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Daily Bread - March 10, 2018
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Saturday, 10 March 2018 11:38
1 Peter 1:5-6 - Who are kept in salvation by the power of God through
faith, ready to be revealed in the last time. In Whom you greatly rejoice,
though now if need be it is a little distressing in a great variety of
trials.

Father could have saved us with the strength of his own power absent of
anything that we do. However, Father chose to give us His creative faith
and has demanded we participate with His faith through our own will
(Hebrews 11:6; Isaiah 66:1-2; Jeremiah 17:5-8; Matthew 5:3; Mark 11:22;
Galatians 2:20). All of us hate trials and adversity, but there can be
nothing more important to the spiritual state of our souls than finding the
glorious resting place of trusting God. We may look at some of the things
we go through and be overwhelmed, and somehow think God was not there, or
did not care; but nothing can be further from the truth! What we must learn
to do is to give thanks instead of asking why, or in any way doubting His
love for us (1 Thessalonians 5:18; Philippians 4:4-7; Romans 5:1-5,
8:31-39; Ephesians 3:16-21).

Our Heavenly Father has called us into an abundant life of joy unspeakable,
and we must learn to walk in all of the splendor of that life. The earthly
and sensual things that would turn our hearts away from the relationship
and faith God has so graciously lavished upon us must be done away with. We
may not recognize it, but everything contrary to the nature and will of God
actually steals our joy and robs us of the fullness of all He has freely
given to us. Therefore, in God's lovingkindness and tender mercies, He
allows us to go through things designed to have the result of our faith
being made perfect, for the purpose of our faith being found unto praise,
honor, and glory at His appearing (1 Peter 1:7). We must recognize how any
sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory
to be revealed in us (Romans 8:18; 2 Corinthians 4:17, 7:4; Hebrews
10:35-37).

Our walk with God and our access to Him by the Spirit must be more
important to us than all other earthly things (Matthew 6:24,33; Psalm 27:4,
63:1-3; Philippians 3:7-10). When it is, then we will find a realm of
glorious fellowship resulting in us moving past all of the things that
would turn our affections away from God. It is in this perfect love where
we find the operation of perfect faith. Fear and torment cannot access us;
strife and divisions can no longer dominate us; but instead we find a place
of communion that captivates our soul and causes all of our affections to
be set on things above (Colossians 3:1-4). Let all of our experience result
in an abundant confidence in the faithfulness of God Who has poured His
love into us by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:1-5; Ephesians 1:3, 17-21,
3:16-21).

Build yourself up in God's faith, trust Him, apply yourself to His Kingdom,
be diligent, and give thanks for His perfecting and keeping power! (Jude
20-25)
 
Daily Bread - March 9, 2018
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 09 March 2018 08:03
Mark 11:22 - And Jesus answered them, "Have God's faith."

It is quite fascinating how few Biblical scholars are willing to step
forward and admit how this Greek phrase should be translated, "have God's
faith," or "have the faith of God," or "...literally, have the faith of
God" (The Pulpit Commentary). The noun is in the genitive case, and the
verb 'to have' is in the imperative.

There cannot be a more important topic than faith. I have heard how some
people believe miracles ended with the book of Acts. Well, if miracles
ended with the book of Acts, then there are no more salvations; for the
salvation of a single person is the most wonderful miracle known to man!
Now, all miracles depend on the divine work of faith. Jesus is not
interested in us having the kind of faith you read about in a dictionary.
He is not interested in us having the kind of faith that refers to various
religious and philosophical beliefs. Jesus desires we have the faith of
God. God's faith speaks to the absolutely impossible and watches it take
place. God's faith moves beyond every doubt and notion of fear. God's faith
will not be afraid of what others might think (Romans 4:16-18; Galatians
5:6; 1 John 4:16-18).

Jesus informed the disciples that what he had done, they would also do
(Matthew 21:21; John 14:12). He had commanded the fig tree to dry up, and
it did. What Jesus said to them, He said to the Church for all time. Did He
give the disciples something that did not belong to everyone else who would
believe? Absolutely not! What Jesus supplied to those first few men which
He trained, He poured out upon the whole Church by the Holy Spirit (Acts
1:8, 2:17-18, 39; Ephesians 1:22-23, 4:11-13; 2 Corinthians 12:7, 27-28;
Jude 20). At some point, you and I must stand up and begin to curse the fig
trees of unfruitfulness and speak to the mountains of impossibility. At
some point, we must boldly proclaim these words of life and be willing to
demonstrate the power of God that is present in our lives. Too many people
cower in fear, waiting for someone else to do what Jesus commands us to do.
Or, they are waiting for another day when they receive some special
anointing. Saints, I tell you, if you have been baptized in the Holy
Spirit, then you have the One Who works the faith of God right there with
you right now (Galatians 2:20; John 14:15-23, 17:16-23). All you have to do
is be willing to open your mouth and take the risk. The disciples were
amazed at Jesus' faith; and He was equally amazed at their lack of it (Luke
8:25; Matthew 17:17).

Jesus was absolute about His position regarding our faith. We find this
statement delivered to us as an imperative. Jesus demanded them then, and
us today, to have God's faith -a faith defined and exemplified by what
Jesus did when He commanded the fig tree to die. If we are going to walk in
faith, then we must start moving. We must recognize that faith has a
belief. Faith has a commitment, faith has a faithfulness, faith has a
fight, faith works by love, faith is not dependent upon what is seen and
heard in the realms of men. Faith calls those things which are not as
though they were. Faith depends solely on what God has said. Faith is bold
and will say what God has said. Faith is tested. Faith is strengthened.
Faith is perfected. Faith will increase so that one may be full of faith
(Hebrews 11:1-12:2).

Have God's faith, and let it begin right now! (Hebrews 3:7-8; Jude 20-25)
 
Daily Bread - March 8, 2018
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 08 March 2018 12:10
Matthew 7:21-22 - Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord, Lord", shall enter
into the Kingdom of the Heavens; but he who does the will of My Father Who
is in the Heavens. Many shall say to Me in that day, "Lord, Lord, have we
not prophesied in Your Name, and in Your Name cast out devils, and in Your
Name done many wonderful works?"

Deception is so powerful that the deceived have no idea they are under its
ruthless and blinding power. What we must realize is God has no fellowship
with those who walk in darkness (1 John 1:6; 2 Corinthians 6:14; Ephesians
5:11). The most important proof that a person has been born of God, and
that they love and know God, is obedience (1 John 2:3-4, 3:24, 5:2; John
15:10). God has given us a faith that overcomes the world, and every one
who has been born of God has that overcoming power in their lives (1 John
3:7-8, 5:4-5,18). Just because a person appears to have gifts and signs and
wonders working through his life is no proof the person knows God. Satan
can transform himself into a messenger of light, and men can be wolves in
sheep's clothing (2 Corinthians 11:13-15; Matthew 7:15-16). There are many
supposed miracle-workers among the Hindus and Buddhists; and we know that
whatever it is that they are doing, it is not by the power of God.

Those who work iniquity and call themselves the messengers of Christ have
no fellowship with God; and whatever it is they do is not by the Spirit of
the Lord, but a power of deception. We live in perilous times, and many
deceivers have come in the Name of Jesus. We must hold fast to the Word of
God and not believe those who try to tell us things should be taken away
from the Bible, or that they were for the time of the first-century Church
only; or for that matter, that anything should be now added through some
function of revelation. All of these ideas are inspired by Satan, and have
come to deceive the hearts of men.

Although there are deceptions and falsehoods all around us, we must hold to
the absolutes of the Word of God. Absolutes are essential if there is going
to be certainty. If we are going to move in faith, then we must have
absolute certainty about the things that the Lord has spoken. The Lord
Jesus reigns in righteousness and truth right now; and no one who tells
lies or works deceit in his or her heart can stand in His Presence (Psalm
101:7). Christ Jesus is Lord over His House and will execute judgment, even
though wrongdoing seems to linger. The Father has a jealous love for His
Son Jesus, and will not allow His Name to be profaned for long. It is time
that the Church arise in the Spirit of holiness and power. If there has
ever been in a time to move in the faith of Jesus Christ with the Gospel
that casts out devils and works righteousness, it is now! We must stand up
in His righteous cause and say, "No more!", to the things that profane His
Holy Name!

We must ignore the things in the realm of experience that present
themselves as contradictions to the Word of God. The realm of deception
would not allow us to find any place of certainty based upon the things we
can conclude from our observations. It is hard to understand how men can
actually come in the Name of Jesus and seemingly work miracles, yet still
live unholy lives; but what we must all conclude is they do not know the
Lord. Anything that does not align itself with the Word of God and the
fruits of the Spirit must be categorized as falsehood and deception -no
matter what kind of proofs may be seemingly provided. There are no
exceptions to the rule: a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither
can a evil tree bring forth good fruit (Matthew 7:17-18). We cannot get
both sweet and bitter water from the same fountain (James 3:11-12). Those
who hold the truth in unrighteousness can not be restored; they must be
converted. The power of deception can only be broken when such a one will
face the sin and iniquity, and repent.

Be doers of the Word, and not hearers only! (James 1:22)
 
Daily Bread - March 7, 2018
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Wednesday, 07 March 2018 11:16
Romans 8:18 - For I calculate that this which befalls us now for a season
is not worthy of the glory that is about to be revealed in us.

Paul's calculation is that the level of suffering we endure now is not even
in the same category with the glory about to be revealed. When Paul was
writing to the Corinthians, he referred to this suffering as a light
affliction (2 Corinthians 4:17). The Greek word Paul uses to help us put
things into proper perspective is 'logizomai', translated 'calculate',
which refers to a 'logical reality'. Now, the logical calculation is this:
the suffering is so insignificant in comparison to the glory, it is almost
meaningless.

How are we supposed to deal with the suffering and pain we encounter here
in this life? Paul, who had more than his share of opposition and turmoil,
reveals to us how to live life free from discouragement. All we need to do
is realize how the hand of God is shaping us for greatness -both now and in
the future. We must realize He is not only with us through these things,
but He is so close to us that we are under His shadow (Psalms 91:1). We
must realize whatever 'groanings' we may encounter today will be
overshadowed by the glorious liberties of tomorrow. As a result, we will
not lose our confidence and joy, which will result in a great reward
(Hebrews 10:35, 3:6, 11:6,26). Jesus endured the sufferings of the cross
with joy realizing it would result in our salvation and His exaltation
(Hebrews 12:2). We are also called to share in the same sufferings of
Christ which are all about advancing the Gospel and must be kept in the
same perspective (Philippians 3:10, 2:1-11; 2 Timothy 2:12; 1 Peter
4:12-16; 2 Corinthians 11:23-30).

However, many of the things we go through are simply Father's desire to
give us something far better than what we have now (1 Peter 1:6-7; James
1:2-3). One Christmas morning, I had given one of my sons, who was about
three at the time, one of his gifts. It was a very small toy that he
immediately thought was the greatest thing ever. I had something far better
for him I wanted him to have; but he was so distracted with his new little
toy, he would not come over and unwrap his bigger present. Of course, I was
very excited about the gift I had for him; so in order to redirect his
attention, I took the little toy away from him after some struggle. It
ended up in a disaster, because he thought I was punishing him when all I
wanted him to do was to set his little eyes on the main event of that
Christmas morning. We must realize that no matter what we are enduring,
Father has a bigger blessing awaiting us. We must not allow ourselves to
sink into the despair of what we may have lost, but keep our eyes set on
what we are to gain (Romans 5:1-5, 8:26-39).

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far
more exceeding and eternal weight of glory! (2 Corinthians 4:17, 12:9-10;
Romans 5:3-5; Hebrews 11:6)
 
Daily Bread - March 6, 2018
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Tuesday, 06 March 2018 08:23
Ephesians 2:22 - In Whom also you are built together into a habitation of
God by the Spirit.

Through the mercy and grace of God, we are brought into the family of God
and are being taught and prepared by the Holy Spirit to live the life of
God. Both Jew and Gentile believers must submit themselves to this work of
grace and allow God the Holy Spirit to take control of their lives. There
is no doubt God has future plans for Israel as a nation, but everyone must
realize the only way they can come into the Kingdom of God is through Jesus
Christ. Jesus was not just the means by which the nations', or Gentiles',
sins were washed away; but He is also the means for Israel as well (Acts
4:12; Romans 10:1-4)

Through Jesus, we grow into a holy temple; and through Jesus, we are built
together as a holy habitation where God dwells (1 Peter 2:5). This does not
take away from the miracle that made each person the temple of the Holy
Spirit and the habitation of the Lord (1 Corinthians 3:16; 2 Corinthians
6:16; John 14:23). Rather, this expands it into how we are brought together
in the culture and relationship of God's eternal Kingdom. There is only one
Church, one company of the redeemed; and they are made up of all the
nations of the Earth, including Israel. There are no walls, or partitions,
to make room for different expressions and beliefs. There is one Lord, one
faith, one baptism, one God and one Father (Ephesians 4:4-6).

The Greek verb 'sunoikodomeo', translated 'built together', is a compound
verb of 'sun' and 'oikodomeo'. The verb 'oikodomeo' is used in the same
context in 1 Peter 2:5 and Matthew 16:18. This Greek verb is in the form of
a present passive indicative which denotes a continuous process. Each time
someone is born of the Spirit, they are incorporated into this building of
God.

Bless the Lord, we get to be His habitation!
 
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