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Daily Bread - July 5, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Wednesday, 05 July 2017 10:56
Philippians 2:2 - Fulfill my joy by thinking the same, having the same
love, being one in Spirit, being of one mind.

There was nothing more important to Paul than for the church to be
perfectly knitted together in love (Colossians 2:2; Ephesians 4:16). It was
through this love and fellowship in the Spirit that those in the church
would walk in this perfect unity described by Paul in this verse. When we
consider that the Spirit was poured out upon a church that was gathered
together with one purpose and submitted to the one calling, then we may
understand that this is the environment and state of the heart in which the
Holy Spirit is empowered to lead the meeting (Acts 2:1, 1:14, 4:24, 32,
5:12; Romans 15:6; Philippians 1:27).

Furthermore, if the church is going to function as one body, then being
submitted to the same Spirit that gives the body life and movement is
absolutely essential (James 2:26; 1 Corinthians 10:17, 12:13, 20; Ephesians
4:4). If we are going to have such a submission among those who are in the
church, then God's people are going to have to humble themselves and walk
in lowliness of mind instead of being so opinionated. For those who have
trouble humbling themselves and following the instructions of those who are
in charge, as well as being in submission to those they feel less qualified
than themselves, they should consider Jesus. Jesus was equal to God (being
God); and yet, He became a servant and humbled Himself to death on a cross
to purchase the church with His own blood (Philippians 2:5-8; Acts 20:28;
Revelation 1:5). The cry of Paul's heart is for everyone to do likewise, so
that the glorious church can be manifested to a lost and dying world
(Philippians 2:1-18; 1 Corinthians 14:25, 1:10; Ephesians 5:27).
 
Daily Bread - July 4, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Tuesday, 04 July 2017 13:09
1 Corinthians 2:15 - He that is spiritual judges all, but he himself is
judged of none.

In order to begin to understand the meaning of this verse, we must look to
the contrast that Paul gives in the next few verses. One of the more
important contrasts is between being spiritual and being earthly (or carnal
-thinking as mere men) (1 Corinthians 3:1-4). A person who thinks after the
manner and reasoning of men will never be able to think according to the
wisdom and insight that is given by the Holy Spirit.

Secondly, and even more important, is to recognize that the spiritual mind
is the same as the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16; 2 Corinthians
10:4-5). The mind of Christ (that is, the thinking and disposition of
Christ Jesus that is supplied to us by the Holy Spirit) allows us to
understand things that had never before entered into the heart of man
(Philippians 2:1-11; John 16:13-15; 1 Corinthians 2:9-10). These are the
things that are taught to us by the Holy Spirit, and not by man or by our
own developed natural instincts and reasoning (1 Corinthians 2:13). If we
will be taught by the Holy Spirit and receive His instruction and insight,
then we will be able to know everything regarding the judgments of God (1
John 2:20, 27). However, we have to make a transition from dependency upon
human faculties to the guidance and instruction of the Holy Spirit. Faced
with divine revelation, the carnal mind is like a donkey in a physics class.

The ability to be led and governed by the Holy Spirit, so that one may
judge all things and know all things with respect to the will of the
Father, is developed each time we say 'yes' to God and obey His word. When
we refuse to walk after our own understanding, and we cry out to the Holy
Spirit for direction, God enables us to hear and understand the things of
the Spirit with greater wisdom and insight (Psalm 36:9, 119:105). Each time
we refuse the voice of sin and iniquity, the voice of God's divine
judgments sound out that much louder (Hebrews 3:13; Psalm 95:8; Mark 13:22;
Matthew 13:15; Jeremiah 6:10). The Holy Spirit desires to fill us with the
knowledge of God in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, but at some
point we have to refuse to walk after our own knowledge, so that we might
receive His (Colossians 1:9; James 1:5-6).
 
Daily Bread - July 3, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 03 July 2017 11:11
Amos 5:24 - Let judgement flow down as the water, and righteousness as an
ever flowing stream.

We should all find it amazing that we want the sinners to stop sinning
while all the time sin and iniquity runs rampant among our ranks. The
churches are filled with people who sing great songs and listen to sermons
geared towards their success and self-importance. Yet, how often are they
confronted by the stern rebuke of a watchman who demands that they turn
from their sins and follow after God.

We were transformed from sinners to saints by the power of the Holy Spirit
to live in righteousness and true holiness (Ephesians 4:24; 2 Corinthians
5:21). Jesus set forth our primary focus: to place the Kingdom of God and
His righteousness first in all that we desire and do (Matthew 6:33). If the
church does not walk in the Spirit -Who alone produces righteousness and
true holiness- then we are powerless. Our decaying society around us
reveals that the wall against iniquity was daubed with untempered mortar,
and the hinderer of iniquity forsaken (Ezekiel 13:10-15).

God is not interested so much in all the niceties that we present to Him in
our churches. He redeemed us from sin and darkness so that we might walk in
the beauty of His holiness and the majesty of His righteousness (1 Peter
2:9-10; Ephesians 2:1-10, 4:17-24, 5:1-2; Philippians 2:1-10; Romans 6). If
we think that somehow God is going to be pleased with all the things that
we supposedly do for Him while all the time we continue in sin, then we are
wrong. God wants our lives to be filled with His Spirit and with His ways
(Ephesians 5:17-20; Colossians 3:12-17; 2 Peter 1:3-11). He wants us to
stand in the place of Jesus and declare to the world around us the goodness
and beauty of His mercy, love, and glory. All creation is crying out to see
the Kingdom of God revealed in our lives through judgment and righteousness
(1 Corinthians 15:34; Romans 8:19-22; Psalms 33:5, 37:6, 103:6, 106:3;
Proverbs 8:20; Isaiah 5:16, 16:5, 33:5, 56:1, 26:9; Jeremiah 9:24, 33:15;
John 16:8-15)!
 
Daily Bread - July 1, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Saturday, 01 July 2017 10:28
Jude 24 - Now to the One Who is able to keep you from stumbling, and
present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.

God is the Maker of our salvation. It is Jesus Who is the Author and
Finisher of our faith. All we have to do is to be willing; for should we
only be hungry and thirsty, He will fill us. If our hearts leap like the
priest Zachariah at the announcement of the Savior, knowing that now we can
live without fear in holiness and righteousness all the days of our lives,
then we will discover that God will both will and do of His good pleasure
in us (Luke 1:74-75; Philippians 2:13).

We must learn to depend upon Him, and to receive all that He supplies. Once
we have been born of the Spirit, then we can receive all of those things
that are freely supplied to us by the Spirit (Romans 8:32; 1 Corinthians
2:12). When we consider that His grace supplies us with those things that
reach beyond what we are able to think or ask, according to the power that
works within us, we should be able to be confident of His perfecting power
in our lives (Ephesians 3:20-21; 2 Corinthians 9:8; Psalms 18:32; Hebrews
13:20-21; 1 Peter 5:10-11). Jude says that He will keep us from stumbling.
Although there are many translations that use the word 'falling', the
difference between the two words is demonstrated for us in Romans 11:11. He
not only will keep us from falling, but will also keep us from stumbling;
so that we may be faultless (Colossians 1:22; Ephesians 1:4). Peter also
revealed this truth to us, and made it clear that since we have been born
of God and made partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:3-4), if we would
now give ourselves to the eight pillars of divine success that he named in
2 Peter 1:5-9, then we would never stumble!

The one transition that seems hard for many to make is the transition from
human effort and discipline, to relational dependency upon Jesus. We will
never be able in our own ability to walk so perfectly before our God; but
there is One Who will work in us by His power, and will keep us from
stumbling. All we must be willing to do is to learn how to be led. If we
are going to learn how to be led by the Spirit, then we must learn how to
yield to Him (Romans 6:13, 16, 19). Jesus made it very clear that without
Him we can do nothing; but if we dwell in Him, then we can do all things
through the strengthening power of Christ Jesus (John 15:1-5; Philippians
4:13). How do we learn to yield to Him and rely on Him? Through a love
relationship where we, as the redeemed, adore the Redeemer. It is here we
discover the very meaning of our life, and the exceeding greatness of His
power that is at work in us (Ephesians 1:17-20; Colossians 1:29;
Philippians 1:11; 2:13, 4:13; Philemon 6). It is through this relationship
that we receive from Heaven, and learn to yield to the Holy Spirit, Who
teaches us all things; and shows us how to make the transition from human
dependence and self-reliance, to a dependence upon Him.
 
Daily Bread - June 30, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Saturday, 01 July 2017 10:28
2 Peter 1:8 - For these things being in you and abounding, you shall not be
barren or unfruitful in the complete knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Unfortunately, there seems to be little focus today, both in sermons and
individual application, to our responsibility to give ourselves to the
practice of the eight pillars of divine success: Faith, Virtue, Knowledge,
Self Control, Patience, Godliness, Brotherly Kindness, and Divine Love (2
Peter 1:5-7). Each of us need to become familiar with practical
applications in our life to the conduct that God demands. After all we have
been given the nature of God -the divine nature (2 Peter 1:3-4)! And thus,
these are not virtues that we must acquire; rather, they are virtues that
we need only walk in. There is no question that Peter demanded such
application; and furthermore, made it essential in order to ensure our
calling and election in Christ Jesus (2 Peter 1:10). In fact, Peter says
that if we lack these things, we are blind and cannot see, and have
forgotten that we were purged from a sinful nature (2 Peter 1:9).

We have been given the divine nature and the help of the Holy Spirit so
that we may walk in the highest level of expression of these virtues. If we
give ourselves diligently to walking in the ways of God and conducting
ourselves properly in the divine nature, then we are promised that we will
not stumble (2 Peter 1:10; Jude 24; 1 Peter 1:5; 1 John 5:18). The Spirit
of God will uphold us and strengthen us to live in the way that pleases
God. The light of His nature and the beauty of His ways will be seen in the
midst of our lives, and we will not be barren nor unfruitful in the
knowledge of God. There is most certainly a realm of relationship in God
that we enter into as we mature in God. This maturity is a result of our
willingness to be obedient to His will and to His ways (1 John 2:14; 1
Corinthians 3:1; Hebrews 5:14; 2 Peter 1:11; Ephesians 3:18-19, 4:12; John
14:21, 23, 15:16).
 
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