Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

  • Stacks Image 6765

November 25 - Evening

"So when we could stand it no longer, we thought it best to be left by ourselves in Athens. We sent Timothy, who is our brother and co-worker in God’s service in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith, so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. For you know quite well that we are destined for them. In fact, when we were with you, we kept telling you that we would be persecuted. And it turned out that way, as you well know. For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith."
- First Thessalonians 3:1-5

The Pressure of Caring

Paul, Silas and Timothy had started the church in Thessalonica in 50 AD, but he had to flee through Berea, and then onto Athens alone. Timothy joined Paul for a few days in Athens, but Paul says twice “when we could stand it no longer” (1 Thes. 3:1 and 3:5), he sent Timothy back to Thessalonica to check on the faith of the Thessalonians. Paul preferred to be left alone in Athens, than to deal with the pressure of knowing the Thessalonians were facing persecution while there was no one there to support their faith.
The Greek verb stego is the word used twice by Paul and translated “We/I could stand it no longer.” The word stego referred to holding water out of a vessel, a boat or a house. Just like a water tight roof repels rain during a storm and the seams of a boat prevent water from seeping into the boat, Paul was trying to hold off the pressure of his concern for the Thessalonians’ faith and his desire to check on them.
Paul wanted to help strengthen their faith during a time he knew would include persecution. Paul says he held his desire as long as he could, but finally the seams of his soul gave way and the roof of his emotions couldn’t hold out the. At this point Paul sent Timothy to encourage and strengthen the Thessalonians. Thus, Paul, the Jewish rabbi, was left alone in the Greek city of Athens, the center of Pagan philosophy.
It was easier for Paul to be left in a foreign city, among conflicting philosophies, and in a pagan culture, than to deal with the pressure of not knowing how the Thessalonians’ faith was holding up under apparent persecution. So, Paul sent Timothy to help the Thessalonians, which relieved, for a time, the pressure of Paul’s concern for them.  The pressure of Paul’s concern for the well being of his churches was a strong driving force in Paul’s ministry and the motive behind all the letters he wrote:
“Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.” – Second Corinthians 11:28
Zestos (Gr) - Hot (Eng) - zestos is Greek word that means "hot," "boiling hot." Zestos is used three times in the GNT in Revelation 3:15-16. Our English word "zest" comes from Zestos.
Do I care enough about people's faith to do something to help them have stronger faith?

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text


To be a good friend


Avoid self-righteous attitudes
Illegal drugs

The Lion's Gate on the east side of Jerusalem in the Old City walls. (details)
Details of the fall of Assyria at Carchemish in 609 BC during Jeremiah's ministry.

Someone to Quote

"When led of the Spirit, the child of God must be as ready to wait as to go, as prepared to be silent as to speak." - Lewis Sperry Chafer

Something to Ponder

Jewish tradition calls their Bible (our OT) the Tanakh. Tanakh is an acronym of the Hebrew words:

- Torah (the "Law")

- Nevi'im ("the Prophets")

- Kethuvim ("the Writings")

Here’s a Fact

After spending a lifetime looking for Herod the Great's tomb (as described by Josephus), Professor Ehud Netzer succeeded in 2007. Herod the Great's tomb (royal sarcophagus) was found at the Herodium about half way up the mountain.
(Hebrew U Press Release)

(Carl Rasmussen Photos)


"It is not good to eat too much honey, nor is it honorable to seek one's own honor."
Proverbs 25:27

Coach’s Corner

Often our insight is incomplete and our advice insufficient. So, it may be best that it is occasionally ignored by others who are seeking something greater.

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.
Philippians 1
New International Version (NIV)
Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,
To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thanksgiving and Prayer
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
Paul’s Chains Advance the Gospel
12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.
15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.
Yes, and I will continue to rejoice,
19 for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. 20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.
Life Worthy of the Gospel
27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel 28 without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God. 29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, 30 since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.
Galatians 6
New International Version (NIV)
Doing Good to All
Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load. Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
Not Circumcision but the New Creation
11 See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!
12 Those who want to impress people by means of the flesh are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13 Not even those who are circumcised keep the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your circumcision in the flesh. 14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation. 16 Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule—to the Israel of God.
17 From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.
18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.

Reps & Sets     Today's Workout   |   Locker Room   |   Coach Wiemers   |   Radio   |   Donate   |   Contact