Fasting Day 7
UNITED IN THE RESURRECTION
Paul uses the word planted and resurrection.
Just as the seed of a flower is planted in the ground and gets its nutrition as it is being watered and nurtured that seed grows, when the seed breaks ground it’s because the stem is strong and it’s becoming a beautiful flower that gives maximum fruit.
That’s also how the man is when he joins Christ, he dies for the world of sin and is born (resurrected) a new creature in Christ.
It is the Lord Jesus who nourishes us through His Holy Spirit to be united in Him, so that to continue to grow in a world full of pain, confusion, and deception, but hoping to one day be resurrected or transformed to go to be with the Lord forever .
Man was created to have a relationship of unity with his creator but sin separated man from God and became an enemy of God. But Christ came to reconcile us though his death.
“For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” (Romans 5:10)
In the first letter to the Corinthians Paul writes a whole chapter (15:1-58) that speaks of the death and resurrection of Christ. In verses 3-4 Paul says that death, burial and resurrection happened according to the Scriptures.
For there to be resurrection there must be a death and burial.
The importance of the resurrection
In v 12, Paul mentions that some believed there was no resurrection of the dead. In the days we live in there is much unbelief and there is so much not only in the world but also in the church. Versus 13-19, Paul says that if there is no resurrection of the dead then Christ never resurrected, our faith is futile and we are still in sin. V -20 Paul states that Christ raised from the dead the first fruits of them that slept.
Saints let’s keep our faith and trust in Christ and remain united in the resurrection with Christ. Christ is coming (“Maranatha”).
More than two thousand years ago the Word became flesh and dwelt in this world to save his people from their sins. His people did not receive him but despised him and sent him like a lamb to the slaughter.
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)
What will we do, give up or continue?
If we give up we will lose, if we continue we will have life in Jesus.
Lets us stay together united in the resurrection.
May God bless your church and that in this day we receive a fresh anointing to remain united in the resurrection with Christ.
Bishop Jesse M. Chavez
Fasting Day 6
UNITED IN HOPE
Looking for the blessed hope and glorious
appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, NKJV)
The letter to Titus resulted to be a very popular document in our time, because it’s been nominated as a pastoral letter. I’m well aware that the ones that substantially know how to interpret the letter are the pastors. Paul, at the precise moment that he found out concerning the problem at Crete, didn’t hesitate to send Titus. The purpose was to set order of the things that were lacking. Paul also reminded him of the role as an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, in HOPE of eternal life.
I remember a particular story of Viktor Frankl. He was a prisoner in one of the bloodiest camps of the Nazis, a survivor of a horrendous massacre; the Holocaust. He lived to tell his own experience, by saying: “A hope being irrational, is still a hope. Because they couldn’t live any longer without hope, and concluded, saying: It is a peculiarity of a man that he can only live by just looking into the future.
Hope relatively is a relevant element for the life of the apostolic. Without it, many descend toward a deep depression to a degree of losing interest to continue after serving practically all their life.
Today is a good day to develop hope, to retake those dreams. Never let the past determine your future. Don’t let circumstances hold you down; neither let the excuses govern your life. Take a risk to change, let go of the past; to better you’re present and future. Make HOPE shine in your life. Today is the best day to change, and your future is waiting for you. “Which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27 NKJV)
Fasting Day 5
United in Reconciliation
As we begin this day when we recognize the sacrifice that Jesus Christ has made upon the cross at Calvary. Let us remember his Words in Matthew 20:25–28 (KJV 1900) 25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. 26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; 27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: 28Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
We read in this passage that those that do not know God exercise dominion and authority over the Sons of Zebedee, causing them to desire a better place and position. This causes indignation among the disciples and the words of Christ resound in verse 26 26 But it shall not be so among you. The lord Jesus Christ has called us to serve one another and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. He establishes that he who wants to be the greatest among you must serve all. This day let us remember his sacrifice (the cup that he drank from enduring death on the Cross) and let us reconcile with our brethren throughout the world. If there is any offence you have committed against someone, or you have not served your brother in the capacity that is necessary. Let us come together to have a spirit of reconciliation today.
We also can see in 2 Corinthians 5:18–20 (KJV 1900) 18And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
Jesus Christ has also reconciled us to Him through his Spirit that lives in us. He has not placed our sins on us to condemn us, but has forgiven us and reconciled us to himself. This was done so we that have freely received this Grace now can be his ambassadors and reconcile others to him.
When two parties are at war with each other and then decide to make up their differences, that is called “reconciliation”. The Greek word katallagē means “change” or “exchange.” When used in relationships between people, the term implies a change in attitude on the part of both individuals—a change from enmity to friendship. 1
Jesus Christ’s body was bruised and broken, so we could be one body united and reconciled to him. He was broken so we could be one in him. He was crucified and shed his blood to reconcile us to him. Let us unite in a Spirit of Reconciliation, and unite in Mission to reach the lost for the Kingdom of God.
Ephesians 4:32 (KJV 1900) 32And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
Bishop Daniel Lofton
1Eugene E. Carpenter and Philip W. Comfort, Holman Treasury of Key Bible Words: 200 Greek and 200 Hebrew Words Defined and Explained (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 373.
Fasting Day 4
United under the Spirit of Christ
II Timothy 4:1-4 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
We bring so much sorrow to God’s heart when He sees that there is no unity for which he prayed for, but some have turned away by your thoughts, forgetting about what God’s word says .
I Corinthians 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
Fast and pray so that to be United under the Spirit of Christ.
Bishop Saul Rocha
Fasting Day 3
Unity in Forgiveness
Colossians 3:13 “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another. For as Christ forgave you, so also ye do”
The American evangelical writer W. Wangerin says “forgiveness is a fully divine species” In other words, God is the source of the person. “The believer was and is forgiven by God and Jesus Christ assures us. Forgiveness is both an entire relationship between you and God.
When the believer forgives, he is simply giving something. Yes, giving is the word that sums forgiveness. Separate the word “forgive” in 2 parts: for- give: The “for” is you. The believer makes a blessed and complete giving. “Give” – give something. When you forgive, it voluntarily waives the punishment of the other person. It gives love to that individual who does not deserve it. Paying evil with good, and knows it will not be reciprocated.
Often forgiveness is a way round; we need to forgive and be forgiven. When we keep anger and bitterness, we refuse to walk the path of restoring the broken relationship; we hurt ourselves and others too. We must pray, confess and confront all those deep feelings in order to submit to the loving care of our Lord Jesus Christ. This process allows God to save us from these sick emotions so we can forgive others with the power that He gives us.
God asks us to confront our feelings openly and honestly.
1 John 2:9 (KJV) He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eye.
God is asking us to actively occupy ourselves in forgiving others and to restore our broken relationships.
Luke 17:3-4 (KJV) Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.
We can depend on God and trust in His forgiveness and faithfulness
Hebrews 4:16 ( KJV) Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Conclusion: Continue to practice unity in forgiveness.
First forgive others and forgive ourselves. Learn to accept ourselves in forgiveness, so that we can take in (forgive) all others. If you are accepted by the Lord you have the foundation to practice “unity in forgiveness”.
Bishop Arcadio Peña
Fasting Day 2
UNITED IN REPENTANCE
Daniel 9:3 3 And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting… 4 And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, …5 We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments: 6 Neither have we hearkened …
Daniel understood the situation. What do we do with what we know?
Daniel read the writings of the prophets (Dan 9:2). He knew that because the Jews were being held captives in Babylon, they were aware of the errors they had committed and whom had committed them. But he does not use this information to raise the finger, nor to blame others. Nor did he permit his heart to be damaged or his hope to be destroyed. Rather, he processed this information so that he understood that he was part of the solution. And knew how, by praying and fasting!
“We vs. They” What attitude do we take, do you include or exclude ourselves?
A question was asked to a manager of a football team. How do you define the perspective of your fans between a win and a defeat? Undeterred he easily answered, if we win, they will say “we all have won”, if we lose, everyone will say “the director lost.” A reality that is manifests itself not only in sports. But Daniel shows us that his life was directed with higher standards than those of non professional. By his testimony and fidelity he had all authority to pray saying: they have sinned, they have committed iniquity, and they have rebelled, they have, they have … But his humility led him beyond his moral authority, he would not treat this important matter from a point where you have the right to feel excluded from the causes or triggers. He preferred to be “united in repentance” and chose to take the same responsibility and feel the same commitment.
we have sinned, we have rebelled, we have not obeyed …
Others will do the same as we do. What legacy of leadership are we establishing?
Nehemiah learned to fast and pray as the prophet Daniel (the two were in captivity).
When it was his turn to deal with something big and important, he realizes and does the same as his predecessor, “he includes himself”.
Nehemiah 1:4 4…and fasted and prayed…6…and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned. 7 We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.
We look at two great men of God who faced great challenges and how they faced them. They discerned to “include” rather than to “exclude”. Our Apostolic Assembly has great men of God and great challenges. As we were told during the recent Legislative Convention “It’s easier to be part of that which divides, than that which unites” but it does not have to be like this, we can change those weak and powerless paradigms. Reject that which does not solve anything, and is only blaming. In this day of fasting “united in repentance”, introduce and confess those areas that maybe you know about. But let’s do this as a body, “…which we think to be less honorable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor…”(1 Cor. 12:23). Say with tears mixed with pain “We … ” for all that in which we fall short of and with hope, because God is indeed with us, say
“We will be…” strengthened, prosperous, and blessed… Amen, in the name of Jesus Christ.
Bishop Armando Tamez
Fasting Day 1
Praise the Lord.
My prayer is that everyone is blessed and well. Thank God we begin another week of fasting and prayer. From April 14th to the 20th we will unite with all the pastors of the Apostolic Assembly around the world to cry out to God for this Church that we all love so much.
As is our good custom, we want to leave daily reflections for you to meditate on throughout the day. Reflections that are based on our annual theme “Unity in the Mission.” I think if we all unite to carry out the Great Commission, we will achieve great things for the kingdom of God.
The interesting thing about this week of prayer and fasting is that it is in accord with one of the most gathered week that we have in the year. This week we will celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And many of our Churches also celebrate the sacrament with the washing of feet.
Let us join together to fast and pray for this Church that needs us all. This is one of those rare opportunities where we can put aside our differences and unite for a greater cause.
There are so many things we can do together, but we have to unite. Pastors, we must allow the Holy Spirit to return to our lives and congregations and restore what has been lost.
We all need a fresh anointing on our lives.
Let this week be a week of repentance and forgiveness.
Let the Spirit of Christ take control over our desires this week.
That in this week, we can call ourselves brothers and sisters, unreservedly.
In this week, let us allow the Apostolic Flag to shine like never before in our cities.
I would like to leave you with this quote to meditate upon. Every time I read it, I imagine the Lord opening his heart and allowing people to see what His greatest desire is… He says:
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14
God bless you, and God bless the Apostolic Assembly.
Bishop President John Fortino