Persevering in prayer is essential to keeping on the watch. Recall that in the garden of Gethsemane just before his arrest, Jesus told three of his apostles: “Keep on the watch and pray continually.” (Matt. 26:41) Peter, who was present on that occasion, later experienced firsthand the power of fervent prayers. (Acts 12:1-6) After being arrested by Herod, Peter was chained between 2 guards, with 16 guards working in shifts day and night to make sure that this apostle did not escape. Herod’s intention was to present Peter to the people after the Passover, his death sentence a gift to delight the crowds. Verse 5 reads: “Consequently Peter was being kept in the prison; but prayer to God for him was being carried on intensely by the congregation.” How did things turn out for Peter? During his final night in the prison while he was fast asleep between his two guards, an angel set Peter free.—Acts 12:7-11. w12 1/15 2:10-13, 15
Jehovah has equipped us to resist the spirit of the world. By means of his spirit, Jehovah fortifies us to withstand Satan’s efforts to mislead us. (Rev. 12:9) The spirit of the world is strong, and we cannot avoid it altogether. However, we do not have to be corrupted by it. Holy spirit is even stronger, and it will help us! Of those who forsook Christianity in the first century, the apostle Peter said: “Abandoning the straight path, they have been misled.” (2 Pet. 2:15) How very thankful we can be that we have received, “not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is from God”! (1 Cor. 2:12) With the help of its influence and by taking full advantage of all of Jehovah’s provisions to keep us on the right path spiritually, we can succeed in resisting the satanic spirit of this wicked world.—Gal. 5:16.w11 12/15 2:14, 15
Here the flesh is not necessarily the physical body. In the Bible, the word “flesh” is sometimes used to denote the sinful and imperfect nature of the fallen flesh. This nature is what causes the conflict between the flesh and the mind that Paul mentioned earlier. (Rom. 7:21-23) Unlike him, however, those who “are in accord with the flesh” do not even put up a fight. Instead of considering what God requires of them and accepting the help he has provided, they are inclined to “set their minds on the things of the flesh.” They often focus on the satisfying of their bodily comforts and physical desires. In contrast, the inclination of those who are “in accord with the spirit” is to set their minds on “the things of the spirit”—spiritual provisions and activity. w11 11/15 2:14
Jehovah’s worshippers are precious to him. Jesus made this clear when he said: “Five sparrows sell for two coins of small value, do they not? Yet not one of them goes forgotten before God. But even the hairs of your heads are all numbered. Have no fear; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:6, 7) Trusting in Jehovah and in the fulfillment of his promises can bring us comfort in times of distress. Our heavenly Father is not limited by anything or anyone and therefore has at his disposal whatever means are needed to provide comfort for those who love him. In turn, we are able to comfort fellow believers “in any sort of tribulation.” We can do so “through the comfort with which we ourselves are being comforted by God.” (2 Cor. 1:3, 4) How well this expresses Jehovah’s unmatched ability to comfort despairing ones! w11 10/15 3:3-5
(Thought I’d post this considering the reading this week)
Does John 1:1 prove that Jesus is God?
John 1:1, RS: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God [also KJ, JB, Dy, Kx, NAB].” NE reads “what God was, the Word was.” Mo says “the Logos was divine.” AT and Sd tell us “the Word was divine.” The interlinear rendering of ED is “a god was the Word.” NW reads “the Word was a god”; NTIV uses the same wording.
What is it that these translators are seeing in the Greek text that moves some of them to refrain from saying “the Word was God”? The definite article (the) appears before the first occurrence of the·os′ (God) but not before the second. The articular (when the article appears) construction of the noun points to an identity, a personality, whereas a singular anarthrous (without the article) predicate noun before the verb (as the sentence is constructed in Greek) points to a quality about someone. So the text is not saying that the Word (Jesus) was the same as the God with whom he was but, rather, that the Word was godlike, divine, a god. (See1984 Reference edition of NW, p. 1579.)
What did the apostle John mean when he wrote John 1:1? Did he mean that Jesus is himself God or perhaps that Jesus is one God with the Father? In the same chapter, Joh 1 verse 18, John wrote: “No one [“no man,” KJ, Dy] has ever seen God; the only Son [“the only-begotten god,” NW], who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.” (RS) Had any human seen Jesus Christ, the Son? Of course! So, then, was John saying that Jesus was God? Obviously not. Toward the end of his Gospel, John summarized matters, saying: “These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, [not God, but] the Son of God.”—John 20:31, RS.
Think about the first time you had a meaningful discussion with one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. What do you remember about it? Many would reply, ‘I was impressed by the fact that the Witness used the Bible to answer all my questions.’ How delighted we were to discover God’s purpose for the earth, what happens when we die, and what the future holds for our dead loved ones! As we studied further, however, we realized that the Bible does much more than answer our questions about life, death, and the future. We came to appreciate that the Bible is the most practical book in the world. Its counsel is timeless, and those who carefully follow it will lead successful and happy lives. (Ps. 1:1-3) Genuine Christians have always accepted the Bible, “not as the word of men, but, just as it truthfully is, as the word of God.”—1 Thess. 2:13.w12 1/15 1:1, 2
When the temple was finished and the ark of the covenant was placed in it, Solomon offered a public prayer in which he spoke the words of today’s text. Israelites and foreigners could pray toward this structure on which God’s name was called. (1 Ki. 8:30, 41-43, 60) After celebrating the temple’s inauguration, the people were “rejoicing and feeling merry of heart over all the goodness that Jehovah had performed for David his servant and for Israel.” (1 Ki. 8:65, 66) In fact, remarkable peace and prosperity marked Solomon’s 40-year reign. (1 Ki. 4:20, 21, 25) Psalm 72 reflects that and gives us insight into the blessings we will enjoy under the rule of the Greater Solomon, Jesus Christ.—Ps. 72:6-8, 16.w11 12/15 1:8, 9
How comforting it is to know that no matter how dire our situation is, we can call out to Jehovah with a “request for favor”! (Ps. 55:1) However, when we pray for deliverance from a troublesome situation, it is wise to examine our motives. Are we concerned exclusively with getting relief from the problem, or do we keep Jehovah and his purpose in mind? Personal suffering can easily cause us to get so caught up in our own situation that concern over spiritual matters fades into the background. When praying to God for help, let us keep our mind focused on Jehovah, the sanctification of his name, and the vindication of his sovereignty. Doing so can help us to maintain a positive outlook even if the solution that we hope for fails to materialize. The answer to our prayers may be that we need to endure the situation with God’s help.—Isa. 40:29; Phil. 4:13. w11 11/15 1:7, 9
Note that only one pursuit comes first—Kingdom interests. (1 Cor. 7:29-31) That fundamental truth should move us to pursue our secondary activities, including recreation, in such a way that they enable us to carry out our primary activity—caring for Kingdom interests. If we do that, limited recreation can be beneficial. So we need to determine how much of our time a certain leisure activity will cost. Next, we must decide how much of our time it is worth. If pursuing a form of recreation will mean neglecting such important activities as personal Bible study, family worship, attending Christian meetings, or sharing in Kingdom preaching, it is not worth the price. (Mark 8:36) But if an occasional leisure activity energizes us to keep on pursuing Kingdom interests, we may well decide that the time we spend on that type of recreation is worthwhile. w1110/15 1:10-12
Lesson 5: Let’s Go in Service
Is Sophia ready to go in service?