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Spiritual Training X2

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December 5 - Evening

"In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe."
- Hebrews 1:1-2

The Superiority of the New Testament Revelation


The writer of the book of Hebrews is writing to a group of Jews (most likely in Jerusalem, but even to a Messianic synagogue in Rome or Corinth) who had entered the Christian faith several years before this letter. The faith and practice of this group of Jews had drifted away from Christian doctrine and back into the local beliefs and rituals of Judaism from the Old Testament’s revelation, thus neglecting the New Testament revelation. The focus of this letter is not to reject the Old Testament as false, but to demonstrate it as inferior, incomplete and inadequate. This first century document written around 68 AD stresses the superiority of the New Testament revelation when compared to the Old Testament and focuses on the superiority of Jesus to prophets, angels, Moses and Joshua in 1:1-4:13; the superiority of Jesus’ priesthood compared to the Levitical priesthood in 4:14-7:28; and the superiority of Jesus’ covenant, his heavenly Temple and his sacrifice when compared to the covenant of the Law, the earthly tabernacle/temple and the Levitical sacrificial system (8:1-10:39).

The book begins with an intense single sentence in the Greek that extends through the first four verses (1:1-4).  Hebrews 1:1 introduces the revelation that was given to the Jews of the Old Testament by God as coming through many prophets at many different times while using a variety of methods. There was nothing wrong with this method or this message, except when it is compared to God’s latest revelation which was direct communication through his Son, Jesus Christ. This latest, complete revelation makes the past revelations of the prophets fragmented and incomplete.

In verse 1:2 the author connects Jesus, the Son of God, to the past – “through whom also he made the universe” – and, to the future – “whom he appointed heir of all things.” The message of Jesus is superior because all of the past and all of the future are found through him and in him. And, this is how the author of Hebrews begins the first half of the opening sentence of the book of Hebrews.
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Apaugasma (Gr) - Brightness (Eng) - apaugasma is Greek word "brightness" that is used only in Hebrews 1:3. It comes from the verb augazo "shine" that has the prefix apo "from" attached to it. This word is used by the writer of Hebrews to say the Son of God is the same nature just like the shining sun and the brightness that "shines from" the sun are the same.
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Do I seek out the poor in order to be kind to them?
I will seek out those in need so that I can show them some form of kindness.



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Bible Reading Descriptions Here

Narrative

(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text




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Personal

Relaxation and refreshing

Church

Hearts of servants
Illegal Aliens
United Kingdom



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A large first century mikveh and the steps used to descend into the water can be seen in the middle back of this photo
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Model of Jerusalem as seen from the south with the Kidron Valley on the right or east side.




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Someone to Quote

"A mature believer constantly uses the Word of God to lead their life, make decisions, motivate good behavior and produce good works." - Galyn Wiemers

Something to Ponder

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The Pew Research Center discovered in a 2010 survey that 41% of Americans believe that Jesus Christ will definitely or probably have returned to Earth by 2050.

Here’s a Fact

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It was the custom in the Middle East during the New Testament times to wash the body at death and then pack the corpse with spices and perfumes which were covered with scented cloth to overshadow the odor of the decaying flesh. This way mourners could still bear to visit the tomb in the hot climate on the edge of the Arabian Desert.

Proverb

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"He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God."
- Proverbs 14:31

Coach’s Corner

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Sometimes you get what you demand, not what you deserve.

Hebrews 1:1-4
New International Version (NIV)
God’s Final Word: His Son
In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.
Hebrews 1:3
New International Version (NIV)
The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
2 Peter 1
New International Version (NIV)
Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:
Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
Confirming One’s Calling and Election
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Prophecy of Scripture
12 So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. 13 I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, 14 because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15 And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.
16 For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” 18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.
19 We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
2 Corinthians 8-9
New International Version (NIV)
The Collection for the Lord’s People
And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
10 And here is my judgment about what is best for you in this matter. Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. 11 Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. 12 For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.
13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. 14 At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, 15 as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.”
Titus Sent to Receive the Collection
16 Thanks be to God, who put into the heart of Titus the same concern I have for you. 17 For Titus not only welcomed our appeal, but he is coming to you with much enthusiasm and on his own initiative. 18 And we are sending along with him the brother who is praised by all the churches for his service to the gospel. 19 What is more, he was chosen by the churches to accompany us as we carry the offering, which we administer in order to honor the Lord himself and to show our eagerness to help. 20 We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift. 21 For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man.
22 In addition, we are sending with them our brother who has often proved to us in many ways that he is zealous, and now even more so because of his great confidence in you. 23 As for Titus, he is my partner and co-worker among you; as for our brothers, they are representatives of the churches and an honor to Christ. 24 Therefore show these men the proof of your love and the reason for our pride in you, so that the churches can see it.
There is no need for me to write to you about this service to the Lord’s people. For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action. But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you in this matter should not prove hollow, but that you may be ready, as I said you would be. For if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we—not to say anything about you—would be ashamed of having been so confident. So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given.
Generosity Encouraged
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written:
“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;     their righteousness endures forever.”
10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

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