Daily Bread - May 15, 2019 (The Fourth Day - Genesis 1:14-19)
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Wednesday, 15 May 2019 05:40
1 John 2:17 - And the world passes away and its desires, but he who does
the will of God abides forever.

Part 1: Only the Word of God Remains Forever

From Matthew 7:21 to 1 John 2:17, we hear the cry of the Spirit of God
warning all men how only those who do the will of the Father will remain.
The world and its desires are only temporary. The world system that is
opposed to the will of God and the Kingdom of God will be utterly
destroyed. The god of this world has already been judged, and one day his
rule will come to an end and his influence will cease to exist forever
(John 12:31; Ephesians 2:2; Colossians 2:15; Revelation 20:14).

There is only one thing right now in the world of men that will endure
forever, and that is the Word of God (Psalms 119:89; Isaiah 40:8; Luke
16:17; 1 Peter 1:23-25). The psalmist said, "the Law of the Lord is
perfect, converting the soul - the testimony of the Lord is sure, making
wise the simple. The statues of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
the commandments of the Lord are pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of
the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and
righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much
fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is
your servant warned, and in keeping of them there is great reward (Psalms
19:7-11).
 
Daily Bread - May 14, 2019 (The Third Day - Genesis 1:9-13)
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Tuesday, 14 May 2019 05:13
1 John 2:16 - Because everything that is in the world: the lust of the
flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father,
but is of the world.

Part 3: The Pride of Life

The final phrase in this group of three is translated "the pride of life".
The Greek word used for "pride", 'alazoneia' (ἀλαζονία), may be translated
as, "pride," "arrogance," or "boastfulness." It is difficult to define this
word from a Biblical context, because it does not appear in any of the
canonized books of the Old Testament and only twice in the New Testament.
It is translated in the Authorized Version as "pride," but the Greek word
used in 1 Timothy 3:6 is 'tuphotheis' (τυφωθεὶς), "Not a novice lest he be
lifted up in pride."

Unfortunately, the English word "pride" is only found 3 times in the New
Testament, and it is translated from a different word each time. The Greek
word 'bios' (βίος) is found 10 times in the New Testament and means
"livelihood," "the means of life," "life," or "duration of life." The Greek
word 'bios' would be opposed to 'zoe,' (ζωή) which is used to identify
eternal life - the life that one receives when they are born from above.
This phrase can be translated as: pride of life, pride about one's means of
livelihood, or pride about one's lifestyle. Be certain that you do not give
a false value to the things that you can do and achieve in this natural and
temporal life.
 
Daily Bread - May 13, 2019 (The Second Day - Genesis 1:6-8)
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 13 May 2019 05:49
1 John 2:16 - Because everything that is in the world: the lust of the
flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father,
but is of the world.

Part 2: Understanding the Lust of the Eyes

Everything in the world is antithetical to God. The satanic forces of Hell
dominate this realm. There is nothing in the world system that comes from
the Father, directly or indirectly. Satan is the father of all sin and
iniquity, and it is from him alone this darkness has issued (John 8:44).
The primary means of enticing men and leading them away from God is through
that which may be seen, felt, and gained.

One of the first things we may ask is: what is the difference between the
"desire of the flesh" and "the desire of the eye"? The "desire of the eye"
would be those things that are attractive to view that could lead you away
from the will of God and His purposes. For example, Eve saw the forbidden
tree in Genesis 3:6 as "pleasurable to the eye and desirable." She did not
have this attraction because of an evil nature at work in her, but under
the influence of the suggestion of the satanic realm, she yielded herself
to that which was not of God. Looking on that which was forbidden was not
an evil act in and of itself - rather it became the means by which she was
enticed by what God had forbidden. When men look on things that are
forbidden by God, they open themselves up to be led away into an evil
desire that results in immorality and ungodliness. Therefore, we need to
recognize that it is essential for us to make a covenant with our eyes to
turn away and not behold that which could lead us into disobedience.

It may be said that "the desire of the eye" is that which entices the eye
and "the desire of the flesh" is that which entices the body. Yet, at the
same time, one may argue that these two are in many respects synonymous.
However, the eye looks for that which is beautiful and the body for that
which is pleasurable. Now, one may say God made that which is beautiful and
pleasurable, and that is true. However, Satan has taken what God made, and
twisted and perverted it. We must recognize that the satanic forces use the
material realm of God's Creation to set up their offensive against man and
the will of God.

It is absolutely essential that we learn to choose good and refuse evil. In
the Old Testament, God expected His people to discipline themselves and be
committed to obeying Him in all things. Even though they were not born from
above and were without the change of heart and motive that is now given to
us by the divine nature, yet it was their responsibility not to be involved
with following after those things that would lead them into sin. "You shall
remember all the commandments of the Lord to do them, and you shall not
turn back toward the desire of your own heart and your eyes" (Numbers
15:39). Jesus is very clear on how someone should deal with anything that
causes a person to sin: cut it off or pluck it out (Mark 9:43-48).
 
Daily Bread - May 11, 2019 (The Seventh Day - Genesis 2:1-3)
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 10 May 2019 19:56
1 John 2:16 - Because everything that is in the world: the lust of the
flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father,
but is of the world.

Part 1: Defining & Understanding the Lust of the Flesh

The phrase used in 1 John 2:16, "he epithymia tes sarkos" (ἡ έπιθυμία τnς
σαρκὸς/the desire of the flesh) is one of the identifiers of those who are
not born of God (the Father). The desire of the flesh is a dimension of the
wickedness belonging to the world. It is opposite of the desire of the
Spirit, and something that we belonged to prior to salvation (Romans 8:9;
Ephesians 2:3). It is opposed to the love of the Father. The love of the
Father teaches us to "deny ungodliness and worldly desires, and to live
righteously, godly, and soberly in this present world" (Titus 2:11-12).

The word 'epithymiai' (ἐπιθυμίαι) means "desire" or "wish," and it is used
in both a good and bad sense. In Philippians 1:23, Paul says, "My
desire...is to be with Christ." On the other hand, it is used in a bad
sense in John 8:44, "The Devil is your father and you carry out the desires
of your father." John only uses the word 'sarx' (σάρξ/flesh) one time in
his First Epistle in relationship to the wickedness of the unredeemed man.
When he uses the word two other times, he uses it in a good sense,
referring to Jesus being manifested in the flesh (1 John 4:2, 3).

There are two approaches to understanding the "desires of the flesh,"
either in the Greek sense or the Hebrew. The Hebrew concept of the 'sarx'
(σάρξ/flesh) includes all of man's weaknesses - not just sensual or carnal,
but the realm of the purely human without Divine help. This is still
witnessed in the New Testament where the 'sarx' may be regarded as human
knowledge (flesh and blood) distinct from divine revelation (Matthew 16:17;
John 8:15-16; Galatians 1:16). Paul also regards the flesh as the power of
sin opposed to the Spirit of God, a power that is removed by the
circumcision of Christ (Romans 7:5; Colossians 2:11).

The Greeks exclusively use 'sarx' to refer to eating, drinking, and illicit
sexual relations. They would regard 'sarx' as being sensual and carnal,
opposed to anything spiritual or pious. When we find flesh in the Bible, it
would be incorrect to jump to a conclusion that every usage of "flesh"
refers only to those things that are evil, for Christ Jesus was manifested
in the flesh and suffered in the flesh. However, when we focus in on the
phrase "desire of the flesh," we find an exclusive application to what is
opposite of the Spirit of God and contrary to the will of the Father. "Put
on Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh," "Walk in
the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the desires of the flesh," "Those who
belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and
desires" (Romans 13:14; Galatians 5:16-17, 24).

In the New Testament, a clear distinction is made between those of the
Spirit and those of the flesh. Yet, at the same time, we know Jesus became
flesh and lived after the Spirit. Still, the fact remains that the
distinction between the flesh and the Spirit can be as radical as that of
light and darkness, or simply a contrast between human ability and divine
ability (Galatians 4:22-29). However, there is one thing we can be certain
of: God makes it essential that all men are born of the Spirit and live
after the Spirit, (John 3:6; Romans 8:9; 1 Peter 4:1). Now, through the
Grace of God that has brought to us this radical transformation of nature,
we are "not in the flesh, but in the Spirit" (Romans 8:9). Therefore, let's
yield to the Holy Spirit today, and let Him lead us and guide us in every
desire of our lives!
 
Daily Bread - May 10, 2019 (The Sixth Day - Genesis 1:24-31)
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 10 May 2019 05:33
1 John 2:15 - Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone
loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Part 3: Our Citizenship is in Heaven!

We are not of this world even as He is not of this world. We have been
changed and transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit to live a godly
life (John 15:19, 17:14, 16; Titus 2:12, 3:5; 2 Peter 1:3-4). Our hearts
have been united with the heart of the Lord, and our spirits made one with
God. We are His sons and daughters, created in Christ Jesus to live in His
ways. We have no love for worldly lusts, but rather are at war against
them. We have been given the gifts of God's holiness and righteousness, and
could not be more opposite from an ungodly world. We are to despise the
evil, and have no fellowship with its works of darkness and its spirit of
disobedience. Our citizenship is in Heaven; and as strangers and pilgrims,
we walk in the Spirit and abstain from fleshly lust -following in the
footsteps of Christ Jesus, clothed with His majesty and honor!
 
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