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Daily Bread - June 24, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Saturday, 24 June 2017 09:20
Romans 6:18 - And then you, having been set free from sin, have become the
servants of righteousness.

Could any stronger language be used to describe God's will for the manner
and behavior of our lives as His saints? God has transformed our lives so
that we might enjoy the blessedness of His abundant life. It is absolutely
impossible to separate God's life and Spirit from His righteousness.

Righteousness is one of the most important subjects of the Bible. There are
approximately 741 occurrences of the word in the Old And New Testaments
combined. In the Old Testament there are two words, which are translated
'righteous' (tzadek and tzadekah). The Hebrew root occurs 508 times in the
Old Testament (523 times according to Anchor Bible Dictionary;
Righteousness-Old Testament). The primary word, which is used for
'righteousness' (dikaiosune from dikaios) is found 91 times in the New
Testament. The Greek root (dikaio-) is found 233 times in the New
Testament. The quintessence of righteousness in the Old Testament is
encapsulated in who God is; "Yahweh is righteous in all of His ways, and
holy in all of His works" (Psalms 145:17).

The concrete meaning for righteousness in the New Testament is shaped by
the way it was used in the Old Testament. Primarily the meaning is derived
from the character of God and the description of His ways. Other examples
are verses and context common to the Old and New Testament, some examples
are: Genesis 15:6 (found in Romans 4:3-22; Galatians 3:6; James 2:23);
Psalms 112:3 (found in 2 Corinthians 9:9); Psalms 45:7 (found in Hebrews
1:9). There are Old Testament associations of the word for righteousness in
Acts 17:31 (with Psalms 9:8; 96:10; 98:9); 2 Corinthians 9:9 (with Hosea
10:12); Ephesians 6:14 (with Isaiah 59:17; 11:5); Revelation 19:11 (with
Psalms 96:13).

In the Old Testament righteousness/righteous is used of God (Psalms 7:9;
116:5; 119:37-40, 145:7); Ezra 9:15; Isaiah 24:16) of His acts (Judges
5:11; 1 Samuel 12:7) of God's people in general (Genesis 18:23-28; Psalms
68:3; Proverbs 21:21; Isaiah 5:23; Ezekiel 3:20; Malachi 3:18) of
individuals such as Noah, Job and Daniel (Genesis 6:9; 7:1; Job 1:1; 2:3;
Ezekiel 14:14, 20).

In the New Testament righteousness and justification are interchangeable.
In fact, when either the Hebrew root or the Greek 'dikaioun' are used, they
can equally be translated "just, justice/justification, justify" from the
Latin, or "right, righteous(ness)," (Anchor Bible Dictionary;
Righteousness-Greco-Roman World). Righteousness/righteous is used of God
the Father (John 17:25); of Jesus (Acts 3:14; 7:52; 1 John 2:1) of the
saints in general (Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; James 5:16; Hebrews 10:38;
1 John 3:7; 1 Peter 3:12); as the result of redemption (Romans 5:17, 19;
3:22; 6:18; 8:10; 9:30; 10:4; 14:17, 4:25; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians
4:24; Philippians 3:9) of individuals such as Joseph (Matthew 1:19); of
Zacharias and Elisabeth (Luke 1:6); of Simeon (Luke 2:25) of Joseph a
member of the council (Luke 23:50) as a category of people (Matthew 5:45;
9:13;10:41, 13:17, 43, 49; 25:37, 46; Luke 1:17; 14:14; Acts 24:15; 2
Corinthians 6:14) of Old Testament saints (Matthew 23:29, 35; Hebrews 11:4).

In the New Testament, we are commanded to pursue righteousness (Matthew
6:33; 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 2:22). We are called to be the servants of
righteousness and to live righteously (Romans 6:18,19; 1 Peter 2:24; Titus
1:8; 2:11-14; 2 Corinthians 6:7; 9:10; Romans 1:17; Ephesians 4:24, 6:14;
Philippians 1:11). The New Testament is the message and ministry or
righteousness (2 Corinthians 3:9; Romans 5:18; 14:17; Ephesians 4:24; 2
Corinthians 5:17-21)
 
Daily Bread - June 23, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Saturday, 24 June 2017 09:18
Matthew 25:19 - And after a long time, the Lord of those servants came and
settled the accounts.

The Lord Jesus has given everyone who will receive something very precious,
His life. Each one of us are personally and individually called to come and
dwell in Him. If we will come and abide as a branch in a vine, then we will
bring forth the fruits of this life and the Father will perfect us so that
we may bring forth more fruits (John 15:2). Jesus, Who is that Eternal
Life, has made available this life of God in unlimited rivers of life
flowing from the deepest part of the womb of our being (John 7:37-39). The
life that we now have in Him, and the life that we are commanded to live,
is the life of Christ demonstrated and modeled for us on the pages of the
Bible. There is no life outside if Christ Jesus, and those who are without
Him are dead while they live. Those who have received His life have been
entrusted with His goods; and God demands increase, and will bring us into
account for the deeds that are done in this body (Ecclesiastes 12:14;
Romans 2:16; 2 Corinthians 5:10).

Jesus described Himself in this story as One Who had gone on a far journey
and left all of His riches to His servants, but then after a long time
returns to bring them into account. What each of us must grasp is that the
most important thing that has been entrusted to us is the life of God. The
life of God is the eternal life, the undiminishing, immeasurable life of
the Spirit. It is the gift of God, the treasure that we have in these
earthen vessels, the sacred and glorious divine nature imparted to us
through the new birth (John 3:3; 1 John 3:24; 2 Corinthians 4:7; 2 Peter
1:4; 2 Corinthians 5:17). Make no mistake: this treasure is sacred to the
Father, and the best and most valuable thing that He could give. It is the
very life of Jesus supplied to anyone who will receive, created within each
one by the miracle of salvation. It would be a mistake to reduce what God
will hold us accountable for to anything less that the life of Christ.

The life of God should be so precious to us that we would go and sell all
that we have that we might possess this pearl of great price (Matthew
13:45-46). It is a life that we may only realize when we are willing to
loose our own life and no longer pursue our own selfish interest (Matthew
10:39, 16:26; Mark 8:34; John 12:25). It is a life entrusted with all the
divine nature and authority of God (John 1:12, 17:21-23; Ephesians 2:6,
6:10). To make the tragic mistake and squander this life on earthly
pursuits will most certainly meet with a horrific end. God demands
increase; and the increase that we should pursue is the fullness of measure
of the maturity of the ministry of Christ. In view of the life that He has
given of virtue and purity, our hearts should spring to the call of giving
all diligence to making our calling and election sure (2 Peter 1:10). Our
hearts should pant as the deer for the water brook, and our souls should
hunger and thirst to be filled with all the fullness of these things that
God has provided for us through the riches of His grace. To neglect so
great of salvation would rightly meet with the strongest disapproval and
condemnation (Matthew 25:26, 30; Hebrews 2:3, 4:1).
 
Daily Bread - June 22, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 22 June 2017 09:22
Matthew 25:14 - For the (Kingdom of Heaven) is like a man who goes away on
a journey; he called his servants and gave them his possessions.

Every person who has been born of God has a responsibility in the kingdom
of God to lay down their lives for the advancement of the Gospel. We have
been given both a local and a global responsibility. Unfortunately, few are
willing to be obedient. In the name of supporting the work of the ministry,
many turn to their own interests and goals -which consume the vast majority
of their time. Consumed by earthly things, they are enslaved to their work
and to their bills and have little time to really put their hand to the
plow (Mark 4:19). They plan their vacations, yet seemingly have little
regard or conviction about the mandate of God to go into all of the world.
What everyone must hear is that our Heavenly Father will hold each one of
us accountable for how we lived out His divine commands. If we believe that
we are on fire for God and do not have a passion for the lost of the world,
we are deceived. If we think that we can sit in church and be complainers
who have one problem after another, and yet believe we are laying our lives
down for the Church, we have gone completely mad. The state that many call
"on fire for God" is little more than lukewarm at best.

The Holy Spirit is here to show us things to come, but how many are as
interested and as passionate about this as Daniel was? When Daniel realized
that he was living in a crucial time, he set his heart to seek the Lord by
fasting and prayer. He took personal responsibility for the plans and
purposes of God in his generation. We must realize that we are responsible
before God and man to know the day and the hour that we are living in. God
wants to provide us with the divine revelation concerning the things that
are to come, so that we can run with His strategies and have the urgency
that we should have about the task. He will give us that insight, but we
must be willing to take personal responsibility for the things of the
kingdom of God as though there was no one else to do it. If we don't, then
how can we say that we are the children of the day who know the times and
the seasons in which we live (1 Thessalonians 5:1-8)?

We were not entrusted with sonship and divine authority to sit around in
classrooms and teach each other a deeper revelation about God (Romans
8:14-17; Galatians 4:6-7; Acts 1:6-8; 2 Corinthians 4:7). We have not been
given the riches of the kingdom to spend our lives pursuing our own goals.
We have been given a divine commission to stand before the nations of the
world in the place of Christ Jesus, and make known to every creature that
Christ Jesus is both God and King (2 Corinthians 5:20; Mark 16:15-17; John
20:21). We are to provide the answers that the world is seeking for, and
bring the deliverance that only the Name of Jesus can produce. The Gospel
of the Kingdom and the work of the ministry is every person's
responsibility -are you ready to give an account for what has been
delivered to you (Ephesians 4:12-14)? Have you set your heart to seek the
Lord, and know specifically what you are supposed to be doing?
 
Daily Bread - June 21, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Wednesday, 21 June 2017 07:45
Hebrews 12:14 - Pursue peace with everyone, and the holiness without which
no one shall see the Lord.

If we desire to see the Lord, then we must be willing to have our hearts
made pure and accept holiness as our state of being (Matthew 5:8; 1 Timothy
1:5). The Psalmist said, "Who shall ascend into the mountain of the Lord,
or who shall stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure
heart..." (Psalms 24:3-4). The only way that we can draw near to the Lord
is with a true heart in full assurance of the faith (Hebrews 10:22). We
cannot enter into the realm called the holies of holies where God dwells if
we have a defiled conscience and consider ourselves unholy. We must be
willing to accept the miracle of a transformed heart and nature. We must
allow Jesus to dress us in the holy garments of His righteousness and
holiness, even as Moses dressed Aaron in preparation to enter into that
holy realm. If we do not accept the good news that our hearts have been
purified, having been made new by the Spirit of God through the blood of
Jesus, then we will not see God now or in the future. God petitions us to
take the redemption that imparts the life and holiness of God into our
beings by the blood of Jesus and come into the holies of holies with all
boldness (Hebrews 10:19).

When the people of Israel were about to meet with God and hear the commands
of the covenant, God commanded Moses to sanctify the people. They were to
get themselves cleaned up, and take unto themselves the identity and
consciousness that they had become the holy people of God (Exodus 19:6-22).
God was leading them into His holy habitation, but they had to be willing
to be a people different from all the other nations that were around them
(Exodus 15:11-13). The people witnessed everyday, after the tabernacle of
God was erected, that the only way anyone could go into the presence of God
was if they were made holy. This was vividly displayed before them as they
watched the man that God had anointed with His Holy Spirit wash his body
with water, put on the holy garments, and finally the crown of glory that
expressed his identity and the identity of all Israel, "Holiness Unto The
Lord" (Exodus 39:30). When God was preparing Israel through Joshua to come
into the land that He had promised Joshua commanded the people to sanctify
themselves, or to see themselves as holy, because they were about to come
into the presence of God Who was going to do great wonders among them
(Joshua 3:5). They were going to experience one of the great displays of
the power of God as they walked through the midst of Jordan. What an
awesome and terrible sight that would have been to pass through the Jordan
with a column of water on your right reaching unto the clouds and a dry
river bed on your left. This was a moment that was surely filled with the
awesome presence and glory of God's holiness.

There are many people who attend the churches throughout the world that act
as though they have no responsibility to live holy and godly lives. I have
spent my whole life in the churches across America; and I have never heard
so many people confess unrighteousness and impurity as a state of their
life in Christ Jesus as I hear today. Truly this is a sign of the apostasy
where men turn away from the sound doctrine of redemption in Christ Jesus
and take on their own identities, and those which men and the powers of
darkness would impose upon them. If our souls have not been washed clean in
the blood of Jesus now, then when will they be? If our spiritual garments
are not spotless now, when will they be? If we have not been made a new
creation now, then when will we be? If we are not the holy and righteous
people of God now,, then when will we be? The cry of the old gospel song
rings out today for all who will hear, "Are you washed in the blood, in the
soul cleansing blood of the Lamb; are your garments spotless, are they
whiter than snow; are you washed in the blood of the Lamb." There is an
invitation now for you to meet with the Lord, and to have an ever
increasing intimacy with Him; but you must believe His report and accept
His salvation for there is no other way to come into His presence. Today,
the Lord says to you: Be holy, even as I am holy (1 Peter 1:16; 2
Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2).
 
Daily Bread - June 20, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Tuesday, 20 June 2017 10:33
Psalms 96:9 - Worship Yahoah being adorned with holiness; tremble before
Him all the earth.

There is a glorious fellowship with the Lord that each person should come
to know. It is a fellowship that takes place in worship. The Holy Spirit
wants to fill our worship with awe and revelation of God and His ways. If
we will make worship the sacred interaction with God that it should be,
then we will see a greater manifestation of His glory. Worship must become
a deep expression of hunger to fellowship with God. In this deep desire to
know Him, we will be filled to overflowing with His presence. True worship
only takes place by the Spirit of Holiness (John 4:23; Philippians 3:3). It
is a holy communion that we enter into by the Holy Spirit, and by a true
and sincere heart. If we are willing to come into the presence of the Lord
and drink of the waters of life, then we will be filled with prophetic
songs, and hymns, and spiritual songs (Ephesians 5:18-19; Colossians 3:16;
John 4:14; John 7:37-38).

The Holy Ghost desires to clothe us with the garments of praise, and
produce within us a holy fellowship of worship that causes our hearts to be
yielded to the presence of God. As we yield to Him, we are adorned with the
splendor of His glory, and filled with the beauty of His presence. In
worship, the Holy Spirit translates us to a place where all earthly things
disappear. It is here in the Holies of Holies -where nothing but God
exists- that we find ourselves engaged in true worship. Being adorned with
holiness and raptured by the Spirit, our mouths become filled with praise
and our hearts begin to tremble. In the beauty of holiness, we find a place
among all of those who cry out continually: "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord;
the whole earth is filled with His glory!" (Hebrews 12:14; Isaiah 6:3;
Revelation 4:8; Exodus 28:36). It is here that our eyes are opened to all
that His hands have made. In this place of glory, our hearts are filled
with understanding and revelation in the knowledge of Him (Psalms 89:6-7;
Ephesians 1:17-18).
 
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