Sunday, February 25, 2018

"Priceless Vessels"

Reflections4Life February 25, 2018
“Priceless Vessels”
“But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.” 1 John 2:27
Scripture Contemplation: Luke 7; Mark 14; Colossians 1; Matthew 22:37; Romans 5; 1 John 2
©Ruthe McDonald.
To God, it does not matter what we look like, what our past entails, what we may be facing or involved with at this very moment; He has already forgiven us and wants us to recognize that our past, our sins, do not dictate who we are. Nor does it make His love and forgiveness conditional. It is what we believe about ourselves, which hinders or motivates us. The eyes of the Lord are always on us. When we accept Christ and learn of His ways, we become that precious Alabaster jar that holds the most precious expensive, and fragrant anointing of Christ within.
I decree that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart mind and soul. I urge you to take the time this week to spend in the precious presence of God. Allow Him to fill you, pouring into you His love, and anointing. That same anointing that destroys every yoke and lifts every burden, and gets us through all difficult and adverse times. God has created you to be a precious vessel for His anointing, for His spirit. His power. That, in itself, makes you quite valuable. You just have to believe it.
The Alabaster Jar
Luke 7:37-38 37 And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment.
Alabaster Jars were very expensive jars hewn from precious stones that often gave the jars the appearance of marble. Each jar held precious ointments, oils, and perfumes. The Alabaster jars were able to contain the fragrance of its contents until the jars were broken open. This made the jars expensive since they only could be used once. In Jesus’ time, an unmarried woman in possession of an Alabaster jar(s) was more than likely a prostitute, who used the oils/ointments to lure men or to cover any odor since sources of water were limited.
When the woman of the city came before Jesus, washed His feet with her tears, dried them with her hair, then anointed His feet with the ointment, it symbolized her given all she had, the forgiveness she was seeking, and also the coming crucifixion. Those around complained about the waste she made, while others questioned if Jesus was really a Prophet if He would allow a prostitute to touch Him in such a manner.
Yet Jesus, understanding and hearing the thoughts and words of the Pharisees around, admonished them, showing their lack of service and understanding of who He is. Yet, this woman who had many sins, had committed many offenses, humbled herself and gave all that she had, recognizing who He is—the Son of God. He forgave her of all her sins. He filled her with love, forgiveness, and hope. Holy Spirit filled her, anointing her with the power to overcome her past and move on to the promises of God.
Priceless Vessels
1 John 3:20 for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.
Beloveds, today we are the Alabaster Jar. We are the precious and priceless vessels that God has chosen to pour His anointing into, as well as fill with Holy Spirit. It does not matter how we began or where we began, only that God has chosen us, forgiven us, and has poured Himself and His anointing into us. God is in us. He loves us, no matter what our journey is or has been.
In this life, we will face many trials. We will have committed many sins and offenses, yet God forgives us and sees the blood of Jesus that covers us. When God has called us, and we answer, and begin to study His word, meditate, pray, and seek the Father with all of our heart and soul, He fills us with His knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. We are already filled with His power the moment we accept Him into our hearts, but as we yield to the Lord, He teaches how to use that power, how to walk in it.
Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.
1 John 4:4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
Just like the Woman
As the woman came before God, tired of her past and the sins she lived in, she recognized Jesus and saw what He did for others. Her desperation to be released from the bondage she was in, had her coming with everything she had, despite the ridicule and name calling, hoping He may be able to do the same for her as He did for the countless others. She was at a low place in her life, crying out, that if Jesus was true, who many others said He was, then this was her last chance for peace from her already torrid life’s journey.
The same anguish resides in many of us. We are desperate for the touch of God, a change in our lives, a chance to be free from the heaviness, the heartaches, and disappointments; from the ridicule and judgment of others. Our life’s journey has been difficult, leaving many jaded and empty, yet there remains for many a spark of hope.
It is that hope that pushes us forward, seeking God to relieve us, to change our circumstances. We cry out and pour out our souls to God. He hears us, Beloved. He has heard and answered, even though it may not feel like it. He has heard and answered, and the answers will manifest if we do not give up. We are stronger than we think. We are greater than we know. God has filled us with His power, His love, His anointing that is new every day, and this is why the enemy seeks to destroy us and to twist our thoughts concerning our life. The enemy will throw our past and shortcomings at us; reminding us of our past. However, God says, like Jesus spoke of that woman, He has seen our heart, He knows the truth, and we have touched Him with our tears, our pain, and our sincerity.
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. God has forgiven us and is reshaping and molding us into precious vessels of honor, priceless vessels that hold His anointing, His Spirit, His truth, love, and power. We have to remember and remind ourselves because like the Pharisees, the enemy seeks to remind us of our past. Yet God says, we are brand new in Him and are now priceless vessels of honor filled with His anointing and power that can and will destroy the enemy. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing.
©2018 Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

"Run To God"

Reflections4LifeFebruary 18, 2018
“Run to God”
“God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind.
Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?” Numbers 23:19
Scripture Contemplation: Psalm 31; 34; 139; Romans 10; 12; 2 Corinthians 10; Jude…
©Ruthe McDonald.
I decree that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart mind and soul. Let it resonate in your heart and soul that there is safety in the arms of God. In the presence of God, is where you will find the answers that your soul seeks. However, you may not receive the answers right away, be comforted in knowing that God not only hears you but has already answered before you called.
Psalm 34:17, 18 “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”
Half the battle in our lives is learning to give God everything. We can bring and talk to God about anything. We can bring everything to Him. Everything. All of our concerns; our questions, our wants, and desires; whatever may be causing a disturbance in our spirit; in our lives. Every hurt and pain. God not only desires for us too but also encourages us to bring it all to Him and lay it all on the altar.
I understand that for many that is a scary thing to contemplate—everything. God is not the one that is holding us back when it comes to laying it all on the altar, at the throne before Him. It is our continued lack of trust and inability and/or fear to be vulnerable. Let us tell the truth to ourselves today. God already knows it. Most have been so hurt and disappointed by people we love and trust that it is hard for us to trust God, or people that God sends into our lives to help bring healing, and show us His unconditional love and trust in a human connection.
Our faith in people has often translated to our faith in God. Instead of running to God with all of our cares and concerns, and pouring, everything at the altar as He has asked us to—we hoard the hurts and disappointments. We ruminate over them like a sick child, until it becomes a part of us and we cannot let God in, nor release anything because we have built a wall between our heart and God. Somewhere in our minds, we began to blame God for allowing the things to happen in our life. No doubt, the enemy had been whispering his lies at the same time; whispering that God does not care or love us, that, He has abandoned us. Which is a total lie, a fabrication that the enemy often uses to sow seeds of doubt, to get us to stop praying and bringing everything to God. The enemy’s ultimate goal is to stop us from believing in God, in His promises, in love; closing us off to all the goodness and greatness, that God has ordained for our lives.
Romans 10:10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth, one confesses and is saved.
Believing is the other half of the battle. There is power when we believe God. When we believe in and stand on His word, in all that the Father has spoken to our hearts and visions He has granted us, it strengthens us. It is not about what we see with our natural eyes but what we can believe in our hearts without first seeing. The world says that seeing is to believe, seeing with your natural eyes. God says that first believing in what He has spoken brings to fruition what you first believed without having first to see. That is faith.
This is exactly why the enemy tries to infiltrate our minds. It is his playground, our battlefield. The enemy knows that if he can plant seeds of doubt in our mind and we continue to think and meditate on those lies and negativity, it soon becomes a belief in our heart. Whatever we believe in our hearts becomes our truth and only God has the power to change and remove the lies that we have accepted and now justify as truth.
Our minds are powerful vessels, our thoughts a conduit of the life that we only not desire but what God has promised. This is why God admonishes us to renew our mind daily (Romans 12:1-2) to think on pure and good things (Philippians 4:8) and to pull down strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:4-6).
When we believe in what God has spoken to our hearts, we meditate on it, on His word, His promises, we are strengthening our faith muscles. We are building a defense that the enemy will not be able to penetrate. We have the power to manifest what we believe in our hearts. The problem for many is that they have been stuck in a negative space for so long, that they believe that nothing but bad or negative will take place. They end up self-sabotaging their lives because where faith once was, now resides fear and unbelief. The perfect cocktail for the enemy to wreak devastating havoc and destroy one’s mind and heart IF it were possible. I say this because here is what the enemy forgets and what so many of us forget: there is absolutely nothing on this earth or below it or above it that can ever separate us from the love of God. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. (Romans 8:38-39)
As long as God loves us, there will always be hope for us until we take our last breath on this earth. All of that doubt and unbelief, all of that hurt, pain, and disappointments?—Can be washed away the moment we accept the pure love of God, His forgiveness, and learn to forgive and love ourselves. We must first believe. Believe that it is true; that the word of God is true, Believe in His love and forgiveness, then accept it as truth. Allow it to become the new truth in our hearts.
Run to God
Psalm 31:1-2 (MSG) I run to you, God; I run for dear life. Don’t let me down! Take me seriously this time! Get down on my level and listen, and please—no procrastination! Your granite cave a hiding place, your high cliff aerie a place of safety.
Like David, run to God, Beloveds. He is our safety, our secure place, our answers for all things. Though it may seem like God is not answering or hearing your prayers, He is. In fact, He has already answered. However, the enemy of our soul will try to always interrupt and get in the way of us hearing and seeing God. We are stronger than the enemy is when we yield to God when we run to the safety of His word and His loving arms. When we begin to speak and pray the word of God over our lives and walk it every single day, we are creating a solid foundation that is impenetrable by the enemy. Though there may be times that we stumble and fall, and times of heartaches, losses, and even disappointments, it does not mean that God is not there. We must learn to navigate this life with the knowledge that there will be afflictions and adversities that we will encounter, but nothing too hard or difficult for God, and nothing we cannot overcome with God on our side. Though the weapons form against us, they will not succeed, (Isaiah 54:17) as long as we are standing and believing in the truth of what God has already declared and decreed in and over our lives. Remember: The enemy has no power or authority except what we give him.
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. Run to God. Give Him everything. Believe Him for all things. He is not a man that He should lie nor the son of man that He should repent. Whatever God has spoken to You, has promised you; it is indeed going to happen. Have faith, think about the good things and the promises of God, and follow His navigational instructions! You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!

©2018. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

"A Word of Encouragement"

Reflections4Life February 11, 2018
“A Word of Encouragement”
And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters; but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.” 1 Samuel 30:6
Scripture Contemplation: Joshua 1; Romans 1; 12; 15:5; 2 Corinthians 7; Ephesians 6:22; 1Thessalonians 4; 5; Hebrews 13...
©Ruthe McDonald.
Be encouraged! Know that the Father in Heaven has not forgotten or abandoned you. Stand firm and know within your heart, that the fulfillment of His word in your life is soon coming to pass.
I decree that this week's Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart mind and soul. Be encouraged today through the word of God. Stand on His word and promises. Encourage yourself in the word this week, and do not let go of what God has spoken concerning your life. Abstain from negative people, places, and things.
How much weight does the word of God hold in your life? How much power does it hold for you? For so many, we have forgotten the word of God. We have long forgotten the promises He has made unto us because the trials of this life have overwhelmed us. We have become discouraged with the passing of time; believing that if what God said was going to happen, it should have happened by now. Because of these thoughts, we prolong the manifestations of His word happening in our lives.
The spirit of discouragement has seized many of hearts causing to lose sight of the promises of God. We have become lax in our intimate time with God. We no longer read or study the word, or go before Him in prayer. Our internal conversations have become one of doubt and negativity, and of the blame. Blaming God for not keeping His word or delivering us out of our afflictions or from the adversities we face. Some have gone so far as to believe that God has lied to them.
It is easy to lose sight and faith when we take our eyes off God. We live in a world ruled by negativity. It thrives on destruction and bad news. Seldom do we see things of encouragement outweighing that of negative feedback. This creates a bleak picture. Should we dwell on these things, we too will soon have a negative outlook and give up on what God has promised us.
I want to encourage you today to stand strong on the promises of God. Do not give in to your feelings. Emotions are subject to change. They are like a pendulum that can swing either way depending upon the current winds. Stand firm in your faith. Do not go by what it looks like or feels like. Instead, walk and go by the word of God, what He has spoken concerning you.
Speak to your heart and to the atmosphere the promises of God. Say it aloud every day. Write it out. Put it in places that you can see so that you are constantly reminded of what God has said concerning you.
Beloved, the enemy, our adversary, is continually seeking to destroy us. He lies in wait waiting to pounce on us at any given sign of an opening. He presses in on all sides, whispering lies into our ears, stirring up controversy and negativity, and often coming as an angel of light to deceive us. His goal is to move us out of a position of receiving what God has ordained for us. He wants us destroyed, busted, broken, and out of focus. He wants us dead.
1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be watchful: your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour...”
1 John 10:10 “The thief cometh not, but that he may steal, and kill, and destroy: I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.”
Beloved, the enemy has already lost! He knows this! Yet, he will use every weapon in his arsenal to come at us and try to get us to forfeit the blessings and promises of God. His mission is to steal, kill, and destroy. To steal your dreams and visions; to kill you before you had the chance to live; to destroy your happiness and your peace of mind and your will to go forward! Don't you let him do that when God came to give life abundantly!
This life, through its challenges and adversities, is meant to be lived with joy, love, and hope! God sent Jesus for this purpose: that we would have eternal life. That, we would be redeemed by His blood. That, on this earth, while we tarry, we would live an abundant life filled with love, joy, peace, and grace; even in the midst of the trials that come our way.
Be encouraged today. Be encouraged that troubles don't last always, and that joy comes in the morning! Be confident in the promises of God. Stay firmly planted in the word of God. Do not slack in your intimate time with the Father! It is your key to holding on and forging ahead through all the crap the enemy tries to send your way. For, those that keep their mind stayed on Christ will be kept in perfect peace. Those that stay at the feet of Jesus, know and understand that the battle is not theirs, it is the Lord's!
The devil is going to try everything he can do to discourage you and to knock you off the path of righteousness. If he could, he would take you out and destroy everything you ever hoped and believed for, and have you believe that he is the winner and you are the loser! But glory to God! The devil remains a liar, and we have already won! The enemy has no power except the power you give him. Stand your ground against the devil. Be encouraged in the word and promises of God. Keep your focus on God and not the circumstances, and stand firm in the word of God! He got you!
The Father is not slacking concerning His promises to you! He is answering. The manifestations are taking place. Know that God has already declared you the winner. I've read the book, and I know that we win!
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. Be encouraged today! Stand firm on the word of God. Do not give in to the taunts and lies of the enemy. Continually speak the word of God, and let Jesus answer the door when the enemy comes knocking! Believe the report of the Lord! You win! You are blessed! Now go...and be a blessing!

©2013 Revised ©2018. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, February 04, 2018

"Kneel Before Him"

Reflections4Life February 4th, 2018
“Kneel Before Him”
“Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!” Psalm 95:6
Scripture Contemplation: Matthew 6; 17:14; 20; Mark 1:40; Acts 21:5; James 5…
©Ruthe McDonald.
I am going to keep it straight and forward with you. There are many who have no prayer life. Oh! We say we pray, and for the most part, we do. Yet, our prayers are lacking substance, direction, many times selflessness, and often power. Still, others have no prayer life, no inclination to pray unless they find themselves in a situation with no foreseeable way out. It is time for us to put on our big girl panties, and big boy underwear, and kneel before the Lord, establishing a healthy prayer life that is not just words but poignant, powerful, and effective communication between God and us.
I decree that this week’s Reflections are a source of continued encouragement and inspiration for your heart mind and soul. It is time for us to get back to the basics and begin to kneel before the Lord, waiting on Him and believing in Him and His word, no matter what the circumstances dictate. A healthy prayer life makes all the difference. If you want to know what is on the heart of God and what He has for your life; then you must kneel before Him, laying everything on the line with effective prayers that reach the heart of God.
Being Honest
If we are honest with ourselves, we will admit that we all have been there at one time or another in a place of stagnation; a place where prayer is no longer an integral part of our lives. For many, we have given up and have decided that praying does not work. That God is not listening, nor does He care about our petitions.
You could not be more wrong if you believe that. Even in our disobedience, God implores us to come to Him and repent, so that we may be redeemed and receive the benefits that the Blood of Christ affords us. Kneeling before God, showing our reverence and respect for Him, and all that He has done is a sign of gratitude and trust. It signifies our willingness to lay aside everything that we are facing and come before our Creator, knowing that He will and has answered our prayers even if it does not look like it.
Be honest. How diligent and faithful are you when it comes to praying? Do you set aside quality time to spend in the presence of God? Are you consistent in building your relationship with the Father? Do you make it a priority in your life? Have you made the time between you and God a sacred event and made sure to get rid of all distractions?
Most of us have prayers lives that look like an Indy 500—it is over before we even started. A few words are spoken quickly; asking what we want and for forgiveness but never taking the time to communicate and be quiet to hear God speak back. Yes! He does speak to us, also; if we care to listen and develop a prayer life that is sacred and inviting to God.
There is Power in Prayer
James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
Make no mistake, Beloveds. There is indeed power in prayer. There is power to change lives and to change our circumstances and situations if we can believe and live accordingly, being open to the will, plan, and grace of our heavenly Father.
Communication with our Heavenly Father strengthens us. It prepares us for what lies ahead. It provides a covering for us each and every day. Prayer has the power to release the angels of God on our behalf.
Daniel 10:10-14 10 And behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. 11 And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly loved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for now, I have been sent to you.” And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling. 12 Then he said to me, “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words. 13 The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia, 14 and came to make you understand what is to happen to your people in the latter days. For the vision is for days yet to come.”
James 5:17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth.
Joshua 10:12-13 At that time Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord gave the Amorites over to the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, “Sun, stand still at Gibeon, and moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.” 13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, until the nation took vengeance on their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jashar? The sun stopped in the midst of heaven and did not hurry to set for about a whole day.
Prayer, a healthy and steadfast prayer life, connects us to God in ways that our human heart, mind, and spirit cannot comprehend. It connects to the heart and mind of God and enables us to learn the truths of God. When our relationship with God is ensconced in prayer, we will learn the heart of God and His voice. We learn the mysteries of the word of God that in turns gives us the power to move in a way that is filled with confidence and authority. Knowing the heart and voice of God is powerful. It allows us to see things and to know things, and have the ability to stop some things from occurring.
Kneeling Before the Lord
The act of kneeling before the Lord is not only a physical act of kneeling in surrender but also our hearts kneeling in submission to God and to His ways and plans for our lives. Kneeling in prayer to show honor and respect for our Heavenly Father, as He in turns blesses, anoints, and strengthens us for what lies ahead.
There is so much that we gain and can learn in our prayer life with God. There are things that God desires to show us, tell us, and give us but can only happen is a posture of prayer, obedience, and surrender to His will in our lives. He waits on us; having already invited us into His presence, into His courts and sacred chambers. All we have to do is show up and dedicate the time that only belongs to God.
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. Kneel before Him. Make a commitment to bow before the Lord and allow Him the pleasure of speaking to your heart as He fills you with His love, wisdom, and power. Let God remind you of his purpose for your life and strengthen you for the journey that we call life. You are blessed. Now go, and be a blessing.

©2018. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.