My Life is in His Hands

O Lord, I give my life to you. I trust in you my God…Psalm 25:1-2 NLT

I had a very precious friend who recently passed away after an ongoing battle with chronic heart disease. Although her health was severely compromised, she faithfully served God until the end of her life. The impact that she made on our church has given a sense of urgency to each member to serve God with all of our heart, soul, and mind.

God has given us many promises, all we have to do is believe. Why is it so hard to just believe and completely trust in God? When we reflect on our lives, we know that God has proven himself by blessing us time and time again. Truly, our lives are in His hands.

During our seven day fast, learn to trust in the Lord with all your heart. Is there anything to great for our God? Whatever your circumstances, take it to God in prayer; He is waiting to unleash His mighty power on your life.

Prayer for today: Dear God, Thank you for your great love for us. We desire to have steadfast faith and to realize that when we are in the valley of darkness, our lives are always in your hands. Thank you for being our Heavenly Father. We ask these things in the worthy name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2019

God Always keeps His Promises

The LORD’S loving-kindness indeed never ceases, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning, Great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23 NASB

If you are reading this devotional then you have been given new mercies for a brand new day to which we must proclaim, “Thank you, God.”

We can have the assurance that God always keeps His promises. He cannot be anything but faithful; even so, God has the condition of, “If and then”, we must obey and follow His commands for victorious outcomes.

As a faith-building step, I invite each of us to begin a spiritual fast; for the next seven (7) days, two (2) hours each day: Commit to prayer, study the Bible, and refrain from doing something that you love to do. Our goal is to live a faith-based life and for prayer to become an automatic response when we experience tribulations, victories, and the need for intercession on behalf of others.

Studying the Word of God is essential for our spiritual growth: We learn who God is, we develop an intimate relationship with God, and the Holy Spirit can bring to our remembrance the scriptures we have read for comfort and reiteration of God’s promises to us.

Bible Reading Schedule

Day 1-Psalm 51

Day 2- Psalm 25

Day 3-Psalm 23

Day 4-Psalm 27

Day 5-Psalm 34

Day 6-Psalm 37

Day 7-Psalm 47

Prayers of Forgiveness, Prayers of Gratitude, Prayers for Strength, Prayers for Intercession, Prayers for Financial Need, Prayers for Wisdom, and Prayers for Change of Character are among the endless prayers that we are blessed to offer to our Heavenly Father.

When we realize that prayer and the study of God’s Holy Word are the greatest blessings given to us, then we will become spiritual soldiers and proclaim as Job: “But I know that my redeemer lives, and in the end, he will stand upon the Earth.” Job 19:35

…But the just shall live by his faith. Habakkuk 2:4

Prayer for today: Dear God, We desire to have a deeper relationship with you and to live a faith-based life. We humbly come before you asking you to forgive us of our sins and shortcomings, and to fill us with your Holy Spirit. We are thankful for the ability to learn who you are through the study of your Word and the ability to communicate with you any time of the day through prayer. Thank you for your grace and your mercies. We ask your blessings as we begin our spiritual fast today in the worthy name of your Son, Jesus. Amen!

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz

Fear is not the best option!

Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds?” Luke 12:24

This morning I prayed through my tears; the separation from our grandchildren after returning home to Texas was bittersweet. I begin to wonder when I would hear my precious babies–ages 10, 11, and 15– say, “Grandma, grandma guess what?” or how many months would pass before I would be able to give them the hugs that cause them to say, “Grandma, you are the best.”

At a time when I am progressing through the aging process, the love that we exchanged–between a grandmother and her grandchildren is certainly one of the most precious gifts from God. So, if I believe that God has good plans for me (Jeremiah 29:11), then why did the thought of never seeing my grandchildren again enter my mind?

Our lives often fluctuate between feeling elated, as if we have reached the peak of the mountain, only to experience unforseen events that catapult us down into the valley; the valley where darkness overshadows us and we begin to lose our faith.

Sometimes the valley is darker than it needs to be!

Is it because of the things that we imagine or the escalated emotions that push us into the realm of unsubstantiated fear?

Although I was overwhelmed from a mixture of sadness and fear regarding my grandchildren, I believe in the power of prayer and possess a deep love for God. All I could do was to talk to God and express my grief audibly through a simple prayer. Immediately following my prayer, the Holy Spirit directed me to watch a devotional that explained the value that God places on His earthly children.

From personal experience, I can say that God always keeps His promises; I am required to pray without ceasing and faithfully trust in God whether I am experiencing peaks or lows in my life.

God is always the best and only option! With God we never have to fear any circumstance; His love and power are awesome.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4 ESV

Prayer for today: Dear God, We pray for the confidence and steadfast faith that you are always here for us. We acknowledge that our faith wavers based on our circumstances and we invite fear into our hearts instead of completely trusting in you. Oh God, please forgive our doubt and unbelief. As we strive for a closer relationship with you, we ask for you to give us the strength to face our challenges with confidence that you are always here. Thank you for hearing and answering our prayer. We ask these things of you in the worthy name of your son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz

Financial Strategies

Last week, I was at a thrift store that asked me to round-up my purchase amount of $13.58 to $14. Without hesitation, I said yes and left the store feeling good about my donation.

Hmmm…today I am thinking about the concept of rounding up and the amount of money that I could save, in my mason jar bank, from using cash for my purchases.

When we traveled out of state last week we paid cash for gasoline and food purchases due to the epidemic of skimming and fraudulent use of credit/debit cards. We spent a large amount of our change for the purpose of paying highway tolls; even so, our mason jar is almost full from the leftover change that we returned home with.

So here is the challenge:

Use cash for the majority of your purchases and save your leftover change.

Round down and keep your change as an investment in your own finances.

Resist the urge to reach for the debit or credit card…do not feel embarrassed or intimidated when using cash for payments.

The next time I visit a store that asks me to roundup to the next dollar, I will politely say, “No, thank you,” and think about my mason jar bank waiting for me at home.

Seeking new and improved strategies for a higher quality of life involves letting go of wasteful habits!

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz