Ezra had prepared his heart to consult the Law of Jehovah . . . and to teach its regulations.—Ezra 7:10.
If you are invited to sit in on a Bible study, it would be good if you could prepare the material that will be discussed. Dorin, a special pioneer, says: “I appreciate it when my companion prepares for the study. Then he can participate in a meaningful way.” Additionally, the student will likely notice that both of you are well-prepared, and this will set a good example for him. Even if you are not able to prepare the material thoroughly, at least take some time to get the key points of the lesson in mind. Prayer is an important part of a Bible study session, so think in advance about what to say if you are asked to offer a prayer. Then your prayer will likely be more meaningful. (Ps. 141:2) Hanae, who lives in Japan, remembers the prayers offered by a sister who accompanied her Bible teacher. She says: “I felt her strong friendship with Jehovah, and I wanted to be like her. I also felt loved when she included my name in her prayers.” w21.03 9-10 ¶7-8
Take courage! . . . You must also bear witness in Rome.—Acts 23:11.
Jesus assured the apostle Paul that he would reach Rome. However, some Jews in Jerusalem planned to ambush Paul and kill him. When the Roman military commander Claudius Lysias learned about the plan, he came to Paul’s rescue. Quickly, Claudius sent Paul—protected by many soldiers—to Caesarea. There, Governor Felix ordered that Paul “be kept under guard in Herod’s palace.” Paul was out of the reach of the would-be murderers. (Acts 23:12-35) But Felix was succeeded as governor by Festus, who wanted “to gain favor with the Jews.” He asked Paul: “Do you wish to go up to Jerusalem and be judged before me there?” Paul knew that he would probably be killed in Jerusalem. He said: “I appeal to Caesar!” Festus told Paul: “To Caesar you have appealed; to Caesar you will go.” In time, Paul would be in Rome—far out of the reach of the Jews who were seeking to kill him.—Acts 25:6-12. w20.11 13 ¶4; 14 ¶8-10
Our hearts may condemn us.—1 John 3:20.
Feelings of guilt are not unusual. For example, some feel guilty because of things they did before they learned the truth. Others feel guilty because of mistakes they made after baptism. (Rom. 3:23) Of course, we want to do what is right. But “we all stumble many times.” (Jas. 3:2; Rom. 7:21-23) Although we do not enjoy feeling guilty, it can do us some good. Why? Because feelings of guilt can move us to correct our course and to be determined not to repeat our mistakes. (Heb. 12:12, 13) On the other hand, it is possible to feel excessive guilt—that is, to continue to feel guilty even after we have repented and Jehovah has shown that he has forgiven us. That type of guilt can be harmful. (Ps. 31:10; 38:3, 4) It is vital that we guard against the trap of excessive guilt. After all, just think how happy it would make Satan if we were to give up on ourselves—even though Jehovah has not given up on us!—Compare 2 Corinthians 2:5-7, 11. w20.11 27 ¶12-13