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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.

Barbara

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  1. Barbara

    I think people who do not tell the truth

    As the subject matter is regarding lies told by someone about another person, the short answer is simply, lies are wrong and the one doing so should be held accountable.... The subject of this original post is not about the correctness of ones doctrine. And IF one relies on scripture regarding said "lie" topic, then there should actually be no problem here. Scripture is emphatic regarding the lie and the one originally responsible for such.
  2. Barbara

    No God?

    @atpollard.... you provided lots of food for thought, especially since I never really understood the point of view of the atheist.... and if I am completely honest in this regard, I never really cared what their point of view was. Upon reflection with your post in mind, I was not being fair to not try to understand. We get so wrapped up in trying to "convert" and convince others that we forget to try and truly understand their reasons or reasoning..... That taken into account, it takes more than a moment to explain why it is important to come the understand the matter from the beginning.... So please bare with me on this one. To find out why God allows suffering, we need to think back to the time when suffering began. When Satan led Adam and Eve into disobeying YHWH, an important question was raised. Satan did not call into question YHWH’s power. Even Satan knows that there is no limit to YHWH’s power. Rather, Satan actually questioned his right to rule. By calling God a liar who withholds good from his subjects, Satan charged that YHWH is a bad ruler. (Genesis 3:2-5) Satan implied that mankind would be better off without God’s rulership. This was an attack on God's sovereignty, his right to rule. Adam and Eve rebelled against God. In effect, they said: ‘We do not need him (YHWH) as our Ruler. We can decide for ourselves what is right and what is wrong.’ So now the question becomes "How could YHWH settle that issue? How could he teach all intelligent creatures that the rebels were wrong and that his way truly is best?" Someone might say that God should simply have destroyed the rebels and made a fresh start. But God had stated his purpose to fill the earth with the offspring of Adam and Eve, and he wanted them to live in an earthly paradise. (Genesis 1:28) YHWH always fulfills his purposes. (Isaiah 55:10, 11) Besides that, getting rid of the rebels in Eden would not have answered the question that had been raised regarding God’s right to rule. So, if you will, consider an illustration. Imagine that a teacher is telling his students how to solve a difficult problem. A clever but rebellious student claims that the teacher’s way of solving the problem is wrong. Implying that the teacher is not capable, this rebel insists that he knows a much better way to solve the problem. Some students think that he is right, and they also become rebellious. What should the teacher do? If he throws the rebels out of the class, what will be the effect on the other students? Will they not believe that their fellow student and those who joined him are right? All the other students in the class might lose respect for the teacher, thinking that he is afraid of being proved wrong. But suppose that the teacher allows the rebel to show the class how he would solve the problem. YHWH has done something similar to what the teacher does. We must be mindful to remember that the rebels in Eden were not the only ones involved. Millions of angels were watching. (Job 38:7; Daniel 7:10) How YHWH handled the rebellion would greatly affect all those angels and eventually all intelligent creation. So, in light of this, he has allowed Satan to show how he would rule mankind. God has also allowed humans to govern themselves under Satan’s guidance. The teacher in this illustration knows that the rebel and the students on his side are wrong. But he also knows that allowing them the opportunity to try to prove their point will benefit the whole class. When the rebels fail, all honest students will see that the teacher is the only one qualified to lead the class. They will understand why the teacher thereafter removes any rebels from the class. Similarly, God knows that all honesthearted humans and angels will benefit from seeing that Satan and his fellow rebels have failed and that humans cannot govern themselves. Like the prophet Jeremiah, they will learn this vital truth: “I well know, O YHWH, that to earthling man his way does not belong. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.”—Jeremiah 10:23. Consider two things that the teacher in this illustration would not do. First, he would not stop the rebel student from presenting his case. Second, the teacher would not help the rebel to make his case. Similarly, consider two things that Almighty God has determined not to do. First, he has not stopped Satan and those who side with him from trying to prove that they are right. Allowing time to pass has thus been necessary. In the thousands of years of human history, mankind has been able to try every form of self-rule, or human government. Mankind has made some advances in science and other fields, but injustice, poverty, crime, and war have grown ever worse. Human rule has now been shown to be a failure. Second, God has not helped Satan to rule this world. If God were to prevent horrible crimes, for instance, would he not, in effect, be supporting the case of the rebels? Would God not be making people think that perhaps humans can govern themselves without disastrous results? If he were to act in that way, he would become party to a lie. However, “it is impossible for God to lie.”—Hebrews 6:18. What, though, about all the harm that has been done during the long rebellion against God? We do well to remember that YHWH is almighty. Therefore, he can and will undo the effects of mankind’s suffering. The effects of sin will be removed through faith in Jesus’ ransom sacrifice, and the effects of death will be reversed by means of the resurrection. God will thus use Jesus “to break up the works of the Devil.” (1 John 3:8) YHWH will bring all of this about at just the right time. We can be glad that he has not acted sooner, for his patience has given us the opportunity to learn the truth and to serve him. (2 Peter 3:9, 10) Meanwhile, God has been actively seeking sincere worshipers and helping them to endure any suffering that may come upon them in this troubled world.—John 4:23; 1 Corinthians 10:13. Some might wonder, Could all this suffering have been prevented if God had created Adam and Eve in such a way that they could not rebel? To answer that question, you need to remember a precious gift that the Almighty has given each and every one of us. That is the freedom to choose whether or not we want to serve and obey his righteous standards.... So being free moral agents we choose which direction we prefer.... In due time the wicked will all be destroyed and righteousness will flourish. (Psalm 37:9-11) For evil men will be done away with, But those hoping in Jehovah will possess the earth. 10 Just a little while longer, and the wicked will be no more; You will look at where they were, And they will not be there. 11 But the meek will possess the earth, And they will find exquisite delight in the abundance of peace. (Psalm 37:29) The righteous will possess the earth, And they will live forever on it. (Matthew 24:36-39) 36 “Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 For just as the days of Noah were, so the presence of the Son of man will be. 38 For as they were in those days before the Flood, eating and drinking, men marrying and women being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, 39 and they took no note until the Flood came and swept them all away, so the presence of the Son of man will be."..... I do hope this gives you a bit of food for thought..... Have a wonderful afternoon everyone....
  3. Barbara

    I think people who do not tell the truth

    The original post was regarding lies told by someone about others...... We know that Satan is the father of the lie, so if one lies on another, or bares false witness, it is deserving of punishment. (Proverbs 19:5) . . .A false witness will not go unpunished, And the one who lies with every breath will not escape. . . The heart condition of a person either gives rise to the truth or they will lie. (Colossians 3:9, 10) . . .Do not lie to one another. Strip off the old personality with its practices, 10 and clothe yourselves with the new personality, which through accurate knowledge is being made new according to the image of the One who created it,
  4. Barbara

    Happiness?

    (Matthew 5:3-11) . . .“Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need, since the Kingdom of the heavens belongs to them. 4 “Happy are those who mourn, since they will be comforted. 5 “Happy are the mild-tempered, since they will inherit the earth. 6 “Happy are those hungering and thirsting for righteousness, since they will be filled. 7 “Happy are the merciful, since they will be shown mercy. 8 “Happy are the pure in heart, since they will see God. 9 “Happy are the peacemakers, since they will be called sons of God. 10 “Happy are those who have been persecuted for righteousness’ sake, since the Kingdom of the heavens belongs to them. 11 “Happy are you when people reproach you and persecute you and lyingly say every sort of wicked thing against you for my sake.
  5. Barbara

    I think people who do not tell the truth

    Most of us use many bibles to do our studies.... If someone is more comfortable using KJV, (which is true here in the bible belt) then that is the bible I conduct studies from if the student is more comfortable with that..... I have trouble reading from KJV though because today we don't use that particular brand of speaking. lol
  6. Barbara

    I think people who do not tell the truth

    Hi Becky.... Honest men have put forth great effort throughout modern history, to get the scriptures into the hands of the general public, and I, for one, am ever so grateful for their earnest efforts... I enjoy the reading of many different bibles. I use many bibles to reference and study, and yes including NWT. KJV NKJ ASV AMP Byington Douay–Rheims Bible Kingdom Interlinear and others. I do not attack others for their beliefs and am saddened when others stoop to name calling. I was raised in South Eastern USA as Southern Baptist. One of my uncles was a minister and it was our way to be always at church on Sunday am, pm, and Wednesday evenings.... I married into the Catholic faith and converted so my husband would not be excommunicated. I began searching for answers when my husband abandoned me during the first 6 months of our marriage and I was 5 months pregnant with my daughter in 1970.... it certainly gave me reason for pause! I became a baptized witness in January of 2007 after much searching and study. Between 1970 and 2007 I was in searching everywhere for truth. I attended so many churches and enjoyed friendships with many of varied faiths so I am not a 15 year old child who has been tricked into anything. I have been earnest in my search and I am now content with my findings and my decision. I am glad that others find what they seek, what ever that might be. I know people hate us (JW's). Jesus told us we would be hated. No surprises there.... I also know that we are all free moral agents, at liberty to accept and reject what ever we determine is best for us as we see fit. So when I speak to others, especially here in our area, I relate well because of my own background. We generally find common ground and build relationships from there. Mainly though, I do not preach or teach anyone from by using my own thinking and accord and ideas. I base my answers to others and my reasoning on the bible....as did the Christ when he responded, "it is written".... Thank you for being considerate toward me. You actions bespeak your heart condition. (Matthew 12:34) . . .For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
  7. Well then, there we have it! Since you don't even know where I was going with the question I asked, I suppose there is nothing more to say as you have made a determination to NOT carry on any conversation .... Have a nice evening.
  8. Barbara

    God’s hatred

    Again and again in scripture we see the things he hates.... We should become imitators of this behavior to become pleasing to the Almighty God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He tells us, to mention only a few, (Amos 5:15) . . .Hate what is bad, and love what is good,. . . (Psalm 34:14) Turn away from what is bad and do what is good; Seek peace and pursue it. (Psalm 97:10) O you who love Jehovah, hate what is bad. He is guarding the lives of his loyal ones; He rescues them from the hand of the wicked. (Romans 12:9) Let your love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is wicked; cling to what is good. Great subject matter for discussion.
  9. Barbara

    Who defines Morality?

    It is a bit difficul to respond with a short reply because so much is involved and at stake. LOOSE CONDUCT and IMMORALITY are closely associated in scripture. These are acts that reflect a brazen attitude, an attitude betraying disrespect, even contempt for law and authority. The Hebrew word zim·mahʹ is rendered “loose conduct” and “loose morals.” (Le 18:17; 19:29) The Greek term a·selʹgei·a (loose conduct) may also be rendered “licentiousness; wantonness; shameless conduct; lewdness of conduct.” (Ga 5:19, ftn; 2Pe 2:7, ftn) Neither term is restricted to sexual immorality. The Scriptures classify as loose conduct such things as gang rape (Jg 19:25; 20:6), prostitution (Jer 13:27; Eze 23:44), and bloodshed (Ps 26:9, 10; Eze 22:9; Hos 6:9). “The unprincipled man” is the one who is said to scheme loose conduct, and those to whom such conduct is “like sport” are classed as stupid, or morally worthless.—Isa 32:7; Pr 10:23. “Out of the Heart.” Jesus points out that loose conduct reflects what a person is inside. He says: “From inside, out of the heart of men, injurious reasonings issue forth: fornications, . . . adulteries, . . . loose conduct . . . All these wicked things issue forth from within and defile a man.” (Mr 7:20-23) Loose conduct is one of “the works of the flesh,” one of the fleshly desires that “carry on a conflict against the soul.” “Those who practice such things will not inherit God’s kingdom,” says God’s Word.—Ga 5:19, 21; 1Pe 2:11. Christians loving the light of truth are told: “As in the daytime let us walk decently, not in revelries and drunken bouts, not in illicit intercourse and loose conduct.” (Ro 13:13; Joh 3:19-21) The apostle Peter argues: “For the time that has passed by [before becoming servants of God] is sufficient for you to have worked out the will of the nations when you proceeded in deeds of loose conduct.” (1Pe 4:3) The apostle Paul likewise admonishes Christians, describing the course of worldly nations with whom they formerly associated as “in darkness mentally, and alienated from the life that belongs to God . . . Having come to be past all moral sense, they gave themselves over to loose conduct to work uncleanness of every sort with greediness.”—Eph 4:17-19. Nevertheless, some claiming to be servants of God and Christ turn from the way of light and display a brazen, defiant attitude toward divine law and authority. Paul was grieved by those in the Corinthian congregation who had not repented of the “uncleanness and fornication and loose conduct that they [had] practiced,” in spite of admonition to the contrary. (2Co 12:21) Peter warned the early Christians that false teachers would come from among their own ranks and that many would follow their acts of loose conduct, bringing reproach upon the way of truth. (2Pe 2:1, 2) Jesus’ words to the congregations in Pergamum and Thyatira, written down by the apostle John about 96 C.E., indicate that Peter’s prophecy was to some extent having fulfillment at that time. (Re 2:12, 14, 18, 20) Both Peter and Jude express the judgment coming on practicers of loose conduct.—2Pe 2:17-22; Jude 7. The argument of some practicers of loose conduct in their attempt to entice and deceive others in the Christian congregation is that God’s undeserved kindness is great and that he will overlook their sins, since he recognizes their imperfections and fleshly weakness. But Jesus’ half brother Jude spoke of such as being “ungodly men, turning the undeserved kindness of our God into an excuse for loose conduct and proving false to our only Owner and Lord, Jesus Christ.” (Jude 4) Such ones’ profession of Christianity is meaningless. Their service is unacceptable to God; it is as the wise writer of Israel said: “The sacrifice of the wicked ones is something detestable. How much more so when one brings it along with loose conduct.”—Pr 21:27. Under the Law, the same viewpoint was expressed against loose conduct. God has not changed on this matter. Loose conduct was legislated against, and the penalty was death. (Le 18:17; 20:14) David appealed to God not to take his life away with “bloodguilty men, in whose hands there is loose conduct.”—Ps 26:9, 10. Through his prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel, Jehovah warned Israel of his judgments against them for loose conduct practiced both in a physical and a spiritual way.—Jer 13:26, 27; Eze 16:27, 43, 58; 22:9; 23:21-49; 24:13. Though this is a bit lengthy I do hope it helps to answer your question.
  10. Barbara

    I think people who do not tell the truth

    I use NWT.... What "version" would you prefer? If you rather King James..... Matthew 6:9, 10 King James Version (KJV) 9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Romans 12:19 King James Version (KJV) 19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Never miss the point. (2 Timothy 3:16, 17) All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.
  11. Barbara

    I think people who do not tell the truth

    Not since becoming a baptized servant of the Almighty....
  12. Barbara

    I think people who do not tell the truth

    Not everyone....
  13. Barbara

    I think people who do not tell the truth

    What does the bible say on the subject matter? First liar.... Original/first lie.... (Genesis 3:4) At this the serpent said to the woman: “You certainly will not die." Satan, in effect, here call God a liar and challenged his rulership with said lie.....insinuating God was withholding good from man and thereby insinuating that self rule away from the Almighty would benefit them more.... It's called disobedience to their creators commands...... Others who willfully choose to lie and disobey..... (John 8:44) . . .You are from your father the Devil, and you wish to do the desires of your father. That one was a murderer when he began, and he did not stand fast in the truth, because truth is not in him. When he speaks the lie, he speaks according to his own disposition, because he is a liar and the father of the lie. To what end/result? (Genesis 3:16-19) . . .To the woman he said: “I will greatly increase the pain of your pregnancy; in pain you will give birth to children, and your longing will be for your husband, and he will dominate you.” 17 And to Adam he said: “Because you listened to your wife’s voice and ate from the tree concerning which I gave you this command, ‘You must not eat from it,’ cursed is the ground on your account. In pain you will eat its produce all the days of your life. 18 It will grow thorns and thistles for you, and you must eat the vegetation of the field. 19 In the sweat of your face you will eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For dust you are and to dust you will return.” Solution...... (Matthew 6:9:10) “You must pray, then, this way: “‘Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified. 10 Let your Kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also on earth. Living by Godly standards IS the solution... As to those who disobey..... (Romans 12:19) . . .Do not avenge yourselves, beloved, but yield place to the wrath; for it is written: “‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay,’ says Jehovah.”
  14. Great question....(s) First I need to ask you a question? If you designed a beautiful home, allowed tenants to move in, and soon your tenants became disrespectful and began to destroy the home and the property, just how would you deal with the situation?
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