Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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November 24 - Evening

"Our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction.  You know how we lived among you for your sake."
- First Thessalonians 1:5

Words with Power and the Holy Spirit

Paul begins his letter to the Thessalonians by putting down two stakes. One, he tells the Thessalonians that they can remember the life changing power  Paul’s words had when he shared the truth with them. And, two, he tells the Thessalonians that they can remember how Paul lived while he was with them. These are two undeniable apologetic proofs that Paul’s message had power and was legitimate:
1. Paul’s words had power to change the Thessalonians
2. Paul’s words were backed up by Paul’s lifestyle
Even though Paul was using words to teach the truth, these were not mere words used to present a concept, or words of instruction that might be applied to improve some aspect of their life. Instead, Paul’s words came with “power.” The word “power” here is dynamei and does not specifically refer to “miracles” which would be the translation of the plural form of dynamis (dynameis). This dynamei, or “power,” is the inner transforming power that the Thessalonians experienced when they heard and understood the truth.
Paul’s message was presented in power which, then, resulted in power in the lives of the Thessalonian.  In the same way, Paul’s message was presented with “deep conviction,” and, when the words were heard by the Thessalonian’s, they experienced the same “deep conviction.”
This “power” and “deep conviction” could not be the result of a mere philosophical presentation from Paul. These were the result of the presentation of the Words of God empowered by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit moved through the words, the teaching, the presentation, and then, into the lives of the Thessalonians.
Paul could say confidently that his message was from the Holy Spirit and was filled with power, because “you know how we lived among you.” Paul tells the Thessalonians that his life reflected the truth and the transforming power of the message. And, what is more, Paul says, because the message was heard and received by the Thessalonians, they became imitators of Paul just like Paul had become an imitator of the Lord:
                “You became imitators of us and of the Lord.” – First Thessalonians 1:6

Indeed, Paul and the Thessalonians where dealing with more than mere human “words” or ideas. And, they were listening to something more than a philosophy or academic information. The “words” that Paul was teaching and the “words” that the Thessalonians were hearing had “power” to transform, “deep conviction” to convince and were empowered by the Holy Spirit. This was not philosophy, but the very Word of God coming to the Thessalonians and changing their lives and their eternal destiny.
Psuchros (Gr) - Cold (Eng) - psuchros is Greek word that means "cold," "cool." Used three times in the Greek NT: once in Matthew 10:42 of a "cup of cold water to drink," and twice in Revelation 3:15-16.
Psuchos (Gr) - Cold (Eng) - psuchos is a similar, but different Greek word that means "cold." It is used three times in the GNT (Greek New Testament) in John 18:18, Acts 28:2, 2 Corinthians 11:27.
Do I allow myself to live like a sluggard and neglect the basics of living a responsible life?
I will plan ahead. I will take care of my property. I will be responsible and provide for myself.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text


Listen to someone in need


Long for Christ's return
Separation of Church and State

Round stones used to defend the Herodion. When a surge of people attacked the sides of Herodion these, and many other stone balls would be released.
The Devil or the Holy Spirit?
Comparing Ephesians 4:27 and Ephesians 4:30.

Someone to Quote

"The Christian rejoices in the wisdom of God. Heartache comes to him as it does to all men. Puzzles about the world situation perplex him too. He has no inside information on the day-to-day acts of God. But the Christian has something better: he has faith in the wisdom of God. The Christian knows that God knows what He is doing." - Tom Wells

Something to Ponder

In the ancient Middle East banquets were held at night in rooms lit brightly with many lamps. Anyone not invited to the feast, or who needed to be asked to leave the banquet, would be left in or sent away into "the outer darkness" of the night.

Here’s a Fact

2 Chronicles 33:11 says, "The king of Assyria (Ashurbanipal)...took Manasseh prisoner, put a hook in his nose, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon."

Ashurbanipal lists Manasseh as one of the kings that were forced to support his military campaign against Egypt (details). But, during the years 652-648 Shamash-Shum-Ukin rebelled against Ashurbanipal in Babylon. It was during these years that Manasseh was taken to Babylon with a hook in his nose. Manasseh may have tried to assist the Babylonian rebellion against Assyria king Ashurbanipal. Assyrian reliefs and inscriptions show Esarhaddon, the Assyrian King before Ashurbanipal, with rings in the nose/lip of a conquered king. (Image here and here)


"I went past the field of the sluggard, past the vineyard of the man who lacks judgment; thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins."
Proverbs 24:30-31

Coach’s Corner

You are either transforming your world or conforming to your world.

Matthew 10:42
New International Version (NIV)
42 And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”
Revelation 3:15-16
New International Version (NIV)
15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
John 18:18
New International Version (NIV)
18 It was cold, and the servants and officials stood around a fire they had made to keep warm. Peter also was standing with them, warming himself.
Acts 28:2
New International Version (NIV)
The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold.
2 Corinthians 11:27
New International Version (NIV)
27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.
Ephesians 5
New International Version (NIV)

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said:
“Wake up, sleeper,     rise from the dead,     and Christ will shine on you.”
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Instructions for Christian Households
21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Galatians 3
New International Version (NIV)
Faith or Works of the Law
You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain? So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” 11 Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.” 12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” 14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
The Law and the Promise
15 Brothers and sisters, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case. 16 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ. 17 What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. 18 For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on the promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.
19 Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator. 20 A mediator, however, implies more than one party; but God is one.
21 Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. 22 But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.
Children of God
23 Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.
26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

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