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daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 31 May 2010 13:15
Romans 8:1 - There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus:
who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

One of the ways that we can understand the meaning of "flesh" is human
ability. Mankind, through his own human ability, cannot fulfill the promises
of God. An example of this is given in Galatians chapter four, where Abraham
attempted to fulfill the promise of God through his own human ability
(Galatians 4:23,29). We know that Abraham did not stagger at the promises of
God; but at one point he thought that he would be able to fulfill God's
promises through his own ability, and therefore took his concubine Hagar as
a wife (Romans 4:20). It is this same human ability that is addressed in
Romans 8:3 as the reason for the Law being weak. The Law was powerless to
impart the life or the Spirit of God, and therefore it was dependent upon
man's human ability and discipline to fulfill the righteousness of God
(Galatians 3:21).

Jesus told Nicodemus, the ruler of the Jews, that those who had been born of
the flesh were flesh (earthly or natural). Therefore, flesh may be
understood as the natural human ability or "self," of which Jesus said He
could do nothing by: "I can of my own self do nothing;" and of which Paul
said he knew nothing by; and of which we are all commanded to deny (John
5:19; 1 Corinthians 4:4; Luke 9:23). It is this natural life that was
subjected to death, and condemned under a penalty of eternal death, because
of Adam's transgression. It was also in this flesh or earthly existence that
the Word was made, thereby becoming the sin offering for all of mankind.
Jesus suffered in the flesh, and we are commanded to arm ourselves with the
same mind (1 Peter 4:1-2). So just as Jesus was subject to temptation, and
suffered being tempted but did not yield, we ourselves are to be partakers
of the same (Hebrews 2:18; Hebrews 5:8). Having been renewed and restored to
the glory of God by the Spirit, we are empowered to resist the devil, and
abstain from fleshly lusts which war against our soul. Now that we have been
born of the Spirit and clothed with the glory of God, we are empowered to
live a life free from sin.
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Saturday, 29 May 2010 15:09
Luke 12:21 - So it is for the one who stores up for himself, and is not rich
towards God.

When we allow our life to be consumed with our possessions and a passion to
obtain more possessions, our hearts becomes impervious to God; and
spiritually we are wretched, miserable, poor, and blind (Luke 12:15;
Revelation 3:17). There is a way however, to be rich towards God and to have
your treasure in heaven, rather than in earthly things. Our hearts and
passions must be directed toward the needs of others. The blessings and
provisions that we are given are not to be horded and used for our own
selfish interest; but are given to us to bless others. The focus of what we
do with the good things that the Lord blesses us with must be first upon the
Kingdom of God, and what we can do to cooperate with God's plan to reach all
mankind with the gospel. Secondly, our interest must be directed towards
those who are in financial need: the poor, the orphans, and the widows are
our responsibility; and especially those who are of the household of faith
(Luke 12:33; Mark 10:21; 2 Corinthians 9:9; Galatians 2:10; James 1:27; Luke
6:34-35; Luke 6:38).

The Lord makes rich, and adds no sorrow with it. Father's blessing will make
us wealthy. However, there is a responsibility that comes with wealth. That
responsibility is to be a good giver. It is therefore in the giving that we
are developed by God to receive. If we are faithful with the little that we
have, then we will also be faithful with the much that our Heavenly Father
wants to bless us with. Yet the even weightier issue is: will we walk in
love and do these things by the Spirit? Will we allow the love and
compassion of Christ Jesus to rule our hearts, and constrain us to take care
of the needs of others? (1 John 3:17; 2 Corinthians 8:9).
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 28 May 2010 11:30
Mark 10:21 - But Jesus looking at him, loved him, and said: "You lack one
thing; go sell what you own and give it to the poor, and you will have
treasure in heaven; then come follow me."

Man cannot trust in his wealth and God at the same time. At some point we
have to let go of one, and cleave to the other (Matthew 6:24). There is a
place of faith and glory in Christ Jesus; but to step into it we must be
willing to abandon all other things, and follow Jesus. The first step that
we are to take with the Lord Jesus is one in which we lose our life (Mark
8:35; Matthew 6:24; Luke 9:23). There are many who stand looking at this
opportunity, but are unwilling to move forward.

God, in His mercy, transforms our life by the name and through the blood of
Jesus Christ; but for one reason or another we are not willing to fully
embrace that and confess, "I no longer live" (Galatians 2:20; 1 Peter 4:2; 2
Corinthians 5:14; Romans 6:8). The Lord has offered us a position of great
authority and wealth, but we must lose our life to find it. If we would come
into the realms of faith to which the Holy Spirit now draws us, we would
behold the pearl of great price. At the moment that we see the splendor of
the life of Christ that has been given to us, surely we would forsake all
else and follow Him. We would go and sell all that we have, that we might
obtain the only true great riches (Matthew 13:46). We are all invited to
come to a place of exceeding great riches in glorious faith, but we must
fully abandon ourselves to His care (Matthew 6:25; Matthew 6:31-34). We must
recognize that wherever our treasure is, there our hearts will be also. If
we are going to have treasure in heaven, then all of our trust must be there
(Matthew 6:20; Luke 12:33).
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 27 May 2010 14:51
Romans 8:7 - In as much as fleshly thinking is opposed to God: for it is not
subject to the Law of God, neither indeed is it able.

God desires us to think in a totally different way than we have learned from
our natural experiences. He desires us to believe and expect the
supernatural things that He has revealed to us in His word. Those things
that God desires us to think and do have not been revealed through man's
wisdom and experience. What God has for us cannot be received or
accomplished through human insight and ability. It is only by the Spirit
that we are able to do the things that please God. The things of the Spirit
are so different from what human experience dictates, that they are foolish
to the man who only thinks in the realm of human ability (1 Corinthians
2:14).

God desires to show us things by His Spirit which eyes have not seen, nor
ears heard, neither has ever entered into the heart of man. God operates in
a spiritual unseen world from which the mouths of lions are stopped, and the
violence of fire has no power. This is the spiritual realm where Jesus our
Lord turned the water into wine, walked on the water, and raised the dead.
It is the realm of faith where righteousness is victorious over all sin and
disobedience. The realm of the Spirit is the realm taught to us by the word
of God, where we learn to be led by the Spirit of God. It is only in this
realm that we can please God.
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Wednesday, 26 May 2010 11:30
Daniel 9:24 - Seventy sevens are determined upon the people and the holy
city: to finish the transgression, to make and end of sins; to make
reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness; and to
seal up the vision and the prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy.

All but the final seven years have already been completed. The 69th seven
was completed 2000 years ago, when the Messiah Christ Jesus was cut off,
that is put to death (Daniel 9:26). When Christ Jesus was put to death on
the cross, He bore our sins in His own body, so that righteousness could
begin to reign where sin once dominated (1 Peter 2:24; Romans 6:6,18; Romans
6:22). Although there will be a day when there is nothing but righteousness
in the earth, the Lord Jesus brought in everlasting righteousness when He
sat down at the right hand of God and poured out the Holy Ghost. Through His
death, burial, resurrection, and exaltation, He gave to us the gift of the
righteousness of God (Hebrews 1:8; Ephesians 4:24; Philippians 1:11; Romans
10:3; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 John 2:29; 1 John 3:7).

Though there will be a day in the future when the Kingdom of God will come
to reign over all the earth, those who have been born of God have already
been translated into the kingdom of the dear Son (Colossians 1:13; Ephesians
2:6; John 14:23). Through the blood of Jesus, God has blotted out all of our
sins and iniquities; and has given to us a new heart and a new spirit that
we might learn to walk in all of His ways (Hebrews 8:12; Hebrews 10:17).
There is one thing for certain: you do not want to miss out on this. The
time of this so great a salvation is now! This is the acceptable year of the
Lord! All who call upon Him will be saved. Jesus Christ, who is the Most
Holy, has been exalted to the right hand of the Father. He has been anointed
King of kings and Lord of lords. He has been given a name and authority
above all others, both now and in the future. He reigns supremely above all
principalities and powers.

Right now, only for a space of time, Father is allowing men to decide their
eternal position. He tarries, but not for long. He endures the treachery and
the blasphemy - against His name and His works - but not for long. Will you
bow before His majesty? Will you accept His rulership? Will you yield to the
spirit of obedience and the Spirit of Holiness, that has been poured out
freely and abundantly upon whosoever will? Listen, this is not about your
ideas and notions of who God is; the issue goes far deeper. Are you willing
to know God? Are you willing to come under the Kingship and the Lordship of
Christ Jesus in obedience to His will? The time is now, today is the day of
His salvation! The time is fast coming to a close. Do you know Jesus? Is
there any chance He may say to you: "Depart from me you worker of iniquity,
I never knew you"? Let the whole world tremble, and let all of the people of
the Lord fear before His presence!
 
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