Daily Bread - April 25, 2020 (The Seventh Day - Genesis 1:24-31)
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Saturday, 25 April 2020 07:00
Ephesians 5:13-21 - And all things being exposed by the light are made
manifest. For everything that reveals is light, therefore say, "Wake up, oh
sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you!" Therefore,
watch by what means you walk accurately, not as unwise but as wise,
redeeming the time, for the day is evil. For this reason, do not be
foolish, but understand the will of the Lord. And be not intoxicated with
wine, as one unsaved, but be continually filled with the Spirit speaking to
yourselves in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making
melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks at all times for all things
to God and the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, being submitted
one to another in fear of God.

Part 6 ~ Submission To One Another

The lives of those who are filled with the Spirit are marked by submission.
One of the chief attributes of the loving nature of God is servitude.
Through the servitude of Christ Jesus, we learn how to walk in oneness with
each other. A feature of this unity is a willingness to be submitted, or
subjected, to each other. God demands we walk in submission to one another.
The emphasis is placed on us being in submission in the fear of God,
because there is a judgment against those who hold the truth in
unrighteousness.

Submission has its proper order and rank. For example, we can be certain
that parents are not to be in submission to their children. The Greek word
itself means to "be arranged under." There is a divine order, and we should
be both in awe of it, as well as participate with it. Within the framework
of the Kingdom of God, no one should desire to be lord or ruler over
another --such behavior is inordinate; but instead we reach for the unity
of the Spirit that reveals the glorious nature of Jesus, Who laid down His
life for us. What we must recognize is God is the absolute authority, and
He has placed those whom He has chosen in authority, and He demands we
submit to them. It is God Who has established authorities (Daniel 4:17;
Romans 13:1). Those whom God has placed in authority must be committed to
leading others as they are lead by the Holy Ghost. They cannot be subject
to everyone's opinions and "good ideas." We are commanded to be led by the
Spirit and to follow Jesus! It is the Holy Spirit Who places each member in
the body according to His will. It is Christ Who has given the authorities
of ministry, who He then demands should both do their job and command
others to do theirs (1 Timothy 4:12; 2 Timothy 4:2; 1 Peter 5:2; Acts
20:28).

Through the love and generosity of the Spirit of God in us, we do nothing
out of strife or vainglory; but in humility, we esteem everyone better than
ourselves (Philippians 2:3). Even as Jesus laid His life down for us, we
lay our lives down for one another --this is the proper order of
submission. The father and husband is the leader of the house, and everyone
in the household is called of God to follow him in a godly manner. At the
same time, the head of the household would without hesitation esteem his
wife and children better than himself and lay down his life for them.

Submission also speaks to our responsibility to cooperate with everyone who
is engaged in the work of the Kingdom of God (Hebrews 13:17; Ephesians
4:11-12; 1 Corinthians 16:15-16). We are required to function as one body,
with all of the parts in perfect harmony with each other - something that
is only possible through a collective submission to our Head, Christ Jesus
(1 Corinthians 12:12-27; Ephesians 4:16; Colossians 2:19). Only through our
union with Christ Jesus, and our submission to the Holy Spirit, can we
function in such a holy relationship with each other. Oh, what a light
would shine if we would walk in such love! With such a holy love and tender
care, all men would know that we are His disciples!
 
Daily Bread - April 24, 2020 (The Sixth Day - Genesis 1:20-23)
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 24 April 2020 10:38
Ephesians 5:13-21 - And all things being exposed by the light are made
manifest. For everything that reveals is light, therefore say, "Wake up, oh
sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you!" Therefore,
watch by what means you walk accurately, not as unwise but as wise,
redeeming the time, for the day is evil. For this reason, do not be
foolish, but understand the will of the Lord. And be not intoxicated with
wine, as one unsaved, but be continually filled with the Spirit speaking to
yourselves in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making
melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks at all times for all things
to God and the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, being submitted
one to another in fear of God.

Part 5 ~ Giving Thanks At All Times For All Things

The giving of thanks is not only recognizing that God is leading,
protecting, and providing for you, but it also accesses the realm of the
Spirit where miracles take place. The first time this word 'euchariteo,'
("giving thanks") is used in the New Testament is in Matthew 15:36. By this
giving of thanks, the miraculous event of the multiplication of the seven
loaves and a few fish took place. The very next time the word is used is
when Jesus took the cup on Passover: He gave thanks and declared, "This is
my blood of the New Testament" (Matthew 26:26-28). The blood and body of
Christ Jesus represent our communion and fellowship with God (1 Corinthians
10:16; John 6:53-58). This eucharist, or communion, should give us
confidence that the Holy Spirit is leading and guiding us into all truth.
Therefore, whatever situation we find ourselves in, all things are working
together for our good (Romans 8:28).

Israel found themselves in many adverse situations during the first few
months of their travel from Egypt to the Promise Land. Unfortunately, they
were unwilling to recognize that God was leading them and protecting them;
and as a result, they were unthankful and murmured against the situation
and their leadership --an complaint which ultimately was directed at God
Himself. There is a warning in the book of Hebrews regarding how we should
not fall into the same state of unbelief, lest we end up like those
unthankful Israelites (Hebrews 3:7-19). Romans 1:21 drives home the same
point, emphasizing how a lack of thankfulness is a chief characteristic of
the unbeliever. A passage of Scripture in Colossians almost perfectly
matching the passage we are discussing here in Ephesians says, "Whatsoever
you do in word or deed, do it all in the name of Jesus, giving thanks to
God and the Father by Him" (Colossians 3:17). If we will allow the Holy
Spirit to fill us with the Heavenly realm, then the Word of Christ will
dwell in us; and we will view things from a perspective of faith, and
realize how all things are working together for our good. Be certain of
this: whatever situation you find yourself in, God is establishing and
building confidence, persistence, faithfulness, and trust through it.
 
Daily Bread - April 23, 2020 (The Fifth Day - Genesis 1:20-23)
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 23 April 2020 10:12
Ephesians 5:13-21 - And all things being exposed by the light are made
manifest. For everything that reveals is light, therefore say, "Wake up, oh
sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you!" Therefore,
watch by what means you walk accurately, not as unwise but as wise,
redeeming the time, for the day is evil. For this reason, do not be
foolish, but understand the will of the Lord. And be not intoxicated with
wine, as one unsaved, but be continually filled with the Spirit speaking to
yourselves in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making
melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks at all times for all things
to God and the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, being submitted
one to another in fear of God.

Part 4 ~ Divinely-Inspired Expressions of the Holy Spirit

Being filled with the Holy Spirit leads to divinely-inspired expressions of
joy and thanksgiving --one of which is singing spiritual songs. There is no
other definition for singing spiritual songs than the one Paul gave to the
Corinthians: singing in the Spirit, which is singing in the heavenly
language, in contrast to singing with the understanding (1 Corinthians
14:15). To attempt to understand spiritual songs outside the context of the
utterance of the Holy Spirit is to willingly step away from the foundation
Paul laid out regarding the spiritual in 1 Corinthians 14:1. Paul describes
two ways to pray, sing, and speak in Church by the Holy Spirit: one with
prophetic utterance that can be understood by all (1 Corinthians 14:3-6,
9-12, 15, 19, 22, and 24-26, 29-31, 39), and the other with the language of
the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 14:2, 4-6, 13-14, 16-18, and 22, 27, 39).

Psalms, which are by definition classified as prophetic utterances, must
not be only understood as singing the psalms given in the Old Testament.
Paul certainly groups psalms in the category of prophetic utterances, which
take place in the Church by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (1
Corinthians 14:26). This does not eliminate the possibility of singing the
psalms of the Old Testament, but we should not exclusively place it in this
category either, especially when we recognize the emphasis Paul is placing
on prophetic utterances in the Church (1 Corinthians 12:10, 14:3-6, 22-32,
39; and and Colossians 3:16).

Somehow, we fail to realize the relevance of the utterance of the Holy
Spirit that was poured out upon all flesh (Acts 2:4, 16-18, 33). The
activity of the Holy Spirit in our lives is to be like rivers of living
water rushing through the depths of our being (John 7:38-39; Psalm 46:4).
We have been given the ability to worship God by the Holy Spirit, not out
of a religious and liturgical tradition. We put the songs written by a man
before our eyes, read aloud the lyrics, and call it the spiritual sacrifice
God desires. Such a position makes no sense at all in a Church baptized in
the fire of the Holy Ghost and filled with divine glory! To believe that
anything can be defined as spiritual, and somehow function without the
direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is a serious misunderstanding of
Scripture. Certainly the psalms of the Old Testament, the hymns of the
Scripture, and those songs given by the Holy Spirit to someone in the
Church can by used in worship, but to fail to make room for the inspiration
of the Holy Spirit to sing a new song is to miss out on another dimension
of the wellsprings of life that Christ Jesus desires to be express through
His Church (1 Corinthians 14:15; Isaiah 42:10, Revelation 5:9, 14:3; also:
Psalm 33:3, 40:3, 96:1, and 98:1, 144:9, 149:1).
 
Daily Bread - April 22, 2020 (The Fourth Day - Genesis 1:14-19)
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Wednesday, 22 April 2020 09:58
Ephesians 5:13-21 - And all things being exposed by the light are made
manifest. For everything that reveals is light, therefore say, "Wake up, oh
sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you!" Therefore,
watch by what means you walk accurately, not as unwise but as wise,
redeeming the time, for the day is evil. For this reason, do not be
foolish, but understand the will of the Lord. And be not intoxicated with
wine, as one unsaved, but be continually filled with the Spirit speaking to
yourselves in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making
melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks at all times for all things
to God and the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, being submitted
one to another in fear of God.

Part 3 ~ Filled With The Spirit Continually

The meaning of being "filled with the Spirit" was established in the first
two chapters of Acts. On the day of Pentecost, when the disciples were
baptized in the Holy Spirit, the Scripture says they were "filled with the
Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:4). Because the exact same thing happened at the house
of Cornelius, we also know we can equate being "filled with the Holy
Spirit" to the "gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 11:15, 10:45). The sign of
"being filled with the Spirit," or the "gift of God," was tongues. Being
"filled with the Spirit" is not a one-time event, as indicated by both
these passages of Scripture and other facts presented by the experiences of
the Apostles. When the Apostles were in need of boldness because of the
threats of the elders, they prayed and were filled with the Holy Spirit
again (Acts 4:31). Also, if being filled with the Spirit is the means by
which tongues are uttered, then the life of Paul exemplified a continual
filling --Paul was someone who evidently spoke in tongues continually, as
he said to the Corinthian Church, "I speak with tongues more than you all"
(1 Corinthians 14:18). The expression of being filled with the Spirit was
active in Paul, both in prayer and singing (1 Corinthians 14:15).

Tongues are established as the utterance of the Spirit in Acts 2:4. Also,
tongues can only be spoken as the Holy Spirit gives utterance. As a
supernatural gift, it must be given the same status as miracles or signs
and wonders. The only possible way to turn water into wine, or to walk on
water, is by the miracle power of the Holy Spirit. Though these are gifts
given to the believer, it is only by the will and power of the Spirit of
God that they operate. The Bible does not teach us to walk in our own will
and desire, but instead to be totally surrendered to the will and mind of
the Spirit. God has truly given us gifts, but only the Holy Spirit knows
how to operate them.

When Jesus described being filled with the Spirit, He did so with an
allegory. He used rivers of living water flowing out as an allegory to
describe the expressions of the Spirit in the believer. He also compared
our desire for these rivers with thirst. When the believer drinks of the
water (which is the gift of God - John 4:10), the rivers flow out of them.
The rivers that Jesus referred to could not be revealed until He was
glorified (John 7:38-39; Acts 2:33). These rivers were observed as tongues,
for this was the sign of Pentecost.

The allegory of thirst expresses to us a constant and ongoing need. If we
believe that being filled with the Spirit is a one-time event initiating
the believer into Christianity, then the allegory Jesus used does not make
sense. Salvation certainly is the one-time event resulting in a person
becoming a new creation, and the allegory Jesus used for that was being
born --truly a one-time event (John 3:3-6). However, drinking is something
we do regularly for the need of our physical body. In keeping with the
allegory then, we must also drink regularly in the Spirit for the need of
our spiritual life; and when we drink, a river will begin to flow. Thus,
Paul commanded those at Ephesus, who were already baptized in the Holy
Spirit, to be filled with the Spirit continually (John 7:38-39; Ephesians
5:18).
 
Daily Bread - April 21, 2020 (The Third Day - Genesis 1:9-13)
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Tuesday, 21 April 2020 11:11
Ephesians 5:13-21 - And all things being exposed by the light are made
manifest. For everything that reveals is light, therefore say, "Wake up, oh
sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you!" Therefore,
watch by what means you walk accurately, not as unwise but as wise,
redeeming the time, for the day is evil. For this reason, do not be
foolish, but understand the will of the Lord. And be not intoxicated with
wine, as one unsaved, but be continually filled with the Spirit speaking to
yourselves in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making
melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks at all times for all things
to God and the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, being submitted
one to another in fear of God.

Part 2 ~ Shifting From The Natural To The Spiritual Realm

There is only one way to enjoy the abundant life that has been provided for
us through Christ Jesus, and that is to be continually filled with the
Spirit. We have to deal with so many things in the fast paced life of
keeping up with our jobs and the issues related to our houses and families.
If we are not careful, we will find ourselves constantly overwhelmed with
the cares of this life that choke the Word of God, and prevent it from
bringing forth the fruits of the Spirit in our lives.

However, if we are willing to cry out to God throughout the day and yield
to the Holy Spirit through prayer and praise, the Holy Spirit will fill
every dimension of our lives with His glory. In this fellowship, we will
not only be so much more happy and pleasant, but we will be filled with the
divine ability to move in wisdom and faith instead of human frustration. If
you will be willing to give yourself to this lifestyle of constantly being
filled with the Spirit, then you will step right into the pages of the
Bible as you move into the realm of the unseen where God dwells (2
Corinthians 4:18; Romans 8:5-6). All we have to do is to be willing to take
a drink of the water of the Spirit, and God will provide for us rivers of
inspiration and goodness of the Spirit flowing forth through our emotions
and passions (John 7:37-39).

At some point, God's people are going to have to make a shift from living
in the natural realm to living by the Spirit (Romans 8:9; Galatians 5:25).
There are so many wonderful things that God has for us to experience and
do, but if we will not let the Holy Spirit take control of our lives, then
we will never really know what they are nor enjoy the glorious life that is
like days of Heaven on Earth (1 Corinthians 2:12; Deuteronomy 11:21). Will
you commit your life to the Spirit of God today and begin to worship Him
through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs --and be what God has created
you to be? If you are willing you will find a realm of glory that will
continually overwhelm your soul with the goodness of God.
 
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