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Daily Bread - March 15, 2018
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 15 March 2018 11:14
1 Peter 4:12 - Beloved, do not be surprised by the fiery trial which tries
as though a strange event happened to you.

Fiery trials are inevitable, and no one should be concerned that something
is happening out of the ordinary. We know God allows the tests we face, but
He does not allow us to be tested above what we are able to bear (1
Corinthians 10:13). We know God makes a way for us to escape every trial we
have to go through. It would be wrong to submit to a trial, just as it
would be wrong to submit to a temptation to sin. God expects us to rise up
in faith and bring an end to every opposition we face; for it is the shield
of faith that quenches every fiery trial of the wicked one (Ephesians
6:16). The way we escape these fiery trials is to submit to God and resist
the devil (James 4:7). Peter also said we are to resist the devil "firmly
in the faith knowing that the same sufferings are accomplished by your
brethren who are in the world" (1 Peter 5:9). The Psalmist said, "Many are
the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them
all"(Psalms 34:19). James said, "Blessed is the man who endures temptation;
for after that he is tried, he shall receive a crown of life which fades
not away" (James 1:12). Jesus said, "In this world, you shall have
tribulation; but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world" (John
16:33). Because Jesus overcame, we are also able to overcome through His
divine power (1 John 2:6, 4:4, 5:4-5, 18-21).

Stand, and having done all stand! (Ephesians 6:13)
 
Daily Bread - March 14, 2018
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Wednesday, 14 March 2018 11:02
1 Peter 2:9 - But you are an elect family, a royal priesthood, a holy
nation, a people for a possession; that you may announce the excellencies
of the One Who called you from darkness into His marvelous light.

There are some amazing treasures to understand from this verse when we look
closely at the words Peter uses to describe who we are in Jesus and what He
has done. When Peter tells us we are an 'elect family', he is referring to
the family of God that is born of the Spirit described in 1 Peter 1:23. The
Greek phrase is 'genos eklekton', which literally means 'elect family' or
'chosen family', referring to the descendants of a common ancestry. The
idea of the redeemed child of God being made part of the family of God is
highlighted by the fact that Jesus refers to us as His brothers, and
describes how His Father is also our Father (Hebrews 2:12,12,17; Ephesians
3:14-15; John 20:17). Additionally, Paul used the word 'genos' in Acts
17:28-29 describing all of mankind as the offspring of God.

He then describes us as "a royal priesthood and a holy nation." God had
made this promise to Israel as a nation in Exodus 19:5-6. As Peter reports
here, the promise is now fulfilled in those belonging to the Church of the
Lord Jesus Christ. As those who are in Christ Jesus having been born of the
Spirit, we find all our inheritance and identity in Jesus Christ; and He
has made us kings and priests unto God and His Father (Galatians 2:20;
Revelation 1:5-6).

The Greek word 'peripoiesis' is defined as 'saving, acquiring, possession'
in Langenscheidt's Classical Greek Dictionary. Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown
also argue the literal rendering of this word would be 'acquired'. A.T.
Robertson understands this phrase as a possession in a special sense, "over
and above the others." This fact is also emphasized by Paul who says we are
"bought with a price" in 1 Corinthians 6:20, and describes the ransom
payment for the purchase in Ephesians 1:13-14. Again, this passage recalls
the promises God made to Israel in Exodus 19:5-6. In verse five where the
Authorized version says 'peculiar treasure', the Hebrew word used is
'segullah' which means 'treasured possession' referring to a valued,
special property to which the Owner holds special affection and value.

May the eyes of your understanding be increasingly open to the riches of
the glory of His inheritance in the saints! (Ephesians 1:17-18)
 
Daily Bread - March 13, 2018
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Tuesday, 13 March 2018 09:49
Romans 13:14 - But be clothed with the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no
allowance for the flesh to allow for lust (alternate translation: make no
provision to fulfill your own desires).

Make no mistake: the life God granted to us as a free gift is the life of
Christ, which is the life of the Spirit (Ephesians 4:24; 2 Corinthians 3:3;
5:17; 11:3; Colossians 1:28; 1 John 4:4; Philippians 1:21; 2 Peter 1:4;
Galatians 2:20). If we walk in the Spirit (or the life of Christ), then we
are the children of God (Romans 8:14,16; Galatians 5:16). This is more than
our job description -this is our life description! We have a responsibility
to follow Him, and to imitate those things He did (1 Corinthians 11:1;
Ephesians 5:1-2; 1 John 2:6, 3:7; 3 John 11; 1 Timothy 6:11; 1 Peter 4:1-2;
Philippians 2:5-8). We are to understand the ways of the Spirit, and be
obedient to conduct ourselves as He commands (Colossians 3:12; Galatians
5:24; 2 Peter 1:3-11). After all God has done for us -providing as a free
gift this abundant life and more- how could we do anything less than give
ourselves to an absolute consecration to be what He has made us to be in
Christ Jesus? We should make a study of His actions and conduct, and then
devote ourselves to the same behavior. There is nothing that any of us will
ever learn unless we give ourselves to the study of it, and then devote
ourselves to the practice. We must awake out of our sleep and the pursuit
of our own interest; and perfect holiness in the fear of God (2 Corinthians
7:1; Ephesians 5:14-21)!

Paul more perfectly defined an absolute surrender to following Jesus when
He used these words: "Be clothed with the Lord Jesus Christ." God will not
make us follow Him; it is voluntary. Once we decide that the kind of life
that Jesus lived is the life we want to live, all of the resources of the
Spirit are provided for us (2 Corinthians 9:8; Philippians 4:13). The life
of holiness and power awaits all who are willing to turn from their own
ability, deny those things inspired by demon spirits, and go on to follow
the life Jesus modeled for us. Religion only thinks about self-denial; but
the Holy Spirit shows us a life far better than self-interest and worldly
pursuits. It is a life so glorious we would rather have Jesus manifested in
our lives than all other things that could be accomplished or achieved in
this world. If we are going to truly deny the life of self-interest and
human ability, then we are going to have to allow God to touch us with His
Presence and fill us with the refreshing waters of the Spirit. We must
discover the realm of relationship where we are continually strengthened by
the Spirit in our inner being (Ephesians 3:16, 5:18; Jude 1:20-21). Trying
to deny yourself so that you can walk in the life of Jesus is like selling
all that you have for a pearl of great price you have never seen, nor can
find. Once finding the pearl however, you sell all that you have with great
excitement and joy; and so it is with this glorious life of Jesus! (Matthew
13:45-46; Jeremiah 17:5-8)

Today, we can be clothed with all the graces that were in Christ Jesus. We
can walk in the realm of Heavenly places and enjoy the well-springs of life
(Ephesians 1:3, 17-23, 2:6, 3:14-21, 5:1-2; Colossians 3:1-3; John 4:14).
All we have to do is simply say 'no' to the things that belong to the evils
of this world; its envy, strife, and hatred. The realm of self-interest
will quickly lead into the actions of sin. Self-pursuits quickly change
into the activities of the demonic. Just as Eve pursued for herself wisdom
and knowledge, only to be taken prisoner by devils and the power of sin
-even so those who give place to that which is earthly and sensual find no
blessed thing. Give no place to sin, to all that is in the world (1
Corinthians 15:34; 1 John 2:15-17); for its wages you cannot afford
(Genesis 2:17; Romans 6:23). Rather, yield yourselves to the Spirit of the
Lord, who presently lives within those who have been redeemed (Romans
6:1-23). You have an armor to protect you from all worldly things: it is
the Spirit and nature of Christ. Sin has been condemned in the flesh; it
has been proven to have no place (Romans 8:2-4; 1 Peter 4:1-2; 1 Timothy
3:16). That which belongs to sin and its lust has no place in our life, nor
does self-interest; and should not be given any rights or power for our
bodies are the temple of the Lord (Romans 6:12,14; 1 Corinthians 3:17,
6:19; Mark 8:34).

Not my will, Lord, but Your's be done,
Only Your will lasts forever,

Oh, the beauty and the majesty, when only Jesus Christ is seen,
Oh, the glory and the honor, when the Holy Spirit takes control!

Be clothed with the Lord Jesus Christ and perfect holiness in the fear of
God, rejoicing without ceasing! (Romans 13:14; 2 Corinthians 7:1;
Philippians 4:4)
 
Daily Bread - March 12, 2018
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 12 March 2018 11:23
Genesis 41:38 - And Pharaoh said unto his servants, "Can we find such a man
as this in whom the Spirit of God is?"

Those who have authority with God will ultimately have an impact on their
families, communities, nations, and even the world. Although every person
who was anointed by God in the Bible had such an effect, two men stand out
among the others for their impact upon foreign nations: Joseph and Daniel.
Both Joseph and Daniel had the ability to foretell coming events. Yet,
there was something far more significant than that about their lives: they
were both men of purity and holiness. Their characters were marked with the
nature of God. When we evaluate their consecration to God, we are able to
see how it affected the food they ate, the company they kept, and their
impeccable dedication to the moral nature of the God Whom they served. The
testimonies they received from the rulers of the world in which they lived
were that they had the "Spirit of the Holy God" in them (Genesis 41:38;
Daniel 4:8,18, 5:11,14).

If there is anything we are missing today, it is this type of consecration
to God and to His ways. We have been given authority with God and made His
children (John 1:12-13; 1 John 3:1-2). We are His heirs, and have been
given the authority and power to represent the Kingdom of God (Romans 8:17;
Galatians 4:1-7; Luke 10:19, 24:49; Acts 1:5,8). God has given us a place
with Him that whatever we ask He will do (John 15:16; Matthew 7:7-11). That
which has been made available to us far surpasses that which any of the Old
Testament saints had. However, many have failed to equate the anointing and
the authority of God manifested in a person's life to their consecration to
the ways of God.

We are living in a critical time period. Today, the Name of Jesus has
become a byword, a name that people sneer at, a reproach, and a word used
when men curse and speak every vile and wicked thing. The Church -which has
been filled with all of the fullness of God, filled and baptized with the
Spirit- has gone to sleep and is nigh unto death. We are the ones who,
through our disobedience, have brought the Name of the Lord to such
disgrace. The Church, which is to have all the wisdom of God at work in the
midst of it, has forsaken the Spirit of God and has taken up that which is
popular with the world. Rather than to have the display of the Spirit of
God (in the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, discerning of spirits,
miracles, gifts of healings, the gift of faith, prophesy, tongues and
interpretation of tongues), we would fashion ourselves after that which is
earthly, sensual, and devilish; forsaking the glory and power of the Spirit
of the Living God. The sign that the Spirit of God has been poured out on
us -that is, every person prophesying- has no room in our well-organized
and man-controlled meetings, which we have conformed to the world's
standards of what is respectable and acceptable (Acts 2:18,33; 1
Corinthians 12:7-11, 14:15-18,23-26).

If we want authority with God, then we are going to have to learn to rely
upon the Spirit of Holiness. We must be willing to live holy and acceptable
to God (Romans 12:1-2; 1 Peter 1:13-17; 1 John 3:1-3). We must be willing
to be taught by God, and walk in His nature and ways (1 John 2:27-29;
Ephesians 4:20-24; Hebrews 8:10, 10:16; Ezekiel 36:26-27). The Holy Spirit
has come to teach us, to lead us; and we are commanded to live in Him and
by Him (John 14:15-26, 15:1-8; 16:13-15). We are commanded to walk in the
Spirit, which is equal to walking in God and being His children (Galatians
5:16,25; Romans 8:14,16). We are to be clothed with the life of Jesus and
conformed to His image (Romans 8:29, 13:14; Galatians 3:27; 2 Corinthians
13:5).

The time has come for each person to choose whose side they are on, and
what they are going to live and die for. These are the days of great
change, and there must be a people who know their God if the Kingdom of God
is to be represented properly (Daniel 11:32; Matthew 7:13-27)! Will you
allow the Holy Spirit to glorify Jesus in your life? Will you give yourself
to the same cause of the Father, and allow Jesus to be honored and highly
exalted through you?


Not my will, Lord, but Your's be done,
Only Your will lasts forever!

Oh, the beauty and the majesty,
When only Jesus Christ is seen!

Oh, the glory and the honor,
When the Holy Spirit takes control!

Holy Spirit, take control of me,
Come and rule every part for Your glory!
Holy Spirit, take control of me,
In You I delight!
 
Daily Bread - March 10, 2018
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Saturday, 10 March 2018 11:38
1 Peter 1:5-6 - Who are kept in salvation by the power of God through
faith, ready to be revealed in the last time. In Whom you greatly rejoice,
though now if need be it is a little distressing in a great variety of
trials.

Father could have saved us with the strength of his own power absent of
anything that we do. However, Father chose to give us His creative faith
and has demanded we participate with His faith through our own will
(Hebrews 11:6; Isaiah 66:1-2; Jeremiah 17:5-8; Matthew 5:3; Mark 11:22;
Galatians 2:20). All of us hate trials and adversity, but there can be
nothing more important to the spiritual state of our souls than finding the
glorious resting place of trusting God. We may look at some of the things
we go through and be overwhelmed, and somehow think God was not there, or
did not care; but nothing can be further from the truth! What we must learn
to do is to give thanks instead of asking why, or in any way doubting His
love for us (1 Thessalonians 5:18; Philippians 4:4-7; Romans 5:1-5,
8:31-39; Ephesians 3:16-21).

Our Heavenly Father has called us into an abundant life of joy unspeakable,
and we must learn to walk in all of the splendor of that life. The earthly
and sensual things that would turn our hearts away from the relationship
and faith God has so graciously lavished upon us must be done away with. We
may not recognize it, but everything contrary to the nature and will of God
actually steals our joy and robs us of the fullness of all He has freely
given to us. Therefore, in God's lovingkindness and tender mercies, He
allows us to go through things designed to have the result of our faith
being made perfect, for the purpose of our faith being found unto praise,
honor, and glory at His appearing (1 Peter 1:7). We must recognize how any
sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory
to be revealed in us (Romans 8:18; 2 Corinthians 4:17, 7:4; Hebrews
10:35-37).

Our walk with God and our access to Him by the Spirit must be more
important to us than all other earthly things (Matthew 6:24,33; Psalm 27:4,
63:1-3; Philippians 3:7-10). When it is, then we will find a realm of
glorious fellowship resulting in us moving past all of the things that
would turn our affections away from God. It is in this perfect love where
we find the operation of perfect faith. Fear and torment cannot access us;
strife and divisions can no longer dominate us; but instead we find a place
of communion that captivates our soul and causes all of our affections to
be set on things above (Colossians 3:1-4). Let all of our experience result
in an abundant confidence in the faithfulness of God Who has poured His
love into us by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:1-5; Ephesians 1:3, 17-21,
3:16-21).

Build yourself up in God's faith, trust Him, apply yourself to His Kingdom,
be diligent, and give thanks for His perfecting and keeping power! (Jude
20-25)
 
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