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daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 28 September 2009 13:16
Luke 8:25 - And He said to them, "Where is your faith?" And being
afraid, they said to one another, "Who is this that commands even the
wind and the waves, and they obey Him?"

One of the primary things that Jesus taught His disciples was how to
function in faith. He was continually rebuking them for a lack of it, as
well as making examples of those who displayed it. Unlike many scholars
and theologians, who over the years have attempted to define faith in
numerous ways, Jesus defined faith in a way that was always associated
with a supernatural display of power. If we look only at the gospel of
Matthew, we can easily see that Jesus expected the disciples, and all
those who would hear, to move in faith for the miraculous.

The first time Jesus mentions faith is in association with the
expectation that we should have for divine provision (Matthew 6:30).
Then when Jesus encounters the centurion, He highlights an example of
great faith, pointing to the fact that the centurion only needed Jesus
to "speak the word" (Matthew 8:10,13). When a paralyzed man was brought
for healing, Jesus once again pointed to the faith that would result in
the miracle of healing (Matthew 9:2). The woman with the issue of blood,
who knew that all she needed to do was to touch Jesus in order to
receive a miracle, was rewarded with the words, "Your faith has made you
well" (Matthew 9:22). Peter was eager to walk on the water with Jesus;
and knowing that all he needed was a word from the Master, stepped out
in the miracle provision of faith, and walked on the water until he
became afraid; and learned yet another lesson on faith as he began to
sink. Jesus said, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?" (Mathew
14:31). They watched as Jesus was at first reluctant to respond to the
Syrophonecian woman, but in the end said, "Woman, great is your faith!
Let it be done to you as you wish" (Matthew 15:28).

All of these many lessons on moving in faith find their climactic
resolve in the words of Jesus, when He declared: "Nothing shall be
impossible for you" (Matthew 17:20). Whether it is a command for a fig
tree to dry up, or for a mountain to be cast into the sea - those who
have faith will say what they will, and it will come to pass (Matthew
21:21-22). God has called and elected us to have such a relationship
with Him: that whatever we ask, He will do (Matthew 21:22; John 15:16;
John 14:12). We can be confident that those things that God has promised
will surely come to pass, if we remain faithful, and hold fast to our
confession of faith; for God is faithful who promised, who will also do
it (1 John 5:14-15; Hebrews 10:23; 2 Corinthians 1:20). If we ask
anything according to His will, He will do it! His will is expressed in
His words - which can never pass away (Mark 13:31; Matthew 24:35; Luke
21:33).

His word declares that it is His will that the blind see, the death
hear, the crippled walk, the devils go out of those who are afflicted by
them, and the dead be raised to life again! It is God's will that we
prosper and be in health, even as our soul prospers. It His will that we
walk in righteousness, holiness, and purity! It is His will that we have
the power of proof for the message that we proclaim: that Christ Jesus
has risen form the dead. It is His demand that we be His followers, and
imitators of His deeds and conduct (Ephesians 5:1; Luke 10:19; John
14:12; Mark 16:17-20). To do so then, we must give ourselves to the same
message of the Kingdom of God that He preached, and the miracles which
He performed. If we will give ourselves to living by His word: speaking
and doing those things which He has declared, then we will have His
results. If we refuse to waver or to be moved by doubt, and instead
recognize who Jesus is, and the gift of God that He has given us; then
we will surely see all the miraculous realms of faith produce what
otherwise would have been impossible. Jesus says to us today: "Only have
faith!" (Mark 5:36).
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 28 September 2009 12:46
Luke 8:25 - And He said to them, "Where is your faith?" And being
afraid, they said to one another, "Who is this that commands even the
wind and the waves, and they obey Him?"

One of the primary things that Jesus taught His disciples was how to
function in faith. He was continually rebuking them for a lack of it, as
well as making examples of those who displayed it. Unlike many scholars
and theologians, who over the years have attempted to define faith in
numerous ways, Jesus defined faith in a way that was always associated
with a supernatural display of power. If we look only at the gospel of
Matthew, we can easily see that Jesus expected the disciples, and all
those who would hear, to move in faith for the miraculous.

The first time Jesus mentions faith is in association with the
expectation that we should have for divine provision (Matthew 6:30).
Then when Jesus encounters the centurion, He highlights an example of
great faith, pointing to the fact that the centurion only needed Jesus
to "speak the word" (Matthew 8:10,13). When a paralyzed man was brought
for healing, Jesus once again pointed to the faith that would result in
the miracle of healing (Matthew 9:2). The woman with the issue of blood,
who knew that all she needed to do was to touch Jesus in order to
receive a miracle, was rewarded with the words, "Your faith has made you
well" (Matthew 9:22). Peter was eager to walk on the water with Jesus;
and knowing that all he needed was a word from the Master, stepped out
in the miracle provision of faith, and walked on the water until he
became afraid; and learned yet another lesson on faith as he began to
sink. Jesus said, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?" (Mathew
14:31). They watched as Jesus was at first reluctant to respond to the
Syrophonecian woman, but in the end said, "Woman, great is your faith!
Let it be done to you as you wish" (Matthew 15:28).

All of these many lessons on moving in faith find their climactic
resolve in the words of Jesus, when He declared: "Nothing shall be
impossible for you" (Matthew 17:20). Whether it is a command for a fig
tree to dry up, or for a mountain to be cast into the sea - those who
have faith will say what they will, and it will come to pass (Matthew
21:21-22). God has called and elected us to have such a relationship
with Him: that whatever we ask, He will do (Matthew 21:22; John 15:16;
John 14:12). We can be confident that those things that God has promised
will surely come to pass, if we remain faithful, and hold fast to our
confession of faith; for God is faithful who promised, who will also do
it (1 John 5:14-15; Hebrews 10:23; 2 Corinthians 1:20). If we ask
anything according to His will, He will do it! His will is expressed in
His words - which can never pass away (Mark 13:31; Matthew 24:35; Luke
21:33).

His word declares that it is His will that the blind see, the death
hear, the crippled walk, the devils go out of those who are afflicted by
them, and the dead be raised to life again! It is God's will that we
prosper and be in health, even as our soul prospers. It His will that we
walk in righteousness, holiness, and purity! It is His will that we have
the power of proof for the message that we proclaim: that Christ Jesus
has risen form the dead. It is His demand that we be His followers, and
imitators of His deeds and conduct (Ephesians 5:1; Luke 10:19; John
14:12; Mark 16:17-20). To do so then, we must give ourselves to the same
message of the Kingdom of God that He preached, and the miracles which
He performed. If we will give ourselves to living by His word: speaking
and doing those things which He has declared; if we refuse to waver or
to be moved by doubt, and instead recognize who Jesus is, and the gift
of God that He has given us; then we will surely see all the miraculous
realms of faith produce what otherwise would have been impossible. Jesus
says to us today: "Only have faith!" (Mark 5:36).
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Saturday, 26 September 2009 12:51
Colossians 3:16 - Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all
wisdom; teaching and admonishing yourselves 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 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 as 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
those things that are 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 knowing it by heart (John 14:26; John 16:13; John 17:17).

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;
1 Corinthians 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 expressed these as 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, which has been given to us (John 15:26; John
16:13; Joel 2:28; Acts 2:4; Acts 2:17-18; Acts 10:45-56; Acts 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 5:19).

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 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 ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a
doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let
all things be done unto edifying" (1 Corinthians 14:26).

Realizing 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). The word of God has been written in our hearts and minds by the
Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:3; Hebrews 8:10; Hebrews 10:16). The word
of God is at work with power in those who believe (1 Thessalonians 2:13;
Acts 20:32). 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, 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). 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). When
Christ speaks through us by His Spirit, it will be the Word written in
our Bibles. God's people must refuse to live by their own words, and
speak their own words - which are influenced by all sorts of things. We
must be willing to make the transition in our lives, and speak by the
word of God, from the Spirit of God; rather than out of the realms of
our own understanding.
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 25 September 2009 11:08
John 8:31 - Then Jesus said to the Jews who believed in Him, "If you
remain in my Word, then you are truly my disciples."

Jesus has called us to live by His word, and to make His word the place
where we live now and forever (John 15:7; Colossians 3:16; Matthew 4:4;
Matthew 12:37; Matthew 24:35; Luke 11:28; 1 Peter 1:25). To live there
we must know the word, speak the word, and do the word (John 3:34; John
14:23; John 8:32; John 17:17; James 1:22-23; Acts 20:32; Romans 10:8; 2
Corinthians 5:19; 2 Corinthians 6:7; Ephesians 5:26; Philippians 2:16; 2
Thessalonians 2:17; Titus 1:9; 2 Timothy 1:13; 1 Timothy 4:5; 1 Timothy
6:3). The very life of Jesus was the personification of the Word (John
1:1-3). His conduct, manner of life, and deeds are the standard for what
a life fully given to the expression of the word of God looks like. The
Greek word translated "remain/continue/abide" (menein) is often used by
John to describe how we are to carry on a proper relationship with God.
We are to remain in Him and in His word (John 14:17; John 15:4-7; John
15:9-10). If we will continue to dwell in His word - which means to live
by His word - then we are those who follow Him, and who do the will of
the Father.

Continuing in the word does not merely speak of knowing the word, but
more specifically of doing it. Paul testified that those who were born
of God were living epistles: the very expression of the word that all
men could read (2 Corinthians 3:3). Peter said that we were begotten of
the Word (1 Peter 1:23). Through the new birth we become the offspring
of the Word, or a child of the Word of God (James 1:18; Hebrews 8:10;
Hebrews 10:16). The creative power of the Word of God created a new
creation in us. We have been empowered to both know and to do those
things which God has spoken; but how can we do that which we do not
know, nor are mindful of?

We must submit ourselves to the simplicity of God's word, and be willing
to obey those things that He has commanded (Matthew 11:25; Luke 10:21).
If we love Jesus, we will love His word; and we will do it (John
14:23-24; 1 John 2:5). If we are going to be doers of the word, then His
word must be a part of how we think and reason. The way in which we
think and reason is the way in which we speak and conduct our lives. To
make the word of God the abiding place of both our hearts and
intellects, we must give ourselves to knowing the word. The practice of
having only a casual encounter with the word must come to an end. The
people of God are going to have to grow up and stop living as babies,
who expect to be spoon-fed the word of God on a weekly basis. We must
cease to be slothful, and become diligent with the word of God. The idea
that we can put more time and enthusiasm into things that make us
successful in the world - while we neglect the spiritual - is a terrible
deception! The command to: "Study to show yourself approved a workmen
that does not need to be ashamed" is not just for preachers and teachers
of the word; it is for every person who would be a disciple of Jesus (2
Timothy 2:15; 2 Peter 3:14; 1 Timothy 4:6; Hebrews 2:3).
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 24 September 2009 10:57
Colossians 1:9 - Because of this also, from the day we heard, ceased not
to pray for you; also asking that you might be filled with the knowledge
of His will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.

The knowledge of God comes to us by the Word of God and by the Spirit of
God. We have been given the ability to know and understand those things
described in the Word of God because we have been born of the Spirit (1
Corinthians 2:10-12). However, it is important that we all recognize
that the basis for the knowledge of God and spiritual understanding is
knowing the Word of God. How are we to know anything about the will of
God for our lives without the Word of God? The Word of God is the source
from which all faith springs! We would not even realize that God wants
to save our soul, unless we heard the word of God (Romans 10:8-17). How
would we ever understand how we are to walk with God and be pleasing
unto Him, without the Word of God to describe it?

If you desire to go deeper in the anointing and in your relationship
with God, then you must understand the central role which the Word of
God plays in this process (1 Peter 1:23,25; James 1:18; 1 Peter 2:2;
James 1:21; John 6:63; 1 John 3:9; Hebrews 4:12). Unfortunately too many
of God's people sit down to read the Bible as a history book, for
entertainment, or out of a religious duty; and miss the glory of the
fellowship with God, that otherwise would be present. The word of God is
faith-building. It is spirit and life! It is living and powerful, and
has the ability to create and strengthen those who would sit in
communion with the Holy Spirit as they read. If we will receive the Word
of God into an honest and sincere heart, it will spring up and produce
the fruits of the nature and power of Christ Jesus; some 30, 60, and 100
times beyond all expectation.

Through the knowledge of the Word, we receive a supernatural supply of
the Spirit; in spiritual wisdom and understanding (Ephesians 1:17; 2
Peter 1:3; 2 Peter 1:8-11). The knowledge of God affords us the ability
to more perfectly know what God desires us to do, and supplies us with
the insight and revelation to know that we have the resources of God to
do the impossible. By fully knowing the greatness of His power and
authority that has been entrusted to us, we are strengthened by His
glorious power to do the exploits of the Kingdom (Ephesians 1:17-23;
Daniel 11:32). It is the Word of God that will enlighten you. It is the
Word of God that will quicken you! It is the Word of God that will build
you up to walk in your spiritual inheritance in Christ Jesus (Acts
20:32; Ephesians 1:18). It is the truth of the Word of God that the Holy
Spirit has come to lead us and guide us into.

Peter said that as newborn babes, we should long for the spiritual
nourishment provided for us by the spiritual food that has been supplied
in the Word of God. The passage in 1 Peter 2:2 literally says: "the pure
logicon of the milk." Although the Greek word 'logicon' is related to
'logos' (the Greek for "word"), it has a different meaning. This
particular word is found only twice on the New Testament: in 1 Peter 2:2
and in Romans 12:1. In Romans 12:1, the meaning is more accurately
captured; where it is translated "reasonable." The word refers to how we
think, and how we speak. We think and speak based upon the logic by
which we reason and come to understand the world and how we are to
function within it. The divine logic of the word will cause us to think
and speak the word of faith (2 Corinthians 4:13; Romans 10:10; Hebrews
10:23; Philemon 1:6). The divine logic will cause us to believe that we
can do all things though Christ who strengthens us. We will have a
revelation that nothing will be impossible for those who live by the
Word. If we long for the spiritual nourishment supplied to us by the
Word of God, then we will be filled with the divine ability to function
in the faith of God; and we will have the proofs to back up our claims
that Jesus arose from the dead - and is alive today!
 
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