Sunday, April 30, 2017

"Undisputed Champion"

Reflections4Life   April 30, 2017

“Undisputed Champion”

       “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world, you will have            tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Scripture Contemplation: John 16; Romans 12; 1 John 2; 4; 5…


If there is anything that I have learned it is that no matter what you are faced with; no matter what comes your way if you are in God and believe what He has spoken to you, you will come through. It may not feel like it. It may feel as though you have lost the battle. Yet, because Christ is, so are we: Undisputed Champions.
I declare that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. Whatever you are faced with in this life, always remember that as long as you are in Christ, you have already won and the enemy has already been defeated. Walk in the knowledge that God has granted you the victory long ago.
This is what I know: EVERY situation in life is an opportunity to learn something new; to learn something new about yourself, about our Heavenly Father, and how low the enemy will go to seek and destroy you and all that you believe.
There is definitely a mental war against us. In a weakened state, where your defenses are down and you can barely think clearly, the enemy will find a way to slip in and try to undermine who you are, as well as your authority in Christ. Very subtle in his machinations, the enemy will most certainly try to have you doubt God, the power of prayer, and all that Christ did and secured for us by going to the Cross. If the enemy cannot get you to doubt God, he will try to get you to doubt yourself. He will have you question your faith, your walk, and your belief.
As we both know and should understand, the devil is a lie! He has already been defeated, and we are the champions. No matter how hard he tries. How he may try to rewrite history; he cannot. He is the undisputed LOSER! And we, in Christ, are the undisputed CHAMPIONS.
1 John 4:4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
I thought this morning, about writing Reflections and concluded that sometimes we have to be reminded of what God has spoken to us and about who we are and whose we are. We belong to the Father. We belong to God who has secured our victory on every level. We have to learn to walk in our salvation and victory every day with the understanding that the enemy is always lurking, looking for ways to destroy us and attack the Kingdom of God.
Yes, greater is He who is in us than he who is in this world. There is nothing the enemy can do to change the fact that Christ overcame the world. Because He did, we can. Because Christ defeated death and the grave and gave us the keys of life, we are the winners should we believe on Him, and walk in His light. Certainly, we will have our moments in the world we live in, We will we be attacked on every side. We will suffer terribly at times. We may lose everything at one time or another. Yet, it does not change the fact that we are the victors. The death and resurrection of Christ sealed our victory for eternity.
Whatever it may be that you are facing today; whatever attacks the enemy may want to come at you with; just remember that God already declared you the winner. Because Christ is, you are…an undisputed Champion.
My Beloveds, may the spirit of peace and prosperity finds permanent rest in your lives. I decree that every good thing that God has ordained for your life will become evident to you. There is nothing more comforting than knowing that the war has been won. The battle is indeed the Lord’s, and we can claim the title of undisputed Champion. Do not accept the lies of the enemy. You have already won and he’s already been defeated. Now go claim your title! You are Blessed. Now go…and Be a Blessing.
©2017. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

"Do Not Stay Too Long"

Reflections4Life April 23, 2017
“Do Not Stay Too Long”
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1
Scripture Contemplation: Hosea 14:4; John 8; Romans 5; 8:2; 1 Corinthians 2:12; 7:21…
© Author Ruthe McDonald
I declare that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. There is so much that the Father has ordained for our lives; so much that He desires us to see and experience. Yield to Holy Spirit. Give God your all this week and follow His instructions, with the knowledge that are indeed free from anything that would hold you back.
I am convinced that at times we stay too long in situations that God has long freed us from. We have prayed and prayed but we are not listening to Holy Spirit. The answers have come for many of us, but sometimes our hearts want what our heart wants and we do not hear the subtle voice of God telling us to move on or to let go. Or, what His instructions on how to begin to fix what may be wrong.
There are times when we look back over our lives and get stuck in the past. We stay too long reminiscing only to be stuck as time passes us by. Instead of living in today, we are reliving our past and unable to move forward.
Many times, we hear what we want to hear and see what we want to see, based upon the strong desires in our hearts and what we desire God to do for us. Then, when things do not work out the way we want, or we suffer and heartbroken—we get angry with God and ask why He allowed going through these things. Yet, it was not God but our choices and unwillingness to move forward, let go, move on, and see what God has before us.
Sometimes we just stay too long because we are afraid of the unknown and too familiar where we are at. We are afraid of what may lie ahead of us, that thing we cannot see. Yet, God has been admonishing many of us to move on into what He has declared for our lives. What He has waiting for us.
Beloveds, there is no growth and no surpassing our full potential when we are stuck in a place of familiarity because of fear, comfort, easiness, and even love; a love that would blind us to what is best for us. Let me ask you this: What if your child, who you have never been separated from, had a severe drug problem and God had opened a door for them to receive professional help but it meant they’d have to leave for a year with no physical contact with you for six months, would you do it? Would you think that was the answer or would you keep praying because your child has never been out of your reach physically? More than likely, I am gauging that your answer would be yes. That is your child and you would do anything to get them the help they needed.
So, then why is it so hard to do the same thing for ourselves? Why do so many of us find it difficult to do what is best for us and let go and let God? Why do we stay too long in situations that bring harm to our heart, mind, and soul? Why do we get stuck in what was and turn a blind eye to what is, when God has so much He wants to establish and manifest in our lives?
We have prayed but our prayers are not for God's will to be done. They are prayers that ours will be done. That God will adhere to what we want based upon what we believe we want at the time. However, here is the rub with all of that; God sees what we cannot see. He knows what we do not know. Yet, if we yield to Him and listen to His instructions, we will be in a far better place than we are right now.
There is so much that God has for us but we are staying too long in situations that are slowly killing us; killing us spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and yes, even physically. Some of us are in desperate situations where we have prayed and prayed, and God has already given us the answers but because it was not in alignment with how we want things to go, we eschew it. Then there are those of us stuck in the past; staying too long in our memories of what once was that we are blinded to the glorious present or bright future God has ordained for us.
My Beloveds, may the spirit of peace and prosperity finds permanent rest in your lives. I decree that every good thing that God has ordained for your life will become evident to you. Do not stay too long lingering in the past how things used to be. You may forfeit what is right in front of you for the memories of things long gone. Do not stay too long in situations because your heart doesn’t know how to let go or because you are afraid of the unknown that awaits you. Obedience to God is far better than what you are afraid to sacrifice. When God tells you to release all things into His hands, let go of what you are holding so tightly, knowing it’s time to go. You are blessed. No go…and be a blessing.
©2017. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

"Sacrifice is Necessary"

Reflections4Life April 16, 2017
“Sacrifice is Necessary”
Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?” Matthew 16:24-26
Scripture Contemplation: Matthew 22; 27; Mark 12; Luke 12; John 11; Acts 1; 1 Corinthians 15

Happy Resurrection Sunday! I declare that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. Walk in the promises of God, receiving all that He has ordained for your life. Walk in the resurrection power of Christ, the revelation of knowledge and the power of His wisdom for your life and His love. We stand each day granted the opportunity to walk in the goodness of God with an open heart, receiving answers to our prayers. Those answers sometimes require sacrifice. The answer for our redemption came with the ultimate sacrifice of love—God sending His only begotten Son, and Jesus becoming the final sacrifice for the propitiation of our sins.
It always awes me what our Heavenly Father has done for us. To love us so much to sacrifice His only begotten Son to be the one and final sacrifice for our sins that would ensure us eternal life with Him in Heaven. Our Father in Heaven loves us so much that though it is our choice to sin and to reject Him, choosing to live our lives, as we will, He still has made a way for us. He still has extended to us His grace and mercy and has prepared a place for us in Heaven alongside Him, confident in those He knows will receive His precious gift of life, redeeming ourselves.
When I think of the sacrifice that Christ made for us. What He endured to assure us the keys of life—abundant life—, power, and authority over the enemy, overwhelms and humbles me at the same time, especially so when I think of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Mark 14:32-36 (LTB) 32 And now they came to an olive grove called the Garden of Gethsemane, and he instructed his disciples, “Sit here, while I go and pray.” 33 He took Peter, James, and John with him and began to be filled with horror and deepest distress. 34 And he said to them, “My soul is crushed by sorrow to the point of death; stay here and watch with me.” 35 He went on a little farther and fell to the ground and prayed that if it were possible the awful hour awaiting him might never come. 36 “Father, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take away this cup from me. Yet I want your will, not mine.”
As I study the Mark chapter 14, it becomes apparent to me how many characteristics are represented throughout that day. How many of us can see ourselves in that passage of scripture? I saw myself and quite a few people that I know and do not know. The enemy was already plotting His demise, and the acts of His betrayal were already in motion. There Christ sat with His followers, celebrating Passover, knowing that He was to become the spotless Lamb whose Blood was placed above the door posts, as represented in the book of Exodus, saving the lives of all those who believed and received. He sat amongst His closest disciples and boldly proclaimed the truth of His betrayal, and not just by Judas, but also by those who never thought they would never leave His side or deny having walked with Him and known Him. Yet, He spoke in love and understanding, knowing that this was all a part of the sacrifice that He would make to save theirs and the lives of humanity; ensuring them access to eternal life with Him and the Father.
He sat around that table, knowing what was coming in a few hours, yet took His time to tell them, prepare them, and assure them. Then He went to the Garden where the battle of his flesh and spirit warred. It warred over the unwillingness of the flesh to become the propitiation for our sins, for those that rejected Him and would reject Him, for those who did not and would not believe. Yet, His spirit knew and understood the reason He came here; the reason He was born of a woman to become the final sacrifice for humanity, reconciling us to the Father. His spirit understood that this was the only acceptable sacrifice to make the will of His Father to happen. He understood the pain that was to come, the sense of abandonment and rejection, the turning away of His father when He bore on Him all the sins of the world. He willingly made this difficult sacrifice for what He truly wanted: for us to be reconciled to God and receive Eternal Life.
Beloveds, there are things that we want in this life; accomplishments that we want to make, a certain life we want to live, and the will of God to happen for us. This takes sacrifice. We have to be willing to make some sacrifices in our lives for what we desire. We cannot expect to live a life of what we want; of joy and merriment and there not be some sacrifices made. Sacrifices are necessary to receive what God has ordained for us. We cannot continue to live just any kind of way with the thought that God will continue to extend His mercy and grace while we give up nothing and willingly sin and transgress. Not happening. I like to look at as a person preparing for competition. If you want to win, then you must put in the time and effort to place yourself in the best position to win. There will be sacrifices made if you are serious. You give up certain things, people, and places, and you become aware of what is necessary to succeed. If you cannot make some sacrifices in your life, then what you say you want, you really don’t.
My Beloveds, may the spirit of peace and prosperity finds permanent rest in your lives. I decree that every good thing that God has ordained for your life will become evident to you. To live your life to the fullest and to receive what God has ordained for you, there will need to be some sacrifices made along the way. It is a guarantee that your flesh will always rise up against your spirit and what is best for you. Yet, when you make the necessary sacrifices and become intimate with God; spending time in His presence, seeking His will, and following His plans—you will never miss what was sacrificed because the joy of the promises fulfilled and manifested will fill every part of your life with abundant joy and happiness. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!

©2017. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

"Betrayal of the Mind"

Reflections4Life April 9, 2017

“Betrayal of the Mind”

“Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.” John 12:13

Scripture Contemplation: Psalm 118; Matthew 13; Mark 11; Luke 4; 20; John 12…

Happy Palm Sunday!

There is freedom when you walk in your truth, and no longer live to please and placate others but live your life, as you will, with a desire to please God alone.
It would be wonderful if those who love you would always understand and accept you, for who you truly are, and not for whom they think, you are or who you should be. However, people are people, and sometimes they just do not get it, nor do they see it, and sometimes, they will see what they want to see.
I declare that today’s Reflections bring comfort and peace to your heart and mind. I decree it be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. As we celebrate Palm Sunday, let us remember the road to our redemption and the cost. Hold in your hearts, that the price has been paid already, and there is no one left to charge us when Jesus has handled the bill.
There are people—some in our lives, and some not—that have the tendency to put us in a box; seeing us through one lens when there are so many different components to who we are. As we celebrate Palm Sunday, may we be able to identify with the life of Christ. Many saw Him as Rabbi, teacher, friend, and miracle worker. Some saw Him as a threat. However, few saw Him as the Son of God or the Savior. For many, He was defined only as the carpenter’s son, no one special; nothing more or less. Having placed him in a box in their mind and hearts, they could not receive from Him the blessing of His truth. For Christ, it hurt that they could not believe; not for His sake, but for theirs. Jesus knows who He is even when others do not and cannot accept it.
I am grateful for all that, Jesus has done; for giving His life; for sticking to the plan and not being deterred by the opinions of those who only knew and could only see and accept Him as the son of a Carpenter, and not for the promised Savior that was prophesied.
Yet, I would be lying if I said it did not hurt when those you love seem to have a betrayal of the mind and cannot see you for who you truly are and when the truth is right in front of them. It hurts my heart at times, to live and walk in my truth and those who say they love me and know me, treat me like a stranger and readily accept the lies of the enemy and cause rifts to come between us; sometimes irrevocable.
It is seen as a betrayal of the mind to begin to believe in your heart the deceiving whispers of the enemy when the character of the person you say you know and love; who has been there to support you and stand by you when everyone else has abandoned you, is maligned by false actions perpetrated by the enemy. However, as children of God, we know or should understand that times like this will occur in our lives. Though it will hurt and break our hearts, we will not only heal and get stronger but also identify the more with our Savior.
Can you imagine being Christ, having poured out your heart and unconditional love; having healed, delivered, saved, and fed the people you love, only to have them betray, accuse, deny, and crucify you over false accusations? To have the same people you fed with the miracle of five loaves and two fish, turn on you because the enemy has warped their minds.
Yet, we know and understand that was part of redemptions plan. Christ already knew what was to come, but it did not mean he stopped loving them, or doing the things He did, or ministering to them even though He understood that their minds would be twisted concerning Him.
That is where many of us have to get to today in our hearts and minds. We must determine in our hearts to love anyway and in spite of. We must learn to kneel in prayer and truly place these situations in God’s hands. Yes, beloved, it hurts. It hurts to have everything you have done in love forgotten or looked at as shady because the enemy has decided to play mind games. However, we must look to God and learn how to push forward and continue to pray for those we have loved and have given ourselves and time to freely.
People will place us into boxes. They will be blinded and deafened by the lies of the enemy. Those we love will be fooled sometimes by the whispers and manipulation of the enemy. For whatever reason, God is allowing it. If God is allowing it, then we know there is a greater purpose going on that we just have not seen yet, or has yet to be revealed. In the meantime, do not allow these circumstances and situations to cause you to suffer from a betrayal of the mind. Stand firm in your truth and the promises of God. You may have to pray longer, fast a few more times, close your mouths in retaliation or in defense of yourselves and just allow God to be your fence, your deliverer, your healer.
I thank God for the mother I had. She encouraged me to stand in my truth and discover all of me, and be comfortable in my skin. She knew I was more than what people saw or believed. She understood a box could never contain me. God created so much greatness in me, that it won't allow me to be defined by a few titles that some give me. No. I am a child of God with many different attributes. Walking in my greatness, enjoying and discovering the many facets of me. Though I may endure heartache because some that I have loved, have helped, and have stood by over the years, believe lies about who I am, or accept the machinations of the enemy as truth; I must continue to love and pray for them. Even if now, it is from a distance, because at the end of the day, God is still in charge and His will shall be done.
My Beloveds, may the spirit of peace and prosperity finds permanent rest in your lives. I decree that every good thing that God has ordained for your life will become evident to you. Do not allow the opinions and the shortsightedness of others to confine you to a box. Do not stop praying and loving those who have been blinded by the enemy, and their minds betrayed and warped by his attacks. Pray for them diligently and believe God for their deliverance. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!
©2017. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.                         

Sunday, April 02, 2017

"A Reflection of Self"

Reflections4Life April 2, 2017
“A Reflection of Self”
"He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted." Isaiah 53:3, 4
Scripture Contemplation: 1 Samuel 17; Isaiah 11; Isaiah 53; Matthew 9; John 5;6; 1 Peter 2:6-7

It is difficult for some to see their own reflection; the truth of who they are staring back at them. Not the person they have adorned and made up so others would like love, and accept. No. But who they truly are without the masks, who they see themselves to be. Sometimes the truth hurts. What hurts the most for many; is the truth of who they are; the person that they have hidden from everyone else.
I declare that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. Open your heart and ears to God, so that you will receive all that the Father has ordained for you. Many times the truth hurts, yet the healing that comes forth overshadows any pain that experienced. The word of God is a healing balm to our wounds. Allow God to soothe your hurts as He reveals the truth of who you truly are.
Bible Study This Week
During one of my Bible studies, I received a revelation. I was enlightened to something that I had not seen before. It was amazing the insight God poured into my soul and spirit. It made me look at myself in a different light. It also answered some questions I had, while shining the light on a few other revelations. We can read a Bible many different times and receive a new word each every time. I thank God for His teaching, and for the revelations that the Holy Spirit brings to my heart and mind.
The Bible says that Jesus was not a man that stood out attractively. He was not one that anyone would look upon and think handsome or desirable by his physical traits alone. It even suggests that people turned away from him. Though "Hollywood" has glamorized what they believe Jesus to look like and to make sense of why so many would follow him (other than the message of salvation.) He was none of those things. He, in fact, turned many off.
Revelatory Moment
Here's why: When they saw Jesus, they saw a reflection of their sins. Jesus was a mirror; a walking reflection of what many tried to hide. What turned many away was not His unattractiveness but instead, the reflection of their own ugliness that sin had created in them.
Imagine, if you will, being in front of a mirror that hid nothing but exposed every flaw, every sin committed, every ugly thought; how would that make you feel? Most of us would avoid that mirror; begin to despise it and definitely try to destroy it.
Jesus was a reflection of the ugliness that resided in the souls of man. A reflection and reminder of their sin. When they looked at Jesus, they saw the truth. The truth of their hearts. The truth about the secrets that were hidden from others but never hidden from God. For those who could stand to look at Him, they saw more. They saw redemption, hope, love, and forgiveness and was able to see Jesus for who He truly was—the Savior. That is what made Him so beautiful. That is what drew them and kept them. Unconditional love looks very good. Forgiveness looks grand. When Jesus did not judge like so many others, they saw hope and grabbed onto it.
Today’s Application
Many of us make the same mistakes today when we look at someone. We reject them because of what they appear to be or accept them for the same reason. We look at people and some of us see our own weaknesses and sins staring back at us. We see our mistakes and failures. This causes us to judge, ridicule, and push people away. Others may feel insecurity. A spirit of comparison comes and we found ourselves coming up short in our own eyes. This often causes people to hate and despise others. What has happened is that comparison has led to a spirit of covetousness and jealousy. We hate people for the reflection we see of ourselves, or for the failures and shortcomings, we feel about ourselves.
We also reject God because we fear He will reject us as man does, or judge as we judge ourselves. We are afraid to come to the Father and be truthful because, with God, He will not allow you to hide from the truth but will have you admit to it, confess it, confront it, and deal with it that let it go. But the first step is admitting it. That is often where most of us fall short because we do not want to admit to being broken of falling short. Yet, without this step, we continue to deny what we see and known as truth in our hearts and miss out on the blessings that God has for us.
My Beloveds, may the spirit of peace and prosperity finds permanent rest in your lives. I decree that every good thing that God has ordained for your life will become evident to you. Allow Jesus to be the reflection that you see in your actions. Take responsibility for actions. Be accountable in moving forward. Confess, repent, and allow God to show you how He sees you. You are who God says you are, not what your natural eyes reflect. For we are more than flesh and bones, we are also spirit, made in the image of God. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing.
©2017. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.