Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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March 19 - Evening

“Then three thousand men from Judah went down to the cave in the rock of Etam and said to Samson, ‘Don’t you realize that the Philistines are rulers over us? What have you done to us?’
He answered, ‘I merely did to them what they did to me.’
They said to him, ‘We’ve come to tie you up and hand you over to the Philistines.’
Samson said, ‘Swear to me that you won’t kill me yourselves.’
‘Agreed,’ they answered. ‘We will only tie you up and hand you over to them. We will not kill you.’
So they bound him with two new ropes and led him up from the rock. As he approached Lehi, the Philistines came toward him shouting. The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him. The ropes on his arms became like charred flax, and the bindings dropped from his hands. Finding a fresh jawbone of a donkey, he grabbed it and struck down a thousand men.”

- Judges 15:11-15

Samson's Motivation is Self, Not the Lord or Israel


Samson is not fighting for love of country or out of devotion to the Lord, instead he is retaliating for personal reasons and seeking revenge for personal insults. Mighty warriors of God, such as Joshua and David, fought for a purpose and a plan that originated with the Lord and climaxed in security for the Lord’s chosen people. Not so Samson. It is never about the Lord or Israel. Even in his death Samson’s last words were self-centered and focused on revenge for a personal wrong when he said,
“O God, please strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” – Judges 16:28

But, whatever the motivation Samson used to get the job done, the Lord accomplished his purpose when,
“Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.” – Judges 16:30

Samson was merely a man completely overcome with the values, morals, theology, self-will and sensual pursuits of the men of his culture. The men of Israel around 1150 BC were compromisers who just wanted peace whatever the cost. If they were men from the generation that followed Joshua and Caleb into the Promised Land they would have sided with Samson and driven the Philistines into the sea.
Instead, the men of Judah (Israel’s warrior tribe) considered Samson a nuisance who was upsetting the compromised balance they had with their oppressors. When the Philistines marched out to attack Israel because of Samson’s escapades, the men of Judah (again, Israel’s warrior tribe) quickly negotiated an alternative to hand to hand combat. The men of Judah agreed to arrest and hand Samson over to the Philistines. Instead of siding with their national deliverer who had been sent and anointed by the Lord, the entire culture wanted no involvement with the Lord’s deliverance of the nation from the hands of the Philistines.
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Thrix (Gr) – Hair (Eng) – thrix is a Greek word for “hair.” Thrix refers to camel’s hair in Matthew 3:4; Men’s hair in Matthew 10:30 and Luke 21:18; the Son of God’s hair in Revelation 1:14 and the hair on demon like beings in Revelation 9:8.
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Is my motivation my own desires?
Is my motivation for life and success something bigger than myself?
I will live to serve the Lord and fulfill a bigger purpose than my own desires.



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Bible Reading Descriptions Here

Narrative

(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text




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Personal

Compassion for the poor and needy

Church

Embrace holiness
Global presence
BIOT, British Virgin Is, Brunei



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This is a photo of a monastery at Kursi on the northeast side of the Sea of Galilee at the base of a cliff where the demon/pigs plunged into the water. (Details here and here.)
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The location of a tomb in the Kidron Valley known as Absolom's Pillar, but it is not. (details)




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Someone to Quote

"The early Church was married to poverty, prisons and persecutions. Today, the church is married to prosperity, personality, and popularity." - Leonard Ravenhill

Something to Ponder

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When addressing the issue of proper hermeneutics and interpretation of scripture Justin Martyr said in 160 AD:
"Since I am entirely convinced that no Scripture contradicts another, I will rather acknowledge that I do not understand what is written." - Justin Martyr, 160 AD

Here’s a Fact

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Revelation 1:9 states that John had been banished to the isle of Patmos (photos; map) because of “the word of God” and the “testimony of Jesus.” The isle of Patmos served as a location of banishment for the Romans. The island has a twenty-five mile circumference and a bare mountainous landscape. John was banished during the reign of Domitian (Son of Vespaian and brother of Titus, the destroyers of Jerusalem 68-70 AD). (Details)

Proverb

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"Many curry favor with a ruler, and everyone is the friend of one who gives gifts."
- Proverbs 19:6

Coach’s Corner

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Just because you didn’t say anything, doesn’t mean you were not heard.

Revelation 1:9
New International Version (NIV)
John’s Vision of Christ
I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.
Judges 14
New International Version (NIV)
Samson’s Marriage
14 Samson went down to Timnah and saw there a young Philistine woman. When he returned, he said to his father and mother, “I have seen a Philistine woman in Timnah; now get her for me as my wife.”
His father and mother replied, “Isn’t there an acceptable woman among your relatives or among all our people? Must you go to the uncircumcised Philistines to get a wife?”
But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me. She’s the right one for me.”
(His parents did not know that this was from the Lord, who was seeking an occasion to confront the Philistines; for at that time they were ruling over Israel.)
Samson went down to Timnah together with his father and mother. As they approached the vineyards of Timnah, suddenly a young lion came roaring toward him. The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him so that he tore the lion apart with his bare hands as he might have torn a young goat. But he told neither his father nor his mother what he had done. Then he went down and talked with the woman, and he liked her.
Some time later, when he went back to marry her, he turned aside to look at the lion’s carcass, and in it he saw a swarm of bees and some honey. He scooped out the honey with his hands and ate as he went along. When he rejoined his parents, he gave them some, and they too ate it. But he did not tell them that he had taken the honey from the lion’s carcass.
10 Now his father went down to see the woman. And there Samson held a feast, as was customary for young men. 11 When the people saw him, they chose thirty men to be his companions.
12 “Let me tell you a riddle,” Samson said to them. “If you can give me the answer within the seven days of the feast, I will give you thirty linen garments and thirty sets of clothes. 13 If you can’t tell me the answer, you must give me thirty linen garments and thirty sets of clothes.”
“Tell us your riddle,” they said. “Let’s hear it.”
14 He replied,
“Out of the eater, something to eat;     out of the strong, something sweet.”
For three days they could not give the answer.
15 On the fourth day, they said to Samson’s wife, “Coax your husband into explaining the riddle for us, or we will burn you and your father’s household to death. Did you invite us here to steal our property?”
16 Then Samson’s wife threw herself on him, sobbing, “You hate me! You don’t really love me. You’ve given my people a riddle, but you haven’t told me the answer.”
“I haven’t even explained it to my father or mother,” he replied, “so why should I explain it to you?”
17 She cried the whole seven days of the feast. So on the seventh day he finally told her, because she continued to press him. She in turn explained the riddle to her people.
18 Before sunset on the seventh day the men of the town said to him,
“What is sweeter than honey?     What is stronger than a lion?”
Samson said to them,
“If you had not plowed with my heifer,     you would not have solved my riddle.”
19 Then the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him. He went down to Ashkelon, struck down thirty of their men, stripped them of everything and gave their clothes to those who had explained the riddle. Burning with anger, he returned to his father’s home. 20 And Samson’s wife was given to one of his companions who had attended him at the feast.
Deuteronomy 26-27
New International Version (NIV)
Firstfruits and Tithes
26 When you have entered the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance and have taken possession of it and settled in it, take some of the firstfruits of all that you produce from the soil of the land the Lord your God is giving you and put them in a basket. Then go to the place the Lord your God will choose as a dwelling for his Name and say to the priest in office at the time, “I declare today to the Lord your God that I have come to the land the Lord swore to our ancestors to give us.” The priest shall take the basket from your hands and set it down in front of the altar of the Lord your God. Then you shall declare before the Lord your God: “My father was a wandering Aramean, and he went down into Egypt with a few people and lived there and became a great nation, powerful and numerous. But the Egyptians mistreated us and made us suffer, subjecting us to harsh labor. Then we cried out to the Lord, the God of our ancestors, and the Lord heard our voice and saw our misery, toil and oppression. So the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great terror and with signs and wonders. He brought us to this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey; 10 and now I bring the firstfruits of the soil that you, Lord, have given me.” Place the basket before the Lord your God and bow down before him. 11 Then you and the Levites and the foreigners residing among you shall rejoice in all the good things the Lord your God has given to you and your household.
12 When you have finished setting aside a tenth of all your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give it to the Levite, the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied. 13 Then say to the Lord your God: “I have removed from my house the sacred portion and have given it to the Levite, the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, according to all you commanded. I have not turned aside from your commands nor have I forgotten any of them. 14 I have not eaten any of the sacred portion while I was in mourning, nor have I removed any of it while I was unclean, nor have I offered any of it to the dead. I have obeyed the Lord my God; I have done everything you commanded me. 15 Look down from heaven, your holy dwelling place, and bless your people Israel and the land you have given us as you promised on oath to our ancestors, a land flowing with milk and honey.”
Follow the Lord’s Commands
16 The Lord your God commands you this day to follow these decrees and laws; carefully observe them with all your heart and with all your soul. 17 You have declared this day that the Lord is your God and that you will walk in obedience to him, that you will keep his decrees, commands and laws—that you will listen to him. 18 And the Lord has declared this day that you are his people, his treasured possession as he promised, and that you are to keep all his commands. 19 He has declared that he will set you in praise, fame and honor high above all the nations he has made and that you will be a people holy to the Lord your God, as he promised.
The Altar on Mount Ebal
27 Moses and the elders of Israel commanded the people: “Keep all these commands that I give you today. When you have crossed the Jordan into the land the Lord your God is giving you, set up some large stones and coat them with plaster. Write on them all the words of this law when you have crossed over to enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you. And when you have crossed the Jordan, set up these stones on Mount Ebal, as I command you today, and coat them with plaster. Build there an altar to the Lord your God, an altar of stones. Do not use any iron tool on them. Build the altar of the Lord your God with fieldstones and offer burnt offerings on it to the Lord your God. Sacrifice fellowship offerings there, eating them and rejoicing in the presence of the Lord your God. And you shall write very clearly all the words of this law on these stones you have set up.”
Curses From Mount Ebal
Then Moses and the Levitical priests said to all Israel, “Be silent, Israel, and listen! You have now become the people of the Lord your God. 10 Obey the Lord your God and follow his commands and decrees that I give you today.”
11 On the same day Moses commanded the people:
12 When you have crossed the Jordan, these tribes shall stand on Mount Gerizim to bless the people: Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph and Benjamin. 13 And these tribes shall stand on Mount Ebal to pronounce curses: Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan and Naphtali.
14 The Levites shall recite to all the people of Israel in a loud voice:
15 “Cursed is anyone who makes an idol—a thing detestable to the Lord, the work of skilled hands—and sets it up in secret.”
Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”
16 “Cursed is anyone who dishonors their father or mother.”
Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”
17 “Cursed is anyone who moves their neighbor’s boundary stone.”
Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”
18 “Cursed is anyone who leads the blind astray on the road.”
Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”
19 “Cursed is anyone who withholds justice from the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow.”
Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”
20 “Cursed is anyone who sleeps with his father’s wife, for he dishonors his father’s bed.”
Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”
21 “Cursed is anyone who has sexual relations with any animal.”
Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”
22 “Cursed is anyone who sleeps with his sister, the daughter of his father or the daughter of his mother.”
Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”
23 “Cursed is anyone who sleeps with his mother-in-law.”
Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”
24 “Cursed is anyone who kills their neighbor secretly.”
Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”
25 “Cursed is anyone who accepts a bribe to kill an innocent person.”
Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”
26 “Cursed is anyone who does not uphold the words of this law by carrying them out.”
Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”

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