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daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Tuesday, 10 November 2009 09:27
Luke 24:45 - Then He opened their minds to understand the scripture.

God retains all rights to revelation. Anyone may read the Bible and
comprehend what they have read; but without the Holy Ghost it is only
information. The apostles had spent over three years with Jesus. They
touched Him, lived with Him, and watched the extraordinary miracles; and
yet they still did not get it. Just as the servant of Elisha, they were
unable to see. Elisha's servant thought that he and Elisha were doomed
when they were facing the whole Syrian army alone. However, the
servant's eyes were not opened. He still saw everything on earthly
terms. When Elisha prayed and his servant's eyes were opened, suddenly
his servant realized there were more with them than with the whole
Syrian army (2 Kings 6:17). Men try to comprehend the realm of faith
based upon what they can understand through their earthly perceptions;
and they fail. Faith takes revelation. It takes seeing Jesus as the
answer to your need. Jesus opened the eyes of so many blind men, because
in their darkness they had a revelation that Jesus was the healer. Yet
there were so many who could see - including the apostles - but were
unaware of their spiritual blindness.

Paul prayed for the church at Ephesus that their eyes would be opened.
He prayed that they would receive the Spirit of wisdom and revelation
about Jesus, so that they could understand the inheritance and the power
made available to the church through His resurrection (Ephesians
1:17-20). We also need to realize that until we allow the Spirit of
truth to open our eyes, we are blind to many amazing and wonderful
things that God desires to do in our lives. We are in desperate need of
knowing how to yield to and function in the Holy Ghost. Jesus told the
apostles that it was important for them that He leave so that the Holy
Ghost would come; and then when the Holy Spirit came they would be able
to understand the many wonderful things that Jesus desired to reveal to
them, that they were previously unable to receive (John 16:12-15).

The Holy Spirit has come to cause our eyes to see what normal eyes
cannot see, to hear what normal ears cannot hear, and to understand what
cannot enter into the heart of man without His divine help (1
Corinthians 2:9-10). It is only through this divine revelation that we
will function in all the things that God has prepared for those who love
Him. God wants us to learn to depend upon the Holy Ghost for everything.
In so doing, He will take everything that belongs to the Father and show
it unto us! If you will walk in obedience to the Lord and earnestly seek
His face, then you can be certain that all that God has promised will
become evident in your life. If you will give all diligence to make your
calling and election sure, then He will minister to you an entrance into
the everlasting kingdom of the dear Son (2 Peter 1:10-11). If you desire
above all other things to know the riches of Christ Jesus and the
authority that has been given to His saints, then you can be certain
that He will also open your eyes and cause you to see!
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 09 November 2009 11:59
John 1:32 - And John was able to make him known, pointing out that he
was able to see with his eyes: the Spirit come down upon him as a dove
out of heaven, and remain upon him.

Jesus was lacking a dimension of the Glory and Power of God until this
event. Although Jesus was the only begotten Son of God, who was
perfectly pure and holy, having no nature of sin within Himself; He had
not received the Spirit without measure until He was baptized by John in
the Jordan. As Jesus submitted Himself to the ministry that had gone
before Him, and fulfilled all righteousness, the Heavens were opened and
Father endued Him with power from on high. It is at this moment that God
anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and Power: to preach the
gospel to the meek, bind up the broken in heart, proclaim deliverance to
the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, set at liberty them that
are bruised, and proclaim the acceptable day of the Lord.
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Saturday, 07 November 2009 14:33
2 Kings 4:21 - And she ascended and laid him down upon the bed of the
man of God; and she shut the door and went out.

One of the reasons that the Bible may refer to the Shunamite woman as
great was because of her great faith. The example set forth by this
woman must be followed if one desires to have the same kind of
miraculous results. When the child that was given to her by the word of
the prophet died, her posture and actions exemplified the behavior of
those who have placed all their confidence in God: she simply laid the
child before God and shut the door. She shut the child in with God, and
shut out all death and fear. She immediately took her eyes off the
disaster and placed them upon the one who could provide the answer. She
did not cry out or show any kind of fear or distress about the death of
her beloved son. She immediately set her heart upon the answer to her
need. She resolved herself to the disposition that if the man of God had
the power to bring her son into this world, he also had the power to
raise him up from the dead. Perhaps she had heard the story of how
Elijah had raised the son of the poor widow woman from the dead; and so
she laid him upon the bed of the man of God and shut the door. "And the
woman said to Elijah, 'Now by this I know that you are a man of God, and
the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth'" (1 Kings 17:24).

The woman does not allow for any delay. When her husband asked why she
was going to see the prophet, she makes no mention of the death of the
boy but simply says, "All is well" (2 Kings 4:23). This woman of
substance will not allow for any delays or hesitations which may cause
her thoughts to turn elsewhere. Her urgency was to seek God, and so she
does not wait around for anything - even for the help to saddle her
donkey - but instead does it herself. Her instructions are of the most
urgent kind: she demands that the assistant take no thought of her
needs; rather he was to drive and not slow up. When Gehazi came out to
meet her and asked if all was well, her declaration was: "All is well."
Her confession to her husband and to Gehazi must not be overlooked; for
it was one of faith and confidence. It was also a declaration that left
no opportunity to open the door to fear and grief through a conversation
about death. Somehow this woman realized if she was going to have a
miracle she could give no place to fear, she could not delay and allow
death to creep into her heart. In considering her disposition we are
reminded of the words of Jesus to Jarius, "Be not afraid, only have
faith" (Mark 5:36).

She had reserved all of her emotion and complaint for the one who could
truly do something about it, the one who represented God Himself. With
all haste, she ascended to the place where she could meet with God and
lay hold on the provision that only faith can receive. When she finally
came to the mountain where Elisha was, she jumped off the donkey and ran
to Elisha and grabbed his feet with her arms. When Elisha concluded that
he would send Gehazi with his staff to take care of the situation and
raise the boy from the dead, the woman would hear none of it. She was
not going to put her faith in a staff nor in another; her faith rested
solely in God, and in the one whom the Lord had anointed. Her
consecration rings out for all to hear: "'As the Lord lives and as your
soul lives, I will not let you go!' And he arose and followed her" (2
Kings 4:30). Her faith placed a demand on the anointing, and there was
nothing for the anointed man of God to do but to follow her leadership.
The woman who had made a demand that the man of God allow her to bless
him with food and with a place to stay, expecting nothing in return, had
now placed a demand on the power of God that resided in the life of
Elisha. Her unwavering faith and commitment could not be refused, for
she had asked in faith; and faith cannot be denied (Mark 9:23; Mark 11:23).
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 05 November 2009 23:14
2 Kings 4:8-11 - And one day Elisha passed through Shunem, and there was
a great woman; and she insisted that he come in to eat bread. And so as
often as he passed by, he turned in there to eat bread. And she said to
her husband, "Behold now, I know that this is a holy man of God who
continues to come by. Let us now make for him a small room, and place
for him there a bed and a table and a chair and a light; and then when
he comes unto us he may stay there." And it came to pass on the day that
he came there, that he came into the room and laid down there.

She sowed kindness and reverence to the Lord, and she reaped more that
she could have ever asked or thought: "Be not forgetful to entertain
strangers; for thereby some have entertained messengers of God unawares"
(Hebrews 13:2).

There are many things to say about this wealthy woman. First, she is one
of only woman that the Bible speaks of in regards to her wealth. With
many wealthy people arrogance and pride takes over; and they have no
time for anyone else, especially some stranger passing by who is in need
of food. However, the Shunamite woman was different: she was a woman of
grace, hospitality, and kindness. She was not consumed with her status
and self-interest but was moved by the need of a stranger. She did not
just ask him out of a religious obligation, but insisted with and
overpowering demand (Hebrew 'chazak') that he come and eat bread in her
house. "She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yes she reaches forth
her hands to the needy" (Proverbs 31:20).

The Shunamite woman came to realize that Elisha was truly a holy man of
God. Her perception of Elisha's holiness was an indication of her own
purity and obedience to God. Any sensitivity to the anointing and honor
towards someone who walks in holiness is an indication of a deep hunger
for the things of God. Her reverence towards holiness and her desire to
make room for the man of God in her house further speak of her desire to
be near to God. Elisha recognized her eagerness and deep desire to serve
him, and called her one that "trembled for them with trembling" (Hebrew
'charat' - 2 Kings 4:13). Thus, the kind of service that she rendered
was out of the deepest kind of reverence for the anointing. The
servitude and humility that she had always expressed now found its
opportunity to be poured out upon the Lord, as she served the man of
God. Her servitude was rewarded by the willingness of the prophet to
dwell in the room that she had prepared for Him. "For all those things
has my hand made, all those things have been, says the Lord: but to this
man will I look, even to that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and
trembles at my word" (Isaiah 66:2).

There was not the slightest indication of arrogance in her attitude. She
was not upset that even after all she has done for Elisha, He never
called her by her name, but instead addressed her as the Shunamite
woman. When he called her to his room he did not even speak to her, but
addressed her through his assistant Gehazi. She regarded herself as
nothing more than his maidservant, and in her humility and meekness she
wanted nothing more than the honor to serve. When Elisha asked how He
could reward her, she had no thought for any such retribution. Her
motives were purely out of a desire to be of service to the Lord. It was
reward enough for her that Elisha had been willing to receive those
things which she had been allowed to supply. However, there has never
been a time when a person served the Lord and did not get rewarded
(Hebrews 11:6). The presence of God always results in the blessing of
the Lord - upon those who are blessed to stand before the majesty of His
goodness. Just as Obededom's house was blessed when the Ark entered;
even so must this woman also be blessed, who had served the anointed of
the Lord. "And the ark of the Lord continued in the house of Obededom
the Gittite three months, and the Lord blessed Odededom and all his
household" (2 Samuel 6:11).

The man of God then touched the dearest thing to her heart, and her
deepest desire. She did not ask for such a reward, and surely would have
not considered herself worthy of such a thing. To embrace a son was so
important to her that it was painful for her to even consider; and so
she pleaded with Elisha not to give her any false hopes (2 Kings 4:16).
Perhaps she had not heard of all the great miracles that God had done
through Elisha; or she thought such a miracle beyond what God would do
for her. Yet God in His awesome love and goodness did indeed reward this
woman, who had only sought to be honored with the privilege of being a
servant. Her heart was fixed; and the one who had come and touched her
life so deeply and rewarded her with all her heart's desire would have
her vow of trust for the remainder of her life. Through her heart of
servitude and commitment to trust God, she would become one of the great
women of faith - as she remained absolutely confident in God while
facing the greatest trial of her life: the death of her son.
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 05 November 2009 21:57
Ephesians 2:5 - Even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive
together with Christ: by Grace you are saved.

The work of salvation takes place in our lives simply because we are
willing to accept that Jesus died for us, and through His death He paid
our just penalty for sin. It is necessary then that we fully embrace His
life and identity as well. For He is in fact more than our substitute or
representative; for we died with Him that we might live with Him. The
miracle of the new birth is the result of the former things having been
put to death through our death with Christ Jesus, for we were "crucified
with Christ" (Galatians 2:20). Because we are "buried with him by
baptism into His death," the entirety of our existence now is to be in
Him (Romans 6:4). "For we thus judge: if one died for all, then all are
dead; that we should no longer live for ourselves but for the one who
died for us" (2 Corinthians 5:14-15). As a result we are alive together
with Him, we are raised up together, and made to sit together in the
heavens; this is Grace!

God's Grace produces for us what we could never supply for ourselves.
All we have to do is accept what He has done for us and surrender
ourselves to His work of Grace, that has changed us and perfects us.
Because of God's great love and unspeakable gift we are given co-life,
co-resurrection, and co-enthronement. All we have to do is to trust in Him.
 
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