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Examining the Scriptures Daily - 2015


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Thursday, January 1

 

 

 

 

She who is in Babylon, a chosen one like you, sends you her greetings.—1 Pet. 5:13.

 

 

 

 

 

The apostle Peter may have been over 50 when he moved to where the need was greater. Why may that be true? If he was about the same age as Jesus or perhaps somewhat older, he would have been about 50 years old when he met with the other apostles in Jerusalem in the year 49 C.E. (Acts 15:7) Some time after that meeting, Peter went to live in Babylon, doubtless to preach to the large population of Jews in that area. (Gal. 2:9) He was residing there when he wrote his first inspired letter, about 62 C.E. Settling in a foreign land can be challenging, but Peter did not allow the fact that he was advancing in age to rob him of the joy of serving Jehovah fully. Today, many Christians in their 50’s and older find that their circumstances have changed and that they are able to serve Jehovah in new ways. Some have moved to where the need is greater. w14 1/15 4:9, 10

 

 

 

 

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Friday, January 2

 

Admonish the disorderly, speak consolingly to the depressed souls, support the weak, be long-suffering toward all.—1 Thess. 5:14.

 

A good shepherd is quick to take helpful action when a sheep is injured or becomes sick. Similarly, the elders need to give prompt attention to any in the congregation who are suffering or require spiritual assistance. The elderly and the sick may need attention in connection with their physical needs, but they especially need spiritual help and encouragement. Young members of the congregation may be facing challenges, such as resisting “the desires incidental to youth.” (2 Tim. 2:22) Shepherding thus involves visiting members of the congregation periodically with a view to understanding the situations they are facing and encouraging them with appropriate Scriptural counsel. When such issues are addressed in a timely fashion, many problems can be resolved before they ever become serious. w13 11/15 5:15

 

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Saturday, January 3

 

This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.—John 17:3.

 

Jesus said in prayer that we must keep “taking in knowledge” of God and Christ. One way of doing this involves using our eyes and ears to learn more about Jehovah and his Son. Another important way of taking in knowledge of God is by experiencing the joyful feeling that comes from applying what we learn about him. The apostles had followed this life-giving process, for Jesus went on to pray: “The sayings that you gave me I have given to them, and they have received them.” (John 17:8) But to gain everlasting life, they needed to keep meditating on God’s sayings and to apply those sayings in their daily lives. Did the faithful apostles succeed in doing this to the end of their earthly lives? Indeed they did. Each of their individual names is indelibly written upon the 12 foundation stones of the heavenly New Jerusalem.—Rev. 21:14. w13 10/15 4:6

 

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Sunday, January 4

 

Solid food belongs to mature people, to those who through use have their perceptive powers trained to distinguish both right and wrong.—Heb. 5:14.

 

Learning to make wise decisions and to carry them out does not come easily. This can be especially challenging for those new in the truth or those just starting to make progress toward spiritual maturity. However, genuine progress is possible for such spiritual babes, as the Bible refers to them. Consider how an infant learns to walk without falling. The key to success usually lies in his taking small steps and doing so repeatedly. The same is true with a spiritual babe when it comes to making wise decisions. (Heb. 5:13) Recall that the apostle Paul described mature people as “those who through use have their perceptive powers trained to distinguish both right and wrong.” The words “through use” and “trained” both imply making continuous and repeated effort, and that is what new ones need to do. w13 9/15 4:11

 

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Monday, January 5

 

The desire of the eyes and the showy display of one’s means of life [do] not originate with the Father.—1 John 2:16.

 

John mentioned “the desire of the eyes” as an enticement. The expression suggests that one can begin desiring something by simply looking at it. Note that Satan “showed [Jesus] all the kingdoms of the inhabited earth in an instant of time; and the Devil said to him: ‘I will give you all this authority and the glory of them.’” (Luke 4:5, 6) Jesus would not with his literal eyes see all the kingdoms in an instant, but Satan must have felt that the glory of these kingdoms, as presented in a vision, would hold some attraction for Jesus. Shamelessly, Satan suggested: “If you do an act of worship before me, it will all be yours.” (Luke 4:7) In no way did Jesus want to be the kind of person Satan wanted him to be. His response was immediate. He said: “It is written, ‘It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service.’”—Luke 4:8. w13 8/15 4:5, 9, 10

 

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Tuesday, January 6

 

Happy is that slave if his master on arriving finds him doing so.—Matt. 24:46.

 

In Jesus’ illustration, the faithful and discreet slave receives two distinct appointments. The first is over the domestics; the second is over all the master’s belongings. (Matt. 24:45, 47) Since the illustration is fulfilled only in this time of the end, both appointments would have to come after Jesus’ presence in kingly power began in 1914. At that time many groups claimed to be Christian. From which group would Jesus select and appoint the faithful slave? That question was answered after he and his Father came and inspected the temple, or spiritual arrangement for worship, from 1914 to the early part of 1919. (Mal. 3:1) They were pleased with a small band of loyal Bible Students who showed that their heart was with Jehovah and his Word. Jesus selected anointed brothers from among them to be the faithful and discreet slave and appointed them over his domestics. w13 7/15 4:2, 11, 12

 

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Wednesday, January 7

 

With your counsel you will lead me.—Ps. 73:24.

 

When King David committed adultery with Bath-sheba, his actions adversely affected him and others. Even though David was king, Jehovah did not hold back from giving him firm discipline. God sent his prophet Nathan to David with a strong message. (2 Sam. 12:1-12) How did David respond? He was cut to the heart and repented. David became a recipient of God’s mercy. (2 Sam. 12:13) In contrast, David’s predecessor, King Saul, did not respond well to counsel. (1 Sam. 15:1-3, 7-9, 12) Saul should have let his heart be softened, allowing himself to be shaped by the Great Potter. (Isa. 64:8) Instead, Saul refused to be molded. He justified his behavior in sparing the livestock, rationalizing that the animals could be used as a sacrifice, and he minimized Samuel’s counsel. Jehovah rejected Saul as king, and Saul never recovered his good relationship with the true God.—1 Sam. 15:13-15, 20-23. w13 6/15 4:3, 6, 7

 

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Thursday, January 8

 

He that is having dealings with the stupid ones will fare badly.—Prov. 13:20.

 

Children, when it comes to listening to advice from young people your own age, you need to be careful. They may tell you what you want to hear, but their advice may not help you at all. In fact, it could even harm you. Lacking the wisdom and experience of older ones, most young people do not have a long-term view of things and may not be able to discern the consequences of certain actions. Remember the example of King Solomon’s son Rehoboam. When he became the king of Israel, it would have been wise for him to follow the counsel of the older men. Instead, he followed the foolish advice of the younger men he had grown up with. He thus lost the support of most subjects of his kingdom. (1 Ki. 12:1-17) Rather than imitating Rehoboam’s unwise course, work hard to keep the lines of communication with your parents open. Share your thoughts with them. Benefit from their counsel, and learn from their wisdom. w13 5/15 4:10

 

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Timely counsel indeed considering the time in which we live. Our young ones are under serious attack. Satan will use any and every means to attack our young ones. Now is the time for parents to mold the minds of their young or it may be too late. Impart Jehovah's word wherever you are in the minds of ur young ones. But remember, these words must first be on your heart. DEUTERONOMY 6:6

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Friday, January 9

 

Make sure of the more important things.—Phil. 1:10.

 

There is something even more important than the personal benefits we receive from our meetings. (Heb. 10:24, 25) The primary purpose of our gathering together is to worship Jehovah. (Ps. 95:6) What a privilege we have to praise our wonderful God! (Col. 3:16) Jehovah deserves our regular worship through our attendance and participation at theocratic gatherings. (Rev. 4:11) It is no wonder, then, that we are exhorted ‘not to forsake the gathering of ourselves together, as some have the custom’! Do we see our Christian meetings as a provision to help us endure until Jehovah acts against this wicked system of things? If so, the meetings will be among “the more important things” that we make room for in our busy lives. It would have to be something extremely significant to cause us to miss an opportunity to be united with our brothers in worship of Jehovah. w13 4/15 4:7, 8

 

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No matter how tired or (ill) I might feel, I truly try to not miss any meetings. I can feel that uplifting that you get from being there. Have had to wear a mask at times, but the benefit to others and myself are very beneficial. No one wants to be found guilty of spreading this year's flu bug.

Funny, how the CDC keeps guessing the strain of this years flu virus wrong. Oh right! Satan's world.

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Saturday, January 10

 

You are my witnesses.—Isa. 43:12.

 

In 1919, a service director was appointed in each congregation to take the lead in the preaching work. Regular house-to-house work on Sundays was organized in 1927. Supporters of the Kingdom were stimulated for greater activity in 1931 when they adopted the Scriptural name Jehovah’s Witnesses. (Isa. 43:10, 11) In 1938, democratic elections of responsible men in the congregations were replaced by theocratic appointments. In 1972, congregation oversight was assigned to a body of elders instead of to one congregation overseer. All qualified men were encouraged to reach out to share in ‘shepherding the flock of God under their care.’ (1 Pet. 5:2) In 1976, the Governing Body was organized into six committees to supervise the Kingdom work around the world. Fittingly, since 1914, Jehovah’s appointed King has progressively organized subjects of the Kingdom in a theocratic, or God-ruled, way. w14 1/15 2:12

 

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Sunday, January 11

The gift of each one’s hand should be in proportion to the blessing of Jehovah your God that he has given you.​—Deut. 16:17.

In one very poor country in Africa, some brothers mark off a small section of their garden and use the funds from the sale of the produce from that section to support the Kingdom work. In that same country, a building project was scheduled for a much needed Kingdom Hall. The local brothers and sisters wanted to assist. However, the project was to be undertaken in the middle of their planting season. Still determined to have a share, they worked on the Kingdom Hall project during the day and then planted their crops in the evening. What a self-sacrificing spirit! This reminds us of the brothers in first-century Macedonia. They were in “deep poverty,” yet they begged for the privilege of helping with the project at hand. (2 Cor. 8:1-4) May each of us likewise ‘give in proportion to the blessing that Jehovah has given us.’ w13 12/15 2:15

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Monday, January 12

 

Look out: perhaps there may be someone who will carry you off as his prey through the philosophy and empty deception according to the tradition of men.—Col. 2:8.

 

This warning draws attention to a good reason for paying attention to the Scriptural counsel of the elders. They defend the flock by putting their brothers on guard against any who might attempt to undermine their faith. The apostle Peter warned of “false prophets” and “false teachers” who would try to “entice unsteady souls” into wrongdoing. (2 Pet. 2:1, 14) Present-day elders must give similar warnings when necessary. As mature Christian men, they have experience in life. Further, before being appointed, they demonstrated that they had a clear understanding of the Scriptures and that they were qualified to teach what is healthful. (1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:9) Their maturity, balance, and Bible-based wisdom enable them to give skillful direction to the flock. w13 11/15 4:8

 

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Tuesday, January 13

 

[God] cares for you.—1 Pet. 5:7.

 

Though the Israelites in Isaiah’s day had turned away from Jehovah, He still wanted to help them. (Isa. 1:16-19) No matter what problem we may face, we can find comfort in knowing that Jehovah cares for us and wants to help us. In fact, he promises to provide us with the strength needed to keep on enduring. (1 Cor. 10:13) If we are suffering some form of injustice—even as the faithful man Job did—we need to remind ourselves that Jehovah is not the cause of the unfairness. Jehovah hates injustice; he loves righteousness. (Ps. 33:5) May we, like Job’s friend Elihu, acknowledge: “Far be it from the true God to act wickedly, and the Almighty to act unjustly!” (Job 34:10) Rather than causing our problems, Jehovah gives us “every good gift and every perfect present.”—Jas. 1:13, 17. w13 8/15 2:16, 17

 

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Wednesday, January 14

 

Whatever we ask we receive from him.—1 John 3:22.

 

When you pray, do you tend to repeat phrases or use the same expressions time and again? If so, before offering your prayer, spend a few moments thinking about what you want to say. Of course, Jehovah would never reject a sincere prayer of one of his loyal servants. But we do well to avoid getting into a rut when communicating with him. Obviously, our prayers cannot be superficial if we wish to draw close to God. The more we pour out our heart to Jehovah, the closer we will be to him and the more we will trust in him. What, though, should we include in our prayers? God’s Word answers: “In everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving let your petitions be made known to God.” (Phil. 4:6) The fact is, anything that affects our relationship with God or our life as one of his servants is a proper subject of prayer. w13 9/15 2:7-9

 

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Thursday, January 15

 

At that time the righteous ones will shine as brightly as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.—Matt. 13:43.

 

The phrase “at that time” evidently refers to the event that Jesus had just mentioned, namely, the ‘pitching of the weeds into the fiery furnace.’ (Matt. 13:42) That occurs during the final part of the great tribulation. Thus, the ‘shining brightly’ of the anointed must occur at that future time as well. Jesus also said that the righteous ones will ‘shine in the kingdom.’ What does that mean? All faithful anointed ones who are still on earth after the initial part of the great tribulation has passed will already have received their final sealing. Then, as indicated in Jesus’ prophecy about the great tribulation, they will be gathered to heaven. (Matt. 24:31) There they will shine “in the kingdom of their Father,” and shortly after the battle of Armageddon, they will share as Jesus’ joyous bride in “the marriage of the Lamb.”—Rev. 19:6-9. w13 7/15 2:16, 17

 

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Friday, January 16

 

He himself well knows the formation of us, remembering that we are dust.—Ps. 103:14.

 

If you are a parent, can you imitate Jehovah’s example? Can you listen to your children’s requests and, where appropriate, accede to their wishes? Parents may find that when they consider their children’s thoughts about house rules, the children are more inclined to understand the rules and to obey them. Congregation elders strive to imitate Jehovah’s reasonableness by taking into account the circumstances of their fellow believers. Recall that Jehovah valued even the sacrifices offered by poorer Israelites. Likewise, some brothers and sisters are very limited in what they can do in the ministry, perhaps because of health problems or advanced age. What if these dear ones feel disheartened because of their limitations? The elders can kindly reassure them that Jehovah loves them for giving their best.—Mark 12:41-44. w13 6/15 2:16, 18, 19

 

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Saturday, January 17

 

We must obey God as ruler rather than men.—Acts 5:29.

 

Our firm stand for Bible principles can have a far-reaching effect on others. We may wonder how many were reconciled to God because of the courageous stand taken by Peter and the other apostles. (Acts 5:17-28) In our case, fellow students, workmates, or members of our family may respond favorably when they see the stand we take for what is right. At any given time, some of our brothers are experiencing persecution. For instance, in Armenia, approximately 40 brothers are in prison because of their neutrality. In Eritrea, 55 servants of Jehovah are imprisoned, some over 60 years of age. In South Korea, about 700 Witnesses are in prison for their faith. This situation has gone on there for 60 years. Let us pray that the faithfulness of our persecuted brothers in various lands will bring glory to God and help lovers of righteousness to take their stand for true worship.—Ps. 76:8-10. w13 5/15 2:13, 14

 

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Sunday, January 18

 

All Scripture is . . . beneficial . . . for setting things straight.—2 Tim. 3:16.

 

How can we use patience and kindness in “setting things straight”? Suppose a married couple asked a Christian elder for help to end their frequent arguments. What would the elder do? Without taking sides, he can reason with the couple on Bible principles, perhaps using those found in chapter 3 of the book The Secret of Family Happiness. As the elder guides the discussion, the husband and wife may discern what counsel each should apply more fully. At a later time, the elder would want to inquire about how things are going in the family and offer more help if that is needed. By showing patience and kindness, we too can encourage those who are worried about their health, are downhearted after the loss of their employment, or are confused about certain Scriptural teachings. Using God’s Word to ‘set things straight’ brings great benefits to Jehovah’s people. w13 4/15 2:13, 14, 16

 

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Monday, January 19

 

To the King of eternity . . . be honor and glory forever.—1 Tim. 1:17.

 

King Sobhuza II of Swaziland ruled for nearly 61 years. That was quite a record for a modern-day monarch. As impressive as the length of King Sobhuza’s rule may be, there is a king whose reign is not limited by the short life span of humans. In fact, the Bible refers to him as “the King of eternity.” A psalmist identified this Sovereign by name, proclaiming: “Jehovah is King forever and ever.” (Ps. 10:16) The length of God’s reign makes his rule unlike that of any human. However, it is Jehovah’s way of ruling that draws us to him. A king who ruled over ancient Israel for 40 years praised God with these words: “Jehovah is merciful and compassionate, slow to anger and abundant in loyal love. Jehovah has firmly established his throne in the heavens; and his kingship rules over everything.” (Ps. 103:8, 19) Not only is Jehovah our King but he is also our Father—our loving, heavenly Father. w14 1/15 1:1, 2

 

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