GrumpysWife

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About GrumpysWife

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  1. Saturday, February 25 [Ahaz] burned up his sons in the fire.—2 Chron. 28:3. Ahaz’s son Hezekiah might easily have grown up to be a bitter, angry man who turned against God. Others who have endured far less have become “enraged against Jehovah” or embittered toward his organization. (Prov. 19:3) And some people are convinced that their unwholesome family background dooms them to lead a bad life, perhaps to repeat their parents’ mistakes. (Ezek. 18:2, 3) Are such notions correct? Hezekiah’s life record gives us a resounding answer: Absolutely not! There is never a valid reason to become embittered against Jehovah, for he is not the source of the evils that befall people in this wicked world. (Job 34:10) True, parents can exert a strong influence on their children for good or for bad. (Prov. 22:6; Col. 3:21) But this does not mean that a person’s family background determines his course in life. On the contrary, Jehovah has given all of us a precious gift—the ability to choose what we will do and who we will be.—Deut. 30:19. w16.02 2:8-10
  2. Friday, February 24 [My word] will have sure success in what I send it to do.—Isa. 55:11. Think about how the preaching of the good news fits in with Jehovah’s loving purpose for humankind. He purposed that humans would inhabit the earth without ever dying; though Adam sinned, Jehovah did not change His mind. Instead, he arranged for humans to be delivered from condemnation to sin and death. Working along with that purpose, Jesus came to earth and sacrificed his life for obedient humans. In order to become obedient, however, they had to understand what God required of them. So Jesus also taught people what God’s requirements are, and he commanded his disciples to do the same. By helping others to become reconciled to God, we share directly in his loving arrangement to rescue mankind from sin and death. This also demonstrates our love both for our fellow man and for Jehovah, “whose will is that all sorts of people should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.”—1 Tim. 2:4. w16.01 5:15, 16
  3. Thursday, February 23 I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; those too I must bring in, . . . and they will become one flock, one shepherd.—John 10:16. Do those of the other sheep need to know the names of all those who are anointed today? The short answer is no. Why not? Because even if someone has received the heavenly calling, that person has received only an invitation, not a final confirmation of the reward. That is why Satan raises up “false prophets . . . to mislead, if possible, even the chosen ones.” (Matt. 24:24) No one can know whether an anointed Christian will receive his heavenly reward until Jehovah judges that person to be worthy of such a prize. Jehovah makes this determination and gives him the final sealing either sometime before he dies faithful or sometime before the outbreak of “the great tribulation.” (Rev. 2:10; 7:3, 14) It would be pointless, then, for anyone now living on earth to try to ascertain who among God’s servants will eventually be part of the 144,000. w16.01 4:2, 3
  4. Wednesday, February 22 Beloved ones, if this is how God loved us, then we are also under obligation to love one another.—1 John 4:11. We cannot properly accept God’s love without recognizing our obligation to love our brothers. (1 John 3:16) How can we demonstrate our love in practical ways? Consider the example of Jesus. During his earthly ministry, he gave special attention to lowly ones. He reached out to those with physical infirmities—the lame, the blind, the deaf, and the speechless. (Matt. 11:4, 5) Jesus took pleasure in teaching spiritually hungry ones, those who were viewed by the Jewish religious leaders as “accursed people.” (John 7:49) He loved these lowly ones and worked hard to minister to them. (Matt. 20:28) Can you consider the brothers and sisters in your own congregation? No doubt you will see some who could benefit from your love. Perhaps there are elderly ones who need help. We must let God’s love move us to reach out and express our love for our brothers. w16.01 2:12-14
  5. Tuesday, February 21 The desolating of [Jerusalem] has drawn near.—Luke 21:20. Seeing Jerusalem “surrounded by encamped armies,” just as Jesus had prophesied, Christians in Judea, and especially those living in Jerusalem, had to act decisively. Jesus had warned them that they would need to flee as soon as they saw these events start to unfold. (Luke 21:21-24) In the 28 years since Jesus had uttered that prophecy, the faithful Jewish Christians living in Israel had already faced much opposition and persecution successfully. (Heb. 10:32-34) Yet, Paul knew that they were about to be confronted with one of the most challenging tests of their faith. (Matt. 24:20, 21; Heb. 12:4) He wanted them to be prepared for whatever might come their way. They would need exceptional endurance and faith—faith strong enough to preserve their lives. (Heb. 10:36-39) So Paul was prompted by Jehovah’s spirit to write those dear brothers and sisters a letter designed to meet their special needs. That letter is now known as the book of Hebrews. w16.01 1:1, 2
  6. Monday, February 20 The congregator sought to find delightful words and to record accurate words of truth.—Eccl. 12:10. Do you find that it is often a challenge to come up with “delightful words”? If so, you may need to enlarge your vocabulary. One way to do this is to take note of how words are used in the Bible and in our Christian publications. Learn the meanings of unfamiliar expressions. More important, learn how to use words in a way that helps others. Regarding the relationship between Jehovah and his firstborn Son, we read: “Jehovah has given me [Jesus] the tongue of those taught, so that I may know how to answer the tired one with the right word.” (Isa. 50:4) Taking time to meditate on what we are going to say can help us to find the right words. (Jas. 1:19) We could ask ourselves, ‘Will these words really convey what I want to say? What effect will my choice of words have on my listener?’ w15 12/15 3:12
  7. Sunday, February 19 Who really is the faithful and discreet slave whom his master appointed over his domestics, to give them their food at the proper time?—Matt. 24:45. When early in the last century a small group of diligent Bible students was appointed as “the faithful and discreet slave,” much of their communication with the “domestics” was in English. That “slave” has put forth great effort to make spiritual food available in more and more languages; the number has now risen to over 700. There was also a need for a Bible that would accurately convey in modern speech the intent of the original writings. The New World Bible Translation Committee was formed, and over a ten-year period from 1950 to 1960, the committee’s translation was released in six volumes. When releasing the first volume on August 2, 1950, Brother N. H. Knorr expressed the hope that this translation would spread its spiritual help to millions of people. w15 12/15 1:15, 17
  8. Saturday, February 18 Advise [them] . . . to love their children.—Titus 2:4. Jesus did not hesitate to tell his disciples that he loved them. (John 15:9) He also showed his love by closely and regularly associating with his disciples. (Mark 6:31, 32; John 2:2; 21:12, 13) Similarly, tell your children that you love them, and regularly show them how much they mean to you. (Prov. 4:3) Samuel, who lives in Australia, says: “When I was very young, Dad used to read My Book of Bible Stories to me every evening. He would answer my questions, hug me, and kiss me good-night. What a surprise when I later discovered that Dad was not raised in a family where hugs and kisses were common! Yet, he made a real effort to express his love for me. As a result, I developed a strong bond with him, and I felt contented and secure.” Help your children to feel that way by often telling them “I love you.” Show your affection for your children. Talk with them, eat with them, play with them. w15 11/15 1:3, 4
  9. Friday, February 17 Let your words always be gracious, seasoned with salt.—Col. 4:6. In our preaching work, we meet with varied responses—some favorable, some hostile. Regardless of how people react, however, God’s Word shows the standard that his servants must maintain. When we make a defense before everyone who demands of us a reason for our hope, we do so “with a mild temper and deep respect” because we are motivated by neighbor love. (1 Pet. 3:15) We show love of neighbor even if our message is rejected by an angry householder who berates us. We imitate Jesus: “When he was being insulted, he did not insult in return. When he was suffering, he did not threaten, but he entrusted himself to the One [Jehovah] who judges righteously.” (1 Pet. 2:23) Whether we are with fellow believers or others, we show humility and apply the counsel: “Do not pay back injury for injury or insult for insult. Instead, repay with a blessing.”—1 Pet. 3:8, 9. w15 11/15 4:17, 18
  10. Thursday, February 16 God is love.—1 John 4:8. Love is God’s dominant quality, his most important one. Jehovah does not just possess love—he is the personification of it. How wonderful it is to know that the Creator of the universe and of all living things is a God of love! Everything he does is guided by that quality. The warm, benevolent affection that God has for his creatures assures us that all his purposes for the human family will be fulfilled in the best possible way and will result in the greatest benefit to all who come under his rulership. For example, out of love Jehovah “has set a day on which he purposes to judge the inhabited earth in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed,” Jesus Christ. (Acts 17:31) We can be confident that this will come to pass. For rightly disposed and obedient humans, favorable judgment will result in a truly blessed future that will go on and on throughout all eternity. w15 11/15 3:1, 2
  11. Wednesday, February 15 Man, who appointed me judge or arbitrator between you two?—Luke 12:14. Many things happened during Jesus’ ministry that could have distracted him, but he never succumbed to them. Early in his ministry, after he had taught the crowds and performed miracles in Capernaum, people begged him not to leave their city. But how did Jesus react to this flattering request? He said: “I must also declare the good news of the Kingdom of God to other cities, because for this I was sent.” (Luke 4:42-44) True to his word, Jesus walked the length and breadth of Palestine, preaching and teaching. Though perfect, he had normal human needs and sometimes felt very tired because of expending himself in God’s service. (Luke 8:23; John 4:6) On a later occasion while Jesus was teaching his followers how to cope with opposition, a man interrupted, saying: “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” But Jesus refused to be drawn into this dispute.—Luke 12:13-15. w15 10/15 3:10, 11
  12. Tuesday, February 14 My ears have heard about you, but now I do see you with my eyes.—Job 42:5. What are some reasons why we may not clearly see God’s hand in our affairs? Life’s challenges can overwhelm us. When this happens, we may forget to keep focused on how Jehovah has already helped us. When Queen Jezebel threatened the prophet Elijah’s life, even Elijah momentarily forgot how God had acted in his behalf. Regarding Elijah, the Bible says: “He asked that he might die.” (1 Ki. 19:1-4) What was the solution to Elijah’s problem? He needed to look to Jehovah for encouragement. (1 Ki. 19:14-18) Job also got so distracted by his own concerns that he neglected to see things from God’s viewpoint. (Job 42:3-6) Like Job, we may need to put forth greater effort to see God. How can we do that? In the light of the Scriptures, we need to meditate on what is happening around us. As we become aware of how Jehovah supports us, he will become more real to us. w15 10/15 1:15, 16
  13. Sunday, February 12 You have been saved through faith.—Eph. 2:8. Faith enables us to do things that from a human standpoint may seem impossible. (Matt. 21:21, 22) For instance, many of us have changed our attitudes and practices so drastically that we are almost unrecognizable to those who knew us before. Jehovah supported our efforts because we took these steps based on our faith in him. (Col. 3:5-10) Once our faith moved us to dedicate ourselves to Jehovah, we became his friends, something we could never have done in our own power. Our faith continues to empower us. In faith we are able to resist the attacks of our superhuman adversary, the Devil. (Eph. 6:16) In addition, trust in Jehovah helps us to minimize our anxiety during challenging times. Jehovah says that when our faith moves us to put Kingdom interests first, he will provide for our material needs. (Matt. 6:30-34) More than that, because of our faith, we will receive a gift no human could ever obtain by his own efforts—everlasting life.—John 3:16. w15 9/15 3:4, 5
  14. Saturday, February 11 Your loyal love is better than life.—Ps. 63:3. Does spending our time preparing for God’s new world mean forfeiting a better or more fulfilling way of life today? By no means! Serving Jehovah is the most satisfying way of life there is. It is not a matter of servitude under duress just so that we can pass through the great tribulation. It is the way we are designed to live, the way that yields the greatest joy. Having Jehovah’s guidance and experiencing his loyal love are far better than life apart from intimacy with him. (Ps. 63:1, 2) Of course, we need not wait for the new world in order to enjoy spiritual blessings that result from wholehearted service to Jehovah—they are available to us right now! Indeed, some of us have been reaping such blessings for decades, and we know from experience that no other life course could produce greater satisfaction.—Ps. 1:1-3; Isa. 58:13, 14. w15 8/15 3:16
  15. Friday, February 10 In the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here.—2 Tim. 3:1. The Bible indicates that wickedness will greatly increase “in the last days.” (2 Tim. 3:13; Matt. 24:21; Rev. 12:12) So we can expect that world conditions, bad as they are now, will continue to decline. But how bad do you expect conditions to become before “the great tribulation”? (Rev. 7:14) For example, do you expect that there will be a war in every country, no food on anyone’s table, and illness in every household? Under those conditions, even skeptics would likely feel compelled to admit that Bible prophecy was undergoing fulfillment. However, Jesus said that most people would take “no note” of his presence, carrying on with life’s normal activities until it is too late. (Matt. 24:37-39) Thus, the Scriptures indicate that world conditions during the last days would not become so extreme that people would be forced to believe that the end is near.—Luke 17:20; 2 Pet. 3:3, 4. w15 8/15 2:6, 7