On 9 August 2018, 14,500 women, supported by some men, gathered at Universal Churches nationally to celebrate National Women's Day. Besides honouring and celebrating women, the purpose of the special service was to empower and equip women to embrace their value and learn how to make a positive difference in their homes, communities and workplaces through their behaviour and example.
The service was attended by founder of the Universal Church, Bishop Edir Macedo, who prayed that God would make a brave new nation through His people in South Africa, and his wife, Ester Bezerra, who taught women how to display wisdom and discipline in their lives.
She said: “God created heaven and earth with planning, purpose, wisdom and understanding. All that He created is beautiful, but the pinnacle of His creation is mankind – men and women whom He loves more than anything else. His desire is for men and women to have His wisdom and understanding and to live their lives using intelligence, thought and reasoning."
She explained that creation is governed by order and discipline, giving the annual systematic seasonal rotation as an example. God’s plan is that lives of His children should display the same characteristics. Ester Bezerra said: “Our lives should not be in a shambles with dysfunctional families, disputes between husbands and wives and conflict with children. This is not what God planned for us. Why has society degenerated into this state? Because people do not use reason, understanding and knowledge. People suffer because they do not apply God’s advice and guidelines for Godly living which are found in His Word.”
Ester said: “God is discipline, order, understanding, reasoning and love. He created us to display these characteristics in ourselves and our families. Unfortunately human nature loves what is wrong, rather than what is right. In order to know what God requires of us, we need to understand God’s wisdom. How do we do that?”
The answer is found in Proverbs 1:7: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
She explained: to have God’s qualities and display them in our lives, we need to know the Word of God and to fear Him. When we revere God and are in awe of Him, we choose to seek to please Him and follow His guidance. When women do this, there is unity, discipline and love in their homes.
Many people who come to church know God, have been baptised and are faithful tithers, but they do not fear Him with reverence and respect. Knowledge is not enough, we need to want to live lives that are pleasing to Him and move away from things that separate us from Him. As human beings, we make mistakes, but God is ready to accept our repentance when we confess our sins. That is what it is to fear the Lord.
Some people are Godly and spiritual in church, but live different lives outside in the world. These women dress to please others in the secular world and are ruled by fashion which requires them to dress in a sensual manner to attract men. They are serving two masters. Servants of God are called to follow Jesus and do what pleases Him according to His Word.
Women who display the fear of the Lord, use intelligence and understand what God requires of them. They know His Word and live by it, always striving to please Him. They know that His way is the right one and by the power of the Holy Spirit, they have the strength to obey Him.
Speaking to women who have suffered as Leah did, been despised by their husbands, suffered injustice and abuse, Ester said: “God sees what you have endured. He has never abandoned you. He is here now, holding your hand and filling your heart with joy. His power is penetrating your life and making everything new. Read the Bible, meditate on His Word and display His characteristics of wisdom, understanding and discipline. Your life will change.”
Marcia Pires, founder of Women in Action, developed the message from Ester, outlining how women can apply understanding, discipline and fear of the Lord by making correct choices. She explained that women cannot live by their own understanding as this leads to destruction. People need to make choices in line with their decisions about how they wish to live their lives and these choices need to be demonstrated in both word and action. As examples: do they dress to please others or to please God? Do they treat their husbands and children with love and understanding? Do they seek to behave as God would in every situation? Do they display His wisdom, patience, mercy and forgiveness? Or do they live by different standards? She stressed that it is not wise to live according to our human nature, but to seek wisdom and understanding.
She encouraged both men and women to look for Godly partners, display discipline and to allow God to direct all areas of their lives. She said: “Value yourself and do not succumb to peer pressure to fit in. Do not allow anyone to abuse your body. Value it and protect yourself from people who want to use you and then discard you. Put God first, display the fear of the Lord, and you will receive wisdom and understanding.”
Women who attended the meeting said it was a blessing to celebrate Women’s Day in church with other Godly women. Some said they had learned the importance of discipline and discovered that through their behaviour they could change the world.
For further information, please contact the church’s public relations department on 011 224 3400 or .
The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG) is a contemporary, evangelical, Bible-based church, actively involved in numerous national outreach projects caring for people's spiritual, emotional and physical needs.
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