Lyrics There was a time
We thought our dream was over
When you and I
Had surely reached the end
Still here we are
The flame as strong as ever
All because we both kept holding on
We know we can weather any storm
Baby, that's what love is all about
Two hearts that find a way, somehow
To keep the fire burning
It's something we could never live without
It it takes forever
We can work it out
Beyond a shadow of a doubt
Baby, that's what love is all about
As time goes by
We've learned to rediscover
The reason why
This dream of our survives
Through thick and thin
We're destined for each other
Knowing we can reach the other side
Far beyond the mountains of our pride
Ridin' the good times is easy
The hard times can tear you apart
There'll be times in your heart
When the feelin' is gone
But ya keep on believing
And ya keep holdin' on
Baby, that's what love is all about
Two hearts that find a way, somehow
To keep the dream from dying
It's something we could never live without
If it takes forever
We can work it out
Beyond a shadow of a doubt
Baby, that's what love is all about
By JOHN BUTLER
I thought today's study article was good. Quite basic and practical.
However the first sentence of paragraph 2 made me laugh. If it were true there would not be half the problems within the Org, the child abuse being a good example.
Paragraph 7 first sentence also is almost funny, but not so because it contains God's name which should not be mocked.
Paragraph 14 The last sentence says.. "... requires that we exercise empathy, putting ourselves in their situation to the extent possible." How many brothers or sisters actually do this ? How many have done this regarding Child Abuse victims ?
I like the bit in paragraph 18 " there will be no more sickness, wars, inherited death, ..... Because of course there will still be death after Armageddon but it will be because people do not want to serve God properly.
Paragraph 17 talks about, not telling people, they are not doing enough. However in truth this is not put into practice. People, including my wife, are being 'pushed' into doing more for the Org.
All in all it made for a good read though. But it seems to be telling the congregants to do what people in the world do normally. Keep Displaying Love,
Compare Matthew 5 v 43 through 48
“You heard that it was said: ‘You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 However, I say to you: Continue to love your enemies and to pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may prove yourselves sons of your Father who is in the heavens, since he makes his sun rise on both the wicked and the good and makes it rain on both the righteous and the unrighteous.i 46 For if you love those loving you, what reward do you have? Are not also the tax collectors doing the same thing? 47 And if you greet your brothers only, what extraordinary thing are you doing? Are not also the people of the nations doing the same thing? 48 You must accordingly be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Is this not showing that people in the world show love to one another. So it is obvious that JW's should do the same.
By Srecko Sostar
I can agree with general idea you present.
For sure, we can find the truth on various places, among all sort of group of people. We can find the truth even on the African plains, where the lion must eat the zebra to remain alive. And a zebra must exist so that a lion may have something to eat. And this "evidence" is a "proof" how The Truth looks like on this level. From this example, i am sure, you can understand where my thinking goes sometimes.
So, we on Earth have many Truths, with many Shapes and many Sorts. 2+2=4 is also The Truth. Hurricane Florence is also The Truth and affect people's life. Bad inclination of human heart is The Truth as also it is compassion from the same hearth. Catholic also have some Truths. What shall we do with so many Truths?? And what shall we do with something that looks like Truth? What we shall do with something that stopped to be Truth? What we shall do with Half Truths, what with Lies?
I can believe how JW, but also other smaller denominations, religions, groups of all kind can build connections in a way you described. Even worldly school children can make positive connections with children in came class or in another town or country. There is a mutual visit of a student from one school to another. Some of them manage to create lasting links. I believe that it is case with the people of other social groups, religious and non-religious, too.
I had the opportunity to travel and visit JW in other European countries. And some of JW from the other countries met me here in Croatia and invited me to visit. Some acquaintances lasted longer, some shorter. When I visited some assemblies in other countries, some JWs came to meet me, some did not care about having a guest who came for the first time in their congregation. Some people are getting in touch, and some do not. Certainly, human relationships are complex and something attracts us and something rejects us from others. That is life. And our fantasy and imagination and expectations are something else, even in a "worldwide brotherhood".
I think the Bible has several various paragraphs on this subject, about giving oneself to others, even to the point of giving life. At this level, there may be a problem because it is spoken, taught, by almost all people, and also by other religions, not just JW; "God loves all people to such a degree that He gives his Son to die for Human, Jesus loves all people to such a degree that he has given life to the righteous and the unrighteous."
This could mean that JW should give life not only for his brother in faith but also for a brother who is not in faith. What we shall do with this "Truth"?
This is in response to Jack Ryan's thread entitled, "...the angel of Jehovah camps all around those fearing him" https://www.theworldnewsmedia.org/topic/57218-“’the-angel-of-jehovah-camps-all-around-those-fearing-him’/
It concerns the leaked Attendant Training Videos, of which I saw only a condensed review of them. The speaker of the training video remarks:"
“Well, with a warm smile, you have the privilege to welcome all to a place of worship where the atmosphere is like a spiritual oasis in a parched land, and by taking the initiative to offer a helping hand you can be like those streams of cool water that bring refreshment to all. And by promoting a safe and peaceful environment you can provide a place of concealment for all f our invited guests…It’s as if our great host Jehovah has extended his welcoming arms by means of you, so that everyone in attendance will feel like they have entered a house that is safe and secure. Remember, too, you will not be working alone in behalf of God’s people. Psalm 34:7 assures us, the angel of Jehovah camps all around those fearing him, so by means of his powerful angels, Jehovah can shield his faithful worshipers from harm, “IF IT BE HIS WILL”.
Jack Ryan's comment:
“It appears that it wasn’t/isn’t Jehovah’s will to protect children from being sexually abused within His own congregations. It appears that these powerful angels are shielding no one, if He isn’t protecting these most vulnerable amongst us.
Frankly, it appears that it isn’t Jehovah’s will to protect His people in general.”
“IF IT BE HIS WILL”
Temperamental god, this “Jehovah”. Would a God of love be so fickle?
“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.’” Ps 91:1,2
The true God, YHWH, that I am coming to know keeps His promises toward His faithful ones. If this speaker has doubts and feels the need to add an addendum to Ps 34:7, he is fully aware of the organization’s risky status in Russia and other countries, or he is reflecting on the rampant child abuse situation that the Watchtower unashamedly refuses to concretely address. Jer 8:11,12; Eph 5:11 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jer+8%3A11%2C12%3B+Eph+5%3A11&version=NKJV
The video is playing out a “showy display” of compassion and love before the masses, outweighing the hidden lack of it, which results from transgressing God’s requirements. Eph 5:6,8,9 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Eph+5%3A6%2C8%2C9&version=NKJV
To be found “faithful” with the Father, we submit to His discipline and refinement. We prove ourselves worthy of His protection by following Christ’s Words. Zech 13:9; Mal 3:2-4; Heb 12:6 It is not God’s will that we rely on a corrupt organization for protection. Ps 26:4,5 It is His will that we rely on Him and His Son. Joel 2:12,13; Isa 48:17,18 Nowhere in the scriptures are we told to turn to an earthly image – a god of fortress for protection during the end times. (1 Sam 7:3) Dan 11:38,39; Rev 13:1,5-8 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Zech+13%3A9%3B+Mal+3%3A2-4%3B+Heb+12%3A6%3BPs+26%3A4%2C5%3B++Joel+2%3A12%2C13%3B+Isa+48%3A17%2C18%3B+1+Sam+7%3A3%3B+Dan+11%3A38%2C39%3B+Rev+13%3A1%2C5-8++&version=NKJV
On the contrary, we are told to worship in spirit and truth and to seek out those Christ sends, at the same time to be on the lookout for false prophets. John 4:24;3:8; 16:13,14; Matt 23:34; John 13:20; Acts 17:24; Heb 9:11; Matt 7:15-20 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+4%3A24%3B3%3A8%3B+16%3A13%2C14%3B+Matt+23%3A34%3B+John+13%3A20%3B+Acts+17%3A24%3B+Heb+9%3A11%3B+Matt+7%3A15-20&version=NKJV
Is “Jehovah’s CHARIOT” leading the sheep to truly love one another? All evidence of its past and present failings to protect the flock, point to “no”. Mark 12:29-31; Matt 22:40; John 15:9-14; Rom 13:8-10 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+12%3A29-31%3B+Matt+22%3A40%3B+John+15%3A9-14%3B+Rom+13%3A8-10&version=NKJV
Please, do not sweep the obvious under the carpet, JWs!
“…Love does NO HARM to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” Rom 13:10
The trouble begins within the internal mechanism of the organization; the ruling elders, both the leaders and their henchmen; therein, is the source of all suffering, seen and unseen, happening within the Watchtower. Rev 8:10,11; Amos 5:7; Rev 9:1-4; Joel 2:1-10 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Rev+8%3A10%2C11%3B+Amos+5%3A7%3B+Rev+9%3A1-4%3B+Joel+2%3A1-10++&version=NKJV
Watchtower 13/1/15 pg 27-31 “Rather than making rigid rules for the congregation, ELDERS rely on Scriptural principles and direction from Jehovah’s organization. After all, present-day elders are not the masters over their brothers’ faith. —1 Pet. 5:2, 3
In reality, scriptural principles are basically ignored, while direction from the organization dictates every working aspect of the Watchtower. We have proof of this with the leaders’ latest resolve to barely bend their rigid rules with child molestation cases. Isa 10:1,2 They are WITHOUT A DOUBT cruel masters over the faith of each JW through their restrictive decrees that conflict with the ordinances of the true God, founded on love and righteousness. Isa 29:13;Hab 1:4; 2 Cor 11:4,20;Col 2:20-22; Ps 89:14-17https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isa+10%3A1%2C2%3B+Isa+29%3A13%3BHab+1%3A4%3B+2+Cor+11%3A4%2C20%3BCol+2%3A20-22%3B+Ps+89%3A14-17+&version=NKJV
As a result, it is absolutely clear the organization does not follow God’s laws outlined by Christ and verified by scripture. Remembering that the governing body admit they are NOT INSPIRED by God’s Holy Spirit, (Wt 2017/2) Anthony Morris recently stated that the “theocratic organization” receives its decisions or “decrees” from God. Doesn’t it make you question the source of these decrees since God’s Holy Spirit does not “inspire” the governing body?
Quote: “When that direction comes out to Branch committee members, or when it comes out to the congregations; IF you want Jehovah’s blessing ON YOU as an individual or family, certainly as an ELDER or congregation, it’d be best to ask Jehovah to help you understand it, BUT OBEY THE DECISION.” (Joel 2:7)https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Joel+2%3A7&version=NKJV
Deut 4:2: “You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.”
John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commandments.”
One of those long held unscriptural decrees is for the elders to stand/rule over the authentic priesthood of God and their companions, while charging them as conspirators for accepting Christ’s lead above the organizational format, resulting in a judgment of “death” by disfellowshipping. Ezek 44:6-9; 1 Pet 2:5,9; 1 Cor 3:16,17; Matt 24:15; 2 Thess 2:3,4;Rev 13:5-7,11,12,15; 1 John 3:11,12 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezek+44%3A6-9%3B+1+Pet+2%3A5%2C9%3B+1+Cor+3%3A16%2C17%3B+Matt+24%3A15%3B+2+Thess+2%3A3%2C4%3BRev+13%3A5-7%2C11%2C12%2C15%3B+1+John+3%3A11%2C12&version=NKJV
God, who does not change His mind unlike “Jehovah’s organization”, PROMISES to be our shield and strength, IF we submit and follow HIS decrees through Christ, the head of the anointed Body. Deut 33:29; 2 Sam 22:31; Nahum 1:7 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deut+33%3A29%3B+2+Sam+22%3A31%3B+Nahum+1%3A7+&version=NKJV
The anointed priesthood of God has a purpose – to offer sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving, to teach God’s laws written on their heart, admonish, direct, and heal, God’s sheep. Isa 43:21; 1 Pet 2:9; Rom 2:13,15; Heb 13:15; Rev 7:10; Isa 44:23; Ezek 44:23; Jer 23:22; Mal 2:7; Rom 8:19-22; Rev 22:1,2 Yet, they have been restrained by a Wicked Slave/Harlot/Wormwood/false prophet and its delegated army from doing so, creating within the Watchtower, a spiritually “parched land”, void of the knowledge of God’s ordinances. (Yes, all these characteristic titles are prophetically fulfilled by the governing body) Zeph 3:4; Amos 8:11; Joel 1:5-7; Rev 8:8 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isa+43%3A21%3B+1+Pet+2%3A9%3B+Rom+2%3A13%2C15%3B+Heb+13%3A15%3B+Rev+7%3A10%3B+Isa+44%3A23%3B+Ezek+44%3A23%3B+Jer+23%3A22%3B+Mal+2%3A7%3B+Rom+8%3A19-22%3B+Rev+22%3A1%2C2%3B++.++Zeph+3%3A4%3B+Amos+8%3A11%3B+Joel+1%3A5-7%3B+Rev+8%3A8&version=NKJV
Can you imagine how God and Christ view the appointed Temple priesthood submitting to the rules of men and their handbook; and not to Christ and the laws written on their heart? Ezek 8:5,6 Those who are “ambassadors of Christ” are to work as one anointed Body, with each one a branch of the vine of Christ, which allows Holy Spirit to feed and direct the Body through all of its members. John 15:5-8; 1 Cor 12:20,25,26 Paul spoke of it as a “fearful responsibility” to carry the message of reconciliation. 2 Cor 5:11,19,20 (NLT) https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezek+8%3A5%2C6%3B+John+15%3A5-8%3B+1+Cor+12%3A20%2C25%2C26%3B+2+Cor+5%3A11%2C19%2C20++&version=NKJV
Are the unanointed elders who “represent the royal priesthood”, the true “ambassadors” or representatives of Christ? In the first century, would Christ have condoned others to replace the apostles who are the foundations stones of his Temple Body? 1 Cor 3:10,11 Neither should men muscle aside the “living stones” of God’s Temple from performing their duties as Christ’s ambassadors. Ezek 34:20-23; Eph 2:20-22; John21:17; Luke12:42; Matt.5:14-15; Rev.1:20; Mal.2:7; Rev.22:6; John13:20 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezek+34%3A20-23%3B+Eph+2%3A20-22%3B+John21%3A17%3B+Luke12%3A42%3B+Matt.5%3A14-15%3B+Rev.1%3A20%3B+Mal.2%3A7%3B+Rev.22%3A6%3B+John13%3A20+&version=NKJV
Can you imagine God’s disgust, as His priests continue to allow a Harlot/false prophet “decree” that they remain apart from one another, not seek one another out, not “study the Bible together”, passively swallowing such UNSCRIPTURAL lies, and allow themselves to be trampled down by them? Matt 24:15; 2 Thess 2:3,4,9-12; Rev 11:1-3; Joel 1:4,5; Eph 5:14-20 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matt+24%3A15%3B+2+Thess+2%3A3%2C4%2C9-12%3B+Rev+11%3A1-3%3B+Joel+1%3A4%2C5%3B+Eph+5%3A14-20&version=NKJV
In each instance when God’s people in the past disregarded His ordinances, He “sent”, or allowed, discipline to fall on them. (Deut 8:1-6; Heb 12:11) Usually, it was in the form of an enemy’s stronghold. The “rod” of discipline this time, is the organization; specifically, the very army of elders who rule over them. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deut+8%3A1-6%3B+Heb+12%3A11&version=NKJV
The very army that chooses to ignore the plight of the helpless ones. Ps 89:30-32; Rev 3:19; Rev 9:1-11 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ps+89%3A30-32%3B+Rev+3%3A19%3B+Rev+9%3A1-11&version=NKJV
Joel 1:4 describes them as locust in all historic and individual stages of type and development.
That which the palmerworm hath left --- “a creeping locust without wings”-“to devour”…
…hath the locust eaten --- a locust “swarm”…
…and that which the locust hath left …
…hath the cankerworm eaten --- “a devourer; specifically, the young locust”…
…and that which the cankerworm hath left…
…hath the caterpiller eaten --- “a locust not yet winged” “the ravager”
Now, picture the locust swarm “released” by the Harlot/Wormwood to come against the anointed priesthood – against the Temple of God:
“Many Christian men apply that encouragement and make spiritual progress to qualify for privileges in the congregation. The result is that God’s people are blessed with TENS OF THOUSANDS of capable elders and ministerial servants. But because of the increase seen in the congregations, there is a need for more brothers to reach out.” Wt 14/9/15
FROM PEARL DOXSEY’S ARTICLE: “THE GREAT TRIBULATION – WHAT AND WHY”:
“The Great Tribulation is a spiritual assault by Satan upon the remnant, (Rev.12:17; 20:7-10; 16:13-16; 1Tim.4:1; Luke 21:20-22 t
through the greatest Army that has ever existed [Rev.13:1,4; 11:2; 9:7,10; Luke22:31; 21:20-22,24; Mark13:14 -(Num.18:7);Matt.24:15-16]
It has a deceptive priestly - princely veneer (Jer.7:4,8; Eze.44:6-9; Rev.9:7; Nahum 3:17)
of divine INSPIRATION*** and approval,through endorsement by the false prophet's lying spirit,
NOT by God's spirit! (Rev.13:14,15; 19:20) ("Disgusting Thing") (Rev.2:2;2Cor.11:13-15; 2Tim.3:5,13; Matt.7:15; 1Tim.4:1; Rev.16:14,13,15; 19:20; Matt.24:24,25; Rev.13:15--***"breath" -John20:22).
(*** False prophet produces a counterfeit of "God's SPIRIT - DIRECTED Organization")
[The AUTHENTIC Temple of God's spirit, is His Chosen, anointed priesthood (1Cor.3:16; 2Cor.6:16; 1Pet.2:10,9,5; Eph.2:20-22)]
God sends / allows this abomination, to assault and discipline His people (Isa.42:24; Dan.9:12; Joel 2:25 C; Joel 2:11; Mal.3:2;Zech.13:8-9; Eze.6:9-10; 14:22-23; Joel 3:17) (Zech.9:3; Rev.8:7; 9:18; Job 23:10), because in the time of the end,
GOD’S PEOPLE are tolerating, subjecting themselves to, and participating in IDOLIZING, the collective "Image" of that very Army (Rev.13:14-15,7-8; 2:20; Matt.24:24-25; Luke 21:24; Rev.14:12).
THAT IS WHY THEY ARE BEING TRAMPLED BY IT” (Ec.10:7; Prov.25:26; 2Cor.11:4,20; Matt.5:13; Luke 21:24,22; Rev.11:2;13:10,7 Isa.51:23; 2Cor.11:20,4,3,2; Mal.3:2-3; Zech.13:9; Rev.2:5; 3:3).
The love which results in righteous acts, simply does not exist in the organization since the climate of lawlessness has erased true justice. Deut 6:24,25 For those anointed who reject the GB that “substitutes” for Christ (NWT 2 Cor 5:20) ,turning instead to Jesus Christ to lead them directly; they are freed from the crushing weight of lawlessness – “ the disgusting thing standing in the holy place” – the elder body “standing” in/over the “living stones” of the Temple of God. 2Chron.13:9; 2Thess.2:4; Isa 43:10; 1 Pet 2:5,9; 1 Cor 3:16,17; Eph 2:20-22 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deut++6%3A24%2C25%3B+2Chron.13%3A9%3B+2Thess.2%3A4%3B+Isa+43%3A10%3B+1+Pet+2%3A5%2C9%3B+1+Cor+3%3A16%2C17%3B+Eph+2%3A20-22++&version=NKJV
“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with LAWLESSNESS? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the TEMPLE OF GOD with idols? For youare the temple of the living God. As God has said:
“I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.”
“Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.”
18 “I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Cor 6:14-18
We are reminded during this time period, of “Who is like God”, since “Jehovah’s organization” with all its “temple” sublets, has seduced God’s people into idolatry and the transgression of God’s laws fulfilled in Christ. Deut 4:23,24; Isa 40:25; Dan 12:1; Rev 12:7-9; Rev 13:4; Gal 5:14 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deut+4%3A23%2C24%3B+Isa+40%3A25%3B+Dan+12%3A1%3B+Rev+12%3A7-9%3B+Rev+13%3A4%3B+Gal+5%3A14+&version=NKJV
Within Watchtower’s walls, instead of an angel of God camping all around those fearing Him, another angel – Belial - has surrounded the camp of holy ones, utilizing a Harlot/false prophet and the organization she so presently loves, to keep them captivated and inebriated on wormwood, and a false sense of peace and security. Matt 25:5; 22:8; Rev 18:3; 1 Cor 6:15; Jer 51:7; 1 Thess 5:3; Rev 20:9 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matt+25%3A5%3B+22%3A8%3B+Rev+18%3A3%3B+1+Cor+6%3A15%3B+Jer+51%3A7%3B+1+Thess+5%3A3%3B+Rev+20%3A9++&version=NKJV
13 “If you carefully obey my commands I am giving you today, to love the Lord your God and worship Him with all your heart and all your soul, 14 I will provide rain for your land in the proper time, the autumn and spring rains, and you will harvest your grain, new wine, and fresh oil. 15 I will provide grass in your fields for your livestock. You will eat and be satisfied. 16 Be careful that you are not enticed to turn aside, serve, and bow in worship to other gods. 17 Then the Lord’s anger will burn against you. He will shut the sky, and there will be no rain; the land will not yield its produce, and you will perish quickly from the good land the Lord is giving you.
18 “Imprint these words of mine on your hearts and minds, bind them as a sign on your hands, and let them be a symbol on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates, 21 so that as long as the heavens are above the earth, your days and those of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your fathers. 22 For if you carefully observe every one of these commands I am giving you to follow—to love the Lord your God, walk in all his ways, and remain faithful to him— 23 the Lord will drive out all these nations before you, and you will drive out nations greater and stronger than you are. 24 Every place the sole of your foot treads will be yours. Your territory will extend from the wilderness to Lebanon and from the Euphrates River to the Mediterranean Sea. 25 No one will be able to stand against you; the Lord your God will put fear and dread of you in all the land where you set foot, as he has promised you.
26 “Look, today I set before you a blessing and a curse: 27 there will be a blessing, if you obey the commands of the Lord your God I am giving you today, 28 and a curse, if you do not obey the commands of the Lord your God and you turn aside from the path I command you today by following other gods you have not known. Deut 11:13-28
3 “From far away Jehovah appeared to me and said: “I have loved you with an everlasting love. That is why I have drawn you to me with loyal love.” — Jeremiah 31:3.By Bible Speaks
3 “From far away Jehovah appeared to me and said:
Â“I have loved you with an everlasting love.
That is why I have drawn you to me with loyal love.Â” Â— Jeremiah 31:3.
Tap on Video Link mp4 _________?
By Guest Nicole
Transcript - Promoting Love and Respect for Truth.pdf
By Bible Speaks
~? Is Your Love so Great You Would Die for Someone?~?
God Loved Us So Much First~ “Love can be known only from the actions it prompts. GodÂ’s love is seen in the gift of His Son, I John 4:9, 10. But obviously this is not the love of complacency, or affection, that is, it was not drawn out by any excellency in its objects, Rom. 5:8.
It was an exercise of the Divine will in deliberate choice, made without assignable cause save that which lies in the nature of God Himself, cp. Deut. 7:7, 8.Â”
AÂ·ga?pe, therefore, carries the meaning of love guided, or governed, by principle. It may or may not include affection and fondness. That aÂ·ga?pe may include affection and warmth is evident in many passages.
At John 3:35, Jesus said: Â“The Father loves [aÂ·gaÂ·pai?] the Son.Â” At John 5:20, he said: Â“The Father has affection for [phiÂ·lei?] the Son.Â” Certainly GodÂ’s love for Jesus Christ is coupled with much affection. Also Jesus explained: Â“He that loves [aÂ·gaÂ·pon?] me will be loved [aÂ·gaÂ·peÂ·the?seÂ·tai] by my Father, and I will love [aÂ·gaÂ·pe?so] him.Â” (Joh 14:21)Â
This love of the Father and of the Son is accompanied by tender affection for such loving persons. JehovahÂ’s worshipers must love him and his Son, as well as one another, in the same way.Â—John 21:15-17. - Bible Speaks
By Guest Nicole
HereÂ’s what they are:
1. Be together for the right reasons
DonÂ’t ever be with someone because someone else pressured you to. I got married the first time because I was raised Catholic and thatÂ’s what you were supposed to do. Wrong. I got married the second time because I was miserable and lonely and thought having a loving wife would fix everything for me. Also wrong. Took me three tries to figure out what should have been obvious from the beginning, the only reason you should ever be with the person youÂ’re with is because you simply love being around them. It really is that simple.
Before we even get into what you should do in your relationship, letÂ’s start with what not to do.
When I sent out my request to readers for advice, I added a caveat that turned out to be illuminating. I asked people who were on their second or third (or fourth) marriages what they did wrong. Where did they mess up?
By far, the most common answer was Â“being with the person for the wrong reasons.Â”
Some of these wrong reasons included:
Pressure from friends and family Feeling like a Â“loserÂ” because they were single and settling for the first person that came along Being together for imageÂ—because the relationshipÂ looked goodÂ on paper (or in photos), not because the two people actually admired each other Being young and naive and hopelessly in love and thinking that love would solve everything As weÂ’ll see throughout the rest of this article, everything that makes a relationship Â“workÂ” (and by work, I mean that it is happy and sustainable for both people involved) requires a genuine, deep-level admiration for each other. Without that mutual admiration, everything else will unravel.
The other Â“wrongÂ” reason to enter into a relationship is, like Greg said, to Â“fixÂ” yourself. This desire to use the love of someone else to soothe your own emotional problems inevitably leads to codependence, an unhealthy and damaging dynamic between two people where they tacitly agree to use each otherÂ’s love as a distraction from their own self-loathing. WeÂ’ll get more into codependence later in this article, but for now, itÂ’s useful to point out that love, itself, is neutral. It is something that can be both healthy or unhealthy, helpful or harmful, depending onÂ whyÂ andÂ howÂ you love someone else and are loved by someone else. By itself,Â love is never enoughÂ to sustain a relationship.
Read more:Â https://qz.com/884448/every-successful-relationship-is-successful-for-the-same-exact-reasons/
via TheWorldNewsOrgWorld News
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
WOULD YOU PAY SOMEONE $80 AN HOUR TO CUDDLE YOU?
My Dad, whose religion was United States Navy, often lamented that in the "early days" of the United States Navy, the men were made of steel, and the ships were made of wood ... but today ... the ships are made of steel, and the men are made of wood.
With that in mind, there are people SO UPSET that Trump won the Presidency that they are paying "professional Cuddlers" to hold them while they sob and moan.
I know that on some college campi that they have "safe spaces" where it is not allowed to MENTION that Trump won ... and folks are furnished coloring books, crayons, and teddy bears to hug .. at taxpayer (subsidized) expense.
Here is an article about the Cuddlers that is absolutely unbelievable .... but true.
I think the "herd" needs to be thinned out.
By Guest Nicole
Here are five tips to help you let go of your exes for good:
1. Start a self-improvement routine, complete with daily, weekly, and monthly goal setting.
2. Meet with someone weekly to discuss your personal growth and your journey.
This person will help keep you accountable to your goals and lifestyle choices. Can be a friend or an amazing coach.
3. Stay single for a year—totally single.
If you can’t be happy with you, you won’t be happy—truly happy—with anyone else. Love that you! Commit to being successfully single for a year. That means happy, connected in your community, fulfilled in your work, and in a state of continuous personal growth. (Your daily routines and long-term goals will be critical to this step.)
4. Surround yourself with positive, uplifting people.
Join a faith community where people strive to live out the values you identify with. This is where you’ll find the deep connections that you can grow with—and that will prevent you from leaning on your exes as crutches.
5. Pray or meditate often.
Use your emotions as mindfulness cues. When you miss someone, pray for them. When you’re lonely, pray for the courage, positivity, and fortitude to make good decisions. When you think you can’t go on—that happens to everyone—pray for what you need. This will help you grow faith in a higher power and yourself, which is an absolute must if you want to be happy alone.
And being happy alone? That’s an absolute must for loving someone unconditionally in a relationship that can last a lifetime.
Read the article: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/the-danger-of-holding-onto-past-relationships-how-to-finally-let-go?utm_term=pos-8&utm_source=mbg&utm_medium=email&utm_content=daily1&utm_campaign=170706
By Guest Nicole
Relationship issues are inevitable; they are a part of our human experience. And this part of our life, essential to our well-being, can bring us to our knees or make us feel bad about who we are.
Have you ever heard yourself say these things?
"I hate the way you make me feel." "What you are doing makes me insecure, and when you stop doing that, I will be happy." "I can't deal with the way this relationship makes me feel anymore." We are all affected by our relationships in some way. However, no matter what you are experiencing, there is one thing you can always do that will immediately affect how you feel and, in addition, will empower you and make you feel good about who you are instead of leaving you feeling depleted, exhausted, or lost. So what can you do in the moment that you are at your wit's end, feeling hurt, upset, or confused?
Simply reconnect to yourself and use this very challenge, issue, or difficulty to become stronger and more of who you are meant to be. Use this challenge to become stronger and more powerful instead of allowing it to break you down or make you feel like a victim.
Here are three ways to take back the reins of your life and immediately change how you feel about yourself and your relationship:
1. Let go of the concept of "right and wrong."
Very simply, instead of focusing on what the other person did or didn't do, observe how you're feeling and identify what you need. By doing this, you are turning your attention back to yourself instead of being paralyzed and disempowered by pointing the finger at the other person.
If you've ever said, "If you would just change, everything would be OK," you know how easy it is to focus your attention on what the other person has said or done. The next time you find yourself doing this, ask yourself, "If this is the perfect person to help me become who I'm meant to be, what am I supposed to be learning from this relationship?"
2. Give up trying to change the other person.
Although this isn't easy, make a commitment to yourself to work on accepting the other person as they are. Each person brings their own "stuff" to a relationship—we all have our own history with our own issues, wounds, and challenges to overcome.
The next time you feel yourself taking on the other person's issue or trying to "fix" them, remind yourself that the only person you can change is you. And affirm for yourself, "I will focus on how I'm being affected and what I need to work through and will allow the other person space to work through their issues as well." By declaring this, you will be better equipped to not take on the other person's issues or take their actions personally.
3. Learn how to stop basing your worth on the condition of your relationship.
Give yourself the gift of diving deeper into your own inner exploration and development. By doing this, you will become more at peace with who you are and will know at a deep level that you are OK—even when your relationship isn't perfect or when things are happening that are hurtful or upsetting.
Begin by making a commitment to your growth. Affirm that reconnecting to yourself is the most important journey you will ever take. Then take one simple action this week: Start reading a self-help book, research a personal development course, or take 10 minutes each day to check in with yourself and identify what you need by asking, "What can I do in this moment to reconnect to who I am and what I need?" A few examples could be writing down three things that make you feel good about yourself, looking at some photos that bring a smile to your face, or spending some time in nature today.
Relationships are in a constant state of flux and bring a level of complexity to our lives that is out of our control. The one thing we always control is whether we will use our challenges to grow, expand, and become more of who we are meant to be or, instead, allow them to hold us back and limit our potential.
Today, make a declaration that you will use even the most difficult relationship in your life for a monumental purpose—your life's purpose—to grow and evolve into the person you are meant to be. And then do just that.
By Bible Speaks
What is your Dream of Paradise? - Can you imagine what the world will be like? - We have never had Paradise on earth, yet; yes we have beautiful gardens right now that gives us a view of our future on earth!....LOOK...
“THE nostalgia for paradise is among the powerful nostalgias that seem to haunt human beings. It may be the most powerful and persistent of all. A certain longing for paradise is evidenced at every level of religious life.” So says The Encyclopedia of Religion.
Such nostalgia is only natural, since the Bible tells us that human life began in Paradise—a beautiful garden free of disease and death. (Genesis 2:8-15) It is not surprising that many of the world’s religions hold out the hope of future life in a paradise of one kind or another.
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE TEACH ABOUT PARADISE ON EARTH?
(Isaiah 35:1,2) "The wilderness and the waterless region will exult, and the desert plain will be joyful and blossom as the saffron. 2 Without fail it will blossom, and it will really be joyful with joyousness and with glad crying out. The glory of Leb′a·non itself must be given to it, the splendor of Car′mel and of Shar′on. There will be those who will see the glory of Jehovah, the splendor of our God."
God’s original purpose for man—to enjoy perfect life in an earthly paradise—and point to God’s restoration of Paradise on earth through Christ. In Paradise Lost, for example, Michael the archangel foretells the time when Christ will “reward His faithful, and receive them into bliss, whether in heaven or earth, for then the earth shall all be paradise, far happier place than this of Eden, and far happier days.”
(Isaiah 35:3-4) . . .Strengthen the weak hands, YOU people, and make the knees that are wobbling firm. 4 Say to those who are anxious at heart: “Be strong. Do not be afraid. Look! YOUR own God will come with vengeance itself, God even with a repayment. He himself will come and save YOU people.”
(Psalm 37:9-11) . . .For evildoers themselves will be cut off, But those hoping in Jehovah are the ones that will possess the earth. ו [Waw] 10 And just a little while longer, and the wicked one will be no more; And you will certainly give attention to his place, and he will not be. 11 But the meek ones themselves will possess the earth, And they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.
(Psalm 37:29) . . .The righteous themselves will possess the earth, And they will reside forever upon it.
REJOICE! - SOON THAT PARADISE WILL BE HERE! LEARN NOW HOW TO BE PART OF THOSE THAT LIVE IN THAT EARTHLY PARADISE!
By Bible Speaks
"With humility consider others superior to you."—Phil. 2:3.
Imitate Jesus’ Humility and Tenderness
“Christ suffered for you, leaving a model for you to follow his steps closely.”—1 PET. 2:21.
WE TEND to imitate those whose personality and ways we admire. Of all the humans who have walked the earth, no one is more worthy of imitation than Jesus Christ. Why is that? Jesus himself once said: “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father also.” (John 14:9)
Jesus reflects his Father’s personality so perfectly that observing the Son is like seeing the Father. Therefore, as we imitate Jesus, we draw closer to Jehovah, the greatest Personage in the universe. What a reward for imitating the qualities and ways of his Son!
How, though, can we know what Jesus is like? Thankfully, we have an inspired written portrait of Jesus. Jehovah provided that record, as found in the Christian Greek Scriptures, because he wants us to become acquainted with his Son so that we can imitate him. (Read 1 Peter 2:21.)
In the Bible, the example Jesus left is compared to “steps,” or footprints. In effect, Jehovah is telling us to walk behind Jesus and match our steps to his.
Of course, Jesus left a perfect example for us, and we are far from perfect. But Jehovah does not expect us to follow Jesus’ steps perfectly.
Rather, the Father expects us to imitate his Son to the best of our ability as imperfect humans.
By Guest Nicole
We all want to feel understood, respected, and appreciated in our relationships. But life can often get in the way and undermine the connection we used to have with our significant other, leaving our love feeling lackluster. It doesn't take much to feel like you're moving in opposite directions.
Then there are the couples that appear to have perfect relationships. They light up when they see each other, speak highly of their significant other, and rarely seem to bicker. It's easy to assume that there is a magical connection between them that only a few get blessed with.
But what if they were doing a few simple things that were responsible for keeping their relationship healthy?
There are some basic things you can do to foster that sense of deep love and connection, even when you feel like your relationship is already starting on the back foot. These tips have the ability to significantly improve how happy and satisfied you both feel in your relationship. It's these behaviors that keep those happy relationships flourishing.
Here are 3 ways you can start fostering positivity in your relationship:
1. Start with your personal happiness.
Happy people create positive relationships. If you are waiting for someone else to make you happy, you will always feel let down. When you're happy within yourself, you reflect that back into your relationship. Start with recognizing how you would rate your level of happiness currently. If you're not as happy as you'd like to be, ask yourself, "What can I do to support myself to feel happier?" The answer could include restarting a hobby, beginning a new health routine, connecting more with friends, or taking steps to follow a passion that is deep within your heart. The crucial element is that you need to step up and take responsibility for your own well-being. By taking action, you will feel more empowered and recognize that happiness ultimately has to be an inside job. This change in energy will move into your relationship.
2. Look for the good.
We're all happier when we feel appreciated. It's therefore hardly a surprise that relationships need more positive interactions than negative ones if they are going to thrive. Dr. Gottman's famous research found that you need to have five positive interactions for every negative interaction if your relationship is going to stay happy. Begin with consciously watching for what your partner is doing right, rather than consistently focusing on what they are doing wrong. Look for opportunities to voice your appreciation and aim to add as many positive interactions into your shared experience as you can. Feeling positive emotions is a precursor to a happy relationship. You have the ability to focus your attention so that you look for and appreciate the good in your partner. This simple action ultimately helps to remedy the balance of positive-to-negative interactions and set a relationship back on a healthy track.
3. Make space to nurture your connection.
Positive relationships are sustained by a foundation of strong connection. Just like a small child needs attention to feel truly happy, a relationship needs nurturing if it is going to continue to stay healthy. It is important to put time aside exclusively to connect with your significant other. Rather than assuming it will just happen, create it. It may be a monthly date night (where, thankfully, there is no TV to distract you), taking a walk together, scheduling a vacation, or choosing to fall asleep while cuddling on the couch rather than going to bed alone. Remember that time and energy dedicated to fostering your union is essential. Where your energy goes your attention flows. Attention is the fuel that will help your partner feel important and valued in your life, which will likely lead to the reciprocating of care and kindness.
Even when your relationship isn't as happy as you'd like it to be, there are things you can do to improve it. When you take care of yourself and resolve to show up positively for your partner, things begin to flourish. The result—you'll feel both happier in yourselves and in your coupling.
By Bible Speaks
“Let Marriage Be Honorable”
“Rejoice with the wife of your youth.”—PROVERBS 5:18.
HOW CAN I IMPROVE MY MARRIAGE?
Principle: “Each one of you must love his wife as he does himself; on the other hand, the wife should have deep respect for her husband.”—Ephesians 5:33.
Some questions to ask yourself
* What are my mate’s good qualities, and how can I express appreciation for him or her?—Proverbs 14:1; 31:29; 1 Peter 3:1, 6; 4:8.
* Do I honor my spouse by seeking to understand his or her thoughts and feelings?—Philippians 2:4.
* Am I willing to overlook my spouse’s shortcomings?—Matthew 6:14, 15.
* When was the last time I expressed my affection for my spouse?—Song of Solomon 2:9-14.
* Toward what spiritual goals are we working?—Matthew 6:33, 34; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27.
* What initiative can I take to encourage my mate to read the Bible and consider the daily text together with me?
4 "Let marriage be honorable among all, and let the marriage bed be without defilement, for God will judge sexually immoral people and adulterers." (Hebrews 13:4)
AVOID SPEECH AND CONDUCT THAT DISHONOR MARRIAGE
What conduct dishonors marriage? (b) What question should we consider with our mate?
A Christian wife some time ago noted: “I pray to Jehovah for strength to see me through.” Through what? She explained: “My husband strikes me with words. I may not have visible bruises, but his constant cutting remarks, such as ‘You’re a burden!’ and ‘You’re worthless!’ have scarred my heart.” This wife brings up a matter of grave concern—abusive speech within marriage.
How sad it is when spouses in Christian households hurl cruel words at each other, causing emotional wounds that are not easily healed! Obviously, a marriage marked by hurtful speech is not honorable.
How is your marriage faring in this regard? One way to find out is by humbly asking your spouse, “What effect do my words have on you?” If your mate feels that time and again your words have caused emotional wounds, you must be willing to change the situation for the better.—Galatians 5:15; read Ephesians 4:31.
God’s Word states: “By wisdom a house is built up, and by discernment it is made secure. By knowledge its rooms are filled with all sorts of precious and pleasant treasures.” (Proverbs 24:3, 4)
Consider how these words can be applied to marriage.
How can we gradually strengthen our marriage?
Among the precious treasures filling a happy household are such qualities as true love, godly fear, and firm faith. (Proverbs 15:16, 17; 1 Peter 1:7)
They create a strong marriage. But did you note how the rooms in the above-quoted proverb are filled with precious treasures? “By knowledge.” Yes, when applied, Bible knowledge has the power to transform people’s thinking and to move them to rekindle their love for each other. (Romans 12:2; Philippians 1:9)
Hence, whenever you and your spouse sit down together and calmly consider a Bible passage, such as the daily text, or a Bible-based article in The Watchtower or Awake! pertaining to marriage, it is as if you were examining a lovely decoration that can beautify your house. When love for Jehovah moves you to apply in your marriage the counsel that you just examined, you are, as it were, bringing that decoration into the rooms of your house. As a result, some of the color and warmth that you once enjoyed in your marriage may return.
By Guest Nicole
Opposites attract, so date someone who's nothing like you. But, wait a minute—isn't it important to find someone who has a similar background, values, and goals? There's so much conflicting dating advice out there, how can you possibly figure out how to find love?
While it's true that finding a partner with qualities that differ from yours can add balance and excitement to a relationship, problems can arise when there are too many differences. The more compatible you are with your partner, the more successful your relationship will likely be.
Here are seven areas of compatibility to examine when choosing a partner. They don't all have to line up perfectly, but the more aligned you two are, the better the relationship will be.
Do you get along well most of the time or find that he/she irritates you on a regular basis? Do you find yourself saying, "If only she'd think before she spoke" or "I wish he'd be less lazy"? Is he overly anxious? Does her alphabetized music collection make your skin crawl? What you see is what you get; so if you don't like your partner's temperament, don't try to fix it. Find someone whose personality is more compatible with yours.
2. Communication style
Are you direct or indirect in communicating what's important to you? Are you passive while she's assertive? Do you hold things in until you explode or speak your mind clearly and directly? If you can both communicate clearly and in a similar fashion, you'll have a much higher chance for a successful relationship.
3. Friends and family
Do you like and get along with each other's friends and family? Do you agree about how much time to devote to both? And if you're both single parents thinking about tying the knot, are you clear about how you'll parent? If friends and family issues become too stressful, they will have a very negative effect on your relationship.
4. Nutrition and fitness
Are you a gluten-free vegan while he is a Big Mac addict? Do you surf the waves on the weekend, while she's home surfing the web? This may seem like a minor point, but think about how many meals you will share with each other. How do your partner's food choices and attention to fitness align with your lifestyle and values? If you're not a good match in this area, you will probably have big challenges in your relationship.
Many people say that they are seeking a partner who is financially secure. In today's volatile financial market, financial security is not something you can count on. A few more appropriate questions are, "Are you responsible with finances? Are you generous? Do you contribute to charities?" Money is one of the things couples fight about most often. It is helpful if you share similar financial goals and habits.
I don't believe you have to be with someone who has the exact same level of education. In fact, there are many brilliant people who never graduated college (Steve Jobs, Rachael Ray). However, couples who share similar backgrounds in education (and that includes self-study), life, and professional experience are usually better suited for each other. They have more in common and can relate to each other in a deeper way. They are on the same wavelength and truly "get" each other.
There are many things that come under the category of intimacy, including romance and public display of affection. Some couples have different sexual needs, which can lead to anger and resentment. An essential component of a lasting loving relationship includes having similar ideas about frequency and style of intimacy. So if you're more Mr. Fifty Shades and she's Ms. Low Libido, you will have issues in your relationship.
What can you do if you are not compatible?
It doesn't have to mean things can never work, but these are your options:
Accept things as they are. Work on yourself and the relationship. Leave the relationship. Remember that the only person you can change is yourself. You partner will only change if he/she wants to.
If you are dating to find a lasting, loving relationship, it is far more effective to choose a compatible partner from the start than to try to fix a relationship with a weak foundation. Don't be afraid to walk away if your basic needs are not met. There are millions of singles in the world. Move on and find a better fit. And make sure to use the most powerful four-letter word in dating—"Next!"
By Guest Nicole
By Bible Speaks
? PRAISE JEHOVAH FOR HE IS GREAT AND HIS GLORY IS
A TESTIMONY TO HIS WORKS AND LOVE FOR ALL MANKIND.?
"The heavens are declaring the glory of God; And of the work of his hands the expanse is telling. 2 One day after another day causes speech to bubble forth, And one night after another night shows forth knowledge."
Who's Your Anchor ⚓️?
By Guest Nicole
By Bible Speaks
??Kevin Richardson-The Lion Whisperer…True trust, and deep love. This man amazes me. To be able to follow him around,for just 1 day,to be able to get close to these beautiful,and powerful animals…would definitely be a dream come true. Maybe soon in New World will be reality?
By Bible Speaks
The fruitage of the spirit is love.—Gal. 5:22.
Other aspects of the fruitage of the spirit—such as mildness, self-control, and patience—are important too. (Gal. 5:23)
By Guest Nicole
I received the below question from someone recently, and it reminded me how difficult it can be to distinguish the things that truly matter in a relationship from the things that we have been told "should" matter.
Question: I've been dating Josh for about three months. He's a great guy, good-looking, smart, and most importantly, he treats me with respect. However, I've had a tough dating and relationship history. I was engaged to a guy who never followed through with his promises and broke off the engagement. I was married to a man who cheated. As you can imagine, trust has been difficult for me.
I've been working on myself, and I now love and respect myself so much more. Because of that, I've been able to slowly develop this wonderful relationship. I don't want things to go wrong.
Here's the problem: Josh has never said, "I love you." I feel that he really cares, but I'd feel so much better if I heard those words. Am I being silly or insecure? Or should I be concerned if he doesn't say those three magic words?
Here's what I told her. I hope it helps you, too.
Josh sounds like he's a good partner for you. He respects and cherishes you, which is fundamental to a lasting relationship. He honors and values you because you've learned to love yourself and to stop tolerating liars and cheaters.
It sounds like this is a much healthier relationship than you've ever experienced. Let's celebrate that!
You ask about those three little words; when is the right time to say, "I love you"? It sounds like you're ready to profess your love, and he might not be there yet. Here's how to know where you stand.
Watch his actions, not his words.
If he's showing you that he cares for you, that's what matters most. As you probably know, words are not as important as follow-through and consistency.
I would be more concerned if he said "I love you" after only four dates, and his actions didn't match up. How do you know if his actions mean that he loves you? I have created an assessment to help you figure out if someone loves you, whether they've said it or not:
Is this person calling and texting consistently?
Do you get together on a regular basis?
Is the relationship escalating and growing?
Do you feel valued and cherished by this person?
Do you feel safe with them (emotionally and physically)?
Are they considerate, kind, and thoughtful?
Do you feel good about the relationship when you're with them AND when you're not?
Is this person open to talking things out when you disagree?
If you can answer "yes" to all of the questions above, that person cares deeply about you and prioritizes you in their life.
It's helpful to know that people express their love in many different ways, and it's not always in the way that we expect. In the wonderful book, The Five Love Languages, author Gary Chapman lists the five ways of expressing love as follows:
Words of Affirmation
Quality Time Giving Gifts Acts of Service Physical Touch I suggest you take the love languages assessment to find out what your preferred language of expression is. I highly recommend that you ask Josh to do the same so you can learn his love language too.
Understanding the way you each express love is one of the keys to accepting and embracing your partner. It can lessen the anxiety you feel when you aren't getting what you need in a relationship.
So, is it really important to hear the words "I love you"?
I believe those three words are highly overrated. They can be meaningful if they're said in the right context and with sincerity. But they can mean different things to different people. To one partner, "I love you" means "I think you might be the ONE I've been searching for my whole life." To the other, "I love you" means "I like you a lot, and I want to sleep with you."
There are many other ways to express your love. So, remember to watch what he does more than what he says. Understand each other's love languages. And once you've done that, you'll be able to take a deep breath and stop worrying so much about whether or not someone says I love you. Do you feel loved? That's all that matters.
By Sandy Weiner/MBG
By Bible Speaks
Lesson for today. (Matt 5:44, 45)
Love your enemies. Jehovah has always taught us to love our enemies.
In Jesus’ time, some taught that people should hate their enemies. But Jesus counseled: “Continue to love your enemies and to pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:43-45)
Paul gave similar counsel when he said: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.” (Romans 12:20; Proverbs 25:21)
In ancient Israel, Jehovah gave his people laws instructing them to help their enemies and even their enemies’ animals. (Exodus 23:5) By applying that counsel, some people who once hated one another might have become good friends.
As Christians, showing love for our enemies may change the way they feel about us. Some of them may even become servants of Jehovah. By working together in such a way, former enemies might become good friends.
Because Christians show love, many of our enemies have softened their heart toward us. If we show love for our enemies—even rabid persecutors—how happy we will be if some of them embrace true Christianity!
Our enemies are in a very precarious position. They are fighting against God. Thus, in harmony with Jesus’ command, rather than fear them, we pray for those persecuting us. (Matthew 5:44)
We pray that if any are opposing God out of ignorance, as Saul of Tarsus was, Jehovah will graciously open their eyes to the truth. (2 Corinthians 4:4) Saul became the Christian apostle Paul and suffered greatly at the hands of the authorities of his day.
Still, he kept reminding fellow believers “to be in subjection and be obedient to governments and authorities as rulers, to be ready for every good work, to speak injuriously of no one [no, not even of their most ardent persecutors], not to be belligerent, to be reasonable, exhibiting all mildness toward all men.” “If you love those loving you, what reward do you have?” asked Jesus. “Are not also the tax collectors doing the same thing? And if you greet your brothers only, what extraordinary thing are you doing? Are not also the people of the nations doing the same thing?” (Matt. 5:46, 47)
True Christians do not show partiality toward people of certain educational or ethnic backgrounds; nor do they extend love only to those who are able to reciprocate.
Rather, they help the poor and the sick, the young and the old. In such ways, Christians can imitate Jehovah’s love and thus be perfect in a relative sense. http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2010846?q=pray+for+enemies&p=par#h=6
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