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Daily Bread - September 5, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Tuesday, 05 September 2017 15:12
1 Corinthians 2:12 - But we have not received the spirit of the world, but
the Spirit of God; that we may know what has been bestowed to us by God.

We have God's Spirit in us! Someone in whom the Spirit of God may be found
is certainly to be recognized with insight and wisdom that is not earthly
-even as Joseph was in Egypt and Daniel in Babylon (Genesis 41:38; Daniel
4:8, 9, 18, 5:11, 14). In the Old Testament, the Spirit of God came upon
men such as Gideon and Samson, who were given extraordinary abilities of
power and strength (Judges 6:34; Judges 15:14). The Spirit of God would
bestow the abilities to be skillful in the arts and all kinds of
workmanship as was granted to Bezaleel (Exodus 31:1-5). Those in the Old
Testament were given divine ability to be priest, prophets, kings, and
mighty men -all by the Spirit of God.

When we were born of God, He not only gave us a new spirit and a new heart,
but He put His Spirit in us and gave us the divine ability to be sons of
God (Ezekiel 36:26; John 1:12, 3:6). The Spirit of the living God is
dwelling in us right now -at this very moment (1 Corinthians 3:16; Romans
8:9). When we consider the reality that we have the Spirit of God, then
certainly we must recognize that there is nothing outside of our reach
(Philippians 4:13; Ephesians 3:19, 6:10; Mark 9:23). The wisdom and
knowledge of God reaches beyond all the abilities and insights of mankind.
God's strength and His power know no limitations. All we have to do is to
be willing to be lead and directed by the Spirit of God, and the things of
God will be known to us and revealed in our lives (Romans 8:1, 14; 1
Corinthians 2:14; Galatians 5:25; 2 Corinthians 3:3).

How do we find this walk? How do we learn to give ourselves over to the
direction and guidance of the Spirit of God? It is actually very simple:
all we must do is to obey the Word of God. God's Word is our wisdom and our
knowledge. It is the power that created the Universe. It is living and
working mightily in those who believe. As we will walk in simple obedience
to the Word of God, we will discover ourselves taken over by the direction
and guidance of the Spirit of God. If we are going to enjoy all the
blessings that He has blessed us with, and all the power and authority that
He has vested in us, then we must understand that it all begins with simple
obedience to His Word.

The Spirit of God will lead us and guide us into all the truth; and God's
Word is that truth. It is the life and person of Jesus that is Truth. Many
people recognize the importance of speaking by the Spirit; but equally
important is speaking according to the Word. It is also essential that we
walk in the Spirit and be lead by the Spirit; but equally essential is that
we walk in the Word and are lead by the Word. For even as Jesus, Who is the
Word of God, and the Holy Spirit, Who has brought to us the Spirit of God,
are one and will always agree; even so, the leading of the Spirit will
always agree with the Word of God. In fact, the work of the Holy Spirit is
to reveal Jesus, Who is the Word made flesh; and it is also the work of the
Spirit to reveal the Word of God that instructs us in all the will of God
for our lives (2 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 1:19-21; Ephesians
4:15; Romans 10:8, 17; Galatians 6:6; Ephesians 1:13, 5:26, 6:17;
Philippians 2:16; Colossians 1:5, 3:16; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; James 1:18; 1
Peter 1:23, 25, 2:2).

Live and speak by the Spirit, as you live and speak by the Word!
 
Daily Bread - September 4, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 04 September 2017 09:09
1 Corinthians 2:2 - For I have determined to know nothing among you except
Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

Many people have different ideas about what is good, and what is bad; about
what we should emphasize, and what we should avoid. However, what we are
called to do is to follow Jesus (Matthew 4:19, 8:22, 9:9, 16:24, 19:21;
John 10:27, 12:26). If Jesus said to do it, then there is a blessing in it.
All that Jesus showed us was the wonderful ways of the Father (John 14:9).
He made it very clear that all He did was what the Father showed Him to do
(John 5:20, 8:28, 10:38). Jesus said that no one knows the Father, but the
Son; and whosoever the Son will reveal Him to (Matthew 11:27; Luke 10:22).
Jesus is the only way to the Father (John 14:6). If we want to live in the
abundant life, which is the eternal life, then we must be willing to do
what He said for us to do (Matthew 7:21, 12:50; John 10:10, 17:3-4).

The right thing to do is to recognize that all of the Gospel is about
Jesus. When we know Jesus, we know all the fullness of God; for it pleased
God that all the fullness of the Deity should dwell in Him (Colossians
2:9-10). Everything that the Holy Spirit is doing is about revealing Jesus
and making Him known (John 16:13-15). It is Jesus Who redeemed our life
from destruction and crowned us with lovingkindness and tender mercies
(Psalms 103:4). If our heart is right, then all we should desire is to know
Him (Ephesians 1:17-19; Philippians 3:8-10; John 17:3). Let us determine
that, in everything we desire and purpose to do, it will be about Jesus.
Discover that in Him is all wisdom and power, and that our whole life is
about bringing glory and honor to the One Who loved us so much that He gave
His life to ransom us from sin and death (1 Corinthians 1:24, 30; Mark
10:45; Revelation 5:9-10, 12-13). Let us lay all other things aside, and
realize that it is all about knowing Jesus (John 17:3).

Determine to know nothing except Jesus!
 
Daily Bread - September 2, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Saturday, 02 September 2017 00:20
Ephesians 4:30 - And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by Whom you are
sealed unto the day of redemption.

We have been sealed by the Holy Ghost, marked by His presence, and placed
under His leadership. By the Holy Spirit, we have been stamped with the
character of God, and called to be conformed to His image (Romans 8:29;
Ephesians 2:10). The seal is the mark that we have been purchased by God
and are under His protection (1 Corinthians 6:20; 1 Peter 1:5). We are
taught the ways of God by the Holy Spirit, and it is imperative that we
learn to be sensitive to His leadership. If we are hard-hearted and
self-reliant, then we will grieve Him. Even worse, if we continue to rebel
against His conviction and resist Him, we will eventually lose all
possibility of hearing His voice (Matthew 13:15; Acts 28:27; Hebrews 3:8,
15, 4:7)

The Holy Spirit is grieved by anything that is not holy. Therefore, we must
be careful not to give any place to the Devil in our conduct and attitudes.
Anything contrary to unity and purity is a violation against the nature of
the Holy Spirit and causes Him grief, which we should also feel because we
have been born of the Spirit and united with His person. Whenever the
believer pollutes his purified soul with the acts of deceitfulness,
vengefulness, covetousness, or filthy thoughts, it is grievous to the Holy
Spirit. All of those offensive things named in Ephesians 4:26-29 qualify as
things that grieve the Holy Spirit, and they must not be allowed. The most
precious thing that we have is the seal of the Holy Spirit. Each one of us
should resolve to have the highest order of consecration to walk with God
the Holy Ghost. We were purified by the blood of Jesus to give ourselves to
being pure, even as Christ Jesus is pure (1 John 3:2-3). We must come to
understand that God demands that we perfect holiness in the fear of God,
for that is what our Teacher has come to instruct us to do (2 Corinthians
7:1; John 14:16-17, 16:13-15).

The Holy Spirit was with Israel in the desert. He was afflicted with all of
their afflictions, but they rebelled and grieved Him, and He became their
enemy (Isaiah 63:10). God was grieved with the nation of Israel because
they refused to learn His ways (Hebrews 3:10; 1 Corinthians 10:5-11).
Israel continued on in their murmuring and complaint no matter what God did
for them. We must be careful lest our hearts become hardened through the
deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3:13). Through the hardness of heart caused
by sin, we will lose all sensitivity to the instruction and leadership of
the Holy Spirit. We need not pray, "Holy Spirit lead us," for He is
dedicated to this purpose; we need only pray that we be made sensitive and
yielded to His guidance and His will. If we would set our hearts on perfect
obedience, then we would give far more attention and care toward His
precious presence.

Unwholesome speech is coupled with grieving the Holy Spirit. Saying bad
things against another brother or sister is one of the ways to violate the
nature of God, and grieve the Holy Spirit. One of the primary focuses of
the Holy Spirit is to bring divine unity and oneness to the church. Satan,
the divider and accuser of the brethren, does everything he can to stop
such love; and we must be careful not to participate with his evil. If we
would only be devoted to walking in love and learning the love that the
Holy Spirit desires to teach us, we would find ourselves living in the
fullness of God. The fullness of God's glory and power would be accessed
and revealed through our lives if we would be devoted to these good things
(Ephesians 3:19; 1 John 4:16). God put the Holy Spirit in charge of leading
the people of Israel that He might make unto Himself a glorious name; and
He has sent the Holy Spirit to both live and dwell in us as His people
(Isaiah 63:14; John 14:16-17, 16:13-15). There is nothing like living in
the overwhelming spirit, soul, and body-shaking glory of the Holy Spirit!

Set your heart on walking in perfect obedience!
 
Daily Bread - September 1, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 01 September 2017 10:14
Philippians 3:3 - For we are the circumcision, that worship by the Spirit
of God, and boast in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

Every person has a choice: you can either have an outward ritual, and trust
in your own abilities; or you can be changed on the inside, and learn to
live by the Spirit of God (John 3:5; Romans 8:1, 4; Galatians 5:16; 5:25).
The Greek word that is translated 'worship' in this verse has as its
primary meaning 'to serve'. The only way that we can serve God is by the
Spirit of God. Today, we must learn that without Jesus, we can do nothing;
therefore, He calls us to come and dwell in union with Him (John 15:5). We
must be willing to dwell in Him, and to allow the glory and strength of His
presence to give us the ability to do all that He has asked of us. We must
recognize that worship is far more than singing songs in church. Worship is
interacting with God; and the only way that we can interact with God is by
the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:18; John 3:5, 4:24, 16:13; 1 Corinthians 2:12;
Galatians 4:6). It is through this interaction with God that we find
ourselves dwelling in His presence and receiving those things that only the
Spirit of God can teach us (John 16:13-14; 1 Corinthians 2:9-10).

In the Old Testament, the only way that men could interact with God was to
bring an offering that represented their lives (Genesis 4:4, 22:3-5;
Leviticus 1:1-3; 1 Kings 18:24) . They would lay their lives down upon an
altar of sacrifice according to the commandment of the Lord, and God would
respond to them. Today, we must recognize that the only access that we have
to the Father is by the Spirit of God (Ephesians 2:18; 2 Corinthians 3:17;
John 3:5, 4:24; Romans 8:14). If we are unwilling to lay down our lives,
then we actually run interference with the Spirit of God.

To be led by the Spirit is an act of choice. In every decision and action,
we either choose our own ability, or we look to the Spirit of God for
divine help. Paul reveals here in this verse that, those who are born of
God serve God not by the flesh or human ability, but by the Spirit of God.
God has called us to present our lives as a living sacrifice Holy and
acceptable to Him (Romans 12:1). As we do, we lay aside our own human
ability and interest; and recognizing that we can do nothing of ourselves,
we reach out to God for help and yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit. We
accept with the full assurance of faith that He is ready to give us the
strength of the Lord and the power of His might at the moment that we make
our request. When we do, the Holy Spirit begins to fill us with the divine
ability and inspiration to enter into that realm of glory where we interact
with and receive from the Almighty (Ephesians 3:16, 20; Philippians 2:13,
4:13; Colossians 1:11). We are the circumcision who have put off the
impurity of heart and have confidence that the Spirit of God will give us
the ability to walk in union with the Father and with our Savior Jesus
Christ (John 17:16-23; Galatians 5:16).

Trust in God, and make your boast in Christ Jesus!
 
Daily Bread - August 31, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 31 August 2017 08:52
Ephesians 1:17 - That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of
Glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the
knowledge of Him.

Spiritual wisdom and revelation is the ability to see, understand and
function in what God has provided for us through redemption, and brought to
us by the Holy Spirit. The wisdom of God goes far beyond human ability and
intelligence. It has been rightly said that wisdom is the ability to apply
the knowledge that is gained. God gives us that special insight to
understand how to live out the life that we have been given in Christ
Jesus. Men attempt to understand the things of God through their
intellectual pursuits and their analytical tools of investigation. Though a
limited knowledge of God and the Kingdom of God can be gained, the
knowledge is still much greater than men can grasp; and the wisdom to apply
that knowledge is completely out of reach through human means. It is God
who opens our eyes to understand the scriptures even as Jesus did for His
disciples after His resurrection (Luke 24:45). God wants us to function in
a spiritual realm where we are empowered to speak to mountains so that they
are moved, to raise the dead, and to do greater works than these (Matthew
17:20, 10:8; John 14:12). However, faith must be activated in our lives - a
faith that takes hold of seeing and understanding what God demands.

There is no way for us to even begin to comprehend what God has done for us
through Jesus Christ without divine insight! God has blessed us with every
spiritual blessing in the heavenlies, but it is only through this work of
grace that we are able to accept these things as a present and living
reality, and then function in them (Ephesians 1:3). Jesus did the great
miracles and signs and wonders by revelation - He was able to see the
Father do it (John 5:19-20). Now this same relationship with the Father has
been granted unto us (John 17:21-23). Everything that belongs to the Father
has been freely given to us and is transferred to us by the Holy Spirit
(John 3:3, 16:14-15; 1 Corinthians 2:10). If we are to mature and develop
in these things of the Spirit, then we must allow the Holy Spirit to
continually fill and strengthen us. We must be as dedicated to be
instructed by Him as He is to training us if we are to function in all
these spiritual blessings and divine abilities (Philippians 3:8; 2 Peter
1:10) .

Wisdom is the exact knowledge of the Father's will (Colossians 1:9). The
spirit of wisdom is first called out in Isaiah 11:2 regarding the anointing
that the Messiah would have. It is wisdom that the world cannot have nor
understand; and therefore, cannot be discovered among the intellectual
pursuits of men -but rather in brokenness and submission to the Holy
Spirit, Who gives it to those who ask (1 Corinthians 2:6-16; James 1:8).
Above all other things, it is wisdom and revelation that unveils the
mystery of the fellowship - Christ in us. The revelation of oneness with
God and the fellowship of Christ in us brings us into a submission to the
Holy Spirit and an authority that we otherwise could not have. (John
17:21-23; Colossians 1:27; Ephesians 3:9; 1 Corinthians 3:16). We must have
an ongoing penetration deeper into the Gospel and the will of the Father
(Philippians 1:9, 1 Thessalonians 3:12, 4:10; Philippians 3:8; 2 Peter
1:3-11)!

Be diligent to make your calling and election sure!
 
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