Service Meeting: Week Starting December 29

Study information for Service Meeting

20 min: Progressively Teach “Good Things” to Bible Students and Believing Children. (Matt. 12:35a)

Discussion. Use the following scriptures to show what we should expect of Bible students and believing children: 1 Corinthians 13:11; 1 Peter 2:2, 3, footnote. Explain what it means to “taste” the “milk of the word” and how we can help our students and children to do this. Explain the principle at Mark 4:28. (See The Watchtower, December 15, 2014, p. 12, pars. 6-8.) Interview an experienced publisher or parent who can explain how he or she helped a Bible student or a child make spiritual progress.—Eph. 4:13-15; see the May 2014 Our Kingdom Ministry Question Box.

(Matt. 12:35) The good man out of his good treasure sends out good things, whereas the wicked man out of his wicked treasure sends out wicked things.
(1 Cor. 13:11) When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, to think as a child, to reason as a child; but now that I have become a man, I have done away with the traits of a child.
(1 Pet. 2:2, 3) As newborn infants, form a longing for the unadulterated milk of the word, so that by means of it you may grow to salvation, 3 provided you have tasted that the Lord is kind.
(Mark 4:28) On its own the ground bears fruit gradually, first the stalk, then the head, finally the full grain in the head.
(Eph. 4:13-15) until we all attain to the oneness of the faith and of the accurate knowledge of the Son of God, to being a full-grown man, attaining the measure of stature that belongs to the fullness of the Christ. 14 So we should no longer be children, tossed about as by waves and carried here and there by every wind of teaching by means of the trickery of men, by means of cunning in deceptive schemes. 15 But speaking the truth, let us by love grow up in all things into him who is the head, Christ.

***w14 12/15 pp. 12-13 Do You “Grasp the Meaning”?***

6. What should we acknowledge with regard to spiritual growth?
6 What can we learn from this illustration? First of all, we have to admit that we have no control over the spiritual growth of a Bible student. Modesty on our part will help us to avoid the temptation to pressure or force a student to get baptized. We do all we can to assist and support the person, but we humbly admit that ultimately the decision to make a dedication belongs to that person. Dedication is something that must spring from a willing heart motivated by love for God. Anything less would not be acceptable to Jehovah.—Ps. 51:12;54:6; 110:3.
7, 8. (a) What other lessons do we learn from Jesus’ illustration of the sower who sleeps? Give an example. (b) What does this teach us about Jehovah and Jesus?
7 Second, understanding the lesson behind this illustration will help us not to be discouraged if we do not at first see results from our work. We need to be patient. (Jas. 5:7, 8) Even though the seed does not bear fruit, if we have done our best to help the student, we realize that this outcome is not a sign of unfaithfulness on our part. Jehovah allows the seed of truth to flourish only in a humble heart that is willing to make changes. (Matt. 13:23) So we should not judge the effectiveness of our ministry merely by the results. In Jehovah’s eyes the success of our ministry is not determined by the response of those whom we teach. Rather, he treasures our faithful efforts regardless of the results.—Read Luke 10:17-20; 1 Corinthians 3:8.
8 Third, we do not always discern the changes that are taking place within a person. For example, a couple with whom a missionary had been studying approached him, asking to become unbaptized publishers. He reminded the couple that in order to qualify, they would have to stop smoking. Much to his surprise, they told him that they had quit several months before. Why did they quit? They had come to realize that Jehovah could see them smoking and that he hates hypocrisy. So their hearts motivated them to make a decision—either smoke in front of the missionary or stop altogether. Their newly developed love for Jehovah helped them to make the right decision. They had grown spiritually, even though the missionary had no idea of the change that had taken place.

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