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Nov 162017
 

Be sure: sin is the cause of your sadness, and only Jesus can give you back true joy

In some specific situations, where two people were condemned to death, the Romans used to apply an extremely cruel sentence. They tied the two people together, face with face, arm with arm, hand with hand, leg with leg, and so on. Then they killed only one of them and put them both in the tomb, bound. As the corpse decayed, it released substances that consumed the body of the one with whom it was tied.

In this way, we can better understand what St. Paul alluded to when he said: “Unhappy man that I am! Who shall deliver me from this body, which bringeth me to death? “(Rm 7,24). He did not speak of his physical body, but of the sinful body to which he was bound.

Photo: Wesley Almeida / cancaonova.com

As with the condemned one, we do not have the strength to get rid of this body of sin that consumes us. We are so bound to it that we appear to form one body, and we are not bound from without, but within, in our heart.

We need someone to untie us and free us from this body that kills us and makes us rot in life.

Christians are the soft odor of Christ, but when you have a body of sin locked in your heart, your own heart becomes corrupted and begins to stink, with the foul smell, the air around you. Instead of being a cause of joy and happiness for self and others, it becomes a cause of suffering and unhappiness because it moves away from God and enters into discord with people to defend selfish interests.

The truth is that we are the first victims of this evil; we feel sad, depressed and abandoned, because we are sinners and in our hearts lives a leprosy called sin, which has made us numb to the loving presence of God. And the worst is that we can not run away from sin, as if one runs away from an unpleasant person. We can not escape because sin speaks to us from within our hearts (Ps. 36: 2), we take it with us wherever we go.

Only Jesus can give you back true joy.

Rest assured, sin is the cause of your sorrow, and only Jesus can bring you back true joy. It is necessary for Him to deliver you from this evil, to kill that leprosy and to change your corrupted heart into a new heart. Every person who thinks it is impossible for his sins to be forgiven him, goes into despair, and makes his condition worse than it was before. So trust God!

If you have ever felt lost because of something you did, if you were afraid of falling into hell, you felt desolate and without strength, if, after repeated struggles against one sin, once again you were overcome and felt like giving up, I have great news for you: only those who have felt this can experience what it is to be saved by the Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and this same Jesus can eliminate his sadness at the root.

Article extracted from the book “Vencendo Aflições Alcançando Milagres” [Conquering Afflictions Reaching Miracles]

Márcio Mendes

Born in Brasilia in 1974, Márcio Mendes is married and the father of two children.Former cadet of the Brazilian Area Force Academy, Mendes is a missionary of the Canção Nova Community since 1994, where he works in areas related to communication. Theologian, he is the author of several books.

 Posted by at 01:01
Oct 252017
 

When we speak of the grace of God, we speak of God himself

Alexandre Oliveira
Photo: Daniel Mafra / cancaonova.com
Jesus revealed himself to Paul on the road to Damascus. In spite of being intimate with the Lord, the apostle says he would not boast because of this because of this vision.

“Let my grace suffice thee,” Jesus says to Paul, who understood this message of God for his life. Paul understood that his weakness was something that brought him to the Lord.

Be careful not to confuse things! For when we speak of weaknesses, we say: “I live falling into this sin, my weakness is this sin, it is this vice, etc., but God pours his grace into my life.” That’s not it!

In the letter to the Romans, chapter 6, St. Paul says that when we live in the regime of grace, we do not live under the rule of law; and because we live in the regime of grace, we must walk in it. ” He also tells us that we can not make this grace of God in our lives to be in vain.

Do you know what is the most excellent work of God? It is justification, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us. What is justification? It is salvation. We sinful men and women receive the salvation of Jesus through the cross; and because of it we have the divine life in us. Because of this, this is the most excellent work of God’s love. Grace is the free favor that God gives us to respond to His invitation to become children of God, partakers of the divine nature, of eternal life.

When you speak of the grace of God, you speak of God himself. Then we begin to understand that we are called to live as true children of the Lord, and the true child of God experiences in his life a joy that does not pass away.

Follow Jesus Christ for the rest of your life, do not let Him go, do not let Him go. Stay with Him, no matter what. We are living in evil times, and there will come a time of apostasy, where men will repudiate God instead of worshiping Him. Let us not think that we are free from it, for if we do not abide in the Lord, we may fall.

God is not looking for the most intelligent, the most learned, He is looking for the true worshipers, men and women who have the courage to put their knees on the floor and say, “The truth is one, the truth is Jesus Christ, He is the way, the truth, and the life. ”

Do not be fooled! There will come a time of persecution, a time of trial, and you will not be understood even by your family, because of your faith. The good news is that God never abandons his elect.

Alexandre Oliveira

 Posted by at 01:01
Jul 312017
 
Photo: Daniel Mafra / cancaonova.com

Photo: Daniel Mafra / cancaonova.com

It is important to understand what to do after a difficult day.

The Word of God teaches us:  In my spirit faints within me, my heart is consumed. Tell me the road that I must follow, for to you I lift my soul. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your good spirit guide me on a flat road “(Psalm 143,4,8b.10).

 

He knows those days when we think in our hearts: My God! Why did I get out of bed today? I should have stayed home sleeping! Well, those complicated days indeed do exist and happen even if we do not want them. Days when everything seems to run against us, where we spend the hours crossing people who are more distracting helping, so that everything gets under our skin and anything, no matter how small, is cause for irritation and whining. Hence the question: what do I do on a day like this?

As we read Psalm 143, we realize that the psalmist also had his moment of wanting to “lie in bed” and forget that such a day had existed. But what did he do? Murmured? Did you become a victim? Put the blame on everyone? The answer is “no”. At the very moment when he could no longer bear it, when his heart was consumed and his spirit faint, he prayed to God and asked that the divine will be fulfilled in his life. Instead of blaming “government,” the people around him, and the “system,” he begged the Lord to show him the way to go. He asked the Lord to be his teacher and, like an applied student, wished to learn to fulfill the divine will.

At this difficult time the psalmist goes on, he does not complain, but wants to learn to extract the sovereign will of God from the troubled environment, like a gold digger who finds grams of gold in the midst of tons of earth.

However, discovering and fulfilling the divine will, just at that moment when our desire drives us to want to “squeeze” someone, is not as simple as it seems. But I believe that the Holy Spirit can and wants to do a new work in our heart. It is up to you and me to ask the Divine Spirit to educate us in the concrete situations of each day, whether it is difficult or not. Let us ask Him to lead us always to discern the will of God in every moment, person or situation with which we face. Believe: God will do His part. He always does it. Then we will reap beautiful fruits of conversion and holiness.

I repeat: it is not as simple as it seems, but it is, without a doubt, something wonderful. I shared with you, in this article, something that God taught me to read this psalm before the tabernacle. And why was I standing before the tabernacle reading Psalm 143? Because, just like you and the psalmist, I also have my difficult days.

Let’s pray?

“Reinflame our hearts, Lord Jesus! Give us a heart tender and attentive to Thy holy will. May we learn by listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit, to find the peace that comes from the certainty of being in communion with God’s desire, even in the midst of the most complicated and distressing situations that we can face day by day. Teach me to complain less and to listen more to Your voice, to learn, more and more, to grow more and more and serve more and more for love. Amen.”

A hug and my prayers for you.

Alexandre Oliveira 
Missionary of the Canção Nova Community

Portuguese version

Jun 132017
 

The three keys to unlock the door that leads to knowing the will and God’s purpose

On the Canção Nova TV program “Sorrindo Pra Vida” [Smiling at Life] Alexandre Oliveira shared the word of God to teach us what are the three keys to the will and purpose of God.

Read the words of Galatians 6:1-10

Brothers, even if a person is caught in some transgression, you who are spiritual should correct that one in a gentle spirit, looking to yourself, so that you also may not be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so you will fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he is deluding himself.  Each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason to boast with regard to himself alone, and not with regard to someone else; for each will bear his own load.

 One who is being instructed in the word should share all good things with his instructor.  Make no mistake: God is not mocked, for a person will reap only what he sows,  because the one who sows for his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows for the spirit will reap eternal life from the spirit.  Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time we shall reap our harvest, if we do not give up.  So then, while we have the opportunity, let us do good to all, but especially to those who belong to the family of the faith.

Let’s imagine that we are facing an immense door, and we will not be able to open it without three keys. These keys are different from each other, and we will only be able to unlock the door if we have all three.

The word tells us exactly that. This door says the Word is the law of Christ, the door that, when open, gives us access to the will of God, which leads us to fulfill the purpose he has for our lives.

These three keys are like a mirror, a cross and a handful of seeds. God gives us those keys that we use all of them and come to him.

The cross that we carry every day for us is a weight. The word tells us to carry to burden, because we will be fulfilling the will of the Lord. First, the Evangelist says that we have to carry the burden of the others; then he says we need to load our own burden.

The Apostle is not going into contradiction. The first burden refers to help others with their difficulties. In the second, this load refers to our responsibility, that one that only fits Us.

There are situations in our life that are difficult to deal with, in which sometimes we need the help of our brothers and sisters. We have to have the humility to ask for help and the nobility of offering to help the brothers.

This help of the other leads us to make use of a handful of seeds, because, if we do the right things with people, we will reap the fruits of our action. We can’t live on an island, see our suffering only, we have to look at the others and realize the struggles that the brothers face too.

Paul asks us what we have sown and where we sow. We have to sow love and concrete gestures, but they need to be seeded in the Spirit, not on self-reliance of our humanity or in our selfishness. Sowing in the Holy Spirit is getting out of ourselves and going out to find his brother.

Knowing that we are those seeds, we look in the mirror so that lets us examine ourselves. We can fool everybody, but if fool ourselves we are lost. We must examine ourselves to have self-knowledge, not just look for our faults, but also our good qualities as well, so we can use our virtues.

We can never sow in the spirit if we do not know ourselves; and if we’ve never encountered ourselvesç we won’t know how to help carry the burden of the brother or sister as far as we can and or to endure. Everything is interconnected, self-knowledge is not self-sufficiency. We have know ourselves to love more, to sow more.

When we can walk in these three directions – carry the cross, sow love and look at ourselves and we assume our own responsibilities –, we can hear the voice of God and fulfill his purposes.

Alexandre Oliveira
Canção Nova Community mission

Portuguese version

 Posted by at 01:01
Apr 202017
 

God pours his mercy over our lives!

Márcio Mendes, on  the program Sorrindo Pra Vida [Smiling at Life ], talks about the mercy of God, who reaches our hearts and transforms our lives. Check out:

The word is meditated on Micah 7:18-19
Who is a God like you, who removes guilt
and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance;
Who does not persist in anger forever,
but instead delights in mercy,
And will again have compassion on us,
treading underfoot our iniquities?
You will cast into the depths of the sea all our sins;

nabrepermission

Deus não age pela ira, mas sim pela misericórdia

Photo: file/cancaonova.com

Out of love for us, God passes over our faults He is not angry, because he prefers to mercy.

The sin is not us, however, it does not leave us. Once having sinned, the Lord never tires of forgiving us. Even if you don’t see the the way out, he didn’t give up on us.

God will win in our life

If God puts Himself in our reach and forgives us of our bad actions. What paths have we trodden? What has taken us in the right direction? Why we are sad and worn out? Who loves us does not wants us to live in error.

We don’t want to Sin? Flee from what we takes us from God. Sin is the result of the evil one, but God is our protection and refuge.

This world is dangerous! The spiritual world is far more dangerous without the presence of God.

The confession is salvation!

After a disagreement with someone, we run the risk of facing the person and we are afraid if that person will forgive us or not. God can’t wait to transform our life. He forgives all our faults. When we confess our sins, they are wiped out.

What a human enemy against us?

When we face a human enemy, he does everything to try and destroy us. Similarly, the enemy of God also wants to destroy us and the tricks that he uses are heavy.

Purifies our soul’s confession

When we wash our souls before God, there is nothing and no one who can accuse us. When we confess, we are covered with the blood of Jesus! Today, washing in His blood is to take possession of the forgiveness that He gives us.

We want to be released? Let’s start with the confession. Jesus did not come to take away sin, but to give us life. Sometimes we have the feeling that we’re lifeless, so he is ready to give us a new life.

The Lord wants to make us able to not sin anymore! By winning over sin on the cross he won so that every sin  lost power and influence over our lives.

God is closer than we think. By love, He put himself within reach of our possibilities. If someone wants to find God, he or she will find.

Today, the Lord came to pick us up. A mother wouldn’t think twice to give her life for their children, the same way God is the mother who gives his life for us.

Márcio Mendes
Canção Nova Community mission

Transcription and adaptation: Ariele Silva

Portuguese version

Mar 092017
 

How to beat the spiritual battles?

Daily, we face spiritual battles, but only by prayer and intimacy with God we will be able to overcome them.

Márcio Mendes, on Tuesday morning, 10 November, discussed the passage from Exodus on ‘Sorrindo Pra Vida” [“Smiling at Life”]. Taking Moses as an example, he reflected on the need to be in constant prayer and intimacy with God, because every day we face various spiritual battles, whichwe can win only by prayer.

 The meditated Word today is in Exodus 17.8 -13 (d-r):

And Amalec came, and fought against Israel in Raphidim. And Moses said to Josue: Choose out men: and go out and fight against Amalec: tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill having the rod of God in my hand. Josue did as Moses had spoken, and he fought against Amalec; but Moses, and Aaron, and Hur went up upon the top of the hill.

And when Moses lifted up his hands, Israel overcame: but if he let them down a little, Amalec overcame. And Moses’ hands were heavy: so they took a stone, and put under him, and he sat on it: and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands on both sides. And it came to pass that his hands were not weary until sunset. And Josue put Amalec and his people to flight, by the edge of the sword.

 “

No combate da oração

 

Everything we do, we do with the strength of God. We are fathers, mothers, spouses and children in the power of the Holy Spirit. The one who belongs to Christ is constantly attacked by evil; so the men and women of God need to be coated by the strength that comes from the top.

We face the controversy of life having God for our companion. He fights with us. Every time I get ready for a fight, so let’s put ourselves in prayer and intimacy with the Father.

What is will of God for us in this day? What does He wants to inspire in our hearts? Flash forward, because it is the Father who goes ahead of us. If He asks us to proceed, do not be afraid. Enter combat with courage and trust in the Lord.

Let us not forget the words of victory that the Lord has placed in our heart and in His promises. When we come together, our people, family and community, in prayer to God. We always lose the fight when relaxed and drift apart from the presence of the Father. And the enemy will try everything to move us farther away from the path of Christ.

Happy are those who have friends that sustain them in times of trial. The Son of God needed friends in His life. Let us ask the Lord for friends who help us and help us along our journey.

The answer of God may come through those He put in our way. How many love us freely and intercede for us without us knowing! By constant prayer and the brothers and sisters in the faith that we maintain, we will win all the battles.

Márcio Mendes
New song Community mission 

Portuguese version

 Posted by at 01:01
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