Make it Personal

When relocating from the Northeast to a small town in Texas, I had to make a significant adjustment, and that was to transition from tactless to tactful. In the southern regions, if something needs to be said to another individual that is not pleasant but truthful, there is an art form of using analogies or comparing one situation to another to relay the truth. Granted, it wasn’t easy for me to learn how to be less direct in expressing myself. But as I began studying the Bible diligently, I realized that God required me to say truthful words but wrapped in kindness. Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul, and health to the body. Proverbs 16:24. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person. Colossians 4:6

Because of God’s grace and long-suffering, He always reveals the character traits, behaviors, and habits that are not in harmony with His will. When we study how Jesus exposed sin, He often used parables. So there would be no misunderstandings; Jesus always thoroughly explained the meaning of the story. Luke 18:9-14 tells us of “The Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican (Tax Collector).

9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ 13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ 14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

The Bible is our spiritual mirror.

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

Study the Bible, and look deeply into the spiritual mirror. God reveals our every thought, word, or action that is sinful. Not only does the Word of God expose our sins, but we are also told the cost of sin, For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23. Because sin leads to destruction, God is straight-forward: The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

Establish a relationship with God that is up-close and personal. Only you and God know the thoughts, words, and actions that result in separation from Him. God loves us so much that although He is plainspoken, as our Father, He patiently waits for us to acknowledge, confess, and repent of our sins. Still, serving God requires a humble heart and a “do-right” mind.

The human heart is the most deceitful of all things and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? Jeremiah 17:9. Because we are naturally drawn to sin, it takes human effort and Divine intervention to overcome sin. No temptation has overtaken you, except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV.

Do not be offended by the Word of God. Humbly, receive correction and discipline. The exposure of our wrongdoings is required for us to experience a spiritual transformation. Sanctification is a life-long journey. Make a personal decision to love and serve God with all of your heart, soul, and mind. God would never ask us to do the impossible. We have a Heavenly Father who readily extends His unconditional love, grace, and mercy. 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.

Saints of God, we are nearing home! 

Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must be clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.…1 Corinthians 15:51-53 BSB

Happy Sabbath! Praise God from Whom all Blessings Flow!

God, we thank you for revealing our faults and allowing us to change. We ask forgiveness for our sins. We pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit and to have a deeper understanding of the scriptures. Thank you for the Sabbath, a day of rest and spiritual renewal. We ask this prayer in the Worthy Name of Jesus. 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.