Sunday, April 28, 2019

"Holding On to Love"

Reflections4Life April 28, 2019
Holding On To Love”
But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:12
Scripture Reading For This Week: Genesis 1;2; Song of Solomon; John 3:16-17; John 17; 1 Corinthians 13; Galatians 5:22-23...

How can I possibly explain how much I love the Lord? I do not believe I have the vernacular to do justice to what my heart and soul hoards for the Father. I love Him with every fiber of my being; every single molecule. His love has set me free, and I never want to let go of Him. No matter what comes to me in this life; I will hold on to love.
I decree that this week's Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart mind and soul. There may be somethings that have caused you to draw back and not to love freely or unconditionally; but now is the time to get back in, and love unconditionally. No longer will you let go of love but hold on, give love, and receive the love you deserve.
What a powerful revelation the Father blessed me with concerning love. How can I even begin to tell you? I guess the best way is to just show you; through my actions, through my writing, through my service to the Father on a daily basis.
Do you know how powerful love is? Do you understand how love can change things and people? That, Unconditional love. That, God love. God, Himself. Oh my dear friends, when I understood that God is love and that He has created in me that same love; and part of Him is in me—I cannot begin to tell you how that revelation changed my life, and how I love and receive love.
It is a given that in this lifetime we are going to be hurt, disappointed, and discouraged. It will come. Yet, we cannot allow those things to stop us from loving unconditionally. Many of us love, but we love with conditions. This was not always the case. When we come into this world, all we know is to love unconditionally as a child, until we grow up and begin to experience life and put into practice what we've been taught. Taught through other's actions; mimicking the way others loved around us.
The only way to know how to love, to love unconditionally, is to be intimate with the Father; to understand how He loves and to know what it is He desires from us. Any other kind of love is temporal. It will not last or stand the tests and trials of our lifetime. It holds restraints and has conditions upon it.
However, the love of God—God Love—is refreshing, liberating, unconditional, mind and heart changing, and it is everlasting. Don't get me wrong; I am not saying that we will not experience hurt and disappointment while loving unconditionally, because we will. That is being a part of life on this earth. However, we can triumph over those hurts and love freely without having to contort ourselves into someone we do not know, filled with bitterness, regrets, carrying countless baggage, and never trusting anyone. That is not Christ! That is not God-Love! That is a prison sentence. God has set us free from that. We can live and love without any strings or conditions attached.
So can we agree that in this life we will experience disappointment and hurt? But can we also agree that we can and will also experience the joy and gift of love when we love God's way? We cannot allow unconditional love to slip from our spirits because we have been hurt. No matter how many times it has occurred. I know: easier said than done. But I don't believe so. Not when you allow God that place upon the throne of your heart, and you begin to love as He loves. When you allow the Father to teach you how to navigate and how to love as He does.
I learned a valuable lesson. I came to the understanding that many of us have allowed the way we love to be shaped by our experiences with others. Because of this, we hinder and short-change ourselves when it comes to giving and receiving love. We punish others for the missteps and hurts caused by another.
When you are hurt, you cannot allow it [hurt] to change your love. Love should be unconditional. When hurt or disappointed, there is the tendency to alter how we love, and not allow the next person in our lives to experience that unconditional love. Instead, we bring judgment, fear, and baggage from the past. This can keep us from the wealth of blessings that God has for our lives. Do not allow the pain heartache and disappointment from previous relationships; whether it's romantic, friendships, or even a relationship with a church—to change how you love and receive love. Allow God to guard your heart, as you continue to love unconditionally.
Again, in this life, there is going to be sorrows, heartache, pain, disappointment. But there is also triumphs, joy, peace, and yes, love. We mustn't allow the hurt we have experienced today to dictate how we love tomorrow. We find this, especially in romantic relationships. We get hurt by someone we loved deeply. Because of this, we may find that we are not willing to love as freely; finding ourselves placing conditions on our love. If the person does this, or if they say that, then it's over. We hold them to a standard created by the actions of another. In this instance, we never get to truly know or even love this person or receive the love they have for us because it is tainted by the hurt and disappointment from previous experiences.
The same thing can be said when we go to churches. I don't know how many stories I have heard and can testify to myself, where someone has been hurt by people in the church. They find themselves going from church to church; eventually giving up on any fellowship with a local church body. Why? Because as soon as we see anything resembling what we experienced, we are out the door! Is that fair? Did we sit down with the Pastor and discuss our experiences? Did we allow God to bring healing to our hearts? Dis we allow ourselves time to even heal before moving forward? Probably not.
When it comes to love—unconditional love—we need to hold on and never let it go. It makes all the difference in our experiences. It makes the difference in how we interact with others, how we see ourselves, and how we not only give love but receive love.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a “Love is kind and patient, never jealous, boastful, proud, or 5 rude. Love isn’t selfish or quick tempered. It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs that others do.6 Love rejoices in the truth, but not in evil. 7 Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting.8 Love never fails!”
My Beloveds, I decree that the spirit of peace and of prosperity has found permanent rest in your lives. I decree that every good thing that God has ordained for your life will become evident to you. Let love reign. Let God be all up in your space, loving on you and teaching you to love. Hold onto love and never let it go. No matter the circumstances or situations, love will always and can always endure. You are blessed. Now go...and be a blessing!
©2019. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

"Gods Cup of Life"

Reflections4Life April 21, 2019
“God’s Cup of Life”
“You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons…Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.” 1 Corinthians 10:28, 11:28
Scripture Contemplations: Matthew 20, 23; John 19, 20; Acts 1; 2…

Happy Resurrection Sunday! What an awesome day to continue to give thanks and praises to God for His gift of love, sacrifice, and love. God, in His love and mercies—saved us from ourselves. He saved us from the death and the grave; from the clutches of the enemy! Excuse me, while I praise my Lord and Savior!
Lord! Thank You! Thank You for Your grace and mercies! Thank You for saving me! For dying on the Cross for me. For taking the stripes, the whips, for my healing and deliverance! Thank You for rescuing me from a life of sin and death; for freeing me from a spirit of guilt and condemnation. Thank You, Lord, for consuming me, covering me under the Blood of the Lamb! I cannot breathe without You. I cannot live without You. I cannot exist without You! Your love is like fire, all in my bones! Your love is washing all over me; making me clean, clearing my mind, lifting heaviness; leaving waves of sunshine, and pockets of hope for me to hold onto when trials and tests come, and rock me to the core, sometimes blinding me and stealing my memories of what You have already done! But Hallelujah! Thank You for that line, that line that keeps me tethered to You. That keeps me connected. Thank You, that when Christ rose, I rose with Him, with the keys of like. Thank You, my Lord, my Savior, for saving me from myself and doubt. Thank You for freeing me from unbelief. Thank You for just loving me the way You do, that even through the tough times, the times I cannot see You, that I can rest easy knowing that You are moving on my behalf and that Yes!—Your will is done in my life, and I blessed forever more, because You loves me…unconditionally! In Jesus’ Name. Amen!
I decree that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart soul and mind. Rise up with Christ today. Rise up from your past; past hurts, sins. Bow at His feet, laying down your heart, your burdens, your hurts, your fears, and receive His love, forgiveness, His breath of life and the blessings He has ordained for you this lifetime. Take from His cup of life and drink, becoming a new creation in Him. Receive your blessings.
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Whose cup are you drinking from today? Are you drinking from the cup of regrets, guilt, and shame? Or, are you drinking from the cup of life, of faith, of redemption and of a new life in Christ? When we are in Christ, we have been crucified with Him, and we now live by faith and not feelings. We drink from a completely new cup. God’s cup of life. Jesus drank from the cup of crucifixion, a cup of a necessary death, a cup representing salvation for man. Because He did, we are! We are able to now drink in not only remembrance of His sacrifice for us; partaking in Holy Communion. We are now, also able to drink from God’s cup of life.
When we enter into prayer and conversation with the Heavenly Father, we are partaking in that cup of life. When we stand on His promises and do not give up or give in to the enemy—we are drinking from God’s cup of life.
Every time we spend time in the presence of God, the more God reveals to us. No one can stay the same who has been the recipient of God’s love and attention. We are transformed and renewed, with every sip from God’s cup of life. We are changed forever by the Father’s unconditional love, forgiveness, and the precious gift of Holy Spirit. Just as Jesus taught about the wheat, and how it must die to live; we, too, must die first. Die to our old selves and beliefs that would block the blessings of this new life that God has ordained for us. Christ did the hardest part. He drank from the cup of death, and died on the Cross—feeling the entire world’s sins on His shoulders, in His body; the heaviness of guilt, shame, worry, abandonment, and every whispered lie of the enemy. The love of Jesus knows no bounds. He could have walked away, instead, He called upon His Father, and took it all to the Cross. for us. Then He fought death, hell, and the grave, reclaiming the keys of life. So now, when we partake in the cup, it is not just in remembrance of the crucifixion but also the cup of life. Christ died that we may live. And live an abundant life filled with His blessings and grace.
What cup are you drinking from today? Are you drinking from the cup of your past? The cups of regret, shame, mistakes, guilt, and condemnation? That’s not what God ordained for you. And that is not what Jesus died on the Cross for. He did not drink to save Himself—he was not a sinner. He drank to save us; to give us 24/7 access to the cup of life!
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 the forgiveness of the Father. Shake off the old clothes of the past and put on the garments of praise and worship, drinking from God’s cup of eternal life and redemption. Jesus made a promise and kept it. Now it’s time for us to walk in the victory, drinking constantly from God’s cup of life! You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!
©2019. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

"Betrayed Rejected but Not Abandoned"

Reflections4Life April 14, 2019
Betrayed Rejected but Not Abandoned”
And while He was still speaking, behold, a multitude; and he who was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them and drew near to Jesus to kiss Him. But Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” Luke 22:47-48
Scripture Contemplation: Matthew 26-28; Luke 22; John 19; Romans 3; Hebrews 7

©Ruthe McDonald.

I wish everyone a glorious Palm Sunday. I pray this time of reflection on the Cross, and the resurrection of Christ, will bring you clarity, strength, and encouragement. Know that it is never over until God declares it is over.
There are times in our lives when we will feel the sting of betrayal and rejection. People will disappoint us, hurt us, and even leave us. Although betrayed and rejected, we are not abandoned. Not by the Father. God is always there, whether we acknowledge Him or not.
I decree that this week's Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. May the redemptive work of Calvary flood your heart, mind, and soul; bringing you peace and encouragement and the knowledge that with God, you are never alone.
Many have experienced what it feels like to be betrayed by someone you love or trust. Most of us can also attest to the feelings of rejection. Rejected by the people you love; someone you admire, someone you like, a job, or position. We know the sting, and often the heartache.
There are those know the devastation of being left behind. Left by those who were supposed to care for you and love you. To, look out for your best interest and protect you. Though they left, you are not abandoned. Not if you know God, and understand, He is with you always; even when you do not acknowledge Him, feel Him, or see Him. He is there.
The human heart can be a messy thing; deceitful and cruel. It can be loving and kind, also. While others cannot fathom the thought of abandoning someone they love or hurting them in any way, shape, or form. There are others, who will cause devastation, leaving many broken and bruised.
With all this devastation and heartache, one fact many do not understand is that God is there. He has always been there, waiting for us to call on Him, to come to Him. To know, that He has never abandoned us. He has never left us. In fact, He has been reaching out towards us, calling for us to take His hands and trust Him.
Even in our darkest hours when the enemy is whispering his lies, and saying that not even God cares or understands; that God has abandoned us and forgotten us; God is there. He is there waiting for us to call unto Him. Waiting for us to accept the love and healing that He has long offered us. Waiting for us to show up to His table and dine with Him.
However, when you are one that has experienced much betrayal and rejection in your life, it is hard to imagine or believe there are some who care enough for you to stay with you through ups, and downs. Someone, who will never leave you or hold your faults and past against you. It is hard to reconcile within yourself there is someone that loves you just for you, and will move heaven and earth just for you; just as He gave His only begotten Son.
We have put God on the level of man. Placing Him in the position of who a man is, and how they can disappoint. We attribute the same characteristics to our Heavenly Father. It makes it difficult reconciling within our hearts and mind how much God does love us as He says He does when our lives have been hit with such devastation and setbacks. It is difficult for our minds to justify that God truly cares. Yet, it will allow disappointment and our faith shaken and sometimes shattered. Asking ourselves; how is it that God never leaves us but these things keep occurring in our life? Isn't the Father supposed to protect us?
I've been there. And it's a hard place to be when you are in your emotions, and simply cannot understand or justify the hurt and pain your heart is feeling with the God you have come to know and serve. I will say this: we live in a world that is filled with darkness. There are people that make decisions that affect our lives. Yet, God is still merciful and in control. If we hold on to His word and promises, we will see God show up in unexpected ways. If we continue to trust Him, seek Him, and not abandon our faith, we will see that ALL things are working for our good. Understanding will come. Maybe not today or tomorrow or next week, but it will come. We just have to have faith, which dictates that we walk not by sight.
Though people may betray you, reject you, and even leave you; know in your heart that the Father will never abandon you. He is there with you in all of your storms, tests, and trials. He is encouraging you and making ways for you that you have yet to see. Everything that you experience in this life, God will make it for your good; if you trust Him and keep believing. God will never leave you. He was there before you even showed up.
My Beloved, I decree that the spirit of peace and of prosperity has found permanent rest in your lives. Believe with all your heart and soul that God will never leave you, betray you, or reject you. You have a standing invitation from the Father at His table of abundant life. Where man has failed you, allow God to lift and keep you. He sent His Son just for you. He's not going to stop believing in you and your salvation. You are blessed. Now go...and be a Blessing!
©2019. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, April 07, 2019

"God Cannot Lie"

Reflections4Life™ April 7, 2019
“God Cannot Lie”
“God is not a man, that he should lie, Neither the son of man, that he should repent: Hath he said, and will he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and will he not make it good?” Numbers 23:19
Scripture Contemplation: Joshua 1; Numbers 23; Job 5; Jeremiah 29; Ephesians 3; Philippians 1...
©Ruthe McDonald.

Do you trust God? Do you believe what God has spoken concerning your life? Do you believe He is able to do just what He said? Are you confident in God? Do you walk in confidence and faith? Or, are you bound by fear and unbelief? Know this truth, Beloved. Hold it in your heart, remind yourself daily: God cannot lie.
I decree and agree with Jesus, that this week's Reflections will be a continued source of inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. That you will believe with all your heart that this is your season to believe and walk in the promises of God. That, you will know in your heart and believe with all your soul, that whatever God has promised you, He is making happen.
I understand clearly those times when you feel that what you have been waiting for is not going to happen. I clearly identify with the thought, that maybe God has forgotten you. Perhaps what He has promised is not going to happen. I know what it is like to wait and wait, and feel your faith get a little shaky; to the point that you almost stop believing. I have been there, Beloved. However, I held on by speaking the word of God, by meditating on His word, by praying, fasting, and surrounding myself with like-minded people.
In this world, we are surrounded daily with people and things that are contrary to our walk in God. We are faced with wickedness, fear, doubt, and unbelief. We often walk a fine line while navigating this narrow path every day. Yet, we must continue to believe in our God. We must continue to walk in confidence, in faith, knowing that God has us covered. That, what we are waiting upon is going to happen. In the meantime, there are obstacles to contend with. Many battles we will fight. However, through it all, we can overcome and see the promises of God fulfilled in our lives if we follow God's instructions.
Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Times will get hard sometimes. Our path will get a little bumpy. Things will happen in our life that will look nothing like the blessings of God. In fact, it may even look like we do not serve God or that there is a God. Yet, God tells us that this is a faith walk. We cannot walk this walk, or run this race by what we see. We must believe and walk by faith. Endure the hard times and have courage, believing that God will see us through every time.
Grant it, it can feel as though we are hit constantly on all sides at all times. That, just when we get over one hurdle and one test, and come through one difficult time, there is another one right behind it. Making you feel as though you cannot catch a break. The fact of the matter is it causes you to feel as though God is removed far from you, as though He has abandoned you.
These are those times Beloved when God is conditioning our heart. These are the times when our faith is being developed. When God is preparing us for what lies ahead. These are the times when we are so close to the manifestations of God's promises in our life happens. The enemy is hell-bent on causing us to lose focus and give up; to walk away from our miracle, from our blessings and promises.
Don't you let that happen! Don't you dare come this far and give up on God, when God has not given up on you! God has equipped us with everything we need to make it through this race. He has already assured us the victory. Jesus made us that assurance when He went to Cross and defeated hell and death.
Everything the enemy is doing is designed to get you to forfeit your promises. He is strategic in his war against you. You must be strategic in your prayers and faith. Do not grow weary while doing the will of God. Though those times of weariness come, shake it off by remembering the promises of God. Don't just read the word, pray the word. Stand firm in what God has told you. Now is not the time to get quiet. You must declare and decree what God has spoken concerning you. Declare His word to the atmosphere.
Surround yourself with those who can encourage you and not commiserate with you. Remember all that God has already done for you. We often forget past victories because of the severity of the current circumstances. People change, circumstances change, but God does not change. He will keep His promises to you. He will complete in your life that which He has started.
I don't care what it appears to be; what it looks like at the moment; you can believe with every fiber of your being, that God is not a liar. He cannot lie. He will do just what He said. We must believe. We must have courage. We must have faith. And, we must learn to pull down the strongholds and evil imaginations that the enemy uses against us. Greater is God in us that he that is in this world. If God was not so great, and your life was not so precious and valuable, and destined for greatness, as well, the enemy wouldn't take another look at you. But I have a feeling that just as Job, God has been bragging on His children again. If God believes we can pass these tests, and be all He called us to be; then it's about time we start believing it and believing in Him with all our heart and soul.
I decree that the spirit of peace and of prosperity has found permanent rest in your lives: spiritually, physically, emotionally, mentally, socially, and financially. Whatever you take from today, remember this: God cannot lie. He has already worked things out for you. His promises will happen. Stay in with a heart of faith. Believe in Him with all your heart. Trust Him where you cannot trace Him. Continue in prayer and meditation. And, leave the enemy to God. He knows just what to do. You are blessed. Now go...and be a blessing!
©2019. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.