Daily Bread - September 29, 2020 (The Third Day - Genesis 1:9-13)
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Tuesday, 29 September 2020 11:53
John 14:12 - With absolute certainty I tell you, the one who believes in Me
will also perform the works that I perform. In fact, he will perform far
greater than these, because I am going to the Father.

Jesus equates His going unto the Father to the disciples being empowered
with extraordinary power. The Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, would only come
when Jesus left to go to the Father. Those who believe in Him will do the
same works and greater because they will be in the Father and in the Son -
just as Jesus was in the Father and the proof of Jesus' oneness with the
Father was in the works He did (John 14:11).

Jesus both promised and testified here regarding the magnitude of power the
Holy Spirit would give to them. They would be so infused with power from
the Holy Spirit that they would do the mighty miracles He did and even
greater ones. The only way the Holy Spirit would come and be poured out was
for Jesus to first be glorified (John 7:38-39). Jesus would not be
glorified until He died for our sins and ascended up on high. When Jesus
ascended up on high, He would receive the Promise of the Father and begin
His ministry as the One Who baptizes in the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49;
Matthew 3:11; Acts 2:33) Jesus emphasized this fact when He said, "It is
expedient for you that I go away (go to the Father); for if I do not go
away, the Paraclete (Holy Spirit) will not come" (John 16:7).

Although the Holy Spirit came 2000 years ago, we may have the same
experience they had. Peter testified concerning the house of Cornelius
about nine years after the Holy Spirit came upon them in Acts 2: "Of a
truth, I perceive that God is no respecter of persons", and "Seeing, then,
that God gave them the same Gift that He gave us" (Acts 10:34, 11:17).
 
Daily Bread - September 28, 2020 (The Second Day - Genesis 1:6-8)
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 28 September 2020 11:58
Matthew 6:33 - Make the Kingdom of God and His righteousness your primary
objective, and all these things will be added to you.

Part 1 ~ Setting Our Focus On The True Riches

To "seek first" (zhteite proton) in this context means "primary objective,"
"earnestly desire above everything else." God desires us to align our wills
to be in agreement with His will in everything 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 3:1-5). He wants
us to recognize He is the supplier of all we need, and 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 we do. If we pursue our
Heavenly Father's interest instead of our own, then we will discover the
keys to success in this life and in the one to come.

There are two important issues coming to bear in every task we set out to
do and interaction we have. They are: the Kingdom of God and the
righteousness of God. These are the two "bigger issues" to everything we
are involved in. When we consider the meaning of the Kingdom of God (as it
is presented by the Lord Jesus), we observe how it is the display of the
power of God, which demonstrates the love of God for all mankind (Matthew
10:7-8, 12:28; Mark 1:15, 9:1-4; and 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 to be
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). 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 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 if we are willing to make His will our
number one priority, then He will give us all the things 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 God desires to lavish
upon His people is greater than all the wealth given to Solomon - and to
all of Creation combined! The most important riches are the "true riches" -
which are the spiritual blessings given to us in Christ Jesus (2
Corinthians 8:9, 4:7; Luke 16:11; Ephesians 1:3). 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 - and there will be a witness to
Father's goodness revealed through our lives!
 
Daily Bread - September 26, 2020 (The Seventh Day - Genesis 1:24-31)
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Saturday, 26 September 2020 16:22
2 Peter 1:8-9 - For these things being in you and abounding, you shall not
be barren or unfruitful in the complete knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For the one in whom these things are not present is blind and
short-sighted, forgetting that he was cleansed from his former sins.

Part 3 ~ Cleansed/Released From Former Sins

The Greek word translated "former" is 'palai', and it means 'long ago, old,
or former.' It is used in the passages of Scripture in Matthew 11:21 and
Luke 10:13, "They would have repented long ago." The New Testament doctrine
of redemption is emphatic about how the sins of the redeemed have been
washed away, purged, and destroyed (Revelations 1:5; Hebrews 1:2, 9:6;
Colossians 2:13; 1 John 3:5, 1:7; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:6-7,22).

We derive our New Testament word for forgiveness from the Greek word
'aphesis' which translates the Old Testament word 'yovel' (Jubilee). On the
Day of Jubilee, every debt and slave was released, and everyone was
returned to their original inheritance. The Day of Jubilee was announced on
Yom Kippur, which was the day a goat would carry away the sins of Israel
into the wilderness. In similar fashion and for this reason, Christ Jesus
was put to death at Calvary to carry away our sins: "Who Himself carried
our sins in His own body, that the sins being removed, we might live
righteously, by Whose wound we were healed" (1 Peter 2:24).

Because the sins, and the power of sin, have been removed from those who
have been born of God and made partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter
1:3-4), they should be walking in the nature and Spirit of God outlined in
verses of 5-7. If they are not walking in virtue, temperance...godliness...
and love, then they have forgotten they were transformed by the power of
God through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit
(Titus 3:4-7).
 
Daily Bread - September 25, 2020 (The Sixth Day - Genesis 1:20-23)
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 25 September 2020 10:46
2 Peter 1:5-7 - And this is it also, bringing in all diligence, you supply
in the faith, virtue; and with the virtue, the knowledge; and with the
knowledge, the temperance; and with the temperance, the patience; and with
the patience, the godliness; and with the godliness, the brotherly
kindness; and in the brotherly kindness, the love.

Part 2 ~ Diligent Application To Virtue

The Greek word translated temperance (enkrateia) means lordship, or
dominion, over oneself. Paul uses this word in 1 Corinthians 9:25 to
describe the discipline an athlete must have if he is to accomplish the
goal of winning the crown. Temperance was one of the three main subjects
Paul focused on in His ministry to Felix (Acts 24:25). Temperance is
observed through self-control and discipline. It refers to self-restraint,
and is thought of as the cornerstone to all other virtues. If a person does
not have the ability to control himself, then no other virtue would be
possible.

One of the easiest ways to grasp the meaning of temperance is to recognize
that self-discipline is a synonym. We do not find self-discipline in the
Bible; instead, we find temperance. The self-disciple usually referred to
when this word was used in Greek culture was with respect to sexual purity
and proper restraints with food. Job made a covenant with his eyes not to
behold a maiden (Job 31:1). The Proverbs demand that a person who is given
to an appetite place a knife to his throat to ensure there is no overeating
(Proverbs 23:2). Unfortunately, there seems to be little focus both in
sermons and individual application to our responsibility to give ourselves
to the practice of humility, virtue, temperance, and godliness to name a
few.

Each of us needs to become familiar with practical applications in our life
to the conduct God demands. After all we have been given the nature of God
- the divine nature. Thus, these are not virtues we must acquire; rather,
they are virtues we need only walk in. There is no question Peter demanded
such application; and furthermore, made the application essential in order
to ensure our calling and election in Christ Jesus (2 Peter 1:10). In fact,
Peter says if we lack these things, we are blind and cannot see, and have
forgotten we were purged from a sinful nature (2 Peter 1:9).

We have been given the divine nature and the help of the Holy Spirit so we
may walk in the highest level of expression of these virtues. If we give
ourselves diligently to walking in the ways of God and conducting ourselves
properly in the divine nature, then we are promised we will not stumble (2
Peter 1:10; Jude 24; 1 Peter 1:5; 1 John 5:18). The Spirit of God will
uphold us and strengthen us to live in the way that pleases God. The light
of His nature and the beauty of His ways will be seen in the midst of our
lives, and we will not be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of God (2
Peter 1:8). There is most certainly a realm of relationship in God we enter
into as we mature in God that is a result of our willingness to be obedient
to His will and to His ways (1 John 2:14; 1 Corinthians 3:1; Hebrews 5:14;
2 Peter 1:11; Ephesians 3:18-19, 4:12; John 14:21, 23, 15:16).
 
Daily Bread - September 24, 2020 (The Fifth Day - Genesis 1:20-23)
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 24 September 2020 10:26
2 Peter 1:5-7 - And this is it also, bringing in all diligence, you supply
in the faith, virtue; and with the virtue, the knowledge; and with the
knowledge, the temperance; and with the temperance, the patience; and with
the patience, the godliness; and with the godliness, the brotherly
kindness; and in the brotherly kindness, the love.

Part 1 ~ Character Built In The Faith

The divine nature has empowered men with the nature of Jesus so we can
behave ourselves accordingly. The message Peter is bringing is one of
coming to a correct knowledge and spiritual maturity. If obedience is not
the result of our encounter with the Divine Power, then we have failed to
understand why Christ Jesus died and rose again.

The Greek word used for "diligence", 'spoude', denotes urgency; this word
may be rendered "haste", and together with 'pasan', the urgency is even
more resounding "all haste". The Greek phrase, 'en te pistei' ("in the
faith" or "by the faith"), takes this activity way beyond both the Law and
human discipline. In the faith is not to be understood as "in religion" or
some other concept of religious conviction. Faith is much more than these
things - it is the activity of the supernatural and divine working of God's
grace.

Faith is how God created everything. It is how the mouths of lions were
shut and how the violence of fire was quenched (Hebrews 11). Faith is how
every miracle that Jesus worked by the Spirit took place (Acts 3:16;
Galatians 3:5). Faith is always equated to the miracles Jesus did
throughout the Gospels (Matthew 8:10, 26, 9:2, 22, 29; 14:31, 15:28, 17:20,
21:21; and Mark 11:22; Luke 17:5,19, 18:42) The miracles which were done by
those who believed on Jesus were done by the activity of faith (Acts3:16,
6:8, 14:9; Galatians 3:5; 2 Thessalonians 1:11; James 5:15; Jude 20-25).

The attributes of God's nature and God's people listed by Peter in these
verses are to be supplied by faith - not by human discipline. Therefore,
virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and
love will be supplied through the faith realm. The Greek phrase 'en te
pistei' is found four times in the New Testament using the dative form and
translated "in the faith" for each case, except 2 Peter 1:5 in the
Authorized Version, (1 Corinthians 16:13; 2 Corinthians 13:5; Titus 1:13; 2
Peter 1:5).
 
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