Sunday, July 31, 2016

"Discerning the Truth"

Reflections4Life™ July 31st, 2016
“Discerning the Truth”
“The Life-Light was the real thing: Every person entering Life he brings into Light. He was in the world, the world was there through him, and yet the world didn’t even notice. He came to his own people, but they didn’t want him. But whoever did want him, who believed he was who he claimed and would do what he said, He made to be their true selves, their child-of-God selves. These are the God-begotten, not blood-begotten, not flesh-begotten, not sex-begotten.” John 1:12-13 MSG
Scripture Contemplation: Psalm 85:10-13; 112; Proverbs 3; John 3:34-36; 1 Corinthians 2:10-13; 12…

I pray today’s Reflections brings comfort and peace to your heart and mind. I decree it be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration.  I declare and decree that it brings peace and revelation to your heart, mind, and soul. Spend time with the Father and allow Him to pour into you His truth. Allow His light to bring comfort and awareness to your heart and soul. A light that will help you discern the truth about yourself and the intentions and truth about others.
 If there is one thing that I know, is that one person's truth may not be another person's truth. What may be true for one person, for someone else, may not be true. We spend a lot of time in relationships taking for granted that we are receiving the truth. Yet, whose truth is it? The truth that we already formed in our hearts and minds? Or, the truth as it stands for that person?
      It takes a definite spirit of discernment to decipher the truth. And even then, you must be careful with the truth. We are responsible for how we deliver the truth; how we express the truth; and when we give the truth. There is a season and timing for all things. And the gift of discernment helps us to recognize when to open our mouths and speak, and when to hold it for the right time.
     The word of God tells us that God seeks for us to know the truth; even in our hidden parts. He desires for us to understand and know the truth in our hearts. Not just about who He is and who we are to Him and in Him. He desires for us to know the truth about ourselves. To understand where why we do the things we do. Why do we allow others to do the things they do to us? Why we feel a certain way about certain things. And why two people can witness the same thing yet have a different experience and interpretation of what is going on.
     The truth is liberating, Beloveds. It most certainly is. But it can also hurt and cut and it can also bring harm if we are not careful of how we speak and deliver the truth. In everything, we need to take care when it comes to speaking the truth and our truths. Not everyone sees or thinks or believes the same, and we must learn to respect those boundaries.
    God has so much for us in our lives on this earth. There are plans that He has created just for us to walk into. Yet. God knows when we are ready. He knows when the right season is to reveal something to us. God makes no mistakes, Beloveds. If God revealed a truth to you, it's because you were ready to handle the truth. And it is time for you to move forward into the next season of your life.
     I can't begin to tell you how many times a revelation has come to me, and I became blown away, often wondering why God didn't reveal that before. And He simply said I was not ready to hear it, understand it, or accept it. It would have just been one more piece of information that would overwhelm me mentally. Trust! God knows exactly when to tell us a thing. He knows when to reveal the truth and when we are ready to hear it and deal with.  Our lives consist of seasons. And there is a reason for every season that God grants us. 
When we are in a relationship with the Father, and the light of who is He is, becomes present in our own lives, we cannot help but to reflect His love and light to others, and with that light and love comes truth. Not to harm but to make aware. To separate, to heal, to reconcile. The truth will separate us from that which has been false in our lives. The truth will bring healing; even if it hurts (like most wounds and surgery do). And the truth will bring reconciliation. It will reconcile of with who God ordained us to be and putting us back on that favored path. And it reconciles relationships; in that it would bring people closer together, back together, or give the ability to move on, reconciling with the fact that the intended purpose for the relationship has been met and it is time to let go.
My Beloveds, may the spirit of peace and prosperity find permanent rest in your lives. I decree that every good thing that God has ordained for your life will become evident to you. Let the truth be made known in your heart, bringing with it revelation, healing, and reconciliation. Allow God’s truth to set you free from the lies the enemy has planted. Allow the light of God to lead you to all truth, teaching you how to discern correctly the truth about a matter—be it a person or a situation. God will never steer you wrong, but will always lead you to where you need to be and when. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing. 
©2016. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.


Sunday, July 24, 2016

"All In"

Reflections4Life™ July 24, 2016
“All In”
“Just then he looked up and saw the rich people dropping offerings in the collection plate. Then he saw a poor widow put in two pennies. He said, “The plain truth is that this widow has given by far the largest offering today. All these others made offerings that they’ll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn’t afford—she gave her all!” Luke 21:1-4
Scripture Contemplation: Genesis 13:14-17; Deuteronomy 19:8-10; Matthew 6:30-33; Ephesians 5:25-28…

There are many of us that must ask ourselves the question: Are we all in? Are we all in when it comes to serving God? Or, is God and our relationship just delegated to a one day weekend, with an occasional appearance throughout the week; especially if things are hard? You don’t have to answer that just yet. Let it sit with you as you read today’s Reflections. Allow it to marinate. To get deep into your soul and the recesses of your heart.
I pray today’s Reflections brings comfort and peace to your heart and mind. I decree it be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration.  I declare and decree that it brings peace and revelation to your heart, mind, and soul. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that God desires our attention. He yearns for intimacy with us. To have our undivided attention. I implore you to make this week about turning up the notch in your intimate relationship with the Father. Spend some time with the Father. Not to ask for anything, but to get reacquainted with His heart.
I don’t know how many times I have failed at being all in. Probably too many to count. I am not ashamed to admit that. Do I feel bad about it? Yes. Because I know what God has done in my life. I know from experience the power and miracles that take place when you are all in. Yet, there have been times when I have not been all in. Why? I can only say that I had been in a state of rebellion. That, the trials and tests that I was facing had gripped my heart and mind so tightly, that instead of running to God, I ran away and hid. And, I openly admit, was angry with God.
Have you ever been angry with the Father? It’s okay to admit it. God already knows. Perhaps something you asked for was not granted. Maybe you prayed for healing in a loved one and didn’t see it the way you thought it should manifest. Maybe you have been waiting a long time for a promise to be fulfilled and have grown weary in your waiting and have begun to doubt the word, the promises of God. It could be a number of things. But whatever it may be, you have found yourself less connected to the Father. Spending less time in His presence or in prayer. In fact, your prayer life has become stagnate, and nearly non-existent. You are no longer all in. You are barely half in!
The Father desires all of us. He wants all of our heart. He doesn’t desire a part-time, weekend-only, sometimes on holidays, kind of relationship. No. He wants to be a part of our lives in every way. And he doesn’t want our money as though that would pay for our lack of communication. He doesn’t desire from us anything that we can give just anyone or anyone who makes a big show about how much they can give in tithes and offering. It is also not about rituals or habits. It is not quantity over quality. He will accept the quality of one sincere prayer made once a week, over a slew of prayers prayed every day that is not from the heart, and are done for show, or for only asking God for what you want. He is not Santa Claus. He is not a barterer. He is God. Our heavenly Father who has loved us before we were even a thought in our mother’s hearts.
When you are all in with God, it is reflective in your praise, worship, and prayers. It is reflective in your communications and social engagements with those on this earth. Time, space, place, people, environment—none of that affects our relationship with God when we are totally sold out to Christ. When all of our heart is all in, and invested in our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Once again, it is not how many times you pray a day, but the worth of the prayer that is going forth.
God knows our hearts. He knows every nuance, every flutter, and every thought. He understands who we are and what we need. He created us, knowing us before we were even in our mother’s wombs. God gave to us His all. His very best. And all He asks us in return is to give Him our all. All of our heart, mind, and soul.
My Beloveds, may the spirit of peace and prosperity find permanent rest in your lives. I decree that every good thing that God has ordained for your life will become evident to you. You are either all in or all out. There is no in between when it comes to serving God. He cannot bless you in the manner that He desires to if you have yet to trust Him with all your heart and soul. Trust Him to be God. The same God who gave His only Son for our salvation. Stop holding back, Beloved. You have everything to gain and absolutely nothing to lose when it comes to a relationship with our heavenly Father. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing.

©2016. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

"Get Out of Your Own Way!"

Reflections4Life July 17th, 2016
“Get Out of Your Own Way!”
“But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the Lord charged you: to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all His ways, and to keep His commandments, and to cleave unto Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Joshua 22:5
Scripture Contemplation: Deuteronomy 11; Joshua 1; Matthew 22; Romans 15; 1 Thessalonians 1…

There is indeed something greater that God has for each and every one of our lives. Many do not see it or reach it because they do not believe it. Too much, according to them, has taken place in their lives for them to believe in anything great ever happening. However, the truth is, if we would get out of our own way and take God at His word, we will see the manifestations of His promises for our lives.
I pray today’s Reflections brings comfort and peace to your heart and mind. I decree it be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration.  I declare and decree that it brings peace and revelation to your heart, mind, and soul. Do something this week that you rarely allow yourself to do: Take God at His word, and leave every worry behind. Allow God to have full access to every part of your life—leaving nothing untouched by His hand of love and mercy.
I will not lie to you; it is sometimes quite difficult to get through the things we are faced with and still have hope and joy in our lives concerning the promises of God. Yet, that is exactly what God is asking of us to do. To maintain hope and joy in the midst of the chaos, heartache, and craziness of this world we are in. And to love Him with all our heart, mind, and soul; even when things do not seem to be going well. Especially then.
Is this an easy task? No. Not at all. However, at some point, we are going to have to make up in our hearts and minds to get out of our own way, and stop blocking the blessings that God has declared and decreed for our lives before we even entered this realm of time.  Far too many get things twisted. God does not have to catch up with the times. He doesn’t have to show up when WE say to show up. He doesn’t have to do anything more than what He already has done in our lives because He has done far more for us than most of us will ever realize or be thankful for. We just can see or understand it. Or comprehend God’s ways.
Far too often we block our own blessings. We get in the way of God moving in our lives because we are stuck in a position and point in time. Do you not understand, Beloved that God works outside the realm of time? That, He is in fact already done everything He said He was going to do? That, it is us—we ourselves that must make the next move if we want to see the promises of God revealed in our lives?
Now is not the time to give up or give in to the enemy, Beloved. There is too much on the line. Your life, the life of those God called us to minister to, our families, children, co-workers; even strangers on the street; are waiting for us to get this right, and stop hindering ourselves with our inner dialogues of mistrust, doubt, fear, and unbelief. The harvest is ready but the laborers are few because most of us have talked ourselves out of doing things God way. We have allowed the circumstances, trials. and tests to dictate our next move and what we choose to believe.
Aren’t you tired? Aren’t you tired of not walking in the fullness of God and placing your burdens at His feet; at the foot of the throne and really leaving them there, because you truly and honestly, with your entire being, believe what God says concerning you and yours?
It is time, Beloved. Time to get out of your own way. Time to remember the promises that God has made for your life. Promises concerning you and your relationships and your loved ones. It’s time to remember what God says about your gifts, and how they will make room for you. It is time to remember to read and study your word. For, how can you possibly prepare and be ready for the abundance God has promised you if you have not spent any time in His presence to know the 411? To know what is in the heart of God? To know and understand what God expects from you?
We block the manifestations of our blessings when we cease to get out of our own way and receive all that God has promised—no matter what the circumstances or situations look like. Beloveds, do not allow your mind [The devil’s playground] trick you into believing that nothing is happening and you need to give up. The devil is a lie! Get out of your way and allow God to have His way,
My Beloveds, may the spirit of peace and prosperity find permanent rest in your lives. I decree that every good thing that God has ordained for your life will become evident to you. Do you not know and understand yet, just how precious you are to God? Just how much of a threat are you to the enemy’s kingdom? Well! You are! Do not complain one more second. Do not doubt the power, love, and hand of God moving in your life and already working things out. If there is one thing you may confidently say, it is that God has your back, 100.  Whatever you put into this life; whatever seed you have sown; God has equipped you and prepared you for the fight that may lie before you while you await your harvest. Never doubt His word. He created you, didn’t He? You are blessed. Now go, and be a blessing.

©2016. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

"And God Said..."

Reflections4Life July 10th, 2016
“And God Said…”
“…if My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
Scripture Contemplation: 2 Chronicles 7; Exodus 32; Numbers 23:19; Job 42; Matthew 3; Luke 15; Acts 3; Ephesians 6; 2 Peter 3:9…

We’ve heard everyone’s opinion. We know what we believe. Many are asking what to do now after you have done everything you can do? The world is waxing colder and evil seems to be prevailing. How do we handle the travesties of today’s world? What else can we possibly do? There is only one thing left to do, which should be the first thing we always do: Seek God and hear and listen to what He says. What is God saying in all of this hate and vitriol?
I pray today’s Reflections brings comfort and peace to your heart and mind. I decree it be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration. We must take the time to hear what God is saying, Beloveds. Trust that He is speaking loud and clear. Do not guess what God might be saying. Hear what He is saying by spending quality, intimate time with the Lord.
The anger and tension in this world are thick. In America, it is bubbling over with hate, distrust, fabrications, manipulations, unrepentance, disregard, and denial. All being spurred by a few mediums with their own agenda to keep people divided and with a growing sense of dread and unrest. People are looking for answers. They are tired of their efforts being ripped apart and trampled on, or cast aside. Who has the answer? God does. Always has and always will.
Everyone has an opinion. Some think they know what the problem is. Others are willing to find out and seek solutions for all people. And there are others who wish to put their heads in the sand and pretend that there is nothing wrong. That the hate and anger do not exist. That the wrong done to human beings on both sides of the spectrum is a fabrication. Then there are those that know exactly what to do and what is wrong, because they have the ear of God and the heart of God, and are not afraid to take an unpopular stance and say: “And God said…” It’s not the most popular or well-received solution—often ensuing in a debate. But when has God’s way ever been the most sought after or popular point of view and way of doing things? Never.
One thing I know for certain: God has addressed these issues. And He has told us and is telling us once again that it is time to repent as a nation. As a people. The blood of too many brothers and sisters are crying out to God. Crying out from the earth that has ripped their essence from their bodies—far too soon. Genocide is taking place, Beloveds. While evil is prevailing and leaving our children to pay the price for the sins of our fathers.
Some may argue that this platform is not the place to speak on this. Then what is, when God is clearly the only solution to what plagues us? Who, more than the children of God, has the ear of the Father? Were we not called to be the salt of the earth? The light to the world? Yet, the body of Christ has lost its flavor. The body of Christ is suffering from a conscious blackout; our lights going dim. I will not hide the truth and come before acting like nothing is wrong. Or pretending that what is taking place in America is not directly connected to the ball that was dropped by the church of God. By those professing to know and love God, and speak for God but have done nothing but to contribute to the despair, hate and vitriol in America today.
The charge was not given to those who do not know God, Beloved. No. The charge was given to those who say they know God and have a relationship with Him. It is time to repent. The Lord said, if My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
The charge is to us beloved. And we cannot act like there is nothing going on. We cannot sit by and point blame and not take responsibility for our own actions or inactions. To have nothing to speak up or stand up with those who are oppressed. Or, to act like it is none our business as long as it doesn’t come to our door. Woe unto us who have had any of those thoughts and feelings. Because that is not of the God I serve.
What we see in the world is a direct reflection of our actions. Of our sins and unruly and unrepentant hearts. How dare we say we love the Lord and have nothing but hate in our hearts for another of God’s creation? How can we deem to represent the body of Christ if in our hearts we don’t even believe in equality and justice for all? Last time I checked. Last time I was in a fellowship with God, He clearly still loves us all, and Christ gave His life for all, and not some or a select group of elite.
We are facing the consequences of disobedience, hate, unjustifiable ignorance, unrepentance, and even defiance. As I tell my husband, even though we may move on from a wrong—we move forward, try to do right—there are consequences to our actions. Though God forgives us, extends His mercy and grace, there are repercussions for what we allow to take place. Things must run its course and come full circle. Like kidneys being flushed during a dialysis treatment; the blood being washed, being removed from the body and returning—the consequences of our actions must run its course. Yet, God is there to shorten that time. He is there to walk us through if we would repent. If we would acknowledge our ways and our contribution to the world we live in. Whether through action or inaction.
My Beloveds, may the spirit of peace and prosperity find permanent rest in your lives. I decree that every good thing that God has ordained for your life will become evident to you. We no longer have the luxury of just sitting back and see what happens next. Seeing who the next victim may be. No. It is time for God’s children to repent, confess our sins, turn away from the evil that men do. To admonish when we see wrong and injustices, and to not sit in judgement of anyone. To not make excuses for sin or deplorable behaviors. Not only because what is right or what God desires. But because we KNOW what is right and seek to please God and bring healing to land that so desperately needs a touch from God. You are blessed. Now go….and be a blessing.

©2016. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

"Freedom"

Reflections4Life™ July 3rd, 2016
“Freedom”
“You are free, but still, you are God’s servants, and you must not use your freedom as an excuse for doing wrong…They promise freedom to everyone. But they are merely slaves of filthy living because people are slaves of whatever controls them.” 2 Peter 2:16, 19 CEV
Scripture Contemplation: Psalm 119:40-45; Isaiah 61:1; Zechariah 1; John 8:36; Galatians 5…

I take this moment to wish you all a very beautiful and safe Independence Day weekend. May you be surrounded by those you love and those who love you, having a joyous time, filled with much laughter. Remember: the ultimate Independence Day came when Christ died for us and took the keys of life back from Satan and hell— the true reflection of our freedom.
I pray today’s Reflections brings comfort and peace to your heart and mind. I decree it be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration. Take full advantage of your freedom to serve God openly, without fear or trepidation that someone will take your life for uttering the name of Christ. Let this week be a reminder of the kind of freedom we have that many have given their lives to just have a taste of. Don’t just be free in the physical, but free in your mind and spirit. Allow God to lead you, as the Holy Spirit teaches you.
Freedom
I am not free unless you are free, too.
I am not free if I am tethered to a life
that seeks to strip others of theirs.
I am not free if I cannot walk away from 
every earthly gain.
I am not free if I seek to hold you
down only so that I can rise above you.
I am not free if in my heart I can not
see the invisible ties that bound you and me.
I am not free if I have yet to believe 
that, God, has set all of humanity free.
Freedom...when I see as God sees.
©Ruthe McDonald.
I truly believe we take our freedom for granted. Not in the manner that we forget, we have freedom, but that we do not fully exercise our gratitude by living a life that is reflective of that freedom, while others are still fighting just to have a tenth of the kind of freedom we take for granted every day. Freedom is more than just the ability to do what you want when you want. It is the ability to move freely, also, in our minds and spirits. Doing things that will not only edify the God we serve but seeks to ensure the freedom for all those still in bondage. Whether it be physical, mental, or spiritual bondage. I can’t fully enjoy my freedom if I know that my brother and sister are still bound in chains, while I have the power and freedom (of mind and physical) to make a difference.
Freedom comes with a huge price tag. Though the cost of freedom has been paid, we are still charged with living our lives that will not only exemplify God but help to set other captives free. Be it a physical captivity, or a captivity of the mind and spirit.
If you know the truth; the kind of truth that could make a world of difference in someone’s life, would you share it? Would you make that truth heard, whether someone wanted you to speak it or not? The price of our freedom was paid when Christ gave His life for us. Yet, we are still charged with spreading the Good News. Of letting those who are still in chains know that they have the key in their possession that will set them free.
Luke 4:18 “The Lord’s Spirit has come to me because he has chosen me to tell the good news to the poor. The Lord has sent me to announce freedom for prisoners, to give sight to the blind, to free everyone who suffers…”
There are so many areas in our lives that God desires us to be free in. Free in our thoughts and our heart. Free to be whom we choose to be. The biggest gift of freedom that God gave us is the freedom to choose. The gift of choice has enabled us to live as we desire to live. Yet, so many of us use it as an excuse to do what we want, while oppressing the freedom of those around us.
Freedom does not give us the liberty to live just any kind of way. The freedom we have comes with responsibility. And whatever ways we determine to exercise our freedom, we must be willing to accept the consequences and take responsibility for our actions.
Be free in your hearts and minds, Beloveds. Stop holding onto grudges, and things that bring unrest to your heart and soul. Walk in your freedom totally, not partially. Don’t take for granted the gift you have been given. Embrace it by becoming the best version of you that you can attain in this earth.
When we come to God, He makes us free in every area of our lives. He grants us freedom in our mind, as well as actions. The Father does not want us to exchange one set of chains for another. He desires for us to live a life of abundance and with a heart of gratitude that not only seeks to see those around us free, as well, but to actually do something about it.
My Beloveds, may the spirit of peace and prosperity find permanent rest in your lives. I decree that every good thing that God has ordained for your life will become evident to you. You have been given a gift. A precious gift to be free from things that would bind you, and strip you of your choice to live the life that God has ordained for you. Take advantage of it by living life to the fullest, and sharing the love of God with others. It is no fun being free all by yourself, after all. Embrace your freedom by seeking to free others also. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!

©2016. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.