Saturday, December 26, 2009

2010 Examining the Scriptures Daily

*Speaking of love (as mentioned in todays text)... I thought it would be a good idea to post the summary of our Examining the Scriptures Daily for 2010, so we can start to gear our minds up now. Because based on the wording, I have a feeling we are going to need to do this more than ever before.
(I highlighted some of the points that stood out to me)

2010 Yeartext:
'Love endures all things. Love never fails.'
(1 Corinthians 13:7, 8)

True followers of Jesus Christ have an identifying mark -love for one another. Jesus highlighted this when he said: "By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love among yourselves." (John 13:35) Love is a quality that should permeate all we do. "Let all your affairs take place with love," admonished the apostle Paul. (1 Corinthians 16:14)

We live, however, in a world where those who exhibit "the works of the flesh" -including such things as "enmities, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, contentions, divisions, sects, envies" -greatly outnumber those who manifest "the fruitage of the spirit," with its predominant aspect, love. (Galatians 5:19-23) Coupled with our inherent sinful state, these fleshly tendencies work against our displaying "the new personality," which emphasizes love. (Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10) Indeed, it is sometimes a great challenge to display Christian love.

It is important, though, that we continually strive to be guided by love in all that we do. Paul gave further counsel at Colossians 3:12-14: "Clothe yourselves with the tender affections of compassion, kindness, lowliness of mind, mildness, and long-suffering. Continue putting up with one another and forgiving one another freely if anyone has a cause for complaint against another. Even as Jehovah freely forgave you, so do you also. But, besides all these things, clothe yourselves with love, for it is a perfect bond of union."

As with most humans, Paul had moments when he likely regretted what he had said or done. At one time "a sharp burst of anger" erupted between him and his missionary companion Barnabas that caused them to go their separate ways. (Acts 15:36-40) During his trial before the Sanhedrin, Paul angrily responded when high priest Ananias called for him to be struck on his mouth. Paul called Ananias a "whitewashed wall," for which he quickly apologized. (Acts 23:1-5)

What if we are angered or hurt by what others say or do, or do not do? Will we display the "intense love" that "covers a multitude of sins"? (1 Peter 4:8) Will we 'freely forgive one another just as God also by Christ freely forgave us'? (Ephesians 4:32)

Jesus noted that all of God's commandments are summed up in love for God and love for neighbor. (Matthew 22:37-40) But what if we are deliberately and viciously opposed and persecuted, just as Paul was on a number of occasions? Love for God will help us to endure when we are "persecuted for righteousness' sake." (Matthew 5:10) With love for God and neighbor, we will not let opposition dampen our zeal for preaching the good news. (Acts 5:40-42) We will be able to endure with the strength that God gives. (Philippians 4:13)

Showing the godly quality of love in whatever situations we may face is particularly needed in this time of the end. Satan, knowing his end is near, is angrily waging war against God's servants. (Revelation 12:12, 17) He wants us to succumb to his wicked ways. But we must "keep conquering the evil with the good" by our love and good works. (Romans 12:17-21) We will do so knowing that it is pleasing to God and that "love never fails." (1 Corinthians 13:8) It is with this thought in mind that the Governing Body has chosen for 2010 the yeartext drawn from 1 Corinthians 13:7, 8: 'Love endures all things. Love never fails.' May this reminder strengthen our determination to press forward in our ministry, doing so in imitation of the God of love, Jehovah. (1 John 4:8)

*Daily Texts and Comments*
The comments (for 2010) are taken from the Watchtower issues of April 2008 - March 2009. Figures following the date of the Watchtower issue refer to the number, in order, of each study article (1, 2, 3, 4, or 5) that appears in that issue, followed by the paragraphs where further comments may be found.