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Daily Bread - August 9, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Wednesday, 09 August 2017 10:19
John 17:19 - And I sanctify Myself for them, so that they may also be truly
sanctified.

The first time that the word 'sanctified' is used in the Bible is in
Genesis 2:3. The word in both the Hebrew language and the Greek language
may be translated "made holy". Sanctified may also be understood simply as
"set apart". Jesus set Himself apart for one purpose, and that was to give
His life to destroy the power of sin and death; so that through His death,
mankind might be set free from the darkness of sin. Jesus set Himself
apart, or consecrated Himself, to the Father so that we may also be
consecrated, or made holy. Although Jesus was holy and set apart unto God
from birth, yet He also set Himself apart for the specific purpose of
giving Himself a ransom for every man.

God made us holy in Christ Jesus to live a life consecrated by the Holy
Spirit. Now that we have been made holy by the Lord Jesus, we are called to
voluntarily present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable
unto God (Romans 12:1-2). We are called to perfect holiness in the fear of
God (2 Corinthians 7:1). When God finished His work of creation, He
sanctified the seventh day. When God finished His work of redemption, He
sanctified man. We totally belong to God. We are His workmanship created in
Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:10; 1 Corinthians 6:11, 19-20; 2 Corinthians
6:16-7:1).

God, Who both created and redeemed us, has extended the invitation to
everyman to come and walk with Him in His ways of life. We have been set
free from every twisted and evil thing, so that we can enjoy life in the
Holy Ghost. God has given us everything that pertains to life and
godliness, so that we can enjoy life in its fullness (2 Peter 1:3-11; John
10:10; 1 Corinthians 1:9; 2 Corinthians 9:8). Let the Holy Spirit lead you
in the way of life that God has liberally supplied to us. The Holy Spirit
was given to us, so that we can learn and enjoy all the realms of God's
abundant life (Psalms 16:11; John 16:13-15; Ephesians 4:13; 2 Timothy 3:17).

Set yourself apart to the Lord, and let Holy Spirit lead you!
 
Daily Bread - August 8, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Tuesday, 08 August 2017 12:38
Romans 5:1 - Therefore, having been made righteous by faith, we have peace
with God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

One of the many important concepts that must be grasped with the word
'justified' is given in Proverbs 17:15, "He who justifies (tzadek) the
wicked, and he who condemns the righteous are both alike, an abomination to
the Lord." When God justified the wicked in the New Testament, He did so by
removing all of their wickedness (Colossians 2:11; Romans 6:6). The power
of the blood of Jesus removed the effects and penalty of sin that had been
committed (2 Peter 1:9; Hebrews 8:12, 10:17; Romans 6:22; Revelation 1:5).
God also removed the power and dominion of sin that would continue to drive
a person to sin against his or her own will (Romans 6:14; 1 John 3:5, 8; 1
Peter 2:24; Hebrews 2:14; 2 Timothy 1:10; Galatians 1:4).

In the New Testament, we may group the concept of being justified into two
categories: being self-justified and being justified by God. In the first
category, there are examples like a lawyer in Luke 10:25-29 and the
Pharisees in Luke 16:14-15. The only way to move from being self-justified
to being justified by God is to acknowledge being wrong and thus leave off
self-justification. The act of repentance and faith in Christ Jesus then
produces the miracle of salvation, which makes one righteous (justified).
The ability, then, to live righteously in Christ Jesus through the
indwelling of the Holy Spirit results in one being shown to be righteous
(justified) (Romans 6:18,22; 2 Corinthians 5:17-18; Galatians 2:20;
Philippians 1:21, 3:20). The word 'justified' is also used by Jesus of a
person being free from all charges of wrong doing such as those whose words
are spoken in truth and purity (Matthew 12:37). Another example is the
sinner who, unlike the Pharisee, refused to justify himself (Luke 18:13-14).

To be justified one must be forgiven by God. God's forgiveness, provided
for us through the blood of Jesus, erases the sin; and, as a result, there
is a verdict of innocent. However, if a person then sins after being
forgiven by God, then they are guilty and must seek to be forgiven again (1
John 1:9, 2:1; James 1:14-16; Romans 6:23). God does not justify a sinful
life style; He justifies the repenting sinner seeking forgiveness. The
concept of being justified includes not only being forgiven of sin, but
being dead to sin (Romans 6:6-7). When God justifies the wicked man who
repents, he puts the sin to death by putting the sinner to death in Christ
Jesus (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:3; Romans 6:4). Thus, reconciliation
-or the exchange of life- takes place (2 Corinthians 5:18-19; Romans 5:10).
The sinner exchanges his life of unrighteousness for the life of Christ and
His righteousness. The miracle of salvation allows us to be crucified with
Christ and buried with Him by baptism into His death, so that we can also
be raised up together with Him (Colossians 3:1-4, 2:12; Romans 6:4).

The newness of life in that we receive in salvation is the very life of
Christ; insomuch that we can say that we no longer live, but Christ lives.
Through sharing this life of union with Christ Jesus, we are shown to be
righteous (justified) (John 14:20, 17:21-22, 6:56; Colossians 1:27;
Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 2:10). The life of Christ becomes our life
because Christ Jesus in born into our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Colossians
1:27). This life of God imparted to us brings forth a brand new inner
person (soul, spirit, heart, mind, and conscience) that is ruled and
governed by the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:24; 1
Thessalonians 5:23; Ezekiel 36:26; Ephesians 6:6; 1 Peter 1:9; John 3:6;
Acts 15:9; Hebrews 8:10; 1 Peter 4:2; Hebrews 9:14, 10:22; Philippians 4:7).

Spontaneous song from this past Sunday's meetings:
Living in realms of Heaven,
And not going out!
Living in the realms of Glory,
And overwhelmed!
 
Daily Bread - August 7, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 07 August 2017 11:21
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). 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; 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. 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 15:5;
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 7:5,
6:20-21; Ephesians 2:1-3). 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 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 4:13-14, 7:37-39)!

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 of God were 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 peoples lives by obeying His commands. In the New
Testament, the holiness of God has come into our lives 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).
 
Daily Bread - August 5, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 04 August 2017 23:05
2 Corinthians 13:5 - Examine yourself to see if you are in the faith. Test
yourself; do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you? If not, then you
are counterfeit!

A living faith has a living Jesus in it. A living faith is a faith that
sees and knows with certainty. A living faith interacts in a very personal
way with the living Savior, Christ Jesus. Do you realize that Jesus Christ
is in you? The faith, which is in Christ Jesus made it possible for Christ
Jesus to be in us. When the Spirit of God came upon us, we received more
than just a change of heart and spirit; we were given a new heart and a new
spirit. Thus, we boldly proclaim that we have been born of God Who formed
His son Christ Jesus in us (Galatians 4:19; 1 John 3:24). We, therefore,
have both experienced and acknowledge that Christ Jesus lives in us! The
miracle power of faith has brought forth the very life of Christ Jesus into
our beings (Colossians 1:27; John 17:23; Romans 8:11, 10:8, 13:14; 2
Corinthians 5:14-15, 10:7, 13:3; 1 Corinthians 6:15; Galatians 2:20, 3:27;
Ephesians 3:17, 4:13; Philippians 1:21; Colossians 3:4, 16; 1 Corinthians
4:17; 2 Corinthians 1:21, 2:17; Galatians 4:19). The faith of God brought
forth the life, nature, and acts of Jesus into our lives.

It would have been difficult for Paul to use a more harsh word for those
who failed the test. To say that one is counterfeit, or reprobate, means
that they are both undiscerning and unfit. This word is used of those who
have either rejected God, or have been rejected by God (Titus 1:16; Romans
1:28; 2 Timothy 3:8; 1 Corinthians 9:27). Such a one has failed to realize,
much less confess, that Christ Jesus is in them. Certainly, Paul did not
believe that they would fail the test; but they, indeed, needed to be
sobered up because they were drifting upon a sea of jeopardy.

If we are going to receive the benefits of faith, then we must believe the
Word of God! It is essential that we acknowledge the truth and of the
glorious mystery of God that Christ is indeed living in us; for this is the
living faith of the living Savior, Who has made us alive together with Him,
and in whose life we dwell (Colossians 2:2; 1:27; 1 Thessalonians 5:10;
John 15:1-5)! In chapter 11 of the same book, Paul had warned that there
were those who were preaching another Jesus (2 Corinthians 11:4). The Jesus
that Paul preached was One Who had both risen from the dead and was
dwelling in the life of those who had received the miracle of salvation.
There is no faith without Jesus, for He is the Author and Finisher of it
(Hebrews 12:2)!
 
Daily Bread - August 4, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 04 August 2017 12:03
James 4:6 - But He gives more grace. For this reason He said, God opposes
the proud and gives grace to the humble.

This is a very serious warning against all of those who choose to continue
in pride and rebellion. Although such behavior should only be observed by
those who are in the world, many of God's people allow themselves to be
influenced by the world. The saints of God are given the divine nature,
which has the spirit of humility; yet there is an evil one who goes about
seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8; Ephesians 6:11). The spirit of
disobedience that is at work in the world attacks the saints with the lust
of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life (Ephesians 2:1-2;
1 John 2:15-17). The pride of life is the most subtle of all Satan's
attacks. The pride of life seeks the interest of self, and always has with
it a perfectly justified reason for its arrogant behavior.

The most important thing to pay attention to is that pride is the opposite
of humility; so, therefore, is easy to spot. The rebellion and arrogance of
pride usually manifest themselves at the point of correction. Therefore,
many who have come under this demonic influence have a story to tell about
how they were hurt or mistreated by someone -and especially those who were
over the household of faith, like a pastor. Those who walk under the
influence of the pride of life refuse to be governed by the Spirit of God
and His ministers. Humility must be in our life if we are going to receive
correction and respond in obedience. Otherwise, one of the many things that
will result from a prideful heart is a root of bitterness that will spring
up and defile many. Just as Satan began to slander God because of the
prideful heart that was conceived in him, even so, those who are influenced
by him begin to defile many with their slanders.

It is easy to walk with the Lord and follow the Holy Spirit: all we have to
be willing to do is to walk humbly (Matthew 11:29; Psalm 34:18; Psalm
51:17; Psalm 138:6; Micah 6:8). If we will walk humbly with our God, there
will be nothing but grace and mercy. Those who have been born of the Spirit
must be willing to continually keep themselves clothed with humility, lest
they fall into the snare of the devil (1 Peter 5:5-6; 1 Timothy 3:7; 2
Timothy 2:22-26). We must be careful that we do not wander off in
self-will, and begin to despise the authorities that God has placed in our
lives to teach us to walk in the ways of God (Ephesians 4:7-16). God's gift
of sustaining grace can only be received by those who are willing to
recognize their need, and humble themselves under the might correcting hand
of God. Most of the time our need is revealed in humbling situations;
therefore, it will take humility to respond properly. Those who respond in
humility to correction lay a foundation for greater humility, and the grace
and honor that it brings (Proverbs 15:33; Proverbs 18:12; Proverbs 22:4).
Those who respond arrogantly only create for themselves a hard and impudent
heart that leads to more trouble and rebellion (Psalm 18:27; Romans 2:4-6;
Hebrews 3-4). If you oppose the government of God, you are opposing God (1
Samuel 8:6-8; Jeremiah 8:8-10; Hosea 4:1-7; Romans 13; Ephesians 4; Hebrews
10:28-39)!

Do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God!
 
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