daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 25 September 2009 11:08
John 8:31 - Then Jesus said to the Jews who believed in Him, "If you
remain in my Word, then you are truly my disciples."

Jesus has called us to live by His word, and to make His word the place
where we live now and forever (John 15:7; Colossians 3:16; Matthew 4:4;
Matthew 12:37; Matthew 24:35; Luke 11:28; 1 Peter 1:25). To live there
we must know the word, speak the word, and do the word (John 3:34; John
14:23; John 8:32; John 17:17; James 1:22-23; Acts 20:32; Romans 10:8; 2
Corinthians 5:19; 2 Corinthians 6:7; Ephesians 5:26; Philippians 2:16; 2
Thessalonians 2:17; Titus 1:9; 2 Timothy 1:13; 1 Timothy 4:5; 1 Timothy
6:3). The very life of Jesus was the personification of the Word (John
1:1-3). His conduct, manner of life, and deeds are the standard for what
a life fully given to the expression of the word of God looks like. The
Greek word translated "remain/continue/abide" (menein) is often used by
John to describe how we are to carry on a proper relationship with God.
We are to remain in Him and in His word (John 14:17; John 15:4-7; John
15:9-10). If we will continue to dwell in His word - which means to live
by His word - then we are those who follow Him, and who do the will of
the Father.

Continuing in the word does not merely speak of knowing the word, but
more specifically of doing it. Paul testified that those who were born
of God were living epistles: the very expression of the word that all
men could read (2 Corinthians 3:3). Peter said that we were begotten of
the Word (1 Peter 1:23). Through the new birth we become the offspring
of the Word, or a child of the Word of God (James 1:18; Hebrews 8:10;
Hebrews 10:16). The creative power of the Word of God created a new
creation in us. We have been empowered to both know and to do those
things which God has spoken; but how can we do that which we do not
know, nor are mindful of?

We must submit ourselves to the simplicity of God's word, and be willing
to obey those things that He has commanded (Matthew 11:25; Luke 10:21).
If we love Jesus, we will love His word; and we will do it (John
14:23-24; 1 John 2:5). If we are going to be doers of the word, then His
word must be a part of how we think and reason. The way in which we
think and reason is the way in which we speak and conduct our lives. To
make the word of God the abiding place of both our hearts and
intellects, we must give ourselves to knowing the word. The practice of
having only a casual encounter with the word must come to an end. The
people of God are going to have to grow up and stop living as babies,
who expect to be spoon-fed the word of God on a weekly basis. We must
cease to be slothful, and become diligent with the word of God. The idea
that we can put more time and enthusiasm into things that make us
successful in the world - while we neglect the spiritual - is a terrible
deception! The command to: "Study to show yourself approved a workmen
that does not need to be ashamed" is not just for preachers and teachers
of the word; it is for every person who would be a disciple of Jesus (2
Timothy 2:15; 2 Peter 3:14; 1 Timothy 4:6; Hebrews 2:3).
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 24 September 2009 10:57
Colossians 1:9 - Because of this also, from the day we heard, ceased not
to pray for you; also asking that you might be filled with the knowledge
of His will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.

The knowledge of God comes to us by the Word of God and by the Spirit of
God. We have been given the ability to know and understand those things
described in the Word of God because we have been born of the Spirit (1
Corinthians 2:10-12). However, it is important that we all recognize
that the basis for the knowledge of God and spiritual understanding is
knowing the Word of God. How are we to know anything about the will of
God for our lives without the Word of God? The Word of God is the source
from which all faith springs! We would not even realize that God wants
to save our soul, unless we heard the word of God (Romans 10:8-17). How
would we ever understand how we are to walk with God and be pleasing
unto Him, without the Word of God to describe it?

If you desire to go deeper in the anointing and in your relationship
with God, then you must understand the central role which the Word of
God plays in this process (1 Peter 1:23,25; James 1:18; 1 Peter 2:2;
James 1:21; John 6:63; 1 John 3:9; Hebrews 4:12). Unfortunately too many
of God's people sit down to read the Bible as a history book, for
entertainment, or out of a religious duty; and miss the glory of the
fellowship with God, that otherwise would be present. The word of God is
faith-building. It is spirit and life! It is living and powerful, and
has the ability to create and strengthen those who would sit in
communion with the Holy Spirit as they read. If we will receive the Word
of God into an honest and sincere heart, it will spring up and produce
the fruits of the nature and power of Christ Jesus; some 30, 60, and 100
times beyond all expectation.

Through the knowledge of the Word, we receive a supernatural supply of
the Spirit; in spiritual wisdom and understanding (Ephesians 1:17; 2
Peter 1:3; 2 Peter 1:8-11). The knowledge of God affords us the ability
to more perfectly know what God desires us to do, and supplies us with
the insight and revelation to know that we have the resources of God to
do the impossible. By fully knowing the greatness of His power and
authority that has been entrusted to us, we are strengthened by His
glorious power to do the exploits of the Kingdom (Ephesians 1:17-23;
Daniel 11:32). It is the Word of God that will enlighten you. It is the
Word of God that will quicken you! It is the Word of God that will build
you up to walk in your spiritual inheritance in Christ Jesus (Acts
20:32; Ephesians 1:18). It is the truth of the Word of God that the Holy
Spirit has come to lead us and guide us into.

Peter said that as newborn babes, we should long for the spiritual
nourishment provided for us by the spiritual food that has been supplied
in the Word of God. The passage in 1 Peter 2:2 literally says: "the pure
logicon of the milk." Although the Greek word 'logicon' is related to
'logos' (the Greek for "word"), it has a different meaning. This
particular word is found only twice on the New Testament: in 1 Peter 2:2
and in Romans 12:1. In Romans 12:1, the meaning is more accurately
captured; where it is translated "reasonable." The word refers to how we
think, and how we speak. We think and speak based upon the logic by
which we reason and come to understand the world and how we are to
function within it. The divine logic of the word will cause us to think
and speak the word of faith (2 Corinthians 4:13; Romans 10:10; Hebrews
10:23; Philemon 1:6). The divine logic will cause us to believe that we
can do all things though Christ who strengthens us. We will have a
revelation that nothing will be impossible for those who live by the
Word. If we long for the spiritual nourishment supplied to us by the
Word of God, then we will be filled with the divine ability to function
in the faith of God; and we will have the proofs to back up our claims
that Jesus arose from the dead - and is alive today!
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Wednesday, 23 September 2009 13:20
Acts 19:20 - So the word of the Lord grew mightily, and was effective.

Look what happens when the word of God is preached and believed! The
devils go out of those who are possessed, sickness and diseases are
cured, and the masses are turned to Jesus. Someone may say, "Well, it
was because Paul had a special anointing." Yet, what we fail to realize
is that the power is not in the special anointing, but in the word of
God. The word of God is living and it is powerful. The only thing that
can stop the word from being effective in our lives is unbelief. If we
will believe and hold fast to the word of God, and not let His word
depart out of our mouth, then we will surely see all of the miracle
results that the word of God has promised. We must be devoted to growing
in the word.

If the word is in you - in your heart and in your mouth - insomuch that
you are not only united with it but you speak it out; then you will ask
what you will, and it shall be given to you (John 15:1-5). Agreement
with the word makes you strong; so strong that you overcome the wicked
one wherever you face him (1 John 2:14). If you do not know the word,
believe the word, and speak the word - then how are you ever going to do
the word and stand fast in the word? As the blessed people of God who
are for signs and wonders in the earth, we are to be continually growing
in the knowledge of the word (1 Peter 2:2). It is through being doers of
the word that we will continue to grow in the grace and the knowledge of
our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). If we will live by the word and
hold fast to the word in all that we say and do, then we will not be
barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus (2 Peter 1:8).

If you do not believe the word of God, you will become mute and unable
to speak the word (Luke 1:20) If the words of truth are as idle tales
(exaggerations) to you, you will not be able to believe (Luke 24:11). We
must hear the word and believe if we are going to realize the miracle of
eternal life, and the miracle blessings of the power and authority that
have been given to us by The Almighty (John 5:24)! If we are going to be
the disciples of Jesus, we must continue believing and obeying and
speaking the word of God (John 8:31; Romans 10:8; Isaiah 59:21; Joshua
1:8). If we do not tend the word and watch over the word of God, then as
soon as we come up against those powers that oppose the word, we will
give up and the word will wither up inside of us (Luke 8:13). If we are
not committed to the word of God, and diligent in tending it and holding
it in front of ourselves, but instead become distracted with the things
of this world; the word will not produce the fruits of God's blessings
and promises in our lives (Luke 8:14).

If you will stand fast in the word, then God will bring increase through
steadfast obedience and application of the word (1 Corinthians 3:6). The
more you walk in obedience, the more you will grow in faith; and receive
of all the great things that the Lord has already supplied (2
Corinthians 10:15; 2 Thessalonians 1:3; Ephesians 4:15). The choice is
yours: what will you believe? Will you believe your interpretation of
circumstances, and hold to the experiences of men; or will you believe
the word of God? Satan says that everything belongs to him and is under
his power, and that he gives it to whomever he chooses (Luke 4:5-6). Yet
God says it is all His, and He rules absolutely; and He gives it all
freely to His people (Psalm 24:1; Psalm 89:11; 1 Corinthians 10:26;
Daniel 5:21; Daniel 6:26; Deuteronomy 33:16; Matthew 28:18; Ephesians
1:21). What then will we believe?
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Tuesday, 22 September 2009 11:14
Romans 12:9-12 - (1) Having genuine love, (2) hating the evil, (3)
sticking to the good. (4) Loving one another affectionately, (5) eagerly
honor one another. (6) Do not lag in diligence; (7) be on fire in
Spirit, serving the Lord. (8) Rejoicing in expectation, (9) standing
firm in trouble, (10) persistent in prayer.

In the opening statements of this chapter, Paul instructs each
individual in the strongest terms possible to yield up their lives to
God. In doing so, we are to give ourselves completely to walking in the
nature of Christ Jesus. Above all other things, the love of God takes
preeminence in the nature of Christ. God has loved us with a love that
surpasses all others, and we are commanded by Him to love one another
with the same love (John 13:34; John 15:12; Ephesians 5:2; 1 John 2:10).
However, men run the risk of only acting like they love each other. If
we are going to truly love one another, then we must keep a pure heart,
void of all offense and unforgiveness. Any insincere expression of love
is hypocrisy of the worst degree (2 Corinthians 6:6; 1 Peter 2:22; 1
John 3:18). True love only comes from a pure heart filled with the love
supplied by the Holy Spirit (1 Timothy 1:5; Romans 5:5; Galatians 5:22).

Everything in our relationships that is not of the love of God is evil.
It has been said that to love God is to regard evil with horror.
Unfortunately, too many are lured into a general tolerance of evil; but
to think that God is in any way tolerant of evil is a big mistake. Evil
is the enemy and the opposite of all that it means to be in Christ.
There is nothing that more threatens the soul of the redeemed than
compromise. Those who love the Lord must hear the instruction of the
Lord: hate evil!! (Psalm 97:10; Psalm 119:104,128; Psalm 119:163;
Proverbs 8:13).

The life-giving presence of the Holy Spirit radically alters the way
that a person lives their life. God has given us a quality of life, and
expects that quality of life from us. If we are going to know what God
expects of us, then we are going to have to take His instructions
seriously. If we are going to know how to keep ourselves so that the
wicked one cannot touch us, then we are going to have to place God's
words before us, and not depart from the things which He has commanded
(1 John 5:18). I we are going to stick to that which is good, then above
all other things we must stick to the word of God!

Here are these 10 New Testament commands found in this passage organized
to easily memorize:

Love truly, hate evil, stick to the good
Love with affection, honor others intensely
Be zealous, be on fire serving the Lord
Rejoice, endure and persevere in prayer!
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 21 September 2009 11:34
Mark 4:30-32 - And He said, "What shall we liken the Kingdom of God to;
or what kind of parable may we use for it? It is like a mustard seed
which, when sown upon the earth, is the smallest of all seeds that are
upon the earth; yet when sown, grows and becomes the greatest of all
shrubs; and it puts forth large branches, so that the birds of heaven
can dwell under its shade."

Both the Kingdom of God and an individual's faith are likened unto a
mustered seed (Luke 17:6). It is reported that it would take between 720
to 760 black mustard seeds to make one gram. Therefore, a good example
of the size of one mustard seed would be single grain of table salt.
Although it is so tiny and seemingly insignificant, it is all that is
needed to produce the great results that God is looking for!

The Kingdom of God may also be viewed in two ways: the Kingdom of God
that will ultimately rule over the whole earth; and the Kingdom of God
that has come to us through the indwelling of Christ in us, and the
glory of the Holy Spirit that we have received (Colossians 1:27; 1 John
3:24; Galatians 2:20; Romans 14:17; Matthew 21:43). In both cases God
has made provision for explosive growth! The mustard seed, though it is
the smallest seed, produces the largest of all shrubs in a very short time.

There is yet more insight that we may gain when we look at a similar
parable spoken by the prophet Ezekiel. Ezekiel described how that God
cut a very small and tender twig, and planted it upon a high mountain.
Upon the high mountain the small and tender twig grew into a great tree
that brought forth both great branches and fruit (Ezekiel 17:22-23).
Like the mustard seed, the small and tender twig became a great tree for
the birds to dwell in its shade. Yet a very important point must be
made: the tender plant was planted on the top of the mountain. The
heights of the mountains are used throughout the prophetic writings to
describe the heavenly realm where God dwells (Revelation 21:10; Ezekiel
40:2; Isaiah 2:2-3; Isaiah 11:9; Ezekiel 20:40; Joel 2:1; Micah 4:1-2).

God has determined that there be explosive spiritual growth in our
lives, as well as an explosive advancement of the Kingdom of God in the
earth. We see the disciples as a model of that explosive growth; who in
just over three years of being with Jesus, changed the world in which
they lived (Acts 17:6; Acts 24:5; Romans 1:8). We, like them, must be
willing to forsake everything and follow Jesus, who has shown us how to
walk in the heavenly realms of the Spirit. We must be willing to set our
affections on things above, and not on things of this earth (Colossians
3:2; John 15:1-5). We must be willing to give ourselves to living in His
presence, and as the Psalmist said, to be planted in the house of the
Lord (Psalm 92:13). Like Joshua, who did not depart out of the
tabernacle, our affections and desires must be turned to the glory of
God (Exodus 33:11). If we allow ourselves to be entangled with the
affairs of this life, the fruits of His glory and Kingdom authority and
faith will not mature (Luke 8:14; Mark 4:19; 2 Timothy 2:4). But if we
give all diligence to making our calling and election sure, then an
entrance into the realms of the Kingdom and the realms of faith will be
ministered abundantly to us (2 Peter 1:10-11; John 15:16). If we will
walk in this glory that Jesus has made available to us, then we will see
the nations turn to God, and multitudes will come and find a safe
dwelling place under the shadow of His Kingdom (Ezekiel 31:6; Daniel
4:10-12; Matthew 24:14; Matthew 4:23).
 
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