God is Able

Practical Messages for Impractical Times

When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel your Savior…Isaiah 43:2-3 NLT

Even in the worst times of our lives, God is always here, and He will never fail. In the midst of our struggles, earnest prayers connect us to our Heavenly Father.

“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will never fail you nor abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

Just hold on, help is on the way.

Prayer for today: Dear God, I feel so alone. Please help me to feel your presence and love during the times of my greatest struggles. Amen.

Sonya Johnson Ruiz

Overcoming the Master Worker

Satan often finds a powerful agency for evil in the power which one human mind is capable of exerting on another human mind. This influence is so seductive that the person who is being molded by it is often unconscious of its power. God has bidden me speak warning against this evil, that His servants may not come under the deceptive power of Satan. The enemy is a master worker, and if God’s people are not constantly led by the Spirit of God, they will be snared and taken. For thousands of years Satan has been experimenting upon the properties of the human mind, and he has learned to know it well. Ellen G. White

Make your Decision!

Practical Messages for Impractical Times
I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! Revelation 3:15

Many years ago, I served as a juror on a very lengthy murder trial. Reviewing the evidence presented by the State Prosecutor and the Defending Attorney proved to be a daunting task. We were mentally and physically exhausted from dissecting the witnesses’ statements for hours. Deliberation continued for days due to indecision on the part of three jurors. The Foreman urged us to reach a unanimous decision. Finally, the Judge approached us to reiterate that we would not be a “Hung jury” in his court. A decision had to be made in a timely manner; the verdict could not be “maybe”, each juror had to make the decision of guilty or not guilty.

In Revelation 3, letters were written to three churches regarding their spiritual condition. The members of the Laodicean Church were wealthy and felt they had no further needs. Their hearts were not fully committed to God due to the love of money. The letter admonishes them to make a choice-there was no middle ground. God clearly stated the consequences of defining salvation according to their own thought processes.

Presently, there are three groups of individuals; those who serve God, those who do not serve God, and those who are in the valley of indecision-not committed one way or the other. As we progress in our lives, we cannot be a “Hung Believer.” The plan of Salvation does not contain variations or multiple options. We must make the decision to be obedient and serve God fully or please ourselves by developing a personal plan to not serve God.

The time is upon us-earth’s history is coming to a close. Religious liberty is slowly being withdrawn as evidenced by Bible burning and persecution for acknowledging God on a global level. The atmosphere of racial and religious tension has gained strength to divide the United States once again. Heinous crimes, substance abuse, and suicide have increased at a phenomenal rate. Families are torn apart and the list goes on and on.

The decision to serve God with all of our heart, body, and soul has a great reward-Eternal life.

Prayer for today: Dear God, I have been standing in the valley of indecision for too long. I want to commit myself to you. Please reveal your plan for my life. Amen.

Sonya Johnson Ruiz

Getting Rid of the 3Ds

Owe nothing to anyone–except for your obligation to love one another…Romans 13:8

Practical Messages for Impractical Times-Necessary Debt vs Unnecessary Debt

I belong to a Facebook group that focuses on saving money by paying close attention to our spending habits. Most of us have been in the terrible predicament of accumulating unnecessary debt. Before we realize the amount that we owe on the high-interest credit cards that were easily attained, our liabilities exceed our assets. We end up with limited financial resources to live on, and become vulnerable to the many “get out of debt schemes.”

Unfortunately, there is a domino effect that occurs when our finances are out of control. Having excessive debt leads to the “3Ds”: Destruction of your peace of mind, Discouragement, and Desperation. When we are suffering from the 3Ds, our outlook is bleak. We may seek to borrow additional monies to remedy our situation. For individuals who have made this unscrupulous decision in the past to alleviate overwhelming debt, our FB members try to emphasize the drawbacks of borrowing or paying for Debt Management services.

The standards of Capitalism encourage us to acquire credit cards and purchase excessive tangible items that are labeled as desirable assets. Even though we are facing an insurmountable situation; there is hope, we can make the required changes to get out of debt. Recognizing and acknowledgment of our mistakes with overspending is the first step to having a debt-free lifestyle.

1. Make a list of your liabilities.

2. Develop a weekly budget. Track by documenting all of your spendings.

3. Reduce or eliminate Debit/Credit card use.

4. Call creditors; close accounts; and, make payment arrangements.

5. Have a yard/garage sale. Get rid of items that you no longer use or need.

6. An additional job is a consideration until your finances are stable.

In the Word of God, we are told to owe nothing to any individual. Our connection to God is interrupted when our minds are consumed with mounting debt. In addition, we are unable to enjoy the blessings of peace that comes from serving God. Thankfully, the God that we serve has promised to never leave us or forsake us. There is no situation that God cannot fix. Prayer is foremost when we are attempting lifestyle changes. With Divine intervention, we can eliminate undesirable debt, and be healed from the 3Ds.

Prayer for today: Dear God, I have mismanaged the resources that you have given me and I am in debt. I ask you to help me to develop a plan to get rid of this unnecessary debt and to spend my money wisely. Amen.

Sonya Johnson Ruiz

Deliverance

Practical Messages for Impractical Times

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to witness to one of my neighbors. The young man disclosed his broken past and the unhealthy behaviors of his present relationship. God allowed me to share part of my brokenness from the past and the steps I had to take in order for change to occur. There is an absolute when you are witnessing; never give worldly advice. Focus on your testimony and where you are today.

Most of our conversation dealt with the constant reminders of past mistakes. While he was speaking, I realized that he did not understand forgiveness. We hear many variations of the plea-bargaining version of accepting apologies. In fact, many believers do not grasp the biblical concept of forgiving others. There is no limit to forgiveness-it does not mean that you are to remain in unhealthy or abusive relationships. True forgiveness is based on God’s love and does not keep a record of past indiscretions. Imagine that you prayed for forgiveness and God kept reminding you of prior sins. We would be in a hopeless situation; however, many individuals keep a mental ledger available for recall when strife arises.

If you have ever wondered why God has allowed you to endure certain trials, embrace your deliverance. Do not focus on past circumstances. Your real-life testimony reveals the amazing power and love of God. We are to bring hope and love to others. A believer is human, and we are exposed to a life of suffering. The Word of God tells us the slave cannot be greater than the master. This analogy reflects on Christ’s life that was full of suffering. Even so, we know the end of the story; He arose and is preparing an eternal home where suffering will never exist.

We are Christ’s representatives to the world. Go ahead, share your testimony, and give God all the credit for His love, and mercy that paves the road to deliverance.

Prayer for Today: Dear God, Please reveal to me how I can share my testimony on how you have consistently delivered me. Amen

Sonya Johnson Ruiz

Victory is Mine

Practical Messages for Impractical Times

Oh come let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. Psalm 95:6

Our former Pastor quoted this verse every Sabbath at the beginning of the Divine Worship service. Remembering his deep voice and the emphasis on King David’s admonishment, along with the melodic sounds of the organ, still places my mind in a state of awe and reverence.

We must be humble and approach God as soon as our eyes open. When we begin the day with prayer, we invite our Heavenly Father to impart His strength and power to overcome our personal trials.

Into my heart, come into my heart, Lord Jesus. Victory is mine, victory is mine!

Prayer for Today: Dear God, Thank you for another day of life. I invite you into my heart and mind to give me the strength that I need to be victorious through you. Amen

Sonya Johnson Ruiz