Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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November 4 - Morning

"This is my defense to those who sit in judgment on me. Don’t we have the right to food and drink? Don’t we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas? Or is it only I and Barnabas who lack the right to not work for a living?... But I have not used any of these rights...Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize."
- First Corinthians 9:3-7, 15, 24-27

Rights and Prizes

In First Corinthians chapter nine Paul presents a “defense” (Gr. apologia, a legal term referring to providing evidence in a court of law as a defense) for his ministry and his "rights" (Gr. exousia, “authority,” “freedom,” “privilege,” or “right” and was used to refer to civic privileges possessed by leading citizens; it is the key word used at least 7 times in chapter 9) as an apostle. Paul uses the word “rights” (exousia) because the Corinthians (both the people and their leaders) were more concerned about their rights and privileges as believers than they were about fulfilling their ministries and serving in love.
Paul lists several examples of how he had the “right” to be supported by the Corinthians. He even says that he had the right to expect the church to support his wife (if he had one) like other churches supported Peter’s and Jame’s wife. But, Paul and Barnabas had worked for a living in order to make the purpose of their ministry very clear.
“Is it only I and Barnabas who lack the right to not work for a living?” – 1 Corinthians 9:6

Their purpose was to create spiritual growth among the Corinthians, not receive financial support from the Corinthians. Paul was called to the ministry as a servant, not as a professional.
Paul then describes ministry as a race with a prize at the end. But, just like a natural foot race in the Greek games each runner had to:
  • train and prepare for the race
  • compete according to the rules in the race
  • run with a goal and a purpose in mind
  • discipline their body to perform

Paul is using the competitive athlete as an example of a successful minister: train for the ministry, follow the rules of legitimate spiritual service (not for a profession or financial gain), serve with an eternal goal (not achieving aimless temporal goals and support), and use your natural life to secure the prize (sacrifice your life today).
'Amal (Hb) - Labor (Eng) - the Hebrew word 'amal means "to toil, to labor, to work, to make."
Some places in Hebrew scripture
'amal refers to trouble, but other places it refers to productive work and the fruits of labor.
Do I use my spiritual gifts to advance my natural, temporal life? Or, am I competing according to the rules and using my spiritual gifts to advance the eternal purpose? I will not I do not live like someone running aimlessly, but to get a crown that will last forever.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


Complete Text

General Text


Right words for the right moment


Electronics, sound board, mics, amps, etc.
Sri Lanka - rapid growth of church has caused a fixation on converts and instead of teaching

Galyn in Hezekiah's Tunnel that was cut through the bedrock under Jerusalem, or the City of David, in 701 BC by Hezekiah's men. (Details)
(click on image for larger size)
Galyn's video with details of Hezekiah's Tunnel:
Galyn and Toni in Hezekiah's Tunnel:
One of the oldest preserved text of the New Testament is a small fragment of papyrus called the John Ryland Manuscript. It is known as Papyrus Fragment P52 and is dated sometime in the first half of the second century between 111-130 AD.
It contains John 18:31-33 on one side and John 1837-38 on the other. It's discovery proved the book of John was written during the first century in the Apostle John's lifetime. (Details)
(click on image for larger size)

Someone to Quote

"As our Lord asked the sick man whether he wished to be healed, so, without our consent, He will not save us; and sinners are without excuse for not consenting to the will of the Lord and their own salvation." - Cardinal Bonaventura

Something to Ponder

Roughly a third of the world is Christian. The United Nations identifies Christians in every country. Over the last 30-40 years Christianity has increased by 800,000,000 people.

Here’s a Fact

In the hieroglyphic text on a wall relief in the Temple of Amun at Karnak (Luxor, Egypt), is a place named The Fort of Abram ("The Fortified Town of Abram.") This is a reference to what the Bible calls Beersheba, Abraham's city as identified in Genesis 21:22-34. (text info. source)


"Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips."
- Proverbs 4:24

Coach’s Corner

Leave behind the shortcomings of your past and press on to what is yet to come in your life.

Matthew 15
New International Version (NIV)
That Which Defiles
15 Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!”
Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:

“‘These people honor me with their lips,     but their hearts are far from me.

They worship me in vain;     their teachings are merely human rules.’”
10 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. 11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”
12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?”
13 He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. 14 Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”
15 Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.”
16 “Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them. 17 “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”
The Faith of a Canaanite Woman
21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”
23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”
24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”
25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.
26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”
27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”
28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.
Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand
29 Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down. 30 Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them. 31 The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.
32 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.”
33 His disciples answered, “Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?”
34 “How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked.
“Seven,” they replied, “and a few small fish.”
35 He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. 36 Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people. 37 They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 38 The number of those who ate was four thousand men, besides women and children. 39 After Jesus had sent the crowd away, he got into the boat and went to the vicinity of Magadan.
2 Corinthians 2
New International Version (NIV)

So I made up my mind that I would not make another painful visit to you. For if I grieve you, who is left to make me glad but you whom I have grieved? I wrote as I did, so that when I came I would not be distressed by those who should have made me rejoice. I had confidence in all of you, that you would all share my joy. For I wrote you out of great distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to grieve you but to let you know the depth of my love for you.
Forgiveness for the Offender
If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you to some extent—not to put it too severely. The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient. Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. Another reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. 10 Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, 11 in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.
Ministers of the New Covenant
12 Now when I went to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ and found that the Lord had opened a door for me, 13 I still had no peace of mind, because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I said goodbye to them and went on to Macedonia.
14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? 17 Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.
Matthew 23:1-25
New International Version (NIV)
A Warning Against Hypocrisy
23 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
“Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.
“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
Seven Woes on the Teachers of the Law and the Pharisees
13 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. [14] 
15 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.
16 “Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gold of the temple is bound by that oath.’ 17 You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? 18 You also say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gift on the altar is bound by that oath.’ 19 You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20 Therefore, anyone who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21 And anyone who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it. 22 And anyone who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and by the one who sits on it.
23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.
25 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.

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