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Daily Bread - June 17, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Saturday, 17 June 2017 10:08
Ephesians 5:1 - Be, then, imitators of God, as loving children.

Acting like God - Part 2

Our adversary, Satan, lays the snares of pride and self-exaltation in our
way, and we must learn to recognize them. The pride of life must be cast
down, for it would pull us away from living like little children following
an admired and trusted leader. Many look down on someone who acts like
another person, but that is naìˆve -everybody acts like those who have
influenced them, beginning with their parents. In fact, it was as little
children that we developed much of our behavior. We learn more as little
children than at any other time in our life. It is also during those early
developmental years that we were more dependent upon leadership. It is a
good thing to be converted and become like a little child who is dependent
on God for everything -for out of the mouths of babes and sucklings, those
that must be totally dependent upon God, that strength has been ordained
(Psalm 8:2; Matthew 18:3; Luke 18:17).

We were converted and became like little children when we were born again.
We became as newborn babes so that we might be taught of God and grow up
into all His ways (Romans 8:15-16; 1 Peter 2:2). There is a great reward in
spiritual maturity, and we must not allow anything to draw us away from the
prize that is set before us (Philippians 3:14). An independent, rebellious,
and stubborn attitude that demands our own way should have no place in our
lives -it must be seen as a thief and a robber. We should rise up with a
holy indignation and violence against it, because it will indeed destroy
everything. There is no way that we can be a co-laborer with Christ Jesus
if we are not His devoted followers. If we will walk in the love and
humility of the Holy Ghost, we will learn to be ferociously loyal to God
and to those who belong to His Kingdom.

We have been anointed and established together with Christ Jesus. We are
called to come into the fullness of His maturity (2 Corinthians 1:21;
Ephesians 4:13). We have been given an unspeakable and amazing opportunity
to be taught by the Holy Ghost and live in all of God's glory. There could
be no greater opportunity afforded men than to have this call. Being
empowered to be imitators of God is greater than riches, fame, and all
other achievements that men so diligently give themselves to obtain. Why is
it that we remain so unbelieving and refuse to forsake everything else to
pursue this heavenly call? Can we truly believe that all God has is ours
and yet remain lukewarm, slothful, and negligent? Would we not stand up
with ferocious loyalty and face all the great challenges that would attempt
to stop us and cast them down like thieves? If we could see that our God is
the one who lives in humility, would we not want to be just like Him? The
world makes pride and arrogance look strong; but the Most High, God
Almighty, has chosen the way of the lowly (Isaiah 57:15, 66:1-2; 1 Peter
5:5).

We have this amazing opportunity to mature into all the fullness of Jesus,
but somehow we fail to see much advancement in the ranks (Ephesians
4:12-13; John 14:12; Hebrews 5:12). The Lord is dedicated to building us up
and strengthening us so that we can function in all the riches of this
inheritance, but we must be willing to forsake our own way and fully
entrust our lives to Him (Acts 20:32; Ephesians 3:16, 20; Luke 12:32;
Matthew 16:25). We cannot fight our own battles anymore, defend our own
causes, or seek our own interests. We must recognize that it is not
necessarily faith that we need more of, but simple obedience. With a hunger
and thirst for more of the things of the Kingdom, all these things in God
are ours! Don't make the mistake of making your calling in God anything
less than what it is: you are predestined
to walk in the fullness of Jesus (Romans 8:29)!

Commit yourself, today, to imitate God and behave just like the Holy Ghost!
 
Daily Bread - June 16, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 16 June 2017 12:00
Ephesians 5:1 - Be, then, imitators of God, as loving children.

Acting like God - Part 1

God's nature is divine in every way. Everything about Him is good, lovely,
and wonderful; and we are graced with the privilege of being taught to be
like Him (Matthew 5:48; James 1:17; John 16:13-15; 1 Timothy 4:8; 2 Timothy
3:12; Hebrews 8:10-11; 2 Peter 1:3, 6-7). We are commanded to imitate God,
walk in the Spirit, and follow Jesus (Ephesians 5:1; Galatians 5:25;
Matthew 10:38). The concept of 'mimetai' (to 'mimic' or 'imitate') goes
beyond the idea of being God's friend or follower -it calls for us to act
exactly like God! If we are going to act like God, we must be trained to
function in His nature and ways.

God made all of this possible: He changed our hearts and spirits to be like
His; and He sent the Holy Spirit to teach us and train us (John 6:45; 1
Thessalonians 4:9; Jeremiah 31:34). We should be eager to learn and mature!
The anointing that we have received reveals the things of God's divine
nature to us, and our response should be a hunger and thirst for more (1
John 2:27; Matthew 5:6). As we listen to the Holy Spirit and respond to
Him, we become increasingly sensitive to His voice and instruction. Along
with sensitivity, comes humility and meekness; and these make us even more
pliable and cooperative (Matthew 11:29; Philippians 2:5-7). God the Holy
Spirit will not do anything outside of love and humility; and if we are
going to connect with Him, then we must learn to only give place to His
divine disposition.

Being self-willed must have no place in our life. Jesus taught us to deny
ourselves and instead do only those things that the Father shows us to do
(John 5:19, 5:30, 8:28, 54, 12:49, 15:5; Mark 8:34). Recognizing 'yourself'
is a challenging thing, but the Holy Spirit instructs us using both the
contrast of our lives to Jesus and the beauty of what He reveals to us
about the nature of God. If we are going to flow in the rivers of His
Spirit, then we must not flow with the things of 'ourself' (our
perspectives, self-will, and self-interest). When it is our delight to do
His will as the servants of the Lord, being self-willed becomes that much
more apparent to us. Living for ourselves and after the strong impulses of
what we think and perceive opposes our growth and blessings in God. We can
cry out all day long for more anointing and more of this or that, but
nothing will change until we are willing to do things God's way. God is
faithfully committed to our spiritual maturity, but we must cooperate. If
we walk in the love and humility of the Holy Spirit, we will be thrilled
with the glory and goodness of God's divine order. We will gladly imitate
God and all of His divine behavior, and follow those who follow Jesus and
flow in the Holy Ghost (1 Corinthians 4:16, 11:1; Philippians 3:17; 1
Thessalonians 1:6; 2 Thessalonians 3:7, 9; Hebrews 13:7, 17; 1 Peter 5:5).
As we walk with God, we will develop an insatiable appetite for more of
Heaven!
 
Daily Bread - June 15, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 15 June 2017 09:01
Isaiah 6:3 - And the one called unto another and said, "Holy, Holy, Holy is
Yahoah of Armies; all the earth is full of his glory!"

The presence and being of God is sacred (Exodus 15:11; 1 Timothy 6:16). He
is righteous in all of His ways, and holy in all of His works (Psalm
145:17). We are called to come and worship Him in the beauty of holiness
(Exodus 28:2; 1 Chronicles 16:29; Psalm 29:2, 96:9, 110:3; Isaiah 52:1). We
are called to come to a sacred place; a place of awe and reverence of the
awesome wonders -and the presence- of the Giver of life and Author of
lovingkindness.

If we really desire to come into the deeper realms of the fullness of God,
then we must be willing, through the act of our own will and choices, to
cooperate with the Holy Spirit and enter into a place of holiness. This
place of holiness must be sacred to us, and we have to begin with the
reality that God has made our lives holy; and therefore, they must be
treated in a sacred way. God made us His temple; and we must be willing to
call His temple sacred, and not trespass against the holiness that He
brought into our lives when He gave us His Holy Spirit, and called us His
holy ones (1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 6:19; John 14:26, 17:21-23; 2 Corinthians
6:16).

Today, recognize that the One Who is Holy has come to dwell with you, and
in you. Honor Him, and give Him the reverence that is due His presence by
yielding your members as servants to righteousness unto holiness (Romans
6:16-19, 22).
 
Daily Bread - June 14, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Wednesday, 14 June 2017 10:45
Exodus 15:11 - Who is like you, Yehowah, among the gods? Who is like you:
majestic in holiness, fearful in praise, doing wonders?

Holiness:

God showed Himself to be distinct and separate from all of the other ideas
of gods and kingdoms when He overthrew the kingdom of Egypt. God brought
Israel out of Egypt so that they could be separated from all other things,
and live a separated life unto Him. God's holiness is a protective realm
from all that is evil. His eyes are so pure that they cannot behold evil,
and His Spirit so holy that it cannot contemplate anything but
righteousness and truth. The fire that surrounded God is a practical
description of His holiness. The glory, which He dwells in is like a light
unto which no man can approach (1 Timothy 6:16; Exodus 19:18, 24:17;
Hebrews 12:18). The fire which surrounds God could be viewed as a heavenly
dimension, separate from all that is in the world.

God has granted to us the gift of His holiness; and demands that we be holy
just as He is holy (1 Peter 1:15-16). He has given us His holy nature
through the new creation, making us separate from the world and protecting
us from all the demonic realm (Ephesians 4:24; 2 Corinthians 5:17-18; 1
John 5:18; John 17:14-16). He has given us a new spirit and filled us with
His Holy Spirit, making us the temple of the Holy Ghost (Ezekiel 36:26).
Our spirit is joined unto the Holy Spirit, and we exist as His temple (1
Corinthians 3:17, 6:17,19). He has baptized us in His fire and in the
Spirit of Holiness, and He keeps us by His power (Luke 3:16; 1 Peter 1:5).
We are commanded to bring forth the fruits which are the evidence that we
walk in His holiness (Romans 6:22; Galatians 5:22-23). We must have the
seal of the Spirit of Holiness in our conversation and conduct: the proof
that we are led by the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:13;
4:30). If we are the sons of God and have been born of the Holy Spirit,
then we will walk in the Spirit of Holiness (Romans 8:14, 16). We must be
dedicated to living this life of holiness, separated from worldly
influences, having nothing to do with all that is in the world (2
Corinthians 6:17; 1 John 2:15-16; 2 Peter 3:11). As certain as we must be
born of the Holy Spirit, we must also walk in the Spirit; for without
holiness no man shall see the Lord (John 3:1-3; Galatians 5:16,25; Hebrews
12:14).

Walk in the Spirit of Holiness!

Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
 
Daily Bread - June 13, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Tuesday, 13 June 2017 09:55
Luke 1:75 - In holiness and righteousness in His sight all the days of our
lives.

Could it be that there exists in everyone who has been born of the Spirit
an untapped divine ability to be everything that God intended men to be
when He first created them in His likeness and image? Is it possible that
because we have not been willing to believe we can live in this blessed
realm, that we have been deceived into accepting a lifestyle far less than
what God purposed for us in redemption?

The Greek word for holiness (hosiotes), that is used here and in Ephesians
4:24, has a special meaning. In classical Greek the word 'hosia' denotes
the everlasting principles of "right" (Word Study in the New Testament). It
is, therefore, correct to assume then that the Greek word used here for
'holiness' concerns the eternal laws of God. The meaning of this "proper
behavior" concerning the eternal laws of God would extend beyond what would
be acceptable for a period of time, such as the Law of Moses or another
covenant merely facilitating yet another step towards the ultimate desire
of God; but rather, would be the very expression of the behavior of the
eternal laws of God. There are some who argue that this word (hosiotes)
should be translated 'purity' or 'perfection' (A Handbook of the Gospel of
Luke Reiling, J., & Swellengrebel, J. L. (1993], c1971).

By the Holy Spirit, Zacharias prophesied concerning the age of the Messiah,
an age which has no end. The age of the Kingdom and reign of the Messiah
began two thousand years ago, and of the increase of His government and
peace there will be no end (Isaiah 9:7; Colossians 1:13). Zacharias
announced to all mankind what God would do for us through our Savior Jesus
Christ. He was introducing the new birth and the new self, created in
righteousness and true holiness (Ephesians 4:24). Through this awesome work
of grace, God has given to us an unspeakable gift (2 Corinthians 9:15). He
has delivered us from the fear that had caused us to live in bondage all of
our lifetime (Hebrews 2:15; Luke 1:74; Genesis 3:10). God has filled us
with His Spirit and given us the Spirit of sonship; so that we can call God
our Father, and serve Him as He before ordained -in holiness, without
blame, before Him in love (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:4-5).
There is absolutely no question about God's desire for us to be holy; for
He tells us in no uncertain terms to be Holy even as He is Holy, and that
without holiness we will not see Him (1 Peter 1:15-16; Hebrews 12:14).
 
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