Daily Bread - April 14, 2020 (The Third Day - Genesis 1:9-13)
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Tuesday, 14 April 2020 07:45
Colossians 3:1-3 - If you then be risen together with Christ, seek those
things that are above, where Christ is seated on the right hand of God. Set
your affection on things that are above, not on things of this earth. For
you died, and your life is hid together with Christ in God.

Part 2 ~ The Realm of Heaven Where Our Affections Should Be Set

When we use the statement born from above, we are actually referring to
being born from Heaven (John 3:3,6). We were raised up from the spiritual
death and separation from God by the Spirit to take our place with God in
Heaven (Ephesians 2:6, 1:3; John 17:21-22). When we were born of the
Spirit, we were translated from the kingdoms of this world into the Kingdom
of the Dear Son, or the Kingdom of Heaven (Colossians 1:13; 1 Thessalonians
2:12; Romans 5:17; 2 Peter 1:11). Heaven is not only a real place, but it
is the realm we now live in. We have our citizenship in Heaven, and are
empowered to exercise the authority given to us through our union with
Jesus Christ (John 17:22, 1:12; Colossians 2:12; Romans 8:30; and Matthew
16:19; Luke 10:20).

The realm of Heaven has been observed from Earth many times. When the
heavens are opened, men are able to see God, hear his voice, and see the
angels ascending and descending into the kingdom of this world (Genesis
28:12; John 1:51, 32; Mark 1:11; 2 Peter 1:18; and Matthew 3:16; Luke 3:21;
Acts 7:55, 9:3, 10:11; also 2 Kings 6:17). Jesus is the door into this
realm (John 10:9; Ephesians 2:18). When we interact with God, we come with
the blood of Jesus and find ourselves standing in the Holies of Holies
where God dwells (Hebrews 10:19). If our eyes were opened, we would
discover that, as we worship God, we have come to Mount Sion, the Holy
Dwelling place of the Most High; and around us are an innumerable company
of angels, and Jesus Christ the Mediator of the New Covenant, and God the
Judge of all (Hebrews 12:22-25). The realm of Heaven is what the Spirit of
God communicates to us, and in the realm of Heaven is where all of our
affections, ambitions, and aspirations should be placed (Romans 14:17;
Matthew 6:10, 33; Colossians 3:1-3).
 
Daily Bread - April 13, 2020 (The Second Day - Genesis 1:6-8)
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 13 April 2020 10:12
Colossians 3:1-3 - If you then be risen together with Christ, seek those
things that are above, where Christ is seated on the right hand of God. Set
your affection on things that are above, not on things of this earth. For
you died, and your life is hid together with Christ in God.

Part 1 ~ Our Confession of Faith in Christ Jesus

All those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior, and thereby received the
miracle of the new birth, have a statement of faith that was outlined for
us by the Apostle Paul:

*I am crucified together with Christ (Romans 6:6,8; Galatians 2:20),
*I am buried together with Him by baptism into His death (Colossians 2:12,
3:3; Romans 6:4; Galatians 3:27),
*I am raised up together with Him (Ephesians 2:6; Romans 6:4; Colossians
2:12, 3:1),
*I am alive together with Him (Ephesians 2:1-5; Romans 6:11-13; Colossians
2:13)
*I am seated together with Him in the Heavenlies (Ephesians 2:6)

The miracle of the new birth transcends all time, insomuch that even though
Jesus was crucified, buried, arose from the dead, and ascended into Heaven
almost 2000 years ago, we are still participants today. Being raised up
together with Christ does not speak of a process that changes us, but a
radical transformation that takes place in the instant of the new birth. If
we are going to participate in the process of maturation in Christ, then we
must turn all of our affections towards the realm of the Kingdom of God,
and gaze upon the Author and Finisher of our faith, Christ Jesus (Hebrews
12).
 
Daily Bread - April 11, 2020 (The Seventh Day - Genesis 1:24-31)
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Saturday, 11 April 2020 11:31
Romans 4:17 - As also it is written, "I have made you a father of many
nations" --before God whom you have believed, Who gives life to those that
are dead, and calls into existence the things that do not exist.

God makes faith easy for us to understand by giving us models of faith like
Abraham. Faith comes from a direct interaction with God: He speaks and we
believe and obey! The foundation of faith is absolute trust in God. Abraham
trusted God and left the protection of his homeland and family, and
followed God not knowing where he was going (Hebrews 11:8). Abraham stepped
into a relationship with God which brought certainty that what God had
promised, He would also do (Hebrews 10:23, 11:11; 2 Corinthians 1:20).
Abraham became the father and example of faith to all who would follow.
Even when everything was against a remote possibility of receiving the
promise, he did not stagger at the promises of God, but remained strong in
faith (Romans 4:20-21).

God makes operating in faith easy; all we need to do is rely upon the Holy
Spirit. The Word of God declares to us what God has promised, and the Holy
Spirit supplies us with the assurance, boldness, and confidence --and the
divine ability of faith-- to do it. Faith comes to us from the Holy Spirit,
and unless we yield to Him we are left to our own human ability (Galatians
3:5, 5:22-23; 1 Corinthians 12:8-9; Acts 4:31). To have the supply of faith
God has provided for us demands that we have a personal relationship with
the Holy Spirit. We need to recognize His place in our life, and allow God
to develop within us a dependency upon Him (Romans 8:14,16; Galatians
5:16). Faith is not something we can do on our own --it is something we
depend upon God to give us.

Faith enables us to see the results God has promised, and causes us to
rejoice as though it was already done! Childlike faith is all that is
needed for God to do great works for us and through us. Men depend on their
wisdom, insight, and maturity to accomplish things; but God just wants us
to trust Him, and allow the Holy Spirit to fill us with mountain-moving
faith (Jeremiah 9:23-34; 17:5-8; Psalm 33, 46; Matthew 21:21).
 
Daily Bread - April 10, 2020 (The Sixth Day - Genesis 1:20-23)
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 10 April 2020 15:56
Exodus 24:8 - And Moses took the blood and sprinkled it upon the people;
and said, "This is the blood of the covenant which Yahoah cut with you,
concerning all of these words."

The Covenant of God is relational; not legal. It is a consecration to
devoted love, which God upholds through His faithfulness and tender
mercies. The closest thing we have in modern times to the concept of this
kind of covenant is marriage. Just as marriage is relationship of love; so
is the Covenant of God (Ephesians 5:25-33).

There is no better example of an Old Testament covenant than that which
existed between God and Abraham. God sought Abraham out, and offered him a
relationship. All men are obligated to do is to love God and obey His
direction. Yet, even when they refused to be faithful, as Israel did, God
in His devoted love continued to remain consecrated to them. One of the
examples of God's devoted love to Israel is found in the story of Hosea and
Gomer. God commanded His prophet to marry a harlot, who refused to remain
faithful (Hosea 3:1-4, 2:5-23). In order to gain her commitment, the
prophet purchased her by giving her the amount that she would normally sell
herself for.

God's covenant of love was established for all men everywhere --anyone who
would believe-- through the pouring out of His own own blood (1 John 2:2;
Romans 3:26). Through His life's blood, He consecrated Himself to a devoted
love for us. Through His blood, He broke all other claims held over our
lives, so that we might only belong to Him. Jesus takes His life, both body
and blood, and invites us to come into the communion of this Covenant of
love, and dwell with Him (John 6:56). Through His own faithfulness and
tender mercies, He extended to us that which we could never afford. He
blessed us with this Covenant --not based on any works of righteousness
which we have done, but according to His great love wherewith He loves us
(Titus 3:5; Ephesians 1:6-7, 2:4-6; 2 Timothy 1:9).

This same love also strengthens us, establishes us, and perfects us. God
sought us out and pursued us, loving us so much that He gave us His only
begotten Son. His love will never fail. If we will only believe and dwell
in this covenant love that God has for us, we will discover the glorious
reality of the life of fellowship with God; and the life of victory over
sin and all the powers of darkness (Ephesians 3:17-19; 1 John 4:10; 1 John
4:16-18). Let us all believe God and obey His voice, and come into the
fellowship of the Covenant of love God has made for us through the
consecration of His own life (Deuteronomy 29:12; Matthew 26:28; Colossians
1:20; Acts 20:28).
 
Daily Bread - April 9, 2020 (The Fifth Day - Genesis 1:20-23)
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 09 April 2020 10:54
Exodus 12:13 - And the blood shall be a sign upon your houses with you
there; and I will see the blood, and I will passover (protect) you, and the
plague of death shall not be upon you to destroy when the destroyer is in
the land of Egypt.

The blood that redeems and protects is the blood of the Covenant. The blood
of the passover lamb represented the blood of Jesus. On that night in
Egypt, the Almighty God made a difference between His covenant people and
all other peoples of the Earth. It was the blood of the Covenant that set
them apart. Wherever the blood of the Covenant was applied, death had no
power to claim their souls (Exodus 12:23; Hebrews 11:28). A similar event
will happen to each person individually. One day death will come to claim
you; but if the blood of Christ has been applied to your life, the power of
death and hell will have no rights. The protection of God's covenant, His
life-giving blood, is the supreme power over all the powers of death. Satan
cannot reach beyond the blood and take you into his plague of a second
death: where he will rule in hell. Rather, the angels of the Lord will come
and carry you away into the presence of the Lord (Luke 16:22; 2 Corinthians
5:8). Those who do not belong to the Covenant made with the blood of Jesus
are under death's power and reign; but those upon whom the blood has been
applied are sealed with the Spirit, and are protected. Only by the blood of
the Covenant can the sin and transgression be blotted out, and the soul
rescued in the day of judgment (Matthew 26:28; Acts 26:18; Ephesians 1:7;
Hebrews 9:22; and 1 John 1:7,9).

Through the blood of the Covenant, we have been delivered from the Egypt
(that is, slavery) of this world. Through Christ Jesus, we have been
brought out of the realm of darkness, and translated into the promised land
of the Kingdom of the Dear Son (Colossians 1:13; 1 Peter 2:9; Ephesians
2:3-6; Hebrews 9:14; 1 John 2:8; and Romans 6:18,22). Satan and all of his
demonic forces cannot come and steal us back; they cannot reach beyond the
power of the blood. The demonic strongholds have been broken forever for
all those who will live by the blood of Jesus (John 6:53, 12:31, 16:11;
Colossians 2:15). The life we now live is the life of Jesus -imparted by
His blood (1 John 5:8, 5:11-12). We have become bone of His bone and flesh
of His flesh, shaped and formed from Him (Ephesians 5:30). All that God has
supplied to us --new life, His Spirit, health, and prosperity-- are all
supplied by the death of His Only Begotten Son, by the blood of Calvary! (2
Corinthians 13:14; 1 Corinthians 10:16; John 6:53-56; Romans 8:2; 1 John
1:7).

Christ Jesus, Who is the Passover Lamb, invites all to receive His
protection and come under His care (1 Corinthians 5:7; John 19:14). When we
call upon the Name of the Lord, the blood He poured out upon the Cross is
immediately applied to our lives; even as it was applied to those houses in
Egypt. The blood becomes the distinguishing mark upon our lives, even as it
was upon Israel then. The blood can then be seen by both God and the
destroyer. The blood of Jesus provides us with communion and fellowship
with God --imparting into us the life of Christ (Matthew 26:28; Luke 22:20;
John 6:53-56; 1 Corinthians 10:16). It is with the blood of Jesus that we
come into the realm of the Spirit and stand in the Holies of Holies
(Hebrews 10:19). Even as Moses sprinkled the blood upon the people, let the
blood of Jesus be sprinkled upon your heart and mind today, and everyday
for the rest of your life (1 Peter 1:2; Hebrews 9:19,21; 1 John 1:7).
 
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