4/4/13

Going to the dogs...

We all make decisions as to how we are to live our lives: School, Work, Marriage and Religion are but a few of the choices we eventually make.  This little cartoon caught my attention today because of its subtle humor and the unfortunate truth behind it.  Isn't it interesting that a CAT would talk to a DOG about such things?  On second thought, maybe that really is not strange at all.  Sometimes those around us are just too close; frankly, they just have too much "baggage", too much "history" with us to give objective comments to our inner questionings.  Anyway, CAT seems to have rejected his parents beliefs, but is still searching for his own.  Sound familiar?  I grew up with wooden toys and my girls with video games - and now their children have graphic-intensive multi-player online war games.  So, its natural for one generation to have a problem relating to the previous.  But, there is HOPE!!!  Found (as usual) in the Scriptures and worth memorizing...

Proverbs, Chapter 22

 6 Train up a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old he will not depart from it.


Most of the people I have known in my life want the best for their children and try to manipulate the delicate balancing act of work, marriage and child-rearing to the best of their ability.  I remember many, many days of reading the Scriptures to my own daughters and hopefully this training will someday bear fruit.  Until that day, I will just have to rely upon the truth of verse six above and trust in God.  I just hope in the meantime, my children don't go to the dogs looking for answers!!!  

Bible Reading... Apr. 4



Apr. 4
Leviticus 25 – 27

Lev 25:1 Yahweh said to Moses in Mount Sinai,
Lev 25:2 "Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them, 'When you come into the land which I give you, then the land shall keep a Sabbath to Yahweh.
Lev 25:3 Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather in its fruits;
Lev 25:4 but in the seventh year there shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a Sabbath to Yahweh. You shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard.
Lev 25:5 What grows of itself in your harvest you shall not reap, and the grapes of your undressed vine you shall not gather. It shall be a year of solemn rest for the land.
Lev 25:6 The Sabbath of the land shall be for food for you; for yourself, for your servant, for your maid, for your hired servant, and for your stranger, who lives as a foreigner with you.
Lev 25:7 For your livestock also, and for the animals that are in your land, shall all its increase be for food.
Lev 25:8 " 'You shall count off seven Sabbaths of years, seven times seven years; and there shall be to you the days of seven Sabbaths of years, even forty-nine years.
Lev 25:9 Then you shall sound the loud trumpet on the tenth day of the seventh month. On the Day of Atonement you shall sound the trumpet throughout all your land.
Lev 25:10 You shall make the fiftieth year holy, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee to you; and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family.
Lev 25:11 That fiftieth year shall be a jubilee to you. In it you shall not sow, neither reap that which grows of itself, nor gather from the undressed vines.
Lev 25:12 For it is a jubilee; it shall be holy to you. You shall eat of its increase out of the field.
Lev 25:13 " 'In this Year of Jubilee each of you shall return to his property.
Lev 25:14 " 'If you sell anything to your neighbor, or buy from your neighbor, you shall not wrong one another.
Lev 25:15 According to the number of years after the Jubilee you shall buy from your neighbor. According to the number of years of the crops he shall sell to you.
Lev 25:16 According to the length of the years you shall increase its price, and according to the shortness of the years you shall diminish its price; for he is selling the number of the crops to you.
Lev 25:17 You shall not wrong one another; but you shall fear your God: for I am Yahweh your God.
Lev 25:18 " 'Therefore you shall do my statutes, and keep my ordinances and do them; and you shall dwell in the land in safety.
Lev 25:19 The land shall yield its fruit, and you shall eat your fill, and dwell therein in safety.
Lev 25:20 If you said, "What shall we eat the seventh year? Behold, we shall not sow, nor gather in our increase;"
Lev 25:21 then I will command my blessing on you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for the three years.
Lev 25:22 You shall sow the eighth year, and eat of the fruits, the old store; until the ninth year, until its fruits come in, you shall eat the old store.
Lev 25:23 " 'The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine; for you are strangers and live as foreigners with me.
Lev 25:24 In all the land of your possession you shall grant a redemption for the land.
Lev 25:25 " 'If your brother becomes poor, and sells some of his possessions, then his kinsman who is next to him shall come, and redeem that which his brother has sold.
Lev 25:26 If a man has no one to redeem it, and he becomes prosperous and finds sufficient means to redeem it;
Lev 25:27 then let him reckon the years since its sale, and restore the surplus to the man to whom he sold it; and he shall return to his property.
Lev 25:28 But if he isn't able to get it back for himself, then what he has sold shall remain in the hand of him who has bought it until the Year of Jubilee: and in the Jubilee it shall be released, and he shall return to his property.
Lev 25:29 " 'If a man sells a dwelling house in a walled city, then he may redeem it within a whole year after it has been sold. For a full year he shall have the right of redemption.
Lev 25:30 If it isn't redeemed within the space of a full year, then the house that is in the walled city shall be made sure in perpetuity to him who bought it, throughout his generations. It shall not be released in the Jubilee.
Lev 25:31 But the houses of the villages which have no wall around them shall be reckoned with the fields of the country: they may be redeemed, and they shall be released in the Jubilee.
Lev 25:32 " 'Nevertheless the cities of the Levites, the houses in the cities of their possession, the Levites may redeem at any time.
Lev 25:33 The Levites may redeem the house that was sold, and the city of his possession, and it shall be released in the Jubilee; for the houses of the cities of the Levites are their possession among the children of Israel.
Lev 25:34 But the field of the suburbs of their cities may not be sold; for it is their perpetual possession.
Lev 25:35 " 'If your brother has become poor, and his hand can't support him among you; then you shall uphold him. As a stranger and a sojourner he shall live with you.
Lev 25:36 Take no interest from him or profit, but fear your God; that your brother may live among you.
Lev 25:37 You shall not lend him your money at interest, nor give him your food for profit.
Lev 25:38 I am Yahweh your God, who brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan, and to be your God.
Lev 25:39 " 'If your brother has grown poor among you, and sells himself to you; you shall not make him to serve as a slave.
Lev 25:40 As a hired servant, and as a sojourner, he shall be with you; he shall serve with you until the Year of Jubilee:
Lev 25:41 then he shall go out from you, he and his children with him, and shall return to his own family, and to the possession of his fathers.
Lev 25:42 For they are my servants, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt. They shall not be sold as slaves.
Lev 25:43 You shall not rule over him with harshness, but shall fear your God.
Lev 25:44 " 'As for your male and your female slaves, whom you may have; of the nations that are around you, from them you may buy male and female slaves.
Lev 25:45 Moreover of the children of the strangers who sojourn among you, of them you may buy, and of their families who are with you, which they have conceived in your land; and they will be your property.
Lev 25:46 You may make them an inheritance for your children after you, to hold for a possession; of them may you take your slaves forever: but over your brothers the children of Israel you shall not rule, one over another, with harshness.
Lev 25:47 " 'If a stranger or sojourner with you becomes rich, and your brother beside him has grown poor, and sells himself to the stranger or foreigner living among you, or to a member of the stranger's family;
Lev 25:48 after he is sold he may be redeemed. One of his brothers may redeem him;
Lev 25:49 or his uncle, or his uncle's son, may redeem him, or any who is a close relative to him of his family may redeem him; or if he has grown rich, he may redeem himself.
Lev 25:50 He shall reckon with him who bought him from the year that he sold himself to him to the Year of Jubilee: and the price of his sale shall be according to the number of years; according to the time of a hired servant shall he be with him.
Lev 25:51 If there are yet many years, according to them he shall give back the price of his redemption out of the money that he was bought for.
Lev 25:52 If there remain but a few years to the year of jubilee, then he shall reckon with him; according to his years of service he shall give back the price of his redemption.
Lev 25:53 As a servant hired year by year shall he be with him: he shall not rule with harshness over him in your sight.
Lev 25:54 If he isn't redeemed by these means, then he shall be released in the Year of Jubilee, he, and his children with him.
Lev 25:55 For to me the children of Israel are servants; they are my servants whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt. I am Yahweh your God.
Lev 26:1 " 'You shall make for yourselves no idols, neither shall you raise up an engraved image or a pillar, neither shall you place any figured stone in your land, to bow down to it: for I am Yahweh your God.
Lev 26:2 " 'You shall keep my Sabbaths, and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am Yahweh.
Lev 26:3 " 'If you walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them;
Lev 26:4 then I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.
Lev 26:5 Your threshing shall reach to the vintage, and the vintage shall reach to the sowing time; and you shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.
Lev 26:6 " 'I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and no one will make you afraid; and I will remove evil animals out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land.
Lev 26:7 You shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword.
Lev 26:8 Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall chase ten thousand; and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.
Lev 26:9 " 'I will have respect for you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and will establish my covenant with you.
Lev 26:10 You shall eat old store long kept, and you shall move out the old because of the new.
Lev 26:11 I will set my tent among you: and my soul won't abhor you.
Lev 26:12 I will walk among you, and will be your God, and you will be my people.
Lev 26:13 I am Yahweh your God, who brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves; and I have broken the bars of your yoke, and made you go upright.
Lev 26:14 " 'But if you will not listen to me, and will not do all these commandments;
Lev 26:15 and if you shall reject my statutes, and if your soul abhors my ordinances, so that you will not do all my commandments, but break my covenant;
Lev 26:16 I also will do this to you: I will appoint terror over you, even consumption and fever, that shall consume the eyes, and make the soul to pine away; and you will sow your seed in vain, for your enemies will eat it.
Lev 26:17 I will set my face against you, and you will be struck before your enemies. Those who hate you will rule over you; and you will flee when no one pursues you.
Lev 26:18 " 'If you in spite of these things will not listen to me, then I will chastise you seven times more for your sins.
Lev 26:19 I will break the pride of your power, and I will make your sky like iron, and your soil like brass;
Lev 26:20 and your strength will be spent in vain; for your land won't yield its increase, neither will the trees of the land yield their fruit.
Lev 26:21 " 'If you walk contrary to me, and won't listen to me, then I will bring seven times more plagues on you according to your sins.
Lev 26:22 I will send the wild animals among you, which will rob you of your children, destroy your livestock, and make you few in number; and your roads will become desolate.
Lev 26:23 " 'If by these things you won't be reformed to me, but will walk contrary to me;
Lev 26:24 then I will also walk contrary to you; and I will strike you, even I, seven times for your sins.
Lev 26:25 I will bring a sword upon you, that will execute the vengeance of the covenant; and you will be gathered together within your cities: and I will send the pestilence among you; and you will be delivered into the hand of the enemy.
Lev 26:26 When I break your staff of bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver your bread again by weight: and you shall eat, and not be satisfied.
Lev 26:27 " 'If you in spite of this won't listen to me, but walk contrary to me;
Lev 26:28 then I will walk contrary to you in wrath; and I also will chastise you seven times for your sins.
Lev 26:29 You will eat the flesh of your sons, and you will eat the flesh of your daughters.
Lev 26:30 I will destroy your high places, and cut down your incense altars, and cast your dead bodies upon the bodies of your idols; and my soul will abhor you.
Lev 26:31 I will lay your cities waste, and will bring your sanctuaries to desolation, and I will not take delight in the sweet fragrance of your offerings.
Lev 26:32 I will bring the land into desolation; and your enemies that dwell therein will be astonished at it.
Lev 26:33 I will scatter you among the nations, and I will draw out the sword after you: and your land will be a desolation, and your cities shall be a waste.
Lev 26:34 Then the land will enjoy its sabbaths as long as it lies desolate and you are in your enemies' land. Even then the land will rest and enjoy its sabbaths.
Lev 26:35 As long as it lies desolate it shall have rest, even the rest which it didn't have in your sabbaths, when you lived on it.
Lev 26:36 " 'As for those of you who are left, I will send a faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies: and the sound of a driven leaf will put them to flight; and they shall flee, as one flees from the sword; and they will fall when no one pursues.
Lev 26:37 They will stumble over one another, as it were before the sword, when no one pursues: and you will have no power to stand before your enemies.
Lev 26:38 You will perish among the nations, and the land of your enemies will eat you up.
Lev 26:39 Those of you who are left will pine away in their iniquity in your enemies' lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them.
Lev 26:40 " 'If they confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, in their trespass which they trespassed against me, and also that, because they walked contrary to me,
Lev 26:41 I also walked contrary to them, and brought them into the land of their enemies: if then their uncircumcised heart is humbled, and they then accept the punishment of their iniquity;
Lev 26:42 then I will remember my covenant with Jacob; and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham; and I will remember the land.
Lev 26:43 The land also will be left by them, and will enjoy its sabbaths while it lies desolate without them: and they will accept the punishment of their iniquity; because, even because they rejected my ordinances, and their soul abhorred my statutes.
Lev 26:44 Yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them; for I am Yahweh their God;
Lev 26:45 but I will for their sake remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God. I am Yahweh.' "
Lev 26:46 These are the statutes, ordinances and laws, which Yahweh made between him and the children of Israel in Mount Sinai by Moses.
Lev 27:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Lev 27:2 "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, 'When a man makes a vow, the persons shall be for Yahweh by your valuation.
Lev 27:3 Your valuation shall be of a male from twenty years old even to sixty years old, even your valuation shall be fifty shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary.
Lev 27:4 If it is a female, then your valuation shall be thirty shekels.
Lev 27:5 If the person is from five years old even to twenty years old, then your valuation shall be for a male twenty shekels, and for a female ten shekels.
Lev 27:6 If the person is from a month old even to five years old, then your valuation shall be for a male five shekels of silver, and for a female your valuation shall be three shekels of silver.
Lev 27:7 If the person is from sixty years old and upward; if it is a male, then your valuation shall be fifteen shekels, and for a female ten shekels.
Lev 27:8 But if he is poorer than your valuation, then he shall be set before the priest, and the priest shall value him; according to the ability of him who vowed shall the priest value him.
Lev 27:9 " 'If it is an animal, of which men offer an offering to Yahweh, all that any man gives of such to Yahweh becomes holy.
Lev 27:10 He shall not alter it, nor change it, a good for a bad, or a bad for a good: and if he shall at all change animal for animal, then both it and that for which it is changed shall be holy.
Lev 27:11 If it is any unclean animal, of which they do not offer as an offering to Yahweh, then he shall set the animal before the priest;
Lev 27:12 and the priest shall value it, whether it is good or bad. As you the priest values it, so shall it be.
Lev 27:13 But if he will indeed redeem it, then he shall add the fifth part of it to its valuation.
Lev 27:14 " 'When a man dedicates his house to be holy to Yahweh, then the priest shall evaluate it, whether it is good or bad: as the priest shall evaluate it, so shall it stand.
Lev 27:15 If he who dedicates it will redeem his house, then he shall add the fifth part of the money of your valuation to it, and it shall be his.
Lev 27:16 " 'If a man dedicates to Yahweh part of the field of his possession, then your valuation shall be according to the seed for it: the sowing of a homer of barley shall be valued at fifty shekels of silver.
Lev 27:17 If he dedicates his field from the Year of Jubilee, according to your valuation it shall stand.
Lev 27:18 But if he dedicates his field after the Jubilee, then the priest shall reckon to him the money according to the years that remain to the Year of Jubilee; and an abatement shall be made from your valuation.
Lev 27:19 If he who dedicated the field will indeed redeem it, then he shall add the fifth part of the money of your valuation to it, and it shall remain his.
Lev 27:20 If he will not redeem the field, or if he has sold the field to another man, it shall not be redeemed any more;
Lev 27:21 but the field, when it goes out in the Jubilee, shall be holy to Yahweh, as a field devoted; it shall be owned by the priests.
Lev 27:22 " 'If he dedicates to Yahweh a field which he has bought, which is not of the field of his possession,
Lev 27:23 then the priest shall reckon to him the worth of your valuation up to the Year of Jubilee; and he shall give your valuation on that day, as a holy thing to Yahweh.
Lev 27:24 In the Year of Jubilee the field shall return to him from whom it was bought, even to him to whom the possession of the land belongs.
Lev 27:25 All your valuations shall be according to the shekel of the sanctuary: twenty gerahs to the shekel.
Lev 27:26 " 'Only the firstborn among animals, which is made a firstborn to Yahweh, no man may dedicate it; whether an ox or sheep, it is Yahweh's.
Lev 27:27 If it is an unclean animal, then he shall buy it back according to your valuation, and shall add to it the fifth part of it: or if it isn't redeemed, then it shall be sold according to your valuation.
Lev 27:28 " 'Notwithstanding, no devoted thing, that a man shall devote to Yahweh of all that he has, whether of man or animal, or of the field of his possession, shall be sold or redeemed: every devoted thing is most holy to Yahweh.
Lev 27:29 " 'No one devoted, who shall be devoted from among men, shall be ransomed; he shall surely be put to death.
Lev 27:30 " 'All the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the trees, is Yahweh's. It is holy to Yahweh.
Lev 27:31 If a man redeems anything of his tithe, he shall add a fifth part to it.
Lev 27:32 All the tithe of the herds or the flocks, whatever passes under the rod, the tenth shall be holy to Yahweh.
Lev 27:33 He shall not search whether it is good or bad, neither shall he change it: and if he changes it at all, then both it and that for which it is changed shall be holy. It shall not be redeemed.' "
Lev 27:34 These are the commandments which Yahweh commanded Moses for the children of Israel on Mount Sinai.




Apr. 4, 5
Luke 4

Luk 4:1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness
Luk 4:2 for forty days, being tempted by the devil. He ate nothing in those days. Afterward, when they were completed, he was hungry.
Luk 4:3 The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread."
Luk 4:4 Jesus answered him, saying, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.' "
Luk 4:5 The devil, leading him up on a high mountain, showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
Luk 4:6 The devil said to him, "I will give you all this authority, and their glory, for it has been delivered to me; and I give it to whomever I want.
Luk 4:7 If you therefore will worship before me, it will all be yours."
Luk 4:8 Jesus answered him, "Get behind me Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and you shall serve him only.' "
Luk 4:9 He led him to Jerusalem, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, cast yourself down from here,
Luk 4:10 for it is written, 'He will put his angels in charge of you, to guard you;'
Luk 4:11 and, 'On their hands they will bear you up, lest perhaps you dash your foot against a stone.' "
Luk 4:12 Jesus answering, said to him, "It has been said, 'You shall not tempt the Lord your God.' "
Luk 4:13 When the devil had completed every temptation, he departed from him until another time.
Luk 4:14 Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee, and news about him spread through all the surrounding area.
Luk 4:15 He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.
Luk 4:16 He came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. He entered, as was his custom, into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.
Luk 4:17 The book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. He opened the book, and found the place where it was written,
Luk 4:18 "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim release to the captives, recovering of sight to the blind, to deliver those who are crushed,
Luk 4:19 and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord."
Luk 4:20 He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fastened on him.
Luk 4:21 He began to tell them, "Today, this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."
Luk 4:22 All testified about him, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth, and they said, "Isn't this Joseph's son?"
Luk 4:23 He said to them, "Doubtless you will tell me this parable, 'Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we have heard done at Capernaum, do also here in your hometown.' "
Luk 4:24 He said, "Most certainly I tell you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown.
Luk 4:25 But truly I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the sky was shut up three years and six months, when a great famine came over all the land.
Luk 4:26 Elijah was sent to none of them, except to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.
Luk 4:27 There were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed, except Naaman, the Syrian."
Luk 4:28 They were all filled with wrath in the synagogue, as they heard these things.
Luk 4:29 They rose up, threw him out of the city, and led him to the brow of the hill that their city was built on, that they might throw him off the cliff.
Luk 4:30 But he, passing through the midst of them, went his way.
Luk 4:31 He came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee. He was teaching them on the Sabbath day,
Luk 4:32 and they were astonished at his teaching, for his word was with authority.
Luk 4:33 In the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice,
Luk 4:34 saying, "Ah! what have we to do with you, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know you who you are: the Holy One of God!"
Luk 4:35 Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be silent, and come out of him!" When the demon had thrown him down in their midst, he came out of him, having done him no harm.
Luk 4:36 Amazement came on all, and they spoke together, one with another, saying, "What is this word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!"
Luk 4:37 News about him went out into every place of the surrounding region.
Luk 4:38 He rose up from the synagogue, and entered into Simon's house. Simon's mother-in-law was afflicted with a great fever, and they begged him for her.
Luk 4:39 He stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her. Immediately she rose up and served them.
Luk 4:40 When the sun was setting, all those who had any sick with various diseases brought them to him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them.
Luk 4:41 Demons also came out from many, crying out, and saying, "You are the Christ, the Son of God!" Rebuking them, he didn't allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ.
Luk 4:42 When it was day, he departed and went into an uninhabited place, and the multitudes looked for him, and came to him, and held on to him, so that he wouldn't go away from them.
Luk 4:43 But he said to them, "I must preach the good news of the Kingdom of God to the other cities also. For this reason I have been sent."
Luk 4:44 He was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee.

From Gary V. Womack... SELF-DISCIPLINE




SELF-DISCIPLINE


1 Cor. 9:24-ff Paul was in a race for life. The 
                      finish-line was ahead of him. But 
                      winning requires self-discipline.

Our race begins when we are raised from the waters of baptism. At that point we are "babes in Christ." From there we must grow.

This growth requires mental exercise:

Heb. 5:12-14 "For though by this time you ought to 
                     be teachers, you need someone to 
                     teach you again the first principles of 
                     the oracles of God; and you have 
                     come to need milk and not solid food. 
                     (13) For everyone who partakes only 
                     of milk is unskilled in the word of 
                     righteousness, for he is a babe. (14) 
                     But solid food belongs to those who 
                     are of full age, that is, those who by 
                     reason of use have their senses
                     exercised to discern both good and 
                     evil."

1 Tim. 4:7-8 "...exercise yourself toward godliness
                    (8) For bodily exercise profits a little, 
                    but godliness is profitable for all things, 
                    having promise of the life that now is
                    and of that which is to come."

Notice the race involved from where we are to that which is to come

Bodily exercise involves the resistance of the muscles against an opposing force (weights)
Spiritual exercise involves the resistance of our will against the opposing force of fleshly lusts or Satan's temptations.

This is how a runner trains for a race - he runs with weights on his ankles

- until it's time for the race:

Heb. 12:1 "Therefore we also, since we are 
                 surrounded by so great a cloud of 
                 witnesses, let us lay aside every weight
                 and the sin which so easily ensnares us, 
                 and let us run with endurance the race 
                 that is set before us, (2) looking unto 
                 Jesus, the author and finisher of our 
                 faith, who for he joy that was set before 
                 Him endured the cross, despising the  
                 shame, and has sat down at the right 
                 hand of the throne of God."

Notice that both the exercise & the race involves focusing on the finish-line In this we have Christ as our example.

Self-discipline involves resisting that which works against us - Satan

1 Pet. 5:8-10 "Be sober, be vigilant; because your 
                     adversary the devil walks about like a 
                     roaring lion, seeking whom he may 
                     devour. (9) Resist him, steadfast in the 
                     faith, knowing that the same sufferings 
                     are experienced by your brotherhood 
                     in the world. (10) But may the God of 
                     all grace, who called us to his eternal 
                     glory by Christ Jesus, after you have 
                     suffered a while, perfect, establish, 
                     strengthen, and settle you."

"Resist" - anthistemi - "To set against (anti - against; histemi - to cause to stand) ...signifying to withstand, oppose, resist.

Self-discipline as illustrated in the exercise of a wrestling match:

Eph. 6:10-13 "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the 
                      Lord and in the power of His might
                      (11) Put on the whole armor of God, 
                      that you may be able to stand against  
                      the wiles of the devil. (12) For we do 
                      not wrestle against flesh and blood, 
                      but against principalities, against 
                      powers, against the rulers of the 
                      darkness of this age, against spiritual 
                      hosts of wickedness in the heavenly 
                      places. (13) Therefore take up the 
                      whole armor of God, that you may be 
                      able to withstand in the evil day, and 
                      having done all, to stand."

Notice the resistance against the opposing forces.

"Withstand" - anthistemi - Same word Peter used for "resist "

"Stand" - histemi - "To stand or cause to stand." As used here, "of steadfastness."

Archimedes - Greek mathematician & physicist (287 -212 BC) Discovered the principle of specific gravity and the power of leverage in the fulcrum and lever. (Today's seesaw)

He said, "Give me a place to stand and I will move the world."

With a stable foundation upon which to stand - we can resist any opposing force and move more than we can otherwise lift by ourself.
That place is the gospel of Christ.

Rom. 1:16 "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of 
                  Christ, for it is the power of God to 
                  salvation for everyone who believes, for 
                  the Jew first and also for the Greek."

Note - By moving the lever across the fulcrum toward us, we can either gain advantage over the resistance that weighs down the opposing end, or we can multiply the amount of our effort needed by moving the lever across the fulcrum away from us.

Christ (our fulcrum) gives us the power (the extended lever) to overcome.

Phil. 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who 
                 strengthens me."

Our race involves resistance, focus and endurance. The goal is a crown of righteousness and an eternal home in heaven.

1 Tim. 4:7-8 "I have fought the good fight, I have 
                     finished the race, I have kept the faith. 
                     (8) Finally, there is laid up for me the 
                     crown of righteousness, which the 
                     Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to 
                     me on that Day, and not to me only 
                     but also to all who have loved His 
                     appearing."



INVITATION

Denying self:

Mk. 10:13-22 The rich young ruler would not  
                     deny himself his riches to follow 
                     Jesus.

Mk. 8:34-ff (34)"...Whoever desires to come after 
                            Me, let him deny himself, and 
                            take up his cross, and follow Me."