An Abundant Life

Practical Messages for Impractical Times

As a nurse for many years, one of the most exciting things to hear is the sound of a beating heart; especially the sound of a baby’s heart inside the protective environment of its mother.

Everyday we awaken and our heart is beating, we are reminded that we are inside the protective environment of our loving Creator.

I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10 ESV

Sonya Johnson Ruiz

Meditate on these things

Meditate on These Things

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.

6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
13 I can do all things through Christ[b] who strengthens me.
19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. 20 Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Philippians 4: 4-9, 13, and 19 NKJV

Today’s Devotional-The Word that Feeds Our Soul

Posted by Sonya Johnson Ruiz

The Condition of the Heart

But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience. LUKE 8:15

At any time, the receptiveness of your heart will determine your response to God’s word (Luke 8:5-18). If your heart is like the trampled ground, hardened by the sin of bitterness and unforgiveness, you will be unable to accept a message from God. Though you hear the words of the message, you will remain unchanged. If your heart is like the shallow soil, on top of a rock, you will accept God’s word in your mind, but the truth will not penetrate your heart to make a difference in your actions.

A heart like thorny soil is a life that is distracted by the cares of the world; the pursuit of earthly pleasures prevents God’s word from taking hold and producing righteousness. The heart that is like good soil receives a word from God, applies it, and brings forth fruit in due time. This is the heart that Jesus desires in us, for the fruit will be a Christian life.

Any time you hear a word from God, whether through Bible reading, prayer, or worship, the way you respond will depend on how you have cultivated your heart (Hos. 10:12). How do you develop a heart that is like good soil? Repent of any bitterness, anger, or unforgiveness that is hardening your heart. Meditate on God’s word until it enters deep into your heart and not just your mind.

When you read or hear a word from God, apply it to your life and let God bring His word into reality in your life (Gal. 6:9). Protect your lifestyle. See that you don’t devote all of your energy to worldly concerns, rather than to pursuing your relationship with God. The condition of your heart will vary, depending on how you cultivate it. If it was receptive to a word from God yesterday, this does not guarantee it is receptive today. Daily prepare your heart for the word God has for you!

From Today’s Devotional-Experiencing God Day-by-Day

Producing the Fruit of the Spirit requires obedience to the Word of God.

Sonya Johnson Ruiz

Repentance

Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” MARK 1:14-15

Repentance is one of the most positive of all words. To repent means to stop going one direction, to turn around completely, and to go the opposite way. Repentance involves a dramatic and decisive change of course. God urges us to repent when the path we are taking leads to destruction. Repentance will save us from disastrous consequences! What a wonderful word! How comforting that the Creator loves us enough to warn us of impending danger!

Our problem is that we think of repentance as something negative. When we recognize our sin, we prefer to “rededicate” our lives to God. We may even tell others we have resolved to be more faithful to God than we were before we failed Him. Yet the Bible does not speak of rededicating oneself. It speaks of repentance! Repentance indicates a decisive change, not merely a wishful resolution. We have not repented if we continue in our sin!

From Today’s Devotional-Experiencing God Day-by-Day

Sonya Johnson Ruiz