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Daily Bread - October 14, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Saturday, 14 October 2017 08:26
Matthew 16:24 - Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone will come
after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me."

Jesus revealed His consecration to the Father, as well as how His
relationship worked with the Father, when He said, "I can of my own self do
nothing: as I hear I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not my
own will, but the will of the Father that sent me" (John 5:30). The realm
of the self is one of the most misunderstood subjects, and is often
confused with the sinful nature -or the flesh. However, the self is the
essence of who we are as an individual that must be denied; so that we may,
as the servants of God ,do His will instead (1 Peter 4:2; John 1:13;
Colossians 1:9; Romans 12:1-2). Unlike the flesh nature that was crucified
with Christ, the self -which makes us distinct from all other individuals-
goes on living forever. While we are here in our earthly sojourn, self must
be denied that we might learn the ways of the Father.

All of us have many choices that we can make about our vocations, the
things that we are going to do with our spare time, and how we are going to
spend our money. By definition, none of these choices may have anything to
do with a sinful action; but neither would they necessarily be the will of
God for our lives. If we are going to follow Jesus in the way that He has
called us to follow Him, then our own ideas and choices must come to an
end. We have to be willing to learn a servitude and a submission to God
where we do it all His way. We must be willing to come to a place where we
are not going to decide anything for ourselves again. If we are going to
live out the life described in the Bible of being those who are the
witnesses of the resurrection, then we must learn that we can do nothing of
ourselves (John 15:1-5). It is important for each of us to understand how
this impacts us individually in the choices we make, and how we live out
our lives. We can make the whole subject simple by saying, "Walk in the
Spirit, and mind the things of the Spirit." However, those things about
ourselves that we do not identify, but rather overlook and refuse to deny,
will continue to remain somewhat abstract and unattended.

There was nothing evil about Jesus. No matter how He was examined,
everything was perfect. Yet, He denied His self. Though He was one with God
and God incarnate; yet, He showed us the perfect submission of a Son Who
would live only by the mind and will of the Father. He would choose no
earthly goal for His life other than to do the Father's will. How much more
must we deny ourselves? We have spent our lives imitating man, and now we
must choose to imitate God (Ephesians 5:1 -KJV translation 'followers' is
better rendered as 'imitators'). The mind and will of the self, which is
not necessarily evil, must be submitted to the will of the Father. God the
Father has chosen the best things for us, and we must do as He says if we
are going to inherit them.

When it comes to doing heavenly things, we of ourselves can do nothing.
Within ourselves, we function out of a logical and rational thinking that
is trained by life's experiences and circumstance. There is nothing wrong
with the logical and rational mind other than it is severely handicapped
and grossly limited when we want to attend to the things that belong to the
spiritual -such as walking on the water and raising of the dead. The
rational and logical mind will never concede to the notion that you can
command the wind and the waves, and they will obey. It will not expect that
enough money to pay your back taxes can be found in a fishes mouth. To do
these things, we must be taught of God. We must be willing to learn how to
step beyond that which is limited to a natural realm. Remember the first
time you went swimming and began to adjust to a whole new dimension of
movement? It may have felt scary! Now God wants to moves us past the
elements of the earthly into the dimensions of the heavenly; but we have to
be willing to step beyond the limitation of what we can physically and
mentally do of ourselves and learn how to rely on the Holy Spirit.

That which is carnal, or natural, is not necessarily bad; it is just
earthly and temporal (Romans 15:27; 1 Corinthians 9:11, 15:44). The natural
mind would more eagerly look to a human answer or earthly remedy to supply
a need. The natural mind is governed by what it sees, hears, and has
physical evidence for; and, therefore, would not be submitted to the Spirit
of God. We have to be willing to stop trembling with fear as we clutch the
side of the pool; but rather, stretch ourselves out over the vast expanse
of the heavenly and walk in the Spirit. To do this, the self must be
denied. It does not need to be put to death; it just needs to be refused,
so that we might learn how to function in a whole new way of life. The
spiritual mind that accepts the impossibilities of the Word of God, without
the need of any other proofs, far exceeds the limitation of what self can
understand. The spiritual mind functions in a realm of faith, and depends
upon the unseen power of God to supply all that we have need of.

If we confine our thinking to those things that belong only to our own self
interest and self preservation, then we will focus on those things that we
can accomplish through our own efforts and abilities. These limitations of
self realization will then govern what we will believe, and ultimately what
we will do. Without being aware of it, we will even filter God's Word
through the perspective of these self serving interests. Many of God's
children are stuck in this place and been robbed of their maturity in God.
It has limited their confidence in God and dependence upon the Holy Spirit.
It is impossible for the realm of self to live in a confidence in God
wherein one takes no thought for what they shall eat or what they shall
wear. The realm of self is a place of fear, condemnation, limitation,
failure and even defeat. There is little room for faith and submission to
the Holy Spirit in the realm of carnal, human thinking where men seek their
own interest and rely upon human abilities to accomplish their goals. The
natural mind is that state in which men hold on tightly to themselves to
preserve their own well-being, and their securities are their earthly
possessions. The carnal mind and ways of men will altogether shut down
those things that the Holy Spirit has come to teach us (1 Corinthians
3:1-3; Romans 8:5-8).

Anything that is taught to us by God concerning Himself is spiritual, which
is in stark contrast to those things that we learn of men -the natural. All
that the Holy Spirit does and ministers is spiritual. One day, we will
exchange a natural body for a spiritual body; but right now, we must
exchange a natural mind for a spiritual one. The things of the spiritual
are foolishness to the natural mind, because they are not governed by
natural laws. Everything concerning the will of the Father is spiritually
discerned. The spiritual is the unlimited realm of divine ability and
supernatural provision in which nothing is impossible (1 Corinthians
2:9-15). We are commanded to learn this new way of thinking, but we must
recognize those thoughts that would confine us to the limitations of what
we can do of ourselves and deny them (Ephesians 1:3; 1 Corinthians 2:14,
14:1,12; Galatians 6:8).

God is a Spirit, and we must interact with Him in the realm of the
spiritual. Any interaction with the Holy Spirit, or manifestation of the
Holy Spirit, is by definition spiritual. Knowing that we are to walk in the
Spirit, and be led by the Spirit, is evidence enough that God demands us to
be spiritual in the way that we think and conduct ourselves. It is the Holy
Spirit Who teaches us the spiritual and gives us access to the realms of
the spiritual: from which all the gifts of the Spirit flow. We learn to
think according to the spiritual (or the manner in which God thinks) by the
Word of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The spiritual mind is the
mind of the Holy Spirit, the mind of Christ, the life governed by the
Spirit of God -where every thought is brought into captivity to the
obedience of Christ and the will of the Father (1 Corinthians 2:6-16; 2
Corinthians 10:3-6; Galatians 5:16,25; Romans 8:5-14)

Think according to how God thinks and imitate Him!
Daily Bread - October 13, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 13 October 2017 16:40
Philippians 2:7 - But made Himself of no reputation, took the form of a
servant, and was made in the likeness of men.

There can be no greater example of the humility we should have in our
relationships than that given to us by Jesus (Philippians 2:1-15; Hebrews
12:1-3). Furthermore, when we consider our motives for doing things, we
must make sure that we are not using the gifts and special anointings we
have been given to gain a reward or some personal advantage (Galatians 5:1,
13-16, 25-26; 1 Peter 2:15-17; Jude 16). When we consider Jesus, we behold
an example that is a must for us to follow if we are going to please the
Father and do the right things with all He has given us. We must humble
ourselves under the mighty care and provision of the Father, and entrust
our well being and defense to Him (1 Peter 4:12-19; Psalms 23, 91). Jesus
was abused, but He never retaliated with a threat of God's judgment and
wrath upon the abusers. Rather, He interceded for their forgiveness (Luke
23:33-38; 1 Peter 2:19-25). We have all been called to come and learn of
His servitude and humility; and if we desire to find the rest and favor of
the Father, we must follow Jesus' example (Matthew 11:29, 16:24; John
10:27, 12:26, 13:14-16; 1 Peter 2:21).

Defending yourself ruins your dignity...entrust yourself to Father!
Daily Bread - October 12, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 12 October 2017 10:23
Philippians 2:14-15 - Do all things without complaining and arguing; so
that you may be without blemish and pure, God's perfect children in the
midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights
in the world.

What a simple assignment God has given us in order to remain blameless and
innocent. All we must do is to maintain a good attitude about the things
that we encounter, and not allow ourselves to become involved in strife.
When we consider the fact that all holiness and righteousness is summed up
in walking in love, we discover that God has simplified for us all the He
desires us to do (John 13:34-35, 15:12,17; Ephesians 5:2; Romans 13:8,10;
Galatians 5:14). As we are willing to keep ourselves in the love of God, we
remain in a place that is yielded to the supply of the divine ability that
God has given so that we can do all that He has requested (Jude 20-21).
What the Lord has required of us is that we discover a wonderful and joyful
fellowship of goodness and trust between ourselves and God (Jude 20-21; 1
John 4:12, 16; Ephesians 3:19, 4:15; Micah 6:8).

Of course, we all know how upset we all become when things do not go our
way. The fact is, however, we volunteered to allow the Lord Jesus to have
His way in our lives. Our job assignment in the relationship is to trust
Him, and to give thanks in all things (1 Thessalonians 5:18). If we will
walk in love, rejoice in the Lord always, and gives thanks in all things,
we will not only stand out as the children of God, but we will walk in that
place of being well pleasing in His sight. Our Heavenly Father has purposed
that we be like a city set upon a hill radiating with the light and life of
His glory -a beacon of His love that will cause all men to recognize that
we are His children (Philippians 2:15, 4:4-5; Matthew 5:14-16, 7:20; John
17:20-23; Ephesians 5:1-21).

We may be certain of one thing: the Lord cannot tolerate murmuring and
complaining (Hebrews 3-4). He had to listen to so much of it from the
nation of Israel that He finally said enough! It is over! Their murmurings
and complaining all boiled down to their lack of love and trust for Him (1
Corinthians 10:10; Hebrews 3:8-19; Jude 16; Exodus 15:24, 16:2,7-12;
Numbers 14:27-29, 36, 17:5,10; Deuteronomy 1:27). If you want to fellowship
with the Lord and have His blessings in your life, then you are going to
have to keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking guile (Psalm
34:12-14; 1 Peter 3:9-11). If you have a habit of blaming other people, or
grumbling and complaining about the way things go, you need to recognize
that behavior for the evil it is, and reach out to God for wisdom and
strength to bring it to an end.

Now, the Lord strengthen your hearts in holiness, so that you may be
without blemish before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus
with all His saints (1 Thessalonians 3:13).
Daily Bread - October 11, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Wednesday, 11 October 2017 10:48
Ephesians 4:22 - You shall lay aside, concerning the former behavior, the
old man, which is corrupt according to deceitful desires.

The former behavior of the old man has no place in the life of the person
that has been born again. The old man and his affections were crucified
with Christ, and the body of sin belonging to that nature was destroyed
(Romans 6:6; Colossians 2:11; Galatians 2:20). When we were made a new
creation, we stepped out of the old and into the new to learn a whole new
way of living (2 Corinthians 5:17; Colossians 1:13; Ephesians 4:17-24).
Therefore now being in Christ Jesus, everything old has passed away, and we
should have no desire to turn back. Each day, we grow and mature in the
ways of God, and discover the wonderful life that was instantaneously given
to us.

The Greek word for, 'lay aside', is first found in Exodus 16:33, "lay it up
before the Lord." The Authorized Version translated this word as, 'lay
aside', in Hebrews 12:1. We are constantly being presented with evil; and
every time that it is presented to us, we are to lay it aside and not
accept it. The will of God is that we should possess our vessels (bodies)
in consecration and honor -we are to resist the devil, and he will flee
from us (1 Thessalonians 4:4; James 4:7). We are to cleanse ourselves from
all of the former ways of darkness so that they do not have any place in
our lives (2 Corinthians 7:1).

The Greek word 'palaion' refers to the 'ancient state of things', or the
'original condition'. In this case, the application is the original
condition of sinful man and his desires -thus describing the spiritual
paleontology of the unredeemed man now made new, from the shame and sin of
Adam to the glory and splendor of Christ. The old man has been crucified
with Christ Jesus, and the new man now lives (Ephesians 4:24; Colossians
3:10). The old man was destroyed, so that the body (or dominion) of sin
could also be destroyed (Romans 5:14,21, 6:12,14). As a result, the
redeemed individual -who was made a new creation- may now walk in the
divine nature and newness of life, having been made new and free from sin
(Romans 6:4-7; 2 Peter 1:3-4; 2 Corinthians 5:17). This is a miracle life
that is well worth living, and is dependent upon walking in the Spirit
(John 3:3-6; Romans 8:14).

Referring to the life before redemption as "old" leaves no doubt of the
view of Scripture concerning the nature of sin. By the free gift of
salvation and the miracle of the new birth, "the old" has been entirely
removed from the redeemed man, having been washed away with the waters of
regeneration (Titus 3:5). Although sin has no right to execute dominion
over a child of God, the fact remains that every child of God must resist
the temptations of the former behavior (Ephesians 2:2; Colossians 3:9;
Romans 6:13; 1 Peter 1:14). Just because our Savior Jesus Christ came and
delivered us from the nature of sin and the power of the devil does not
mean that we cannot return into captivity and be imprisoned once again.
Every person that received the miracle of salvation was set free; and, like
Adam, was given the right to choose daily if they will serve God, or turn
to sin. We must put on the beautiful garments of salvation, being clothed
with Christ; and let's never take them off! (Isaiah 52:1; Romans 13:14;
Galatians 3:27, 5:1,16,25; Romans 6:17-23; 1 Peter 1:13-16)

Sing this song of the Spirit today and everyday:

Not my will, Lord, but Your's be done,
Only Your will lasts forever,

Oh, the glory and the majesty, when only Jesus Christ is seen,
Oh, the glory and the honor, when the Holy Spirit takes control.

Be clothed with the Lord Jesus Christ! (Romans 13:14)
Daily Bread - October 10, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Tuesday, 10 October 2017 07:14
Romans 13:14 - But be clothed with the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no
allowance for the flesh to allow for lust.

Make no mistake: the life that God granted to us as a free gift is the life
of Christ, which is the life of the Spirit (Ephesians 4:24; 2 Corinthians
3:3; 5:17; 11:3; Colossians 1:28; 1 John 4:4; Philippians 1:21; 2 Peter
1:4; Galatians 2:20). If we walk in the Spirit (or the life of Christ),
then we are the children of God (Romans 8:14,16; Galatians 5:16). This is
more than our job description -this is our life description. We have a
responsibility to follow Him, and to imitate those things, that He did (1
Corinthians 11:1; Ephesians 5:1-2; 1 John 2:6, 3:7; 3 John 11; 1 Timothy
6:11; 1 Peter 4:1-2; Philippians 2:5-8). We are to understand the ways of
the Spirit, and be obedient to conduct ourselves as He commands (Colossians
3:12; Galatians 5:24; 2 Peter 1:3-11). After all that God has done for us
-providing as a free gift this abundant life and more- how could we do
anything less than give ourselves to an absolute consecration to be what He
has made us to be in Christ Jesus? We should make a study of His actions
and conduct, and then devote ourselves to the same behavior. There is
nothing that any of us will ever learn unless we give ourselves to the
study of it, and then devote ourselves to the practice. We must awake out
of our sleep and the pursuit of our own interest; and perfect holiness in
the fear of God!

Paul more perfectly defined an absolute surrender to following Jesus when
He used these words: "Be clothed with the Lord Jesus Christ." God will not
make us follow Him; it is voluntary. Once we decide that the kind of life
that Jesus lived is the life that we want to live, all of the resources of
the Spirit are provided for us (2 Corinthians 9:8; Philippians 4:13). The
life of holiness and power awaits all who are willing to turn from their
own ability, deny those things inspired by demon spirits, and go on to
follow the life that Jesus modeled for us. Religion only thinks about
self-denial; but the Holy Spirit shows us a life far better than
self-interest and worldly pursuits. It is a life so glorious that we would
rather have Jesus manifested in our lives than all other things that could
be accomplished or achieved in this world. If we are going to truly deny
the life of self-interest and human ability, then we are going to have to
allow God to touch us with His Presence and fill us with the refreshing
waters of the Spirit. We must discover the realm of relationship where we
are continually strengthened by the Spirit in our inner being (Ephesians
3:16, 5:18; Jude 1:20-21). Trying to deny yourself so that you can walk in
the life of Jesus is like selling all that you have for a pearl of great
price you have never seen, nor can find. Once finding the pearl however,
you sell all that you have with great excitement and joy; and so it is with
this glorious life of Jesus!

Today, we can be clothed with all the graces that were in Christ Jesus. We
can walk in the realm of heavenly places and enjoy the well-springs of
life. All we have to do is simply say 'no' to the things that belong to the
evils of this world; its envy, strife, and hatred. The realm of
self-interest will quickly lead into the actions of sin. Self-pursuits
quickly change into the activities of the demonic. Just as Eve pursued for
herself wisdom and knowledge, only to be taken prisoner by devils and the
power of sin -even so those who give place to that which is earthly and
sensual find no blessed thing. Give no place to sin, to all that is in the
world (1 Corinthians 15:34; 1 John 2:15-17); for its wages you cannot
afford (Genesis 2:17; Romans 6:23). Rather, yield yourselves to the Spirit
of the Lord, who presently lives within those who have been redeemed
(Romans 6:1-23). You have an armor to protect you from all worldly things:
it is the Spirit and nature of Christ. Sin has been condemned in the flesh;
it has been proven to have no place (Romans 8:2-4; 1 Peter 4:1-2; 1 Timothy
3:16). That which belongs to sin and its lust has no place in our life, and
should not be given any rights or power: for our bodies are the temple of
the Lord (Romans 6:12,14; 1 Corinthians 3:17, 6:19).

Song of the Spirit given in this past Sunday's meeting:

Not my will, Lord, but Your's be done,
Only Your will lasts forever,

Oh, the glory and the majesty, when only Jesus Christ is seen,
Oh, the glory and the honor, when the Holy Spirit takes control.

Be clothed with the Lord Jesus Christ! (Romans 13:14)
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