Thursday, February 21, 2013

21 February 2013 - Numbers 3: 12

Thursday, February 21

I do take the Levites from among the sons of Israel in place of all the firstborn.—Num. 3:12

What did that selection mean for the Levites? Rather than receiving a land inheritance, they were entrusted with a priceless privilege of service. Being “the priesthood of Jehovah” was their inheritance. (Josh. 18:7) The context of Numbers 18:20 shows that this did not leave them impoverished materially. (Num. 18:19, 21, 24) The Levites were to be given “every tenth part in Israel as an inheritance in return for their service.” They would receive 10 percent of Israel’s produce and of the increase of the domestic animals. In turn, the Levites were to contribute a tenth part of what they received, “of the very best of it,” for the support of the priesthood. (Num. 18:25-29) The priests were also given “all the holy contributions” that the sons of Israel brought to God at his place of worship. Members of the priesthood thus had good reason for believing that Jehovah would provide for them. w11 9/15 1:3, 4

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

20 Wednesday 2013 - 1 Corinthians 11: 3

Wednesday, February 20

The head of a woman is the man.—1 Cor. 11:3

What does a man’s responsibility as the head of a household involve? Outlining one aspect of headship, the Scriptures say: “If anyone does not provide for those who are his own, and especially for those who are members of his household, he has disowned the faith and is worse than a person without faith.” (1 Tim. 5:8) Indeed, a man should provide materially for his family. If he is to help his family to stay awake spiritually, though, he must prove to be more than just a breadwinner. He needs to build up his household spiritually, helping all in the family to strengthen their relationship with God. (Prov. 24:3, 4) How can he do so? Since “a husband is head of his wife as the Christ also is head of the congregation,” a married man should examine and imitate the type of headship that Jesus provides for the congregation. (Eph. 5:23) He should study what Jesus said and did and “follow his steps closely.” — 1 Pet. 2:21 w11 5/15 1:3, 4

19 February 2013 - Exodus 23: 2

Tuesday, February 19

You must not follow after the crowd for evil ends.—Ex. 23:2

In taking a long journey, what would you do if you felt unsure about which way to go? You might feel tempted to follow other travelers—especially if you saw a great many making the same choice. Such a course is risky. After all, those travelers may not be heading toward your destination, or they too may be lost. In this connection, consider a principle that underlies one of the laws given to ancient Israel. Those who served as judges or as witnesses in judicial matters were warned of the danger of ‘following after the crowd.’ Without doubt, it is all too easy for imperfect humans to bow to peer pressure, perverting justice. However, is the principle about not following the crowd restricted to judicial matters? Not at all. In truth, the pressure to “follow after the crowd” can affect us at almost any time. It may arise suddenly, and it can be very difficult to resist. w11 7/15 1:3, 4

18 February 2013

Monday, February 18

From Jerusalem and in a circuit as far as Illyricum I have thoroughly preached the good news about the Christ.—Rom. 15:19

All people need to know about Jesus and put faith in him. In the book of Romans, Paul addressed this need. Early on, he wrote of “God, to whom I render sacred service with my spirit in connection with the good news about his Son.” He added: “I am not ashamed of the good news; it is, in fact, God’s power for salvation to everyone having faith.” Later he referred to the time “when God through Christ Jesus judges the secret things of mankind, according to the good news I declare.” (Rom. 1:9, 16; 2:16) Why, do you think, did Paul stress Jesus Christ to the Romans? Every Christian in Rome faced a predicament that also confronts each one of us. Paul put it this way: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:23) Clearly, all to whom Paul wrote needed to recognize that they were sinners and had to put faith in God’s means to meet that need. w11 6/15 1:5, 8

Monday, February 18, 2013

JURY DUTY SCAM

*** This is very important. ***
JURY DUTY- DO NOT DELETE WITHOUT READING

Pass this on to your grown children and anyone else you can think of. This has been verified by the FBI (their link is also included below). Please pass this on to everyone in your email address book. It is spreading fast so be prepared should you get this call. Most of us take those summonses for jury duty seriously, but enough people skip out on their civic duty that a new and ominous kind of fraud has surfaced.

The caller claims to be a jury DUTY coordinator. If you protest that you never received a summons for jury duty, the Scammer asks you for your Social Security number and date of birth so he or she can verify the information and cancel the arrest warrant. Give out any of this information and bingo; your identity was just stolen.

The fraud has been reported so far in 11 states, including Oklahoma , Illinois , and Colorado , AZ and more. This (swindle) is particularly insidious because they use intimidation over the phone to try to bully people into giving information by pretending they are with the court system.

The FBI and the federal court system have issued nationwide alerts on their web sites, warning consumers about the fraud.

Check it out here: http://www.fbi.gov/page2/june06/jury_scams060206.htm

And here: http://www.snopes.com/crime/fraud/juryduty.asp

Yep! It's true

Saturday, February 16, 2013

17 February 2013 - Proverbs 4: 18

Sunday, February 17

The path of the righteous ones is like the bright light that is getting lighter and lighter until the day is firmly established.—Prov. 4:18

The words of today’s text mean that our conduct and our understanding of God’s purposes will improve over time. After Jesus’ death it was difficult for many Jewish Christians to break free from the Mosaic Law. (Acts 21:20) Although Paul skillfully argued that Christians were no longer under the Law, some rejected his inspired reasoning. (Col. 2:13-15) Perhaps they felt that if they continued to observe at least portions of the Law, they would avoid persecution. In any case, Paul wrote to the Hebrew Christians and plainly told them that they could not enter into God’s rest as long as they refused to work in harmony with His unfolding purpose. (Heb. 4:1, 2, 6, 11) To gain Jehovah’s approval, they would have to face the fact that he was leading his people in a different direction. w11 7/15 4:7, 8

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16 February 2013 - Ecclesiastes 7: 4

Saturday, February 16

The heart of the stupid ones is in the house of rejoicing.—Eccl. 7:4

Wise King Solomon wrote about the value of forgoing pleasures at times in order to take life seriously. (Eccl. 3:4; 7:2, 3) Indeed, because of the shortness of life, we need to ‘exert ourselves vigorously’ to attain salvation. (Luke 13:24) To that end, we need to keep considering all the things that are of “serious concern.” (Phil. 4:8, 9) That means giving careful attention to every facet of Christian life. For example, in imitation of Jehovah and Jesus, Christians take seriously their responsibility to work hard. (John 5:17) As a result, they are often praised for their good work ethic and dependability. Especially are family heads concerned about working hard to support their families. After all, not providing materially for one’s household is tantamount to having “disowned Jehovah”! — 1 Tim. 5:8 ftn. w11 4/15 1:4, 5

Friday, February 15, 2013

15 February 2013 - Romans 14: 3

Friday, February 15

Let the one eating not look down on the one not eating.—Rom. 14:3.

In such matters as food and recreation, there is room for diversity and personal preference. (Rom. 14:2, 4) However, we also realize that allowing for diversity in recreation is not a license to indulge oneself. To illustrate, consider the example of food. Though we may be willing to eat a variety of foods, we would not deliberately consume food that is rotten. Eating such food would go against common sense and could endanger our health. Similarly, though we may be open to a variety of forms of wholesome entertainment, we would not pursue leisure activities that are life-threatening, violent, or morally rotten. Engaging in such activities would go against Bible principles and would endanger our physical or spiritual health. To make sure that we stay within reasonable limits, we do well to determine in advance whether some recreation that appeals to us is beneficial or not. — Eph. 5:10 w11 10/15 1:3, 4

14 February 2013 - Psalms 16: 10

Thursday, February 14

You [Jehovah] will not leave my soul in Sheol.—Ps. 16:10.

Yes, the Messiah would be resurrected. Imagine the surprise of the women who came to the tomb where Jesus’ body had been laid. There they encountered a materialized angel, who told them: “Stop being stunned. You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was impaled. He was raised up, he is not here. See! The place where they laid him.” (Mark 16:6) To the crowd present in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost 33 C.E., the apostle Peter declared: “[David] saw beforehand and spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that neither was he forsaken in Hades nor did his flesh see corruption.” (Acts 2:29-31) God did not allow the physical body of his beloved Son to decay. Moreover, Jesus was miraculously raised to life in the spirit! — 1 Pet. 3:18 w11 8/15 2:19

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

13 February 2013 - 1 Corinthians 7: 34

Wednesday, February 13

He is divided.—1 Cor. 7:34

As a husband, a brother finds that he must use some of his time and energy to care for his wife and thus gain her approval. The same is true of the wife toward her husband. (1 Cor. 7:32-34) In his wisdom, Jehovah recognizes this need. He knows that a successful marriage often demands some of the time and energy that the husband and wife formerly used in His service when they were single. But the lesson goes further. If a couple must divert some time and energy from God’s service to care for each other, should they not do likewise with resources formerly used for socializing as single people? What would be the effect on a wife if a husband remained deeply involved in sports with his friends? Or how might a husband feel if a wife kept devoting much time to hobbies with her friends? The neglected mate might soon feel lonely, unhappy, and unloved. This can be avoided if those marrying do all they can to strengthen their bond as husband and wife. — Eph. 5:31 w11 10/15 2:17, 18

Monday, February 11, 2013

12 February 2013 - 1 Timothy 5: 15

Tuesday, February 12

Some have been turned aside to follow Satan.—1 Tim. 5:15

Satan’s aim is to get us to stop preaching the good news. (Rev. 12:17) To that end, he tries to get us to pursue activities that waste time or that cause division among us. Notice how Paul identifies Satan’s tactics at 1 Timothy 5:11-14. “Unoccupied, gadding about.” In this age of technology, it is easy to waste our time and that of others by, for example, forwarding nonessential or even fallacious e-mails. “Gossipers.” Harmful gossip may lead to slander, which often causes contention. (Prov. 26:20) Whether they realize it or not, malicious slanderers imitate Satan the Devil. “Meddlers in other people’s affairs.” It is not our right to tell others how to run their personal affairs. All such idle and troublesome behavior can distract us from the God-assigned work of Kingdom preaching. If we stop actively supporting Jehovah’s work, then we start following Satan. There is no middle ground. — Matt. 12:30 w11 7/15 2:14, 15

11 February 2013 - 2 Timothoy 3: 13

Monday, February 11

Wicked men and impostors will advance from bad to worse.—2 Tim. 3:13.

The critical times described at 2 Timothy 3:1-4 are now worse than ever, for ‘wicked men and impostors have advanced from bad to worse.’ This should not surprise us, since God’s Word makes it clear that “the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.” (1 John 5:19) “The whole world” includes political, religious, and commercial elements, as well as propaganda channels. Without question, Satan the Devil is properly called “the ruler of the world” and “the god of this system of things.” (John 14:30; 2 Cor. 4:4) Conditions throughout the earth continue to deteriorate because Satan now has great anger, knowing he has only a short period of time left before Jehovah takes him out of the way. (Rev. 12:12) How comforting it is to know that God’s toleration of Satan and his evil system will soon end, and the issue Satan raised regarding Jehovah’s sovereignty will be settled!—Gen., chap. 3; Job, chap. 2 w11 10/15 4:3, 4

Saturday, February 9, 2013

10 February 2013 - Psalms 37:10

Sunday, February 10

A little while longer, and the wicked one will be no more.—Ps. 37:10.

The deteriorating world conditions that mark our day leave no doubt that since 1914, Satan’s wicked world has entered its last days. The storm clouds of Armageddon cannot be far-off. Soon it will be time for the Son of man to come to execute Jehovah’s judgment on the ungodly. (Prov. 2:21, 22) Should not that awareness affect you and your family? Are you heeding Jesus’ advice to keep your eye “simple”? (Matt. 6:22) While the people of this world may reach out for riches, fame, or power, is your family pursuing spiritual goals? Is the arrangement for a Family Worship evening or a time for personal study working for you? Are you achieving the intended objectives? Are you shouldering your Scriptural responsibility as a husband, a wife, or a child, thus helping the entire family to “stay awake”? (1 Thess. 5:6) If so, you will “keep ready” for the coming of the Son of man. — Luke 12:40 w11 5/15 2:18, 19

Friday, February 8, 2013

9 February 2013 - Romans 3: 23

Saturday, February 9

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

Fear may paralyze us—fear of making the wrong decision, fear of failure, or fear of appearing foolish to others. Even so, love of God and his Word can help us shrink our fears. In what ways? Love of God will motivate us always to consult his Word and Bible-based publications before we make important decisions. We will thus minimize the number of mistakes we make. Why? Because the Bible can “give to the inexperienced ones shrewdness, to a young man knowledge and thinking ability.” (Prov. 1:4) Will we always make the right decision? No. All of us make mistakes. King David, for example, was a wise and faithful man. Yet, he at times made poor decisions that caused suffering to himself and others. (2 Sam. 12:9-12) Nevertheless, David did not let his mistakes undermine his ability to make decisions that had God’s favor. — 1 Ki. 15:4, 5 w11 4/15 2:6, 7

8 February 2013 - 1 Corinthians 5: 11

Friday, February 8

Quit mixing in company with anyone called a brother that is a fornicator.—1 Cor. 5:11

Suppose that the only son of an exemplary Christian couple leaves the truth and is disfellowshipped. The parents are devastated! Yet, they realize that the word “anyone” in the verse above includes family members not living under their roof. But they love their son so much! Strong emotions might cause them to reason: ‘How can we help our boy return to Jehovah if we severely limit our association with him? Would we not accomplish more by maintaining regular contact with him?’ What will those dear parents do? Will they obey Jehovah’s clear direction? Or will they rationalize that they can have regular association with their disfellowshipped son and call it “necessary family business”? In making their decision, they must not fail to consider how Jehovah feels about what they are doing. His purpose is to keep the organization clean and, if possible, to incite wrongdoers to come to their senses. w11 7/15 4:12, 13, 15

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

7 February 2013 - 1 John 2: 15

Thursday, February 7

Do not be loving either the world or the things in the world.—1 John 2:15

Over the years, the faithful and discreet slave class has been reminding us to be careful about what we watch and listen to, that is to say, what we set our hearts and minds on. We have been warned about the danger of getting entangled in the pursuit of money and possessions. We might be sidetracked by the glitter and glamour of the entertainment world or by the endless parade of new gadgets. It would be a serious mistake to feel that such counsel is overly restrictive or that it applies only to others, while we personally are somehow immune to the dangers. Subtle and deceptive are the entanglements that Satan’s world puts in our way. Carelessness, overconfidence, and distractions have been the undoing of some, and such things could affect our hope of attaining the prize of life. (1 John 2:16, 17) We must constantly be on guard so as to make sure that we do not fail to finish the race for life. — Heb. 12:1 w11 9/15 4:12, 13

6 February 2013 - Romans 14: 19

Wednesday, February 6

Let us pursue the things making for peace and the things that are upbuilding to one another.—Rom. 14:19

What if a Christian wants to talk to an elder about a problem he or she is having with a relative or with a fellow believer? Proverbs 21:13 states: “Anyone stopping up his ear from the complaining cry of the lowly one, he himself also will call and not be answered.” An elder would certainly not ‘stop up his ear.’ However, another proverb warns: “The first to state his case seems right, until his opponent begins to cross-examine him.” (Prov. 18:17, New English Translation) An elder should listen kindly, but he needs to be careful not to take sides with the one reporting the offense. After listening to the matter, he would likely ask whether the offended party has spoken to the one who caused the upset. The elder may also review Scriptural steps that the offended one can take to pursue peace. w11 8/15 4:9, 11

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

5 February 2013 - Daniel 9: 25

Tuesday, February 5

From the going forth of the word to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Leader, there will be seven weeks, also sixty-two weeks.—Dan. 9:25

When John the Baptizer came on the scene, his words and deeds led some to wonder if the Messiah had arrived. (Luke 3:15) It is possible that some correctly understood the Messianic prophecy involving “seventy weeks.” (Dan. 9:24) If so, they could have determined when the Messiah would appear. Various scholars agree that these are weeks of years. For instance, theRevised Standard Version says: “Seventy weeks of years are decreed.” Today, Jehovah’s servants are aware that the 69 weeks, or 483 years, of Daniel 9:25 began in 455 B.C.E. when Persian King Artaxerxes authorized Nehemiah to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. (Neh. 2:1-8) Those weeks ended 483 years later, in 29 C.E., when Jesus of Nazareth was baptized and anointed with holy spirit, thus becoming the Messiah. — Matt. 3:13-17 w11 8/15 1:3, 4

Monday, February 4, 2013

4 February 2013 - Proverbs 16:20

Monday, February 4

He that is showing insight in a matter will find good.—Prov. 16:20

By nature, some sheep may not be warm and companionable. Still, the elders try to show insight and “find good” in them. True, being imperfect, an elder may struggle to have a positive view of each one. Yet, as he tries his best to be gentle toward all, should he not be commended for his effort to be a good shepherd under Christ? We all have reason to “be submissive” to the elders. As Paul wrote, ‘they are keeping watch over our souls.’ (Heb. 13:17) That expression reminds us of the literal shepherd who forgoes sleep in order to protect his flock. Likewise, the elders today may sacrifice some sleep while tending to the needs of those who have poor health or emotional or spiritual problems. For example, brothers on Hospital Liaison Committees have been awakened from sleep to respond to a medical crisis. Yet, when we face such a situation, how appreciative we are of their service! w11 6/15 4:7, 8

Friday, February 1, 2013

1 February 2013 - Hebrews 12:1

Friday, February 1

Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.—Heb. 12:1.

In the Bible, the Christian life course has been compared to a race. The apostle Paul called this point to the attention of his fellow Christians in ancient Corinth in his first letter to them. He wrote: “Do you not know that the runners in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may attain it.” (1 Cor. 9:24) Was Paul saying that only one of those Christians would gain the prize of life and all the rest would run in vain? Of course not! Runners in the competitions trained and exerted themselves rigorously with the goal of becoming the winner. Paul wanted his fellow Christians to exert themselves that way in their quest for everlasting life. Doing so, they could hope to gain the prize of life. Yes, in the Christian race, all who finish win that prize. And the prize—whether life in heaven or life in Paradise on earth—is beyond compare.w11 9/15 3:2-4