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A brother was conducting a Bible study with a student who failed to put into practice what he was learning. One day, after the study, our brother mentioned to the student that he had bought a book on health and fitness with the promise: "Become as fit as a marine in sixteen weeks." "You know," he lamented, "I've had the book more than 16 weeks, I've read it more than three times already, and I'm STILL not as fit as a marine. In fact I'm just as unfit as I ever was." "Have you been doing the exercises from the book?" the Bible student asked. "No," the brother admitted. "Then how do you expect to get anywhere with the book if you just read it, but don't do what it says ..." The brother could tell by the way the tone of the student's voice changed during the middle of his question that he had got the point!

One day a certain old rich man, of a miserable disposition visited a counselor, who took the rich man by the hand and led him to a window. "Look out there," he said. The rich man looked into the street. "What do you see?" asked the counselor.

"I see men, women, and children," answered the rich man.

And the counselor took him by the hand and this time led him to a mirror. "Now what do you see?"

"Now I see myself," the rich man replied.

Then the counselor said, "Behold, in the window there is glass, and in the mirror there is glass. But the glass of the mirror is covered with a little silver, and no sooner is the silver added than you cease to see others, but you see only yourself."

Puritan minister Thomas Brooks (1608-80): "God looks not at the oratory of your prayers, how elegant they may be; nor at the geometry of your prayers, how long they may be; nor at the arithmetic of your prayers, how many they may be; not at logic of your prayers, how methodical they may be; but the sincerity of them he looks at."

Give Jehovah what's right, not what's left!

To be almost following Jehovah is to be almost within Satan's reach

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved a new one arose. Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil without saying a word. In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me what do you see?" "Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied. She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they got soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, "What's the point, mother?" Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity-boiling water-but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water. "Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?" Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength? Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart? Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another level? How do you handle Adversity?

Don't tell JEHOVAH how big your storm is. Tell the storm how big your JEHOVAH is!

We all have seen and used those little electronic calculators. What happens if you get your information confused or make an error? You press the "clear" button and automatically all of the information is eliminated from the calculator. Then you begin again, without trying to sort out the previous mistake. In fact, there is no record of your mistake! It is lost forever!

That's what happens to our sins when Jehovah forgives us. The consequences may remain, but the guilt - the legal condemnation for the offense - is gone.

How does a man feel after enduring five years in Nazi concentration camps? Disheartened? Bitter? Vengeful? Strange as it may seem, one such man wrote: "My life was enriched more than I could ever have hoped for." Why did he feel that way? He explained: "I found refuge under the wings of the Most High, and I experienced the fulfillment of the words of the prophet Isaiah, when he said: 'Those who are hoping in Jehovah will regain power. They will mount up with wings like eagles. They will walk and not tire out.'" (Isaiah 40:31). This was Max Leibster, whose body was beaten down by the most horrendous treatment imaginable had a spirit that figuratively soared upward, a spirit that Nazi brutality could not conquer. 

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