Yes, Life is Tough!

There was a time when my favorite phrase was, “Not again!” It was my cry of despair, when the challenges of life would surface and keep resurfacing, and those were tough times. Many years later, I realize that if God had not allowed the tough times, I would be stressed out, overwhelmed, and at the breaking point in my life right now.

In seven months, we have been hit with an infectious virus that has mutated six times and is still in full effect. The economy is in a state of recession with hunger, pending homelessness, and unemployment at an all-time high. Civil unrest, social injustices, political annihilation, fake news, misinformation, the rally for constitutional rights, and misery permeates our world. And then, there are the opportunists who are trafficking human cargo, scamming seniors to take their Stimulus monies, and performing riotous actions to justify stealing from others.

Yes, for the average person, life is tough and with presenting conditions it may get worse! I still endure struggles and hardships, but I call on the members of a powerful team to assist me with resolution and pray for the perseverance to make it through.

I would like to share Words of Life spoken by Jesus Christ, a member of this powerful Spiritual Team:

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on Earth, you will have many trials and Sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid. John 14:27

I am an average person who happens to be a Believer. The journey from being the victim of my circumstances to a victorious Overcomer was an uphill climb. Even so, God was still there at a time when I had lost all faith and excluded Him from my life. God used a stranger, an older woman in the store, to introduce herself and extend an invitation to worship at the church she attended. Before leaving, she stated, “Sonya, hang in there, God knows, and He loves you.”

Despite the overwhelming circumstances we find ourselves in, God is always a prayer away. Given the opportunity, He will demonstrate that He is our Heavenly Father. Try God today! Ask Him to help you to solve your challenges. When we have done all that is humanly possible, then God’s Divine Intervention brings supernatural power to our circumstances.

The Lord says I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with long life and give them my salvation. Psalm 91:14-16

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the written permission of the author.

Sharing this story of having the courage to move forward. Add God to the equation for taking steps to have a successful life.

This is Jim Thorpe. Look closely at the photo, you can see that he’s wearing different socks and shoes. This wasn’t a fashion statement. It was the 1912 Olympics, and Jim, an American Indian from Oklahoma represented the U.S. in track and field.

On the morning of his competitions, his shoes were stolen. Luckily, Jim ended up finding two shoes in a garbage can. That’s the pair that he’s wearing in the photo. But one of the shoes was too big, so he had to wear an extra sock. Wearing these shoes, Jim won two gold medals that day.

This is a perfect reminder that you don’t have to resign to the excuses that have held you back. So what if life hasn’t been fair? What are you going to do about it today? Whatever you woke up with this morning; stolen shoes, ill health, failed relationships, failed business, don’t let it stop you from running your race. You can experience more in life if you’ll get over the excuses and get on with living. You can have reasons or you can have results…but you can’t have both.

#dohardthingstoday

JIM THORPE PIC FOR DEVOTIONAL

 

The Invisible Becomes Visible

Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God, everything is possible.” Matthew 19:26

Human Effort + Divine Intervention = Victorious Outcomes

This week many individuals are losing their additional $600 unemployment benefits without an option for replacing those monies. Also, the legal protection of non-eviction is scheduled to expire. The COVID-19 virus has forced many small businesses to shut their doors permanently. And the current statistics of cases and deaths worldwide continue to rise.

Global Confirmed Cases

15,800,544

Global Deaths

641,013

U.S. Confirmed Cases

4,137,411

U.S. Deaths

145,860

The disparity between “those who have and those who do not have” has rapidly grown during the pandemic. Food Banks, Non-profit Organizations, and Churches that normally have an overflow of resources are desperately seeking help from their respective communities to counteract the depletion of funds and foods.

Please ask yourself, “Can I help someone today?” If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? 1 John 3:17. For those of us who love God, we are His representatives to others that the invisible God does exist, and He has an army of helper soldiers who care.

The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him. Psalm 24:1

If you are overwhelmed from the thought of financial loss, eviction notice, or lack of necessities, know that God is aware of your challenges. Even if you have never thought about having a relationship with the Invisible God, now is the perfect time to say a simple prayer, “God, I don’t know who you are, but I desperately need your help. Amen.” Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it! John 14:14.

Human Effort: Get in touch with agencies that specialize in helping others. Even if they cannot assist, most have an active network of people and other organizations that can assist.

Divine Intervention: “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. 34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”

Human Effort: When all else fails in life, we have to trust in God’s plan. But even before anything goes astray, putting our faith in the Lord is a great way to get the assurance we need to press onward. womansday.com

Divine Intervention: And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not be afraid; Matthew 10:30-31

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Human Effort: Pray and tell God every concern, anxiety, and worry that you and your family are experiencing. Please know that God was not taken by surprise by the pandemic or the economic decline. Now is time for us to have courage, and faithfully trust in God. The same God who created us in His image has promised to take care of us despite the presenting circumstances.

Divine Intervention: If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

God is here! He has promised to take care of us. Our part is to fully trust and believe that if God said it, He will do it. I encourage you to trust in God with all of your heart, soul, and mind.

In 1998, I obeyed God and relocated to complete my nursing degree. The plans that I had to begin the program in August was delayed. A business college that I attended in the 1980s kept the Federal monies awarded, even though I had withdrawn from the program. I had to seek employment because my scholarships were placed on hold until I corrected the student loan’s defaulted status.

During the six month waiting period, I slept on the floor in a sleeping bag in a small one-room studio apartment. I also supplemented my food by visiting the local church’s food bank. Did God abandon me? No, I had to experience the hardships to realize that God is the sustainer of my life. It was a tough time, but I can share a victorious end.

God intervened on my behalf, and in January of 1999, I received my scholarships, and the rest of the story is that I graduated and enjoyed a nursing career that was blessed and highly favored. God allowed me to provide nursing care to hundreds of patients, and my prayer is that I gave the same compassion that Jesus gave to others.

I once was young and now am old, yet never have I seen the righteous abandoned or their children begging for bread. Psalm 37:25

The Invisible God is waiting for us to invite Him into our lives, and He will provide visible proof that “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

Bible Reading: Philippians 4

God, thank you for this beautiful Sabbath day. Please forgive us of our sins and shortcomings. We pray for those who are searching for peace, for those who need a financial blessing, and the individuals who are facing sickness. We ask you to provide comfort for the families that have lost loved ones due to the Coronavirus and other illnesses. We also pray that you will reveal your visible power upon our lives today. We ask these things in the Worthy Name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission.

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Sabbath Blessings

When we serve God, the impossible is always possible. Pray, Believe, and Wait for His answer. © Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020

Pray as you have never prayed before for the power of Christ. Pray for the inspiration of His Spirit, that you may be filled with a desire to save those who are perishing. Ellen G. White, Maranatha

Fact or Fiction?

My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Hosea 4:6

I received an email from AARP, offering a free webinar entitled, “Sorting Fact From Fiction Online.” The introductory paragraph read:

Do you believe everything you see online? In addition to a wealth of helpful information, there are plenty of sensationalized headlines, misleading stories and even complete falsehoods circulating on the internet, making it hard to even the most discerning reader to sort fact from fiction.

The webinar is in response to a targeted survey conducted with their senior members. 88% of seniors answered that they could tell whether the information is fact or fiction. I doubt that the webinar, which provides the tools and resources to help distinguish fact versus fake news, was designed to reach only the remaining 12%. At times, we possess over-confidence in our own abilities which makes us vulnerable to believe concepts that cannot be substantiated.

Misinformation is usually presented in a non-threatening manner. The bait is developed by using a familiar subject, introduced with objectivity, and designed to engage the person who wholeheartedly agrees with the presented information. And then, the speaker or writer presents the most crucial point, which is consistent with their values and morality. The bait and switch occur so skillfully that you stop abruptly and dismiss the information, or you have gone too far to let go and are pulled into the web of deceit.

Recently, I watched a powerful devotional that was in my youtube feed. I subscribed to the channel because the name of the ministry reflected God’s infinite grace and mercy. A few days ago, I started scrolling through the videos when I saw something that pierced my heart, the channel was from a well-known hate group who do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God. Their mission is to recruit modern-day soldiers based on the literal battles of the Old Testament. Yet, they produce Devotionals speaking of God’s grace. We cannot profess to love God but hate others.

A lesson well-learned, research the background and credibility of the source of the information that you choose to read, listen to, or watch. We can no longer give the benefit of the doubt to leave ourselves open to accept false information. Take the time to process and ask the question, “Is this Fact or Fiction? Many innocent people have been imprisoned, executed, and have lost stable and productive lives because of fabricated lies. And what about the scams that target seniors, and the victims who only desired to invest their money?

Yesterday, I spoke to our cell-phone carrier regarding an add-on service to call out-of-network numbers. One of our church members had spoken to the Pastor and relayed that the service was available for $3 per month. Although the representative had excellent customer service skills, he denied that the plan existed and continued to offer the one cent per minute charge as the only option. Finally, I stated, “I do not understand why one of our church members who is a Deacon in the church would give false information to the Pastor to tell others who also use your company that he has a monthly plan to make out-of-network calls.” After being placed on hold, the rest of the story is that the $3 service is available, but we would have to upgrade our current plan. The reality is the plan does exist, yet, it took 20 minutes to retrieve the truth.

When I was ready to give in to the misinformation that was presented, the Holy Spirit gave me the right words to speak that produced a very different outcome. If I did not believe that we have a Spiritual team who assists us in our time of need, then I would compliment myself for knowing that another option exists for valued customers. How easy is it to possess certain skills when I owned an educational tutoring business for 12 years? But the truth is that despite my insistence, it took Divine intervention for the truth to be brought into fruition.

Self-reliance is an enemy.  When we achieve the knowledge and skills to produce a positive outcome it is natural for us to give ourselves the credit for a job well done. But there are severe consequences for thinking too highly of yourself. Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18. 

Lucifer is a fallen angel who is now called Satan and the Devil. What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You care for him? You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor. Proverbs 8:4-5. Satan fully realizes and exerts his power over humanity every day. He knows that we are no match for his deceptive tactics. At some point in our lives, many of us have been deceived when we least expected it to happen.

Regardless of the ability to keep our guard up, there is only one way to avoid mistakes, scams, and to weed-out the fiction, and that is to rely on God.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5

Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the LORD and turn away from evil. Proverbs 3:6-7.

God has promised that if we seek him through prayer and ask for wisdom, He will guide us in all things, including every decision and every challenge we face. It is up to us to obey and follow God’s commands, “He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

Because I believe that we should never stop learning, I have registered for AARP’s webinar in August. My interest is piqued in learning techniques to improve a discerning mind. I acknowledge that Satan, the Master of Deception is always plotting schemes to attack those who worship the Most-High God. Nevertheless, we have a plan of escape; studying the written words of the Bible that represent the Voice of God, praying about every aspect of our lives, and relying on the Spiritual Team that will prevent us from falling into trickery.

Know that the LORD is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Psalm 100:3

God is love! He showers us with the gifts of grace and mercy every day. Pray for the spiritual gifts of wisdom and discernment. My testimony is that God has always answered every one of my prayers. It is my choice to ask and accept His will for my life. When I awaken each morning, I utter a heartfelt prayer of gratitude, asking God to order my steps, to change my plans according to His will, and to protect me from all hurt, harm, and danger that Satan uses to infiltrate our lives.

Apply God’s Word to every aspect of your life, and believe that if God said it, He will do it.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil.… Proverbs 3:5-7. Amen.

Bible Reading: Proverbs 3

God, thank you for protecting us from the evil in this world. We pray for wisdom as we seek knowledge and a stronger relationship with you. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the written permission of the author.

Bible Quotes by JC RYLE

 

The Tangled Ball

Whoever created this saying, “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” was aware that words do hurt.

What we say and how we say it, makes all the difference to the receiver and to God. Taking control of our conversation is so important that the Bible says, If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. James 1:26

Someone has appropriately written,

Soft words sung in a lullaby will put a babe to sleep. Excited words will stir a mob to violence. Eloquent words will send armies marching into the face of death. Encouraging words will fan to flame the genius of a Rembrandt or a Lincoln. Powerful words will mold the public mind as the sculptor molds his clay. Words, spoken or written, are a dynamic force.

Words are the swords we use in our battle for success and happiness. How others react toward us depends, in a large measure, upon the words we speak to them. Life is a great whispering gallery that sends back echoes of the words we send out! Our words live beyond us. They go marching through the years in the lives of all those with whom we come in contact. Unknown author

Our emotions influence what we say and how we say it. Many have let their uncontrolled anger drive them into possessing a “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” personality. However, we need to clarify that anger is only harmful if it is unleashed and misdirected toward others. God created us in His image, along with our emotions, including anger. And this is where things go awry because we lack knowledge of “why” we have this emotion.

And “do not sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. Ephesians 4:26-27

God gave us our emotions, which include anger. The problem is that anger is misunderstood because there is a lack of understanding of God, the Giver. God never intended for us to use our anger against others. Anger is to be used against all facets of injustice, heinous acts, and crimes against humanity. We are to hate sin and evil, but not the person or people who commit the wrongdoing. Without anger, we would be tolerant of oppression, child molestation, human trafficking, etc.

Yes, we should possess passionate, strong feelings against all horrific actions; still, God gives us strict guidelines on anger because anger gives birth to like “Hate!” And then we end up like a tangled ball of yarn, full of sinful emotions and feelings, misdirecting our emotions and feelings against other human beings that God created in His image. Uncontrolled anger is a catalyst that results in verbalizing harsh and hurtful words that flow like water from a broken dam.

Our words can break down relationships and destroy self-esteem and self-worth, especially in our children. The domino effect of unrestrained anger causes us to think and speak toxic words against those who we love and victimize others with hate speeches. And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. James 3:6

If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? 1 John 4:20

Without wisdom, knowledge of the scriptures, and guidance from the Holy Spirit, in our carnal state of mind, we misunderstand all that is spiritual. Anger, hatred, hurtful spoken words, and unforgiveness place us outside of God’s will and prevent us from possessing the Fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23. And It would be remiss not to mention the sinful feelings of unforgiveness toward others, “But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” Mark 11:25. 

“Forgive but never forget” is not biblically supported. Make a list of the values that you live by and compare them to the Word of God. It may come as a surprise that many of our favorite inspirational songs and phrases contain words and concepts that are worldly, and cannot be found in the Bible.

Remember that anger is only destructive when we lack the knowledge and wisdom to use it as God intended. Many biblical scriptures speak of the wrath of God. Even so, what is the factor that precipitates the anger of God? It is the evil of sin and the impact that sin has over humanity. Genesis 6 gives an account of “A World Gone Wrong,”

The LORD observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. And the LORD regretted that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him in His heart. Genesis 6:5-6

God is Holy and Righteous; therefore, He must possess wrath against the wickedness that results from sin. Although God hates the evil of sin, He does not hate the sinner. You may have been taught that God does hate the sinner, if that concept were real, then God would be filled with wrath against the entire human race.

As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous— not even one. Romans 3:10

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:8

The present condition of our world compares to that of Noah’s time. God is merciful and long-suffering: The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. 2 Peter 3:9

As long as we have breath in our bodies, we have the opportunity to change the characteristics that are enmity against God. We can pray for a change!

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Romans 12:19

We have received instruction not to misdirect our anger, nor to use words as weapons, and to let go of the bitterness of unforgiveness. When faced with the urge to retaliate and speak bitter words sparked by anger, just stop and pray! There are many times that we must use silence and give our problems to God, our Heavenly Father. God is here and waiting to help us change into loving, faithful, and self-controlled people that are waiting to receive our reward of Eternal life.

Disclaimer: This writer does not condone or promote giving, receiving, or tolerating abuse in any form whether it is mental, emotional, verbal, or physical.

Bible Reading: James 3

God, we ask forgiveness for the sins of speaking wounding words, having uncontrolled anger, and holding on to the bitterness of unforgiveness. It is our desire to think positive thoughts and to speak life-giving words. As we compare our character to the Fruit of the Spirit, we realize that we cannot change without your Divine Intervention. Please bless our efforts as we prepare for Eternal life. We ask this prayer in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz RN 2020, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the written permission of the author.

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Our Desires

Seek his will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:6

When I decided to commit my heart to serve God, I understood that my desires would need to align with God’s standards. In order to follow Jesus’ example, I had to renounce all worldly pleasures that Satan offered. Giving up things did not leave me unhappy nor do I live a boring and mundane life. Because of my new life with God, I enjoy peace. Yes, I still experience hardships, but I live without worries or anxieties.

I do not possess ambivalence or feelings of resentment because living for God requires obedience and giving up things that prevent spiritual growth. In fact, relinquishing my choice to live for self was the best decision I have made. No longer do I have to face the consequences of making mistake after mistake. Placing my life in God’s hands has given me the option of giving my burdens to Him. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. 1 Peter 5:7

After reading Genesis chapters 1-3, I fell in love with God. The earth was created for humanity. God designed a home filled with beauty. Because God is Omniscient, He was aware that Adam and Eve would desire more than the perfect life given to them. Even so, the Plan for Redemption was developed before God said, “Let us make man in our image.” Jesus agreed to die for human beings who would reject all that was holy and righteous for tangible possessions and worldly pleasures.

And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Mark 8:36 

Our material possessions, including our money, are transient and are easily lost. The pleasures that we crave and will cause us to lose Eternal life only last for a moment in time. It is not true that “you only live once, so go for the gusto.” Because of sin, our world is filled with atrocities, heinous acts, disease and decay.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus, our Lord. Romans 6:23. With thousands of people infected with a virus that cannot be curtailed, global climate change, an increase in hatred and inequality, and the crimes of human trafficking, and child molestation at an all-time high, the decline of our earthly home is at its peak.

Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe in Me as well. In My Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I am going away to prepare a place for you?… John 14:1-3

As a Believer, I know that God has better plans for those who love Him, and we are preparing for Eternal life. God is love! God would not have created the human race and offer us nothing beyond our present wretched conditions. For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

“Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” Revelation 22:12-13

Our desires are worthless compared to the promises of immortality in a perfect New Heaven and New Earth. I will never believe that our dedication to serve God ends with a chaotic world. Jesus suffered, died, and was resurrected for you and me. Remain obedient, faithful, and continue to trust in God’s promises.

My greatest desire is to receive the promised reward for doing my best to serve God faithfully. None of us can begin to understand the reward of Eternal life, but we can grasp God’s promises from reading the Bible, and that should give us the motivation to cast aside every worldly desire. Always make God first! His Son, Jesus, is coming to give us a life free from sin and it’s results; pain, disease, poverty, and death. In the New Heaven and New Earth all evil will be banished.

Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations. 3 No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him. 4 And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. 5 And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever. 6 Then the angel said to me,” Everything you have heard and seen is trustworthy and true. The Lord God, who inspires his prophets, has sent his angel to tell his servants what will happen soon.” Revelation 22:1-6

He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!” Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! Revelation 22:20

God, we thank you for the promise of one day that we will live eternally in the New Heaven and New Earth. Until then, we ask for your strength that we can live holy and acceptable lives. Please forgive us of our sins. We ask this prayer in the Worthy Name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission.

Grace Bay, Turks and Caicos

 

For them and With them

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. 1 Timothy 2:1

We must admit that adversity causes us to see our limitations and realize that we do need God’s Divine Intervention. During this pandemic, many believers are praying for protection and healing for their family and friends. When we can offer Intercessory prayers for others, our love for God is evidenced by the fruits of caring and compassion. The love of God allows us to see outside of ourselves and causes us to willingly bear one another’s burdens.

Yesterday was an extremely challenging day because we became aware that one of our youngest grandsons tested positive for the Coronavirus. As I listened to my husband relaying the circumstances that led to our grandson contracting the disease, he ended the story by telling our son that we would pray for his family. After offering a prayer of Repentance, we prayed a prayer of Intercession, not only for our son and his family, but for everyone.

Following the prayer, the Holy Spirit placed this thought in my mind, “Did you ask your son if you could pray with him?” I immediately asked my husband to call and ask our son if he could pray with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11. Following the phone call, I am happy to report that our son accepted prayer. God has used an adverse event to build a bond between father and son and opened a closed door to witness about His love and mercies. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. 1 Chronicles 16:24

Many of our family and friends are distressed by the current situation. The pandemic has impacted even those who are close to us by depleting their financial resources. Have you considered that the near future may include the loss of necessities such as a place to live, enough food to feed a family, and the inability to obtain employment? Reaching out to those who are despondent and do not have a personal relationship with God is our duty to God and humanity.

We are representatives of the Most-High who can offer to pray with family and friends who are gripped with fear of the future while trying to maintain safety from an infectious disease. Making the initial phone call can include the question, “How are things going with you and the family?” When the disciples desired to send the people away, remember that Jesus fed the multitude of 5,000, Matthew 14:13-21. 

Sharing our resources helps others to bear their burdens. If you can help someone, consider purchasing a store gift card for food, gas, etc. Your commitment to assisting based on what you can do to alleviate their suffering is all that God requires. If you have little to give, then give, it is our obedience and faith that allows God to turn our little into much for the greater good and His glory. “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. Isaiah 55:8.

“Can I pray with you?” We can have the desire to pray with others, but first, we must obtain their permission and respect their answer, which may be “No or Not now.” We should not take offense if a negative response is received; give back a simple response, “I will continue to pray for you and your family…and I will also mail your gift card. With our finite minds, it is easy for us to become sidetracked. How many people rejected Jesus as the Son of God? Yet His heart was still full of love and compassion as he miraculously healed their sicknesses and provided for their well-being.

Yes, continue to always pray for others. Even so, we must extend ourselves to offer to pray with others. Parents pray with your children regardless of their age, siblings pray with each other, reach out to your friends, the list is endless

You may be surprised by the number of people who accept a compassionate prayer that gives hope in their time of need. Love God, Love Others, Love Yourself!

The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. 15 When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. 16 I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation. Psalm 91:14-16

Bible Reading: Psalm 91

God, we are asking you to hear our prayer and to see us through our present circumstances. We have nowhere to turn but to you. Please give us the holy boldness to seek out those who are spiritually dying and to encourage them. We ask for forgiveness for ignoring that we are our brother’s keeper. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission.

Philippians 2_13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him_ _ New Living Translation (NLT) _ Download The Bible App Now

 

Please Protect Us

It is only the Omnipotent power of God that can keep us safe from the seen and unseen dangers that surround us daily. Take a moment to reflect on God’s love and thank Him for His commitment to keeping us safe. Be blessed. Stay Aware and Stay Safe. Sonya Johnson Ruiz RN

Psalm 91
1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him.
3 For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from deadly disease.
4 He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
nor the arrow that flies in the day.
6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
7 Though a thousand fall at your side,
though ten thousand are dying around you,
these evils will not touch you.
8 Just open your eyes,
and see how the wicked are punished.

9 If you make the Lord your refuge
if you make the Most High your shelter,
10 no evil will conquer you;
no plague will come near your home.
11 For he will order his angels
to protect you wherever you go.
12 They will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;
you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.
15 When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them.
16 I will reward them with a long life
and give them my salvation.”

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