Sunday, December 30, 2018

"If God Allowed It, Then It Can't Defeat You"

Reflections4Life December 30, 2018
“If God Allowed It, Then It Cannot Defeat You”
“Does anyone dare despise this day of small beginnings? They’ll change their tune when they see Zerubbabel setting the last stone in place!” Going back to the vision, the Messenger-Angel said, “The seven lamps are the eyes of God probing the dark corners of the world like searchlights.” Zechariah 4:10 (MSG)
Scripture Contemplation: Zechariah 4; Nehemiah 3; 4; Psalm 37; John 16
©Ruthe McDonald. Winter Wonderland.

If there is one thing that I am confident in, as this year ends, is that God has been with me and will always be with me throughout it all. All of the ups and downs, the heartaches, the blessings, the hopes, the dreams, the failures, the deaths—God has been with me through it all and I am still here. I am a lot stronger than I thought I could ever be. Even after decades of salvation, I continue to learn something new each and every day when I surrender all to God and let Him have His way in my life and all things concerning me. The greatest lesson I have learned is that, if God allows it [tests, trials, afflictions, etcetera], then it cannot defeat you. I will always win with God on my side and I trust Him implicitly.
I decree that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of inspiration and encouragement for your heart mind and soul. DO not allow the current situation or circumstances stop you from living your best life. Do not allow it to stop your progression in the will of God. Instead, allow to propel you ahead. To, give you strength and joy, knowing that God has declared and decreed your victory, and you just have to ride out the storm.
It is difficult to see the bright side of anything when you are in a lot of pain, or circumstances and situations do not make any sense to your senses, and you do not know or understand the whys. Yet, that is what God wants us to do; He wants us to see His visions for our life. To concentrate on what we have always known in our hearts, that God is not a man that He should lie, and that no matter what we face in this lifetime, it is no match for the word that God has spoken over our lives. In fact, the tests, trials, and all of the crazy situations are there to strengthen us and develop us into the person that God ordained us to be before we ever entered the realm of time.
John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Beloveds, there is nothing in this world that we cannot overcome because Christ Himself overcame the world and so can we. No matter what comes at us; no matter what the enemy tries, God is with us and He will turn it all around for us. He will grant us double for our shame. Restore and multiply what the enemy has stolen from us, and what we ignorantly let go of.
Know this: whatever God is allowing to come at us. Whatever affliction, adversity, or storm has come into our lives that seem impossible to overcome—know that we can and will overcome. God has destroyed enemies for us. He has and will always have what is best for us. We just have to maintain faith and believe. Because, if God has allowed it, then there is no way it can defeat us when God has already decreed that we win! These are only storms, tests, and trials to strengthen us, and get us into position for where God has ordained us to be all along. We just have to continue to believe and trust that God knows what He is doing and how to bless us accordingly!
Beloveds, I pray over your lives the blessings of Amos 9:13-15:
 “Yes indeed, it won’t be long now.” God’s Decree.
“Things are going to happen so fast your head will swim, one thing fast on the heels of the other. You won’t be able to keep up. Everything will be happening at once—and everywhere you look, blessings! Blessings like wine pouring off the mountains and hills. I’ll make everything right again for my people Israel: “They’ll rebuild their ruined cities.
They’ll plant vineyards and drink good wine.
They’ll work their gardens and eat fresh vegetables.
And I’ll plant them, plant them on their own land.
They’ll never again be uprooted from the land I’ve given them.”
God, your God, says so.
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. Embrace every trial and every test with the knowledge that God has allowed it because He knows the blessings that await you. Do not despise small beginnings, or the tests and trials; instead, give God the praise for trusting you with such responsibility, and the faith He has in you to make it through to your promised land, and His double anointing that is just for you. Blessings to a brighter and abundant New Year! You are blessed. Now go … and be a blessing!
©2018. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

"The Wonder of it All"

Reflections4Life December 23, 2018
“The Wonder of it All”
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” Luke 2:11-14
Scripture Contemplation: Matthew 1; Luke 2
"Life in Dead Winter" ©Ruthe McDonald.

Take a moment and bring to mind the one thing you want more than anything else right now. What is that one thing, that if you could snap your fingers, you would have it already? Something tangible but you know would take a long time to achieve or almost impossible for you. Got it? Okay, now picture God not only granting that one thing but also blessing you with even greater. No matter what you came up with, God guarantees to do even more than what you could ever think or imagine possible.
I decree that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart mind and soul. As we celebrate this wonderful birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, let us take a moment to reflect upon the goodness of God in our lives. Forget about the things that are not what you like or want right now. Instead, meditate on the things that are, and that you know God has done in your life; especially those things and moments that you know that if it had not been for God you would not be here.
Sometimes when I think on the goodness of God, I get overwhelmed. When I think of all that God has done to reconcile His creation to Himself; to save us from an eternity without Him, my heart gets overwhelm from the share love and wonder of it all. Think about it; God sent Himself into this world, putting on the flesh, subjecting himself to the weaknesses, whims, and often hollowness that often accompany the flesh, just to save us. He became flesh to save flesh, to save the very ones that reject, accuse, abuse, use, and lie on Him. He came, not as a fully-grown man with no idea of the angst of growing up, but as an infant, taught and raised in a home with many different dynamics, but also knowing He was set apart. Wow! The wonder of it all.
It is a shame that many of us do not talk about the birth of Christ until the holidays. That, we do not acknowledge the miraculous, wonderful, awesomeness of our Creator, and His One gift that continues to give and give for all time. It is sad how we have commercialized such an advent and meaning of the birth of Christ, when it should be an everyday conversation, which leads to the acknowledgement, acceptance, and receipt of Christ in one’s life. Christ, for those who would believe, should be at the center of our lives, guiding and teaching us His ways, and how to not only navigate this world we live in, but also how to overcome it.
The wonder of it all, is how this one miraculous birth change the world, and how we, as believers can continue to change the world. Not by as much what we say but in what we do, and how we treat one another. Not judging but lifting one another up; encouraging those who need encouragement and supporting one another in our walk instead of tearing down.
Can you imagine the power surrounding the birth of Christ; the power that was circulating in the air that even the enemy knew something was up and it was not going away but coming to take his power and dethrone him for good? Imagine that power circulating around us today, cracking in the atmosphere so hard that the enemy is shaking because he understands the sign of the times, and this his days are numbered.
Right now, there is a mixture of feelings and far too many that are doubting the love of God in the midst of a year that has been fraught with so much hatred and frivolities that it has some hard-pressed to figure out who is actually for them or just using them. We are in a wondrous season where miracles are more prone to take place. It is like, for a moment, a curtain is opened and the goodness and kindness of men are being seen and felt around the world, and making an impact that is needed more now than ever before.
The wonder of it all is that we can and should be experiencing this same joy all year long and we can if we would put into practice the same things that people are doing right now. We must first have it in our hearts and not allow life’s circumstances to change what we believe. Neither changes our faith in God. We must stand steadfast and believe in what God says, even throughout our adversities and afflictions.
Trials in this life will come. There is no escaping that. We need only to look to Jesus to understand, but also look at the fact He overcame. Throughout it all, God is here for us and with us. He is waiting for us to align ourselves with Him, remember whose we are, and that He has blessed us to be blessings.
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. The birth of Christ assured us a place at the table with the Father, a gift that continues to give. and multiplies as we yield ourselves to the Father and hold onto faith, never letting go. Have a very    Merry Christmas my dear friends. May your heart and days be filled with wonder and miracles every day! You are blessed. Now go … and be a blessing!
©2018. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.       

Sunday, December 16, 2018

"God's Grace and His all Surpassing Peace"

Reflections4Life December 16, 2018
“God’s Grace and His all Surpassing Peace”
“Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel.” Philippians 4:7
Scripture Contemplation: Isaiah 26; 1 Corinthians 15:10; Ephesians 2:8-9; Philippians 4

here are many things that bring comfort to this world for some, and many things that bring no comfort to anyone. Yet, God’s grace and His peace should bring all man’s soul comfort. The comfort of knowing that God has us covered, even when we cannot cover ourselves, and that He can and will grant us peace in the midst of chaos, and the storms that continue to come. God is our anchor; the One that keeps us tethered to divine life and His ordained will for our lives.
I decree that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart mind and soul. Take some quality time this week and search your heart. Search your heart to know if the grace and peace of God are residing there. Do yourself a favor and make room for God, for His grace and His peace. You will never know the greatness you have been missing until your heart and mind aligns with the Spirit of God that is residing in you.
Do you really know the grace and peace of God? Many say they do but have truly yet to taste the goodness of God and all that He has made available for us. The Father’s love is encompassing. It surrounds us, fills us, calls to us, yearns for us to believe in it and accept it. Yet, we are a skeptical creation. Due to years of man’s manipulative ways, the lies, let downs, and disappointments, we do not truly trust in the goodness of God, let alone His grace and His peace. We do not really believe that the grace of God can be that easy to accept, nor His peace, that force, that quiets all the chaos in our lives. Yet they are.
Ephesians 2:8-9 You were saved by faith in God, who treats us much better than we deserve. This is God’s gift to you and not anything you have done on your own. It isn’t something you have earned, so there is nothing you can brag about.
God’s grace is a gift to us, not something that we can earn or buy. It just is. By His grace, we are saved and we are treated far better than our sinful lives have dictated. It is and will always be a gift from our Heavenly Father, who has extended to us, His unconditional love in many different ways, without pointing out our faults and flaws.
We walk around in this world carrying heavy burdens. Burdens from our past, from mistakes and failures, from the mouths of other people, that we forget the sovereignty of our God and that He is not a man, nor does He judge as man does. We cannot continue to place God on the same level that we do one another and walk in the fullness of His grace and love that He has ordained for each of our lives.
If we think we can take advantage of His grace, then we know nothing of God. The Father knows our thoughts before we think them. He knows what we are going to do before we do it. God allows things to happen because He knows and understands who we are. He knows the plans that He has for our lives. Make no mistake; God is in control.
Isaiah 26:3 The Lord gives perfect peace to those whose faith is firm.
Unbelievably, God blesses us with a peace that many others will never understand. A peace is far above our human consciousness. A peace that controls how we think and feel. A peace, that will have you calm and cool when everything around you is in utter chaos. It is the peace of God residing in us that surpasses all understanding and interpretation.
How do we get this kind of peace? We get it when we receive Christ as our personal Savior. This peace is already in us when God is in us. Think about this: Everything that God resides in us. Every character, power, strength—all of it—is inside of us when we accept Christ as our personal Savior. The moment we said yes to God, He immediately awoke in us, all that He ordained for us since creation. It is a matter of us believing it, accepting it and then receiving it. Allowing the peace of God to have ruled in our lives. This is the kind of peace that has us believing God, even when everything and everyone around us may be speaking the opposite.
My mother would answer our phone with the same greeting for years: “Grace and Peace!” She would say it in a sing-song voice, that would in some way, comfort whoever called. I finally got what my mother was doing: each time she spoke those words … those powerful words … she was making a declaration for her and the caller. She was declaring God’s grace and peace; God’s grace over her and the caller’s life, and the manifestations of the peace of God. Also, she was being certain that no matter what the call was concerning, there would continue to be the grace and peace of God. There is nothing more powerful that God’s grace and peace.
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. God’s grace is free. All we have to do is say, Yes, Lord. We maintain a level of peace when we maintain our faith. Our faith is maintained by spending quality time in the presence of God; accepting His grace and His instructions in our life. Declare and decree today, the grace and peace of God over and in your life. You are blessed. Now go … and be a blessing!
©2018. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, December 09, 2018

"Are You Prepared?"

Reflections4Life December 9, 2018
“Are You Prepared?”
“For you, yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” 1 Thessalonians 5:2
Scripture Contemplations: Matthew 25; 1 Peter 5:7-9; 2 Peter 3:10; Revelation 3:3 …

©Ruthe McDonald.

How prepared are we for the coming of the Lord? Are we as prepared as we believe we are? If Christ came back for His bride—the church—without a spot or wrinkle, how many of us can say we are ready without second-guessing who we are and the actions we have portrayed over the years. How ready are we when we see in the world, those who call themselves believers, not walking in any of the statutes sanctioned by God, and behaving far removed from the character of Christ?
I decree that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart mind and soul. I implore you to spend some quiet and quality time in the presence of God this week. It is time for a heart-check and to know and understand how prepared you are if Christ was to come back right now.
Last week, I had a conversation with my brother about how different the church is then when our mother raised us and the kind of church we were used to and the dedication and love that was present but seem to be missing now. He encountered some men that were truly hurting, just as I encountered some women. They poured out their hearts and expressed a need for someone to pray for them. To really, truly, and sincerely pray for them. My brother and I was were raised and taught to allow the Holy Spirit to lead you, and at times, He admonishes you to pray right then and there no matter where you were or the situation.
As my brother and I continued our conversation, we had concluded that the church was no longer the same. The church now just seemed to be a building where people congregated, instead of “the church”a body of believers, the bride of Christ—who are following the principles and heart of God and attending to the needs of the sheep and lambs that God has given us charge over. We are not witnessing the love and dedication that we witnessed when our Mom raised us. That element of urgency, unconditional selfless love, that drew people not only to the house of God but also to God with the knowledge that there were healing and acceptance in His house.
How can we know we are prepared for the coming of Christ if we cannot even get through the trials of what we face today? The heaviness; the heartaches, the disappointments all taking its toll on our hearts and minds, rendering us emotionally paralyzed and mentally tired, filled with hopelessness and despair. How prepared can we be if we are not even certain where to go when our hearts are overwhelmed, and we have no leaders to guide, pray, intercede or to teach us the way of the Lord.
We ask where the Church Mothers are of Old. Where are the Intercessors? The ones that would literally shut in the church, fast and pray for everyone—from the Pastor to the visitor that only came on Friends & Fellowship Sunday's for some good food and a piece of pound cake? Where are they? Are they all gone? I want to know because there are some hurting people out here. Grown men and women breaking down in tears, feeling alone and abandoned; not knowing which way to go because the weight of the world is on their shoulders and they just cannot deal with it?
Where are you? I know you are out there somewhere! I know I am not alone! God said He has a remnant in the land. If we are to be prepared for the coming of Christ, then we must start obeying His word and being the church, He called us to be. It's time to step up, make yourself known and begin praying for one another, interceding on behalf of these hurting and despondent hearts. It's time to make the devil run from you! It's time to stand like the Prophet Elijah against Jezebel and Ahab and let God show up and shut the enemy down.
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. No more, cave dwelling. No more, fearing the enemy. No more uncertainty. There is power in the Blood of the Lamb. Power in the Name of Jesus. Power in our prayers. It is time for the true church of God to rise up; speak to the dry bones, commanding flesh and life to come back; bringing resuscitation to the body of Christ. You are blessed. Now go … and be a blessing!
©2018. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, December 02, 2018

"Recompense & Favor"

Reflections4Life December 2, 2018

"Recompense & Favor"

            "I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you." Joel 2:25

Scripture Contemplations: Psalm 5; Isaiah 61; Joel 2; 2 Corinthians 6

     Shake off the shame of yesterday. Shut down the strongholds and whispers that tell you, you are not good enough. Let go of the hurtful things people have said over your life. Stand in confidence knowing that God not only has you covered but has also answered your prayers, and is restoring to you everything that the enemy has stolen. This is the season of recompense and favor. You will determine in you see the hand of God in your life.

     I decree that this week's Reflections is a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart mind and soul. No longer look at what should have been or what may have gone wrong. Instead, replace those thoughts and mental pictures with the promises of God for your life.  I urge you to open the word of God this week, immersing yourself in His promises to you, your children, and your children's children. The wait is over and God is manifesting His blessings.

     Do not be preoccupied with the things that did not work out in your life. Whether it is relationships, employment, ideas, etcetera. Move on from it by getting in God's presence and staying there until He releases you. There is so much that our Heavenly Father desires for us; so much that He has ordained for us, but we are not still long enough for us to receive or to see the favor of God manifest in our lives.

     God knows our hearts. He understands and sees what is inside of us; already knowing our motives and what we truly desire. He knows how many times we have been let down, disappointed, discouraged, and how close we are to giving up.  Do not give up. Do not let go of what God has placed in your heart because it has not come to pass just yet. Do not turn away from God because the promise or vision is taking some time to manifest. God is moving on your behalf.

     Beloveds, God has already worked everything out. He has already declared and decreed a path of success for us. Sometimes the hurt and disappointments we experience in life creates a hard shell over our hearts and we find ourselves distancing ourselves from emotions and feelings until we are desensitized to the voice and Spirit of God.

    God is restoring what was stolen from you. He is restoring what we messed up. He is restoring what we allowed our ignorance to destroy. He is giving recompense for all that we have given in His Name. He is giving to us pressed down, shaken together, running over, blessings for all that we have given and sacrificed in His Name without complaint.

    The Father has seen the seeds sown. He knows about the favors. He knows about the sacrifices. He knows about the hurt and pain and the past mistakes and the regrets we carry. He knows it all and is washing it all away, as He restores us and blesses us for everything we have given up, lain aside, sacrificed, and suffered. He is doing it all, and all we have to do is say, Yes, Lord! Believe Him, and let Him have His way! God is on 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. Boldy walk in this season with faith and confidence in our heavenly Father; knowing in your heart that not only has He heard your prayers and your cries, He has already answered and has covered you in His divine favor, and is repaying you for everything you have either lost or was stolen from you on this journey. You are blessed. Now go...and Be a Blessing!

©2018. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.