Delight yourself in the Lord

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

Delight–to please someone greatly. For us to please God greatly, our love must run deep. So, how do you know that your love for God runs deep? You present yourself as a living sacrifice daily through prayer, “God not my will but your will be done in my life. Amen.”

It takes total surrender to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37. It took most of my life to figure out that I was trying to compete with God by constantly making plans that were not His plans. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11. After many failures, I finally gave in by making a total commitment to trust and obey God.

In January, when I was facing homelessness, God proved His Omnipotence. He performed supernatural financial miracles. The picture you see is of the Atlantic Ocean in Florida. I did not ask God to move me to the Florida coast, but He remembered the joy of my childhood. As a young girl, I learned to swim in the Atlantic ocean in New Jersey. Although I had forgotten my love for the ocean, God never fails. And now, as my hair turns gray, I can reflect on His amazing watery creation in person.

My love runs deeply for God. Not because of the things that He gives, God always keeps His promises. Our Heavenly Father has committed to take care of us. I desire to serve Him wholeheartedly because He loves me unconditionally. Still, I am growing in His grace. I decided to stop reacting emotionally to my trials and sorrows by immediately praying for divine intervention. God always extends His grace and mercies, which requires me to do my part.

We can change our perception of God by striving to delight in the Lord. God loves us! He desires that we have peace and inner joy, which is only possible when we put Him first. Have a beautiful and happy Sabbath.

Bible Study: Psalm 37

Prayer: God, we love you. Thank you for the Sabbath and for your love, grace, and mercies. We ask this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Indiatlantic, Florida

The Cry of Victory! Happy Sabbath!

Prayer: God, we pray that you open our spiritual eyes. Amen.

Jesus is here, walking in front of us. We are entering another storm, even so, keep your eyes focused on the Savior. Follow your Guide! The path is narrow. Don’t look to the right or to the left! And if the cloudy darkness of hardships and sorrows blind you, just call out, “Jesus, I can’t see you, Jesus, please help me.”

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

It is a conscious decision to awaken to a new day and invite Jesus into our life. “Behold, I stand at the door [our heart, which is our mind] and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20.

Struggles are necessary to develop the faith that keeps us totally dependent: “…Without Me, you can do nothing.” John 15:5. Yes, we are required to surrender our will, along with the way we think and the things we desire. And why not? 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

Read Joshua chapter 6.

But the Lord said to Joshua, “I have given you Jericho, its king, and all its strong warriors. You and your fighting men should march around the town once a day for six days.” Joshua 6:2‭-‬3.

Faith: Have we placed ourselves in the position to receive God’s plans? “Be still, and know that I am God;” Psalm 46:10. Prayer keeps us connected to God. Why is studying the Bible a necessity? Not only do the scriptures reveal the character of God, but they also teach and remind us that faith, trust, and obedience are required to stay in alignment with God. Jesus, the Lamb of God, the Alpha and Omega is the only way to receive salvation.

Obedience: “Do not shout; do not even talk,” Joshua commanded. “Not a single word from any of you until I tell you to shout. Then shout!” Joshua 6:10

Victory: When the people heard the sound of the rams’ horns, they shouted as loud as they could. Suddenly, the walls of Jericho collapsed, and the Israelites charged straight into the town and captured it. Joshua 6:20

Like the walls of Jericho that fell, if we put God first, He will lead and guide us through every heartache, tribulation, and challenge. Put your faith and trust in Him. It is only then, we can cry the shout of victory!

Prayer: God, thank you for loving us. Please forgive us for our sins. We desire to faithfully serve, obey, and wait for you to reveal your plans for our lives. We thank you for the gift of the Sabbath–a time dedicated to redirecting our focus on you. We ask this prayer in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen.

There is Only One Answer

When I was in nursing school, the consensus was that our Nursing 1 professor was blunt, tactless, and overbearing. The exams had a standardized format with the paragraph question and four multiple-choice questions. Two of the answers were distractors, and the remaining two were closely related. Following an exam, Kathy would review the correct rationale and answer. You would think that students in the first semester of nursing school would not possess the arrogance to challenge an experienced nurse with an advanced degree, but that was not the case. But Kathy aconsistenly used one quote, “If you implemented that action your patient would probably die or suffer serious injury. There is only one correct answer.”

While my classmates were sparring with Kathy, I took notes, writing down the correct answer and rationale. My goal was to become an RN. After our second class, our professor established a zero tolerance policy. The challengers were reminded that they chose to become nurses, and to complete their goal, they would respect the nursing profession and their professor. Clarification of her role followed, and that was to teach the nursing process, which had only one road to travel on. The students were given an ultimatum to accept the theoretical information as presented or withdraw from the program. 

It would have been impossible for me to achieve my goal as a nurse if I did not study countless hours to learn the structure and function of the body along with various disease processes. To achieve my goal also required respect for my professors, their experience, and teaching the accuracy of nursing care for patients.

There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end, it leads to death. Proverbs 14:12.

We are living in a time where many are selecting the wrong answer. Individuals who claim to love and serve God readily challenge the Bible, which God gave to men who were faithful, humble, obedient, and striving for the mark to be holy and live righteous lives. God gave us creativity, which is evidenced by our talents and the ability to learn, which explains why the writing styles of the books of the Bible may vary. But God did not give us the option to interpret His words according to our level of understanding.

Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15. The question is, “Do we desire eternal life?” Studying the Bible is a requisite to receive eternal life. The Bible is our spiritual mirror, it points out character flaws, and teaches us the correct answers given to us by God. We have a Heavenly Father who anticipated our every need. God did not leave us alone to interpret the scriptures. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. John 14:26.

“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” Deuteronomy 29:29. As servants, we do not have to understand how the Holy Spirit teaches nor should we have a list of “why” questions. Our role is to pray and ask for the Holy Spirit to give us understanding and wisdom before we study God’s Holy Word. God has prepared a perfect life for those who humble themselves and accept the only correct answer. Read Revelation chapters 21 and 22 daily to remind yourself that the reward of obedience and perseverance is eternal life in the New Heaven and New Earth. 

I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Philippians 3:14

Bible Study: Philippians 3, and Revelation chapters 21-22

Prayer: God, we desire to learn the only answers that will guide us through our journey and prepare us to receive the reward of eternal life. Please fill us with the Holy Spirit that we may understand truth from error. Lord, give us wisdom as we seek knowledge of your Word. We ask this prayer 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.

It’s an Urgent Matter: Please Talk to God

The quest for simpler lifestyles to achieve peace and tranquility in the busyness of our lives is at an all-time high. Most of us routinely practice precautions to safeguard our physical safety. Businesses are paying attention to the increase of consumers making healthy choices regarding nutritional foods and purchasing clothing and equipment for physical exercise. And Psychologists continue to recommend guarding our mental and emotional health by using stress-reducing techniques and staying clear of toxic relationships.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

We are moving in the right direction, except for improving our spiritual health. When hardships, significant life events, or seasons of darkness overwhelm us, we still do not invite God to be our First-Responder. Prayer must be our immediate “911” call. We carry too many burdens when we fail to cast our cares on Jesus. Without consistent prayer, our faith depletes, and anxiety and worries consume our thoughts. Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Matthew 6:27

Prayer is our connection to God, the source of our strength. “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5. Jesus warns us that we can do nothing without him.

The only way to stay connected to the vine is through continuous prayer. We can pray anytime of the day and night to optimize our spiritual health by growing closer to God. Remember, prayer is our lifeline. Make the commitment to have a strong bond with God. Prayer is the only way we can receive life-giving nourishment from the Vine–Jesus Christ.

“Just have a little talk with Jesus and tell him all about your troubles. He will hear the faintest cry, He will answer by and by.”

Happy Sabbath!

Bible Study: 1 Thessalonians 5

God, we desire to build our relationship with you and to improve our spiritual health. We thank you for the Sabbath, your gift to humanity. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

©2021 Sonya Johnson Ruiz