Wednesday, December 2, 2009

daily text 12/02

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009
"If he has committed sins, it will be forgiven him." (James 5:15)

If we fear that we have sinned against the spirit, we should continue feeding on God’s Word. We need to keep on attending congregation meetings and sharing in the Kingdom-preaching work. Doing so will help us to be “healthy in faith” and free from anxiety. (Titus 2:2) Any who fear that they have sinned against the holy spirit might ask themselves: ‘Have I blasphemed against the holy spirit? Did I genuinely repent of my sin? Do I have faith in God’s forgiveness? Am I an apostate who has rejected spiritual light?’ Very likely, such individuals will realize that they have not blasphemed against God’s holy spirit, nor have they become apostates. They are repentant, and they have abiding faith in Jehovah’s forgiveness. If so, they have not sinned against Jehovah’s holy spirit.
(Watchtower issue: 07/15/07, 1:17, 19, 20)

I was reading an excerpt from chapter 24, pgs 244-246, in the Draw Close To Jehovah book, which ties in well to today's text, and also demonstrates how God displays the quality of 'goodness' in our behalf. The following examples show that Jehovah never overlooks the good in us even when we sin against him...

Jehovah Sifts the Good From the Bad
...As Jehovah searches through us, he carefully sifts, looking for the good. For instance, when Jehovah decreed that the entire apostate dynasty of King Jeroboam was to be executed, He ordered that one of the king’s sons, Abijah, be given a decent burial. Why? “Something good toward Jehovah the God of Israel has been found in him.” (1 Kings 14:1, 10-13) Jehovah, in effect, sifted through the heart of that young man and found “something good” there. However small or insignificant that bit of good may have been, Jehovah found it worth noting in his Word. He even rewarded it, showing an appropriate degree of mercy to that one member of an apostate household.

An even more positive example may be found in good King Jehoshaphat. When the king committed a foolish act, Jehovah’s prophet told him: “For this there is indignation against you from the person of Jehovah.” What a sobering thought! But Jehovah’s message did not end there. It went on: “Nevertheless, there are good things that have been found with you.” (2 Chronicles 19:1-3) So Jehovah’s righteous anger did not blind him to the good in Jehoshaphat. How unlike imperfect humans! When upset with others, we may tend to become blind to the good in them. And when we sin, the disappointment, shame, and guilt that we feel may blind us to the good in ourselves. Remember, though, that if we repent of our sins and strive hard not to repeat them, Jehovah forgives us.

As Jehovah sifts through you, he discards such sins, much the way a prospector panning for gold discards worthless gravel. What about your good qualities and works? Ah, these are the “nuggets” he keeps! Have you ever noticed the way fond parents treasure their children’s drawings or school projects, sometimes for decades after the children have forgotten them? Jehovah is the fondest Parent. As long as we remain faithful to him, he never forgets our good works and qualities. In fact, he would view it as unrighteous to forget these, and he is never unrighteous. (Hebrews 6:10) He also sifts us in another way.

Jehovah looks beyond our imperfections and sees our potential. To illustrate: People who love works of art will go to great lengths to restore badly damaged paintings or other works. When, for example, in the National Gallery in London, England, someone with a shotgun damaged a Leonardo da Vinci drawing worth some $30 million, no one suggested that since the drawing was now damaged, it should be discarded. Work to restore the nearly 500-year-old masterpiece began immediately. Why? Because it was precious in the eyes of art lovers. Are you not worth more than a chalk and charcoal drawing? In God’s eyes you certainly are—however damaged you may be by inherited imperfection. (Psalm 72:12-14) Jehovah God, the skilled Creator of the human family, will do what is necessary to restore to perfection all of those who respond to his loving care.—Acts 3:21; Romans 8:20-22.

Yes, Jehovah sees the good in us that we may not see in ourselves. And as we serve him, he will make the good grow until we are eventually perfect. No matter how Satan’s world has treated us, Jehovah values his faithful servants as desirable, or precious.—Haggai 2:7; footnote