Yielding

A yield or give way sign indicates that each driver must prepare to stop if necessary to let a driver on another car proceed. A driver who stops or slows down to let another vehicle through has yielded the right of way to that vehicle. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yield_sign)

In the congregation we have a road of personalities that sometimes might bring some friends on a collision course if they don’t stop. Have we prepared our hearts to be willing to yield to others? (Matt. 5:39)




Youths

Some young ones love to watch sci-fi movies, especially those where time travel is part of the storyline. Do you? Can you imagine if you would have the chance to travel 10 years from now when you are an adult... what would you see yourself doing? While you were traveling, did you see Armageddon happening? Don’t tell us the date! But after Armageddon, did you see yourself in the new world? Or by some reason, you didn’t find yourself there? You see, we don’t need to travel in time to know what’s going to happen in the future. The Bible already told us what will be the finale of this world. But the reality is: what you do now will determine your future. Realizing that truth can help our youth have the wisdom to make good decisions.

Try to visualize the prettiest girl (or handsome boy) in school. We know all schools have one. Everybody gets enchanted in the presence of that much grace and appeal. Now, imagine that you get to know a devastating truth: her good looks are all fake. Her beautiful hair is a wig. She is actually bald. Her big blue eyes are fat fake contacts. Her eyelashes are fake, her nails are fake, even her slim waist is all wrapped up on a belly girdle! Who knows what happens when she takes it off! Bummer. Wouldn’t you say she is a fraud and fake and a big loser? In a sense, the world is similar to that pretty girl. It looks so attractive and inviting and cool. But it is all fake. Underneath its glimmering charm lies the ugly enemy of Jehovah, and he wants you to bite his bait. Don’t. Be wise and don’t get fooled by what this old world offers. Trust in Jehovah, and you will see and taste what real life truly is.

Experience of a young brother that benefited from godly wisdom: This brother was a very good high school student, with many college offers. The school counselor put a lot of pressure on him to pursue admission in a prestigious college. The brother told him of his final decision of just studying something short because his goal was to be a full-time preacher. The counselor, in his disappointment, said (paraphrase) 'that's the bad thing about you Jehovah's Witnesses. You are smart students, very mature, and well behaved. But you are so conformist. Your religion is very shortsighted. You should open your eyes to the world of opportunities that is unfolding before you'. The brother replied (paraphrase): 'Actually, I think this situation is quite the opposite. My aspirations are to live in a world free from wars, hunger, and death. I aspire to be part of a government that will solve all problems, and to live forever. What you offer has none of that. With all due respect, Mr. Counselor, I'm not the conformist here, you are.' After that, the counselor wished to dig a hole and bury himself. This teenager was wise enough to give this answer. He saw things from Jehovah's elevated perspective. Now the questions for you young ones are: can you do that? Are you wise enough to see matters from Jehovah's vantage point?

Full-time service is not required to please Jehovah. But there are clear advantages to it. We can take Abram and Lot as an example to illustrate it.

After they separated their camps, Lot placed his tent near Sodom. According to Genesis 13, at that time Lot had many herdsmen and livestock, which was the cause of the quarreling in the first place. (Gen. 13:5-12) In chapter 19 we see Lot not living in tents anymore, but having a house inside Sodom, where he showed hospitality to the angels. At this point in time, there is no mention of his livestock or herdsmen. In verse 9, he's called a 'lone foreigner' and even the angels asked him if he had someone else in the city. He only calls on his sons-in-law. What happened to his livestock and herdsmen? Did Lot decide to expand his business, buy a house, and have a normal life in the city? The Bible doesn't say. In the end, he lost everything, even his wife when she looked back, maybe missing material things. The last time we see Lot, he is living in a cave with his daughters. Lot didn't become like the Sodomites, he was righteous and he hated the world he lived in. (2 Pet. 2:8) He certainly had Jehovah's approval. He hated the world, but did he start to love the things in the world? (1 John 2:15) If that was the case, it took a great toll on him and his family.

How different it was for Abraham and his family! He enjoyed many wonderful blessing by choosing to stay far from Canaan, even if that meant to be self-sacrificing and keep living in tents. He was far away from the world and worldly things.

This example is not new spiritual light, but it serves as an illustration for all dedicated Christians today. We may have the chance of choosing what we are going to do with our lives, either when we are in our youth or even after retirement. We may reason that full-time service is not a requirement for salvation, so we decide we will go work full-time, have a bigger house, and have a normal life and enjoy it. Jehovah may not necessarily reject us. But what will be the price in the end? If we lose our job or the economy crashes—again!— will we end up losing the normal life we fought so hard to build up? Will we end up losing our family to the world as collateral damage? What spiritual blessings will we miss? Those are certainly pivotal matters we need to factor in. The principle applies: All things are lawful, but not all things are advantageous. All things are lawful, but not all things build up. (1 Corinthians 10:23)

Imagine you have your first bank account and your first credit card. The more responsible you are making the payments on time, the better your credit will be. If we would ask your parents to evaluate your conduct and reliability in terms of having good or bad credit, what would they say? It’s always good to keep a good credit with Dad and Mom… the better it is, the more you will get!

If young Jesus would be in a congregation today, how will he be serving? If he were one of our youth, he would probably be serving as a regular pioneer and ministerial servant from a very young age, then as an elder. Young ones, are you doing your very best to imitate Jesus in this regard?




Zeal

Scriptural Jealousy (Zeal) comes from a Greek word meaning to burn. Is this good or bad? Well, the answer is: it depends. If it's a cold winter's day, and you come home and there's a roaring fire in the fireplace, then that is very, very good. But if you come home, winter or summer, and find your house burning to the ground, that is not good news at all. It's the same with jealousy. It can be good or bad, depending upon the circumstances. Let's display a real burning jealousy for Jehovah and his service, which can fire us up to greater activity, and avoid the destructive jealousy that will eventually leave us out in the cold, without the shelter of our Christian brotherhood.

Zeal comes from a word that means 'burn' or 'boil.' The boiling point of water is 212˚F, when it produces steam. Steam was the motor that ignited the industrial revolution: steam engines, steam trains, steamships. Gradually that took society into the next revolution. The Internet unleashed the information revolution, and from there to the next revolution, the AI revolution (artificial intelligence). Your amazing smartphones and tablets are part of that. And it all started with boiling water, or 'zeal.' If we harness the power of a zealous spirit, it can ignite a revolution in our lives. One privilege will take to the next level and the next, unleashing an exciting career of service with Jehovah's Organization.

A Pigeon, oppressed by excessive thirst, saw a goblet of water painted on a signboard. Not supposing it to be only a picture, she flew towards it with a loud whir and unwittingly dashed against the signboard, jarring herself terribly. Having broken her wings by the blow, she fell to the ground, and was caught by one of the bystanders. Zeal should not outrun discretion.