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Daily Bread - October 17, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 16 October 2017 22:24
Acts 4:31 - And they having prayed, the place was shaken in which they were
assembled; and they were all Holy Spirit filled, and spoke the Word of God
with boldness.

Jesus told his disciples on the night before His death, "In that day ,you
shall ask nothing of Me." Rather, they would make their request directly to
the Father in His Name (John 16:23,26, 15:16). This is an example of their
obedience to the instructions of Jesus. Their prayer was very focused upon
their desire to see the Name of Jesus glorified. The disciples had been
threatened by the rulers of Israel to no longer speak in the Name of Jesus.
So, in order to deal with this problem, the disciples asked God, in effect,
to increase the magnitude of the miracles. The reason they were in trouble
in the first place was because a man who was born crippled was healed. Yet
still, they were crying out to God that He would do even more miracles by
His Holy Child Jesus. The prayer was immediately answered, and they were
filled once again with the Holy Spirit.

Additionally, the verse mentions that, "the place was shaken." In Exodus
19:18, Sinai shook at the Presence of the Lord stating, "All of Mount Sinai
was smoking because YHWH had descended upon it in the fire; its smoke
ascended like the smoke of the furnace, and the entire mountain shook
exceedingly." Both the people of Israel and the mountain shook at the
presence of the Lord (Exodus 19:16,18).

The disciples were dependent upon the Holy Spirit to be able speak the Word
of God. The phrase "the Word of God" may be associated with the Old
Testament phrase, "the Word of the Lord"; which is first spoken of in
Genesis 15:1. It is used of the prophets and of the special anointing given
to them to declare, by the Spirit, what was in the mind of God (Jeremiah
1:1-9). The dependency the Old Testament prophets had to the authority of
the Word of the Lord is summed up by the statement of Balaam to Balak, "And
Balaam replied, and he said unto the servants of Balak, 'If Balak would
give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the Word of
the Lord my God, to do more or less'" (Numbers 22:18).

An awesome picture of how things work in the Kingdom of God is developed
this event in Acts 4 develops. The disciples, who are God's representatives
on earth, ask the Father, Whose purpose it is to glorify His Son Jesus, to
perform miracles; and as a result, the miracle power fills them once again
by God the Holy Spirit. If we are to speak the Word with boldness and
effectiveness, then we too must have the same kind of commitment, the same
kind of prayer, and the same kind of empowerment (Ephesians 6:18-20).

Obey what Jesus commands, then ask the Father for boldness!
 
Daily Bread - October 16, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 16 October 2017 12:43
Acts 4:29-30 - And now, Lord, look upon their threats; and give to Your
servants all boldness to speak Your Word by stretching out Your hand to
heal and perform signs and wonders through the Name of Your Holy Child,
Jesus.

Although we have been given power and authority to do the works of Jesus,
it is still by the sovereign power of the Father that signs and wonders
take place. Father stretches out His hand and touches humanity on behalf of
His people who ask in the Name of Jesus, and who both preach and pray in
His mighty Name (John 14:13, 15:16, 16:23,26-27). Just because we have been
honored by God to receive these special gifts of grace to function in
signs, wonders, and miracles does not mean that we are to think that we can
operate them on our own at our own pleasure. These gifts are the
manifestation of the Holy Spirit operating in, and through, our lives; and
He gives them according to His own will (1 Corinthians 12:7,11). Jesus did
not operate independently of the Father and the Holy Spirit; so how could
anyone think that they can operate in the giftings of God on their own?
There is a relationship we can have that would allow us to come under the
inspirations of God all the time, moving and functioning by His direction
continually. The Holy Spirit supplies to us the gift of faith to move in
miracles and gifts of healing as we yield to Him. God causes us to hear
faith, so that we might work miracles by the direct operation of the Holy
Spirit (Matthew 12:28; Galatians 3:5).

There is yet another hindering misconception in the minds of many who fail
to go to their knees and to their Bibles to hear the will of the Father: we
need to understand that it is the will of the Father that these signs,
wonders, and miracles take place so there may be proof of the Resurrection,
and the Name of Jesus may be glorified among all nations (John 16:13-15;
Luke 24:49; Acts 1:5,8, 2:33, 3:16). The Father is devoted to the Name of
Jesus being exalted; and the Holy Spirit has come so that we may function
in the power of the Kingdom for this purpose. If we fail to believe and
move with expectation that these things will happen, we will discover
ourselves in a prison of doubt and despondency. Miracles and signs and
wonders confirm the Good News; and when we go, He also goes with us
confirming His Word (Mark 16:20; Acts 8:5-7,12, 19:8,11-12). When we
stretch out our hands upon the sick and tormented, Father stretches forth
His hand upon them, too. The Father has sent us in the authority of the
Kingdom to heal and to save in Jesus Name. This is the Gospel -The Good
News! (John 20:21; Mark 16:15-20). Because the disciples were not willing
to back down from the will of God, but rather cried out for more, the place
was shaken; and they were all filled again to function in all those things
which the Father demands (Acts 4:31-35, 5:11-16, 6:7-8)!

Cry out for boldness, and advance the Kingdom of God!
 
Daily Bread - October 14, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Saturday, 14 October 2017 08:26
Matthew 16:24 - Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone will come
after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me."

Jesus revealed His consecration to the Father, as well as how His
relationship worked with the Father, when He said, "I can of my own self do
nothing: as I hear I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not my
own will, but the will of the Father that sent me" (John 5:30). The realm
of the self is one of the most misunderstood subjects, and is often
confused with the sinful nature -or the flesh. However, the self is the
essence of who we are as an individual that must be denied; so that we may,
as the servants of God ,do His will instead (1 Peter 4:2; John 1:13;
Colossians 1:9; Romans 12:1-2). Unlike the flesh nature that was crucified
with Christ, the self -which makes us distinct from all other individuals-
goes on living forever. While we are here in our earthly sojourn, self must
be denied that we might learn the ways of the Father.

All of us have many choices that we can make about our vocations, the
things that we are going to do with our spare time, and how we are going to
spend our money. By definition, none of these choices may have anything to
do with a sinful action; but neither would they necessarily be the will of
God for our lives. If we are going to follow Jesus in the way that He has
called us to follow Him, then our own ideas and choices must come to an
end. We have to be willing to learn a servitude and a submission to God
where we do it all His way. We must be willing to come to a place where we
are not going to decide anything for ourselves again. If we are going to
live out the life described in the Bible of being those who are the
witnesses of the resurrection, then we must learn that we can do nothing of
ourselves (John 15:1-5). It is important for each of us to understand how
this impacts us individually in the choices we make, and how we live out
our lives. We can make the whole subject simple by saying, "Walk in the
Spirit, and mind the things of the Spirit." However, those things about
ourselves that we do not identify, but rather overlook and refuse to deny,
will continue to remain somewhat abstract and unattended.

There was nothing evil about Jesus. No matter how He was examined,
everything was perfect. Yet, He denied His self. Though He was one with God
and God incarnate; yet, He showed us the perfect submission of a Son Who
would live only by the mind and will of the Father. He would choose no
earthly goal for His life other than to do the Father's will. How much more
must we deny ourselves? We have spent our lives imitating man, and now we
must choose to imitate God (Ephesians 5:1 -KJV translation 'followers' is
better rendered as 'imitators'). The mind and will of the self, which is
not necessarily evil, must be submitted to the will of the Father. God the
Father has chosen the best things for us, and we must do as He says if we
are going to inherit them.

When it comes to doing heavenly things, we of ourselves can do nothing.
Within ourselves, we function out of a logical and rational thinking that
is trained by life's experiences and circumstance. There is nothing wrong
with the logical and rational mind other than it is severely handicapped
and grossly limited when we want to attend to the things that belong to the
spiritual -such as walking on the water and raising of the dead. The
rational and logical mind will never concede to the notion that you can
command the wind and the waves, and they will obey. It will not expect that
enough money to pay your back taxes can be found in a fishes mouth. To do
these things, we must be taught of God. We must be willing to learn how to
step beyond that which is limited to a natural realm. Remember the first
time you went swimming and began to adjust to a whole new dimension of
movement? It may have felt scary! Now God wants to moves us past the
elements of the earthly into the dimensions of the heavenly; but we have to
be willing to step beyond the limitation of what we can physically and
mentally do of ourselves and learn how to rely on the Holy Spirit.

That which is carnal, or natural, is not necessarily bad; it is just
earthly and temporal (Romans 15:27; 1 Corinthians 9:11, 15:44). The natural
mind would more eagerly look to a human answer or earthly remedy to supply
a need. The natural mind is governed by what it sees, hears, and has
physical evidence for; and, therefore, would not be submitted to the Spirit
of God. We have to be willing to stop trembling with fear as we clutch the
side of the pool; but rather, stretch ourselves out over the vast expanse
of the heavenly and walk in the Spirit. To do this, the self must be
denied. It does not need to be put to death; it just needs to be refused,
so that we might learn how to function in a whole new way of life. The
spiritual mind that accepts the impossibilities of the Word of God, without
the need of any other proofs, far exceeds the limitation of what self can
understand. The spiritual mind functions in a realm of faith, and depends
upon the unseen power of God to supply all that we have need of.

If we confine our thinking to those things that belong only to our own self
interest and self preservation, then we will focus on those things that we
can accomplish through our own efforts and abilities. These limitations of
self realization will then govern what we will believe, and ultimately what
we will do. Without being aware of it, we will even filter God's Word
through the perspective of these self serving interests. Many of God's
children are stuck in this place and been robbed of their maturity in God.
It has limited their confidence in God and dependence upon the Holy Spirit.
It is impossible for the realm of self to live in a confidence in God
wherein one takes no thought for what they shall eat or what they shall
wear. The realm of self is a place of fear, condemnation, limitation,
failure and even defeat. There is little room for faith and submission to
the Holy Spirit in the realm of carnal, human thinking where men seek their
own interest and rely upon human abilities to accomplish their goals. The
natural mind is that state in which men hold on tightly to themselves to
preserve their own well-being, and their securities are their earthly
possessions. The carnal mind and ways of men will altogether shut down
those things that the Holy Spirit has come to teach us (1 Corinthians
3:1-3; Romans 8:5-8).

Anything that is taught to us by God concerning Himself is spiritual, which
is in stark contrast to those things that we learn of men -the natural. All
that the Holy Spirit does and ministers is spiritual. One day, we will
exchange a natural body for a spiritual body; but right now, we must
exchange a natural mind for a spiritual one. The things of the spiritual
are foolishness to the natural mind, because they are not governed by
natural laws. Everything concerning the will of the Father is spiritually
discerned. The spiritual is the unlimited realm of divine ability and
supernatural provision in which nothing is impossible (1 Corinthians
2:9-15). We are commanded to learn this new way of thinking, but we must
recognize those thoughts that would confine us to the limitations of what
we can do of ourselves and deny them (Ephesians 1:3; 1 Corinthians 2:14,
14:1,12; Galatians 6:8).

God is a Spirit, and we must interact with Him in the realm of the
spiritual. Any interaction with the Holy Spirit, or manifestation of the
Holy Spirit, is by definition spiritual. Knowing that we are to walk in the
Spirit, and be led by the Spirit, is evidence enough that God demands us to
be spiritual in the way that we think and conduct ourselves. It is the Holy
Spirit Who teaches us the spiritual and gives us access to the realms of
the spiritual: from which all the gifts of the Spirit flow. We learn to
think according to the spiritual (or the manner in which God thinks) by the
Word of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The spiritual mind is the
mind of the Holy Spirit, the mind of Christ, the life governed by the
Spirit of God -where every thought is brought into captivity to the
obedience of Christ and the will of the Father (1 Corinthians 2:6-16; 2
Corinthians 10:3-6; Galatians 5:16,25; Romans 8:5-14)

Think according to how God thinks and imitate Him!
 
Daily Bread - October 13, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 13 October 2017 16:40
Philippians 2:7 - But made Himself of no reputation, took the form of a
servant, and was made in the likeness of men.

There can be no greater example of the humility we should have in our
relationships than that given to us by Jesus (Philippians 2:1-15; Hebrews
12:1-3). Furthermore, when we consider our motives for doing things, we
must make sure that we are not using the gifts and special anointings we
have been given to gain a reward or some personal advantage (Galatians 5:1,
13-16, 25-26; 1 Peter 2:15-17; Jude 16). When we consider Jesus, we behold
an example that is a must for us to follow if we are going to please the
Father and do the right things with all He has given us. We must humble
ourselves under the mighty care and provision of the Father, and entrust
our well being and defense to Him (1 Peter 4:12-19; Psalms 23, 91). Jesus
was abused, but He never retaliated with a threat of God's judgment and
wrath upon the abusers. Rather, He interceded for their forgiveness (Luke
23:33-38; 1 Peter 2:19-25). We have all been called to come and learn of
His servitude and humility; and if we desire to find the rest and favor of
the Father, we must follow Jesus' example (Matthew 11:29, 16:24; John
10:27, 12:26, 13:14-16; 1 Peter 2:21).

Defending yourself ruins your dignity...entrust yourself to Father!
 
Daily Bread - October 12, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 12 October 2017 10:23
Philippians 2:14-15 - Do all things without complaining and arguing; so
that you may be without blemish and pure, God's perfect children in the
midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights
in the world.

What a simple assignment God has given us in order to remain blameless and
innocent. All we must do is to maintain a good attitude about the things
that we encounter, and not allow ourselves to become involved in strife.
When we consider the fact that all holiness and righteousness is summed up
in walking in love, we discover that God has simplified for us all the He
desires us to do (John 13:34-35, 15:12,17; Ephesians 5:2; Romans 13:8,10;
Galatians 5:14). As we are willing to keep ourselves in the love of God, we
remain in a place that is yielded to the supply of the divine ability that
God has given so that we can do all that He has requested (Jude 20-21).
What the Lord has required of us is that we discover a wonderful and joyful
fellowship of goodness and trust between ourselves and God (Jude 20-21; 1
John 4:12, 16; Ephesians 3:19, 4:15; Micah 6:8).

Of course, we all know how upset we all become when things do not go our
way. The fact is, however, we volunteered to allow the Lord Jesus to have
His way in our lives. Our job assignment in the relationship is to trust
Him, and to give thanks in all things (1 Thessalonians 5:18). If we will
walk in love, rejoice in the Lord always, and gives thanks in all things,
we will not only stand out as the children of God, but we will walk in that
place of being well pleasing in His sight. Our Heavenly Father has purposed
that we be like a city set upon a hill radiating with the light and life of
His glory -a beacon of His love that will cause all men to recognize that
we are His children (Philippians 2:15, 4:4-5; Matthew 5:14-16, 7:20; John
17:20-23; Ephesians 5:1-21).

We may be certain of one thing: the Lord cannot tolerate murmuring and
complaining (Hebrews 3-4). He had to listen to so much of it from the
nation of Israel that He finally said enough! It is over! Their murmurings
and complaining all boiled down to their lack of love and trust for Him (1
Corinthians 10:10; Hebrews 3:8-19; Jude 16; Exodus 15:24, 16:2,7-12;
Numbers 14:27-29, 36, 17:5,10; Deuteronomy 1:27). If you want to fellowship
with the Lord and have His blessings in your life, then you are going to
have to keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking guile (Psalm
34:12-14; 1 Peter 3:9-11). If you have a habit of blaming other people, or
grumbling and complaining about the way things go, you need to recognize
that behavior for the evil it is, and reach out to God for wisdom and
strength to bring it to an end.

Now, the Lord strengthen your hearts in holiness, so that you may be
without blemish before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus
with all His saints (1 Thessalonians 3:13).
 
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