Saturday, March 26, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
The news has given us pictures of the earthquake and the devastation by the tsunami in Japan.
Then we hear of the nuclear power plants, damaged and releasing radiation contaminating food and water sources. How very sad!
As Jehovah's people our hearts go out to all in Japan, enduring this disaster. We especially want to know how our spiritual brothers and sisters are doing. Kindly, our brothers have posted an early report at www.jw-media.org this report brings out that approx. 2,300 witnesses of Jehovah are in the areas affected by the tsunami. On March 15th early reports confirm two of Jehovah's witnesses dead and 115 missing, five Kingdom Halls were destroyed.
I think of our friends in Japan everyday and I know many prayers are being said in their behalf. May they be strengthened to endure the days and weeks ahead.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Friday, March 18, 2011
Thursday, March 17, 2011
"Love can be known only by the actions it prompts." The Bible record of God's actions teaches us a great deal about love. The highest example of God's quality of love is His supreme act of love described at John 3:16. In the scriptures, we can find many examples of Jehovah's love in action. And we can gain insight from the ancient Greek words for love used in the Bible.* The one most often used in the Christian Greek Scriptures is a-ga'pe, a love that is guided by principle. This love is more than the emotional response to another person. It is much broader in scope, more thoughtful and deliberate.. Above all, a-ga'pe is totally unselfish. For example, look again at John 3:16. What is "the world" that God loved so much that he gave his only-begotten Son? It is the world of redeemable mankind. That includes many people who are pursuing a sinful course in life. Does Jehovah love each person as a friend, the way he loved faithful Abraham? (James 2:23) No, but Jehovah lovingly extends goodness toward all, even at great cost to himself. He wants all to repent and change their ways. (2 Peter 3:9) Many do change, these He happily receives as his friends. Jehovah's love often includes tender affection. However, his love is never swayed by mere sentiment. It is always guided by his wise and just principles. As we have seen, Jehovah's qualities of Power, Wisdom and Justice are sterling, perfect, and appealing. However, LOVE is the most appealing and nothing draws us to powerfully to Jehovah. Why?
"God is Love"
The scriptures do not say that God is power or that God is justice, or even that God is wisdom. He possesses those qualities, is the ultimate source of them, and beyond comparison in regard to these three. Something very profound is said about the fourth quality, "God is love"-1 John 4:8. What does that mean?
"God is love" is not a simple equation, as if to say "God equals love". The statement cannot be reversed and say, "love is God". Jehovah is much more than an abstract quality. He is a person with a wide array of feelings and characteristics in addition to love. "God's essence or nature is love". Jehovah's power enables him to act. His justice and his wisdom guide the way he acts. But Jehovah's love motivates him to act. And his love is always present in the way he uses his other qualities.
Jehovah is the personification of love. If we want to learn about principled love, we must learn about Jehovah. When we love in an unselfish, principled way, we are reflecting Jehovah's dominant quality. It is just as the apostle John wrote: "As for us, we love, because he first loved us". -1 John 4:19.
*The verb, phi-le'o, meaning "to have affection for, to be fond of, or to like (as one might feel for a close friend or brother)," is often used in the Christian Greek Scriptures (New Testament). The word stor-ge' or close familial love, is used at 2 Timothy 3:3 to show that such love would be lacking during the last days. E'ros, or romantic love between the sexes, is not used in the Christian Greek Scriptures, although it is discussed in the Bible at Proverbs 5:15-20.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
I very much enjoyed this Indian Dessert!
It has a spicy taste with cardamon
and the Mango was so refreshing! MMmmmm
I will make this again!
For the recipe visit: www.indiansimmer.com/2011/02/celebrating-you-blogiversary-with-rice.html
Thursday, March 10, 2011
What is Divine Wisdom?
Wisdom is not the same as knowledge. However, they are related. Wisdom brings knowledge, discernment, and understanding together and puts them to work. Some Bible words translated "wisdom" literally mean, "practical wisdom".
Jehovah's wisdom is not theoretical. It is practical, and it works. Jehovah always makes the best decisions possible, carrying them out the best way possible. ..."wisdom is proved righteous by its works" -Matt 11:19. Jehovah's works throughout the universe give powerful testimony to his wisdom
Evidences of Divine Wisdom
"I shall laud you because in a fear-inspiring way I am wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, as my soul is very well aware."-Ps. 139:14.
The more we learn about our human bodies the more we are aware of Jehovah's wisdom.
"Your eyes saw even the embryo of me, and in your book all its parts were down in writing."
"How many your works are, O Jehovah! All af them in wisdom you have made. The earth is full of your productions." -Ps 104:24.
Yes, there are many examples of Jehovah's creative wisdom. Consider the ant. Ant colonies are superbly organized. Some ants tend, shelter, and draw nourishment from insects called, aphids, as if they were livestock. Other ants act as farmers, raising and cultivating "crops" of fungus. They are "instinctively wise", programmed the do remarkable things by instinct. (Proverbs 30:24, 25.) Scientists have learned much from Jehovah's creative wisdom. There is even a field of engineering, called biomimetrics, that seeks to mimic designs found in nature.
Wisdom beyond the Earth
Thanks to the wisdom of Jehovah's "celestial laws" the heavens are beautifully organized into structured galaxies that, in turn are grouped into clusters, that in turn are grouped into superclusters. (Job 38:33, -New Jerusalem Bible)
Jehovah has organized the physical heavens in his wisdom, that is one of the reasons for his title: "Jehovah of armies." Another reason "Jehovah of armies" is appropriate is because of his position as Supreme Commander of a huge army of hundreds of millions of spirit creatures. These angelic ministers of the the Most High are higher than man, superintelligent and superpowerful. Each endowed with free will. (Heb. 1:7; 2:7). Yet, by his wisdom, Jehovah keeps these angels busy, happily engaged in fulfilling work- "carrying out his word" and "doing his will" -for billions of years. (Psalms 103:20, 21). How awesome the wisdom of this Administrator must be!
Jehovah is "Wise Alone"
Jehovah alone possesses wisdom in the absolute sense. He is the source of all true wisdom. (Pr 2:6) That is why Jesus, though the wisest of Jehovah's creatures, did not rely on his own wisdom but spoke as his Father directed him. -John 12:48-50. When we contemplate Jehovah's wisdom, it is as if we were looking into a bottomless chasm, a realm so deep, so limitless and huge we could never grasp its immensity. Psalms 92:5 states: "How great your works are, O Jehovah! Very deep your thoughts are." What a humbling thought!
God's quality of foreseeing the future does not mean that God has already foreseen the choices you will make in life. Some who preach predestination say that God already knows what each of us will choose. However, that teaching actually undermines Jehovah's wisdom, it implies that he cannot control his ability to look into the future. Example: A singer with a beautiful voice, does not sing constantly all the time! That could even become irritating to those around the singer. The singer chooses to sing at specific times. Jehovah has the ability to foreknow the future, but he does not use it all the time. To do so might infringe upon our own free will, a precious gift that Jehovah will never take away.-Deut 30:19, 20. The teaching of predestination paints our Heavenly Father's wisdom as cold, with no heart, no feeling, no compassion. That is totally opposite of our Loving Creator who is "wise in heart" -Job 9:4. So Jehovah's wisdom, like his other qualities, is governed by love.
-1 John 4:8
Jehovah's wisdom is perfectly trustworthy.
"Trust in Jehovah with all your heart and do not lean upon your own understanding. In all your ways take notice of him, and he himself will make your paths straight"
-Pr 3:5, 6.
Jehovah wisely chose to have his words put down in writing. He instructed Moses: "Write down for yourself these words, because it is in accordance with these words that I do conclude a covenant with you and Israel." (Ex 34:27) Jehovah has truly blessed us by communicating with us in writing. The Holy Scriptures are like a letter to us from a loving Father. A letter we can read over and over again meditating on God's thoughts and directions. We can be like the psalmist who wrote: "But his delight is in the law of Jehovah, and in his law he reads in an undertone day and night."-Ps 1:2
Some may claim that the Bible's message has been changed over the years through the imperfections of man's copying it over and over, that it is unreliable. However, when we think of how God has the power to keep galaxies in place, is it reasonable to conclude that He cannot keep his "word" pure? Jesus showed full confidence in the written word when in prayer to Jehovah he said, "...your word is truth" (John 17:17) We too can have the same confidence in this precious letter from our wise Heavenly Father. As we continue to read and study God's word, we can recieve much "comfort from the Scriptures" whenever we need it. -Romans 15:4
Of all the qualities that Jehovah possesses, love is the dominate one. Next we can examine why the Bible says, "God is love" -1 John 4:8
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Thursday, March 3, 2011
"Jehovah is righteous; he does love righteous acts."-Psalm 11:7 (Compare: Isa 61:8; Jeremiah 9:24)
Mercy and Jehovah's perfect Justice.
"Jehovah is gracious and righteous; and our God is One showing mercy."- Psalms 116:5. He is just and merciful. His mercy is not a watering down of his justice, as if his justice was too severe. These two qualities may be expressed by him at the same time, even in the same act. Example:
Jehovah's justice is Heartwarming
1. Jehovah's perfect justice moves him to show faithfulness and loyalty toward his servants. Psalms 37:28 says: "For Jehovah is a lover of justice, And he will not leave his loyal ones. To time indefinite they will certainly be guarded..." (See also: Pr. 2:7, 8)
2. Divine justice is sensitive to the needs of the afflicted. Notice the special provisions made for the orphans and widows in the Law at Deuteronomy 24:17-21. (Deut.10:18; Ps.68:5) Jehovah can be provoked to righteous indignation by deliberate acts of injustice. (Ps. 103:6)
No Exemption From Punishment:
Jehovah shows great mercy to those who in all sincerity want to draw close to him by following his direction. Today, many like the Psalmist of old ask:
"How long, O God, will the adversary keep reproaching? Will the enemy keep treating your name with disrespect forever?" -Ps. 74:10.
Jehovah will not forever tolerate a situation that brings reproach upon his holy name. (Ps. 74:22, 23.) He will not shield willful sinners from the adverse judgment their own action deserves.
Exodus 34:6, 7 clearly states: "...Jehovah, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness and truth, preserving loving-kindness for thousands, pardoning error and transgression and sin, but by no means will he give exemption from punishment, bringing punishment for the error..."
"Say to them, '"As I am alive," is the utterance of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah, "I take delight, not in the death of the wicked one, but in that someone wicked turns back from his way and actually keeps living. Turn back, turn back from your bad ways, for why is it that you should die, O house of Israel?"
Because Jehovah views life as precious he kept on sending prophets to the people so that the Israelites would turn back from their bad ways. The majority of them refused to listen and repent. Finally , for the sake of his holy name and all that it stands for, Jehovah gave them into the hands of their enemies. (Nehemiah 9:26-30) Yes, Jehovah is deeply affected by the unrighteousness he sees in the world. (Pr 15:3) He seeks to show mercy if there is a basis for doing so. His justice is never hasty. Jehovah exercises patience. However, divine patience has limits. Why? Because Jehovah is firm for righteousness. He never lacks the courage to stand up for what is right. We can be sure that he will fulfill his promise to rid this earth of all injustice. His way of judging is: firmness where necessary, mercy wherever possible. (2 Peter 3:9)
Jehovah hates Injustice
Why then does he allow injustice and suffering to continue?
God's sovereignty was challenged in the garden of Eden. How? Jehovah commanded the first man, Adam, not to eat from a certain tree in the garden. If he disobeyed, "you will positively die," God said. (Gen 2:17) This was not a hard command to obey, as they were free to eat from a wide variety of trees, made just for them. Satan convinced, yes seduced Eve with the idea that God was being unduly restrictive. Satan went as far as telling Eve: "You positively will not die." -Gen 3:1-5.
"All his ways are justice"-Deut 32:4
-2 Tim 3:1. Jehovah has not changed. He still hates injustice, and he cares deeply for victims of injustice. If we are loyal to Jehovah and his sovereignty he will give us the strength to endure until his appointed time when he will correct all injustices under his Kingdom rule. -1 Peter 5:6, 7.