Daily Bread - April 23, 2020 (The Fifth Day - Genesis 1:20-23)
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 23 April 2020 10:12
Ephesians 5:13-21 - And all things being exposed by the light are made
manifest. For everything that reveals is light, therefore say, "Wake up, oh
sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you!" Therefore,
watch by what means you walk accurately, not as unwise but as wise,
redeeming the time, for the day is evil. For this reason, do not be
foolish, but understand the will of the Lord. And be not intoxicated with
wine, as one unsaved, but be continually filled with the Spirit speaking to
yourselves in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making
melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks at all times for all things
to God and the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, being submitted
one to another in fear of God.

Part 4 ~ Divinely-Inspired Expressions of the Holy Spirit

Being filled with the Holy Spirit leads to divinely-inspired expressions of
joy and thanksgiving --one of which is singing spiritual songs. There is no
other definition for singing spiritual songs than the one Paul gave to the
Corinthians: singing in the Spirit, which is singing in the heavenly
language, in contrast to singing with the understanding (1 Corinthians
14:15). To attempt to understand spiritual songs outside the context of the
utterance of the Holy Spirit is to willingly step away from the foundation
Paul laid out regarding the spiritual in 1 Corinthians 14:1. Paul describes
two ways to pray, sing, and speak in Church by the Holy Spirit: one with
prophetic utterance that can be understood by all (1 Corinthians 14:3-6,
9-12, 15, 19, 22, and 24-26, 29-31, 39), and the other with the language of
the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 14:2, 4-6, 13-14, 16-18, and 22, 27, 39).

Psalms, which are by definition classified as prophetic utterances, must
not be only understood as singing the psalms given in the Old Testament.
Paul certainly groups psalms in the category of prophetic utterances, which
take place in the Church by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (1
Corinthians 14:26). This does not eliminate the possibility of singing the
psalms of the Old Testament, but we should not exclusively place it in this
category either, especially when we recognize the emphasis Paul is placing
on prophetic utterances in the Church (1 Corinthians 12:10, 14:3-6, 22-32,
39; and and Colossians 3:16).

Somehow, we fail to realize the relevance of the utterance of the Holy
Spirit that was poured out upon all flesh (Acts 2:4, 16-18, 33). The
activity of the Holy Spirit in our lives is to be like rivers of living
water rushing through the depths of our being (John 7:38-39; Psalm 46:4).
We have been given the ability to worship God by the Holy Spirit, not out
of a religious and liturgical tradition. We put the songs written by a man
before our eyes, read aloud the lyrics, and call it the spiritual sacrifice
God desires. Such a position makes no sense at all in a Church baptized in
the fire of the Holy Ghost and filled with divine glory! To believe that
anything can be defined as spiritual, and somehow function without the
direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is a serious misunderstanding of
Scripture. Certainly the psalms of the Old Testament, the hymns of the
Scripture, and those songs given by the Holy Spirit to someone in the
Church can by used in worship, but to fail to make room for the inspiration
of the Holy Spirit to sing a new song is to miss out on another dimension
of the wellsprings of life that Christ Jesus desires to be express through
His Church (1 Corinthians 14:15; Isaiah 42:10, Revelation 5:9, 14:3; also:
Psalm 33:3, 40:3, 96:1, and 98:1, 144:9, 149:1).
 
Daily Bread - April 22, 2020 (The Fourth Day - Genesis 1:14-19)
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Wednesday, 22 April 2020 09:58
Ephesians 5:13-21 - And all things being exposed by the light are made
manifest. For everything that reveals is light, therefore say, "Wake up, oh
sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you!" Therefore,
watch by what means you walk accurately, not as unwise but as wise,
redeeming the time, for the day is evil. For this reason, do not be
foolish, but understand the will of the Lord. And be not intoxicated with
wine, as one unsaved, but be continually filled with the Spirit speaking to
yourselves in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making
melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks at all times for all things
to God and the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, being submitted
one to another in fear of God.

Part 3 ~ Filled With The Spirit Continually

The meaning of being "filled with the Spirit" was established in the first
two chapters of Acts. On the day of Pentecost, when the disciples were
baptized in the Holy Spirit, the Scripture says they were "filled with the
Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:4). Because the exact same thing happened at the house
of Cornelius, we also know we can equate being "filled with the Holy
Spirit" to the "gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 11:15, 10:45). The sign of
"being filled with the Spirit," or the "gift of God," was tongues. Being
"filled with the Spirit" is not a one-time event, as indicated by both
these passages of Scripture and other facts presented by the experiences of
the Apostles. When the Apostles were in need of boldness because of the
threats of the elders, they prayed and were filled with the Holy Spirit
again (Acts 4:31). Also, if being filled with the Spirit is the means by
which tongues are uttered, then the life of Paul exemplified a continual
filling --Paul was someone who evidently spoke in tongues continually, as
he said to the Corinthian Church, "I speak with tongues more than you all"
(1 Corinthians 14:18). The expression of being filled with the Spirit was
active in Paul, both in prayer and singing (1 Corinthians 14:15).

Tongues are established as the utterance of the Spirit in Acts 2:4. Also,
tongues can only be spoken as the Holy Spirit gives utterance. As a
supernatural gift, it must be given the same status as miracles or signs
and wonders. The only possible way to turn water into wine, or to walk on
water, is by the miracle power of the Holy Spirit. Though these are gifts
given to the believer, it is only by the will and power of the Spirit of
God that they operate. The Bible does not teach us to walk in our own will
and desire, but instead to be totally surrendered to the will and mind of
the Spirit. God has truly given us gifts, but only the Holy Spirit knows
how to operate them.

When Jesus described being filled with the Spirit, He did so with an
allegory. He used rivers of living water flowing out as an allegory to
describe the expressions of the Spirit in the believer. He also compared
our desire for these rivers with thirst. When the believer drinks of the
water (which is the gift of God - John 4:10), the rivers flow out of them.
The rivers that Jesus referred to could not be revealed until He was
glorified (John 7:38-39; Acts 2:33). These rivers were observed as tongues,
for this was the sign of Pentecost.

The allegory of thirst expresses to us a constant and ongoing need. If we
believe that being filled with the Spirit is a one-time event initiating
the believer into Christianity, then the allegory Jesus used does not make
sense. Salvation certainly is the one-time event resulting in a person
becoming a new creation, and the allegory Jesus used for that was being
born --truly a one-time event (John 3:3-6). However, drinking is something
we do regularly for the need of our physical body. In keeping with the
allegory then, we must also drink regularly in the Spirit for the need of
our spiritual life; and when we drink, a river will begin to flow. Thus,
Paul commanded those at Ephesus, who were already baptized in the Holy
Spirit, to be filled with the Spirit continually (John 7:38-39; Ephesians
5:18).
 
Daily Bread - April 21, 2020 (The Third Day - Genesis 1:9-13)
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Tuesday, 21 April 2020 11:11
Ephesians 5:13-21 - And all things being exposed by the light are made
manifest. For everything that reveals is light, therefore say, "Wake up, oh
sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you!" Therefore,
watch by what means you walk accurately, not as unwise but as wise,
redeeming the time, for the day is evil. For this reason, do not be
foolish, but understand the will of the Lord. And be not intoxicated with
wine, as one unsaved, but be continually filled with the Spirit speaking to
yourselves in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making
melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks at all times for all things
to God and the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, being submitted
one to another in fear of God.

Part 2 ~ Shifting From The Natural To The Spiritual Realm

There is only one way to enjoy the abundant life that has been provided for
us through Christ Jesus, and that is to be continually filled with the
Spirit. We have to deal with so many things in the fast paced life of
keeping up with our jobs and the issues related to our houses and families.
If we are not careful, we will find ourselves constantly overwhelmed with
the cares of this life that choke the Word of God, and prevent it from
bringing forth the fruits of the Spirit in our lives.

However, if we are willing to cry out to God throughout the day and yield
to the Holy Spirit through prayer and praise, the Holy Spirit will fill
every dimension of our lives with His glory. In this fellowship, we will
not only be so much more happy and pleasant, but we will be filled with the
divine ability to move in wisdom and faith instead of human frustration. If
you will be willing to give yourself to this lifestyle of constantly being
filled with the Spirit, then you will step right into the pages of the
Bible as you move into the realm of the unseen where God dwells (2
Corinthians 4:18; Romans 8:5-6). All we have to do is to be willing to take
a drink of the water of the Spirit, and God will provide for us rivers of
inspiration and goodness of the Spirit flowing forth through our emotions
and passions (John 7:37-39).

At some point, God's people are going to have to make a shift from living
in the natural realm to living by the Spirit (Romans 8:9; Galatians 5:25).
There are so many wonderful things that God has for us to experience and
do, but if we will not let the Holy Spirit take control of our lives, then
we will never really know what they are nor enjoy the glorious life that is
like days of Heaven on Earth (1 Corinthians 2:12; Deuteronomy 11:21). Will
you commit your life to the Spirit of God today and begin to worship Him
through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs --and be what God has created
you to be? If you are willing you will find a realm of glory that will
continually overwhelm your soul with the goodness of God.
 
Daily Bread - April 20, 2020 (The Second Day - Genesis 1:6-8)
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 20 April 2020 13:51
Ephesians 5:13-21 - And all things being exposed by the light are made
manifest. For everything that reveals is light, therefore say, "Wake up, oh
sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you!" Therefore,
watch by what means you walk accurately, not as unwise but as wise,
redeeming the time, for the day is evil. For this reason, do not be
foolish, but understand the will of the Lord. And be not intoxicated with
wine, as one unsaved, but be continually filled with the Spirit speaking to
yourselves in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making
melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks at all times for all things
to God and the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, being submitted
one to another in fear of God.

Part 1 ~ The Awakening & Transforming Light of Jesus

If we are walking as the children of the light, then our responsibility is
to awaken people out of their sleep. The one who is asleep is dead, and
only by the proclamation of the Gospel, can they be made alive. It was not
out of the ordinary to refer to someone who was dead as being asleep (Job
14:10-12; Psalm 13:3; Isaiah 14:18-20; Jeremiah 51:39-40; Daniel 12:2 and
Matthew 9:24, 27:52; Mark 5:39; Luke 8:52; John 11:11-13; also Acts 7:60,
13:36; 1 Corinthians 11:30, 15:18-20, 51; and Ephesians 5:14; 1
Thessalonians 4:13-15; 2 Peter 3:4). Sleep, death, and darkness describe
those that have not encountered the glorious light of the Gospel of Jesus
Christ that changes the heart of men. Yet, at the same time, Paul refers to
those Christians who had been entangled with sin in the same way. He writes
to the Thessalonians saying, "You are all the children of the light and
children of the day. We are not of the night, or of the darkness.
Therefore, let us not sleep as others do, but let us watch and be sober" (1
Thessalonians 5:5-6). God's people must not allow themselves to be lulled
back into a state of being asleep, but must cast off the works of darkness
that would come to overthrow them by putting on the armor of light (Romans
13:12-14).

Those who are in the world are in a different realm from those who are in
the Kingdom of Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:13; Ephesians 2:6). Those who are
in the world are in darkness, whereas those who are in Christ Jesus are in
the light. Those in the world are dead, while those in Christ are alive. If
you are awake, then you are walking in the Spirit and walking in the light
even as He is in the light. There can be no mixture of darkness with light,
or of death with life. These things are not some deep hidden wisdom, but of
the most fundamental insights belonging to even the most simple minded.
Yet, this fundamental wisdom has been forsaken by many, and the distinction
between that which pleases God and that which His wrath abides on, is
distorted.

Jesus is the light of the world, and men walk in darkness without Him. The
light of His presence brings conviction and reveals sin (John 3:19-20,
16:8; Ephesians 5:13). Only by the anointed preaching of the cross men may
be awakened by the Holy Ghost (Romans 10:13-15). Anyone who hears the
Gospel and is willing to call upon the Name of Jesus will encounter the
transforming light of His glory (2 Corinthians 3:18, 4:7). The grace of God
that brings salvation appears to anyone who, in an honest and sincere
heart, calls on the Name of Jesus (Titus 2:11-13). The miracle of His
manifest presence brings the miracle of the new birth, in which we are
raised from spiritual death unto life (Colossians 3:1-4; Romans 6:4). Now
we are light in the Lord, and are to go everywhere announcing to all who
are asleep saying, "Wake up!" (Ephesians 5:8, 14). Those who respond to the
preaching of the Gospel will encounter the light of the presence of Jesus
Who is the light of life (John 1:4, 8:12; 1 John 1:5, 7).
 
Daily Bread - April 18, 2020 (The Seventh Day - Genesis 1:24-31)
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 17 April 2020 23:15
John 20:19-21 - Now it was the evening of the first day of that week, and
the door was shut when the disciples were assembled because of fear of the
Jews. Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace to you."
And when He said these things He showed them His hands and His side. Then
the disciples rejoiced having seen the Lord. Then Jesus said to them again,
"Peace to you. Just as My Father sent me, I also send you."

We were sent by Jesus just as the Father sent Him. He was sent to destroy
the works of darkness, and we are sent for the same reason (1 John 3:8;
Mark 16:17; John 14:12). We are called to follow Jesus and to do the thing
He did. This is not a command, nor a commission for a select few, but a
glorious honor we all are allowed to share in. The summation of Jesus'
ministry can be found in Acts 10:38, "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with
the Holy Ghost, Who went about doing good and healing all that were
oppressed of the devil." Jesus cast out devils by the Spirit of God and
said that, "If I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of
God has come to you" (Matthew 12:28). When Mark provided a summary of the
ministry of Jesus, he said, "And He preached in their synagogues throughout
all of Galilee and cast out devils" (Mark 1:39). When we were born of God,
the power and nature of Jesus came to live on the inside of us (2 Peter
1:3-4). We are the temples of the Holy Ghost with rivers of divine life and
authority flowing out of us (1 Corinthians 6:19-20; John 7:38-39).

Paul was so radical about the divine presence of Jesus living on the inside
of us that he said, "Prove that Jesus Christ is in you; otherwise, you will
be found to be a reprobate" (2 Corinthians 13:5). He said to the Church at
Colossea, "Christ in your confidence of glory" (Colossians 1:27). He is in
us as a treasure that the excellence of the glory may be of God, and not of
us (2 Corinthians 4:7). God desires that we be continually filled with all
of His fullness, and He has promised He would do more than we can think of
ask by His power at work in us (Ephesians 3:19-20, 5:18).

The glorious power we have received is the living presence of the Holy
Ghost Who has come to be with us and in us (John 14:17). He has come to
take everything belonging to Father and reveal it to us (John 16:13-15).
Jesus told us plainly He and the Father would come and make their dwelling
in us (John 14:23). Jesus told us the glory which the Father had given to
Him, He has also given to us so we might be one with Him (John 17:21-23).
We have been fully resourced by God and given the authority to be His
children. Now with a simple child like faith, we must step out and know
that the power of God residing on the inside of us will do the work of
Heaven in and through us making the impossible possible (Philippians 2:13;
1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 4:7).
 
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