Attending Church is not Enough

Many attend religious services, and are refreshed and comforted by the word of God; but through neglect of meditation, watchfulness, and prayer, they lose the blessing, and find themselves more destitute than before they received it. Often they feel that God has dealt hardly with them. They do not see that the fault is their own. By separating themselves from Jesus, they have shut away the light of His presence. Desire of Ages Ellen G White

Faith that Works Morris L Venden

May 28
Repentance

NO EXCUSES IN CONFESSION

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9.
It is only when we have experienced genuine repentance that we can make a genuine confession. Perhaps one of the best ways to test the genuineness of a confession is to realize whether or not there is any excuse added to the confession. If I come to you and say, “I’d like to ask you to forgive me. I am sorry that I lied about you, but if you weren’t such an ugly person I wouldn’t have lied in the first place,” you can know immediately that I have not had genuine repentance!
The problem of self-justification began in Eden. Adam blamed Eve for his problems, and Eve blamed the serpent. We are told that “when sin has deadened the moral perceptions, the wrongdoer does not discern the defects of his character…and unless he yields to the convicting power of the Holy Spirit he remains in partial blindness to his sin….To every acknowledgment of his guilt he adds an apology in excuse.”–Steps to Christ, p. 40.
There is no chance whatever for genuine reformation apart from repentance. Have you ever had someone tell you to “say you’re sorry”? Did that make you sorry? Have you ever told someone else, perhaps your children, “Tell them you’re sorry”? Does that make them sorry? Unless we are truly sorry, our confessions will be worthless, and no reformation will result. We all know by experience that we cannot reform ourselves, but as we get a glimpse of Jesus, and see the disappointment on His face, and see His love for us and His long-suffering, then we will experience true sorrow for sin.
It is only as we accept the mercy and the compassion of Jesus that He can, through us, pass on His mercy and compassion to others. Jesus is the only One who can give you peace. He loves you. He gave Himself for you. He will not judge you unfairly. His heart of love is touched with the feelings of your infirmities. As we come to understand His love and how much pain we have brought to His heart by our sins, we will be truly repentant, truly sorry for what we have done to hurt Him. The confession that springs from sorrow for hurting One who loves us will not give excuses, but will be heartfelt. And the result of that will be reformation.

I had to share this Devotional. The poignant Word of God lets us know when we give half-hearted confessions that Reformation cannot occur. Have you ever wondered why you are not growing spiritually? It’s something to think about.

It’s me, it’s me, oh Lord standing in the need of prayer.

Sonya Johnson Ruiz

The Word of God

The Word of God is Straight Forward
Practical Messages for Impractical Times

Romans 12:9-18 New Living Translation (NLT)

9 Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.
10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.
11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.
12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.
13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them.
15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.
16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!
17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable.
18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

Live for God as if it is your last day.
Preparing for Kingdom life one day at a time.

Sonya Johnson-Ruiz

How far will you go?

No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Luke 16:13 NLT

This has been a very interesting year for me as far as being tested and keeping the commandments of God. The 5th Commandment, “Thou shall not steal” is one that Satan is using to wage a war against the Saints of God. What happens when we do not have enough money? Do we eliminate or reduce giving tithe and offerings? I have listened to two friends who shared diabolical schemes to commit fraud and deceit. It was both disappointing and disheartening that Believers of God (self-proclaimed status) would feel they had no other options in life. It is also interesting that the acquisition of money was the motive for both parties to develop their plans of deception.

I keep asking myself why would they share their plans with me. Surely, this must be a test that would either shake or strengthen my faith. However, my duty is to God. In the end, I have lost both of my friends when I did not agree with their plans. This was not an attempt to present myself as self-righteous or “better than”; this is a proclamation of my loyalty and love for God. I also contemplated on how destitute I have been throughout my lifetime. In spite of my weak faith, God has always delivered me in His time.

It takes the right circumstance to bring out a person’s true character. How far will you or I go? Prayerfully, we will go all the way by taking our burdens to the Lord in prayer. Wait on the Lord; He will take us much further than we can ever imagine.

Sonya Johnson Ruiz