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Daily Bread - May 27, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Saturday, 27 May 2017 09:16
1 John 3:11 - Because this is the message that you have heard from the
beginning, that you should love one another.

The message of God's love was delivered to us in its greatest form when
Jesus suffered and died for us. Yet, God's message to mankind from the very
beginning was one of love (Ephesians 1:4). Gods primary request of mankind
under the law was that they love Him, and that they love one another
(Deuteronomy 6:5, 7:9, 10:12, 11:1, 13, 22, 19:9, 30:6, 16, 20; Joshua 22:5
23:11; Judges 5:31; Psalms 31:23, 97:10, 145:20; Nehemiah 1:5). In every
law that God gave, the motive was to conform the will and actions of
mankind to the ways of love (Romans 13:8, 10; Galatians 5:14; James 2:8).

We must understand that the one who created all things is devoted to love
(Jeremiah 31:3; Zephaniah 3:17; John 3:16; 1 John 4:7-8). Everything that
He does is governed by love -all His motives, desires, and actions. God
wants to teach us to live like this. The law of life is governed by love;
and if we are unwilling to conform, then there is nothing but death,
destruction, and our end will be as it was with Cain who killed his
brother. God's message is unchanging and it cannot be compromised. God is
love; and if we are going to know Him and walk with Him, then we must be
willing to be obedient to His love (Romans 13:8, 10; Matthew 22:37-40).

God not only created and fashioned us to walk in His love, but He has also
supplied us with an unlimited resource of His love by the Holy Spirit
(Romans 5:5; Galatians 5:22). How safe our souls should feel that the God
of the Universe is so disposed to the nature of His unchanging love (1 John
4:7-8; Hebrews 13:8; James 1:17). Our first need is to receive His love,
and then we learn to love Him in return (1 John 4:10, 17-19; John 15:16;
Romans 8:29; Ephesians 2:4; Titus 3:4-5).
 
Daily Bread - May 26, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 26 May 2017 07:58
Hebrews 4:12 - For the Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than
any double edged sword, piercing even unto the distinction of soul and also
spirit, and joint as well as marrow, and is a judge of the thought and
intent of the heart.

The Word of God is more than a collection of thoughts; it is the living
creative agent of God's own thoughts. It is Spirit and Life, and has the
reproductive and creative power of God to produce every good word and work
in our hearts (John 6:63). It is an incorruptible seed that will produce
the fruits of God's nature and blessings in our lives (1 Peter 1:23; Luke
8:15; Mark 4:20). The Word of God expresses the will of God, and should be
allowed to rule our lives. Everything that we believe and do should be
dictated by the Word of God. It should govern our hearts and be the
deciding factor for what we believe. God created a new heart in those who
believe, and has placed His Word there to govern it (Ezekiel 36:26; 1
Timothy 1:5; Hebrews 10:22; 1 Peter 1:22). Knowing that whatever a man
believes in His heart determines how he will act, we should submit to the
living Word of God and allow it to be the inspiration for what we think and
do (Romans 10:10; Hebrews 3:12). If we are not careful, we will allow the
circumstances of life, or the words that someone else spoke over us, to
dictate what we believe about ourselves. However, if we will let the Word
of God rule our hearts, then we will find ourselves living in the blessings
of His abundant life.

The Word of God has the power to overthrow everything that would try to
displace it from our hearts. It is the Sword of the Spirit, and a sure
defense for all who have it. If it is kept in the heart, then it will keep
you from sin and destruction (Ephesians 6:17; Psalm 17:4, 119:11, 114, 130,
162, 132:12; Proverbs 2:11, 22:12). God upholds all things by the Word of
His power, and He will uphold you if you will allow Him (Hebrews 1:3; Psalm
119:116). God has magnified His Word above His name; and will, in the end,
judge every person according to it (Psalm 138:2; John 12:48). Let His Word
judge you now, and produce His knowledge and understanding in your life.
Let His living Word reach into your innermost being and supply your every
need.
 
Daily Bread - May 25, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 25 May 2017 10:43
John 6:63 - It is the Spirit that makes alive. The flesh is of no benefit.
The words which I have spoken unto you are Spirit, and they are life.

The Word of God is more than a story about the dealings of God with men.
The Word of God carries in it the power that created the Universe, and the
power that brings new life to all who will believe. Jesus demonstrated how
powerful His words are; for through His word, miracles took place, blind
eyes were open, deaf ears heard, the dead came to life again, and demon
spirits were cast out. The Word of God that we read in the Bible is Spirit
and Life! When we interact with the Word of God, we begin to interact with
the Spirit of God and the Life of God. Through believing the Word, faith
comes that dispels the darkness of doubt and uncertainty. As we read the
Word of God, it is spiritual food for our souls that produces the strength
of the Lord and the power of His might within us ( Deuteronomy 8:3; Joshua
1:8; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; Ephesians 6:10-17).

Have you ever noticed that when you begin to read the Word of God, you felt
comfort and peace? Suddenly, instead of feeling weak and overcome, you are
quickened, refreshed, renewed, and strengthened? The temptations ceased,
and your surroundings became charged with the Presence of the Lord? We must
recognize that Word of God is living and powerful (Hebrews 4:12; Jeremiah
23:29; Romans 1:16; 1 Peter1:23; James1:28). We need to understand the
spiritual strength and divine resource that God has made available to us
through His written Word. The Word of God is one of the weapons of our
warfare, it is the Sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17). The Word of God is
a shield of protection against temptation and the enemy of our souls (
Psalms 18:30; Proverbs 30:5; Ephesians 6:16). The Word of God will quicken
you with insight and with strength to do what is right (Psalms 19:7-8,
119:25, 107, 105, 130, 154; 2 Peter 1:19).

If we would but recognize the resource that God has supplied us through His
Word, we would find a great delight in it -instead of merely just trying to
find time to include the study of the Word in our daily routines. If we
would come to understand the fellowship that we are allowed to have with
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit when we sit down to read the Word,
then reading His Word would be that which we look forward to every day. If
we would give ourselves to the study of the Word at least once in the day
and once at night, we would enjoy the blessings and the strength that God
has promised (Psalms 1:2, 119:15, 148). If we will stand in awe of God and
tremble at the glory of His Word, we will realize the reward of the Lord,
and find ourselves living in the Spirit and walking as those who have
overcome the world (1 John 2:14; Psalms 119:11; John 8:31). If we will
abide in His Word and allow His Word to abide in us, then we will enter
into a realm of relationship and faith that will result in receiving from
God whatever we ask (John 15:7).
 
Daily Bread - May 24, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Wednesday, 24 May 2017 07:12
Leviticus 1:2-3 - Speak to the sons of Israel, and say to them, if a man
among you would come near to YHWH with an offering, he shall bring his
offering from the animals, from the oxen or from the sheep and goats. If
his offering is a whole burnt offering of the oxen, it shall be a perfect
male, which he shall bring to the door of the tent of meeting; he shall
come near for it is acceptable before YHWH.

The express meaning of the whole burnt offering was the means by which a
man could approach unto God. The whole burnt offering was not an offering
for sin, but an offering used for worship, allowing the worshipper to 'draw
near' (יַקְרִיב) to the Lord. (The full meaning of this word is captured in
Jeremiah 30:21). The activity would be more akin to the New Testament
worship service which includes both praise and the bringing of an offering,
or 'gift', to the Lord (Philippians 4:18; Ephesians 5:18-19). However, just
as we approach unto God by the blood of Jesus in worship, even so the blood
of the whole burnt offering represented the blood of the Redeemer; and
being poured out at the altar made the worshipper acceptable to God
(Hebrews 10:19; Leviticus 1:4). Additionally, the entire dedication of this
offering to be burnt in the fire as a whole burnt offering represented the
consecration of the worshipper to God. This finds its New Testament
likeness in the child of God who presents themselves wholly consecrated -as
a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable to God (Romans 12:1).

Like the offering used by Abel to worship, the whole burnt offering on the
altar in the tabernacle, and the one offered by Elijah, invoked the fire of
God which fell down from heaven and consumed the sacrifice (Leviticus 9:24;
1 Kings 18:24,36-38). Surely, we must associate this with the fire offering
of the New Testament. Once a person is sprinkled with the blood of Christ
Jesus, washed clean from all of their sins, being made holy and acceptable
to God, they are prepared and made ready for the fire of the Holy Ghost to
fall upon them (1 Peter 1:2; Exodus 24:8; Luke 3:16; Acts 1:5, 2:3). Today,
the worshipper should expect the fire of God to fall on them each time they
present themselves to the Lord to worship (Ephesians 5:18-19; Acts 1:5,
2:4).

The whole burnt offering can also be understood as the ascent offering as
denoted by the word from which it is translated עֹלָה 'olah,' derived from
עָלָה, which means to ascend. Through this offering, the one drawing near
could ascend into the presence of the Lord, something dramatically
described as the angel ascended in Manoah's burnt offering (Judges 13:20).
The ascent offering was first mentioned in association with Noah's burnt
offerings (Genesis 8:20). It was also used frequently in Genesis chapter 22
in reference to the offering of Isaac, which is expressly referred to as
worship. It was also used in reference to the daily evening and morning
offering which was to be offered in the same location -at the door of the
tabernacle (Exodus 29:38-42). Finally, it was used with respect to making
intercession for others, as in the case of Job (Job 1:5; 42:8).
 
Daily Bread - May 23, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Tuesday, 23 May 2017 08:02
John 14:16 - And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another
Paraclete, Who will remain with you forever.

The Holy Spirit came to take the place of Jesus with the believer.
'Paraclete' is a title of both Jesus and the Holy Spirit. It occurs four
more times; three times in the Gospel of John, and once in the First
Epistle of John. There has not been a Hebrew or Aramaic equivalent found
for this title. The closest Hebrew suggestion is 'melis' which means
interpreter. Parakletos as a passive form may be understood in the form
para/kalein, (to call along side); thus "called along side to help"
suggests the Old Latin 'advocatus' (advocate) as a translation. Parakletos
in an active sense reflecting parakalein means: to intercede, entreat, or
appeal; thus intercessor, mediator, or spokesman. Also, in an active sense,
parakletos can mean 'to comfort'; thus a comforter or counselor. The noun
may be used to describe exhortation and encouragement as found in
preaching. There is no single word that captures the meaning of Parkletos.
We may simply say that the Holy Spirit is our Teacher, Helper, Advocate,
Interpreter, Intercessor, Mediator, Spokesman, Comforter, Counselor,
Encourager, Exhorter, Leader, Guide, Inspiration, Witness, Testifier,
Strength, Ability, River, Power, Life, and God!
 
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