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Daily Bread - August 23, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Wednesday, 23 August 2017 09:56
2 Corinthians 3:17 - Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of
the Lord is, there is freedom.

The Spirit of the Lord is the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. The
Holy Spirit has come to reveal Jesus, and to transform those who will
believe into a new creation through the miracle of salvation (John 3:3, 5;
2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:24). Paul relates this work of grace to
those things that Moses experienced after he beheld the glory of God. Moses
was granted his desperate desire to see the Almighty God in all of His
glory. After that experience, Moses had to veil his face because the same
glory that he beheld on God was also on his face; but the people did not
want to look at it. They did not want to look at the glory because of their
stubbornness and religious heart. They only wanted to have a religious
knowledge of God; they did not want to know Him as Moses did (Exodus 20:19;
Psalm 95:10). Therefore, out of their fear and hardness of heart, they
demanded that Moses veil his face (Exodus 34:30).

Paul relates the glory on the face of Moses to the glory of the new
creation; and for the children of Israel to look at it would mean that they
would have to look at the abolishment of the old (2 Corinthians 3:13). As a
result, Moses veiled his face when he talked with the people; but when he
went into the tabernacle to talk with God, he took the veil off (Exodus
34:34). If we want to know God, then the veil must be removed from off of
our hearts. If anyone calls upon the Name of Jesus, the Holy Spirit will
come and remove the veil of hardness of heart and disobedience -and set all
those who are in the prison of sin and blindness of heart completely free!
(Luke 4:18; Romans 6:6, 18-23; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Colossians 2:11; John
8:36)

The allegory does not end with the removal of the blindness of heart, but
extends to an encounter with God that brings to pass a transformation (2
Corinthians 3:14). Through the work of the Holy Spirit, the new creation is
brought forth in the likeness of Christ Jesus. The image of Christ and the
glory of the new creation springs forth -like the rising of the sun (Isaiah
60:1)! The most important part of Paul's message has to do with our
willingness to behold the glory of God, which has been freely given to all
those who will believe (Colossians 1:27-28; 2 Corinthians 3:18). We cannot
remain religious and unwilling to believe the good things that God has
done. He has called us to come and hear His voice and know His ways. We
cannot fall after the same manner of unbelief that took place in the heart
of Israel when they had the Gospel preached to them (Hebrews 3-4).

For us to refuse to see the freedom and glory of the the new creation that
has been brought to us by the Holy Spirit would be equivalent to demanding
that Moses' face be veiled. We must be willing to look, as it were, into
the mirror, and behold the same glory on our face that the Father gave to
Jesus (John 17:21-23; Romans 8:29, 12:2; 1 Corinthians 6:17; 2 Corinthians
3:18, 4:7; Ephesians 4:23-24; Romans 8:1-4; 2 Peter 1:3-4). The Spirit of
the Lord has brought to us freedom from the old man, and given newness of
life; but unless we are willing to believe, we will fail to take hold of
the glory that has been given! (2 Corinthians 3:3; Ezekiel 36:26; Hebrews
10:16; John 3:3-6; Romans 6:6, 7:5-6, 8:9)

Behold the glory of God He has bestowed upon the new creation in Jesus!
 
Daily Bread - August 22, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Tuesday, 22 August 2017 11:22
Romans 6:22 - But now having been set free from sin, and being servants to
God, you now have your fruit unto holiness, and the end eternal life.

Fruits are the expressions of one's conduct and manner of life. When we
were the servants of sin, our fruits were the shameful behaviors of
iniquity. Now that we are the servants of God, our behavior glorifies God.
The fruit of holiness is in fact the same as the fruits of the Spirit: love
joy, peace, enduring patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and
temperance (Galatians 5:22-23; see also 2 Peter 1:3-7). These are the
evidence that our members are yielded to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit,
Who is leading and guiding us into all truth, produces those things which
pertain unto holiness as we voluntarily yield ourselves to His influence
(John 16:13; Romans 6:13, 8:5-6; Galatians 5:16, 25; 2 Peter 1:3-11). He is
our Teacher, Who has come to show us how to function in the nature of God
(1 John 3:24; Philippians 2:13; Colossians 1:29; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1
Timothy 3:17). If we will yield ourselves to Him, then we are baptized in
His influence (Ephesians 5:18; Romans 6:16, 19; Galatians 5:25).

We are not able to bear these fruits of holiness unless we are willing to
dwell in Jesus (John 15:5). This life of the Spirit demands that we dwell
in Jesus as a branch dwells in a vine, for without Jesus we can do nothing
(John 15:1-5; Romans 7:4; Philippians 1:11). The fruits that were in our
lives before we were made a new creation were the fruits of death and of
sin (Romans 6:20-21, 7:5; Ephesians 2:2-3). But now, we have the fruit of
the Spirit of life, which is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth
(Ephesians 5:9). It is essential to recognize that these fruits of holiness
are in our lives as an act of submission and obedience to God. When we
recognize that we are coming under the influence of unholy emotions, we
must submit ourselves to God and bring it to an end. For example, the
contrast between the fruit of sorrow and the fruit of joy is easy to
discern. When we find our members taken over by the cares and concerns of
the world, and sorrow begins to dominate us, we must recognize that we are
not yielding ourselves to the Spirit of God. At the very moment that we
recognize this, we must choose to dwell in Jesus by turning to Him as our
Savior and Lord. As we look unto the One Who has come to provide for us,
Who is the Author and Finisher of our faith, He comes and rescues us. As we
yield our members to God, the joy of the Lord begins to spring up and flow
out of us as rivers of living water (John 7:38-39; Romans 14:17; Galatians
5:22-25)
Holiness is defined by that which is consistent with God's nature and
character. God Himself is the personification of holiness, and thus is the
standard of it. The people are placed under a strict command to maintain
the honor, reputation, and glory of the holiness that was conferred upon
them by God (Leviticus 10:3; 11:44, 45, 19:2, 20:26, 22:32; Numbers
15:40-41, 20:12-13, 27:14; Deuteronomy 7:6, 14:2, 32:51; Isaiah 63:10, 11;
Psalms 51:11). In the Old Testament, the holiness of God was emulated in
the people's lives by obeying His commands. In the New Testament, the
Holiness of God has come to life by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Who
brings the manifest holiness of God's own Person into our lives as we yield
to Him and walk according to His leadership (Galatians 5:16; Romans 8:4,
14; Titus 2:11-14; 2 Peter 1:3-11).


Yield yourself to the Spirit of Holiness, and walk according to His
leadership!
 
Daily Bread - August 21, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 21 August 2017 11:03
2 Peter 3:11 - Everything being dissolved in this way, what manner of
lifestyle should you have in holiness and godliness.

In the New Testament, the primary message relating to holiness is one of
moral integrity and purity. The standard of moral integrity, which reaches
into every dimension of one's conduct and behavior, is the character of
God. Both holiness and godliness are behavioral words that are defined only
in God. The holiness and godliness that God demands is supplied to us
through the Spirit of Holiness (the Holy Spirit). We have been baptized
into Him, and into His fire. The fire of God that consumed the sacrifice
from off the altar and lit up the menorah in the Holy Place has come upon
us; and we are to be wholly consumed by Him. Through the work of His grace
in our lives, we are empowered to live blameless, in holiness, as the holy
ones of God (1 Corinthians 1:8; Colossians 1:22; Philippians 2:15; 1
Thessalonians 3:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 2 Peter 3:14).

Today, if we will be led by the Holy Spirit, and allow Him to govern our
lives, then our lifestyle will shine with the character of God: in love,
joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness,
temperance, virtue, knowledge, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness,
righteousness, and holiness; with all lowliness and meekness, with
longsuffering; forbearing one another in love, and endeavoring to keep the
unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Galatians 5:22-23; 2 Peter 1:5-8;
Ephesians 4:2-3; 2 Timothy 2:22). Let us deny ungodliness now, and for the
rest of our lives, and perfect holiness in the fear of God (Titus 2:11-13;
2 Corinthians 7:1). For without holiness, no man shall see God (Hebrews
12:14).

Let all your behavior be governed by the Spirit of Holiness!
 
Daily Bread - August 19, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Saturday, 19 August 2017 10:23
1 Corinthians 12:11 - And these are all activated by one and the same
Spirit, Who distributes to each one individually according to His will.

Every one of the 'chrasmata' (gifts of the Spirit) are activated by the
Holy Spirit. These manifestations of the Spirit do not take place according
to our will; but rather, according to the will of God. It is God Who
activates all of these in everyone (vs. 6). He is the One Who breaths in
the inspiration and the ability to function in these demonstrations of
power so that Jesus might be revealed, the Gospel preached, and the Kingdom
of God advanced (John 16:13-14; Acts 1:8, 4:33).

The Holy Spirit, Who came to empower us so that Jesus might be revealed, is
the One Who decides what should happen and when. This dynamic of dependency
was demonstrated to us by Jesus, Who did nothing of Himself, but only what
He heard and saw the Father do (John 5:19, 30, 8:28, 12:28). When the Holy
Spirit came upon those gathered in the upper room, they all began to speak
with other tongues as He gave them the ability to speak (Acts 1:8, 2:4).
Paul reminded the Galatians that the one who worked miracles by the Spirit
did so by the faith that was heard (Galatians 3:5). If we want to learn to
function in the purity and glory of these acts which testify of the risen
Savior, then we must learn how to be lead by the Spirit -how to yield to
Him in complete and total dependency to His will and to His way...

Holy Spirit, take control of me,
Come and rule every part for Your glory!
Holy Spirit, take control of me,
In You I delight!

Yield to Him in complete and total dependence today!
 
Daily Bread - August 18, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 18 August 2017 10:35
Ephesians 1:3 - Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who
has blessed us in Christ with all spiritual blessings in heaven.

The Greek word 'pneumatikos' ("spiritual") is only found in the New
Testament. It was first used in Romans 1:11 with respect to Paul's desire
to impart spiritual abilities, or gifts, to the brethren. The spiritual
blessings include every benefit and manifestation of the Kingdom of God.
These blessings association with the 'heavenly' is essential - these are
not spiritual blessings in an earthly realm, but a heavenly one. Paul
clarifies this when he reveals that we have been seated together with
Christ in this heavenly place (Ephesians 2:6). When we were born of God, an
invisible transition took place that transferred us from the kingdom of
darkness to the Kingdom of the dear Son (Colossians 1:13). The knowledge
and consciousness of this present reality in God causes us to think
differently about our identity and how we are to function as the
representatives of Christ in the Earth (2 Corinthians 5:20).

When we consider the meaning of the 'spiritual', the emphasis is placed on
the operation of the Spirit through those in the church. When God set up
the church, He empowered the church to fully reveal the power and glory of
the risen Savior, Jesus Christ. If Jesus is to be revealed, then we must
yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit, Who has come to make Him known (John
16:12-15; 1 Corinthians 12:7-11). The final words that Jesus spoke to His
disciples before He ascended to the throne of God was, "You shall receive
power after the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you shall be My
witnesses..." (Acts 1:8). Jesus gave us the same Spirit and the same
anointing that He had received for His earthly ministry. He gave us the
same ability to represent the Kingdom of God and to do the works of the
Father that He had received (John 14:12; 1 John 2:6)

Paul solidifies the connection between the spiritual and the demonstration
of the Holy Spirit that produces the manifestation of miracles, signs, and
wonders. We are to understand the spiritual as the administration,
operation, and manifestation of the Holy Spirit beginning with the
confession that Jesus Christ is Lord, even to every gift of the Spirit (1
Corinthians 12:1-11). Paul makes our assignment clear in 1 Corinthians 14:1
and directs our attention to following after love and the realm of the
spiritual. Our citizenship is in Heaven, our spiritual blessings are in
Heaven, and our life and conduct exist in the Spirit (Romans 8:4; Galatians
5:16, 25; Philippians 3:20).

Take hold of the good news of the Gospel, and be liberated to fully live
your life in the Kingdom of the dear Son!
 
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