Tuesday, August 18, 2009

daily text 08/18 + related Yearbook info

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009
"Make secret the words and seal up the book, until the time of the end. Many will rove about, and the true knowledge will become abundant." (Daniel 12:4)

We are now living in the time of the end, and true knowledge is indeed abundant. Worldwide, holy spirit has led lovers of truth to an accurate knowledge of the true God and his purposes. Bibles abound in the earth today, and so do publications that help people understand the precious truths that the Bible contains. Consider, for example, the table of contents in the study publication What Does the Bible Really Teach? Among its chapters are: "What Is the Truth About God?," "Where Are the Dead?," "What Is God's Kingdom?," and "Why Does God Allow Suffering?" Humans have pondered such questions for thousands of years. Now the answers are readily available. Even after centuries of ignorance and Christendom's apostate teaching, God's Word prevails, sustaining all who yearn to serve Jehovah.
(Watchtower issue: 11/01/07, 1:17, 18)

Sometimes it's easy to forget that there are still so many people out there who have never had the opportunity to learn what the Bible teaches, or to have their questions answered...so we don't want to be stingy like the 'mina-sitter' (as I like to refer to him) from Jesus' parable at Luke 19:11-26. Instead of increasing the wealth for his master which he was entrusted with, the wicked slave buried the silver mina he was given, and basically just 'sat on it' until his master returned. Having knowledge about the Kingdom and all the blessings it will bring, and then just keeping it to ourselves instead of sharing it with others, reminds me of that wicked slave. It's our duty and responsibility to share what we know and distribute that 'spiritual wealth' We don't want to just selfishly sit on that information like some who have Bible knowledge have done, especially in the past. (they called it 'The Dark Ages' for a reason, you know!)
Some of the stats mentioned in the 2009 Yearbook also show how there are still so many people wanting to learn Bible truth, who are able to tap into it electronically through the internet, which may be the only source they have available if they live in lands where education about the Bible is banned or restricted. Here's some exerpts and 2 cute experiences taken from pgs 7-9 of the 2009 Yearbook...

"Good News" On The Internet
An average of 60,000 people visit www.watchtower.org every day... Many do so to read the Bible. Each day more than 6,300 consult the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures online in any of ten languages. Favorite Bible books on the Web site are Psalms, Proverbs, and the Gospel accounts of Jesus' life ... An average of 94 persons a day submit the online form 'Would You Welcome A Visit?' (to request a Bible study) In January 2008, a new service was made available on the Web site www.jw.org -audio versions of certain publications that can be downloaded in 17 languages. Interest in this provision has been overwhelming, and over a million publications and individual articles are being downloaded every month! Many publishers listen to the magazine articles as they travel to work or school.

Experiences of Bryon and Denise

"I've always liked learning about the Bible," says Bryon, "but every time I went to church with friends, they only sang songs or played games." Bryon pursued his education and athletics. He studied five languages and earned a college scholarship, but nothing satisfied him spiritually. So he prayed to find the truth. "I was desperate for answers," Bryon relates. "I decided to look up Jehovah's Witnesses on the Internet because some Witness friends in school had told me that God's name is Jehovah. I logged onto the organization's Web site and began reading the brochure What Does God Require of Us? Finally, I had answers to my questions." Bryon requested a Bible study, made rapid progress, and dedicated his life to Jehovah in 2004. He now serves as a regular pioneer and hopes to use his language skills as a Bible-trained missionary.

Denise was one who had questions about the beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses, but she hesitated to go into the local Kingdom Hall. Instead, she decided to search the Internet and found www.watchtower.org The information there convinced Denise that she had found the truth, but she was reluctant to request a Bible study because she knew that she would need to make changes in her life to conform to Bible standards. Four times she filled out the electronic form 'Would You Welcome a Visit?' but each time she lacked the courage to click the Submit button. In March 2007, Denise filled out the form for a fifth time. This time she clicked the Submit button requesting a personal visit. Her request was referred to the local congregation, and the elders asked a sister, Vonnie, to call on Denise. Within the first week of Vonnie's visit, Denise began attending meetings at the Kingdom Hall. By the end of the summer, Denise had destroyed her religious paraphernalia, resigned from her former religion, and qualified to become an unbaptized publisher. Both she and her two sons made rapid progress, and her eight-year-old son enrolled in the Theocratic Ministry School. In January 2008, Denise was baptized, and two months later - exactly one year after filling out the online form - she qualified to serve as an auxiliary pioneer. "Without the Web site," says Denise, "I would not be relating this experience."