daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 17 May 2010 00:21
1 Thessalonians 3:13 - Unto the strengthening of your hearts: blameless in
holiness before God and our Father, in the coming of Jesus our Lord with all
His holy ones.

A gospel lacking love is a heresy. The life of the redeemed is characterized
first by a love for God - that is defined by obedience (John 14:15,21; John
15:10). Secondly, there is a love for the brethren - that is proven by one's
willingness to lay down their life for the community of the church (1
Thessalonians 4:9; John 13:34; John 15:12; 1 John 4:21). Committing
ourselves to the love of God is committing ourselves to holiness. Equally,
true spiritual maturity is observed by an ever-increasing expression of this
kind of love. We are to remain in His love so that we can remain in a
yielded state to the Holy Ghost, who will strengthen us in our inner being
so that we might walk in holiness. Being blameless before God is a result of
walking in holiness. We must recognize that we are called to all holiness
and godliness; and without holiness we will not see God (1 Peter 1:15; 2
Peter 3:11; Hebrews 12:14).

God's saints (holy-ones) are those who have been cleansed and consecrated to
God by the blood of Jesus, and transformed by the Holy Spirit. We are those
who have been brought out of darkness and slavery to sin - so that we can
live a life of obedience to the ways of God. The holiness that we have been
gifted with and are strengthened to walk in is the Holiness of God. The
Holiness of God is a description of His values and character, which is
likened unto a river of pure living water: untainted by any immorality or
spiritual impurity. The Greek phrase presented here is "blameless in
holiness" (amemptous en hagiosune), which would be an equivalent to "perfect
in holiness." Similarly Paul told the church at Corinth that they were to
perfect holiness in the fear of God (2 Corinthians 7:1). The way that
holiness is perfected in our lives is that we commit ourselves to obeying
God and to walking in spiritual purity; thus abstaining from sin, which Paul
characterizes as the filthiness of the flesh and spirit. Paul actually uses
a ceremonial phrase of cleansing or washing - characteristic of the ritual
performed by the priest before entering into the presence of God.

The Lord disciplines us so that we may share in His holiness (Hebrews
12:10). We correct our children so that they will learn to walk in
obedience, to our will and what we have come to know as good and right. How
much more will our heavenly Father correct us - who is devoted to our
salvation and eternal inheritance. We will either be condemned with the
world, or we will by chastened by the Lord so that we may share in His
Holiness (1 Corinthians 11:32; Hebrews 12:10). God is devoted to helping us
learn the ways of His life that will last forever; all we have to do is
respond.
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Saturday, 15 May 2010 10:15
Daily Bread MAY/15/10

Romans 8:26-27 - And in like manner also the Spirit helps our frailty; for
we do not know what we need to pray for, but the Spirit intercedes with
inexpressible groanings. And He that searches the heart knows what the
thoughts of the Spirit are, because according to God He intercedes on behalf
of holiness.

The Greek word that is translated "groan" or "sigh" ('stenagmous') refers to
a deep inward emotion. This is captured in Paul's usage of the word in 2
Corinthians 5:2, where he refers to the deep desire that he has to put off
the earthly tabernacle, that he might be clothed with the heavenly one.
Romans chapter eight reveals that the creation groans, the redeemed groan,
and the Spirit groans within the believer (Romans 8:22-27). The corruption
that is in the earth causes the creation to groan, the corruption of a
corruptible body causes the redeemed saint to groan, and the weakness of the
believer causes the Spirit to groan. While we consider the relationship
between creation, the saints, and the Spirit; we must first recognize that
while the saints are still in a corruptible body, they have been delivered
from the spiritual corruption that comes from sinful lust (2 Peter 1:4;
Ephesians 4:24; 2 Corinthians 5:17-18).

To understand what these groanings (or deep sighs) are, we must also keep
them within the context of the joy and rejoicing that has been brought to us
by the Holy Spirit. Now, knowing that this particular word (to sigh or
groan) is set as an opposite to the joy in Hebrews 13:17, we are dealing
with something that grieves and or troubles the Holy Spirit. We also observe
a similar expression when Jesus prayed for the deaf-mute, and was vexed with
such an affliction (Mark 7:34). When we consider this treasure of the Holy
Spirit that we have been gifted with, we must recognize that the most sacred
realm of heaven - that only belongs only to God - has been placed within us:
God's Holiness (2 Corinthians 4:7; Mark 3:29). There could be nothing more
opposite to the Holy Spirit, or grieving to the Lord, than for us to allow
things contrary to His Holiness in our thoughts, emotions, passions, or
attitudes.

Thus the Holy Spirit groans for the sake of holiness in our lives, and for
the weaknesses of the holy ones - that would allow anything other than that
which belongs to the divine nature and the holiness of God in their lives.
The Holy Spirit guides us, directs us, reproves, corrects, convinces,
convicts, and produces godly sorrow; teaches us and leads us, urges us,
prompts us, and inspires us into every dimension of the will and nature of
God. Walk by these influences - the promptings, urgings, unctions, and
inspirations of the Holy Spirit - and you will not fulfill the lust of the
flesh (sin and iniquity).
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 14 May 2010 00:12
Acts 2:1 - And in the day that Pentecost was fulfilled, everyone had one
passion before Him.

The Greek word 'homothumadon', translated "passion," is a compound of two
words meaning to "rush along" and "in unison." This compound word literally
means with the "same passion" or "same fierceness." "The image is almost
musical; a number of notes are sounded which, while different, harmonize in
pitch and tone. As the instruments of a great concert under the direction of
a concert master, so the Holy Spirit blends together the lives of members of
the church of Christ" (James Strong).

The intensity of this word serves to communicate both the commitment and
excitement that united them as they waited for the Promise of the Father. Of
the 12 times that this word is found in the New Testament, 11 of them are in
the book of Acts. This word helps to communicate the dedication that those
in the church had for one another. In their passion of love and obedience to
the Lord Jesus Christ, they were one. Through this scripture God has shown
to us the model of what He expects - if we are to be baptized with the Holy
Spirit and Fire in our meetings.
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Wednesday, 12 May 2010 14:08
Matthew 6:14 - For if you forgive men their trespasses, your Father which is
in heaven will forgive you.

Is there any end to God's forgiveness? As long as we are in this life and
our hearts remain yielded and sensitive to the correction of the Lord - His
love will never fail, His faithfulness will never cease, and His mercies
will be new every morning (Lamentations 3:21-25; Luke 17:4). Our God is
longsuffering, not willing that anyone perish (2 Peter 3:9,15; Romans 2:4).
However, we must be willing to be honest and transparent before God. If at
any time we try to justify wrongdoing, we cut ourselves off from that which
Father has supplied to us through Christ Jesus. If we become hard and
unforgiving to those around us, then we find ourselves moving outside of the
forgiveness of God (Matthew 6:15; Matthew 18:35; Mark 11:25-26). If we begin
to justify sin instead of being sorrowful about wrongdoing, then we will
find ourselves deceived and unrepentant (Hebrews 3:13; 1 John 3:7-8; James
1:22; 1 Corinthians 6:9; Ephesians 5:6; Galatians 6:3; Romans 6:17-18;
Exodus 23:7). We must all be certain that God is dedicated to teaching us
His ways; and we must remain dedicated to being taught.

The Lord's longsuffering and forgiveness are revealed time and again in the
Old Testament. The Lord's abiding dedication and mercy were shown from the
time that the children of Israel turned aside unto idols before the presence
of God on Mount Sinai; unto the pleadings of Jesus with Jerusalem and with
the nation of Israel. One of the many great stories of God's mercy is found
in Hosea. There God commanded the prophet to take a woman of whoredoms to be
his wife, and through that relationship God testified to Israel of how
merciful and longsuffering He had been - even though they did not seek for
His mercies (Hosea 1:2; Hosea 2:6-7; Hosea 3:1-3). Over and over again, the
Lord showed His mercy and lovingkindness to an unfaithful people (Jeremiah
7:13; Jeremiah 25:3-5; Jeremiah 26:5; Jeremiah 29:19; Jeremiah 32:33;
Jeremiah 35:14-15; Jeremiah 44:4; Psalm 107:1-43; Romans 10:21). How much
more will He show His mercy to those who ask for it, and who are willing to
learn to walk in His ways? (Luke 1:50; 2 Corinthians 1:3; 1 Peter 2:10;
Matthew 18:13; 1 John 4:16; Psalm 25:12).

Oh, turn to God; trust Him now! Do not let the enemy of your soul steal your
confidence in Christ Jesus, who ever lives to make intercession for us
(Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 1:8; 1 John 2:1). If you sin, let godly sorrow work
within you a resolve to follow God, and a despite for those things that
would offend the Almighty. These are the days of the acceptable year of the
Lord! Where it once was said, "You are not my people," it is now said: "You
are the sons of the Living God" (Hosea 1:10; Romans 9:24-26).
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Tuesday, 11 May 2010 15:58
Ephesians 2:4 - But God, who is rich in mercy, through His abundant love
which He has loved us.

Just believe God! Whether you have walked perfectly before the Lord or not -
just believe God. Trust that just as He rescued you from your sins and saved
you by His blood, that He will also save you now. The Lord saved us by His
mercy when we were dead in our trespasses and sin; and He will save and heal
us now no matter what state we are in. He washed and and renewed us, giving
us life and blessings - not because of any works of righteousness which we
had done - and he will do it once again. When we were alienated from the
life that is in Christ Jesus, God commended His love to us so that we may
say: "By His grace we were saved!"

God has not run out of grace; He has not run low on mercy. The love of God
that bought you is also the love of God that will perfect you and keep you,
so just believe God! The most important thing for you to consider is that
God wants you to look to Him for deliverance, no matter what your
circumstance. If you have a reoccurring sin in your life or a circumstance
that is to much for you to bear, our God wants us to turn to Him for help.
He will come and rescue you. If nothing else, just believe the love that God
has for you. Believe the record that God has given of His Son. If you will
just fall down on your knees and cry out to Him again, He will do nothing
less than love you freely and show his rich and abundant mercy for you.
 
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