Fast of Daniel – Day 5

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all things, to stand unshaken. Ephesians 6.11-13

God the Father knew His Son’s need to be clothed with His Armor to accomplish His mission. He did this through His baptism in the waters of the Jordan River.

Like God the Father, God the Son was also aware of the disciples’ need to be clothed with His Armor to fulfill His mission in the preaching of His Word. And He did this on the Day of Pentecost.

From then on, all the true followers of the Lord Jesus clothe themselves with the WHOLEArmor of God to overcome all the battles they face against hell. After all, they were set free from the dominion of Satan and knew that he would try to use hell to pull them out of the Kingdom of God back to the kingdom of darkness.

At the time, the disciples strived with all their might to put on the WHOLE Armor of God – The Holy Spirit. Main objective: stand firm against the devil’s tricks.

It is God Who commands: Put on all My Armor.

To put on means to cover yourself. God the Father wants all of His children to cover themselves with ALL His Armor. It is not a suggestion, it is an order. Put on the WHOLE Armor of God.

Why is the responsibility ours instead of His, since the WHOLE Armor is His and, following the natural order, only He has authority to put it on a person?

Further on in the passage, again, He insists on the command: take up the WHOLE armor of God. To take up means to take possession of someone or something. The Holy Spirit reiterates His command and orders us to take up His WHOLE Armor.

Again, we ask: Why does the Holy Spirit command us to take Something that is His?

These questions have the same answer. For the disciple to put on and take up ALL the Divine Armor he must manifest his faith. Faith accompanied by sacrifice. Sacrifice that proves 100% his willingness to want and take possession of this promise.

The sacrifice of faith shows the will of the person.

I doubt the armor of God will fall from the sky like rain!

I doubt that God will cover the person with ALL His Armor just because he says he is a Christian, is a faithful member of the Church or something of the sorts!

No! A thousand times, no!

All the Promises of God are subject to conditions.

Read chapter 28 of Deuteronomy, where God conditions His blessings to the sacrifice of obedience.

Meditate on this text:
The Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. 2 Chronicles 15.2

There is no other way; no one can impose their rules on what the Lord has determined.

Read the continuation of this message tomorrow.

Original article from Bishop Macedo’s official blog : http://blogs.universal.org/bispomacedo/en/2017/02/14/day-5-fast-daniel-3/

Fast of Daniel – Day 4

Signs of the Holy Spirit

There are no doubts when a person experiences the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Even if all the voices of the world and hell, united in chorus, to deny it, nothing would be capable of annulling the Voice from Above in the deep down in the person’s soul.

The sweet and strong Voice of the Lord Jesus Christ silences all the others with the fullness of peace of mind. It is an unexplained peace, followed by a joy of the soul.

These signs are palpable, evident and characteristic of the baptism with the Holy Spirit.

It’s hard to find the words capable of describing such an experience.

How do you describe the taste of a delicious plate of food?
How do you explain the love you feel for someone?
How do you explain the supernatural with words?
How do you explain that the Almighty, Lord of the Heavens and the entire Universe, live in a mortal being?
How do you explain the Infinite in the finite?

A bath gives you a sense of relief and clean body. The baptism in water gives relief and purity of the soul.

When it comes to the baptism with the Spirit, the water is the Spirit of God.
The Baptizer is the Lord Jesus Christ, and the candidate is the repentant sinner.

You can only evaluate the Seal of God by tasting the Manna.
There are no words or melodies to describe Him…

One thing is certain: peace and joy flow like torrents of water from deep within the soul. Its impetuousness is such, that it is impossible to contain cries or laughs of joy.

They are Rivers of Living Water that overflow through the entire being.
The lips cannot keep up with the joy of the heart.
Because another, a new creation has been sealed. A heavenly creation.

Original article from Bishop Macedo’s official blog : http://blogs.universal.org/bispomacedo/en/2017/02/13/day-4-fast-daniel-3/

Fast of Daniel – Day 3

The Kingdom of God and His Righteousness

The anxiety to achieve family and financial success has been the greatest enemy of those who seek the baptism with the Holy Spirit. Usually, people approach the Altar with secular interests. They do not prioritize the Kingdom of God, or righteous behavior. For this reason, year after year, their life continues exactly the same. They come to Church looking for blessings, but they could care less about the One who will bless them. This keeps them away from God and, consequently, from Life.
Christian denominations are filled with such people. People who are addicted to hearing the Word, addicted to asking for and receiving prayer, addicted to counseling; this is, they are addicted to religiosity, and grow increasingly empty of the Spirit. When you ask them if they believe in Jesus, they will answer: of course! But their eyes cannot hide the bitter life they live.

It is not wrong to want a life of abundance. After all, isn’t that what the Lord Jesus promises? But it is not wise to prioritize the blessings instead of the Blessing-giver. Intelligent faith prioritizes submission to the King and then the privileges of His Kingdom.

The Fast of Daniel is a sacrificial purpose of faith for those who have nothing to lose. It is like the Ark of Noah, prepared to rescue the lost, revive the faith of the lukewarm and renew the saved. Anyone willing to give up any and all secular information, the Internet, social media, entertainment, sports, movies, theater, shopping, secular music, small talk; this is, anything that deflects their thoughts from the thoughts of God, are welcome to participate. Even if you want to start the Fast late, that’s fine too. The important thing is to immerse in the Ocean of the Spirit immediately and detoxify yourself from this world.

Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles (unbelievers) seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6.31-33

Original article from Bishop Macedo’s official blog : http://blogs.universal.org/bispomacedo/en/2017/02/11/day-3-fast-daniel-3/

Fast of Daniel – Day 2

Faith and Trust

I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry… Psalms 40.1

To wait patiently for the LORD is to trust. Trust is a virtue of those who are mature in the faith. Faith is like when a plane takes off. Trust is like a cruise trip (automatic).

Both faith and trust are fruits of the Holy Spirit. One depends on the other. Faith is used to remove mountains, but trust makes the mountains keep moving.

Many have faith to achieve many things, but get lost when they are faced with a passing storm. The difficulty is not in achieving many things, but in maintaining them. Such as with marriage: It is not difficult to get married, but to maintain a marriage…

Even though David was an experienced and strong war hero, he also had to learn to trust in God. In moments of extreme anguish, when he saw himself surrounded by his fierce enemies, his faith made him cried out… But his trust made him keep waiting for the answer. It was not in vain that he confessed:

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you (LORD) are with me; your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23.4

Unfortunately, the majority of Christians start well in the faith, but end badly because of the lack of trust. As I write this, the moments of great conflict that I have faced come to mind and, I confess, if it were not for the baptism of the Holy Spirit, I would not be here…

As you are reading this, there is an enormous desire to receive the Seal of the Spirit of God being born within you. So, go right now to a quiet place and pray like this:

Lord Jesus, because I believe in You as my Lord and Savior, take hold of me completely and make My body your dwelling place and do Your will in me! …

In the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen!

Then wait in your private place (Jerusalem) for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit..

Original article from Bishop Macedo’s official blog : http://blogs.universal.org/bispomacedo/en/2017/02/11/day-2-fast-daniel-2/

Fast of Daniel – Day 1

You have wearied the Lord with your words; yet you say, “In what way have we wearied Him?” in that you say, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and He delights in them,” or, “Where is the God of justice?” Malachi 2.17

Our thoughts are words in God’s ears. The truth is, prayer is an extension of everything we think. When we use our words, God hears our thoughts.

In Genesis 18.12-15, Sarah said that she did not laugh because nothing came out of her mouth, but the Lord heard her laugh within.

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her (thoughts) has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5.27-28

Thoughts are words to God.

You might ask: How can I control my thoughts?

For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. Matthew 15.19

Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God. Hebrews 3.12

This warning is not for unbelievers, it is for those who are converted.

My heart is overflowing with a good theme…Psalm 45.1

Nourish yourself with the Word of God, take advantage of this Fast of Daniel and your heart will overflow with the Spirit of God.

Original article from Bishop Macedo’s official blog : http://blogs.universal.org/bispomacedo/en/2017/02/10/1st-day-fast-daniel/

Real Men!

Every man is a work in progress. In a society flooded with information on what is a good man, there are of course particular traits that are synonymous with the ideal man. As men it is imperative that we continuously develop ourselves in this consistently changing society that we live in.
There are of course particular traits that are most definitely synonymous with being a productive, disciplined man.

Maturity – A mature man has goals and aspirations and knows where he wants go in life. He does not cower from commitment and is not insecure. Mature men display bravery when problem solving and are not afraid to go the extra mile.

Learning – A good man always seeks to develop himself by consistently updating himself and learning new things. New lessons and developments are always available and a real man takes advantage of this!

Adaptable – A man has the ability to be adaptable in any situation. Even if he fails at an attempted task he has the positivity and staying power to keep trying! After all, even Jesus adapted to being just a normal man as opposed to being the son of God!

Character – This is a prerequisite to keeping one’s spouse happy. Good manners, care and consideration are all part of an excellent character. If a man lacks honesty and sincerity, then it is hardly likely that he can survive in a relationship. Beware!
Team Player – As men we must understand that the team’s success is also our success. Since marriage and relationships are basically team efforts it is imperative that more care is placed on the team winning than on YOU winning!

Intelligence – Often times this trait is underrated because we assume that everyone can exercise intelligence. Wrong!!!!!! Smart men think carefully of the consequences before acting or speaking. This quality often gives us men the strength to stand firm and not make whimsical, spur of the moment decisions that often carry life long sentences!

God Fearing – It goes without saying that when a man fears God, he will never betray his wife. The knowledge that God is present and knows and sees all is enough.

Good men know and understand that “iron sharpens iron, as man sharpens man!”

 

What Makes People Change?

It is very frustrating when you are in a relationship and your partner does something that hurts you — the husband drinks too much; the wife is cold and distant; the son insists on living irresponsibly.

What do we do in light of these situations? Normally we do what does not work: we try to change the other person. We argue, fight, criticise, complain, and try to make ourselves the victim to see if the person feels the least bit sorry…

Basically we try everything we can, just to make the person change.

The problem is that this makes the other person even more obstinate, because all our attempts are received as an attempt to try and control them. It is as though we are saying, “You have to change because I want you to be this way and not that way.” It sounds selfish, even if we sincerely want the best for that person.
The truth is that we can’t change anyone. People only change when they want to change. Yes, they can be influenced to change, but they only change because they decide to change.

So the question is:
What brings a person to decide to change?

TWO BASIC STEPS:

1) The right amount of pain to say, “Enough!” Pain is mankind’s greatest motivator.

That’s why we shouldn’t save our family from the consequences of their behaviour.

Of course, it’s embarrassing to see your son spend the night in jail, but if he was caught for drink-driving or without a license, perhaps that’s the embarrassment he needs to go through to change.

The key word is “consequence”. People have to face the consequences of their actions, even if they are painful, so that they can wake up and change.

2) When they discover something better than what they currently practise. We are not saying that an addict, for example, doesn’t know any better than his addiction. What they don’t know is a better way to deal with what leads them to be addicted. One way to promote understanding is for them to know the story of someone who had the same problem and overcame. This type of information will interest them because every human being identifies with a person who went through the same ordeal.

That is why success stories are so captivating and inspiring. In order to help people change, our job should be to facilitate their access to information, which shows them the positive alternative to the current habits they practise today.

“How can I help?”

Watching our family members swim through the sea of addiction is always a heart wrenching experience. The addicted person as well as the family members may manipulate and bend reality in an attempt to maintain a semblance of normalcy. Living with addiction can put family members under unusual amounts of stress. Things generally take a downward spiral.

How can we help our loved ones who are so out of control? What can we do to curb their pain and suffering? Is there really a solution to these endless problems?

We need to understand that our family’s addiction does not imply he has a flawed character or even has behavioral issues. However, we need to understand there is a spirit that dominates the person’s mind. With this simple piece of knowledge, we can now understand the battle is spiritual. Persistence and perseverance by family members is essential in freeing your family.

As persons who are trying to free our family we should never be influenced by an addicts’ words, such as “I don’t want help”, “I can stop whenever I want to” etc. These words however convincing they may sound are the spirit of the addiction talking. Instead wait for the right moment to convince him to come to treatment. When he begins to realize what he has lost and how much pain he has caused he is usually more cooperative.

Unlike what most families do, the addict should not be scorned or alienated. Avoid accusing or condemning him for addiction. This causes a permanent barrier between the addict and their family. When you treat them differently it only pushes them further away.

Waiting for the addict to ask for help is of no use. Most of the time he will say he doesn’t want help or denies being an addict, which in truth and in fact leaves the family powerless, since every treatment requires him to be present.

Never should we conform to the idea that there is no way an addict could ever be free. This is not true! What the family should do is come to the treatment, believe, persevere and obey.

“My partner does not listen to me…”

In our fast paced environment today everyone wants to be right! The truth is however no one can always be right. The important thing is to truly make an effort to understand your partner’s point of view. Would you like a dictator- someone to charter your every move without even asking your opinion? Of course not!

Talking is often not enough. Listening is imperative in the communication process – after all it is the first step to communication. In T&T we have an old adage, “Two ears, one mouth….listen more, speak less.”

When it comes to relationships in our island between couples, we have seen a lot of cases where each person is waiting to receive first. Why? Well we always tend to focus on what our partner is doing and not on ourselves. It is always easier to notice someone else’s flaws than our own.

To be heard is one of the most basic needs of a human being. In fact a lot of the times infidelity occurs in a relationship it is because your partner has found someone to listen (or appear that way) to them!

Try being more attentive and perceptive to your partner’s views and opinions, even if you do not necessarily agree. This will promote a happier, more balanced relationship that is mutually beneficial to both partners.

There are plenty more beneficial lessons to learn on building and maintaining your relationship. Join the Love Therapy session every Thursday at 5pm for more.

Transitions…

It’s as if my daughter has turned into a self- obsessed celebrity model,” my friend wailed about her daughter. I calmly asked her to remember what she was like at fourteen. Immediately she grimaces and laughs aloud, almost simultaneously.

Instead of being detached from our daughters why not share our experiences with them? Why not close the gap between us and them by holding their hands into womanhood?

Having a daughter is an unspeakable joy to a mother…. at first. Their girlishness and apparent love for pretty things endear them to us instantly. We see in them innocent, cute beings that are dependent on us for their everything.

Then, the unavoidable steps in…. they want to grow up and fly away from the safe haven that you so patiently and lovingly created for them. It’s the dilemma faced by most mothers with a daughter.

Youth cannot stand tediousness and the dullness of the same thing over and over. Even a few days of routine seems unbearable to them. Life assumes a soberer look and even a mother’s love cannot stay the hands of time!
The crave for independence is a natural process for anything that grows. Even animals grow up and away from their parents, creating their own homes and family.

After painstakingly grooming our daughters we should indeed be proud of them when they attempt to be independent. Instead of seeing it as an attempt to rebel, why not recognize that we were once at this point?

We are in a position to school our daughters on the principles of femininity. Let us embrace this opportunity in a positive way. Our daughters are soon to become the pillars upon which society is founded.