Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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October 9 - Evening

Jesus said to them:  “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” - Acts 1:7-8

To the Ends of the Earth

The itinerary Jesus gave for spreading the Gospel - Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, the ends of the earth - is the outline that Luke uses for the book of Acts: the Jerusalem Church, evangelism of Judea, outreach into Samaria and then Paul takes the Gospel to the Gentile lands.
Jesus refers to a verse in Isaiah that speaks of the Servant/Messiah being a light for the Gentiles that would bring salvation "to the ends of the earth":
“It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”
- Isaiah 49:6

So, reaching to the ends of the earth with the Gospel is exactly what Jesus, who is the Servant/Messiah, directs his church to do.
To begin this conversation the disciples had asked Jesus:
            “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” – Acts 1:6

The way Jesus did not answer this question is as important as how he did answer it. When the disciples asked him “are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”, they were reflecting the popular opinion held among the Jews at that time concerning the ministry of the Messiah. Jesus does not say, “No, I am not going to restore Israel.” Nor, does Jesus say, “Israel is finished, I am replacing Israel with the church.” Instead, he leaves the door wide open and insinuates that Israel will be restored, but for now there are two things that concern the disciples:
  1. It is not for them to know when Israel will be restored. (Acts 1:7)
  2. Until Israel is restored the disciples/church have a mission to reach the world with the Gospel. (Acts 1:8)
In John 16:12-13 Jesus had told his disciples that he had much more to say to them that they would not be able to understand until the Holy Spirit came to them (See Reps & Sets October 7 – Evening). But, here Jesus says there is information that is only for the Father’s authority. Jesus tells the disciples that times and dates are “not for you to know.”
“Times” is the Greek word “chronous” which refers to the duration of the ages and the interval of time before the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth.
“Dates” is the Greek word “kairous” refers to the critical events and the characteristics of the age that lead to the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth.
Indeed, as the New Testament revelation was revealed to the apostles, the Spirit of God led the apostles to record some of the details of the coming “chronous” and “kairous,” but even with these details recorded in Scripture today the answer to the disciples questions in Acts 1:6 remain in the realm of mystery and continued anticipation.
With this verse it appears that the disciples anticipation of a restored Israel and the hope that Jesus would establish an earthly kingdom at that time are set aside and, instead, their focus is correctly set on the ministry of the church.
Anakrino (Gr) -  Discern (Eng) - the Greek word anakrino means "to examine," "to interrogate," "to enquire," "to investigate," "to scrutinize," and "to sift." So, to anakrino, or "to discern," a situation or another person a believer would have to investigate to gather information, sift through the details, enquire, examine, and then, cross-examine in order to make a decision or a choice that could properly be called "discerning." Interestingly, Paul tells the super-spiritual-flakey-self-willed Corinthians that, "The spiritual man makes judgments (anakrino) about all things." (1 Cor. 2:15)
Do I consider myself a part of the Messiah's ministry sent to reach the ends of the earth with the Gospel? Since I am part of the church that was commissioned to take the Gospel to the world I will consider myself responsible for helping fulfill the Messiah's ministry to bring the message of salvation to the ends of the earth.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text


Contacts with people and network building


Influence on community
Judiciary decisions
Re'union - 80% Catholic; descendants of Creole slaves; 50% poverty, unemployed, broken homes

The Wadi (or, dry river bed) in the Valley of Elah where David faced Goliath.
(click on image for larger size)
Map of the Assyrian Empire.
(click on image for larger size)

Someone to Quote

“The Bible has been the Magna Charta of the poor and oppressed. The human race is not in a position to dispense with it.” – Thomas Huxley (1825-1895), Prominent Advocate of his friend’s (Darwin) theory of Evolution

Something to Ponder

Scientist John Kepler (1571-1630) stated the basis of the revolution in science while studying the universe. He said that was merely “thinking God’s thoughts after Him.”

Here’s a Fact

A seal with the Hebrew letters saying "belonging to Shema, servant of Jeroboam" was found at Megiddo in 1904. The seal was 1.1 inch wide and made of jasper with a roaring lion in the center of the inscription. It is dated at 788 BC. This agrees with the biblical account of Israel's king Jeroboam II (793-753) recorded in 2 Kings. (details)


"He who brings trouble on his family will inherit only wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise."
Proverbs 11:29

Coach’s Corner

God uses the man who is willing to do something and is willing to become something.

Acts 6
New International Version (NIV)
The Choosing of the Seven
In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”
This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.
So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.
Stephen Seized
Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people. Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)—Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia—who began to argue with Stephen. 10 But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke.
11 Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, “We have heard Stephen speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God.”
12 So they stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin. 13 They produced false witnesses, who testified, “This fellow never stops speaking against this holy place and against the law. 14 For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs Moses handed down to us.”
15 All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.
Luke 6
New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath
One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and his disciples began to pick some heads of grain, rub them in their hands and eat the kernels. Some of the Pharisees asked, “Why are you doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”
Jesus answered them, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God, and taking the consecrated bread, he ate what is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.” Then Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
On another Sabbath he went into the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was shriveled. The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal on the Sabbath. But Jesus knew what they were thinking and said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Get up and stand in front of everyone.” So he got up and stood there.
Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?”
10 He looked around at them all, and then said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so, and his hand was completely restored. 11 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law were furious and began to discuss with one another what they might do to Jesus.
The Twelve Apostles
12 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. 13 When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: 14 Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, 15 Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, 16 Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
Blessings and Woes
17 He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coastal region around Tyre and Sidon, 18 who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by impure spirits were cured, 19 and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.
20 Looking at his disciples, he said:
“Blessed are you who are poor,     for yours is the kingdom of God.
Blessed are you who hunger now,     for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now,     for you will laugh.
Blessed are you when people hate you,     when they exclude you and insult you     and reject your name as evil,         because of the Son of Man.
23 “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.
“But woe to you who are rich,     for you have already received your comfort.
Woe to you who are well fed now,     for you will go hungry. Woe to you who laugh now,     for you will mourn and weep.
Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you,     for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.
Love for Enemies
27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
Judging Others
37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
39 He also told them this parable: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.
41 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
A Tree and Its Fruit
43 “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. 45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
The Wise and Foolish Builders
46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47 As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. 48 They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”

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