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Daily Bread - July 28, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 28 July 2017 10:49

Colossians 3:16 - Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom;
teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, in hymns, in spiritual
songs; singing with grace in your heart to the Lord.

The people of God must come to understand that until they begin to live by
the Word of God, nothing will change. If we live by the Word, then the Word
will govern our speech and conduct! If we are going to live by the Word,
then we must come to know the Word well enough to recall what God has to
say in His Word regarding our conduct and reactions to everything we
encounter in life.

The phrase "the Word of Christ" is only found this one time in the New
Testament; so to understand exactly what Paul meant by the "Word of
Christ", it will be necessary to consider both how Christ dwells in our
hearts, and how His Word dwells in us. The most obvious meaning of the
"Word of Christ" is that it is a synonym for "the Word of the Lord", or the
"Word of God". Jesus said that the words that He spoke would never pass
away (Matthew 24:35; Luke 21:33). The Word of Christ above all else is what
is written in the Word of God, which will always be those things that the
Spirit of God speaks. If anyone does not speak according to this Word, then
it is because there is no light in him (Isaiah 8:20; John 5:46-47; Matthew
22:29; 2 Peter 1:19-20; 2 Timothy 3:15-17). If we are going to speak the
Word of Christ, then we must give ourselves to knowing them by heart (John
14:21, 23-26, 16:13, 17:8, 17; 1 John 2:4-6; Psalms 119:9-16).

We can both live under the inspiration of the Word of Christ, and speak the
Word of Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit Who lives within us. The
Spirit of Christ Jesus Who dwells in us will speak through us all the words
of this life that produce signs, wonders, miracles, praise, and adoration
that belong to God (Colossians 1:27; 1 Corinthians 2:13, 12:7-10; 1 John
3:24; Acts 5:20). One of the chief aims of the Word of Christ dwelling in
the saints is to empower us to teach and admonish one another. Paul made it
clear that when He spoke, it was by the operation of the Holy Spirit
speaking through him either by revelation, knowledge, prophecy, or teaching
(1 Corinthians 14:6). Furthermore, it may be argued that Paul made these
expressions a product of the spiritual language. His demand to the church
was that they earnestly contend for the spiritual and especially prophecy
(1 Corinthians 14:1).

Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to govern the church and to lead us and guide
us; and it is essential that we realize that we are to only speak by the
Spirit of Truth, Who has been given to us (John 15:26, 16:13; Joel 2:28;
Acts 2:4, 17-18, 10:45-56, 19:6; 1 Corinthians 14:2). Peter said that when
we speak, we are to do so as the oracles (bearers of the Divine Word) of
God according as God supplies to us (1 Peter 4:11). In Ephesians, Paul
instructs us to be filled with the Spirit, which is related by context to
the Word of Christ producing the utterances of psalms, hymns, and spiritual
songs (Ephesians 5:15-20).

There is a message living in our hearts which can only be expressed by the
Spirit of God Who dwells in us. Those utterances come forth from our hearts
as rivers of living water expressing the majesty and splendor of Who Christ
Jesus is. The Word of Christ is a continual unchanging force in the church
as much as His peace is (Colossians 3:15). The result of being filled with
the Spirit and having the indwelling Word of Christ is the same; it
produces thanksgiving from the heart in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.
In Paul's first letter to the Corinthians, he emphasizes the spiritual song
in the context of the language of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 14:14-15). He
also further reveals to them the dynamic of what teaching and admonition is
when he said, "How is it then, brethren? when you come together, every one
of you has a psalm, has a doctrine, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an
interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying" (1 Corinthians 14:26).

Realizing, then, that the Word of Christ is the same as the Word of God, we
have many scriptures that help us to understand this work of grace that
placed the Word of God in our hearts so that we may remember, do, and speak
what God has spoken. We have been born of the Word of God (1 Peter
1:23-25). The Word of God has been written in our hearts and minds by the
Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:3; Hebrews 8:10, 10:16). The Word of God is at
work with power in those who believe (Acts 20:32; 1 Thessalonians 2:13).
The Word of God is how faith is produced in us (Romans 10:17) The Word of
God is the sword of the Spirit that gives us the ability to destroy every
work of darkness (Ephesians 6:17). When the Word of God dwells on the
inside of God's people, then it makes them strong so that they can overcome
the wicked one on every front (1 John 2:14).

We are the people of God; and as such, we are the people of faith who live
by every word which proceeds out of the mouth of God (Romans 10:8; Matthew
4:4; Deuteronomy 8:1-6). The Word of Christ is established in us because we
give ourselves to knowing and speaking the Word of God that is written in
our Bibles. Everything that we do must be both judged and governed by the
written Word of God. It is the written Word of God that brought the seed of
God's Word into our hearts (Romans 10:14-17; Matthew 13:23; 1 Peter
1:23-25). When Christ speaks through us by His Spirit, it will be the Word
written in our Bibles. God's people must refuse to speak their own words,
and to live by their own words, which are influenced by all sorts of other
things than the Word of God. We must be willing to make the transition in
our lives, and speak the Word of God by the Spirit of God, rather than
speaking out of the realms of our own understanding.

 
Daily Bread - July 27, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 27 July 2017 07:42
Colossians 3:3 - For you died, and your life is hid together with Christ in
God.

God has granted us an abundant and glorious life; but our thoughts and
affections must be immersed in it, or we will spend all of our lives
hanging around on the periphery of all that has been given. Living on the
border of our inheritance is a terrible existence. While we look across the
divide and see the beauty and the splendor of all that has been promised,
the spiritual riches that are ours are yet held within the clutches of what
seems "necessary for daily life". Paul says to set your affections -your
cravings, your longings- on things above. The remedy for our earth-bound,
temporal, and fearful existence is to be caught away with the realm of the
Spirit; and through the activity of faith, step into a heavenly
participation with the Holy Ghost. We have been translated from the kingdom
of this world into the Kingdom of the dear Son to function in the glory
realm of Heaven (Colossians 1:13). We have been entrusted with access by
the Spirit to take our place in the heavenly realm where Christ Jesus is
presently seated (Ephesians 2:6). We have been given the authority to
function as sons in all the gifts of the Spirit; but unless it is our one
desire above all other things, we will never realize these blessed things.

God demands that our cravings for the the things of the heavenly be first
and foremost above all other things -that the passion of our souls should
be the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33). Our greatest need and deepest desire
should be to see the power of God and the operation of the Holy Spirit at
work in our lives and in our assemblies. Jesus modeled for us what it was
like to live out a life of days of Heaven upon the Earth. He showed us the
beauty of our spiritual inheritance when He was baptized in the Holy Ghost,
and went around driving out devils and ministering the blessed and glorious
life of the kingdom of God.

Now that we have been born of Spirit, we should crave the things of the
Spirit (Romans 8:5). The spiritual should be the longing of our souls and
the covetous desires of our appetites (1 Corinthians 14:1). We should live
to see the Kingdom and the power of Christ Jesus being manifested by the
glorious outworking of the Spirit of the Living God in and around our
lives. In minding the things of the Spirit -craving and desiring above all
other things that which the Holy Ghost desires to lead us into- the things
of the earthly, fleshly, and sensual realm will have no lure. If we will be
caught up in the things of the Spirit, we will not fulfill the lust of the
flesh (Galatians 5:16). If we will put on Christ, we will give no
recognition to the desires of the flesh (Romans 13:14). If we will allow
the communication of those things that are heavenly to be the occupation of
our thoughts, then our affections will not be turned to the cares of this
life, the deceitfulness of riches, and the pleasures of this world (Luke
8:14-15, 21:33-34). It is through being filled with the good things of God
that we are empowered to live above those things that are earthly and
sensual. There is a realm far superior to what we can see with our eyes and
hear with our ears, but our hearts must be trained to discern it. The Holy
Spirit has come to open our eyes so that might see those things that are
going on all around us which belong to the eternal and spiritual (2 Kings
6:15-17; Ephesians 1:18-23; 1 Corinthians 2:9-10).

Above all other things we must desire the spiritual, and also that we may
prophesy (1 Corinthians 14:1; Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:16-21). We prophesy
because it is the revelation that the Spirit of God has filled us with, and
we have become those who speak from the throne room of God. Our speech and
conversation is no longer dictated by the self-interest of man, but filled
with the will of the Father and His divine inspirations. The activities of
the heavenly realm should be precious to our souls, and more important than
anything else that life can afford. The privilege of representing God in
the earth and having the power of the Holy Spirit manifested in our lives
to set the captives free from sin, sickness, disease, demon oppression, and
possession should be more important than anything else. The unspeakable
gift and the glorious honor of being allowed to walk with God every day as
His heir and partner cannot be taken for granted.

Holy Spirit, take control of me,
Come and rule every part for Your glory!
Holy Spirit, take control of me,
In You I delight!!!
 
Daily Bread - July 26, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Wednesday, 26 July 2017 08:11
John 5:20 - For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things which He
does; and will show Him greater works, so that you may be astonished.

The love of God that was manifested in a continued attempt to win the
hearts of these stubborn men Jesus is addressing is amazing. God's love is
so great, He was willing to increase the manifestation of His power to
demonstrate even greater miracles in order to penetrate the blindness of
their hearts. The Greek word used here (thaumazo) may be translated: amaze,
astonish, surprise, or admiration. God so loves us that He has given
everything He can to win us to Himself. It was, and is, the desire of the
Father to give glory to His Son Christ Jesus (John 8:54, 11:4, 12:28).
Because of the love relationship that existed between the Father and the
Lord Jesus, Father revealed everything to His Son. The greater works that
Jesus seems to be referring to here is the raising of the dead (John 5:21,
25).

When we consider this statement by Jesus, our attention is also drawn to
the fact that He has ordained us to do greater works than He did (John
14:12). He has called us and ordained us to walk in these greater works, so
that the Father may be glorified in the Son; and that the Son, Christ
Jesus, may be honored by all men (John 14:13, 16:14). Jesus has both shown
us and commanded us to do these things that He himself has done (John
17:18; Mark 16:17). If we are willing and obedient, we will discover a
relationship with the Lord Jesus that results in our every deed and word
bringing glory and honor to His Name. We must be the continuous spectator
of all that the Lord Jesus is doing, even as He was the Spectator of all
that the Father was doing; for without Him we can do nothing (John 15:5)!

Holy Spirit, take control of me,
Come and rule every part for Your glory!
Holy Spirit, take control of me,
In You I delight!!!
 
Daily Bread - July 25, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Tuesday, 25 July 2017 10:18
John 14:21 - He that has My commandments, and keeps them, is the one that
loves Me. And he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I shall love
him and reveal Myself to him.

The Word of God conveys to us the ways of God. More than anything else,
Heaven is calling out to the sons of man to come and know the ways of God
-which are the ways of life! If we are willing to walk in a love
relationship with Jesus, our Redeemer and eternal God, then we will
discover the beauty of holiness. Jesus is not calling us to obey a set of
rules, but to have a change of life style. As we obey the Word of God, our
behavior is conformed to that of the Almighty God. As we give ourselves to
make our calling and election sure, the Holy Spirit teaches us an entrance
into the realms of the Kingdom so that we may know and function in those
things that are freely given to us by God (2 Peter 1: 3-11; 1 Corinthians
2:12).

God has supplied everyone who is willing with the opportunity to stand in
His presence and come into all the fullness of His glory. If we will not
take this opportunity for granted, but will hunger and thirst after
righteousness God will fill us up with all the good things of His own
fullness and glory (Matthew 5:6, 6:33). All we have to do is be obedient to
the Word, and we are made ready for a greater encounter with Jesus -Who
will come and reveal Himself to us with an ever increasing measure of His
presence! It is through these encounters that our hearts are enlarged to
receive more of those things of His glory which He has determined to pour
out upon us and reveal through us. All creation is groaning to see the sons
of God; but unless we allow the life of Jesus to be revealed through us,
the chains of darkness and the mind blinding spirits that hold the lost in
captivity will not be broken (Romans 8:19-22; 2 Corinthians 4:3-4; Matthew
5:16; Romans 10:13-15; Philippians 2:13-15).
 
Daily Bread - July 24, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 24 July 2017 06:36
Ephesians 5:1 - Be, then, imitators of God, as loving children.

God's nature is divine in every way. Everything about Him is good, lovely,
and wonderful; and we are graced with the privilege of being taught to be
like Him (Matthew 5:48; James 1:17; John 16:13-15; 1 Timothy 4:8; 2 Timothy
3:12; Hebrews 8:10-11; 2 Peter 1:3, 6-7). We are commanded to imitate God,
walk in the Spirit, and follow Jesus (Ephesians 5:1; Galatians 5:25;
Matthew 10:38). The concept of 'mimetai' (to 'mimic' or 'imitate') goes
beyond the idea of being God's friend or follower -it calls for us to act
exactly like God! If we are going to act like God, we must be trained to
function in His nature and ways.

God made all of this possible: He changed our hearts and spirits to be like
His; and He sent the Holy Spirit to teach us and train us (John 6:45; 1
Thessalonians 4:9; Jeremiah 31:34). We should be eager to learn and mature!
The anointing that we have received reveals the things of God's divine
nature to us, and our response should be a hunger and thirst for more (1
John 2:27; Matthew 5:6). As we listen to the Holy Spirit and respond to
Him, we become increasingly sensitive to His voice and instruction. Along
with sensitivity, comes humility and meekness; and these make us even more
pliable and cooperative (Matthew 11:29; Philippians 2:5-7). God the Holy
Spirit will not do anything outside of love and humility; and if we are
going to connect with Him, then we must learn to only give place to His
divine disposition.

Being self-willed must have no place in our life. Jesus taught us to deny
ourselves and instead do only those things that the Father shows us to do
(John 5:19, 5:30, 8:28, 54, 12:49, 15:5; Mark 8:34). Recognizing 'yourself'
is a challenging thing, but the Holy Spirit instructs us using both the
contrast of our lives to Jesus and the beauty of what He reveals to us
about the nature of God. If we are going to flow in the rivers of His
Spirit, then we must not flow with the things of 'ourself' (our
perspectives, self-will, and self-interest). When it is our delight to do
His will as the servants of the Lord, being self-willed becomes that much
more apparent to us. Living for ourselves and after the strong impulses of
what we think and perceive opposes our growth and blessings in God. We can
cry out all day long for more anointing and more of this or that, but
nothing will change until we are willing to do things God's way. God is
faithfully committed to our spiritual maturity, but we must cooperate. If
we walk in the love and humility of the Holy Spirit, we will be thrilled
with the glory and goodness of God's divine order. We will gladly imitate
God and all of His divine behavior, and follow those who follow Jesus and
flow in the Holy Ghost (1 Corinthians 4:16, 11:1; Philippians 3:17; 1
Thessalonians 1:6; 2 Thessalonians 3:7, 9; Hebrews 13:7, 17; 1 Peter 5:5).
As we walk with God, we will develop an insatiable appetite for more of
Heaven!
 
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