Like these Children

 When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples. He said to them,Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them. For the kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children…Mark 10:14

Jesus replied, “‘ You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” Matthew 22:37-39

Love

A little child possesses a loving and compassionate heart; they are deeply touched by the pain and hurt of others. It is typical for them to reach out and provide comfort to others who display sadness and sorrow. How do our hearts compare to that of a little child’s heart? Agape love is inclusive to all individuals without regard to socioeconomic status, nationality, or background. We cannot let the actions of others or trending belief systems destroy what God has given to us–agape love allows us to extend mercy in the form of forgiveness toward our fellow brothers and sisters.

Forgiveness

Childhood spats are usually little disagreements that work themselves out because children are loyal and readily forgive. They cherish their friendships and typically do not hold onto grudges unless adult interference escalates the situation. God commands us to: Make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3:13 NLT. To forgive and not forget is not biblically supported; therefore, we must not allow ourselves to possess this unholy mindset regarding others who have offended us.

Joyful Excitement

As children hear and focus on the promises made to them, they are filled with bubbly excitement; their smiles and laughter are often combined with physically jumping up and down, which is priceless. The Bible is filled with God’s precious promises, which means we should possess the Joy of the Lord every day. 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. In those days, when you pray, I will listen. Jeremiah 29:11, 12. God desires that we always possess His joy: …Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10 last part.

When we love God, it will be our greatest desire to be like him. Go ahead, pray, and ask God for a complete transformation; it is only then that we can possess the characteristics that God requires for us to enter into His Kingdom.

Prayer for today: Dear God, We thank you for the ability to love, to laugh, and enjoy the beautiful life that you have given to us. We desire to become like little children and possess the character traits that are pleasing to you. Thank you for hearing and answering our prayer that we ask in the Worthy name of Jesus. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020

The 40-Year-Old Photo That Gives Us A Reason To Smile

 

 

As a Child

And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3 NIV

Childhood trait–Belief without a doubt.

Most of us can recall our childhood: As we differ, so do our childhood experiences; for some, the reflections are sweet, and for others, the memories are bittersweet, or traumatic. Although we were helpless in choosing how we started in life, we have a choice in how we live right now.

For those who experienced a less than desirable childhood, God will take away the emotional pain when we ask Him to heal us: He heals the Brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. Psalm 147:3. This is a beautiful promise from our most loving God; He will not leave you with remaining scars as psychological analysis wants us to believe. Never doubt that the Omnipotent God who created our minds can and will give us complete healing.

Acts chapter 9 tells us of a man who hated Believers and made it his mission to imprison and execute all who proclaimed the name of God. Saul of Tarsus was one of the most diabolical individuals mentioned in the Bible; his desire for the death of others was so intense that it took a conversation with Jesus and loss of his vision for Saul’s conversion to occur and for him to become the Apostle Paul.

Our amazing God took an unbeliever with a heart filled with hatred, and history of murdering innocent believers and transformed him into a godly apostle who proclaimed His name even unto death.

God never fails! We have every reason to have a strong belief in an Omnipotent God who loves us and always keeps His promises. There is not one friend, husband, wife, family member, or therapist that can make the promises that our Heavenly Father makes to us.

Break free from the chains of doubt, despair, and depression caused by reflection on the past. Believe that healing and transformation are possible because of God’s deep love for us. Speak positive and encouraging words, call on the name of Jesus, and you will be able to say: I am changed, God has healed me!

Prayer: Dear God, We need you to deliver and heal us from past experiences. We proclaim unwavering faith in your power to bring a complete transformation in our lives. We thank you and ask this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020

God's protection

 

Sing a Song

I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. Psalm 34:1

The books of Psalms were written by King David, who was the same shepherd boy that killed a lion, a bear, and Goliath, the giant. When God anointed him to be King, David perpetually worried about those who schemed against him. He also abused his authority by taking another man’s wife, Bathsheba, and to make matters worse, he sent her husband, Uriah, to the frontline of a battle to be killed.

In spite of David’s sins and wavering faith, God always remained faithful. Divine intervention prevented his son, Adonijah, from taking the throne away from his brother Solomon, who was appointed to be Israel’s next king. With love and mercies, God consistently blessed David; the one consequence that he suffered was that he was not allowed to build the temple under his reign. Read 1 Chronicles 28.

David wrote 150 psalms, poetic songs, which expressed his faith, his fears, his confession and repentance of adultery, murder, and ongoing sins against God. But, above all, he truly loved and honored God by continually singing a new song to the Creator of his life.

There are times when we may feel that God has forsaken us because we are experiencing the storms of life that have become so overwhelming. Perhaps we have been seeking after our sinful or selfish desires, and we feel unforgiven and separated from God. Even so, we must not give in to our feelings!

“Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid or terrified of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

We must get to know who God is and establish a covenant with Him. Pray and rely on God by studying the Bible. The Word of God contains everything we need to know about His Character, His promises, and the disobedience of fallen humanity. When we come to understand who God is, we will be like David and sing a new song by praising God endlessly for His blessings and His mercies.

Prayer: Dear God, We praise you for the mercies of a new day, and we ask you to forgive us for our sins. Thank you for all that you have done and all that you will do in our lives. We ask this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020

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Guaranteed Results

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. James 1:17

Weight loss is a billion-dollar industry with countless methods marketed as “the one,” which produces fantastic results, often without effort. There is only one method that leads to the loss of excessive weight; Fewer Calories = Weight loss. From a mathematical perspective, this should be the perfect formula for producing weight loss; but the truth of the matter is that losing excess pounds is complicated.

Weight loss has many variables: Food and Drink Choices, Type of Calories, Abnormal Diagnoses, Medications, Hormonal Imbalances, Body Response to Reduction of Calories: Lowered Rate of Metabolism, Genetics, Stress, and the amount of sleep. Above all, personal taste preferences and a history of eating foods/drinks that contain amounts of high sodium, high calories, high sugar, and high-fat content result in little to no will-power to avoid such foods.

Nevertheless, weight loss can be achieved without bariatric surgery or spending hundreds of dollars on promoted diet products. Consuming fewer calories by eating foods that are nutritious and taking daily walks will lead to substantial weight loss and the maintenance of your ideal weight.

We are blessed that there are no variables in the Plan of Salvation. God has developed the perfect plan for us to have guaranteed spiritual health: Confession, Repentance, Praying, Studying, living a Faith-based life, Trusting Him, and Obedience enables us to establish and maintain a spiritually healthy relationship with Him. As long as we actively participate, then our Comforter and Teacher, the Holy Spirit will dwell within us, and our characters will align with the “Fruit of the Spirit.” Galatians 5: 22,23. We can only receive guaranteed results with God.

Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. 3 John 1:2 NIV

Prayer: Dear God, Thank you for the Plan of Salvation that we may be redeemed from our sins if we humble ourselves and pray. We pray for the strength to do our part by maintaining spiritual and physical health. Please forgive us for our sins. We ask this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020

And we know that in all things God works for the…

 

 

The Walls

When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city. Joshua 6:20 NIV

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Just for a moment, reflect on the goals that you set five years ago, were you able to accomplish any of those goals? For the majority of us who have made plans for the future, we must remember that our lives are not our own. But you are not controlled by your sinful nature…Romans 8:9 NLT.  We must seek God’s approval first, pray, and wait for His answer.

Truthfully speaking, only one of our primary goals from five years ago was approved and blessed by God; our plan to relocate from Florida to Texas. When God says yes, there are no obstacles that prevent our plans from being brought into fruition. The miracles that God performed included the waiver of the remaining months on our lease in Florida, employment opportunities for a newly transplanted middle-aged couple, the healing of my elderly mother’s cardiac condition, and currently, early retirement for my husband and myself.

God created us with talents, spiritual gifts, and the ability to have aspirations, there are educational pursuits, career advancements, purchases of houses and vehicles, marriage, children, travel, retirement, and many others that we desire to achieve. With finite minds, our view of life is quite limited. We become disappointed when time passes, and our current situation remains unchanged; it is then that we begin to focus on the walls of difficulty and view our goals as unattainable.

At this point, we must redirect our focus and remember that God is Omniscient, He has not forgotten us. In His mercy, we are often saved from many painful consequences when He says to wait, or when He says no to our plans. Our dreams will advance into reality if our plans are in sync with God’s perfect plan. When we remain patient and obedient, then we will witness the power of our Almighty God, and the walls will fall down in His time.

Bible Reading: Joshua 6

Prayer: Dear God, We pray for forgiveness for pursuing what we want when we want it. We present our plans to you and ask for your approval and your blessing upon our lives. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020

Approved or Denied?

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Most of us know the things we need to accomplish daily and can organize our schedules accordingly to fulfill those tasks. The number of goals or interventions leading to completion determines whether the outcome is successful or unsuccessful. Have we taken into account the distractions that we have no control over that will impact our goals? The unexpected events that we cannot ignore, usually change what we desire to achieve every day.

Setting goals are an integral part of a structured lifestyle; even so, there are consequences to structuring our lives around to-do lists. We begin to lose our overall focus on a well-rounded lifestyle. We engage in risky behaviors when we overburden ourselves with too many commitments and responsibilities. The continual stress of doing too much in 24 hours harms our minds and bodies; Stress causes Mental health conditions such as anxiety, and depression along with conditions that affect the Cardiovascular system such as high blood pressure and heart disease.

We must slow down! In our haste, we rush throughout the day without asking if our plans are in His will. We can retrain our perspective; there are seven days in a week, distribute your goals evenly from Sunday-Friday, and enjoy the gift of Saturday the Sabbath, the one day that we do not focus on the cares of life.

In His infinite mercy, God has intervened on our behalf; the Seventh-day Sabbath, from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset, is part of God’s restorative process to slow our busyness. We have 24 hours to exclusively commune with God. If we follow His plan for our lives, then we can expect the restoration of our minds and bodies. God’s methods produce perfect results. Yes, God does all things well, present your plans to him, and wait for His approval. Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD. Psalm 27:14 NLT

Prayer: Dear God, We thank you for your love and infinite mercy by providing us with your plan to restore and heal us. We ask forgiveness for not seeking and waiting for your approval. May we obediently follow your will for our lives. We ask this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020

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