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Daily Bread - July 8, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Saturday, 08 July 2017 09:17
Matthew 6:33 - Make the Kingdom of God and His righteousness your primary
objective, and all these things will be added to you.

To "seek first" (zhteite proton) in this context means "primary objective,"
or to "earnestly desire above everything else." God desires us to align our
wills to be in agreement with His will in everything that we do. We are not
looking for something that was lost, or attempting to obtain something that
has not been supplied to us as a free gift. God is simply calling us to
turn from earthly things to the things that are heavenly (Colossians
3:1-17). He wants us to recognize that He is the supplier of all that we
need; and that if we will take care of the most important thing necessary
for our eternal well being, He will take care of all our needs. God is
calling us to make His will and purposes the foremost objective and
motivation in all that we do. If we pursue our Heavenly Father's interests
instead of our own, then we will discover the keys to success in this life
and in the one to come (Matthew 6:19-34; 1 Timothy 4:8; 2 Peter 1:3-11).

There are two important issues that come to bear in every task that we set
out to do and interaction that we have. They are: the Kingdom of God and
the righteousness of God. These are the two "bigger issues" to everything
that we are involved in. When we consider the meaning of the Kingdom of God
(as it is presented by the Lord Jesus) we observe that it is the display of
the power of God, which demonstrates the love of God for all mankind
(Matthew 12:28; Mark 1:15, 9:1-4; Luke 4:43, 9:2,11, 10:9, 11, 11:20,
16:16, 17:20-21). The righteousness of God (which we are both made and
supplied with through the operation of the Holy Spirit) is the revelation
of the nature and conduct of God expressed through our lives (2 Corinthians
5:21, 6:7; Ephesians 4:24; Romans 3:21-22, 10:3-4; 1 Corinthians 1:30;
Galatians 3:21; Philippians 1:11, 3:9; 2 Peter 1:3-11). In general, we may
view righteousness as the actions of love. Our every concern should be both
for the revelation and the advancement of the Kingdom of God through the
preaching of the Gospel. We should give ourselves over to the expression of
the Holy Spirit so that the love and purity of God may be felt by all those
around us, and especially those of the household of faith (John 13:35;
Galatians 6:10). If we will make the things of the Spirit our primary
concern, then God will make our needs, and even our wealth, His results for
our lives (Mark 10:29-30, 16:20).

Men make their success and achievements the number one priority and their
"bigger issue." The Lord tells us that if we are willing to make those
things concerning His will our number one priority, then He will give us
all the things that men sell their souls to have. Men labor to make
themselves rich only to be consumed with the sorrows of it, but God will
make a person rich absent of the sorrow (Proverbs 23:4, 10:22; Deuteronomy
8:18). The wealth that God desires to lavish upon His people is greater
than all that was given to Solomon, and to all of creation combined. The
most important riches are those things belonging to the "true riches"
-which are the spiritual blessings given to us in Christ Jesus (2
Corinthians 8:9; Luke 16:11; Ephesians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 4:7; Colossians
1:27). If we will set our affections on the things of the heavenly realm
(the Kingdom of God and His righteousness) and not on things of this earth,
we will discover all of the glories and wonders of abundant life (John
10:10); and there will be a witness to Father's goodness revealed through
our lives (Matthew 7:20)!
 
Daily Bread - July 7, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 07 July 2017 10:45
John 10:10 - The thief does not come except that he may steal, slaughter,
and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

The life that Jesus has given to all who will receive is one full of the
Holy Spirit. The abundant life is an extraordinary life, as the Greek word
'perissos' indicates (1 John 3:24, 4:13, 5:12; Galatians 2:20; John 14:23,
17;21). The contrast is so great between the life in God and the life
without the Spirit that it is like life and death (John 5:24; 1 John 3:14).
Whereas before we were under the law of sin and death, now we are under the
law of the Spirit of life that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:2).

The life that is in Christ Jesus is the life that Father intended all men
to have when He created Adam and Eve (Genesis 1:26; Ephesians 1:4, 2:10,
4:23; Colossians 3:10). It is a life that not only reveals His glory, but
enjoys all of His goodness (John 17:22, 1:16; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Galatians
5:22; Ephesians 5:9; Philippians 1:11; Romans 15:13, 14:17). This life that
is in Christ Jesus has joy unspeakable, peace that passes understanding,
and divine love (1 Peter 1:8; Philippians 4:7; John 13:34, 15:12). All of
these glorious expressions of life flow out of us like rivers of living
water. The life of God produces the righteousness of God and the Holiness
of God (Galatians 3:21; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Romans 14:17; Ephesians 4:24).

The abundant life that is in Christ Jesus is eternal life, which is not
only a duration of time, but a quality of life. Eternal life is not only
for the future, it is something that God's people possess now; and it is
this life that is a light to the world and the salt of the earth (1 John
1:2, 3:15, 5:11, 13, 5:20; John 3:15; 6:54, 17:3; Romans 5:21, 6:23; 1
Peter 2:9; Matthew 5:13, 14).
 
Daily Bread - July 6, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 07 July 2017 09:55
John 5:19 - Jesus, therefore, replied and said to them, "With absolute
certainty, I tell you: the Son does not have ability to do anything of
Himself; for whatever He sees the Father doing, all these things the Son
may also do likewise.

This confession of Jesus is very close to what Moses said in Numbers 16:28,
"And Moses said, By this you shall know that Yahweh sent me to do all these
works; for I have not done them of mine own mind." Strong's identifies this
word for 'ability' 210 times in the Authorized Version which renders it:
can (could) 100 times, cannot (w/not) 45 times, be able 37 times, may
(might) 18 times, able 3 times, misc 7 times. The same word occurs 327
times in the Septuagint, and first appears in Genesis 13:6. The Hebrew
equivalent is 'yakol', which is primarily translated 'could' or 'able'.

Jesus was totally dependent on the Father and the Holy Spirit for
everything that He did (John 5:30, 8:28, 12:49, 14:10). One of the
outstanding features of the relationship between the Father and Jesus was
announced in the opening statement of the Gospels: "This is My beloved Son"
(Matthew 3:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22). Jesus said that, because of His love
relationship with the Father, He would be shown greater miracles (John
5:20, 10:17-18, 37-38). Jesus helps us to further understand the operation
of the Father in His life when He revealed to us that the Father dwelled in
Him (John 14:10).

The Holy Spirit is teaching us total dependency on Him so that we may
fulfill Father's will for our lives (John 14:12; Mark 3:35; Ephesians 6:6;
1 Thessalonians 4:3, 5:18; Hebrews 10:36; 1 John 2:17). This is not a
forced dependency, but a relationship that is born out of love and honor
for the Father. We know that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are
at work preparing us unto every good work (2 Timothy 2:21; Philippians
2:13). We have received His divine ability that springs up out of a sonship
relationship, because we have been born of God (John 1:12; Romans 8:14;
Galatians 4:6; Philippians 2:15; 1 John 3:1-2). Having been made sons and
heirs, now the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit dwell in us (John
14:23, 17:22; Colossians 1:27; 1 John 3:24; Romans 8:17; Titus 3:7).

Jesus said to all who will hear, "as My Father has sent Me, even so I send
you" (John 20:21-22). Paul's cry to us is to, "Let this same mind be in you
which was also in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 2:5). We must learn to speak
only God's Word by living what we read from the Bible. We must be willing
to lay aside our own will, and delight to do the will of the Father (John
4:34; Hebrews 10:9; Matthew 7:21). This, of course, is not some legal
formula for success in God, but a truth that becomes real to us through the
relationship that we have been granted in Christ Jesus (John 17:13-23; 2
Peter 1:3-11).
 
Daily Bread - July 5, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Wednesday, 05 July 2017 10:56
Philippians 2:2 - Fulfill my joy by thinking the same, having the same
love, being one in Spirit, being of one mind.

There was nothing more important to Paul than for the church to be
perfectly knitted together in love (Colossians 2:2; Ephesians 4:16). It was
through this love and fellowship in the Spirit that those in the church
would walk in this perfect unity described by Paul in this verse. When we
consider that the Spirit was poured out upon a church that was gathered
together with one purpose and submitted to the one calling, then we may
understand that this is the environment and state of the heart in which the
Holy Spirit is empowered to lead the meeting (Acts 2:1, 1:14, 4:24, 32,
5:12; Romans 15:6; Philippians 1:27).

Furthermore, if the church is going to function as one body, then being
submitted to the same Spirit that gives the body life and movement is
absolutely essential (James 2:26; 1 Corinthians 10:17, 12:13, 20; Ephesians
4:4). If we are going to have such a submission among those who are in the
church, then God's people are going to have to humble themselves and walk
in lowliness of mind instead of being so opinionated. For those who have
trouble humbling themselves and following the instructions of those who are
in charge, as well as being in submission to those they feel less qualified
than themselves, they should consider Jesus. Jesus was equal to God (being
God); and yet, He became a servant and humbled Himself to death on a cross
to purchase the church with His own blood (Philippians 2:5-8; Acts 20:28;
Revelation 1:5). The cry of Paul's heart is for everyone to do likewise, so
that the glorious church can be manifested to a lost and dying world
(Philippians 2:1-18; 1 Corinthians 14:25, 1:10; Ephesians 5:27).
 
Daily Bread - July 4, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Tuesday, 04 July 2017 13:09
1 Corinthians 2:15 - He that is spiritual judges all, but he himself is
judged of none.

In order to begin to understand the meaning of this verse, we must look to
the contrast that Paul gives in the next few verses. One of the more
important contrasts is between being spiritual and being earthly (or carnal
-thinking as mere men) (1 Corinthians 3:1-4). A person who thinks after the
manner and reasoning of men will never be able to think according to the
wisdom and insight that is given by the Holy Spirit.

Secondly, and even more important, is to recognize that the spiritual mind
is the same as the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16; 2 Corinthians
10:4-5). The mind of Christ (that is, the thinking and disposition of
Christ Jesus that is supplied to us by the Holy Spirit) allows us to
understand things that had never before entered into the heart of man
(Philippians 2:1-11; John 16:13-15; 1 Corinthians 2:9-10). These are the
things that are taught to us by the Holy Spirit, and not by man or by our
own developed natural instincts and reasoning (1 Corinthians 2:13). If we
will be taught by the Holy Spirit and receive His instruction and insight,
then we will be able to know everything regarding the judgments of God (1
John 2:20, 27). However, we have to make a transition from dependency upon
human faculties to the guidance and instruction of the Holy Spirit. Faced
with divine revelation, the carnal mind is like a donkey in a physics class.

The ability to be led and governed by the Holy Spirit, so that one may
judge all things and know all things with respect to the will of the
Father, is developed each time we say 'yes' to God and obey His word. When
we refuse to walk after our own understanding, and we cry out to the Holy
Spirit for direction, God enables us to hear and understand the things of
the Spirit with greater wisdom and insight (Psalm 36:9, 119:105). Each time
we refuse the voice of sin and iniquity, the voice of God's divine
judgments sound out that much louder (Hebrews 3:13; Psalm 95:8; Mark 13:22;
Matthew 13:15; Jeremiah 6:10). The Holy Spirit desires to fill us with the
knowledge of God in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, but at some
point we have to refuse to walk after our own knowledge, so that we might
receive His (Colossians 1:9; James 1:5-6).
 
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