daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 29 October 2009 13:40
Matthew 8:10 - When Jesus heard him, he was amazed and said to those who
followed, "Truly I tell you: I have not found so great of faith in Israel."

The definition that Jesus has of faith is recorded in Matthew 8:10. The
definition of faith was characterized by the attitude and confidence
that a Roman Centurion had in Jesus. The centurion recognized who Jesus
was, and laid hold on the power and authority which Jesus possessed. The
centurion was in such awe of Jesus, that he did not feel worthy to even
have Him come to his house. Perhaps one of the advantages that this man
had was his ability to recognize authority. All the centurion needed was
for Jesus to "speak the word only." If Jesus said it - then that would
be good enough. With the word of Jesus, the centurion was able to call
it done; and leave fully satisfied that his servant was totally cured.

The authority of the word, and our willingness to accept it and act on
it, is a theme that runs throughout the scripture. To move in such
faith, we must be struck with the awesomeness and power of God; who has
authority to do anything He chooses. We must hear His word telling us
that he cares for us, and that He will do whatever we ask. Then we must
call it done (Mark 11:24; Acts 10:43; Galatians 3:2; Romans 4:17; Romans
4:20-21; 2 Corinthians 1:20). The centurion was not of the household of
faith, and had no rights to the covenant and promises. He was a man of a
pagan race, who did not know God. Even though Jesus was sent to the lost
sheep of the house of Israel, He could not pass by the faith of this
man. The centurion's faith created an access into the realms of the
Kingdom that was not yet available, and His petition was immediately
granted. Perhaps one of the advantages that this man had over many in
Israel was that he was not confused with all of the doctrinal questions
as to whether or not Jesus was the Messiah. He, being a man exposed to
great commanders and leaders, was able to recognize authority and
greatness when he saw it.

Today, if we will only have faith in God, we will see the great things
that He has promised become a reality in our lives. If we will have
faith that Jesus is exalted above all other rulers and authorities,
everything being subject to Him; then we can be certain that what He has
said, He is also able to do. We can have the same confidence that the
centurion had, and know that because Jesus has spoken the word - that is
all that we need. We do not have to wait until we can see it with our
eyes in order to believe; for His word is evidence enough for those who
are convinced of who Jesus is!
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 29 October 2009 13:17
Mark 9:23 - But Jesus said to him, "If you are able to have faith,
everything can be done by the one who has faith."

There are too many people who think that great faith only belongs to the
spiritually elite; but this is not true. God has made faith available to
anyone who is willing. The father of this demon-possessed boy was no one
of importance. He was an ordinary everyday person; yet Jesus revealed to
him that he could take hold of faith, and that through that faith
everything would become possible!

Faith calls forth the miraculous. It was faith that made the woman with
the issue of blood completely well (Mark 5:34). When Jairus heard the
news of the death of His daughter, it was faith that was demanded of him
by Jesus; if he was going to see his daughter alive again (Mark 5:36).
It was faith that would make everything possible, and provide the
ability for this ordinary unknown man (the demon-possessed boy's father)
to do absolutely anything (Mark 9:23). It was the blind man's faith that
caused him to regain his sight (Mark 10:52). We must understand that if
we are going to realize all of the promises and blessings, then we must
also have the same faith that is produced by Jesus Christ. Jesus never
looked at any faithless person and said, "Oh, that's alright; not
everyone has faith." Rather, when he saw people without faith, He said,
"Oh faithless and perverse generation; how long must I be among you? How
much longer must I put up with you?" (Mark 9:19). He rebuked His
disciples for not having faith (Mark 4:40). He didn't say, "Oh, guys
it's alright, I know it takes time to developed faith;" rather, faith is
that which God expects to find in those who will walk with Him. The
absence of faith stands in the way of God, and limits the miraculous
expression of His love - that would heal and deliver those bound and
oppressed with sickness and disease (Mark 6:5-6).

We can be certain that Christ Jesus demands faith from us today! If a
nameless undistinguished man in Israel can be expected to have faith
that would empower him to do every impossible thing - how much more does
God expect of us, who have been both born of the Spirit and baptized in
the Spirit? If the unbelief expressed in the town of Nazareth limited
the power of Jesus, how much more will an unbelieving church hinder the
works of grace?! Every person must realize that faith only begins where
human ability ends. We cannot say that we are waking in faith if we are
living within the limits of human ability. We must be willing to step
out and believe God for what only God can do. We must be willing to live
like Jesus is in charge of everything; for He is. We must be willing to
see His authority as absolute, and place our confidence in Him; and
allow the Spirit of truth to lead us into the truth of believing that
everything is possible to those who have faith.
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 29 October 2009 13:16
Deuteronomy 32:20 - And He said, "I will hide my face from them, and I
will see what will happen afterward; for they are a perverse generation:
sons who have no faith in them."

Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). Unless we
are willing to walk in truth, and faithfully do those things which God
has declared, then we are not walking in faith. Everything that Israel
had was a miraculous provision from God. He blessed them and made them
great, but they were unwilling to faithfully walk with Him and put their
trust in Him. Therefore, God said that He would turn His face from them.
When God's face is turned and His presence is no longer in our midst,
then all of the divine supply of His Spirit is also gone. There is
nothing left but human ability, faced with the adverse elements and
circumstances of life.

Faith does not exist apart from relationship with God. Faith does not
come from a set of beliefs and preferences; faith comes from God (Romans
10:17; Romans 12:3). What springs up from this love relationship is an
obedience that is pleasing in His sight. When we do those things that
are pleasing in His sight, then whatever we ask - He will do it (1 John
3:22; John 15:16). God is the only one that can give faith, and it does
not work unless we are willing to absolutely trust Him. Of course there
is no real evaluation of our faith and of our confidence towards God
when everything is going our way, but what happens when things get
difficult and even become impossible? Who then will we turn to? In fear
and panic we will turn to man for help; but if we are willing to abide
in His love, we will not take our eyes off of our confidence, our sure
defense, and the provider of all that we have need of: Jesus, the author
and finisher of our faith.

Without God's presence, our end will be ruin and destruction. Who can
afford to do anything but trust God; for He alone has the words of
eternal life. He alone can truly deliver us from the plague of death!
There is no safety outside of God, there is no cure outside of His
healing power; only God can save us. He is the faithful God who will do
all that He has promised! When God tries and examines our faith, it is
not for our destruction; but for our perfection and maturity. God
desires our faith to increase and to be found with no impurity of fear.
God desires to remove every doubt from our life, and bring us into great
boldness and confidence in Him. He desires our faith to be found unto
praise honor and glory at His appearing (1 Peter 1:7). Therefore, no
matter how late the hour, no matter how intense the situation, do not
turn to man. Turn to God - and put your whole life safely in His hands!
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Wednesday, 28 October 2009 13:27
2 Corinthians 1:20 - For every promise of God in Him is a Yes, and in
Him, Amen; to the glory of God by us.

When we look at the fundamental meaning of the Old Testament root word
for faith (from which "amen" arises), we discover many wonderful things
about the absolute certainty and security that God wants to provide for
us. "This very important concept in biblical doctrine gives clear
evidence of the biblical meaning of 'faith' in contradistinction to the
many popular concepts of the term. At the heart of the meaning of the
root is the idea of certainty" (Theological Wordbook of the Old
Testament). When the community of Israel heard the blessings and
promises of God read aloud, they were to respond with an "Amen;" and
through their amen confession, they made the blessing of God operative.
In addition, an Amen to any vow was a solemn oath to do what was pledged.

Faith carries with it the meaning of being established, faithful, sure,
dependable, and believing (Psalm 31:23; 1 Chronicles 17:23; Isaiah 7:9;
Numbers 12:7; 1 Samuel 2:35; Nehemiah 9:8). This certainty and security
rest upon God Himself and His promises (Deuteronomy 7:9; Psalm 89:28; 2
Corinthians 1:20). Has not God called us to greatness, to do all those
things that go beyond all human ability in every dimension of our lives?
Are we to settle for the security of our own strength and abilities? Are
we to be measured like all those who are not willing to follow God into
the realms of His covenant and of His divine purposes, and be classified
as those who have no faith (Deuteronomy 32:20)? Those who keep the faith
- who keep the truth - are those who enter into the realms of God's
mighty provision (Isaiah 26:2; John 17:17; Romans 10:17). Should we do
anything less than believe God on the basis of His word and truth?
Should we live any way other than continually believing God for the
impossible (Matthew 17:20; Mark 11:24)?
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 26 October 2009 10:37
Mark 5:7 - And he screamed with a loud voice saying, "Why do you bother
me Jesus Son of the Most High God? I demand you by God, do not torment me!"

The demon power that possessed this man and tormented him day and night
was so rebellious and defiant, that he screamed at Jesus to leave him
alone! Jesus had commanded this unclean spirit to come out of the man;
but instead the demon cried out, and adjured or demanded Jesus in the
name of God, that he not be tormented by His interference.

Only the authority of Jesus Christ can make the difference in those who
are afflicted and tormented by the devil. Everything that society had
tried failed with this man. The solutions and remedies of men will never
cure the problem; they can only hope to control the mayhem. The chains
could not bind him, and the shackles placed on him by the community of
men could not subdue him. There was no help for him in man. There was
only one hope for this man, as it is for all men; and that hope is that
God would intervene. God's desperate love for this one specific man was
in motion. Little did he know it, but his cries of pain and agony were
heard in heaven; and the Father was sending Jesus to set him free. That
night as the man cried out upon the mountains, and cut himself with
rocks, the Kingdom of God was advancing forward in his direction. Jesus
and His disciples would have to cut through a life-threatening storm;
but the wind and the waves were no match for the authority of Christ
Jesus. Nothing could prevent Jesus from setting this poor man free from
the desperate condition of his soul.

Someone may say that this must have been a very important man, for Jesus
to have gone so far out of his way to help. But the evidence is that
this man was just an ordinary suffering human being for whom Christ
Jesus came to liberate. Jesus was manifested in human flesh for the sole
purpose of destroying the works of the devil. His wrath and anger
against demon spirits that cause sin, sickness, disease, and oppression
would not be turned back. His love for the suffering human being was
motive enough, and the powers of darkness had no choice but to obey.
They could scream and holler and make all the demands that they wanted;
but they would have to obey the word, Christ Jesus.

We must realize today that Jesus sits upon the throne of authority over
all things. His wrath and anger against demon powers has not changed.
His love for humanity and His desire to liberate them, and set them free
from their chains and shackles, still moves Him at this moment. He has
come to dwell in an army of people called the church, so that the same
power and authority that was executed so many years ago will continue to
be executed today. When demons are cast out, and the afflicted and
tormented are being set free, then the will of the Father is being done
(John 5:20,30; John 5:36; John 10:25,32; John 10:37-38; John 14:13,24;
Matthew 12:28; Matthew 18:14; Mark 16:17; Luke 10:19; 1 John 3:8).
However, we must be careful that we do not follow the methods of men,
and attempt to use that which is earthly to deal with all of these
evils. We must allow Jesus, who is head over all things, to have full
control. We must place all of our trust in Him, and realize that He is
the only one who has the cure. Otherwise we will be just like
backslidden Israel, who turned their trust and confidence from God to
Egypt; and made their strength the arm of flesh (Jeremiah 17:5-8; Psalm
146:3; Isaiah 2:22; Isaiah 30:1-3; Isaiah 31:1; 2 Chronicles 32:8).
 
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