Spiritual Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning is the task of identifying what is no longer needed or desired. Many of us are committed to get rid of the old things in anticipation of replacing them with something new. Yes, we are meticulous with discarding unwanted tangible items, but what about our undesirable character traits?

One of my favorite quotes is by Lao Tzu: “Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”

Because of the negative impact that sin brings to humanity, there are a couple of things that we are involved in a battle with: Self-governance and Self-control. No one wants to admit that they have these ongoing issues, including me. In case you think that is simply not true, have you ever driven over the speed-limit or wished the pedestrian caught in the middle of the walkway when the light changed would hurry up? What about your emotions? Did you ever take out your frustrations on an innocent victim? What about the bitter fruits spoken in anger against those that you love? Did you change the story so that you appeared to be the victim instead of the instigator?

God was fully aware that we would be drawn to lawlessness and lack of self-control. Historically, we may have learned in academic settings how and when the various governments were established. Still, the scripture tells us that God established laws before the creation of humanity. Romans 13:1-2 says: “Obey the government, for God is the One who has put it there. There is no government anywhere that God has not placed in power. So those who refuse to obey the law of the land are refusing to obey God, and punishment will follow.”

The exception of obeying our government’s laws is when they conflict with God’s law, precepts, and commands. As believers, we can agree that God, our Creator made human beings and that He has given us the ability to reproduce children. He also commands us that since He created human life that we do not have the right to take another person’s life or our own life. The fifth commandment: Thou shalt not kill (You must not murder, NLT). Exodus 20:13. Just because the current law allows us to have abortions, the government’s law is in direct conflict with God’s law.

We are unable to rationalize or justify obedience vs. disobedience according to our thought processes. Jesus Christ tells us, “If you love me, obey my commandments. Whoever has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me. The one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and reveal Myself to him.” John 14:15, 21

The fruit of self-control requires that we apply structure and discipline to every area of our lives. So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31. Did you notice that God specifically addressed appetite as one of the most significant areas where we lack self-control? We are so out of control with our desires that the FDA has approved genetically reproduced animals to meet supply and demand. Without self-control of what and when we eat and drink, it is impossible to obey God.

God never said that it would be easy to obey Him. First and foremost, we must love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind to possess the desire to be obedient.

Spring Cleaning

Human Effort: Now, the easy part: We commit, confess, repent, and pray to have the Holy Spirit in our lives every day. Studying the Bible provides us with God’s standards and expectations. But, here’s the challenge: And without faith, it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6. God has provided us with a seed of faith. Even so, believing, trusting, and seeking Him through diligent studying, and consistent praying is the only way for our faith to develop and grow, and for us to get rid of the old life.

Divine Intervention: Instruction and Guidance

    1. “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses? 37, Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” Matthew 22:36-39
    2. 16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Galatians 5:16, 22-23
    3. “Do not call to mind the former things; pay no attention to the things of old.” Isaiah 43:18

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17. Accepting Jesus Christ as our personal Savior initiated the spiritual transformation, and then it is our responsibility to obey by performing a spiritual spring cleaning every day. 

How can we spring clean every day? We use the Bible as our spiritual mirror and humbly admit through the prayer of confession and repentance that we have kept some words, thoughts, and behaviors from our old life. Next, we make a conscious effort to stop, pray for strength, and hold back the bitter words and ungodly behaviors. Yes, we will struggle to change as God cleans us through tests and trials. But remember that we are not alone: I can (and will) do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13. Hallelujah! We will have the Victory!

God, give us a clean heart that we may serve you with all of our heart, soul, and mind. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2021, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission.

How Well Do You Know Him?

From 1966-1974, there was a game show called The Newlywed Game that featured four couples who had been married less than a year, competing against each other. The husbands guessed how the wives would answer, then the wives came back and answered the same questions, and couples got points for matches. Then the husbands got sent out and the process repeated. The couple with the most points won some sort of domestic “newlywed” prize, like a dishwasher. https://www.encyclopedia.com/media/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/newlywed-game

How well do you know God? As long as we are willing to stay connected to God, and do our part (Human Effort) spiritual growth never stops. Divine InterventionBecause of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV

Currently, I am participating in an online “10-days of Prayer” spiritual revival. Today’s message is entitled “Praying God’s Promises,” and states that we have to know God’s promises for us to build our faith and relationship with him. After the completion of reading the message, I asked myself three questions:

    1. What is your purpose for serving God?.
    2. How well do you know God?.
    3. Can I name five of God’s promises, and how am I applying these promises to my life?

Immediately, I realized that I would not be able to accomplish this spiritual undertaking on my own. I begin to pray for the Holy Spirit to reveal an action plan for my life. The first step was to identify the promises that I would incorporate into my life through prayer every day. Our relationship with Jesus Christ is an up-close and personal one, so the promises that each of us choose to hold on to and include in our lives will differ. Even so, there is one exception, all who desire to learn who God is, and live a faith-based life must pray for the Holy Spirit to be a part of their spiritual journey.

Since last Friday, I have been praying to be filled, guided, and comforted by the Holy Spirit throughout the day and night. Have there been any changes? Yes, my outlook has changed. I have the reassurance that God has heard my prayers of thanksgiving and the desire to grow closer to Him. Doubt and defeat have been replaced with an increase in faith. I am confident that God is working out every situation in my life.

I am sharing my list of promises:

  1. Praying for the Holy Spirit

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever–He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him because he lives with you now and later will be in you. John 14:16-17

2. Recognizing that God has no limitations

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Ephesians 3:20

3. Acknowledging that only God can provide emotional healing

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

4. Refusing to let circumstances steal my inner joy and peace

“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

5. Faithfully and patiently depending on my Heavenly Father to provide help 

“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. 2 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. 3 For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” Isaiah 43:1-3

6. Trading selfish desires for God’s plans by seeking Him before making decisions

For I know the thoughts (plans) that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13

7. Staying aware of the reward of Eternal life for the righteous

“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

Because of the natural tendency to get distracted by this journey’s cares and burdens, I made a hard copy of God’s promises. Whenever I need a reminder that my faith is wavering, I read and include His promises in my prayers any time of the day or night. I want to have a relationship with God as never before and pray to have love, unwavering faith, trust, and obedience. God loves us so much. I extend the invitation to make the necessary changes in your routine and get to know God as never before.

Thank you, Jesus, for giving us the greatest gift that we will ever receive, and thank you for being the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Amen!

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2021, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission.

Prayer for Protection

King David was surrounded by enemies throughout his reign. The book of Psalms is filled with prayers of protection. It is time for the Believers of the Most-High God to pray as David did for the protection of our country, for the protection of our families, and for ourselves.

6 I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God.
Bend down and listen as I pray.
7 Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways.
By your mighty power you rescue
those who seek refuge from their enemies.
8 Guard me as you would guard your own eyes.[a]
Hide me in the shadow of your wings.
9 Protect me from wicked people who attack me,
from murderous enemies who surround me.
10 They are without pity.
Listen to their boasting!
11 They track me down and surround me,
watching for the chance to throw me to the ground.
12 They are like hungry lions, eager to tear me apart—
like young lions hiding in ambush.

13 Arise, O Lord!
Stand against them, and bring them to their knees!
Rescue me from the wicked with your sword!
14 By the power of your hand, O Lord,
destroy those who look to this world for their reward. Psalm 17:6-14 NLT

God, we pray for your Divine Intervention against our greatest enemy, Satan who has planted evil in the minds of men and women to have armed rallies from January 16-20th at every Capital building in the United States. You promised to be a shield for all who look to you for protection. This is your world that you created for us to live in. Therefore, it is in faith that we pray this prayer, and we claim the victory in your Holy Name. Thank you for hearing and answering our prayer that we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2021, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission.

No Neutral Ground

“Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.” Matthew 12:30

The “neutral ground” is a strip of land running through the middle of a two-way street, most commonly known to other American cities as a median. During the early 1800s, neutral grounds were canals used for transporting goods throughout the city; others were used for rail and streetcar lines. Although the city of New Orleans has incorporated the use of neutral ground in its development, neutral ground in the 21st century, for the most part, constitutes an area that is of little use or purpose.

Many individuals have taken the position of neutrality: “I don’t get involved in that.” Throughout their lives, they take the stance of doing nothing by never actively participating for or against any problems facing humanity. Yes, they will readily engage in conversations regarding the pandemic, family issues, social injustices, poverty, political dissent, and civil unrest. But the bottom line is they have created a purpose for neutral ground, it is their comfort zone, and they do not intend to budge from that location.

The problem with living on neutral ground is that they “see and don’t see.” The focus of their lives is inward. It is a “me, myself, and I” proclamation of self-preservation. Neutrality produces inactivity. For the most part, human behavior is predictable. If a person has a selfish spirit, they can’t reach out and alleviate others’ suffering, nor is it possible for them to wholeheartedly serve God. Standing on neutral ground is a sinful character defect. It is a deal-breaker for receiving the reward of eternal life.

To substantiate these statements, we must refer to the scriptures.

  1. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” 37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'” Matthew 22:36-39
  2. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28:19-20
  3. He has told you, mortal one, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8
  4. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. Isaiah 1:17
  5. Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:17

Since the pandemic, neutrality has also invaded the body of believers. There are church leaders and members who have done relatively little to reach out to other members and their community suffering from emotional and physical losses.  We readily utilize our cell phones for multiple purposes, but not to call and provide spiritual encouragement. Our love for others is an indication of our love for God. To whom much is given, much will be required (Luke 12:48). If you have heard that line of wisdom, you know it means we are held responsible for what we have. If we have been blessed with talents, wealth, knowledge, time, and the like, it is expected that we benefit others. https://law.utk.edu/2016/05/10/

In creating humanity, God has defined the purpose of our lives. We must look beyond ourselves with a spirit of obedience, and one of active participation. Being employed on a 40-hr per week job does not fulfill God’s divine purpose for our lives. God directs us to observe the ants who are always busy with their activities of intent and purpose.

  1. Go to the ant, you slacker! Observe its ways and become wise. Proverbs 6:6
  2. There are four things on earth that are small but unusually wise: 25 Ants—they aren’t strong, but they store up food all summer. Proverbs 30:24-25

Even so, animals do not have free will. They instinctively act from the innate nature that God created them with. On the other hand, God has provided us with guidance and His expectations through the Bible, His Holy Word. We have the option not to follow God’s commandments and instructions; however, there is a high price to pay for the disobedience of doing nothing and standing on neutral ground. “Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds.” Revelation 22:12. Still, we can easily remove ourselves from the lose-lose situation of neutrality by loving and obeying God, and meeting the needs of others. 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

Love (and Obey) God, Love Others, and Love Yourself!

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2021, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission. 

A Prayer for 2021

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. Isaiah 43:2

Dear God, I want to begin this prayer by saying that I love you. Thank you for not letting me drown or be burned up emotionally and spiritually during the many trials and sorrows I experienced in the past year. You have always kept your promise to safely guide me through the valley lows that I have come up against time after time. Please help me to keep my focus on your amazing love and miraculous power instead of my circumstances. I realize that your plans for me are perfect and will prepare me to live with you eternally. Yes, I have asked you for many things during the past year, but this is a prayer of thanksgiving. I commit myself to serve you faithfully and obediently for the remainder of my life. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer that I ask in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2021, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission.

The Uncertainty of Life

God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. Psalm 46:1

Answer the questions with yes or no:

1. Do you feel secure with the status of your life?

2. Did the COVID-19 pandemic cause you to feel even more insecure about your future?

3. Are you hoping that 2021 will bring new opportunities to your present circumstances?

4. Are your doubts and fears preventing God from bringing blessings and deliverance to your life?

God is fully aware of our abilities and limitations. The Bible is filled with unlimited promises and testimonies of God’s grace and mercies to humanity. We can be thankful that God will never tell us to figure out how to resolve our problems. There are no setbacks that God cannot make as a stepping stone to victory. “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?” Jeremiah 32:27

Confess your doubts and fears to God in prayer. Present your circumstances and faithfully wait for His victorious answer. And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Commit in 2021 to: Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD. Psalm 27:14

God, we admit that we are not feeling courageous about our present circumstances. But we do know that we need you in our lives. We pray for your Divine Intervention to calm our fears and to give us peace. Holy Spirit, please provide comfort and the reassurance that we are loved. Thank you for hearing and answering our prayer that we ask in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2021, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission.

Living by the Spirit’s Power– Sabbath Devotional, 1/8/2021

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself…. 1 Corinthians 6:19

So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. Galatians 5:16

To believe in God, we must also believe in the Trinity Godhead-God, the Father, Jesus Christ, His Son, and the Holy Spirit. It appears that the least understood is the third person of the Godhead, who is the Holy Spirit.

We will not take an analytical approach or attempt to dissect the purpose of the Holy Spirit. Our approach to the Holy Spirit is one through total faith, which is a requisite to believe the biblically based definition. Faith facilitates wholehearted acceptance and understanding of the power and purpose of the Holy Spirit. And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. Hebrews 11:6. There are mysteries in the scriptures that our finite minds cannot fully comprehend, yet, because we love God and believe in Him, we acknowledge and embrace the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation. If God said it, then it is the truth! 

The Holy Spirit existed before Jesus came to this earth and before the day of Pentecost. In fact, we were promised the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament: And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. Ezekial 36:26-27

Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit to His Disciples

15 “If you love me, obey my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. 17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.” John 14:15-17

Attributes of the Holy Spirit

  1. And the Spirit of the LORD will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. Isaiah 11:2
  2. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. Romans 8:26 ESV
  3. For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7

The Day of Pentecost

On the day of Pentecost, all the believers were meeting together in one place. 2 Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. 3 Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them.

4 And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability. 5 At that time, there were devout Jews from every nation living in Jerusalem. 6 When they heard the loud noise, everyone came running, and they were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers.

7 They were completely amazed. “How can this be?” they exclaimed. “These people are all from Galilee, 8 and yet we hear them speaking in our own native languages!” Acts 2:1-7

From reading Acts chapter 2, verses 1-7, we receive God’s explanation of precisely what “speaking in tongues” is and what it is not, an unknown language. 

Serving God requires total faith, or it truly is impossible to please Him. The Plan of Salvation requires that we accept and believe in all of the Bible. All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Now that we are aware of who the Holy Spirit is and His purpose, we can tap into the power of the Holy Spirit. By praying to be filled, to be guided, and to be comforted by the Holy Spirit we step forward in our faith-based journey. If you have made this commitment: Then he brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, you and your household.” Acts 16:30-31 BSB, then you are ready to take your relationship with God to a deeper level.

Accepting Jesus Christ as our LORD and Savior requires faith. There are many things that we can imagine are a certain way. However, with faith, either you have it, or you do not. Faith requires constant and consistent human effort, faith is action. We make decisions every day regarding what we will wear, eat, drink, whether to pray or study the Bible. Faith is a choice, and it will take a concerted effort every time we are faced with a challenge to pray and believe that God will bring resolution and victory over all trials and sorrows that we face. “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

Initially, when we begin an exercise program, such as walking every day. We may start with 1-2 blocks or half of the walking course. Even so, as we continue to walk, our body builds strength, stamina, and endurance—our mindset changes as we begin to feel and see the changes in our mind and body. With perseverance, our blocks become miles, and we begin to smile and laugh more because we are proud of our accomplishment.

Spiritually, having faith in God takes us to a higher level in our relationship than we could ever imagine. Human Effort: If we pray and believe that God will always work it out for every challenge we face, then we are exercising our faith. Eventually, when troubles come our way, we have the confidence and reassurance to obey by patiently waiting on God. Divine Intervention: It takes the power of the Trinity Godhead for us to attain spiritual growth.

The inner joy, and peace of mind that we are missing can easily belong to us, if we put forth the effort to build and strengthen our faith!

The Holy Spirit is available to propel us into having a strong, faith-based foundation in our relationship with God. Through prayer, we extend our invitation to the third person of the Trinity to give us the power to be overcomers through Jesus Christ. “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8

God, we desire to live a faith-based life and with divine purpose. Please forgive us for our sins. We now understand that we cannot exist without the Holy Spirit. God, we pray to be filled, be led, be comforted, and receive knowledge and wisdom from the Holy Spirit. As we worship you on this Sabbath, we know that you can give us a Day of Pentecost experience, and we ask you to do this for your children. Thank you for providing all that we need to live victoriously as overcomers. We ask this prayer in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen.

Link for additional scriptures on the Holy Spirit: https://www.openbible.info/topics/holy_spirit

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2021, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission. 

Catch-Phrase Christians

What does the word “Christian mean to you?” For me, it means Christ-like, possessing Jesus’ character, and following Him even unto death. I recognize that prayer to God is the only way to communicate with God, and I can boldly approach the throne of grace without mediation from a pastor, priest, or human-made idol.

As a follower of Christ, I possess love, faith, trust, and obedience to all of God’s commandments, including Saturday, the seventh-day Sabbath. I believe in the Trinity Godhead-God, the Father, Jesus Christ, His Son, and the Holy Spirit. I acknowledge and accept that the Bible, the Word of God, was written by men of God under Divine Inspiration and has never changed and is still valid. And the Bible is where our focus will be today.

The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever. Isaiah 40:8

For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle (the smallest letter or stroke) will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Matthew 5:18

The lack of desire to diligently study the Word of God is not a new phenomenon. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. Hosea 4:6

Living by God’s truth requires consistent effort:

Study and do your best to present yourself to God approved, a workman [tested by trial] who has no reason to be ashamed, accurately handling and skillfully teaching the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

What exactly defines a “Catch-phrase Christian? One that does not possess knowledge of the Bible and filibusters by using their own opinions as answers.

Just yesterday, we had an insurrection against the democratic system of the United States of America. Was your response similar to any of these responses?

It’s a shame what is going on in the United States.

Nothing surprises me anymore.

The President is at fault.

This is what happens when you cheat someone that should rightfully be the President for the next four years.

They are taking a stand to Make America great again.

If so, then you are a Catch-phrase Christian who is unaware that biblical prophecy is being fulfilled and these events indicate the closing of this earth’s history. Nor are you preparing for the Second Coming of Jesus because studying, hearing, and obeying the scriptures is a mandated part of serving God.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man (or woman) of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

For those of us who are studying the Holy scriptures, we know why the insurrection happened:

You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. 2 For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. 3 They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. 4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. 2 Timothy 3:1-4

If we only performed part of our job duties, our employer would institute a Performance Improvement Plan’s disciplinary action, and further non-compliance would lead to termination. Yet, for many, they choose how they will serve the Most-High God. If they read the Bible at all, the search is for feel-good scriptures. But feelings do not last, and the disobedience of not studying all of the Bible leaves us with anxiety, worries, and depression. We cannot have the peace of God when we have no idea who God is, and disregard the only method of gaining knowledge of God. We cannot have personal relationships with strangers.

The Apostle Paul tells Timothy about the Catch-phrase, counterfeit Christians: They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that! 2 Timothy 3:5

God has provided us with all of the knowledge we need to prepare for the times of persecution that are upon us. Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13, But evil people and impostors will flourish. They will deceive others and will themselves be deceived. 2 Timothy 3:12-13

Ephesians 6:11-18 admonishes us to put on the whole armor of God, which includes the diligent study of the Bible.

The continuation of the Apostle Paul’s letter to Timothy:

14 But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. 15 You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 2 Timothy 3:14-16

Human Effort: As soldiers in the Army of God, the scriptures, along with prayer, faith, trust, and obedience to God, equip us to stand against Satan, the enemy of humanity. The study of the Word of God has a definitive purpose: God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. 2 Timothy 3:17

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 ESV

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. James 1:22

We do not have to blend in with unbelievers by being a Catch-phrase Christian. Stand out by proclaiming the Word of God. Yes, you will be shunned by others, maybe even those who profess to be believers. But we must not concern ourselves about what others think about us. Know this, everyone did not reject Jesus Christ. When we boldly proclaim the scriptures, they will not be heard only by the scoffers. Many individuals are just waiting for someone to tell them that there is a Savior, Jesus Christ, who provides love, peace and unspeakable joy to those who faithfully serve Him.

The diligent study of the Bible will prevent us from the pitfalls of “Catch-phrase Christianity.” Study, pray, and witness by proclaiming the Word of God. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Ephesians 6:13

God, we thank you for the scriptures that provide the knowledge that we need to live holy and obediently. We ask forgiveness for not studying the Bible. Please reveal the meaning of your words, and give us wisdom for a spiritual transformation. Thank you for hearing and answering our prayer that we ask in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen. 

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2021, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission.

“Be still, and know that I am God!” Psalm 46:10