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Daily Bread - January 19, 2018
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 19 January 2018 08:33
Colossians 1:8 - Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.

The love that is given to the New Testament saint far exceeds human love.
The love of God that has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit is
Divine love, or Father's love (Romans 5:5; 1 John 2:15). This love that we
are commanded to have one for another is a love that only functions by the
Holy Spirit; therefore, to have it one must be 'in Spirit'. Being 'in the
Spirit' begins in our life when we are born of the Spirit (John 3:6; Romans
8:9). However, it is an ongoing act of our will to submit to the
inspiration and leading of the Holy Spirit which is prompted by the Word of
God. As we ask the Holy Spirit to love through us in the face of hate and
rejection, refusing the human inspiration of self-defense, we find
ourselves overwhelmed with the inspiration of Divine love pouring out like
a river.

The Greek phrase used here, 'en pneumati', literally means 'in Spirit'; and
is found 36 times in the New Testament. The many contexts in which it is
used helps to underscore the dependency that we must have on the Holy
Spirit if His fruits, or characteristics, are going to be revealed in our
lives. Jesus said, "If I cast out devils 'en pneumati', then the kingdom of
God is come" (Matthew 12:28). When David prophesied and foretold of the
coming Messiah, he did so, 'in Spirit'; "how then did David 'en pneumati'
call him Lord?" (Matthew 22:43). These are two Scriptures out of many
examples which should serve to underscore that 'in pneumati' refers to
something that is produced by the Spirit of God, and not by any quality or
attribute of an individual. Whether it is love, peace, joy, faith, power to
cast out devils, miracles, healings, or prophecy, all these can only
function in our life as we give ourselves over to the working of the Holy
Spirit in us and through us.

A Song of of the Spirit:

Holy Spirit, take control of me,
Come and rule every part for Your glory!
Holy Spirit, take control of me,
In You I delight!

Yield to Him in complete and total dependence today!
 
Daily Bread - January 18, 2018
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 18 January 2018 12:34
Colossians 1:11 - Strengthened with all power, according to His glorious
might, unto all enduring patience and forbearance.

There are three attitudes that are named in this verse of scripture:
patience, longsuffering, and (by inference) joy. These three attitudes are
obviously very important to God and to our spiritual success. Therefore,
God has given us His power (joy!), so that we may be strengthened with His
glorious might in order to maintain this disposition (Nehemiah 8:10). The
importance of these characteristics demands a closer look at the actual and
practical meaning of these words.

The Greek word that is used for patience (hupomone) means 'patience,
endurance, fortitude, steadfastness, perseverance and expectation'. One of
many things that are being described is a relentless commitment to a course
of action no matter what difficulties are presented. When we know that God
has already planned our success, and that the test is essential to being
trained to handle that success, then we can look up and see beyond the
difficulties that we encounter. God is so devoted to us that He provides us
with His own supernatural strength to bear up under these pressures. We are
talking about something on the level of a defiant perseverance that holds
up under every sort of delayed results of aggressive misfortune. This same
word is used in the Septuagint about 25 times to which Psalms 62:5 captures
the true essence of this word. The Psalmist commands his soul as to how it
will behave" My soul, you wait upon God; for my expectation (hupomone) is
from Him".

The characteristic expressed in the next Greek word -which we usually
translate longsuffering (makrothumia)- is somewhat similar. This Greek word
is considered a synonym to the Greek word for 'patience'. However, there
are some unique qualities to this word demanding our attention. This word
not only includes 'patience, steadfastness, and endurance'; but also
'forbearance and tolerance, or self control, in the face of provocation'.
Forbearance is the ability to maintain an emotional quietness in the face
of opposing circumstances. Many times it is because of our outburst of
self-defense and emotional hurt that we create problems for ourselves and
the ones that we love. Our Heavenly Father has modeled forbearance for us
in the way that He deals with the wickedness of man in the face of His
unfailing love. God does not pour out His just wrath upon the
transgressors, but instead forgives and saves. In Isaiah 57:15, this Greek
word is used in the Septuagint in such a way as to help us understand both
the nature of forbearance and what God will do for those who walk in it:
"For this is what the High and the Lofty One says that inhabits Eternity,
Whose Name is Holy, I dwell in the high and holy place with him also of a
contrite and humble spirit; to revive the spirit of the humble
(makrothumia) and to revive the heart of the contrite ones."

Give all diligence to make your calling and election sure! (2 Peter 1:2-11;
Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 5:9)
 
Daily Bread - January 17, 2018
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Wednesday, 17 January 2018 13:07
Colossians 1:10 - That you walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being
fruitful in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God.

One of the recurring themes in the Bible is God's demand for increase in
our lives. The growth and increase that God demands for our lives is that
which is produced by a relationship with Him. Jesus, Who said that we were
called and chosen to bring forth fruit, also said that unless we abide in
Him, we cannot bring forth fruit (John 15:16,4). The seed of the Word of
God is sown into our lives for the purpose of bringing forth an abundance
of fruit: for some, 30 fold; others, 60 fold; and even 100 fold (Mark
4:8,20)!

The increase and growth opportunity provided for us by God is the ability
and privilege of coming into the fullness of the measure of the maturity of
the ministry of Jesus (Ephesians 4:13, 3:19). The only reason that God's
people would fail to experience increase would be their unwillingness (or
neglect) to walk out a relationship with the Lord Jesus. God has provided
all that we have need of to grow. He has supplied us with His grace, which
is His divine power given to us to do and to be all that He has purposed
for our lives (2 Peter 1:2-11, 3:18; 1 Corinthians 15:10; 2 Corinthians
9:8). To neglect such and opportunity and pricy provision carries a sever
penalty (Hebrews 2:3; Luke 13:6-9; Matthew 21:43, 25:28; Revelation 3:16).

We are to be passionate and intense about our eternal purposes in God. We
are to give all diligence to make our calling and election sure (2 Peter
1:10-11). If we recognize that God is One Who rewards those who diligently
seek Him, then we should be willing to give all in order to realize all
that He has purchased and planned for our lives (Hebrews 11:6). If we place
Jesus in the proper seat of authority in our lives, then we will increase
as the manifest presence and glory of God increases in our lives
(Colossians 2:19). Through the soul prosperity that comes through obedience
to the Word of God, then every other area of our lives also prospers so
that we may experience increase in every dimension of life (3 John 2;
Matthew 6:33).

There are several things that we must be willing to do if we are going to
have the increase that God has purposed for our lives: We must be willing
to dwell in the Life that has been provided for us in Christ Jesus (John
15:1-16). We must desire the sincere milk of the Word so that we can grow
(1 Peter 2:2). There must be a submission to the Holy Spirit Who will bring
the increase in our lives as we cooperate with the Body of Christ in the
local Church (Ephesians 2:21-22, 4:15-16; 1 Thessalonians 3:12, 4:10; 2
Thessalonians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 9:10). We must be willing to see that our
lives have come to an end, and now the whole meaning of our lives is to
reveal the Life of Christ Jesus (Colossians 3:1-3; Romans 6:4, 12:1-2; 2
Corinthians 5:14-15; John 12:24; Galatians 2:20).
Abound unto every good work in Christ Jesus! (2 Corinthians 9:8)
 
Daily Bread - January 16, 2018
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Tuesday, 16 January 2018 07:48
Colossians 1:12 - Giving thanks to the Father Who has made us fit to be
partakers of the inheritance of the saints in Light.

It is so wonderful to realize how perfectly we have been redeemed, and so
comforting to know that God calls us the holy ones in Light. We should
never tire or draw back from the comforting words of the Scriptures that
identify us as those who are joined to the Lord Jesus and are in His realm
of glory and grace (Colossians 1:13). It is vital we know who we are and
whose camp we are in if we are to live the lives of an overcomer. It is our
faith that overcomes the world (the power of darkness), and this faith
comes by the Word of God (1 John 5:4; Romans 10:17).

As those who have been made the saints in Light (because of the gift of
salvation and the life that is in Christ Jesus), we must take up our
blessed gift and responsibility and walk in the Light as He is in the Light
(1 John 1:7). We are those who, by nature of being the children of Light,
dispel the darkness and bring the revelation of God wherever we go
(Ephesians 5:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:5). We are like a city that cannot be hid
and a candlestick placed high to give men the revelation of God and His
Kingdom (Matthew 5:14-16; Luke 1:79; Acts 26:18; John 12:36).

As we follow Jesus, we walk in the glory and splendor of His Life and
presence; and the darkness of this world can no longer hide the will and
purpose of God for our lives (John 8:12; 2 Corinthians 4:4). When the
darkness of this world would attempt to impose itself upon us, we are able
cast if off by being endued with the armor of Light (Romans 13:12). The
armor of Light is the same as the new man and the new creation (Colossians
3:9-11; 2 Corinthians 5:17-18,21). If the armor of Light is going to be
effective, then we must be infused with the power of the Holy Spirit Who is
here to strengthen and empower us with the strength of the Lord and the
power of His might (Ephesians 6:10). Come, let us abide in the Light where
there is no occasion of stumbling (1 John 2:10; 2 Peter 1: 9-11).
Walk as the children of Light! (Ephesians 5:8)
 
Daily Bread - January 15, 2018
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 15 January 2018 12:38
Colossians 1:13 - Who has delivered us from the authority of darkness and
translated us to the Kingdom of His Beloved Son.

The whole notion and concept of Redemption is revealed to us in the
deliverance of Israel from Egypt (Exodus 1-15). As certain as Israel was
delivered from the rule and authority of Pharaoh, we have been delivered
from the rule and authority of Satan. Concerning the absolute defeat of
Satan and his power over us, Jesus said, "Now is the judgment of this
world, now shall the prince of this world be cast out" (John 12:31). Paul
spoke with such finality in 2 Timothy 1:10 when he said that Jesus had
"abolished death, and has brought life and immortality to light through the
Gospel." The death of Jesus on the cross was the means by which Satan's
power was destroyed: "through death He (Jesus) destroyed him that had the
power of death that is the devil" (Hebrews 2:14).

Paul reveals to us how we have been removed from the realm of Satan's
dominion into the realm of the dominion of Jesus Christ. Knowing we are
seated together in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus helps us to understand
the spiritual dimension to which Paul is referring (Ephesians 1:3, 2:5-6).
When we were born of the Spirit, we entered into the realm of the Kingdom
of God -a realm of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans
14:17). This is the realm where Jesus Christ reigns supremely, and where we
are governed by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:14).

The Greek word used here is 'methtestesen,' and may be translated,
"removed, transposed, change, or 'to go over to another party'." It is
found 5 times in the New Testament, and is primarily translated 'removed'
or 'put away.' It occurs 35 times in the Old Testament and is used to
translate many different Hebrew words. However, the general meaning of the
word is that of being changed from one state to another.

Shout for joy! We have now come unto Mount Zion, and the City of the Living
God, the Heavenly Jerusalem! (Hebrews 12:22-24)
 
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