one another each day.—Heb. 3:13.
Some parents do not commend their children because their own parents never gave them any encouragement. Many employees are not being commended, so they complain that there is a chronic shortage of encouragement in the workplace. Encouragement often involves commending a person for something he or she did well. We can also be encouraging by reassuring others that they have good qualities or by speaking “consolingly to those who are discouraged.” (1 Thess. 5:14, ftn.) The Greek word usually translated “encouragement” literally means “a calling to one’s side.” As we serve alongside our brothers and sisters, we likely have opportunities to say something encouraging. (Eccl. 4:9, 10) Do we use suitable occasions to let others know why we love and appreciate them? Before answering that question, we would do well to think about this proverb: “A word spoken at the right time—how good it is!”—Prov. 15:23. w16.11 1:3-5
Look! How good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!—Ps. 133:1.
Foretelling the future condition of his people, God declared: “In unity I will place them, like sheep in the pen.” (Mic. 2:12) Moreover, Jehovah foretold through the prophet Zephaniah: “I will change the language of the peoples to a pure language [of Scriptural truth], so that all of them may call on the name of Jehovah, to serve him shoulder to shoulder [or, “worship him in unity,” ftn.].” (Zeph. 3:9) How grateful we are to have the privilege of worshipping Jehovah in unity! It is clear that the inspired counsel in God’s own Book helped first-century Christians in Corinth and elsewhere to maintain cleanness, peace, and unity in their congregations. (1 Cor. 1:10; Eph. 4:11-13, ftn.; 1 Pet. 3:8) Today, knowledge of God’s wonderful purposes is being spread throughout the earth as a result of the efforts of those who are part of one united preaching organization. w16.11 2:16, 18