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Daily Bread - July 3, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 03 July 2017 11:11
Amos 5:24 - Let judgement flow down as the water, and righteousness as an
ever flowing stream.

We should all find it amazing that we want the sinners to stop sinning
while all the time sin and iniquity runs rampant among our ranks. The
churches are filled with people who sing great songs and listen to sermons
geared towards their success and self-importance. Yet, how often are they
confronted by the stern rebuke of a watchman who demands that they turn
from their sins and follow after God.

We were transformed from sinners to saints by the power of the Holy Spirit
to live in righteousness and true holiness (Ephesians 4:24; 2 Corinthians
5:21). Jesus set forth our primary focus: to place the Kingdom of God and
His righteousness first in all that we desire and do (Matthew 6:33). If the
church does not walk in the Spirit -Who alone produces righteousness and
true holiness- then we are powerless. Our decaying society around us
reveals that the wall against iniquity was daubed with untempered mortar,
and the hinderer of iniquity forsaken (Ezekiel 13:10-15).

God is not interested so much in all the niceties that we present to Him in
our churches. He redeemed us from sin and darkness so that we might walk in
the beauty of His holiness and the majesty of His righteousness (1 Peter
2:9-10; Ephesians 2:1-10, 4:17-24, 5:1-2; Philippians 2:1-10; Romans 6). If
we think that somehow God is going to be pleased with all the things that
we supposedly do for Him while all the time we continue in sin, then we are
wrong. God wants our lives to be filled with His Spirit and with His ways
(Ephesians 5:17-20; Colossians 3:12-17; 2 Peter 1:3-11). He wants us to
stand in the place of Jesus and declare to the world around us the goodness
and beauty of His mercy, love, and glory. All creation is crying out to see
the Kingdom of God revealed in our lives through judgment and righteousness
(1 Corinthians 15:34; Romans 8:19-22; Psalms 33:5, 37:6, 103:6, 106:3;
Proverbs 8:20; Isaiah 5:16, 16:5, 33:5, 56:1, 26:9; Jeremiah 9:24, 33:15;
John 16:8-15)!
Daily Bread - July 1, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Saturday, 01 July 2017 10:28
Jude 24 - Now to the One Who is able to keep you from stumbling, and
present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.

God is the Maker of our salvation. It is Jesus Who is the Author and
Finisher of our faith. All we have to do is to be willing; for should we
only be hungry and thirsty, He will fill us. If our hearts leap like the
priest Zachariah at the announcement of the Savior, knowing that now we can
live without fear in holiness and righteousness all the days of our lives,
then we will discover that God will both will and do of His good pleasure
in us (Luke 1:74-75; Philippians 2:13).

We must learn to depend upon Him, and to receive all that He supplies. Once
we have been born of the Spirit, then we can receive all of those things
that are freely supplied to us by the Spirit (Romans 8:32; 1 Corinthians
2:12). When we consider that His grace supplies us with those things that
reach beyond what we are able to think or ask, according to the power that
works within us, we should be able to be confident of His perfecting power
in our lives (Ephesians 3:20-21; 2 Corinthians 9:8; Psalms 18:32; Hebrews
13:20-21; 1 Peter 5:10-11). Jude says that He will keep us from stumbling.
Although there are many translations that use the word 'falling', the
difference between the two words is demonstrated for us in Romans 11:11. He
not only will keep us from falling, but will also keep us from stumbling;
so that we may be faultless (Colossians 1:22; Ephesians 1:4). Peter also
revealed this truth to us, and made it clear that since we have been born
of God and made partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:3-4), if we would
now give ourselves to the eight pillars of divine success that he named in
2 Peter 1:5-9, then we would never stumble!

The one transition that seems hard for many to make is the transition from
human effort and discipline, to relational dependency upon Jesus. We will
never be able in our own ability to walk so perfectly before our God; but
there is One Who will work in us by His power, and will keep us from
stumbling. All we must be willing to do is to learn how to be led. If we
are going to learn how to be led by the Spirit, then we must learn how to
yield to Him (Romans 6:13, 16, 19). Jesus made it very clear that without
Him we can do nothing; but if we dwell in Him, then we can do all things
through the strengthening power of Christ Jesus (John 15:1-5; Philippians
4:13). How do we learn to yield to Him and rely on Him? Through a love
relationship where we, as the redeemed, adore the Redeemer. It is here we
discover the very meaning of our life, and the exceeding greatness of His
power that is at work in us (Ephesians 1:17-20; Colossians 1:29;
Philippians 1:11; 2:13, 4:13; Philemon 6). It is through this relationship
that we receive from Heaven, and learn to yield to the Holy Spirit, Who
teaches us all things; and shows us how to make the transition from human
dependence and self-reliance, to a dependence upon Him.
Daily Bread - June 30, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Saturday, 01 July 2017 10:28
2 Peter 1:8 - For these things being in you and abounding, you shall not be
barren or unfruitful in the complete knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Unfortunately, there seems to be little focus today, both in sermons and
individual application, to our responsibility to give ourselves to the
practice of the eight pillars of divine success: Faith, Virtue, Knowledge,
Self Control, Patience, Godliness, Brotherly Kindness, and Divine Love (2
Peter 1:5-7). Each of us need to become familiar with practical
applications in our life to the conduct that God demands. After all we have
been given the nature of God -the divine nature (2 Peter 1:3-4)! And thus,
these are not virtues that we must acquire; rather, they are virtues that
we need only walk in. There is no question that Peter demanded such
application; and furthermore, made it essential in order to ensure our
calling and election in Christ Jesus (2 Peter 1:10). In fact, Peter says
that if we lack these things, we are blind and cannot see, and have
forgotten that we were purged from a sinful nature (2 Peter 1:9).

We have been given the divine nature and the help of the Holy Spirit so
that we may walk in the highest level of expression of these virtues. If we
give ourselves diligently to walking in the ways of God and conducting
ourselves properly in the divine nature, then we are promised that we will
not stumble (2 Peter 1:10; Jude 24; 1 Peter 1:5; 1 John 5:18). The Spirit
of God will uphold us and strengthen us to live in the way that pleases
God. The light of His nature and the beauty of His ways will be seen in the
midst of our lives, and we will not be barren nor unfruitful in the
knowledge of God. There is most certainly a realm of relationship in God
that we enter into as we mature in God. This maturity is a result of our
willingness to be obedient to His will and to His ways (1 John 2:14; 1
Corinthians 3:1; Hebrews 5:14; 2 Peter 1:11; Ephesians 3:18-19, 4:12; John
14:21, 23, 15:16).
Daily Bread - June 29, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 29 June 2017 09:36
Ephesians 4:23 - And let your mind be renewed by the Spirit.

God desires that we think differently about ourselves. To be renewed by the
Spirit in our mind, we must be willing to believe what God has said and
then think of ourselves and the things around us accordingly. We must not
be conformed to the image and concepts of this world, but instead
transfigured by believing what God has said (Romans 12:2). We have been
given a new knowledge of ourselves, and it is the knowledge of sonship
(Colossians 3:10; Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:7). If we continue to think of
ourselves as anything less than those who are born again, alive from the
dead, and co-inheritors with Christ, then we are thinking wrongly (1 Peter
1:23; Colossians 2:13; Romans 8:17). We have been changed by the power of
God and created anew. We have been made holy and acceptable, the saints of
the Most High, with all authority in Christ Jesus (Romans 12:1; 1 Peter
2:5; Colossians 1:22; Ephesians 4:24). After having received Christ Jesus
and being taught by Him, we must hold fast the identity and position that
He has given to us.

The god of this world would corrupt us with the lies that he propagates
against God. He fights against the anointing and Word of God, attempting to
make God's Word and the miracle of salvation ineffective. If we will simply
believe God, the lies of Satan will fall powerless at our feet. Through the
strength of the Lord and the power of His might, we take up the weapons of
our warfare and bring every thought into captivity unto the obedience of
Christ (Ephesians 6:10; 2 Corinthians 10:4-5). We must refuse to hear the
voice of the spirit of disobedience, or be persuaded to conform to all his
lust (Ephesians 2:2-3; 1 John 2:15-16). This is why Paul taught the saints
that they had to have a radical and complete redefining of their lives, in
which nothing that belonged to the former life would be allowed to exist
(Ephesians 2:2-3, 4:17-19, 5:8,14; Colossians 1:21, 2:11-13, 3:7). There
can be no wavering or middle ground in this war (Matthew 12:30)! If we are
to succeed, then we must not lean on our own understanding; rather, we must
believe the report of the Lord (Proverbs 3:5; Romans 10:16). We must hold
fast to the Word of God and, taking the whole armor of God, be unwavering
in our confession of faith (Philippians 2:16; Ephesians 6:11; Hebrews
10:23). If we will stand fast, then we will see everything that God has
said revealed in our lives (1 Corinthians 16:13; Galatians 5:1).

By the authority that we have been given as the sons of God and by the
divine power of the new man, the former behavior and all its lust may be
cast down. There is no power that can stop us from walking in union with
God and being conformed to the image of the Son (John 17:11, 21-23; Romans
8:29). We must be willing to accept the image of righteousness and true
holiness and be renewed by the Holy Spirit as we behold the glory of God
(Colossians 3:10; 2 Corinthians 3:18). To view ourselves as weak, carnal,
and unable to please God is the wrong way to think. If we listen to such
lies, then we are giving place to the devil and allowing sin to have
dominion over us (Romans 6:14; Ephesians 4:27). We are to move in faith and
believe the good news! God has worked an unimaginable miracle of salvation
for us; so let us say, as Mary did, "Be it unto me according to your Word!"
(Luke 1:38). If we are unwilling to believe God and think of ourselves as
new creatures who are called to the fullness of the maturity of Christ,
then we will never realize the maturity that He has planned for us. If we
refuse to believe what God has said about His great salvation, then we will
live our lives as babes and ultimately find ourselves tricked and mislead
by deceivers (Ephesians 4:14).

It is God the Holy Spirit that gives us the ability to see and understand
(Ephesians 1:17-18). The Holy Spirit supplies us with the mind of Christ (1
Corinthians 2:16; Philippians 2:5, 4:7). He has brought to us the renewal
that we need, and He is the One who strengthens us in our inner being to
live this life of Jesus (Titus 3:5; Ephesians 3:16-19). God the Holy
Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, has come to teach us and show us how to walk
in all those things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3-4;
Titus 2:11-14)!
Daily Bread - June 28, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Wednesday, 28 June 2017 07:50
2 Corinthians 3:18 - And all of us with an unveiled face, beholding the
glory of the Lord in a mirror, are transfigured into the same image from
glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Moses beheld the glory of the Lord, and his face shown with the glory of
that encounter. Jesus was caught up into the glory of God, and was
transfigured before Peter, James, and John (Mark 9:2). Today, Gods' people
also have an opportunity to be transfigured. We are transfigured as we
allow our hearts and minds to come into agreement with the Word of God. As
we take hold of those things that God has said about us and believe that we
are what He declares us to be, then we are renewed in the spirit of our
mind and are transfigured into the image of Christ (Ephesians 4:23; Romans
8:29, 12:1-2).

We must be willing to make no provision for the realm of humanity; but
rather, allow the Spirit of the Lord to clothe us with the splendor and
image of Christ (Romans 13:14; Galatians 3:27). We are suppose to look at
ourselves in the light of what God has both said about us, and made us to
be, in Christ Jesus. When we look at our reflection, we should see the
glory of the Lord and find ourselves being transfigured into that glorious
image of Christ. We are continually faced with the challenge as to whether
we will believe what man and demon spirits say about us, or to believe what
God says about us. If we will accept the identity that we have been given
by God in Christ Jesus, and walk according to the Word of God, then we will
realize all of the glory and splendor of the life of Christ. God has an
image and identity for us, and that is the image and identity of Christ
Jesus. God predestinated us to be conformed to this image (Romans 8:29). We
were given this image when we were born of the Spirit. At that moment, we
were created anew in Christ Jesus after the likeness of His righteousness
and true holiness (Ephesians 4:24). This is what God desires for us to know
about ourselves: that for us to live is Christ (Galatians 2:20; Colossians
3:10; Philippians 1:21; 2 Corinthians 5:14-21; 1 Corinthians 1:30).

If we are willing to take on the image of the Son, then we will discover an
ever increasing glory of the manifest presence of Christ Jesus in our lives
(2 Corinthians 3:18; Romans 12:2; Ephesians 1:17-18, 3:19). If we refuse to
accept anything other than what God has said about us, then we will arise
out of the ashes of shame and failure and experience a continual increase
of God's manifest glory and power in our lives -and we will shine as the
sun (Isaiah 60:1; Matthew 5:14; Philippians 2:15; Matthew 13:43; 17:2)!
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