Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

September 13 - Evening

"The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him, but with an overwhelming flood he will make an end of Nineveh; he will pursue his foes into darkness." - Nahum 1:7-8

The Fall of Nineveh

The Lord is “good.” This is the basic nature of God.
For those who will flee to him and trust him he is a refuge and he will take care of them. The word in the Hebrew for “care,” yada (commonly translated “know”), has an expansive range of meanings that include “knowing facts,” “knowing a person in a relationship,” “the performance of a skill,” and also “choose” or “care for.” In Nahum 1:7 yada is used as “care.” A similar Akkadian word was used by Nineveh in their religious texts to express the same “care” extended to the Assyrian king in Nineveh by the Assyrian gods. A prophecy given to the Assyrian king Esarhaddon (681-669) by his prophetesses who spoke oracles to him for Ishtar and other Assyrian gods refer to Ishtar as “the god who ‘cares’ for you," and say, “I will keep you safe,” “Do not trust humans, but lift your eyes and look to me.” In his prophecy written to Nineveh (663-654), Nahum uses yada, “care,” to refer to the “care” God could give to Nineveh.

Nineveh received this “goodness” from God in 759 BC when Jonah brought a message of repentance to them, but since Jonah’s day the Assyrians have strayed far from the Lord, and so, will now come to an end. They did not receive the protection promised to them by Ishtar, Ashur or any of the other Assyrian gods. Nineveh will be overcome by a "flood" of military activity beginning with the Scythians from the north in 626 BC, which is followed by an invasion from the Babylonians from the east in 612 where Nineveh fell in fulfillment of Nahum's prophecy. The fall of Nineveh in 612 BC ended the Assyrian empire.
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Parakaleo (Gr) - "to call alongside" (Eng) - Parakaleo is a compound word from the Greek preposition "para" meaning "beside" and "kaleo" meaning "to call."
Parakaleo was used originally to mean "to summon to one's aid for help or encouragement." It is used in the New Testament at least 87 times and is translated"urge", "plead", "appeal", "comfort", "exhort". The NT uses it in:
Romans 12:1,
"I urge you brothers...to offer your bodies as living sacrifices."
1 Corinthians 1:10,
"I appeal to you, brothers...that all of you agree with one another."
Epahesians 4:1,
"I urge you to live a life worthy or the calling you have received."
Philippians 4:2,
"I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree."
1 Peter 2:11,
"I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires."
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Have I "come alongside" of the Truth?
I will walk alongside God's call by learning Word of God, letting it renew my thinking and leading me into agreement with others believers in the Truth and away from the sinful desires of the world.

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Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text

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For my work


Nepal - church leadership and next generation of believers
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The Roman Cardo (main north/south street) in ancient Jerusalem. On the left is the paved road. To the right of the pillars is the pedestrian walk in front of the stores, which are to the far right in the photo. The pillars supported a roof covering which made the sidewalk a colonade. (click on image for larger size)
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Map of Paul's travels from his experience on the Damascus Road 35 AD until he flees Jerusalem to return to his home country of Cilicia in 38 AD and returns to Jerusalem in 45 AD. click on image for larger size)

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Someone to Quote

"God makes greater haste to the sinner than the sinner does to God. God makes much of our first inclination."
– Antony Farindon

Something to Ponder

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“If I can’t believe that the spacecraft I fly assembled itself, how can I believe that the universe assembled itself? I am convinced only an intelligent God could have built a universe like this.”
– Jack Lousma, astronaut

Here’s a Fact

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Ezra 1:1-4 says Cyrus made a proclamation to send the Jews back to Jerusalem to build their temple. In the 1879 Hormuzd Rassam found the Cyrus Cylinder, a ten-inch clay cylinder inscribed with cuneiform with Cyrus’ decree that set Israel free in 538 BC. Cyrus calls himself the “liberator of the people.”


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"Whoever disregards discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored."
- Proverbs 13:18

Coach’s Corner

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What you think is who you are. What you meditate on is who you will become.

Luke 6
New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath
One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and his disciples began to pick some heads of grain, rub them in their hands and eat the kernels. Some of the Pharisees asked, “Why are you doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”
Jesus answered them, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God, and taking the consecrated bread, he ate what is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.” Then Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
On another Sabbath he went into the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was shriveled. The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal on the Sabbath. But Jesus knew what they were thinking and said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Get up and stand in front of everyone.” So he got up and stood there.
Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?”
10 He looked around at them all, and then said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so, and his hand was completely restored. 11 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law were furious and began to discuss with one another what they might do to Jesus.
The Twelve Apostles
12 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. 13 When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: 14 Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, 15 Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, 16 Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
Blessings and Woes
17 He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coastal region around Tyre and Sidon, 18 who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by impure spirits were cured, 19 and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.
20 Looking at his disciples, he said:
“Blessed are you who are poor,     for yours is the kingdom of God.
Blessed are you who hunger now,     for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now,     for you will laugh.
Blessed are you when people hate you,     when they exclude you and insult you     and reject your name as evil,         because of the Son of Man.
23 “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.
“But woe to you who are rich,     for you have already received your comfort.
Woe to you who are well fed now,     for you will go hungry. Woe to you who laugh now,     for you will mourn and weep.
Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you,     for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.
Love for Enemies
27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
Judging Others
37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
39 He also told them this parable: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.
41 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
A Tree and Its Fruit
43 “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. 45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
The Wise and Foolish Builders
46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47 As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. 48 They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”
Joel 2-3
New International Version (NIV)
An Army of Locusts

Blow the trumpet in Zion;     sound the alarm on my holy hill.
Let all who live in the land tremble,
    for the day of the Lord is coming. It is close at hand—

    a day of darkness and gloom,     a day of clouds and blackness. Like dawn spreading across the mountains     a large and mighty army comes, such as never was in ancient times     nor ever will be in ages to come.

Before them fire devours,     behind them a flame blazes. Before them the land is like the garden of Eden,     behind them, a desert waste—     nothing escapes them.

They have the appearance of horses;     they gallop along like cavalry.

With a noise like that of chariots     they leap over the mountaintops, like a crackling fire consuming stubble,     like a mighty army drawn up for battle.

At the sight of them, nations are in anguish;     every face turns pale.

They charge like warriors;     they scale walls like soldiers. They all march in line,     not swerving from their course.

They do not jostle each other;     each marches straight ahead. They plunge through defenses     without breaking ranks.

They rush upon the city;     they run along the wall. They climb into the houses;     like thieves they enter through the windows.
Before them the earth shakes,     the heavens tremble, the sun and moon are darkened,     and the stars no longer shine.
The Lord thunders     at the head of his army; his forces are beyond number,     and mighty is the army that obeys his command. The day of the Lord is great;     it is dreadful.     Who can endure it?
Rend Your Heart
“Even now,” declares the Lord,     “return to me with all your heart,     with fasting and weeping and mourning.”
Rend your heart     and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God,     for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love,     and he relents from sending calamity.
Who knows? He may turn and relent     and leave behind a blessing— grain offerings and drink offerings     for the Lord your God.
Blow the trumpet in Zion,     declare a holy fast,     call a sacred assembly.
Gather the people,     consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders,     gather the children,     those nursing at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room     and the bride her chamber.
Let the priests, who minister before the Lord,     weep between the portico and the altar. Let them say, “Spare your people, Lord.     Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn,     a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples,     ‘Where is their God?’”
The Lord’s Answer
Then the Lord was jealous for his land     and took pity on his people.
19 The Lord replied to them:
“I am sending you grain, new wine and olive oil,     enough to satisfy you fully; never again will I make you     an object of scorn to the nations.
“I will drive the northern horde far from you,     pushing it into a parched and barren land; its eastern ranks will drown in the Dead Sea     and its western ranks in the Mediterranean Sea. And its stench will go up;     its smell will rise.”
Surely he has done great things!

    Do not be afraid, land of Judah;     be glad and rejoice. Surely the Lord has done great things!
    Do not be afraid, you wild animals,     for the pastures in the wilderness are becoming green. The trees are bearing their fruit;     the fig tree and the vine yield their riches.
Be glad, people of Zion,     rejoice in the Lord your God, for he has given you the autumn rains     because he is faithful. He sends you abundant showers,     both autumn and spring rains, as before.
The threshing floors will be filled with grain;     the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.
“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—     the great locust and the young locust,     the other locusts and the locust swarm— my great army that I sent among you.
You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,     and you will praise the name of the Lord your God,     who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed.
Then you will know that I am in Israel,     that I am the Lord your God,     and that there is no other; never again will my people be shamed.
The Day of the Lord
“And afterward,     I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy,     your old men will dream dreams,     your young men will see visions.
Even on my servants, both men and women,     I will pour out my Spirit in those days.
I will show wonders in the heavens     and on the earth,     blood and fire and billows of smoke.
The sun will be turned to darkness     and the moon to blood     before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
And everyone who calls     on the name of the Lord will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem     there will be deliverance,     as the Lord has said, even among the survivors     whom the Lord calls.
The Nations Judged

“In those days and at that time,     when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem,

I will gather all nations     and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will put them on trial     for what they did to my inheritance, my people Israel, because they scattered my people among the nations     and divided up my land.

They cast lots for my people     and traded boys for prostitutes;     they sold girls for wine to drink.
“Now what have you against me, Tyre and Sidon and all you regions of Philistia? Are you repaying me for something I have done? If you are paying me back, I will swiftly and speedily return on your own heads what you have done. For you took my silver and my gold and carried off my finest treasures to your temples. You sold the people of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks, that you might send them far from their homeland.
“See, I am going to rouse them out of the places to which you sold them, and I will return on your own heads what you have done. I will sell your sons and daughters to the people of Judah, and they will sell them to the Sabeans, a nation far away.” The Lord has spoken.

Proclaim this among the nations:     Prepare for war! Rouse the warriors!     Let all the fighting men draw near and attack.
Beat your plowshares into swords     and your pruning hooks into spears. Let the weakling say,     “I am strong!”
Come quickly, all you nations from every side,     and assemble there.
Bring down your warriors, Lord!
“Let the nations be roused;     let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit     to judge all the nations on every side.
Swing the sickle,     for the harvest is ripe. Come, trample the grapes,     for the winepress is full     and the vats overflow— so great is their wickedness!”
Multitudes, multitudes     in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near     in the valley of decision.
The sun and moon will be darkened,     and the stars no longer shine.
The Lord will roar from Zion     and thunder from Jerusalem;     the earth and the heavens will tremble. But the Lord will be a refuge for his people,     a stronghold for the people of Israel.
Blessings for God’s People
“Then you will know that I, the Lord your God,     dwell in Zion, my holy hill. Jerusalem will be holy;     never again will foreigners invade her.
“In that day the mountains will drip new wine,     and the hills will flow with milk;     all the ravines of Judah will run with water. A fountain will flow out of the Lord’s house     and will water the valley of acacias.
But Egypt will be desolate,     Edom a desert waste, because of violence done to the people of Judah,     in whose land they shed innocent blood.
Judah will be inhabited forever     and Jerusalem through all generations.
Shall I leave their innocent blood unavenged?     No, I will not.”

The Lord dwells in Zion!

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