When you received God’s word, . . . you accepted it . . . just as it truthfully is, as the word of God.—1 Thess. 2:13.
Jehovah’s servants highly esteem God’s own holy book, the Bible. Being imperfect, we all receive Scriptural counsel at times. How will we respond to it? Consider the first-century Christians Euodia and Syntyche. Serious problems arose between these anointed women. The problems that existed between Euodia and Syntyche could have disrupted the peace of the whole congregation. The Bible does not tell us the outcome, but these sisters may have responded well to the apostle Paul’s loving counsel. (Phil. 4:2, 3) Similar situations sometimes cause difficulties in congregations of Jehovah’s people today. However, such problems can be solved or even avoided if we apply the counsel found in God’s Word, the Bible. And if we highly esteem Jehovah’s own Book, we will live by its instructions.—Ps. 27:11. w16.11 3:1-3
If you become discouraged in the day of distress, your strength will be meager.—Prov. 24:10.
All of us need encouragement. That is especially true when we are growing up. “Children . . . need encouragement like plants need water,” explains educator Timothy Evans. “With encouragement, a child feels worthwhile and appreciated.” But we live in critical times. People are selfish, there is little natural affection, and encouragement is scarce. (2 Tim. 3:1-5) Satan the Devil wants to discourage us because he knows that discouragement can make us weak spiritually and in other ways. Satan used a combination of calamities and accusations in an effort to discourage righteous Job, but that cruel scheme failed. (Job 2:3; 22:3; 27:5) We can fight the works of the Devil by encouraging members of our family and of the congregation. This will help to make our home and the Kingdom Hall places where we feel happy and secure. w16.11 1:4, 6
[God] called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.—1 Pet. 2:9.
A few courageous men at the dawn of the 16th century began to translate God’s Word into the languages spoken by the common people. And as the Bible became available, people did read it. As they read, they asked questions: ‘Where in God’s Word is there mention of purgatory? of paid masses for the dead? of popes and cardinals?’ From the point of view of the church, this was an outrage. How dare the multitudes question church leaders! The church fought back. Men and women were condemned for heresy because they rejected teachings of the church. The church handed down the death sentence; the State carried it out. The goal was to discourage people from reading the Bible and questioning the church. For the most part, the scheme worked. Nevertheless, a few brave souls refused to be cowed by Babylon the Great. They had now had a taste of God’s Word—and they wanted more! w16.11 4:13