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Daily Bread - November 13, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 13 November 2017 09:25
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!

Follow Jesus, walk in the Spirit, and imitate your Father!
 
Daily Bread - November 11, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Saturday, 11 November 2017 08:13
Isaiah 58:14 - At that time, you shall delight on account of Yahoah. And I
will cause you to ride upon your high places of the earth. Also, I will
feed you with the inheritance of Jacob your father; for the mouth of Yahoah
has spoken.

If you want your voice to be heard in the chambers of the Almighty God,
then there are some things that you are going to have to do (Isaiah
58:4,9). If you want the glory of God in your life, and the increase in the
anointing so that you can walk upon the high places of authority in God,
then you must comply with God's demands (Isaiah 58:8; Deuteronomy 32:13).
In Isaiah Chapter 58, God describes a list of those demands. We must be
willing to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens; to let
the oppressed go free, and break every yoke (Isaiah 58:6). This in itself
would be a revolution to the way many churches, and those who attend,
operate. There would be no more holding people under a mandate that they
cannot live free from the tyranny set against the Kingdom of God, and from
disobedience to God himself. It would be absolutely forbidden to walk in
unforgiveness and resentment towards anyone. There would be a demand placed
on living in the liberty and freedom that is in Christ Jesus. In this
liberty and freedom, we would walk by nature in the Spirit of Holiness. The
bands of wickedness are broken when, as Isaiah said: "the brokenhearted are
healed, liberty is proclaimed to the captives, and the prison doors are
opened to those who were bound" (Isaiah 61:1).

It is essential that we recognize that we are to be separated unto a unique
kind of fast. Instead of focusing on afflicting ourselves by not eating
food, while all the time the nature and compassion of God is absent from
our hearts, we must take hold of the knowledge of God (Isaiah 58:3-7). With
the knowledge of God's will and the compassion of His heart overwhelming
us, then we will give bread to the hungry, we will bring the poor to our
houses, we will clothe the naked. We must understand that there is both a
spiritual application, as well as a physical. It is not just good enough to
give humanitarian aid, for the spiritual food and the knowledge of the
saving grace found only in Jesus Christ is far more important. We must also
recognize, by context, that these things are first for our own house and
the house of God (Isaiah 58:7; 1 John 3:17; Matthew 25:35-40). Many who are
orphaned and cast off by society would easily come to Jesus through such
compassion.

Should we be willing to both see and do things God's way, then we will
build the old waste places and raise up the foundation of many generations;
and repair the breach between God and His people; and restore the paths of
glory and greatness for the people of God to live in (Isaiah 58:12). We may
recognize from Isaiah Chapter 61 that a part of the Gospel is not only the
freedom to live the godly life of Christ Jesus, and walk in His splendor,
in the anointing of joy, and the mantle of praise (Isaiah 61:3,5-11; John
10:10; Romans 14:17); but also building the ancient ruins and raising up
the former desolations of many generations (Isaiah 61:4, 58:12). All of
these simply refer to the restoration of greatness in God and the blessing
that God placed upon Abraham, which was then also given to his descendants
and that we have inherited in Christ Jesus (Genesis 12:2-3, 22:17, 24:1,
27:28-29, 28:14; Deuteronomy 33:13-16; Galatians 3:16-18,14; 1 Peter 1:3-5;
Ephesians 1:17-23).

See and do things God's way! (Mark 8:34)
 
Daily Bread - November 10, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 10 November 2017 08:03
1 John 2:19 - They went out from us, but they were not of us. If they had
been of us, they would have remained with us; but rather, that it might be
manifested that not everyone is of us.

Betrayal and broken fellowship is the hallmark of rejecting Jesus. Judas
was, of course, the model of this broken trust. We can also say that satan,
who is also called the devil, did a similar thing when he rebelled against
God. Everyone always has a legitimate reason as to why they can carry an
offense and not walk in love and submission; but with God and His church,
it is a manifestation of the heart.

One of the primary themes of the First Epistle of John is the love of the
brethren and the fellowship that results from being in Christ. John takes
the position early on in this Epistle that fellowship with the saints is a
proof of redemption and of fellowship with God: "If we walk in the light as
He is in the light, then we have fellowship one with another, and the blood
of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7). The
fellowship that we have with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are
equated with the fellowship that we have with those who are begotten of God
(1 John 3:17, 4:12, 20, 5:2). If an individual does not have fellowship
with God, then he cannot have fellowship with those who are begotten of
God; and conversely, if there is no fellowship with the brethren, then it
is being manifested -regardless of what a person believes or says- that
there is no fellowship with God.

The First Epistle of John provides the proofs of fellowship to distinguish
between those who are of God and those who are deceivers. The chief
characteristic John gives of those who have been born of God is the love
they have for each another, and the commitment they have to lay down their
lives for one another (1 John 4:7-8, 16; John 13:35).

Love God, love the brethren!
 
Daily Bread - November 9, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 09 November 2017 14:20
Isaiah 61:1-4 - The Spirit of the Lord Yahoah is upon me; for Yahoah has
anointed me to preach to the meek; He as sent me to bind up those whose
hearts are broken, to proclaim liberty to the captives and to open prison
doors; to proclaim the acceptable year of Yahoah, and the day of the
vengeance of our God; and to comfort all who mourn; to appoint unto them
who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for
mourning, the mantle of praise for the spirit of dimness; and calling them
trees of of righteousness, the planting of Yahoah, that He may be
glorified. And they shall build the ancient ruins, they shall raise up the
wastelands of former times, and they shall repair desolate cities, the
wastelands of many generations.

Jesus stepped into the world of men and proclaimed that He was the One Whom
the Spirit of the Lord was upon. It was Jesus Who came and broke the yoke
of slavery from off of our necks. He destroyed the power that held us
prisoner to sin and death, and has appointed us unto an abundant life (John
10:10, 12:31, 16:11; Hebrews 2:14; 2 Timothy 1:10; Colossians 2:15; Romans
8:2). In Christ Jesus, we have been given splendor for ashes; and He has
anointed us with the Holy Spirit, so that we may have joy unspeakable and
full of glory. He has given us the mantle of praise, and made us the
righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (John 17:21-23, 15:11; 1 Peter 1:8,
2:9; 2 Corinthians 5:21).

We have also been appointed by the Lord to live in the heavenly realm
(Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 3:1-3). Even as Jesus was anointed of God, we
have also been anointed together with Christ, and given the baptism into
the Holy Spirit and fire (John 20:21; 2 Corinthians 1:21; Acts 1:8; 1
Thessalonians 1:5). We have received His glory, that we might testify of
it; and live in days of heaven on earth (Deuteronomy 11:21; Matthew 21:43;
John 10:10). The building of the ancient ruins and the restoration of the
wastelands speak of more than just the reconstruction of Jerusalem and the
land of Israel; it reveals that God's people will be reconstructed and
empowered to show forth His glory in the earth (Ephesians 4:24; 2
Corinthians 6:16; 1 John 2:27; Ezekiel 36:26; Jeremiah 31:31-33; Hebrews
8:8-11; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, 3:16; Matthew 5:14).

The river of God established in us is shown to be the life-giving power of
God; and wherever the river of God's presence flows, life springs up! It
flows into the wastelands, and they become like a fruitful garden paradise
(Isaiah 51:3; Ezekiel 47:8-9; Revelation 22:1; John 7:38-39). The blessings
and giftings of God that have been given to us in Christ Jesus cause men to
know that the power and presence of God is in the earth. Even as Laban
recognized that the blessing of God had come into his house through Jacob,
the world around us should see the blessing of God on our lives -and
benefit from it (Genesis 30:27). Elijah stood up in the mantle of God's
power; and when men confronted Him, they knew that they were confronting
the power of the Almighty (1 Kings 17:1, 18:17-46). The ancient ruins
testify of God's dwelling place in and with mankind. Today, we may once
again walk with God in all of His glory as we walk in the Spirit and
discover that God has made us His dwelling place. God has taken the ruins
of our lives and built for Himself a holy tabernacle, a place where He can
dwell. We have been given the opportunity to arise into the fullness of the
measure of the maturity of the ministry of Jesus, and abide in Him even as
He abides in us. The glory and majesty of the life of Jesus should,
therefore, be revealed in us for all the world to see! (1 Corinthians 3:16;
6:19-20; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; Ephesians 4:13; John 14:23, 15:1-5,
17:21-23; 2 Corinthians 4:5-6; John 12:20-21; Isaiah 61:1-4; Luke 4:16-22;
1 John 2:6; Mark 8:34; Matthew 5:14-16)


From a recent song of the Spirit:
Oh, the beauty and the majesty,
When only Jesus Christ is seen!

Oh, the glory and the honor,
When the Holy Spirit takes control!

Not my will, Lord, but Your's be done,
Only Your will lasts forever!


Let Jesus be revealed through your life today!
 
Daily Bread - November 8, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Wednesday, 08 November 2017 12:37
Romans 6:16-18 - Do you not know that who you yield yourselves servants to
obey, his servants you are to whom you obey; whether sin unto death, or
obedience unto righteousness? Because you were the servants of sin; but by
the grace of God, you have now obeyed from the heart the blueprint of
doctrine delivered to you. And then you, having been set free from sin,
have become 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 in the New Testament which
is used for righteousness (dikaiosune from dikaios) is found 91 times. 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 contexts common to the Old and New Testament. Some specific
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
9:9-10 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, 142; Ezra 9:15; Isaiah 24:16);
of His acts (Judges 5:11; 1 Samuel 12:7; Psalms 145:7); 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; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 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 diligently pursue righteousness
(Matthew 6:33; 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 2:22; Titus 2:11-14). We are
called to be the servants of righteousness, and to live righteously (Romans
6:18,19; 1 Peter 2:24; Titus 1:8, 2:12; 2 Corinthians 6:7, 9:10; Romans
1:17; Ephesians 4:24, 6:14; Philippians 1:11). The New Testament is, in
truth, both the message and the ministry of righteousness (2 Corinthians
3:9; Romans 5:18, 14:17; Ephesians 4:24; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Luke
1:74-75).

Hunger and thirst for righteousness! You'll be filled and blessed! (Matthew
5:6)
 
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