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Daily Bread - November 18, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Saturday, 18 November 2017 07:55
Matthew 6:33 - Make the Kingdom of God and His righteousness your primary
objective, and all these things will be added to you.

To "seek first" (zhteite proton) in this context means "primary objective,"
or to "earnestly desire above everything else." God desires us to align our
wills to be in agreement with His will in everything that we do. We are not
looking for something that was lost, or attempting to obtain something that
has not been supplied to us as a free gift. God is simply calling us to
turn from earthly things to the things that are Heavenly (Colossians
3:1-17). He wants us to recognize that He is the Supplier of all that we
need; and that if we will take care of the most important thing necessary
for our eternal well being, He will take care of all our needs. God is
calling us to make His will and purposes the foremost objective and
motivation in all that we do. If we pursue our Heavenly Father's interests
instead of our own, then we will discover the keys to success in this life
and in the one to come (Matthew 6:19-34; Colossians 3:1-4; 1 Timothy 4:8; 2
Peter 1:3-11).

There are two important issues that come to bear in every task that we set
out to do and interaction that we have. They are: the Kingdom of God and
the Righteousness of God. These are the two "bigger issues" to everything
that we are involved in. When we consider the meaning of the Kingdom of God
(as it is presented by the Lord Jesus) we observe that it is the display of
the power of God, which demonstrates the love of God for all mankind
(Matthew 12:28; Mark 1:15, 9:1-4; Luke 4:43, 9:2,11, 10:9, 11, 11:20,
16:16, 17:20-21). The Righteousness of God (which we are both made and
supplied with through the operation of the Holy Spirit) is the revelation
of the nature and conduct of God expressed through our lives (2 Corinthians
5:21, 6:7; Ephesians 4:24; Romans 3:21-22, 10:3-4; 1 Corinthians 1:30;
Galatians 3:21; Philippians 1:11, 3:9, 4:8-9; 2 Peter 1:3-11). In general,
we may view righteousness as the actions of love. Our every concern should
be both for the revelation and the advancement of the Kingdom of God
through the preaching of the Gospel. We should give ourselves over to the
expression of the Holy Spirit so that the love and purity of God may be
felt by all those around us, and especially those of the household of faith
(John 13:35; Galatians 6:10). If we will make the things of the Spirit our
primary concern, then God will make our needs -and even our wealth- His
results for our lives (Mark 10:29-30, 16:20; Job 36:11; Isaiah 58:6-14;
Deuteronomy 28:1-14).

Men make their success and achievements the number one priority and their
"bigger issue." The Lord tells us that if we are willing to make those
things concerning His will our number one priority, then He will give us
all the things that men sell their souls to have. Men labor to make
themselves rich only to be consumed with the sorrows of it, but God will
make a person rich absent of the sorrow (Proverbs 23:4, 10:22; Deuteronomy
8:18). The wealth that God desires to lavish upon His people is greater
than all that was given to Solomon, and to all of creation combined. The
most important riches are those things belonging to the "true riches"
-which are the spiritual blessings given to us in Christ Jesus (2
Corinthians 8:9; Luke 16:11; Ephesians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 4:7; Colossians
1:27). If we will set our affections on the things of the heavenly realm
(the Kingdom of God and His righteousness) and not on things of this earth,
we will discover all of the glories and wonders of abundant life; and there
will be a witness to Father's goodness revealed through our lives
(Colossians 3:1-3; John 10:10; Matthew 5:6, 6:9-10, 33, 7:20)!

You are so wonderful, O God, my God!
And Your glory, Lord, I desire now to see.

You are so wonderful, oh God, my God!
And Your life, O Lord, I desire to fully live.

I will worship You
I will praise Your Holy Name!
I will delight myself in You, O God, my King!

Earnestly seek God's Kingdom and His Righteousness above all else! (Luke
18:1-8)
 
Daily Bread - November 17, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 17 November 2017 08:02
John 5:19 - Jesus, therefore, replied and said to them, "With absolute
certainty, I tell you: the Son does not have ability to do anything of
Himself; for whatever He sees the Father doing, all these things the Son
may also do likewise.

This confession of Jesus is very close to what Moses said in Numbers 16:28,
"And Moses said, By this you shall know that Yahweh sent me to do all these
works; for I have not done them of mine own mind." Strong's identifies this
word for 'ability' 210 times in the Authorized Version which renders it:
can (could) 100 times, cannot (w/not) 45 times, be able 37 times, may
(might) 18 times, able 3 times, misc 7 times. The same word occurs 327
times in the Septuagint, and first appears in Genesis 13:6. The Hebrew
equivalent is 'yakol', which is primarily translated 'could' or 'able'.

Jesus was totally dependent on the Father and the Holy Spirit for
everything that He did (John 5:30, 8:28, 12:49, 14:10). One of the
outstanding features of the relationship between the Father and Jesus was
announced in the opening statement of the Gospels: "This is My beloved Son"
(Matthew 3:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22). Jesus said that, because of His love
relationship with the Father, He would be shown greater miracles (John
5:20, 10:17-18, 37-38). Jesus helps us to further understand the operation
of the Father in His life when He revealed to us that the Father dwelled in
Him (John 14:10).

The Holy Spirit is teaching us total dependency on Him so that we may
fulfill Father's will for our lives (John 14:12; Mark 3:35; Ephesians 6:6;
1 Thessalonians 4:3, 5:18; Hebrews 10:36; 1 John 2:17). This is not a
forced dependency, but a relationship that is born out of love and honor
for the Father. We know that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are
at work preparing us unto every good work (2 Timothy 2:21; Philippians
2:13). We have received His divine ability that springs up out of a sonship
relationship, because we have been born of God (John 1:12; Romans 8:14;
Galatians 4:6; Philippians 2:15; 1 John 3:1-2). Having been made sons and
heirs, now the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit dwell in us (John
14:23, 17:22; Colossians 1:27; 1 John 3:24; Romans 8:17; Titus 3:7).

Jesus said to all who will hear, "as My Father has sent Me, even so I send
you" (John 20:21-22). Paul's cry to us is to, "Let this same mind be in you
which was also in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 2:5). We must learn to speak
only God's Word by living what we read from the Bible. We must be willing
to lay aside our own will, and delight to do the will of the Father (John
4:34; Hebrews 10:9; Matthew 7:21). This, of course, is not some legal
formula for success in God, but a truth that becomes real to us through the
relationship that we have been granted in Christ Jesus (John 17:13-23; 2
Peter 1:3-11).

A song of the Spirit given this week:

You are so wonderful, O God, my God!
And Your glory, Lord, I desire now to see.

You are so wonderful, oh God, my God!
And Your life, O Lord, I desire to fully live.

I will worship You
I will praise Your Holy Name!
I will delight myself in You, O God, my King!
 
Daily Bread - November 16, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 16 November 2017 11:41
Hebrews 12:28 - Therefore, receiving an unshakeable Kingdom, let us hold on
to the grace through which we can serve God acceptably with reverence and
awe.

The grace of God that has been given to us is a divine empowerment that
enables us to do those things that God has purposed us to do. It is the
grace of God that has brought salvation (Titus 2:11-14). This grace is more
than just divine favor; it is divine ability supplied to us by the Holy
Spirit that has been given to us (2 Peter 1:3-4; John 5:19-20, 14:15-26,
16:7-15; Romans 8; 1 Corinthians 12, 14).

There are some translators who translate the word 'grace' in this passage
as "being grateful." This is certainly not without merit from both a
linguistic and contextual position. Truly, if we are going to look to the
Spirit of God for the ability to serve God acceptably, then we are going to
remain positive and thankful about our relationship with Him; as well as
about His commitment to strengthen us and help us do that which is pleasing
to Him (Philippians 1:6, 2:13; Romans 8:26-28, 12:2; 1 John 3:22). If we
will allow the Holy Spirit His proper place of leadership in our lives,
then He will show us the things to come (John 16:12-15). We will be allowed
to taste of the power of the world to come (Hebrews 6:5). He will reveal
Jesus to us, and we will be struck with the splendor and beauty of His
goodness and love (John 16:12-15, 17:20-26). With such revelation from the
Spirit of God, we will find ourselves in awe of Him!

God's Kingdom will stand forever and ever. Through the Redemption that is
in Christ Jesus, we have been brought into this glorious Kingdom now
(Colossians 1:13; 2 Peter 1:11; Romans 14:17; John 17:14,16; 1 John 4:5-6).
We are presently under the Kingly rule of the King of Kings, and are being
taught by the Holy Spirit the manner, culture, and servitude of this
unshakable and eternal realm (Romans 12:1-2; 2 Peter 1:3-11). Let us give
ourselves to such exceeding great and precious promises, and not neglect so
great a salvation (Hebrews 2:1-4, 12:1-3)!


Song of the Spirit from last night's meeting:

You are so wonderful, O God, my God!
And Your glory, Lord, I desire now to see.

You are so wonderful, oh God, my God!
And Your life, O Lord, I desire to fully live.

I will worship You
I will praise Your Holy Name!
I will delight myself in You, O God, my King!
 
Daily Bread - November 15, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Wednesday, 15 November 2017 10:24
Ephesians 2:5 - Even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive
together with Christ -by grace you are saved.

One of the great wonders and miracles of salvation is how God is able to
forgive sinners. God, Who is holy and pure, Who will not justify the
wicked, and will have nothing to do with sin, commended His love toward us
(Exodus 34:6; Romans 5:8). He was able to move our sins out of the way,
reach into our hearts, and change us. The great miracle of salvation takes
place in our lives simply because we are willing to receive the love of God
and accept the life of union with Christ Jesus. By accepting that Jesus
died for us and that through His death He paid our just penalty for sin, we
are made alive together with Him!

We can only live in Christ -without Him, we are dead while we live (1 John
5:11-12; Romans 5:14; 1 Corinthians 15:22). There is no spiritual life
outside of Jesus. He is the One Who has brought to us the ability to live,
and to know God (John 1:4; Romans 5:17; Colossians 2:13). All of our
interactions with God exist only through the life of Jesus Christ (John
14:6; Hebrews 9:8, 10:19-22; Matthew 11:27; Acts 4:12; Romans 5:2; Hebrews
7:25). The love and grace of God has made this precious, holy, and beloved
life available to even the vilest of sinners. If we accept His life that He
gave us, then we can receive the love and grace of God.

When we embrace His life and the identity He gave to us, we accept that
Jesus was more than our substitute or representative. Rather, we died with
Him that we might also live in Him! Through the miracle of salvation, we
received a brand new life; and all the former things were put to death by
His crucifixion -for we were "crucified with Christ" (Galatians 2:20; Titus
3:5; 2 Corinthians 5:17). We are buried with him by baptism into His death,
and our entire existence is now in Him (Romans 6:4). He is all our
righteousness, He is all our holiness; and in Him, we have acceptance and
are dearly loved by the Father (1 Corinthians 1:30; Ephesians 1:6; John
14:23, 16:27). Now we know that if one died for all, then all died; and
Jesus died for all, so that we would no longer live for ourselves -or unto
ourselves (2 Corinthians 5:14-15; 2 Timothy 2:11).

Through this amazing love and grace of God, we who were dead are alive
together with Jesus. All of our relations with God the Father and the world
around us are affected by this amazing life of Christ that we now possess.
It is no longer by the knowledge and consciousness of the self that we
live, but by the acceptance of a new life and identity in Christ Jesus. He
is in us, and we are in Him; and God demands that we dwell here (John
15:1-6, 17:21-23; Colossians 1:27). In this glorious salvation, we set
aside the self -we deny it, and accept a heavenly call to live by the One
Who died, rose again, and now dwells within us (Mark 8:34). We must lay
aside the identity of the 'self', the 'I', and the 'me'; and instead, see
Jesus! It is in His life, and through His life, that we receive all that
God has freely given. God's grace has produced for us what we could never
supply for ourselves -the life of Christ. All we must do is accept what He
has done for us and surrender ourselves to this glorious relationship. It
is not a vicarious relationship, but the acceptance of a new identity in
which we choose to come and dwell in Him and find all our life and purpose
in Christ.

Identify entirely with Jesus!
 
Daily Bread - November 14, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Tuesday, 14 November 2017 08:49
Ephesians 5:1 - Be, then, imitators of God, as loving children.

Acting like God - Part 2

Our adversary, satan, lays the snares of pride and self-exaltation in our
way; and we must learn to recognize them. The pride of life must be cast
down, for it would pull us away from living like little children following
an admired and trusted leader. Many look down on someone who acts like
another person, but that is naìˆve -everybody acts like those who have
influenced them, beginning with their parents. In fact, it was as little
children that we developed much of our behavior. We learn more as little
children than at any other time in our life. It is also during those early
developmental years that we were more dependent upon leadership. It is a
good thing to be converted and become like a little child who is dependent
on God for everything -for out of the mouths of babes and sucklings, those
that must be totally dependent upon God, that strength has been ordained
(Psalm 8:2; Matthew 18:3; Luke 18:17).

We were converted and became like little children when we were born again.
We became as newborn babes so that we might be taught of God and grow up
into all His ways (Romans 8:15-16; 1 Peter 2:2). There is a great reward in
spiritual maturity, and we must not allow anything to draw us away from the
prize that is set before us (Philippians 3:14). An independent, rebellious,
and stubborn attitude that demands our own way should have no place in our
lives -it must be seen as a thief and a robber. We should rise up with a
holy indignation and violence against it, because it will indeed destroy
everything. There is no way that we can be a co-laborer with Christ Jesus
if we are not His devoted followers. If we will walk in the love and
humility of the Holy Ghost, we will learn to be ferociously loyal to God
and to those who belong to His Kingdom.

We have been anointed and established together with Christ Jesus. We are
called to come into the fullness of His maturity (2 Corinthians 1:21;
Ephesians 4:13). We have been given an unspeakable and amazing opportunity
to be taught by the Holy Ghost and live in all of God's glory. There could
be no greater opportunity afforded men than to have this call. Being
empowered to be imitators of God is greater than riches, fame, and all
other achievements that men so diligently give themselves to obtain. Why is
it that we remain so unbelieving and refuse to forsake everything else to
pursue this heavenly call? Can we truly believe that all God has is ours
and yet remain lukewarm, slothful, and negligent? Would we not stand up
with ferocious loyalty and face all the great challenges that would attempt
to stop us and cast them down like thieves? If we could see that our God is
the one Who lives in humility, would we not want to be just like Him? The
world makes pride and arrogance look strong; but the Most High, God
Almighty, has chosen the way of the lowly (Isaiah 57:15, 66:1-2; 1 Peter
5:5).

We have this amazing opportunity to mature into all the fullness of Jesus,
but somehow we fail to see much advancement in the ranks (Ephesians
4:12-13; John 14:12; Hebrews 5:12). The Lord is dedicated to building us up
and strengthening us so that we can function in all the riches of this
inheritance, but we must be willing to forsake our own way and fully
entrust our lives to Him (Acts 20:32; Ephesians 3:16, 20; Luke 12:32;
Matthew 16:25). We cannot fight our own battles anymore, defend our own
causes, or seek our own interests. We must recognize that it is not
necessarily faith that we need more of, but simple obedience. With a hunger
and thirst for more of the things of the Kingdom, all these things in God
are ours (Matthew 5:6, 6:33)! Don't make the mistake of making your calling
in God anything less than what it is: you are predestined to walk in the
fullness of Jesus (Romans 8:29; Ephesians 4:13)!

Hunger and thirst to imitate God as loving children; He has made it
possible!
 
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