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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!
 
Daily Bread - August 30, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Wednesday, 30 August 2017 09:48
1 John 3:24 - And he that keeps His commands dwells in Him, and He in him;
and by this we know that He dwells in us, by the Spirit which He has given.

There is nothing more wonderful and glorious than being made one with God.
Unity with the Father, the Lord Jesus, and the Holy Spirit in purpose,
desires, and affections belongs to the believer (John 14:20, 17:21-23).
This amazing oneness is expressed several times by John: "Hereby we know
that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit"
(1 John 4:13); "Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God
dwells in him, and he in God" (1 John 4:15); "God is love, and he that
dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him" (1 John 4:16b). What we can
be certain of is John taught we have our existence in Christ Jesus; and as
a result, Christ Jesus is revealed through our lives -a truth he repeated
many times throughout his writings, but about eleven times in his First
Epistle (1 John 2:5, 6, 27, 28, 3:6, 24, 4:4, 13, 15, 16, 5:20). This
indwelling of Christ Jesus is witnessed by the Spirit, Who we have received.

The fruits, or proofs, of the Spirit are the witness that this union took
place when we were born again. Chief among these fruits is the love of God
manifested through our lives. The love of Christ Jesus revealed through us
is the proof that He dwells in us, and that we dwell in Him (John 13:34-35,
15:9-10, 12, 16:27; Romans 8:9). Jesus Christ is bodily seated today at the
right of the Father; yet He lives within us, and the Holy Spirit is proof.
He does not live within us by an endearing memory and commitment that we
have to Him. He lives in us because we are His dwelling place, a tabernacle
built for Him, when we were born again and made a new creation (2
Corinthians 5:17-18; 1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16;
Colossians 3:1-4; Galatians 2:20).

The coming and indwelling of the Holy Spirit is the subject of The Gospel
of John chapters 14, 15, and 16. Now, there are two dimensions by which the
Holy Spirit has come to us: first, He has come to dwell along side of us,
to lead us, to guide us, and to glorify Jesus; secondly, the Holy Spirit
has come to dwell in us, because God has put His Spirit in us (John
14:16-17, 23; Ezekiel 36:26-27; John 3:6). The indwelling of God in us is
further emphasized by the promise that Jesus made whereby both He and the
Father would come and dwell with us (John 14:23, 17:21-23). So while it may
be understood that They dwell in us through the Spirit that has been given
to us, still there remains an interaction and dwelling that goes beyond
just having Their corporeal Presence communicated by the indwelling Spirit
of God (John 14:21, 23). Many may wonder how is this possible? Yet, through
the new birth the mystery of the fellowship has brought to pass this
unspeakable gift: our lives have been integrated together with the
everlasting God -Christ Jesus living in us!

Rejoice and fully participate in this unspeakable gift from God!
 
Daily Bread - August 29, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Tuesday, 29 August 2017 10:21
1 John 3:22 - And whatever we ask of Him, we receive, because we keep His
commands, and do that which is pleasing in His sight.

There is no one who shines brighter as an example of a heart and conscience
that pleased God than Job. Job said, "Far be it from me to say that you are
right; till I die, I will not put away my integrity from me. I hold fast my
righteousness and will not let it go; my heart does not reproach me for any
of my days." (Job 27:5-6). We can walk with God in the most intimate
fellowship and find ourselves surrounded by His glory and kept by His
power. We have a cloud by day, and a fire by night; a hedge of His glory
and power, and the whole armor of God. If we are willing to surrender
everything and walk in consecration to the ways of the Lord, He will always
be before us, and on our right hand, that we should not be moved (Psalms
16:8; Acts 2:25: Deuteronomy 31:8; Matthew 28:20). Enoch walked with God
and is a witness of how well man can please the Lord (Genesis 5:22-24;
Hebrews 11:5; Jude 14-15). We, too, have the opportunity to know God; and
as Enoch walked with God, let us walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16, 25;
Romans 8:1, 4).

Even though there are those who are vehemently vocal that such a walk with
God is not possible, the third chapter of the Epistle of First John places
us in a position with God where we are empowered to do everything that
pleases Him. This is one of the most radical chapters of the New Testament,
and calls us to radical purity and righteousness making statements like:
"no one who sins has either seen Him or known Him" and "everyone who
commits sin is of the devil" (1 John 3:6, 8). Obviously, if we do wrong,
anything that is displeasing the Father our hearts will convict us. And we
rejoice that, in experiencing conviction, we can run to Jesus the Christ
the righteous and be cleansed from all our sin and shame (1 John 1:9-2:1-2).

Most people today have settled into a mindset that condones sin and makes
it a part of everyday life. They would say, "we sin more or less every
day." However, John had a very different view of what it means to know
Jesus than many have today. The Lord has empowered us with His Word and
with His Spirit to live His life -the abundant life- the life of Jesus.
Paul, speaking of this divine empowerment, said that they who walk in the
Spirit would not fulfill the lust of the flesh (Galatians 5:16); and he
exhorted Titus emphatically how God's grace has taught us to live godly
(Titus 2:11-15). Jesus called us to be perfect, even as our Father in
Heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:48) Peter said we were to be holy, even as He
is Holy (1 Peter 1:16). He also said that we have been given everything
that we need through the power of God to walk in life and godliness, and to
never even stumble! (2 Peter 1:3-11).

God wants us to accept all that He has done for us in Christ Jesus, and be
continually filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:15-20). If we are willing
to be continually filled, then we will find a continual manifestation of
the glory of His Presence in our lives; and it is through His glory that we
discover union with God (John 17:22). In this union with God, we find an
active divine power and grace of God enabling us to walk in the Light, as
He is in the Light (1 John 1:6-7). We find ourselves at rest in His love,
and empowered to be just as He in this world (1 John 4:17; John 17:16-23).
We discover that our life is not our own, but it is the possession of
Christ Jesus; and in this revelation, there is no condemnation (1 John 1:7,
4:17; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:1-3).

It is here in this place of fellowship and union with God where we keep His
commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. We can be
certain that asking Father and receiving our request is central to what God
desires for our life (John 14:12-14, 15:7-16, 16:23-27). Jesus said that He
had called us and ordained us to bring forth fruit, and that our fruit
should remain, "that whatsoever you should ask of the Father in My name, He
may give it to you" (John 15:16). Yet, equally important, we must also
remember that we can do nothing without Him. We must recognize that our
lives were consecrated by His blood and by the Holy Spirit to dwell in
Christ Jesus (John 15:5).

If we are willing to accept all that God has done for us and agree with His
Word, even in the face of the multitude of assailing thoughts and
circumstances, we will walk in the faith that overcomes the world (1 John
5:4, 3:23, 5:18-21). If we will come to rely upon the Holy Spirit, and
allow Him to continually fill us, then we will continue to walk in His Word
and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. If we fail and sin, all
we have to do is immediately turn to Jesus and take His blood for our
cleansing. Then, ask the Holy Spirit to fill us and strengthen us to always
do those things that please the Father; and He will!

Remember: The Lord's heart is towards those who are perfect and upright;
who fear God and are removed from evil (Job 1:8; Psalms 119:1-3; John
14:21)!

Be, therefore, perfect and holy; even as your Father is perfect and holy!
 
Daily Bread - August 28, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 28 August 2017 11:01
Romans 1:11 - For I desire to see you, that I may impart some spiritual
charisma into you to strengthen you.

Paul does not determine that the saints are going to be established through
the efforts of man-made programs, but rather by the demonstration of the
Spirit and power (1 Corinthians 2:4; 1 Thessalonians 1:5). If the saints at
Rome were going to be established, then the gifts of the Holy Spirit had to
be imparted. Today, too many have graduated from seminary with a Bible
degree, then stand in the pulpits of the churches and attempt to see the
people established. They fail to realize that there must be someone in
their lives who can impart the spiritual gifts. Men focus on developing
natural gifts and talents, but all that does is promote personalities and
denominations -not the kingdom of God (Luke 4:14, 18-19, 9:2, 10:9, 11:20;
Matthew 12:28; Mark 16:17; John 14:12). When God started a church, it was
baptized in the Holy Spirit and fire on day one (Acts 2:1-4; 1 Corinthians
12:28)! From that time on, it functioned in the gifts of the Spirit so that
the will of the Father could be done and the kingdom of God advanced (1
Corinthians 12, 14; Romans 12). When men have only earthly, carnal models
placed before them, they lose any sense of reality regarding the spiritual
and are left to having only that which is of men. The standard becomes what
is rational, sensible, and respectable - while the spiritual becomes an
embarrassment (1 Corinthians 2:14; John 14:17).
While it is true that 'charisma' (gift) may be used to describe the whole
of salvation and the eternal life which we have received, it finds its
definition in the manifestation of the Holy Spirit that is given to each
person (Romans 5:15-16, 6:23; 1 Corinthians 12:7-11). 'Charisma' is used to
refer to those special acts of grace that are activated by the Holy Spirit
and are manifested as: prophecy, ministry, teaching, exhorting, giving,
being a leader, being compassionate, the word of wisdom, the word of
knowledge, faith, healing, the working of miracles, discernment of spirits,
other tongues, and the interpretation of tongues (Romans 12:6-8; 1
Corinthians 12:8-10; Acts 2:4, 10:44-46, 19:6). In fact, one could group
every expression of the Holy Spirit that functions through the life of
God's people into the category of 'the charisma'. Thus, we may say that
'charisma' is the expressions of the Spirit of God which reveal the
character and power of Jesus in and through our lives.

Paul also used 'charisma' to describe what was imparted into Timothy
through the laying on of hands (1 Timothy 4:14; 2 Timothy 1:6; Acts 19:6).
Paul associated the charisma with the spiritual realm ('pneumaticus'), both
here and in 1 Corinthians chapters 12 and 14. Paul commands the church to
earnestly seek the spiritual realm, in which the activities of the Holy
Spirit are manifested (1 Corinthians 14:1, 12:31, 12:6,11). The spiritual
('pneumaticus') is the realm of God: the place where we worship God in the
Spirit -the realm of God that we were born into and translated into by the
Spirit of God (John 3:5-6, 4:23; Philippians 3:3; Colossians 1:13; Romans
8:9; Ephesians 1:3, 2:6, 5:18). In this realm of glory, the life and
ministry of Jesus is revealed through the activities of the Holy Spirit
being activated in our lives (Acts 1:8; John 16:13-16; Luke 24:49; John
7:37-39).

Allow the activities of the Holy Spirit to be activated in your life today!
 
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