This after-the-monsoon sky was taken by Captain B the Great yesterday afternoon. It was an afternoon of lovely light and violent showers of rain, plus a rainbow which I didn't see. I was out with a young pioneer sister in the afternoon - we did some return visits, until we were rained back to our car. And then it was my talk at the Hall last night. I was very very nervous and did not deliver it well, but at least it got done. Anyway, here it is below.
The setting was: Encouraging a Bible student to attend meetings
And the brief was:How are we assured of God’s love for us at Romans 8:26,27?
I was to work on Gestures - and I did remember to add a few wooden herky-jerky gestures as I went through it.
Sue. Its been lovely to conduct the study with you L. as always. Is the same time next week fine?
L. Yes. I’ll look forward to it. What an amazing book the Bible is. I just hope I didn’t ask you too many questions!
Sue. Not at all. Its encouraging to see you are thinking about it. Jehovah asks us to love him with all our mind, as well as with all our heart, so you need to make sure of everything. But I do want to mention our meetings again. If you would come to the Kingdom Hall - maybe just come to the public talk this Sunday for example - you would get so many of your questions answered. All our meetings are teaching meetings – there is no ritual involved.
L. I don’t think I’m ready for that. I’ve got real problems with the idea of ever joining an organised religious group again. I don’t mind studying the Bible with you – in fact I love doing it - but that’s as far as I want to go.
Sue. Were you bought up in a religion?
L. Yes, but its not something I want to talk about.
Sue. Fair enough, if you don’t want to talk about, I respect that. But I can’t help wondering if you have thought to talk to Jehovah about it? You do know how to pray to him now.
L. No, I wouldn’t do that. I don’t know if I can even explain it to myself, let alone to God.
Sue. Then before I go, may I ask you read these verses – Romans 8:26,27?
L. (Reads Romans 8:26,27) "In like manner the spirit also joins in with help for our weakness; for the [problem of] what we should pray for as we need to we do not know, but the spirit itself pleads for us with groanings unuttered. Yet he who searches the hearts knows what the meaning of the spirit is, because it is pleading in accord with God for holy ones."
Sue. Do you see that God’s spirit will plead for us with groanings unuttered – things that we perhaps don’t know how to say, or don’t even know we need to say. Jehovah loves us and wants to help us.
L. But how can I be sure of it?
Sue. Think of the Bible itself as a perfect example of the power of Jehovah’s spirit to help us. Lets look again at the claim it makes. (Reads 2 Timothy 3:16,17) "All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness, that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work." So this book that can make us fully competent and completely equipped for every good work has been inspired by God’s spirit and protected and preserved by that spirit down to this day. Now why would Jehovah have done that?
L. Because he wants us to know Him?
Sue. Yes, exactly. And because Jehovah wants to get us safely back to him. He doesn’t want anyone to be lost. He will guide and help us every step of the way, if we let him. As he said to the Israelites centuries ago at Isaiah 48:17,18 – please just read these words Louise. They are as true now as they were then.
L. (Reads Isaiah 48:17,18) " This is what Jehovah has said, your Repurchaser, the Holy One of Israel: “I, Jehovah, am your God, the One teaching you to benefit [yourself], the One causing you to tread in the way in which you should walk. O if only you would actually pay attention to my commandments! Then your peace would become just like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea."
Sue. Jehovah is the one teaching us to benefit ourselves. He wants us to listen to him, so he can get us safely back to him. And he will help us. So pour your heart out to him as best you can – ask for his help with the difficulties that you have. And next week I’ll bring you details of the next public talks, just in case you feel able to come along to one.
At which point I tottered gratefully off the stage and was able to enjoy the rest of the meeting, and the Elder taking the Ministry School was (of course) very kind about my efforts.
Went to doctors for blood pressure things this morning and then on to Audrey's for a cup of tea.