Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

August 11 - Morning

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August 1 - Morning

"I said, 'I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth while in the presence of the wicked.'

So I remained utterly silent, not even saying anything good. But my anguish increased; my heart grew hot within me. While I meditated, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue:

'Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure.' "

- Psalms 39:1-5

Think Before You Spew Out Your Questions


The superscript of David’s Psalm 39 contains the name Jeduthun:
            “For the director of music. For Jeduthun. A psalm of David.”

Jeduthun is mentioned in First Chronicles 16:42 as being one of two Levites “responsible for the sounding of the trumpets and cymbals and for the playing of the other instruments for sacred song.” Jeduthun was a Levites who ministered in song during the days of Zadok the high priest when the tabernacle was set up at the high place in Gibeon around 1000 BC. Even though the Ark of the Covenant had been brought into Jerusalem and set inside the tent of David, the Levite Jeduthun led the music in the tabernacle courts in order to give thanks to the Lord during the daily sacrifices 7 miles to the north of Jerusalem at the High Place of Gibeon. (See First Chronicles 16)

The psalm begins with David realizing that he has to watch what he says since he is being challenged emotionally and intellectually concerning the true meaning of life and wicked people. David realizes if he simply allows his thoughts to burst out in words he will be sinning with his mouth. So, instead David vows to “put a muzzle” on his mouth in order to prevent a bad situation from becoming worse. (Psalm 39:1)

Yet, the anguish of his thoughts and the questions he had concerning life and wicked men burned in his soul. He sought a logical balance in life between purpose, sinful behavior and the justice of God. (Psalm 39:2-3)

Ultimately David has to speak and he begins by not spewing out his rash conclusion, but instead begins his quest by first establishing a perspective. David begins by asking to see or understand the length and limits of a human life. Now, from this lofty vantage point David can begin to analyze with a proper perspective all the issues that are bothering him. (Psalm 39:3-8)
Kbd (Hb) – to be heavy (Eng) – Kbd is a Semitic root that means “to be heavy.” The adjective kabed means “heavy” and kabod means “weight, honor, majesty.” Kabed, “heavy in weight,” is used in 1 Samuel 4:18 to refer to the overweight high priest Eli. In Exodus 17:12 kabed is used in reference to Moses’ tired arms. Kbd was used negatively to refer to the weight of a burden on a person. Positively kbd can refer to the | weight of honor a person deserves or to the majesty of God.  
I will focus on thinking about the effect my words will have on others, on situations and on myself before I speak. I will put a muzzle on and | give myself a chance to analyze my thoughts before they become spoken words.



Bible Reading Descriptions Here

Narrative

Complete Text

General Text




Personal

Physical strength

Church

Outreach
Local mayors and city officials
Germany



Warren's fallen ashlar stone seen by Charles Warren in 1873 (photographed here in 2012) in the city gutter (or, sewer) under the road that ran along the Western Wall of Herod's temple mount. This is below Robinson's Arch and was probably the result of a construction accident around 10 BC during Herod's construction of Robinson's Arch. The ashlar fell during construction, but was never retrieved. (I wonder if there was a follow-up inspection and fines assigned by OSHA?) See Warren's 1873 image here.
Three phases of salvations work in our lives.




Someone to Quote

"Christianity is a battle, not a dream."
- Wendell Phillips

Something to Ponder

"On average, an ordained Protestant pastor serving a small congregation received a median salary and housing package of $31,234, according to a study by sociologist Jackson Carroll."
(source)

Here’s a Fact

An ancient Egyptian document from 1300 BC, “Destruction of Mankind”, describes a group of people who were not Egyptian fleeing from the Land of Goshen (eastern Nile Delta area), but pursued by the armies of Pharaoh. Within this document is the Egyptian root. YWY, which is the name of the Hebrew God YHWH, or, I AM THAT I AM. (Hieroglyphic text) (Translated text)

Proverb

"Whoever listens to me (wisdom) will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm."
- Proverbs 1:33

Coach’s Corner

Personal growth increases your personal potential. The failure to learn and the refusal to change is the rejection of increasing your opportunity for success.

“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord.

“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

- Jeremiah 31:31-34

The Promise of the New Covenant


In this portion of his book Jeremiah offers comfort for the forsaken people of Israel. In Jeremiah 29:11 Jeremiah spoke of the “plans I have for you” that included God’s “plans to prosper you and … plans to give you hope and a future.” This portion of Jeremiah’s writing is correctly referred to as the book of comfort for a people who know all too well that the cycle of “blessing-complacency-oppression-repentance-restoration” has been repeated throughout history and will continue in the future. Something drastic must to be done to interrupt this cycle and place the people in a secure position. As the writer of Hebrews says,

“If there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. But God found fault with the people.”Hebrews 8:7-8

The promise of a new covenant found within the Old Covenant indicated that something was wrong! Jeremiah, the prophet, addressed this issue and gave the people comfort when he foretold them of a New Covenant. Jeremiah had reminded his listeners of the terms of the Old Covenant in Jeremiah 7:23. Then in Jeremiah 24-26 the problem is explained: evil hearts and stiff necks. God found fault not with the Old Covenant, but with the people.

In Jeremiah 11:1-8 in the year 622 BC Jeremiah tried to call the people back to their covenant. Jeremiah then watched in 621 BC as Josiah tried to force the people in a revival back to the covenant. Josiah knew God. Jeremiah knew God. But, the people did not. A relationship with God and an obedient heart cannot be forced!

So, now Jeremiah 31:31, in the year 587 BC, after thirty-five years of watching the Old Covenant fail, Jeremiah is promised a New Covenant by the Lord.

Promise Number One: “I will put my laws in their minds.”

The New Covenant will not depend on memorization as in Deuteronomy 6:6-9. The people planned on being obedient (Ex.24:7). The problem was not the law but the weak flesh and sin nature as in Romans 8:3

Ezekiel had already spoken in a similar fashion in the year 592 BC when he says in Ezekiel 11:17-20:

“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered and I will give you back the land of Israel again… I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”

Promise Number Two: “They will all know me.”

This was a matter of personal experience. In Judges 2:10 the generation that came into the land produced a generation that did not know the Lord. In Hosea 4:1, 6 there was no knowledge of God in the land and disaster was coming. This promise includes every member of the society knowing God. This puts God on a one to one relationship with everyone. No one will be hearing about God second handed.

Promise Number Three: “I will remember their sins no more.”

“Remember” in Hebrew means more than to mentally recall something. It means to follow that recall with action either good or bad. God remembers sins and punishes them or He remembers good deeds and rewards them. Even in Exodus 34:6-10 God is merciful and forgiving.

There is positional sanctification. But, temporal sanctification is also needed.

Jesus spoke of his death and his blood being the blood that secured this New Covenant:

“After the supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.’ ” Luke 22:20

Hebrews 9-10 identify three things that result from Christ’s sacrifice:

1. Cleanse our conscience (9:14)
2. We may approach God since we have been made holy (10:10)
3. We have become a people made perfect (10:14)

Hebrews 8 identifies these three things as the fulfillment of the promises of the New Covenant:

1. Laws on our hearts (new nature, cleansed conscience) 8:10
2. They will all know me (personal relationship, approach God) 8:11
3. Remember sins no more (delivered from sin, made holy or set apart) 8:12


Ka’as (Hb) - provoke (Eng) - The Hebrew word ka’as means “to provoke” and “to make angry”.  Ka’as refers to intense anger and the use of ka’as implies there will be consequences.

Deuteronomy 4:25 - "...by doing what is evil in the sight of the Lord your God, so as to provoke him to anger..."

2 Kings 23:19 -  "Josiah removed all the shrines also of the high places that were in the cities of Samaria, which kings of Israel had made, provoking the Lord to anger." 
I will not neglect the great advantages and the great salvation I have in the New Covenant.
I will experience the relationship I have with the Lord.
I will walk in righteousness and serve the Lord with power.


Bible Reading Descriptions Here

Narrative

Complete Text

General Text

Daniel 12 (535 BC)


Personal

Efficient at work

Church

People accepting Christ and receiving the New Birth
Lebanon
Local community groups


The gate of the Old Testament city of Ashkelon.
Photos of biblical sites still visible around Jerusalem.
1 Kings 17 New International Version (NIV)
Elijah Announces a Great Drought
17 Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.”
Elijah Fed by Ravens
Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah: “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.”
So he did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.
Elijah and the Widow at Zarephath
Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. Then the word of the Lord came to him: “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” 10 So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” 11 As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.”
12 “As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.”
13 Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’”
15 She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. 16 For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah.
17 Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing. 18 She said to Elijah, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?”
19 “Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed. 20 Then he cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, have you brought tragedy even on this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?” 21 Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, let this boy’s life return to him!”
22 The Lord heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived. 23 Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!”
24 Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is the truth.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by
Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Daniel 12 New International Version (NIV)
The End Times
12 “At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. But you, Daniel, roll up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge.”
Then I, Daniel, looked, and there before me stood two others, one on this bank of the river and one on the opposite bank. One of them said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, “How long will it be before these astonishing things are fulfilled?”
The man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, lifted his right hand and his left hand toward heaven, and I heard him swear by him who lives forever, saying, “It will be for a time, times and half a time. When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will be completed.”
I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, “My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?”
He replied, “Go your way, Daniel, because the words are rolled up and sealed until the time of the end. 10 Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand.
11 “From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. 12 Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days.
13 “As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by
Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Jeremiah 14-15New International Version (NIV)
Drought, Famine, Sword
14 This is the word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah concerning the drought:

“Judah mourns,     her cities languish; they wail for the land,     and a cry goes up from Jerusalem.

The nobles send their servants for water;     they go to the cisterns     but find no water. They return with their jars unfilled;     dismayed and despairing,     they cover their heads.

The ground is cracked     because there is no rain in the land; the farmers are dismayed     and cover their heads.

Even the doe in the field     deserts her newborn fawn     because there is no grass.

Wild donkeys stand on the barren heights     and pant like jackals; their eyes fail     for lack of food.”

Although our sins testify against us,     do something, Lord, for the sake of your name. For we have often rebelled;     we have sinned against you.

You who are the hope of Israel,     its Savior in times of distress, why are you like a stranger in the land,     like a traveler who stays only a night?

Why are you like a man taken by surprise,     like a warrior powerless to save? You are among us, Lord,     and we bear your name;     do not forsake us!
10 This is what the Lord says about this people:
“They greatly love to wander;     they do not restrain their feet. So the Lord does not accept them;     he will now remember their wickedness     and punish them for their sins.”
11 Then the Lord said to me, “Do not pray for the well-being of this people. 12 Although they fast, I will not listen to their cry; though they offer burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Instead, I will destroy them with the sword, famine and plague.”
13 But I said, “Alas, Sovereign Lord! The prophets keep telling them, ‘You will not see the sword or suffer famine. Indeed, I will give you lasting peace in this place.’”
14 Then the Lord said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds. 15 Therefore this is what the Lord says about the prophets who are prophesying in my name: I did not send them, yet they are saying, ‘No sword or famine will touch this land.’ Those same prophets will perish by sword and famine. 16 And the people they are prophesying to will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and sword. There will be no one to bury them, their wives, their sons and their daughters. I will pour out on them the calamity they deserve.
17 “Speak this word to them:
“‘Let my eyes overflow with tears     night and day without ceasing; for the Virgin Daughter, my people,     has suffered a grievous wound,     a crushing blow.
18 
If I go into the country,     I see those slain by the sword; if I go into the city,     I see the ravages of famine. Both prophet and priest     have gone to a land they know not.’”
19 
Have you rejected Judah completely?     Do you despise Zion? Why have you afflicted us     so that we cannot be healed? We hoped for peace     but no good has come, for a time of healing     but there is only terror.
20 
We acknowledge our wickedness, Lord,     and the guilt of our ancestors;     we have indeed sinned against you.
21 
For the sake of your name do not despise us;     do not dishonor your glorious throne. Remember your covenant with us     and do not break it.
22 
Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain?     Do the skies themselves send down showers? No, it is you, Lord our God.     Therefore our hope is in you,     for you are the one who does all this.
15 Then the Lord said to me: “Even if Moses and Samuel were to stand before me, my heart would not go out to this people. Send them away from my presence! Let them go! And if they ask you, ‘Where shall we go?’ tell them, ‘This is what the Lord says:
“‘Those destined for death, to death; those for the sword, to the sword; those for starvation, to starvation; those for captivity, to captivity.’
“I will send four kinds of destroyers against them,” declares the Lord, “the sword to kill and the dogs to drag away and the birds and the wild animals to devour and destroy. I will make them abhorrent to all the kingdoms of the earth because of what Manasseh son of Hezekiah king of Judah did in Jerusalem.

“Who will have pity on you, Jerusalem?     Who will mourn for you?     Who will stop to ask how you are?

You have rejected me,” declares the Lord.     “You keep on backsliding. So I will reach out and destroy you;     I am tired of holding back.

I will winnow them with a winnowing fork     at the city gates of the land. I will bring bereavement and destruction on my people,     for they have not changed their ways.

I will make their widows more numerous     than the sand of the sea. At midday I will bring a destroyer     against the mothers of their young men; suddenly I will bring down on them     anguish and terror.

The mother of seven will grow faint     and breathe her last. Her sun will set while it is still day;     she will be disgraced and humiliated. I will put the survivors to the sword     before their enemies,” declares the Lord.
10 
Alas, my mother, that you gave me birth,     a man with whom the whole land strives and contends! I have neither lent nor borrowed,     yet everyone curses me.
11 The Lord said,
“Surely I will deliver you for a good purpose;     surely I will make your enemies plead with you     in times of disaster and times of distress.
12 
“Can a man break iron—     iron from the north—or bronze?
13 
“Your wealth and your treasures     I will give as plunder, without charge, because of all your sins     throughout your country.
14 
I will enslave you to your enemies     in a land you do not know, for my anger will kindle a fire     that will burn against you.”
15 
Lord, you understand;     remember me and care for me.     Avenge me on my persecutors. You are long-suffering—do not take me away;     think of how I suffer reproach for your sake.
16 
When your words came, I ate them;     they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name,     Lord God Almighty.
17 
I never sat in the company of revelers,     never made merry with them; I sat alone because your hand was on me     and you had filled me with indignation.
18 
Why is my pain unending     and my wound grievous and incurable? You are to me like a deceptive brook,     like a spring that fails.
19 Therefore this is what the Lord says:
“If you repent, I will restore you     that you may serve me; if you utter worthy, not worthless, words,     you will be my spokesman. Let this people turn to you,     but you must not turn to them.
20 
I will make you a wall to this people,     a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you     but will not overcome you, for I am with you     to rescue and save you,” declares the Lord.
21 
“I will save you from the hands of the wicked     and deliver you from the grasp of the cruel.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by
Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
"Beat on that thick cloud of unknowing with the sharp arrow of longing and never stop loving, no matter what comes your way.”
– written by an unknown English monk in the 1300’s
in a book called “The Cloud of Unknowing”
(read the book 1, 2; selected quotes 1, 2)


Pope Leo the Great (440-461)

• Roman Bishop in 440 and often called the first pope

• Asserted the primacy of the Roman bishop against the claims of the political capital, Constantinople.

• His Christological (nature of Christ) teaching was adopted by the Church at council of Chalcedon in 451.

• He negotiated with Attila the Hun for the removal of his barbarians from Italy in 452

• He clarified the doctrine of the primacy of the bishop of Rome, i.e., that the Roman bishop held the same position as Peter, which was one of authority over all the other bishops. This established the basis for the papacy.

• Dealing with doctrinal conflicts and barbaric invasions, Leo proved to be a great leader in difficult times.


The Murashu Archive consists of 730 cuneiform tablets from 455 BC and 403 BC. (1, 2) The tablets are documents from a family of bankers in Nippur (60 miles SE of Babylon) These documents mention the Keber Canal several times just like Ezekiel does (Ezekiel. 1:1). These records also mention many Hebrew names of wealthy Jewish men involved in business contacts by 455-403 BC (Details of Murashu Family). Ezekiel was among this group of people used by Nebuchadnezzar to resettle and repopulate Nippur after his father Nabopolasar had destroyed the city. (Details)


"He who puts up security for another will surely suffer, but whoever refuses to strike hands in pledge is safe."
- Proverbs 11:15




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