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Daily Bread - January 31, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Tuesday, 31 January 2017 07:55
John 4:18 - For you have had five husbands, and the one that you have now
is not your husband; what you have said is true.

Jesus came to seek and to save those who are lost. It does not matter the
degree of sin that a person is involved in, it is all the same to God.
Amazingly, God does not reject sinners, but actually seeks them out.
Reaching the lost is so important to God that Jesus made it more important
than his necessary food (vs. 31-34). Jesus, who stood by the well waiting
for one lost sinner, was both hungry and thirsty. Yet, more important to
him was the deep pain and burden of sin that held humanity in a prison of
darkness.

We should imitate the methods that Jesus used to reach the lost. He did not
come with one single accusation, neither did His methods involve any form
of condemnation. However, Jesus did make the woman confront the sin that
she was in, but only after offering her the living water. In His loving,
but searching manner, he had revealed to the woman "everything that she had
ever done" (vs. 29). The wisdom that was involved in reaching out to this
woman was supernatural. He not only revealed to her what was going on her
life, but He knew that she was the key to reaching the whole city in which
she lived. In reaching out to the most rejected among an outcast people, an
entire village drank of the Water of Life and came to know the Living God.

If we are going to represent Jesus to a lost and dying world, then we need
to use His methods. Jesus depended upon the Holy Spirit for everything that
He did. In this instance, one of the gifts Jesus was functioning in was the
word of knowledge (John 1:42, 47-48; Hebrews 4:13). He has given us the
same Holy Spirit Who has come to supply us with the same divine ability to
get the same supernatural results. All we must do is believe and step out
in faith and watch the mighty power of God begin to work through us. Let us
begin to give the lost and dying world the same priority that God gives to
it. If we will, then the Holy Spirit will work through us to give us the
same results. The only thing that will stop us is the limits of our own
human ability. The only way to leap over this wall of limitation is to step
out in faith and know that Jesus lives within you by the Spirit that He has
given.


Bonus Bread:
Jesus did not reproach the cities with the strong message of judgment until
they had insistently refused to believe. Jesus gave all men the opportunity
to receive the gift no matter how wicked their lives were - not in the
context of judgment but of mercy. (Matthew 11:20; John 4:10-18)
 
Daily Bread - January 30, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 30 January 2017 12:46
1 Peter 5:5 - Likewise, younger obey an elder; and everyone be subject one
to another and be clothed with humility; because God battles against one
who exalts himself above others but gives grace to the lowly.

Humility is one of the chief characteristics of God's nature. Jesus modeled
it for us as the servant of all. Humility is also one of the fruits of the
Spirit, and a manifestation that we are giving God the control over our
lives (Matthew 11:29; Zechariah 9:9; Philippians 2:8; Colossians 3:12).
Humility is the virtue that results in wisdom, and the outpouring of the
grace of God upon us and through us (Proverbs 11:2; 1 Peter 5:6). The way
of God is humility, and if we desire to walk in the honor that our Heavenly
Father wants to give us, then we must first be trained in humility
(Proverbs 15:33, 18:12, 22:4, 29:23). True Holy Ghost inspired humility can
only flow from the love of God, which we must continually abide in if we
are to represent Christ Jesus (Jude 1:20-21; John 13:34-35; 1 John 3:16).

If we are to understand the real meaning of humility, we must view it first
as the opposite of being proud; and secondly, as the nature of Christ.
Pride is a serious offense against God and the Kingdom of God. It was
through pride that Satan rebelled against God (Isaiah 14:11-15; Ezekiel
28:11-19); and it is by pride that all rebellion exists unto this day. God
has vowed to fight against the proud, and is resolved to bring all
rebellion to an end. The pride of life is as evil as the lust of the flesh
and the lust of the eye (1 John 2:15-17).

The pride of life is common among many in the church because of its
subtlety; and because the litmus test of humility against the pride of life
is not enforced - and in many cases not modeled. One of the many things
that characterize the proud is their unwillingness to submit to authority
(1 Timothy 6:3-4). The proud are like the waves of the sea who refuse to be
stopped (Job 40:12; Psalm 12:3; Psalm 86:14; Psalm 101:5; Psalm 119:21;
Psalm 123:4; Proverbs 6:16-17; Proverbs 21:4). Pride is behind every
defensive action. It is the place from which all warring, strife, and envy
flow. The Old Testament scripture that is related to this passage (Proverbs
3:34) contrasts the scorners (or slanderers) to those who are humble (or
lowly). Even as Satan found an accusation against God, the proud still
focus their venom against the anointing and its authority, scorning and
accusing those who represent God - especially when they bring correction.
Paul lists the proud among the apostates of the last days, who are lovers
of themselves more than lovers of God (2 Timothy 3:2-4). Through their
rebellion, the proud create their own downfall: "He scatters the proud in
the imagination of their hearts" (Luke 1:51). Those who are proud will
never humble themselves to be servants, nor will they truly submit
themselves to God or His servants; they only accommodate others for one
reason: to serve their own interest. In the pride of life, men struggle for
success and promotion, and will do almost anything to achieve their goals.
They slander and defame one another in order to discredit their perceived
rivals, always with the intent of making themselves shine brighter than
everyone else.

The Holy Spirit demands that we be clothed with humility if we are going to
walk with Him and represent Him. The particular Greek word used here refers
to a slave's apron, and reminds us of the time that Jesus clothed himself
with a towel to wash the disciples' feet (John 13:12-14). Jesus was God
manifested in the flesh, yet was among us as a servant instead of a prince.
He humbled Himself to lay down His life for us, and we are to be dedicated
to serve one another in the same way. He submitted himself to the death of
the cross for our sake's because of the love of God that dominated His
life. The transformation of nature that we received at the new birth
brought to us a conversion that allows us to humble ourselves as a little
child and walk in this same way (Matthew 18:3-4). The blessing of choosing
the way of humility is that God will come and make His dwelling with us
(Isaiah 66:1-2).

Nothing characterizes humility more than submission and servitude. Some of
the words that are synonyms of humility further characterize the nature
that we should have if we are walking in humility: lowliness, brokenness,
and being poor in spirit. When we are walking in the Spirit, we are far
from independent and self-reliant. Through the insight and revelation of
the Holy Spirit, we have discovered our great need for one another and have
no problem receiving instruction and correction from those who love us.
Defensiveness has no place in humility; and because we are so filled with
confidence and boldness in the Holy Ghost, we are able to hear instruction
without feeling offended. Even our response to those who hate us is one of
grace and not retaliation (1 Peter 2:20-24). Humility that springs forth
from this glorious love of God compels us to be the servants of all.
 
Daily Bread - January 28, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Saturday, 28 January 2017 14:24
John 16:23-24 - And in that day you shall not ask anything of me. With
absolute certainty I tell you, Whatever you may request the Father in my
Name, He will give it to you. Until now you have not requested anything in
my Name; ask, and you will receive, so that your joy may be fulfilled.

A most amazing position has been made available to us in Christ Jesus. We
have been given the opportunity to cooperate with God in such a way that,
whatever we ask ,it will be done. Jesus said that, whatsoever we ask in His
name, He would do it, so that the Father may be glorified (John 14:13). We
were called and chosen by the Father to bring forth this kind of fruit in
our relationship with Him (John 15:16). This kind of relationship with God
is the key to the greater works ministry that is available to anyone who is
willing to be developed in the consecrated life (John 14:12-14; 1 John
3:22, 5:15). If we will keep His commandments an do those things that are
pleasing in His sight, we will participate in the display of the power of
God and demonstration of the Spirit that will shake this world once again.

Where else could this kind of asking be developed except in prayer? Prayer
is not only the opportunity to ask God, but also a realm where a deeper
relationship and faith is developed. There are those who are so impatient
that they just want to run ahead in their ambition and zeal, and do
whatever they can; but much greater things will take place if we are
willing to be lead. Some say that such asking is not true, because it has
not been their experience; but we must say God cannot lie (2 Corinthians
1:20). It is up to us not to weary in well doing, because we will reap if
we faint not (Galatians 6:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:13). If there was no
development time, no testing and preparation time, then there would be no
place to weary or faint (2 Timothy 2:21). If we will press in and believe
what God has said, then we will inherit the promise that He has made! So
come let us start asking in a more persistent and consistent manner, and
watch what great things God will do (Luke 11:8, 18:1)!
 
Daily Bread - January 27, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 27 January 2017 04:45
Ephesians 2:2 - According to that which you once walked in, after the
course of this world according to the ruler, the authority of the
atmosphere, the spirit that now works in the sons of disobedience.

Jesus called Satan the prince or ruler of this world (John 12:31, 16:11).
Paul referred to him as the "god of this world" who blinds the minds of men
(2 Corinthians 4:4). The Greek phrase 'exousia tou aeros' may be translated
as "authority of the air" or "authority of the atmosphere." All those
things that we see manifested in the worldly system are the direct
influence of the Satanic mind and will. Satan is the evil mastermind behind
all of the things that men lust after, and that permeate what is popular
and fashionable. It is satanic influence that creates the vile imaginations
of this age. Every God-denying antichrist spirit that infects and pollutes
the common opinions of men will continue only for a short time (1 Timothy
4:1, Ephesians 6:11). Although Satan's reign of terror and deceptive lies
saturate the atmosphere of the social fabric of the nations, he has no
power over those who have been set free by Christ Jesus the King - those
who are now seated in a heavenly realm of authority over every evil spirit
(Mark 16:17, Luke 10:19). Sin no longer has dominion over us (Romans 5:21,
6:12, 14). All those who have been delivered from the bondage of this evil
age are now under the governorship of the Prince of peace, The King of
kings, and the Lord of lords - with divine power and authority to represent
the kingdom (Matthew 28:18, Acts 1:8, 1 John 2:13-14, 4:4, 5:18).
 
Daily Bread - January 26, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 26 January 2017 09:22
John 3:19 - Now this is the condemnation, the light has come into the
world, but men loved the darkness more than the light, for their deeds were
evil.

The gospel message should be a liberating message of good news; but to
those who love evil, it is a message of condemnation. When men hear that
they can go free from their sins and walk in perfect fellowship with their
heavenly Father, the news should cause them to rejoice; yet those who love
sin respond with distain. When Jesus met the woman at the well, He did not
focus on her sins - He invited her to receive the gift of God (John 4:10).
It was only after her reluctance to accept the gift that He pointed out her
sin. When another woman was caught in the act of adultery, Jesus did not
stand alongside those who had stones of condemnation to throw. He told the
woman that He did not condemn her. Jesus granted her mercy and appointed
her unto life; He told her to go and sin no more (John 8:11).

Those who say that Christianity is condemning simply do not want to go free
and sin no more. The condemnation and judgment against sin already exists.
The light of the gospel simply points out the state of men and the judgment
against sin. Those who love darkness hate the pronouncement of the judgment
of God against all unrighteousness, and to them this is a gospel of
condemnation and the smell of death (2 Corinthians 2:15-16). The light of
the truth reveals that their sin will destroy them; but they refuse to hear
the love that cries out to flee from its deadly wages, and instead regard
the warning as an insult. Christ Jesus came to remove the condemnation, and
the Holy Spirit would make it a gospel of righteousness and abundant life
if they were only willing to be changed (Romans 8:1; 2 Corinthians 3:9).
God sent the light into the world, and those who reject the light decide
their own fate. Why do men love darkness rather than light? Because their
deeds are evil. Their love of unrighteousness and refusal of the love of
God is their seal of condemnation (Acts 4:12; Mark 16:16; John 3:36; John
10:9; 16:7-9). It is not the gospel that condemns; rather it is the
rejection of the gospel by those who love darkness that condemns. Even when
men refuse and reject God, He still cries out in His mercy and love
pleading that they forsake their wickedness.

God has brought the free gift of salvation to anyone who will believe. The
free gift will change the heart, and make a person a new creation. Men want
to judge themselves based upon the merit of their own deeds and how they
compare to the next person, but God has concluded that all men are dead in
their trespasses and sin. God has made a way for the heart to be changed
and for the life to become lit-up with the glory of God. A man's religion
and good deeds cannot change the darkness and hate that is in his heart.
The only power that can change the heart is the Name of Jesus. All that
matters with God is a new creation: a gift that is made available to all (2
Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15). Like Jesus, the messengers of the gospel
must remain absolute in the distinction between light and darkness, and
between good and evil (1 John 1:5-6; 2:4; 3:7-8; 2 Corinthians 6:14;
Ephesians 5:6). Yet at the same time, we remain full of love and compassion
to those who oppose themselves and reject both the gospel and the messenger.



Bonus Bread:
For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the
ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from
the law of sin and death.
(Christ Jesus came)...to finish the transgression, and to make an end of
sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting
righteousness...
...in the LORD have I righteousness and strength:
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be
made the righteousness of God in him.
Who is he that condemns? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen
again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession
for us
And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was
by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offenses unto
justification
Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to
condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon
all men unto justification of life.
Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you
faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.
Because he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by
him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them.

(2 Corinthians 3:9; Romans 8:2; Daniel 9:24; Isaiah 45:24; 2 Corinthians
5:21; Romans 8:34, 5:16,18; Jude 1:24; Hebrews 7:25)
 
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