Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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June 20 - Morning

"I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live."

- Psalms 116:1-2

O Lord, Deliver My Soul

In Psalm 116 an individual expresses his love for the Lord because the Lord answered his prayer. The Lord’s response to this man’s prayer has convinced him to call on the Lord for the rest of his life.

The writer of this Psalm had been entangled in death through sickness or disease, but had cried out with a simple request:

“O Lord, I pray, deliver my soul!” (Ps. 116:4)

The Lord heard this voice and the cry for mercy so he turned his ear to preserve this simple man. The writer then tells his soul to return “to your rest for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.”

As a sign of appreciation and in order to fulfill his vow the author says that he will offer sacrifices of thanksgiving in the temple courts of Jerusalem in the sight of all the people. (Ps. 116:12-19) His intentions are twofold: to honor the Lord for answering his prayer and to teach others to also cry to the Lord for their deliverance.
Ydh hi (Hb) – to praise (Eng) - The Hebrew ydh hi has two meanings:
• “to praise,” “to thank”
• “to confess (sin)”

Both meanings can be related and combined. When a person acknowledges personal sin that same person is also acknowledging the God they have sinned against.
Ydh hi Yhwh (“I will praise Yahweh”) occurs 29 x. Ydh hi Yhwh is often voiced at the end of a lament or complain as a vow to praise God and to confess trust in the Lord in spite the difficult situation.
Do I believe God hears my prayers? Do I thank Him daily?

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


Complete Text

General Text


Opportunity to lead someone to Chist


Church staff

A Jerusalem street in the early morning.
Locations around the Pool of Bethesda labeled on a photo of a 70 AD model of Jerusalem.

Someone to Quote

"Out of 100 men, one will read the Bible, the other 99 will read the Christian."
- D.L. Moody

Something to Ponder

"Sociologists of religion have found a correlation between church growth and youth involvement that is consistent across different types of churches, liberal moderate and conservative. In all these churches, the greater the youth involvement, the greater the church’s growth. Specifically, 58 percent of growing churches said the level of youth involvement was high. Researchers weren’t sure what came first, youth involvement or church growth."

Here’s a Fact

King Ashurbanipal of Ezra 4:10 and 2 Chron. 33:10-13 is also preserved in contemporary documents and reliefs from his day in:
  • 1,200 texts from the library of Nineveh
  • Stele of Ashurbanipal
  • Nineveh palace reliefs


"Who can say,
'I have kept my heart pure;
I am clean and without sin?' "

- Proverbs 20:9

Coach’s Corner

A daily to-do-checklist:
- work
- reflect
- play
- give
- laugh
- thank

1 Samuel 29
New International Version (NIV)
Achish Sends David Back to Ziklag
29 The Philistines gathered all their forces at Aphek, and Israel camped by the spring in Jezreel. As the Philistine rulers marched with their units of hundreds and thousands, David and his men were marching at the rear with Achish. The commanders of the Philistines asked, “What about these Hebrews?”
Achish replied, “Is this not David, who was an officer of Saul king of Israel? He has already been with me for over a year, and from the day he left Saul until now, I have found no fault in him.”
But the Philistine commanders were angry with Achish and said, “Send the man back, that he may return to the place you assigned him. He must not go with us into battle, or he will turn against us during the fighting. How better could he regain his master’s favor than by taking the heads of our own men? Isn’t this the David they sang about in their dances:
“‘Saul has slain his thousands,     and David his tens of thousands’?”
So Achish called David and said to him, “As surely as the Lord lives, you have been reliable, and I would be pleased to have you serve with me in the army. From the day you came to me until today, I have found no fault in you, but the rulers don’t approve of you. Now turn back and go in peace; do nothing to displease the Philistine rulers.”
“But what have I done?” asked David. “What have you found against your servant from the day I came to you until now? Why can’t I go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?”
Achish answered, “I know that you have been as pleasing in my eyes as an angel of God; nevertheless, the Philistine commanders have said, ‘He must not go up with us into battle.’ 10 Now get up early, along with your master’s servants who have come with you, and leave in the morning as soon as it is light.”
11 So David and his men got up early in the morning to go back to the land of the Philistines, and the Philistines went up to Jezreel.
Zephaniah 2
New International Version (NIV)
Judah and Jerusalem Judged Along With the Nations
Judah Summoned to Repent

Gather together, gather yourselves together,     you shameful nation,

before the decree takes effect     and that day passes like windblown chaff, before the Lord’s fierce anger     comes upon you, before the day of the Lord’s wrath     comes upon you.

Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land,     you who do what he commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility;     perhaps you will be sheltered     on the day of the Lord’s anger.

Gaza will be abandoned     and Ashkelon left in ruins. At midday Ashdod will be emptied     and Ekron uprooted.

Woe to you who live by the sea,     you Kerethite people; the word of the Lord is against you,     Canaan, land of the Philistines. He says, “I will destroy you,     and none will be left.”

The land by the sea will become pastures     having wells for shepherds     and pens for flocks.

That land will belong     to the remnant of the people of Judah;     there they will find pasture. In the evening they will lie down     in the houses of Ashkelon. The Lord their God will care for them;     he will restore their fortunes.
Moab and Ammon

“I have heard the insults of Moab     and the taunts of the Ammonites, who insulted my people     and made threats against their land.

Therefore, as surely as I live,”     declares the Lord Almighty,     the God of Israel, “surely Moab will become like Sodom,     the Ammonites like Gomorrah— a place of weeds and salt pits,     a wasteland forever. The remnant of my people will plunder them;     the survivors of my nation will inherit their land.”
This is what they will get in return for their pride,     for insulting and mocking     the people of the Lord Almighty.
The Lord will be awesome to them     when he destroys all the gods of the earth. Distant nations will bow down to him,     all of them in their own lands.
“You Cushites, too,     will be slain by my sword.”
He will stretch out his hand against the north     and destroy Assyria, leaving Nineveh utterly desolate     and dry as the desert.
Flocks and herds will lie down there,     creatures of every kind. The desert owl and the screech owl     will roost on her columns. Their hooting will echo through the windows,     rubble will fill the doorways,     the beams of cedar will be exposed.
This is the city of revelry     that lived in safety. She said to herself,     “I am the one! And there is none besides me.” What a ruin she has become,     a lair for wild beasts! All who pass by her scoff     and shake their fists.
Ecclesiastes 7-9
New International Version (NIV)

A good name is better than fine perfume,     and the day of death better than the day of birth.

It is better to go to a house of mourning     than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone;     the living should take this to heart.

Frustration is better than laughter,     because a sad face is good for the heart.

The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,     but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.

It is better to heed the rebuke of a wise person     than to listen to the song of fools.

Like the crackling of thorns under the pot,     so is the laughter of fools.     This too is meaningless.

Extortion turns a wise person into a fool,     and a bribe corrupts the heart.

The end of a matter is better than its beginning,     and patience is better than pride.

Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit,     for anger resides in the lap of fools.
Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?”     For it is not wise to ask such questions.
Wisdom, like an inheritance, is a good thing     and benefits those who see the sun.
Wisdom is a shelter     as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this:     Wisdom preserves those who have it.
13 Consider what God has done:
Who can straighten     what he has made crooked?
When times are good, be happy;     but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one     as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover     anything about their future.
15 In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these:
the righteous perishing in their righteousness,     and the wicked living long in their wickedness.
Do not be overrighteous,     neither be overwise—     why destroy yourself?
Do not be overwicked,     and do not be a fool—     why die before your time?
It is good to grasp the one     and not let go of the other.     Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes.
Wisdom makes one wise person more powerful     than ten rulers in a city.
Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous,     no one who does what is right and never sins.
Do not pay attention to every word people say,     or you may hear your servant cursing you—
for you know in your heart     that many times you yourself have cursed others.
23 All this I tested by wisdom and I said,
“I am determined to be wise”—     but this was beyond me.
Whatever exists is far off and most profound—     who can discover it?
So I turned my mind to understand,     to investigate and to search out wisdom and the scheme of things and to understand the stupidity of wickedness     and the madness of folly.
I find more bitter than death     the woman who is a snare, whose heart is a trap     and whose hands are chains. The man who pleases God will escape her,     but the sinner she will ensnare.
27 “Look,” says the Teacher, “this is what I have discovered:
“Adding one thing to another to discover the scheme of things—
    while I was still searching     but not finding— I found one upright man among a thousand,     but not one upright woman among them all.
This only have I found:     God created mankind upright,     but they have gone in search of many schemes.”

Who is like the wise?     Who knows the explanation of things? A person’s wisdom brightens their face     and changes its hard appearance.
Obey the King
Obey the king’s command, I say, because you took an oath before God. Do not be in a hurry to leave the king’s presence. Do not stand up for a bad cause, for he will do whatever he pleases. Since a king’s word is supreme, who can say to him, “What are you doing?”

Whoever obeys his command will come to no harm,     and the wise heart will know the proper time and procedure.

For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter,     though a person may be weighed down by misery.

Since no one knows the future,     who can tell someone else what is to come?

As no one has power over the wind to contain it,     so no one has power over the time of their death. As no one is discharged in time of war,     so wickedness will not release those who practice it.
All this I saw, as I applied my mind to everything done under the sun. There is a time when a man lords it over others to his own hurt. 10 Then too, I saw the wicked buried—those who used to come and go from the holy place and receive praise in the city where they did this. This too is meaningless.
11 When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, people’s hearts are filled with schemes to do wrong. 12 Although a wicked person who commits a hundred crimes may live a long time, I know that it will go better with those who fear God, who are reverent before him. 13 Yet because the wicked do not fear God, it will not go well with them, and their days will not lengthen like a shadow.
14 There is something else meaningless that occurs on earth: the righteous who get what the wicked deserve, and the wicked who get what the righteous deserve. This too, I say, is meaningless. 15 So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun.
16 When I applied my mind to know wisdom and to observe the labor that is done on earth—people getting no sleep day or night— 17 then I saw all that God has done. No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all their efforts to search it out, no one can discover its meaning. Even if the wise claim they know, they cannot really comprehend it.
A Common Destiny for All
So I reflected on all this and concluded that the righteous and the wise and what they do are in God’s hands, but no one knows whether love or hate awaits them. All share a common destiny—the righteous and the wicked, the good and the bad, the clean and the unclean, those who offer sacrifices and those who do not.
As it is with the good,     so with the sinful; as it is with those who take oaths,     so with those who are afraid to take them.
This is the evil in everything that happens under the sun: The same destiny overtakes all. The hearts of people, moreover, are full of evil and there is madness in their hearts while they live, and afterward they join the dead. Anyone who is among the living has hope—even a live dog is better off than a dead lion!

For the living know that they will die,     but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward,     and even their name is forgotten.

Their love, their hate     and their jealousy have long since vanished; never again will they have a part     in anything that happens under the sun.
Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do. Always be clothed in white, and always anoint your head with oil. Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun—all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun. 10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.
11 I have seen something else under the sun:
The race is not to the swift     or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise     or wealth to the brilliant     or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.
12 Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come:
As fish are caught in a cruel net,     or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times     that fall unexpectedly upon them.
Wisdom Better Than Folly
13 I also saw under the sun this example of wisdom that greatly impressed me: 14 There was once a small city with only a few people in it. And a powerful king came against it, surrounded it and built huge siege works against it. 15 Now there lived in that city a man poor but wise, and he saved the city by his wisdom. But nobody remembered that poor man. 16 So I said, “Wisdom is better than strength.” But the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are no longer heeded.
The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded     than the shouts of a ruler of fools.
Wisdom is better than weapons of war,     but one sinner destroys much good.

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