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daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 03 May 2010 11:24
1 Peter 1:14-15 - As obedient children, not conforming to the former desires
in your ignorance, but according to His holy calling: you shall also be Holy
in all conversation.

The former desires are those desires that ruled our passions before the new
birth. The former desires are inspired by the god of this world, the spirit
that works in the children of disobedience. Satan attacks the children of
God, and attempts to impose his desires upon them. The satanic desire is
expressed by all that is in the world: the lust of the flesh, the lust of
the eye, and the pride of life.

However, the Holy Calling has not only called us to be totally separate from
all these things, but has also empowered us with the desires of the Father.
As we yield to the Holy Spirit, the joy and wellsprings of holiness flow out
of us as rivers of living water. We find ourselves having only one desire;
and that is to please the Father. His ways become our ways, and His desires
our desires. In this realm of Holy Spirit inspiration, we are called to
resist the devil, steadfast in the faith; and not allow those former desires
to have any place in our lives.
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Saturday, 01 May 2010 11:57
Proverbs 4:12 - When you walk your steps shall not be under assault; and if
you run, you shall not stumble.

The Holy Spirit has come to teach us in the way of wisdom, and to led us in
right paths. The way of life is a smooth way, lit up with the glory of God
and the word of life. Those who find it shall not stumble - even the fool
can not err there (Luke 3:5; Psalm 119:105; Isaiah 35:8). God has set us up
on the paths of righteousness, and has commanded the host of heaven to
defend us; and He Himself has become our defense! The Lord God Almighty
surrounds us with His glory, pleading with us to walk in the ways of life.
He surrounds us and fills us: with the fire of His presence and with His
Holy Spirit. He says: "Here is the way, walk in it." He leads us in the
paths of righteousness for His name's sake. He surrounds us as a shield
(Psalm 5:12). He will hold us up with His right hand (Psalm 18:35). He will
show us His ways, and teach us His paths (Psalm 25:4).Through the blood of
Jesus Christ, all of the provision of God has been made available - to
anyone who asks.

If we are willing to hear His instruction and submit to His leadership, then
our ways will be established in God; and the blessings of the Lord will
cause us to inherit all things that are good, and that pertain to life and
godliness. We are to arise and shine with the glory of God, and be like a
city set upon a hill; but we must understand how God makes this possible,
and cooperate with His will. He makes the way of the righteous like a
shining light, that shines more and more unto that final day (Proverbs
4:18). But if our hearts are not set upon seeking righteousness above all
other things, then we will miss out on everything that God has set His heart
to do for us (Matthew 5:6; Matthew 6:33; Acts 10:35).

The power of God has transformed our lives, so that we can receive the Word
of God, and be given the strength of the Spirit to do what God has ordained.
His word gives us the instruction of life, so that we might consecrate
ourselves to it; and the Spirit of God strengthens us to do those things
which God has commanded. But we all have the choice. We can either allow
temporal pleasures to dominate our thoughts; or we can set our hearts upon
the word of God, and live.

The word of God is the wisdom of God - that tends to life, and gives us the
knowledge of the Holy. Wisdom cries out to anyone who hears, and pleads with
us to come and receive her; so that we might live, and fulfill the will of
God for our lives. It is by wisdom and understanding that we will find
strength and stability in our walk with the Lord. If we hear and obey the
word of God, then all of the rich rewards of God's wisdom will be ours.
Wisdom is like a virtuous woman who invites us to a lavish banquet of riches
and honor; while folly is the adulterous woman who tempts us to come into
poverty and death. Come, let us make straight paths for our feet - where
there will be no restraint no hindrances. Take out the stones, and make your
heart a highway for God; and let your feet walk in smooth places (Isaiah
62:10). Let us keep ourselves from the things of this world, so that our
steps are not continually under harassment. Let us walk in the light of the
Lord (1 John 1:7; Isaiah 2:5; Isaiah 60:19; Ephesians 5:8).
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 30 April 2010 12:39
2 Timothy 2:22 - But flee youthful lusts; and run after righteousness,
faith, love, and peace with those who call upon the Lord from a pure heart.

The Lord demands purity! We live in a time period where moral restraint has
no meaning. Our school systems do not teach moral restraint and ethics;
rather the post-modern world says "anything goes!" and treats every choice
as equal. Many of our church leaders teach that if you live a holy and
consecrated life, then you are nothing more than religious and legalistic.
However, this is far from the truth. The truth has been proven throughout
history: such immoral codes of conduct lead only to ruin and downfall. The
Lord makes it painfully clear that the wages of sin is death, and that those
who sow to the flesh shall reap corruption (Galatians 6:7-8).

As the people of God, we must be consecrated to moral purity. We must run
away from the strong impulses of youthful lusts, and instead run to
righteousness. It is essential that we all get wisdom and realize that if we
take fire into our bosom, then we will be burned (Proverbs 6:27). If we
participate in lustful things by watching them, or in any way setting them
in front of us, then Satan will use it to erode our moral resistance against
those things - which are contrary to our God and to His life that He has
given us. In fleeing from the enticements and the lusts that are set up all
around us, we must make sure that we do not bring them into our homes or
into the meditation of our thoughts (Proverbs 4:23; Psalm 19:14; Psalm
49:3). We have to be careful regarding the books that we read, the programs
that we watch, and the websites that we visit.

The Lord gives us the instruction that serves as the perfect example of how
to flee. He says, "Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the
way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away"
(Proverbs 4:14-15). If we will remain committed to the Lord by having no
fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, we will discover that the
temptations of Satan will not be effective against us. "When you walk your
steps will not be under assault, and when you run you will not stumble"
(Proverbs 4:12). God has made provision that none of our steps should slip
(Psalm 18:33,36; Habakkuk 3:19). He has promised to uphold us; and should we
give ourselves to His way of life, then we shall never stumble (2 Peter
1:4-8; 2 Peter 1:10). There are many who say it is not possible to live holy
and godly lives; but the Lord says He demands it! (Titus 2:12; 1 Peter
1:15-16; 2 Peter 3:11; Romans 6:22; Matthew 5:48; Ephesians 1:4; Luke 1:75).
If we are going to learn to walk in the ways that the Lord has commanded,
then we are going to have to give ourselves to the commitments that he
demands.
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 29 April 2010 09:50
Psalm 101:3 - I will set no wicked thing before my eyes; I hate the works of
revolt, none of it shall cleave to me.

The Hebrew text actually says, "I will set no thing of Belial before my
eyes." Belial is actually a synonym for Satan and lawlessness. Paul uses
this word to describe everything that belongs to the satanic realm in 2
Corinthians 6:15, "What agreement does Christ have with Belial, or what does
a believer share with an unbeliever?" The Septuagint translates 'Belial'
with the Greek word 'anomias', which is the word used to describe the "man
of iniquity" and the "mystery of iniquity" in 2 Thessalonians 2:3,7. Those
who are of Belial have cast off the yoke of God, and they have become
lawless (Psalm 2:2-3; 2 Thessalonians 2:7; Hebrews 1:9).

Although we are not under the law of Moses in the New Testament, we are
still under the law of God and the righteousness of God (Romans 3:21,31;
Romans 8:2,4; Romans 8:7; 1 Corinthians 9:21; Hebrews 8:10). We are bound to
the law of moral and ethical codes of godliness, righteousness, and holiness
(Romans 8:4; 1 Peter 1:15-16; Titus 2:14; Romans 6:19; Hebrews 12:14;
Ephesians 4:24; Romans 14:17; Isaiah 62:1; 2 Timothy 2:19,22). There are far
too many people who are supposed to be the saints (holy ones) of God - who
both live and confess lawlessness; and by definition this is the apostasy,
this is lawlessness and iniquity (Titus 1:16; Luke 13:27; 2 Thessalonians
2:3,7; Matthew 24:12; 2 Timothy 3:1-7; Hebrews 3:8). Therefore, we must
recognize that just as there were sons of Belial among those of the First
Covenant, there are now sons of Belial in the midst of the church of the new
Testament. Be certain that you are one who follows Jesus, and are led by the
Spirit (1 Peter 2:21-22; Galatians 5:16; Romans 8:14; 1 Corinthians 5:11; 1
Corinthians 11:1; Ephesians 5:11).
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Wednesday, 28 April 2010 11:44
Psalm 101:3 - I will set no wicked thing before my eyes; I hate the works of
revolt, none of it shall cleave to me.

A Practical Application

Recently, I read a discussion by an Orthodox Jewish group regarding the
internet. Their conclusion was that the internet should be banned from the
world - a conclusion that I am certain is in keeping with God's own opinion.
The reason for this judgment is based on all of the potential immoral and
decadent sites that one brings into their lives and their homes by virtue of
the fact that such sites are at one's fingertips (of course this can also be
said of cable and satellite networks such as HBO and Showtime). These sites
destroy both the spiritual and ultimately the physical well-being of all who
look upon them (Romans 6:23; Galatians 6:8; 1 John 2:17). Therefore, we have
to become responsible to block those sites from our own communities. First
the community of our home and family, second the community of our church and
congregation, and third the community of our work place.

How can we effectively do this? We must buy the appropriate filters, as well
as participate in monitors. We cannot set evil things before our own eyes,
and we must not be responsible for placing evil things before the eyes of
our family and communities (Psalm 101:3; Habakkuk 1:13; 1 Peter 1:16). We
are not to gaze or even glance at a woman who is immodestly dressed (Matthew
5:28; Job 31:1). God has commanded us to not enter into the path of the
wicked, and to not go in the way of evil men. We are to avoid it, to turn
from it, and pass away from it (Proverbs 4:14-15).

My recommendation is that you have a brother or sister that is an extended
family member set the password on the filter that you set up. An
accountability structure that would serve as an additional and needed
safeguard would be the web monitoring system. Once again, this system should
be set and monitored by someone that you are willing to be accountable to.
One excellent way of doing this is to make yourselves accountable to each
other. Therefore the person that you allow to monitor your computer(s)
should in turn allow you to monitor their computer(s). You will have to be
patient and work through the restrictions that will be placed on sites that
you may need to visit that are blocked, even though they contain no harmful
material/pictures. The effort will be more than worthwhile, as you will save
your soul from a snare; as well as those that are around you.
 
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