Rumble bumps on the road help us to avoid accidents on the highways, especially for those that fall asleep while driving.
Most of us have seen a red light come on our automobile's dashboard. Maybe for oil pressure, engine, temperature, brake system, low fuel, etc. We can avoid much trouble by giving the needed attention to these warning light signals as soon as possible! There is a Spiritual Dash Board Warning Lights System that each of us needs to check on regularly. What are these Warning Indicators?
Have you checked your dashboard lately?
- Increasing Problems in Family —Due To Lack of Applying Bible Principles.
- Lack of Zeal and Joy in the Ministry.
- Lack of Self-Control.
- Loss of Enthusiasm for the Truth.
- Neglecting of Associating at Meetings.
- Overly Critical of Elders and Organization.
- Harboring Serious and Continued Doubts.
Ecl. 4:13- Solomon wrote these words in all his wisdom, maybe without anticipating that such counsel will apply to him in his old age. It makes us wonder, do we heed the warnings when going through adversity?
In Greek mythology, when Achilles was a baby, it was foretold that he would die young. To prevent his death, his mother Thetis took Achilles to the River Styx, which was supposed to offer powers of invulnerability, and dipped his body into the water; however, as Thetis held Achilles by the heel, his heel was not washed over by the water of the magical river. Achilles grew up to be a man of war who survived many great battles. One day, a poisonous arrow shot at him was lodged in his heel, killing him shortly afterward. Based on this legend, the expression Achilles' heel has become to mean a weakness in spite of overall strength, which can lead to downfall. It makes us wonder, when our enemy watches and studies us, what weaknesses does he find that may become our own Achilles’ heel? (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achilles%27_heel)
A man invested a considerable amount of money building a big, thick wall around his house to make it more secure. But the lock he bought for the gate cost only 99 cents. Thieves came at night, and the low-quality lock raised no resistance. They easily broke into the house. Similarly, we may be diligent and theocratic-minded in many aspects of our lives, like pioneering, being an elder, etc. However, if neglect other smaller aspects of our lives, such as the entertainment we watch, our relationships with the opposite sex, our use of social media and, these can be the weak lock that can cause our spiritual downfall.
A politician is running for office against another politician. He discovers that his adversary has a flaw: he can't resist women. So he sets him up with a prostitute, takes pictures with a hidden camera and makes it public. Piece of cake. If we don't know our weaknesses but our enemy does, who has the advantage? We want to be humble enough to see areas in which we are lacking. Since we are imperfect, we should see plenty of them.
Wolf, meeting with a Lamb astray from the fold, resolved not to lay violent hands on him, but to find some plea to justify to the Lamb the Wolf's right to eat him. He thus addressed him: 'Sirrah, last year you grossly insulted me.' 'Indeed,' bleated the Lamb in a mournful tone of voice, 'I was not then born.' Then said the Wolf, 'You feed in my pasture.' 'No, good sir,' replied the Lamb, 'I have not yet tasted grass.' Again said the Wolf, 'You drink of my well.' 'No,' exclaimed the Lamb, 'I never yet drank water, for as yet my mother's milk is both food and drink to me.' Upon which the Wolf seized him and ate him up, saying, 'Well! I won't remain supperless, even though you refute every one of my imputations.' The tyrant and wicked will always find a pretext for his tyranny. Wicked people are unable to learn righteousness. (Isa 26:10; http://fablesofaesop.com)
A Wolf who had a bone stuck in his throat hired a Crane, for a large sum, to put her head into his mouth and draw out the bone. When the Crane had extracted the bone and demanded the promised payment, the Wolf, grinning and grinding his teeth, exclaimed: 'Why, you have surely already had a sufficient recompense, in having been permitted to draw out your head in safety from the mouth and jaws of a wolf.' In serving the wicked, especially Satan the devil, expect no reward, and be thankful if you escape injury for your pains. (http://fablesofaesop.com)
Wisdom has two parts:
- 1- Having a lot to say.
- 2- Not saying it.
Turn your wounds into wisdom. (http://www.goodreads.com/quotes)
Will a millionaire improve his finances and wellbeing by digging through the neighborhood's garbage dump? No! Spiritually speaking, we are rich. We don't need to go through Satan's garbage composed of vain philosophy and worldly wisdom to improve our lives. This world's trash cannot compare with the pure wisdom from above. (James 3:17)
A Lion, unable from old age and infirmities to provide himself with food by force, resolved to do so by trickery. He returned to his den, and lying down there, pretended to be sick, taking care that his sickness should be publicly known. The beasts expressed their sorrow, and came one by one to his den, where the Lion devoured them. After many of the beasts had thus disappeared, the Fox discovered the trick and presenting himself to the Lion, stood on the outside of the cave, at a respectful distance, and asked him how he was. 'I am very sick,' replied the Lion, 'but why do you stand outside? Pray enter within to talk with me.' 'No, thank you,' said the Fox. 'I notice that there are many prints of feet entering your cave, but I see no trace of any returning.' The wise is warned by the misfortunes of others (Prov. 22:3).
By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest. (http://www.goodreads.com/quotes)
What do people normally love more, a cactus or a rose? True, the cactus maybe stronger, but the delicate nature of the beautiful rose is more endearing. Similarly, Peter described women as a weaker vessel. Not inferior, but delicate and precious.
If you're moving and you're packing paper cups, you'll throw it in a box. But if you have crystals, you'll delicately preserve it because it's important. Likewise, treating women delicately is not demeaning by any means.
You are on a boat with your family having a nice time. Suddenly a violent storm breaks out and you must lighten the weight of the boat to avoid sinking. Who do you throw overboard first? Your wife, your son or your daughter? We wouldn’t sacrifice our family, would we? We would instead look for heavy useless junk on the boat and throw those into the sea. We will get rid of material things rather than our family. Spiritually speaking, though, when the winds of financial crisis come raging, some tend to sacrifice their families by working overtime, accepting two jobs, leaving their children behind to work in a foreign country for a long period of time, even permanently, all for the sake of money. Although the intention might be to help the family, the reality is that money and work end up taking priority over the family. Those material things will take away the precious time you need to spend with your children and your spouse. It is better to sacrifice superfluous and unnecessary material things and to lead a simple life.
Nehemiah 2:1-9 set a good example as to what to do when our work is interfering with our meetings. Although he had a really nice job, Nehemiah wanted to leave his work as King Artaxerxes’ cupbearer in order to go and rebuild Jerusalem's walls. Nehemiah said a prayer and then courageously presented his graciously worded request. The King approved it. Can we show the same determination?
Back in the 70's, there was one brother that really cherished his huge afro. We can call the afro by the name '2-by-2' (supposedly 2 feet tall by 2 feet wide). The brother was counseled by the elders to trim his 2-by-2 to make it less eccentric so that he can be used in the congregation. But the brother didn't like the counsel. He argued that the size of his afro was a matter of personal choice. Later on, however, he got an interview to work at McDonald's. In order to get the job, he was asked to trim his thick afro. And for McDonald’s he did not object, he trimmed it. Ironic! He was willing to give up his cherished afro for a job in a fast-food restaurant but not for Jehovah and the congregation. Sadly, just like this brother, some individuals are willing to do anything to please their boss and keep their jobs. But in the congregation, they are not willing to be self-sacrificing. Can they really say they love Jehovah and their brothers more than a job or money? Are they really doing the right sacrifices?
Mark 6:31: Jesus didn't fall prey of being a workaholic, even when he didn’t have a lot of time to accomplish his mission. We should imitate his balanced example.
A Boy was stung by a Nettle. He ran home and told his Mother, saying, 'Although it hurts me very much, I only touched it gently.' 'That was just why it stung you,' said his Mother. 'The next time you touch a Nettle, grasp it boldly, and it will be soft as silk to your hand, and not in the least hurt you.' Whatever you do, do with all your might. (Colo. 3:23)
Imagine a bald man who is selling hair products. He sells a shampoo that supposedly can cure baldness in a matter of days. Is it not true that we would wonder how come it hasn’t worked on his own head? The same happens with Satan. He's trying to sell us his world as the secret of happiness and true freedom. But would you say Satan himself is happy? How come the Bible says that he has great anger, like a roaring Lion, and that he’s the accuser of our brothers? (Rev. 12:10, 12; 1 Pet. 5:8) How come we can see a clear reflection of that bitterness in the world he rules? The world Satan offers is a bad product and a scam, and it will only make us as unhappy and bitter as he is.
A young boy sees his young friend eating an ice cream cone, but he doesn't have one. He gets a little bit jealous. However, his attitude changed when he found out his friend got the ice cream because he had terminal leukemia and only has a few days to live. In such a sad situation, he had no problem letting him enjoy his ice cream. What about people in the world? Do we see them enjoying the latest vehicles, nice mansions, the latest gadgets, traveling the world in fancy yachts, etc.? Do we at times feel jealous of them, and do we sometimes wonder how come God's people don't get blessed with those things at present if everything belongs to Jehovah anyway? In an illustrative way, godless people in the world are like the boy eating the ice cream; they have very little time left to enjoy the world. At most 70 or 80 years, even less for the generation that will be hit by Jehovah's day. (Ps. 90:10) Even Jesus said about them: 'Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.' So we can let them enjoy the ice cream in the present life. As for us, we still haven't received our reward in full. (2 John 2:8) If we trust Jehovah, let us concentrate on our ministry now, knowing that we will have an eternity to enjoy all these things we may not have today and many, many more blessings. (Heb. 11:6; Ps. 58:11)
The Pyrite is a mineral with a metallic luster and pale brass-yellow hue that gives it a superficial resemblance to gold, hence the well-known nickname of fool's gold. An inexperienced miner can fall for it easily. But in reality, it's an inferior material. Satan's world, just like the Pyrite, has a layer of glimmering gold that fools the minds of an unsuspecting majority. But the real gold, the real life, will only be found in God's promised new world. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrite)
Perhaps you wondered how people who work in a waste dump endure the stench. A bethelite assigned to work on waste disposal at a branch used to make frequent trips to the waste dump as part of his assignment. He once asked one garbage dump worker about how he put up with the foul smell, and he responded, 'What smell? I'm already so used to it, I don’t feel it anymore.' The world is like the garbage dump in a moral sense. (Phil 3:8) We can see it as a dumping ground when we are standing out of it living a life governed by Bible principles. But as soon as you get used to it, the deprivation might become imperceptible. That's the danger of tasting it and drifting away from the truth.
Demas abandoned Paul for his love for the system. (2 Timothy 4:10) He was one of Paul's assistants, like Luke, Timothy, and Titus. (Philemon 24) Today we have Bible books named after Timothy and Titus but we don't have a letter to Demas! He indeed lost great many blessings and amazing privileges of service. Why? Because of his love for the world. May all of us be aware of this dangerous snare.
A mirage in the desert can trick the mind of even the most clever ones, especially when feeling very thirsty.
Some countries that were torn by war in the past have received from it a frightful gift: minefields. Many fields that would otherwise be used in something beneficial for the community are basically discarded and wasted because of the dangerous explosives that are hidden in the ground. In a similar way, this world is like a field mined with explosives. A misstep can decimate our spirituality. At any given time we may be unexpectedly stepping on a potentially explosive situation that can compromise our faith. If we are cognizant of the hidden dangers in Satan's world, we will be careful every step of the way.
How would you diagnose the world today: sick, seriously ill or terminally ill? By seeing their organs —governments— failing badly, we know that it is terminally ill, already dying. Not even the so-called capital or cash injections during the financial depressions have been able to heal it permanently. (Isaiah 1: 4-6) It’s a matter of time for it to pass away. (1 John 2:17)
Would you put all your money in a bankrupt bank? It will be the same to use our lives for the sake of this bankrupt world that is about to end.
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform—or pause and reflect. (http://www.twainquotes.com/Majority.html)
Going back to the world after having left it is like returning to a building that will collapse any moment and that we got out of on time.
A small boy filled with all kinds of playful ideas anxiously awaited his father's return from work. An extra-long day at the office, however, had taken its toll, and his father longed for a few minutes of relaxation. Over and over again the boy tugged at his dad's leg with yet another suggestion of something they might do together. Well, finally in total frustration the father ripped from a magazine a picture of the world and tore it into a hundred pieces. 'Here,' he said handing the child a roll of scotch tape, 'go and put the world back together.' Ah, peace at last, or so he thought. But, in just a few minutes, he was interrupted again, there before him stood his son -and in hands was a crudely fashioned picture of the world. 'Son, that's incredible. How did you do it?' 'It was easy,' said the boy, 'you see on the other side of the picture of the world was the picture of a man, and as soon as I got man straightened out the world came together.' What a profound answer from a child! How true! Our God doesn’t need to destroy the planet. To change human society, he just needs to fix humanity.
A cook wants to make a dish a bit saltier. Would it make sense for him to add more sugar? Spiritually speaking, in the face of adversity some have the tendency of adding what should be cut, but cutting what should be added. For instance, who has ever gotten a headache or stiff neck from reading the Bible? Who has ever gotten stomach acidity for conducting a Bible study? Why then would anyone facing stress or anxiety attacks cut from the spiritual things? We might be cutting what we should add, and be adding what we should cut.
Many times, worrying about something does more harm than the thing itself
One man decided to put a marble in a vase for each worry during the year. At the end of the year, he had quite a collection of marbles, but he could not remember what worry even one of them represented. Worrying too much can only aggravate our problems.
Worry pulls tomorrow's cloud over today's sunshine
Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength
Worry is the darkroom in which ‘negatives’ are developed
Parents want their children to be obedient. They care about how their children do things, like how they are doing in school, whether they made the bed, how's their grooming, who are their friends, who are they texting, the content of those texts, etc. Nobody will question that parents have the right to do so, and that it is in the best interest of their children. In the same paternal way, Jehovah also cares about how we worship him. Moreover, he has the right to set the standard for us.
He who kneels before Jehovah can stand before any man!