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Examining the Scriptures Daily - 2014


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Wednesday, January 1

The works of the flesh are manifest.—Gal. 5:19.

Note how “the works of the flesh” breed disunity. (Gal. 5:19-21Fornication separates the one practicing it from Jehovah and the congregation, and adultery can cruelly separate children from parents and innocent partners from marriage mates.Uncleanness affects a person’s unity with God and with those who love him. One who has attempted to glue two things together knows that both surfaces must be clean before a proper bond can be forged. Engaging in brazen conduct demonstrates total disregard for God’s righteous laws. Each of the other works of the flesh separates people from one another and from God. Such conduct is completely out of harmony with the personality of Jehovah. Thus, each of us needs to ask himself: ‘Just how earnest am I in trying “to observe the oneness of the spirit in the uniting bond of peace”? (Eph. 4:3) Do I air my grievances before a wide audience, hoping to get support from several friends?’ w12 7/15 4:8, 9

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Thursday, January 2

Who the Father is, no one knows but the Son, and he to whom the Son is willing to reveal him.—Luke 10:22.

Most people, whatever their beliefs, have pondered over questions related to God’s existence. However, when they failed to reach a satisfying conclusion, many eventually gave up on their search for God. Indeed, Satan has “blinded the minds of the unbelievers.” (2 Cor. 4:4) Little wonder that the majority of mankind are left in ignorance and confusion as to the truth about the Father, the Creator of the universe! (Isa. 45:18) Yet, it is vital that people learn the truth about God. Why? Because only those who call “on the name of Jehovah” will be saved. (Rom. 10:13) To call on God’s name involves becoming acquainted with Jehovah as a Person. Jesus Christ disclosed to his disciples this vital knowledge. He revealed the Father to them. w12 4/15 1:2, 3

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Friday, January 3

If [a wifeshould actually depart, let her remain unmarried or else make up again with her husband.—1 Cor. 7:11.

Under what circumstances might a Christian wife “actually depart”? Some have chosen to separate because of a mate’s willful nonsupport. Others have done so because of extreme physical abuse or the absolute endangerment of a Christian’s spirituality. Whether to depart or not is a personal decision. However, the baptized mate ought to give this matter prayerful and honest consideration. A Christian who is married to an unbeliever should earnestly endeavor to keep the marriage bond intact. Yet, a Christian need not feel guilty if, despite the Christian’s sincere effort to preserve the union, an unbelieving mate refuses to remain with the believer. “If the unbelieving one proceeds to depart, let him depart,” wrote Paul. “A brother or a sister is not in servitude under such circumstances, but God has called you to peace.”—1 Cor. 7:15w12 5/15 2:13-15, 17

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Saturday, January 4

Men spoke from God as they were borne along by holy spirit.—2 Pet. 1:21.

Over a period of 1,610 years—spanning from 1513 B.C.E. to 98 C.E.—some 40 different men wrote the Bible. The Greek expression rendered “borne along” has the sense “to bear or carry from one place to another,” and it “can be variously rendered: be moved, be driven, let oneself be moved.” Acts 27:15 uses it in describing a boat that was seized and moved, or driven along a certain course, by the wind. Bible prophets and writers were “borne along by holy spirit” in that God communicated with, motivated, and guided them by means of his active force. That being the case, they wrote, not their own ideas, but God’s thoughts. Sometimes the inspired prophets and writers did not even know the meaning of what they foretold or were writing. (Dan. 12:8, 9) Yes, “all Scripture is inspired of God” and is free of human opinions.—2 Tim. 3:16w12 6/15 4:3

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Sunday, January 5

The anxiety of this system of things and the deceptive power of riches choke the word.—Matt. 13:22.

One factor that chokes the word is “the anxiety of this system of things.” In these “critical times hard to deal with,” there is much that could make you anxious. (2 Tim. 3:1) With the high cost of living and rising unemployment rates, you may find it difficult to make ends meet. You may also be anxious about the future and wonder, ‘Will I have enough income after I retire?’ Because of such anxiety, some have been led to pursue riches, thinking that money will guarantee security. The other factor is “the deceptive power of riches.” That element combined with anxiety can choke the word. The Bible acknowledges that “money is for a protection.” (Eccl. 7:12) However, the pursuit of riches is not wise. Many have found that the more they struggle to acquire riches, the more materialism entraps them. Some have even become slaves to riches.—Matt. 6:24.w12 8/15 4:3-5

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Monday, January 6

[Hewent his way and did business with them and gained five more.—Matt. 25:16.

Although the anointed had for decades looked to 1914 as a marked year, they did not clearly understand what would happen. One brother later recalled, “A few of us seriously thought we were going to heaven during the first week of that October [1914].” Just think how discouraging it could have been to expect the end and for it not to occur! Moreover, the brothers faced opposition related to World War I. A period of relative inactivity, like sleep, set in. But in 1919, there was a call to wake up! Jesus had come to God’s spiritual temple, and a time for inspection arrived. Some, however, failed that inspection and consequently lost their privilege to continue in the King’s “business.” The majority of anointed ones, though, showed unshakable loyalty and a strong desire to serve their Master even during the difficult war years. w12 9/15 4:11, 12

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Tuesday, January 7

He did on a grand scale what was bad in the eyes of Jehovah.—2 Chron. 33:6.

Some 360 years after David began to rule, Manasseh became king of Judah. His 55-year-long reign was infamous for wickedness, and his detestable practices brought condemnation from Jehovah. Eventually, Manasseh was taken from his homeland and thrown into a Babylonian prison. There he “kept humbling himself greatly” and “kept praying” to God. (2 Chron. 33:12, 13) What was Jehovah’s response to Manasseh’s prayers? “He let himself be entreated by [Manasseh] and He heard his request for favor.” Like David before him, Manasseh recognized the seriousness of his sins and was truly repentant. That is why God forgave Manasseh and restored him to the kingship in Jerusalem. As a result, “Manasseh came to know that Jehovah is the true God.” (2 Chron. 33:13) How heartening it is to have this evidence that our merciful God forgives those who are genuinely repentant! w12 11/15 4:11-13

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Wednesday, January 8

I am not lying.—Gal. 1:20.

On occasion, Paul found it necessary to swear to the truthfulness of what he wrote. When some in Corinth accused Paul of being untrustworthy, he wrote in his defense: “God can be relied upon that our speech addressed to you is not Yes and yet No.” (2 Cor. 1:18) At the time of writing that, Paul had left Ephesus and was traveling through Macedonia on his way to Corinth. Originally, he had planned to revisit Corinth before going into Macedonia. (2 Cor. 1:15, 16) But some time after making his original plans, Paul received disturbing news that disunity and immorality were being tolerated in Corinth. (1 Cor. 1:11; 5:1) To correct the situation, he wrote strong counsel in his first letter to the Corinthians. Then, instead of sailing directly from Ephesus to Corinth, Paul decided to give his brothers time to apply his counsel so that when he eventually arrived, his visit could be more encouraging.—2 Cor. 1:23w12 10/15 4:6, 7

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Thursday, January 9

You must do according to all that for which the foreigner calls to you.—1 Ki. 8:43.

A foreigner is basically someone who is in a land that is not his own or is a person who comes into a community or group from outside of it. This well describes Jehovah’s Witnesses. They owe their primary allegiance to a heavenly government, God’s Kingdom under Christ. Thus, they maintain strict neutrality in political matters, even if some people view them as strangely out of place in today’s society. Foreigners are often recognized by characteristics common to their minority group. It may be the language they speak, their customs, their physical characteristics, even their style or manner of dress. Still, the things they have in common with all other humans, regardless of nationality, are more significant than any of those characteristics. In fact, Jehovah originally purposed that all humans be united as one family under one rulership—his rulership. w12 12/15 4:11-13

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Friday, January 10

You do not want to go also, do you?—John 6:67.

Peter responded to Jesus’ question with these words: “Lord, whom shall we go away to? You have sayings of everlasting life; and we have believed and come to know that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:68, 69) Did this mean that Peter fully understood all that Jesus had just said about His coming sacrifice? (John 6:53-60) Probably not. Even so, Peter was determined to be loyal to God’s anointed Son. Peter did not reason that Jesus must have the wrong view of things and that if given time, He would recant what He had said. No, Peter humbly recognized that Jesus had “sayings of everlasting life.” Likewise today, how do we react if we encounter a point in our Christian publications from “the faithful steward” that is hard to understand or that does not match with our thinking? We should try hard to get the sense of it rather than merely expecting that there will be a change to conform to our viewpoint.—Luke 12:42w12 4/15 2:10, 11

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Saturday, January 11

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.—Rom. 3:23.

As Jehovah’s servants, we certainly want to honor and glorify our Creator in everything we do. All too often, however, what we desire to do is not what we do. Paul had to contend with that problem personally. (Rom. 7:21-25) Explaining why we have such a struggle, Paul wrote the words of today’s text. Yes, through inheritance from sinful Adam, mankind became subject to the harsh mastery of ‘King Sin.’ (Rom. 5:12; 6:12) What is sin? It is anything contrary to Jehovah’s personality, ways, standards, and will. Sin mars a person’s relationship with God. Sin causes us to miss the mark, even as an archer can shoot an arrow but miss his target. We can sin intentionally or by mistake. (Num. 15:27-31) Sin is deeply ingrained in humans and creates a barrier between them and their Creator. (Ps. 51:5; Isa. 59:2; Col. 1:21) Unquestionably, sin is the worst disability afflicting humankind. w12 5/15 4:4, 5

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Sunday, January 12

Write for yourself in a book all the words that I will speak to you.—Jer. 30:2.

Although Jehovah used dictation when precise wording was crucial, in most cases thoughts rather than specific words were miraculously conveyed to the hearts and minds of Bible writers, permitting them to choose their own words to express them. “The congregator sought to find the delightful words and the writing of correct words of truth,” states Ecclesiastes 12:10. The Gospel writer Luke “traced all things from the start with accuracy, to write them in logical order.” (Luke 1:3) God’s spirit ensured that human imperfection did not taint his message. God’s great wisdom is made evident in his use of humans to write the Bible. Words convey not just information but also emotions and feelings. By allowing imperfect men to choose the wording for the ideas they received through holy spirit, God conveyed his message with warmth, variety, and the appeal of human emotions and feelings! w12 6/15 4:5-7

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Monday, January 13

The fruit of righteousness has its seed sown under peaceful conditions for those who are making peace.—Jas. 3:18.

We cannot maintain righteous conduct in the absence of peace. Our growth in spiritual matters is hindered if we have personal traits that could disrupt peace with our brothers. But by being quick to forgive and by working for the well-being of others, we engender conditions that result in true prosperity. Furthermore, “gifts in men” can be a real force for unity. They have been given to help us to “attain to the oneness in the faith.” (Eph. 4:8, 13) When elders work along with us in sacred service and offer perceptive observations based on God’s Word, they assist us to make progress in putting on the new personality. (Eph. 4:22-24) Do you see in their counsel Jehovah’s efforts to prepare you for life in the new world under the rule of his Son? Elders, do you try to readjust others with that objective in view?—Gal. 6:1w12 7/15 4:10-12

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A sister made a comment in this forum about the WT yesterday, about the Romans using their shields as a group to form a impenetrable barrier against a foe. That calls for completely acting as a unit. So here, likewise, Jehovah is telling us we need to act with the same unity toward each other. And it's HARD, we all have ones we don't really understand or agree with, I do. But I need to get over myself and think about how they might need me or I might need them in the near future. 

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Tuesday, January 14

Never be anxious and say, “What are we to eat?” or, “What are we to drink?” or, “What are we to put on?” For all these are the things the nations are eagerly pursuing. For your heavenly Father knows you need all these things.—Matt. 6:31, 32.

To avoid being strangled by materialism, periodically reappraise your lifestyle. Never would you want to be like Esau, who showed by his actions that he despised spiritual things! (Gen. 25:34; Heb. 12:16) And surely you should not be like the rich man who was invited to sell his belongings, give to the poor, and follow Jesus. Instead of doing so, the man “went away grieved, for he was holding many possessions.” (Matt. 19:21, 22) Ensnared by riches, that man lost out on a great privilege—that of being able to follow the greatest man who ever lived! Be careful not to lose out on the privilege of being a disciple of Jesus Christ. To counteract undue worry about material things, heed the admonition given in today’s text. w12 8/15 4:8, 9

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Wednesday, January 15

The undeserved kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ be with the spirit you show, brothers.—Gal. 6:18.

There are many opportunities for us to show a fine spirit. Each of us can do much good if we display a forgiving spirit when others offend us. God’s Word tells us: “Continue putting up with one another and forgiving one another freely if anyone has a cause for complaint against another. Even as Jehovah freely forgave you, so do you also.” (Col. 3:13) The expression “if anyone has a cause for complaint” suggests that there may be valid reasons for becoming irritated with others. However, rather than being overly concerned about their foibles and disturbing the peace of the congregation, we try to imitate Jehovah and forgive freely, moving on in our service together. We should also pray for holy spirit. (Luke 11:13) God’s spirit will help us display true Christian qualities in dealing with others.—Gal. 5:22, 23w12 10/15 2:1, 14, 15

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Thursday, January 16

All authority has been given me.—Matt. 28:18.

The perfect humans, Adam and Eve, were a part of Jehovah’s peaceful and harmonious universal family. They were able to communicate with him personally, worship him, and be blessed by him. That harmonious relationship was interrupted when humans, influenced by Satan, rebelled against Jehovah’s sovereignty. Since 1914, however, the Messianic Kingdom has been taking progressive steps to restore that unity and harmony. (Eph. 1:9, 10) During the Thousand Year Reign, marvelous things presently “unseen” will be brought to reality. (2 Cor. 4:18) Then comes “the end,” that is, the close of Christ’s Millennial Reign. (1 Cor. 15:24) What will happen then? Though given “all authority . . . in heaven and on the earth,” Jesus is not ambitious. He has no intention of usurping Jehovah’s place. He humbly “hands over the kingdom to his God and Father.” He will use his unique position and authority “to the glory of God.”—Phil. 2:9-11w12 9/15 2:17, 18

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Synonyms 1. Ambitious, aspiring, enterprising describe a person who wishes to rise above his or her present position or condition

 

I try and keep access to a dictionary when I read, because even if I think I know the definition of a word, I can expand on the meaning and find the most appropriate way it is to be used in context of the statement.  I just keep thinking what the GB said during the AM about revising the NWT.  Even though there can be several definitions which may be correct--we are looking for the one that most apptly describes the meaning of the sentence.

 

Jesus is not ambitious.  That certainly sounds like a false statement to me until I saw the above definition of ambitious.  Now it makes perfect sense!  It could have read humble and I would have understood it--but ambitious?  It made me research and meditate on the simple sentence.  It is contrasting Jesus with Satan wanting to take on more authority and usurp Jehovah's authority.  We have such a loving organization!  Jehovah makes sure we are taken excellent care of!

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Friday, January 17

What is looked for in stewards is for a man to be found faithful.—1 Cor. 4:2.

A steward may have many fine qualities and abilities, yet none of them would matter if he was irresponsible or disloyal to his master. Faithfulness is essential to be an effective, successful steward. If we are faithful, we will be rewarded; that is certain. If we are not faithful, we will suffer loss. (Matt. 25:14-18, 23, 26, 28-30) Jesus pointed out the consequences of unfaithfulness. He said: “A certain man was rich and he had a steward, and this one was accused to him as handling his goods wastefully. So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Hand in the account of your stewardship, for you can no longer manage the house.’” (Luke 16:1, 2) Because the steward squandered the property of his master, the master dismissed him. What a powerful lesson for us! We certainly never want to be unfaithful in what is asked of us. w12 12/15 2:15-17

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Saturday, January 18

You will find refreshment for your souls.—Matt. 11:29.

Jesus assured his followers that by drawing close to him and practicing his teachings, they would be refreshed, for his yoke was kindly and his load was light. People of both sexes and of all ages felt at ease in his presence. (Matt. 11:30) In his association with the common people of Israel, Jesus had compassion for them because they were disadvantaged, and he gave loving attention to their needs. Near Jericho, he encountered a blind beggar named Bartimaeus and his unnamed blind companion. They persistently asked for Jesus’ help, but the crowd sternly urged the men to be quiet. How easy it would have been to ignore the pleas of the blind men! Instead, Jesus asked that they be brought to him, and moved with pity, he restored their sight. Yes, Jesus imitated his Father, Jehovah, by displaying humility and showing mercy to lowly sinners.—Matt. 20:29-34; Mark 10:46-52w12 11/15 2:12, 13

 

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Sunday, January 19

Noah proceeded to do according to all that God had commanded him. He did just so.—Gen. 6:22.

As the work of constructing the ark progressed, Noah and his family must have wondered how God would accomplish his purpose and when the Flood would begin. Yet, their lack of knowledge of these details did not stop them from getting the ark built. Seven days before the floodwaters fell—just enough time for Noah and his family to load the animals into the ark—Jehovah finally told Noah exactly when the Flood would begin. Hence, when the floodgates of the heavens were opened, everything was ready. (Gen. 7:1-5, 11) The account of the Flood testifies to Jehovah’s skill not only as a Timekeeper but also as a Deliverer. As he counts down to the end of the present system of things, we can be sure that everything Jehovah has purposed will take place at his appointed time, to the very “day and hour.”—Matt. 24:36; Hab. 2:3w12 4/15 4:7, 8

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I really enjoyed this mornings text. I liked that 7 days before the flood Jehovah let Noah know when it was to happen. Maybe he will do the same with us. I know right now... no one knows the day or hour. That may not mean that Jehovah will let us know at some point. After all... he let Noah know.  :)

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