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daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 26 March 2010 12:50
1 Peter 1:6 - In whom you greatly rejoice; though now if need be, it is a
little distressing - in a great variety of trials.

All of us hate trials and adversity; but there can be nothing more important
to the spiritual state of our souls than finding that glorious resting place
of trusting in God, no matter what is taking place. We may look at some of
the things that we are going through, and become overwhelmed and somehow
think that God is unaware; but nothing can be further from the truth. What
we must learn to do is to give thanks - instead of asking why, or in any way
doubting His love and commitment to us (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Our heavenly
Father has called us into an abundant life of joy unspeakable, and we must
learn to walk in all of the splendor of that life. The things that are
earthly and sensual, that would turn our hearts away from the relationship
and faith that has been so graciously lavished upon us, must be done away
with. We may not recognize it, but everything that is contrary to the nature
and will of God actually steals our joy, and robs us of the the fullness of
all that has been freely given to us. Therefore, in God's lovingkindness and
tender mercies, He allows us to go through things that are to result in our
faith being made perfect: so that it might be found unto praise, honor, and
glory at His appearing. We must recognize that any sufferings of this
present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory that is to be
revealed in us (Romans 8:18; 2 Corinthians 4:17; 2 Corinthians 7:4).

Our walk with God and our access to Him by the Spirit must be more important
to us than all other earthly things. When heavenly things are more important
to us than earthly things, we discover a realm of glorious fellowship that
moves us past all of the things that would turn our affections away from
God. It is in this perfect love that we find the operation of perfect faith.
Fear and torment cannot access us, strife and divisions can no longer
dominate us; but instead we find a place of communion that captivates our
soul, and causes all of our affections to be set on things above (Colossians
3:1-4). Let all of our experience result in an abundant confidence in the
faithfulness of God, who has poured His love into us by the Holy Spirit
(Romans 5:5; Ephesians 1:3).
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 25 March 2010 12:39
Ephesians 4:1- I call to you myself, as the prisoner of the Lord: walk
worthy of the calling to which you are called.

There is no other book in the Bible where the calling of God is spelled out
in loftier words - beginning in chapter 1 with the statement "blessed with
all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies," to "being filled with all of the
fullness of God" in Ephesians 3:19. However, what the believer must learn is
that this realm of greatness and glory in Christ Jesus functions through
humility and servitude. The fact is that the greatest in the Kingdom is the
servant of all. If we are to walk in the heights of God, then we must be
willing to allow this same mind that was in Christ Jesus to also be in us
(Philippians 2:5-8).
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Wednesday, 24 March 2010 11:13
Psalm 116:15 - Precious in the eyes of Yahoah is the death of his saints.

God subjected man to death, in order to grant him a future (Romans 8:20).
Because of Adam's sin, all mankind must return to the dust from whence God
shaped the first man Adam. But it is only for a short time; for all shall
come forth in the resurrection. All those who die in the Lord are those who
belong to His covenant love - the covenant that is once and for all complete
in Christ Jesus. When the saints die, they take their place with all the
other saints that have gone on before them. There is a special care that God
gives to those who die in His covenant, the angels carry them into His
glorious presence (Luke 16:22). When Steven died, he looked up to see the
Father and the Lord Jesus watching as His death unfolded (Acts 7:55-56).

It is through death that we come into newness of life: first spiritually,
through the death of our Savior Jesus Christ, when we are raised up together
with Him unto a spiritual resurrection and new birth. Secondly, when we die
physically, and our inner being is carried away to be with Him in glory; and
finally, when just as Jesus was raised up from the dead with a glorious
body, we are also raised up in the First Resurrection. Blessed are those who
die in the Lord!
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 22 March 2010 11:23
Philemon 1: 6 - So that the communication of your faith may be effectual, by
the acknowledging of every good thing in you by Christ Jesus.

Today there are some who would say that there is no good thing in us. They
misunderstand a single point made about the inadequacy of the law to produce
the righteousness and life of God in man (Romans 7:18). Yet the statement
made by the same preacher in Philemon should help to turn us to the
acknowledgment of the truth, which is according to godliness (Titus 1:1).
When we consider the fact that Christ Jesus now lives and dwells in us by
the Spirit, then we may understand what Paul was referring to by "every good
thing" that is in us (1 John 3:24). We may also translate this verse as
follows: "That the fellowship of your faith may work by the knowledge of
every good thing in you by Christ Jesus."

One of Paul's main subjects was that we are made the righteousness of God.
However, if we do not believe and confess this to be true, then we will
never reap the many blessings and benefits of this glorious salvation. God
has made us one with himself, so that we may say that we are the
righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (Romans 1:17; Romans 3:21-22; Romans
10:3; 2 Corinthians 5:21; John 17:21-23; Philippians 3:9). If we do not
accept the word of God and the identity that God has given us in Christ
Jesus, then the miracle of faith will not work in our life. If the centurion
had refused to believe that Jesus had the authority to heal his son, then
there would have been no display of great faith (Matthew 8:10). If Jairus
had been unwilling to believe that Jesus could heal his daughter, then she
would have never been raised from the dead (Mark 5:36). If any mountains are
going to be moved and the realms of the impossible shown to be possible
through faith, then someone must agree with God's word; and then speak and
act accordingly (Mark 11:23-24).

Paul equates the miracles of faith working through our life with first
acknowledging and then communicating that "good thing" that is in us. The
most important "good thing" that we must acknowledge that is in us is Christ
Jesus, who is our confidence of glory (John 14:20,23; Colossians 1:27; 2
Corinthians 11:10; 1 John 4:4; Colossians 3:16; Galatians 2:20); Some of the
corresponding descriptions of the "good thing" that is in us include: the
Spirit of God in His fullness, as we are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1
Corinthians 3:17; 1 Corinthians 6:19); the new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17;
Galatians 6:15; Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10); a heart made pure
(Colossians 2:12; 1 Peter 1:22; Hebrews 10:22; Matthew 5:8); a purified soul
(1 Peter 1:22; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 1 Peter 2:25); all sins removed (Acts
22:66; Colossians 2:12; Romans 6:6; 1 John 1:9; Acts 11:9; Revelation 1:5;
Matthew 26:28; Acts 2:38; Acts 10:43; Romans 3:25); the baptism of the Holy
Spirit and fire (Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:8; Acts 1:5; Acts 2:38; Acts 11:16);
and a good and pure conscience (1 Timothy 1:5; 1 Timothy 3:9; 2 Timothy 1:3;
Hebrews 9:14; Hebrews 10:2,22; 1 Peter 3:16).

Our responsibility to speak out faith by a declaration of the word is
fundamental to salvation. The instructions that Paul gave in Romans 10:6-10
underscore the necessity to speak out those things which God has spoken. The
word of faith that produces the miracle of salvation is the same word of
faith that produces all of the other blessings and promises of God.
According to Paul, confession is made unto salvation. Equally, believing
with the heart that one is made righteous is also essential. The spirit of
faith that is in us speaks out the word of God, according as we have
believed (2 Corinthians 4:13). Paul made it clear to Philemon that if faith
was going to work ('energia', meaning to "be effectual") in his life, then
there must be an accurate acknowledgment of what God had made him (Titus
1:1; Colossians 2:2).
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Saturday, 20 March 2010 09:59
1 Corinthians 1:8 - He will strengthen you to the end, blameless in the day
of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Greek word 'babaios', translated "strengthen," means ""standing firm on
the feet," "maintaining firmness or solidity," "steadfast"... (Theological
dictionary of the New Testament. 1964-1976. Vols. 5-9 edited by Gerhard
Friedrich. Vol. 10). The work of Christ Jesus functions in our life, and
produces faith and assurance, as a sure and steadfast anchor of our soul
(Hebrews 6:19). Christ Jesus, our only mediator, is at work interceding on
our behalf, and upholding us with the word of His power. It is through
holding our confidence in Him and His saving work of grace that we have both
been made, and will be made, the partners of Christ (Hebrews 3:14; Romans
8:17).

It cannot be overemphasized that we have been so established together in
Christ, that we may boldly say that God is perfecting us, and both doing and
willing of His good pleasure in us; so long as we remain yielded and
dependent on Him (2 Corinthians 1:21; Philippians 2:13; John 15:5; John
8:31). It is Jesus who will strengthen us and will keep us firm, as we look
unto Him who is the author and finisher of our faith. Jesus stands with us
as a constant and abiding friend, who loves us so much that He laid down His
life for us. Shall He not also now give us freely all things? Jesus is not
only our Savior, Intercessor, Perfecter, and friend; but He is our brother
who loves us at all times, and was born to uphold us (Proverbs 17:17; Romans
8:35).
 
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