Spiritual Training

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October 22 - Evening

"Three days later he called together the local Jewish leaders. When they had assembled, Paul said to them: ''My brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or against the customs of our ancestors, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans. They examined me and wanted to release me, because I was not guilty of any crime deserving death. The Jews objected, so I was compelled to make an appeal to Caesar. I certainly did not intend to bring any charge against my own people. For this reason I have asked to see you and talk with you. It is because of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain'
...They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. He witnessed to them from morning till evening, explaining about the kingdom of God, and from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets he tried to persuade them about Jesus...for two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!"
- Acts 28:17-20, 23, 30-31

Paul Meets with the Jews in Rome While Waiting for His Trial Before Nero

Paul had written the Roman church a letter (book of Romans) while he was in Corinth in 57 AD right before he left Corinth for Jerusalem. Once he arrived in Jerusalem it was a matter of just a few days before Paul was arrested. Since then he had been in prison for three years. In today's passage Paul had arrived in Rome as a prisoner in 60 AD, three years after he wrote his great letter to the Romans. Now, if the church leaders want to meet with Paul, who had asked them in his letter to provide him financial support in order to travel further west to Spain, they will need to visit Paul while under house arrest. This is probably not the scenario Paul envisioned when he originally wrote his letter.
"I plan to do so when I go to Spain. I hope to see you while passing through and to have you assist me on my journey there, after I have enjoyed your company for a while. Now, however, I am on my way to Jerusalem in the service of the Lord’s people there." - Romans 15:24-25 in 57 AD

Three days after arriving in Rome as a prisoner under house arrest Paul called the Jewish leaders to meet with him in his house. Paul lived by himself while in Rome waiting for his trial date with Nero, although there was a Roman soldier guarding him 24/7 (Acts 28:16 and 30).
The first thing that Paul makes clear to these Jews (most of whom are probably not believers,…yet) is that he did nothing wrong in Jerusalem. He says he did not wrong the Jewish people and he did nothing wrong against the Law, he didn’t even violate the customs of the fathers:
“I have done nothing against our people or against the customs of our ancestors.”

Paul goes on to tell these Jewish leaders in Rome that the Roman court in Caesarea found him innocent, but when the Jews demanded that he be brought back to Jerusalem to be tried before the Sanhedrin, Paul had to appeal to Caesar.
“I was compelled to make an appeal to Caesar.”

Paul desired to be shipped to Rome, endure a ship wreck to face justice before the pagan Gentile Nero instead of go to Jerusalem, because he knew what would result if he appeared before the Sanhedrin. Before Paul was a believer he had helped set up cases for the Sanhedrin to try and execute those followers of “The Way.” (Remember Stephen’s trial? Acts 7:1-60)
Paul tells his new Jewish friends he did not intend to bring any charge against  the Jewish people. And, to explain this is why Paul wanted to meet with them. Paul has to do some explaining concerning his past before Paul will have a chance to minister to these Jews. Paul has several things going against him now that he did not have to deal with 3 years ago. One, he is a prisoner. Two, he is on trial for violations against the Jewish Law. Three, he is being accused by the leaders in Jerusalem, including the Jewish high priest! Four, Paul has a message that is contrary to what is normally taught in synagogues.
Sharing Gospel with Jews is difficult enough for Paul before he was a prisoner, arrested for Temple violations and wrapped up in a legal case with the Jewish high priest. Paul knows this and desires to smooth things over and provide some good explanation for his present situation.
It seems to have worked because the book of Acts ends with larger numbers of Jews coming to the residence where Paul was staying. Paul spoke “to them from morning till evening” (since he was under house arrest and could not go to work). This continued for two years. Paul stayed in his own house, and could not leave, but Roman Jews and Gentiles continually came to visit and listen to Paul explain the New Testament revelation by using Old Testament verses.
Luke’s account in Acts ends by saying,
“Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ – with all boldness and without hindrance!”
Kephale (Gr) - Head (Eng) - the Greek word kephale means "the head," "top." Kephale refers to anything supreme, chief, or prominent.
Sometimes things don't work out as planned, but that doesn't mean God's work will not be accomplished. Even if we fail, God can still accomplish his plan.
I will continue to follow God and watch God continue to work.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text


Faithfulness in your personal ministry


Humility among leaders
National debt
Senegal - the 100,000 Talibes (tin-can boys) are children sent from home to study Qur'an, then sent to beg

The water source in Jericho that is used to irrigate and make Jericho an oasis in the desert. It is called Elisha's Spring since it was in Jericho in this water that Elisha made the bitter water sweet in
Second Kings 2:19-21.
(click on image for larger size)
Details of the excavation at the Herodian.
(click on image for larger size)

Someone to Quote

"A pharisee is hard on others and easy on himself, but a spiritual man is easy on others and hard on himself." – A.W. Tozer

Something to Ponder

"All killing is not murder any more than all sexual intercourse is adultery."
– C.S. Lewis

Here’s a Fact

The ancient Akkadian account of Creation found in Ashurbanipal’s library in Nineveh parallels the Genesis account of creation. It is hard to defend the concept that the Hebrew Scriptures copied the Akkadian document since the revisions are so extensive that it cannot even be referred to as borrowing. Instead it appears the Creation account and the Flood story where well known in the ancient world and each culture preserved the “facts” according to their perspective. Thus, this would tend to prove the historicity of Creation and the Flood, while also crediting the book of Genesis as being very unique with the appearance of firsthand information.


"Do not be a man who strikes hands in pledge or puts up security for debts; if you lack the means to pay, your very bed will be snatched from under you."
- Proverbs 22:25-27

Coach’s Corner

Model yourself after other mature believers without copying them or comparing yourself to them. 

Acts 28:16
New International Version (NIV)
16 When we got to Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself, with a soldier to guard him.
1 Thessalonians 2
New International Version (NIV)
Paul’s Ministry in Thessalonica
You know, brothers and sisters, that our visit to you was not without results. We had previously suffered and been treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition. For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed—God is our witness. We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority. Instead, we were like young children among you.
Just as a nursing mother cares for her children,
so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. 10 You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. 11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.
13 And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe. 14 For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own people the same things those churches suffered from the Jews 15 who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to everyone 16 in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last.
Paul’s Longing to See the Thessalonians
17 But, brothers and sisters, when we were orphaned by being separated from you for a short time (in person, not in thought), out of our intense longing we made every effort to see you. 18 For we wanted to come to you—certainly I, Paul, did, again and again—but Satan blocked our way. 19 For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? 20 Indeed, you are our glory and joy.
Matthew 18
New International Version (NIV)
The Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven
18 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
Causing to Stumble
“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come! If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.
The Parable of the Wandering Sheep
10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. [11] 
12 “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.
Dealing With Sin in the Church
15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant
21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.
29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’
30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.
32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

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