The Potter and the Clay

But now, O Lord you are our Father, we are the clay, and you our Potter; And all of us are the work of your hand. Isaiah 64:8

Timothy constantly sought Paul’s advice and instruction. He exercised consideration and calm thought, inquiring at every step, Is this the way of the Lord? The Holy Spirit found in him one who could be molded and fashioned as a temple for the indwelling of the divine Presence. TT 109.1

The question is, Are we surrendering to the power of the Holy Spirit and allowing Jesus Christ to transform our character? God is not intrusive. He does not force us to change into His image. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him and dine with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20

Prayer: God, we desire to be molded in the Character of Christ. We pray for forgiveness of our sins. We ask to be molded in your hands. As we prepare for your soon coming, we pray for guidance in every aspect of our lives. In the powerful name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

© 2021 Sonya Johnson, Faithful Fishers Ministry

We Have Everything We Need

When I pursued my nursing degree at the age of forty, I felt insecure because my classmates were in their twenties. Realizing that the sharpness of my cognitive abilities had passed their peak performance, I doubted God’s directive for me to relocate from New Jersey to Upstate NY. But during the first day of class, our tough-as-nails Nursing 1 professor reassured us that if we dedicated our time and efforts to learn, they [the professors] possessed the knowledge and teaching skills for us to achieve our goals. On the final day, it was only seven of us who completed the rigorous program. But it was a high-time of celebration. We embraced each other and shouted, “We made it!”

The most challenging journey that we will ever endure is the one of following Jesus Christ. Many succumb to the rigors of striving to live holy and simply give up. Would God give us the impossible? We have a team, God, the Father, Jesus, our Savior, the Holy Spirit, and messenger angels to ensure that we will make it through this turbulent journey called life. 

  1. 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.
  2. The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]. John 10:10
  3. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
  4. And this is the confidence that we have before Him: If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we already possess what we have asked of Him. 1 John 5:14-15

Our responsibilities in the plan of salvation:

Mandatory: 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

Faith knows that every day our lives bring uncertainties, but faith believes that God has the power to take care of our trials, sorrows, and hardships. Faith is not a feeling based on an emotional high or low. Faith requires total surrender to the Almighty God. 

Prayer and Study: It is from lack of knowledge [we must study the Bible] and inconsistent communication [always pray throughout the day and night] that our relationship with God lacks strength and depth. Just as the professor reassured us that they were well-qualified to provide everything we needed to become registered nurses if we did our part, God promises to bring us victory when we stay connected to Him. 

When sin struggles for the mastery in your soul and burdens the conscience, when unbelief clouds the mind, go to the Saviour. His grace is sufficient to subdue sin. He will pardon us, making us joyful in God. Let us no longer talk of our inefficiency and lack of power. Forgetting the things that are behind, let us press forward in the heavenward way. All heaven rejoices when weak, faulty human beings give themselves to Jesus to live His life. Ellen G. White

Redirect your focus: “We have everything we need.” Our spiritual team is always ready. Never give up! 

“Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” Revelation 22:12-13

Bible Study: 1 John 5

Prayer: God, we ask you to forgive our doubt and unbelief. Thank you for loving and taking care of us. 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.

Just Say Yes

When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” John 5:6

Jesus is waiting for our faith-based answer of ” Yes.” Whatever is going on in your life, He was aware before it happened. It’s time for us to rely on God in every situation. “Is there anything too hard for me?” Jeremiah 32:27

Trust God

God, we are saying, yes. We give you every burden, every situation, and every hardship to You. And we will faithfully wait until you bring victory. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

The Psychological Attack of our Identities

Identity according to the dictionary and psychologists:

Identity is the qualities, beliefs, personality, looks and/or expressions that make a person or group. One can regard the awareness and the categorizing of identity as positive or as destructive. A psychological identity relates to self-image, self-esteem, and individuality. Wikipedia

God’s definition of our identity:

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9

Are you living as a victorious overcomer?

Unless we affirm daily that God has chosen us, then our arch-enemy, Satan, will bully us mentally and emotionally as often as he can. Never forget that Satan was Lucifer, an angel who fell because of pride and jealously against Jesus Christ. If he could convince angels in heaven to go against God, think about his ability to manipulate the unbeliever’s mind easily. It is the unbeliever who mistreats us and attempts to remind us of our past sins that God has cast into the Sea of forgetfulness. He shall again have compassion on us; He will subdue and tread underfoot our wickedness [destroying sin’s power]. Yes, You will cast all our sins Into the depths of the sea. Micah 7:19 AMP

Proof of our identityThen God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us.” Genesis 1:26

The hierarchy of created beings: For You have made him a little lower than the angels. And you have crowned him with glory and honor. Psalm 8:5

Do you not remember? We are made in the image of God! King David tells us that we were crowned with glory and honor. The Apostle Peter reminds us that we are chosen by God as royalty to live holy and praise and worship our Heavenly Father. Why do we need to remember this vital information? Because God’s Son, Jesus Christ, paid a high price to redeem us from the darkness of sin. It is only through Jesus that we can live in the light because Jesus Christ is the light of the world, John 8:12.

Whether we care to admit it, human beings require constant validation. The issue is that we look for it in all the wrong people and places. Real validation is spiritual!  We are who God says we are, and our identity is only found through the Trinity Godhead–God, the Father, Jesus, His Son, and the Holy Spirit. We tap into the Source by studying the Word of God and through prayer. Daily action keeps us connected to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

What about the concept of self-validation? If empowering ourselves is all that we required, then the human effort would not be necessary to maintain a relationship with God. Yes, we can and should encourage ourselves. But God created us with a spiritual umbilical cord. And when we fail to seek the nutrients required for spiritual growth, we lose our focus, and give in to our circumstances. It is then that our emotions overpower us, and Satan enters through the open door labeled “uncontrolled feelings.”

Studying the scriptures is for our benefit! The Holy Spirit cannot bring to our remembrance God’s promises of victory or never being alone if we do not possess knowledge of the Word of God. We may not acknowledge the fact that our minds are feeble…You see yourself (in the mirror), walk away, and forget what you look like. James 1:24, but God continually warns us of our limitations.

If we forget what we look like, then we concede that we are in dire need of our spiritual team’s help. Prayer, diligent study of the Bible, and asking God for wisdom are the daily activities to keep us connected to the source of our life, health, and strength. Because of never-ending distractions, our minds require daily repetition to train and discipline ourselves to redirect our focus on Jesus.

Pray for the little things. While unpacking, I put away things in their designated places, but due to fatigue, the location for many of the items became a blur. I took a deep breath, stopped and asked the Holy Spirit to help me find the things that I needed. Although my prayers were answered, I realized that my mind and body needed rest. Human effort plus Divine Intervention=Victorious Outcomes!

There is no room for anxiety, depression, or worries when we stay connected to God. While many modern sermons focus on validation techniques and feel-good sermons, our relationship with God is up-close and personal.” I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5. To maintain a thriving relationship with Christ requires constant effort. It is not enough to hear weekly sermons or glance at the Bible occasionally. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. Ephesians 6:11

Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of Godpraying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—Ephesians 6:14-18 NKJV.

Ephesians chapter 6 gives us the answers to fend off the satanic attacks against our identities. Yes, we belong to the Most-High God. Perseverance along with righteousness by faith can only come from a daily walk with God. Even through the struggles of life, we must never forget that we are royalty. Wear your crown with humility on bended knees. And God will give you His perfect peace, which transcends any circumstance or situation we will ever face during our lifetime.

Bible Study: Ephesians 6

God, thank you for loving us and creating us in your image. We realize that we need you to sustain our spiritual identities. Please create a clean heart and renew the right spirit within us. 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.