Yes, We Can

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. James 1:27

There are many phenomenal events that I have witnessed in my lifetime, especially the healing of many patients who were given a  limited time to live. When I read about Jesus feeding the multitude of 5,000 from two loaves of bread and five fish, Matthew 14:13-21, I sometimes wish that He was here right now to perform the same remarkable miracles. 

We can agree that money is first on the hierarchy as one of our most valuable resources. Without a steady income, the chance of living a productive life is almost impossible. In countries where Capitalism is the standard, there are very few purchases one can make or receive vital services without spending money. Either you pay now or pay later with interest, the choice is yours.

Although it is difficult to believe, there was a time when people exchanged services or goods without using money with a system known as Trade and Bartering. But as societies evolved, the acquisition of cash became our primary focus. The “I” concept prevails, along with the getting rich or die trying mentality; selfishness and greed are the new standards for core values.

Many corporations have been pressured into identifying and pursuing their Social Responsibility; even so, homelessness, hunger, foster children, and other problems continue to multiply on a global level. So let’s scale the responsibility down to one individual–you, a Believer. What is our role in alleviating the suffering of others? Many of us are actively doing our part, but do we give our best or the least wanted of our accumulation of tangible items?

For example, many individuals donate preowned clothing to nonprofit organizations that resell to those in need. Consider another option, purchase new clothing, and donate to faith-based community organizations that give vouchers to qualified applicants to shop for free. Imagine being destitute due to circumstances beyond your control, and your only option is the cast-offs of preowned items.

Assimilation is defined as the process of a person relinquishing their values-principles or ideals–to accept and adapt to think, act, and live like the majority, making them indistinguishable from other members of said society. If you are thinking of reasons why the unfortunate or underprivileged should be grateful for what they receive, then your character traits and values are misaligned with God’s standards. 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.

God gave His best for us, His only Son, Jesus Christ suffered and died on a cross used for the death of criminals. We must thoroughly examine ourselves for traits, beliefs, and behaviors that make it impossible for others to know that we serve the true and living God. Comparing ourselves to God’s requirements should result in making immediate changes. It is possible to cease all worldly thoughts and practices without going through a lengthy process. We are unable to justify or rationalize ungodliness when we proclaim that we are Children of God.

Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the LORD. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you. 2 Corinthians 6:17

Loving God gives us the desire for holiness. When we desire a clean heart, we will refuse to accept worldly standards. Living for God causes us to shine as beacons of light that distinguish and separate us from unbelievers. We must help others, everyone who is going through a financial struggle where they do not have the bare necessities. God’s Word stands firm and is still applicable in 2020, there can be no misunderstanding that the Bible is still the one and only guide for our current lifestyles and choices.

Make the change today: Love God and Love Others by giving your best!

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020

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Bible Verses Set 1

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Galatians 5:22, 23 

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

But the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, accommodating, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and sincere. James 3:17

Bible Verses Set 2

For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every evil practice. James 3:16

A fool does not care whether he understands a thing or not; all he wants to do is show how smart he is. Proverbs 18:2

Only fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and their actions are evil; not one of them does good! Psalm 14:1

Only fools would trust what they alone think, but if you live by wisdom, you will do all right. Proverbs 28:26

If you were required to choose Set 1 or Set 2 Bible verses, which set would accurately describe your character and your mindset? Since we are a poor judge of our characters, ask your best friend or a family member which set of verses would they choose to describe your character.

God does know all of our traits, even the ones that we hide from other people or pretend that we do not have. Most of us readily admit that we know individuals who possess the characteristics described in the second set of scriptures; however, we would never acknowledge having such traits ourselves. Before we pacify ourselves and express thankfulness that we are not like those individuals, God tells us: “As it is written:There is no one righteous, not even one.'” Romans 3:10, and “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?: Jeremiah 17:9

Ouch!!!, that really hurts. Then is our living in vain? Certainly not, first, we need to admit our faults and then use God’s standards as a reference point. When we see ourselves for who we truly are, then we can ask for Divine intervention upon our lives. With God, we can change by identifying our undesirable traits. Based on the Holy Scriptures, we do not have to guess or imagine what God requires from us. If we are diligent in doing our part to change then, God will give us a portion of His supernatural strength, and victory is a certainty.

Remember that we cannot be compelled to do evil. Each of us possesses the ability to choose right over wrong, truth over lies, and the ability to change. The transformation of our character will be one of the most difficult challenges that we have ever faced. Even so, it must be done if we desire Eternal Life as our reward.

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrew 4:16

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:5-6

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9, first part

God has many characteristics, but His love is more significant than we can ever imagine. He is waiting for you and waiting for me to give our whole hearts to Him. Study the Bible, and pray, the invisible God will become spiritually visible in your life. There is none like our God; if you desire change, then He is the only one that can make it possible.

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020

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Without a Doubt

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

Before working for the Division of Parole, one of the screening questions involved the ability to provide nursing care for individuals who had committed heinous crimes. When I applied for the position, it was not the compensation or benefits that prompted me to send in my resume. I was confident that I could provide excellent care without bias or prejudice to a challenging population.

Perhaps my character trait of optimism prevented me from realizing that the bowl of beautiful cherries also contain pits. The job proved to test my patience and nursing skills to a degree of difficulty that I never anticipated. Exposure to the most skillful level of manipulation always kept me on a learning curve regarding human behavior. Despite the efforts to deceive the nursing staff with misleading information, the truth prevailed; the residents failed to realize that we were a team.

Our team consisted of myself, a co-worker who had a history of military and prison nursing experience, the Medical Director, who was a physician, and the Administrative staff including a very protective Deputy Director. When residents questioned our nursing judgment or when we needed additional guidance, we were able to contact our Medical Director at any time of the day or night. Because of the solidarity of the Medical team, we delivered superior care and remained incident-free.

As Believers of God, we are faced with the highest level of skillful deceit and manipulation by Satan every day of our lives. How did this diabolical plot and sin enter the perfect atmosphere of heaven? Because of jealousy and envy, the most beautiful angel, Lucifer, schemed to rise above his Creator. “I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” Isaiah 14:14. To which God responded, Your heart grew proud of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor; so I cast you to the earth; I made you a spectacle before kings. Ezekial 28:17.

For his rebellion, Lucifer was cast down to the earth, a fallen angel whose power will never supersede God’s Omnipotence. Even so, never forget that Satan does possess power in the form of sinful temptations, false predictions of the future, and his most deceptive method of using mediums to supposedly speak to the dead. For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even their name is forgotten. Ecclesiastes 9:5

Because human beings insist on challenging God’s majesty and glory, King David clarifies our status: What are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them? Yet you made them only a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. Psalm 8:4-5.

The fall of Lucifer, Adam and Eve, and the continuation of sin among humanity did not come as a surprise to the Trinity Godhead. If we hold any doubt, God proclaims His Omniscience to humankind: “Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, and what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please” (Isaiah 46:9-10).

Therefore, we must hold fast to our faith; despite the turmoil, and the increase in the wickedness on this earth, God has a plan to end all evil. Hold on and never give up, Satan is not in control of our hearts, our minds, nor our destiny.

Without a doubt, Jesus Christ made a promise: “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” Revelation 22:12,13

We have a spiritual team that consists of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit with angels that are commanded to protect us: For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. Psalm 91:11

Accepting salvation by giving our heart to God, and living a faith-based life is all that is required to receive the reward of Immortality and Eternal life in a New Heaven and New Earth. It is my choice, and your choice to accept God’s plans for us. Without a doubt, better days are coming.  For yet a very little while he that comes will come, and will not delay. Hebrews 10:37

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020

Jesus Works in Wonders

 

 

 

 

Now this is Love

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

It is said that love is complex, complicated, and based on many conditions that the receiver expects from the giver. Hmmm. We cannot define love or its attributes because love has already been determined by God, who created love. In fact, God is the definition of love, and His love is unconditional.

When a baby is born to parents that have a healthy relationship, the baby is not capable of earning the love of his or her parents. From the moment of conception through birth, the baby is loved unconditionally.

We are unable to do anything to earn God’s love, it was freely given when He bent down to create humanity from dirt; it was freely given when He gave Jesus, His only Son to die for our sins; it is freely given through His daily grace and mercies–we are alive! God does not coerce us or force us to receive His love. We have been given the free will of choice to accept God’s love and sacrifices for all humanity.

There are many benefits to accepting the unconditional love of God:

God’s love is always available, His love meets us exactly where we are in life, and is free of complexities or complications.

Just by the simple act of believing in the Trinity Godhead; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, we can live a worry-free and peaceful existence.

Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; also believe in me. John 14:1. 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.

Our present life void of love and full of sorrow, sickness, and death are not indicative of what God has prepared for us, Revelation chapters 21 and 22. God has additional plans for those who love Him: and we will be given immortality and live in a New Heaven and New Earth when Jesus returns as He promised.

It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. 1 Corinthians 15:52.

Give yourself a love gift on Valentine’s Day. Believe, accept, learn, and practice God’s definition of love: Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 1 Corinthians 13:4, 5

Prepare yourself! Our greatest gift is coming very soon, an everlasting life full of LOVE, peace, and joy forever, and ever. Amen!

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020

Bible Verses About_ God's Love

 

New Growth

King Solomon wrote: Whenever I tried to become wise and learn what goes on in the world, I realized that you could stay awake night and day, and never be able to understand what God is doing. However hard you try, you will never find out. The wise may claim to know, but they don’t. Ecclesiastes 8:16, 17.

As I returned home today, I looked at the trees whose branches are without cover until the spring season. I soon became fixated on the bare tree limbs, the frigid temperature, and the gray clouds, which prompted me to make a negative comment regarding the dreariness of the long winter days.

When we pulled into the driveway, my attention was immediately drawn to the shrubs in our yard, whose leaves were bursting with two different shades of green. At first glance, it appeared that the change in the color of the leaves was an indication of poor health. However, once I was in front of the bushes, I realized that the small branches with the lighter shade of silvery green leaves were new growth. During the past three days of a sunless sky and gray clouds bursting with torrential rain, the shrubbery appeared to have doubled in size.

How was this plant growth possible? Most of our winter has been cloudy with a few days of sunshine, and sparse rain, definitely not conditions for optimal growth. As I reviewed the definition of photosynthesis, I realized that my understanding of the power of God is limited by my finite mind. Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth vegetation: seed-bearing plants and fruit trees, each bearing fruit with seed according to its kind.” And it was so. Genesis 1:11 BSB. Instead of using a scientific journal as a reference point, I should have picked up my Bible and read Genesis the first chapter on the Creation.

We serve a powerful and loving God who does not change. His faithfulness, His grace, and His mercies are not dependent upon our limited understanding. Scientific research will not help us to understand His thoughts or His ways. Whether our days are bleak or full of sunshine, all God asks of us is to have complete faith in Him. If we do our part, then He will provide the perfect mixture of sun and rain that is necessary for our relationship with Him to experience bountiful and unlimited growth.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020

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DIY Change your Thoughts

Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Genesis 6:5.

By the time Noah lived, the human race had rapidly increased in number, along with evil thoughts that produced corruption and abject wickedness. Their choice of sin prevailed over truth and righteousness, and with regret, God made the decision to destroy every living thing by a flood. Genesis 6:7, 17

We have a natural inclination toward sin, it is easier for the winds of strife to enter our minds than it is for us to possess pure and wholesome thoughts. Proverbs 23:7 tells us, “For as a man thinketh, so is he.” Our thoughts come to fruition by our behaviors and our actions. You are what you think.

Under normal circumstances, we are entirely predictable. It is not difficult to listen to the words and observe the actions and behaviors of another person. Our habits, our choices, our strengths, and our weaknesses reveal our real character.  The secret thoughts that only God knows about define who we are, and it is those weaknesses that provide the leeway for temptation. So, isn’t is Satan’s fault that we desire to do evil based on sinful thoughts?

Satan is a fallen being and does not possess the powers of the Trinity Godhead. Satan is not Omniscient; therefore, God has not given him the supernatural ability to read our minds or to control our thoughts. He uses a process to manipulate us based on observation, he watches us closely.  Do our negative words, facial expressions, or actions reveal our innermost thoughts? Yes, we are 100% responsible for our thoughts and the fall into the temptations of sin. We cannot be compelled by Satan to think evil thoughts or to do evil actions.

Sinful thoughts lead to evil actions. Is there a way to effectively control our thoughts? We must do our part by practicing conscious awareness of ungodly thoughts and halt them immediately. Even so, it is through constant prayer, that we will gain the victory over sinful thoughts and the evil actions that follow. By asking God to help us to focus on His righteousness, we will overcome evil.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:8

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020

- Watch your thoughts they become words; watch…