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daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 31 August 2009 12:23
Romans 5:17 - If because of one's trespass, death reigned through that
one; much more then those that receive the abundance of grace and the
gift of righteousness - by the reign of life through one: Christ Jesus.

The trespass of Adam brought forth the reign of death; but now through
Christ Jesus, life reigns. The ruling dominion of life that is in Christ
Jesus has brought grace to all mankind, and supplied the gift of
righteousness to all who will receive. The grace of God made it possible
for every man to be born of the Spirit (John 3:5; Titus 2:11-12).
Through the new birth we come into the fellowship of the divine nature,
and receive a new heart and a new spirit (2 Peter 1:4; Ezekiel 36:26).
We become the living epistles of God, with His nature and ways inscribed
upon the tables of our nature (2 Corinthians 3:3; Hebrews 8:10; Hebrews
10:16).

There may be many who do not take the gift of righteousness seriously;
but we can be certain that God does. He paid a high price for us to
enjoy it, and He will definitely hold us responsible for what we do with
it. He reversed the curse that came upon us through Adam, that made us
all slaves to sin; and has now made us servants of righteousness (Romans
6:16; Romans 6:18-19; Romans 3:21-22; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 2 Corinthians
6:7; Philippians 1:11; Philippians 3:9; 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 3:16).
Grace and righteousness now reign over those who are born of God. Sin
and death have lost their power; and should be given no place of
dominion in our thoughts or lives (Romans 6:12,14). The dominion of
death cannot be given greater power than that of life. Neither can the
transgression of Adam be given greater consequence than the obedience of
Christ Jesus. The gift of righteousness, which functions by the Holy
Spirit, is far greater - in power and effect - than the plague of sin
that operates by demon forces.
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Saturday, 29 August 2009 09:32
1 Peter 1:22 - Having purified your souls by the obedience to the truth
unto unfeigned love, love one another fervently from a pure heart.

Our Savior and our God has given us the blessed privilege of having
relationships that flow from purity and truth (1 Timothy 1:5;
Philippians 4:8; Matthew 5:8; 1 Timothy 4:12; 2 Timothy 2:22). These
relationships are to last forever; and even more, He commands that we
have them (John 13:34; John 15:12; 1 John 3:11,23; 1 John 4:21; 2 John
1:5). He gave us purity of soul and heart, so that the purity of His
love might flow through us to everyone we touch. Redemption through the
blood of Jesus Christ has resulted in our souls and hearts being
purified. It is the soul that represents the whole of a person's life,
and it is the heart that represents the source from which all things are
created in that life. It is from the heart and the innermost being that
the rivers of God's love flow. His love is to then be expressed through
every action of our soul.

We learn to enjoy these kinds of relationships with the Father, the Lord
Jesus, with the Holy Spirit, and with one another. It is the Holy Spirit
who teaches us how to have this kind of relationship. It was Jesus who
modeled for us how these kinds of relationships work; and it is our
responsibility to commit ourselves now and forever to having them (John
15:13; Romans 5:8; 1 John 4:7-8, 1 John 4:11; Ephesians 5:1-2).
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 28 August 2009 12:15
1 Peter 2:20 - For what sort of credit if you endure a beating for
having sinned? But if you do good and endure suffering, you have God's
approval.

There was a time when the people of God were treated so severely by the
religious community and by the world. It is a terrible thing to be
publicly beaten, as were Peter and the other apostles, and Paul and
Silas (Acts 5:40-41; Acts 16:22-25). Their response was one of joy and
rejoicing in the Lord: that they were counted worthy to suffer for His
namesake. There response brought glory to the name of Jesus and to the
church. They did not take up arms and fight back in revenge; instead
they committed themselves to the Lord and to His protection.

There are many who suffer daily for the gospel of Jesus Christ around
the world, and endure it without complaint. Yet in America and other
countries that enjoy the freedom of religion, we seem to find ourselves
so preoccupied with our own self-interest that if someone says something
that we don't like, we immediately take offense and enter into some sort
of strife. As a pastor I have discovered that very few people take
anything patiently; even when they can be proven wrong in their conduct.
Rather they rise up in self-defense, and make war. At what time will we
all begin to value above all other things the approval of God, and cease
to be so impacted by the approval of men? When will we value humility
and servitude the way that God values it?

God says that if we suffer wrongfully and take it patiently, then we
have God's approval (John 5:44). We can be certain that if we do not
take it patiently, we will not have Father's approval. We are called to
lay down our lives for the brethren and for the church (1 John 3:16;
John 13:35; Ephesians 5:2; Galatians 5:13; 1 Peter 1:22; 1Corinthians
12:25; 1 Corinthians 14:20). If we are truly willing to walk in this
kind of love - that we would be willing to die for the household of
faith - surely we can stop fighting and squabbling among ourselves! I
never ceased to be amazed at how many people sit around the church
nurturing a wounded spirit and a spiteful disposition. Please dear
saints, let's walk in love. Let's be those who love the word of God and
the ways of God; and be those who have perfect peace, never allowing
anything to offend us (Psalm 119:165; Isaiah 26:3; Philippians 4:7;
Ephesians 4:3).
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 27 August 2009 11:18
Mark 3:27 - No one can enter into the strong one's house, plundering his
goods, unless first the strong one is bond; and then his house may be
plundered.

Jesus was able to cast out the evil spirits because He was stronger than
Satan. Jesus is the one who bound Satan, and rendered his power over man
ineffective. All that Satan had imposed upon man was coming to an end,
as the power of the Kingdom of God engaged the kingdom of darkness
through Jesus Christ. When Jesus was crucified at Calvary, he dealt the
final blow to Satan; and conquered hell, death, and the grave
(Revelation 1:18; Acts 2:24; Hebrews 2:14). Jesus stripped Satan of all
of His authority, and made a public show of his defeat (Colossians 2:15;
John 12:31; 16:11; 2 Timothy 1:10). God the Father has now highly
exalted Christ Jesus the Deliverer and Savior far above all other power;
everything now being subject to Him (Ephesians 1:21; Philippians 2:9;
Matthew 28:18).

Jesus Christ, who has defeated Satan, has given His power to those who
are His witnesses: to cast out every evil spirit, and to set everyone
who will hear free from the Satanic domain. Paul described this power
and authority when he made known the authority given to him to preach
the gospel: "To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to
light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive
forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by
faith that is in me" (Acts 26:18). When Philip went down to preach in
Samaria, the same power and authority of Jesus was witnessed in his
life: "For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many
that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that
were lame, were healed" (Acts 8:7).

Today we must hold fast to the word of the Lord, and believe what God
has said. We are too easily turned away from the promises of God because
of our circumstances and situations. God is not a liar! The things that
He has declared concerning our salvation are true; and though it may
seem that the promises are not yours, yet even as Abraham did - you must
hold fast to what God has said - and count Him faithful who has promised
(Romans 4:20-21; Hebrews 10:23; Isaiah 53:1; 1 John 5:11). There is no
power of Satan that has the right to afflict our bodies with sickness
and disease. Satan has no right to impose sin and wickedness upon us in
any way. In Christ Jesus we have been given the sovereign authority of
God over every power of the wicked one. If we will allow God's word to
abide in us, we will discover that we can conquer Satan at every
encounter (1 John 2:14; 1 John 4:4; Luke 10:19; Revelation 3:21). Rise
up, oh people of God, and clothe yourselves with Christ (Galatians 3:27;
Ephesians 4:24; Ephesians 6:11). Let the battlefront be clearly defined;
and give yourself to the fight! For we are called to show forth the
glory of the one who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous
light.
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Wednesday, 26 August 2009 12:15
Matthew 25:46 - And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the
righteous into eternal life.

It seems today that many do not want to hear about eternal judgment; but
regardless, it is a certainty that each person will soon face. Are you
ready to give an account to God for your life? Based upon your obedience
to God, you will either go into an eternal punishment or into an eternal
life.

Jesus was not shy nor reluctant to talk about the eternal consequences
of the deeds and actions of mankind. He often spoke of hell and the
eternal judgment that awaited those who were unwilling to obey God. Even
though there are those who would attempt to dilute the message of
eternal judgments, and almost do away with hell all together; it is
still a living reality, and as much a part of the truth of God as the
message of salvation. There are those who will say that so long as you
believe that Jesus if is the Christ, you will not need to worry about
hell; but the fact is the devils believe and tremble, and yet they are
still hell-bound. Jesus made it very clear, over and again, that
obedience to the will of God would be what made the difference between
heaven and hell (Matthew 7:21; Luke 6:47; 1 John 2:17; James 1:22-23;
James 1:25). Make no mistake: this is not a "good works"-based
salvation; this is about receiving a new heart and a new spirit, and
then coming under the rulership of the Holy Spirit, and doing the will
of the Father from the heart.

Jesus described hell as a furnace of fire, a place of outer darkness
where there would be torment and weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew
8:12; Matthew 13:42,50; Matthew 22:13; Matthew 24:51; Matthew 25:30;
Luke 16:23-25; Luke 16:28). Those who would not bring forth good fruit,
or who were like chaff, would be cast into the fire (Matthew 3:10,12;
Matthew 13:40; Luke 3:9,17; John 15:6). Anyone who called his brother a
fool would be in danger of hell fire (Matthew 5:22). Those who
participate in wickedness are going to be thrown into the fires of hell,
unless they repent/change (Matthew 5:29-30, Matthew 18:8-9; Matthew
25:41; Mark 9:43-46). We are commanded to fear God, who has the power to
destroy both body and soul in hell (Matthew 10:28; Luke 12:5). Make no
mistake: those who reject Christ Jesus and the message of salvation will
suffer the damnation of hell (Matthew 23:33; Mark 16:16).

Jesus preached as much on the consequence of sin and its eternal
judgment as He did on righteousness and its eternal reward. To think
there is one and not the other is to believe a lie. To think that there
is not a consequence for sin is to mock God (Galatians 6:7-8; Romans
6:23; James 1:15; Romans 5:12; Romans 6:16; 1 Corinthians 15:56; James
5:20). Hell is a terrible reality - but sin is as well. We must come to
terms with the fact that more than the thought of hell being horrific to
man, sin is a greater horror to God. God has made a way of escape for
all men! Today if we will hear His voice, we must flee from the wrath
that is to come. If mankind instead chooses sin and iniquity over the
ways of truth and life, and accuses God of being unjust; then it is
because of a stubborn heart. These people in reality would rather have
the world of iniquity and torment that now exists imposed upon all
creation forever. Praise God it will not be; because the King of
Righteousness Christ Jesus will come and reign supremely over all creation!
 
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