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If we live our lives focused on rules and regulations, rather than on He who formed us and set our very lives in motion, we become trapped in the trying to do enough in accordance to all that is written by man’s own hand. However, if we invest our heart, mind, soul and strength into seeking God and receiving the grace that He freely offers, we cannot help but pursue doing good. It is in that space of God’s grace, that we find freedom to become who He has called us to be, and we are set free from the chains that once held us captive to sin.

 

For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. – (Romans 6:14)

 

Christ came as the perfect sacrifice so that we would no longer have to make sacrifices for our every sin. Instead, He was the ultimate offering for all that we have ever done, and shall ever do. Because of His amazing grace, we no longer are mastered by sin, but rather may allow our Maker to be our Master, as His reign is done in grace, and His goodness and love lead hearts to repent and return to Him. May we let go of the law that binds us to sin, and embrace His grace as we invite the Lord to be the Master of our lives.

 

Allow not your sin,Answers As We Ask

to master your life;

for living that way,

will just lead to strife.

In Christ we are not,

stuck under the law;

but rather by grace,

to live life we’re called.

Because it’s a gift,

that Christ freely gave;

we’re drawn to repent,

so we can be saved.

Receive what He gives,

as we are set free;

so others may know,

Whom they see in me.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we no longer need to be slaves to sin because You sent Your Son to pay the penalty for ALL. Thank You that when we give our hearts and lives to You, we are ruled by Your goodness and grace, and are compelled to do good, rather than required to do enough or be enough to earn Your favor. Forgive us for trying to do enough or be enough, rather than investing all that we are in our relationship with You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will listen to Your leading and walk obediently wherever You are asking. Lead us to love without limits, and help many to come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek to serve You as You ask us to, as we receive the gift of Your grace that You freely give. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad. – 1 Chronicles 16:31

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us. – (Romans 5:3-5)

 

There is a process of overcoming prior to our becoming all that God intends for us to be. Just as plants need pruning to remove the weight of what is dead to grow to their full height and fruitfulness, so too, do we. Part of our pruning process often involves trials that require perseverance. As we press on and into God, He refines and roots our character firmly in Him. Through the growth process, hope rises, and we become certain of in Whom our hope lies, because God is faithful throughout the process, and His Holy Spirit remains present in us, no matter what comes our way. May we rejoice in the process of overcoming, knowing that through it, we are becoming, all that God intends for us to be. Let hope rise, for His love has been placed in our hearts by the Holy Spirit Himself.

 

Praise through the pruning,Purposeful Prayer

for when it is done;

remaining is stronger,

so battles are won.

As we persevere,

character refined;

hope is given rise,

God’s glory defined.

He pours out His love,

into seeking hearts;

Holy Spirit’s home,

wherever we are.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that though not one of us enjoys suffering, we can rejoice in how You use our trials to produce perseverance, character and hope within us. Thank You that though we may not see the purpose in the tragedies and trials that we face, we can trust that You will use all things for the good of those who love You. Forgive us for our frustrations and fears when we are in the midst of trials, and help us to trust You enough to cling to You, knowing that You will lead us through the overcoming so that we may become more of who You have created us to be. Lead us to love others with the love that You have freely given unto us. May many come into a saving relationship with You, Lord. Be exalted O God, as we persevere in the overcoming, and trust You in our becoming, more of who You have created us to be. Let hope rise, as we are acutely aware of the love poured into our hearts by Your Spirit as we go. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23

“Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.” – (Romans 4:7-8)

 

This freedom of being fully forgiven comes only through faith in Christ. It is not something that we can earn nor somehow convince ourselves is true. As we admit our guilt to God and ask for His forgiveness, He comes close and helps our hearts hold fast to the truth that the guilt is gone because Christ has already paid the price. Often our side of the equation takes much repetition, despite our sins being erased the first time we came before the Lord with repentant hearts. The guilt may cause us to repeat the process of returning again and again to our knees in prayer, asking God to assure us of the truth. Thankfully, the Lord is patient and kind, and He loves us so much that He is willing to remind us each time we come before Him, that we are covered and clean, and that His love for us endures forever. For those who have come before Christ and confessed their transgressions with a repentant heart, He has forgiven. Blessed is what we can be called – for our future is secure, as we know where our hope is held both now and forevermore. May we rise up and remember that our guilt is gone and we are considered blessed as we go forth this day.

 

For those who confess,Forgiveness is Free

their sins to the Lord;

are considered blessed,

by God, we’re adored.

Forgiven and free,

no longer with shame;

for our sins are gone,

through hope in His Name.

All that once caused guilt,

has been wiped away;

the Lord won’t look back,

life starts new each day.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we come to You and confess our sins with repentant hearts, You forgive us and never count our sins against us. Thank You that we are considered blessed, because we are forgiven and renewed in You. Forgive us for returning again and again to that which You have already forgiven, or for not confessing things that are weighing on our hearts. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will bring all before You as it comes. Lead us to love with goodness and grace, just as You so graciously love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, Lord. Be exalted O God, as we walk confidently in the freedom that You have granted us through Your forgiveness and grace, so that we may share the blessing with all who need to see Your face. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Because of the tender mercy of our God, …the rising sun will come to us from heaven. – Luke 1:78

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ. – (Romans 3:23-24)

 

The size of our sin does not determine our outcome. No matter where we have been, we can still come to Christ and be covered by the cleansing of the cross. The grace of God is far greater than the weight of our former ways. When we come to Christ and receive all that He has to offer by inviting Him to be Lord of our lives, He enters in and washes away the shame and stains of what we once were, so that we may become who He is calling us to be. Christ’s sacrifice on the cross redeems all who choose to believe. In Him, we are set free from all that formerly enslaved us to the ways of the world, so that we may walk in the freedom of His love and grace. May we remember the enormity of God’s grace and redemption that was granted to us when we first believed, so that we too, may offer more grace than we think we ought to, to all those around us.

 

Everyone has sinned,Doing Good Mutes Malicious Talk

broken, fallen short;

not done as we should,

unrighteous consort.

Yet Christ entered in,

by His grace He came;

to redeem sinners,

set free in His Name.

O Wonderful One,

we come seek Your face;

lead us in Your ways,

as we run our race.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that though all of us have sinned and fallen short of Your glory, that You justify us freely by Your grace and redeem us through Christ, when we choose to place our trust in You. Thank You for this overwhelming gift of love that is so much more than we can even begin to fathom. Forgive us for taking Your grace for granted, or for forgetting all that You have forgiven. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may be fully aware of both the magnitude of the grace and redemption that we have been granted, and Your power and strength that You offer now so that we may walk in the light of Your truth. Lead us to love others as You so graciously love each of us. May many come into a saving relationship with You, as they come to understand not only their need for a Savior, but the security that is found forever in You. Be glorified O God, as we operate fully aware of the grace and redemption that we have been granted, and move forward in Your power and strength to do all that You call us to do. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine upon us. – Psalm 67:1

To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, He will give eternal life. – (Romans 2:7, NIV)

 

Some people live for God’s glory, for honor, and for life that cannot be destroyed. They live for those things by always continuing to do good. God will give eternal life to them. – (Romans 2:7, ERV)

 

When we live a life invested in Christ, we are compelled to do good. God grants us eternal life for our choosing to live for Him, and allowing Him to lead and guide us. It is not something we earn, but when we are continually seeking Him, we cannot help but respond according to His good and perfect will. May we persist in doing good, as all glory and honor belong to Him who grants us life eternal.

 

A life invested,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAin the will of God,

shall illuminate,

which path we’re to trod.

Seek the Lord’s glory,

let honor be shown;

Christ the eternal,

who sits on the throne.

For His ways are good,

we’ll not be destroyed;

when we live His way,

all hope is employed.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that a life of persistence in doing good for Your honor and glory will not be destroyed. Thank You that we are assured of life everlasting in You. Thank You that our eternity was set in place from the moment we first received Your grace, rather than through our doing a set amount of good. Thank You that doing good is our response to Your goodness and grace. Forgive us for allowing our perspective to become askew, and give us clear vision as to how we can honor You with our life, as You have given unto us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will answer Your every leading. Help us to love and do good to others, even when they are not good to us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, Lord. Be glorified O God, as we persist in doing good to bring glory and honor to Your Name. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Shout aloud and sing for joy. – Isaiah 12:6

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. – (Romans 1:20)

 

The hand of God is evident everywhere. One cannot go beyond the boundary of their own home, before the senses are assaulted with the beauty of creation. All that is seen from the earth to the sky, has been created by the mighty hand of God. Each of us, within us, has a space that knows there is One greater than us, by whom we were created. We have a free will and the choice to either accept or reject the truth; but regardless of our choice, the truth remains.

 

The heavens proclaim His righteousness, and all the peoples see His glory. – (Psalm 97:6)

 

God in His goodness is visible, even to those who are not searching. How much more available is His heart to the world through us? Though God makes His eternal power and divine nature visible through all that He has created; that is only part of the story. Without people willing to share of His Son, who He sent into the world to set us free from our sin and shame, they’d never know the power of Christ’s redemption, nor of the Spirit’s direction. God grants both total forgiveness through the sacrifice of His Son, and guidance and direction for our lives through His Holy Spirit. His invisible qualities are made tangible as we invest our lives and hearts in Him. May we allow the Lord to lead us so that He who is eternal, may be clearly seen and understood by all.

 

Since the dawn of time,sunset (2)

God’s work has been seen;

through hand-painted skies,

to glowing moonbeams.

Wherever we look,

there is evidence;

of One far greater,

than our circumstance.

The heavens proclaim,

of His righteousness;

all see His glory,

through His faithfulness.

Yet, how will they see,

that there is much more;

forgiveness and grace,

Jesus, our Savior?

It is up to us,

to choose listen well;

to do what Christ asks,

and of His truth, tell.

For if we don’t speak,

then how will they know?

Each one needs the chance,

to learn and to grow.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your invisible qualities have been clearly seen through the splendor of all that You have created. Thank You that You did not simply stop with glorious creation, but You sent Your one and only Son to set us free from the bonds of sin in which we had become entangled. Forgive us for not embracing the grace and goodness that You have given, or for keeping quiet when You provide us opportunity to share of all that You have done for us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will go forth boldly, wherever You call us to go. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they can clearly see Your heart through ours. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we observe Your glory all around us and go forth and tell of all that You have done. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. – Psalm 145:8

It is a hard road when blatant opposition is directed at us, individually. The temptation to retaliate either with words or actions, is far greater than the pull to take the high road. However, when we are rooted and established in Christ, we are called to a higher standard. Despite direct assault on our countenance, character, or any other aspect of who we are or what we do, we are directed to do the right thing. This is not to say that we are meant to stand and submit to being someone’s doormat, but rather, when opposition comes, we must choose to do right by God. Rather than retaliation, we are to return kindness for cruelty and silence for slander. Walking away from what we were never meant to be a part of, is also a method of mimicking our Maker. Throughout the gospels, Jesus did each of these, when He stood in the face of opposition. He healed despite disbelief; He kept quiet when He was slandered and spit upon; and He slipped away quietly through the crowd when they intended to harm Him.

 

And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right. – (2 Thessalonians 3:13)

 

This is both a charge and a calling for all who believe. Though we may tire and grow weary of doing the right thing in our own strength, the Lord will lead and equip us to continue to choose to do the next right thing, if we are willing to trust and rely on His leading. Each of us has the choice. We can respond in anger and frustration when opposition comes, or we can model the character of Christ, despite the desires of those who intend to defeat us. May we trust in Him who is more than able to lead and equip us in every situation to choose well, so that we do not grow weary of doing what is right.

 

Let’s not grow weary,Faith and Hope in Action

of doing what’s right;

stand strong in the Lord,

and fight the good fight.

Sometimes in silence,

always staying bold;

for we know the truth,

may justice unfold.

When we’re called to speak,

may truth and grace reign;

so all that is false,

returns to the flames.

Our God is able,

to lead and supply;

us through our trials,

on Christ, let’s rely.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to not grow weary in doing good. Thank You that You do not just call us to do this, but You sent Your Son to show us what it looks like, and Your Spirit to equip and empower us to do the same. Forgive us for our weariness in the fight, especially when opposition seems relentless. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may rise up and return kindness for cruelty, silence for slander, and wisdom to know when to stay, and when to walk away. Lead us to love boldly, just as You so brilliantly and individually love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, Lord. Be exalted O God, as we rely on Your strength, so that we do not grow weary in doing good. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Show me Your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths; …my hope is in You all day long. – Psalm 25:4-5

Yesterday in church, my pastor unpacked Romans 12, verses one through eight. At one point in the process, he jokingly said, I am a colon.” His jest was not to poke fun at any portion of scripture, but rather to draw attention to the fact that though we seldom consider our colon, it is indeed an essential body part. The same is true in the body of Christ. There are those who are highly visible in their giftings and as they operate openly in what God has called them to do, others are aware of their role in the body. However, there are others whom are fulfilling equally important roles that are less visible. If we are choosing to allow the Lord to lead us, and are willing to grant Him access to all so that we may fully operate in the giftings which He has placed within us, then the whole body will benefit, regardless of whether or not our part is visible.

 

Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. – (Romans 12:4-8)

 

As an interesting aside, though the colon is hidden, it removes water, salt, and some nutrients. The bacteria that line the colon help maintain a healthy balance within the body. (WebMD) Likewise, there are those in the body that act as filters, and truly help maintain a healthy balance within the body. Regardless of the role to which we are individually called, we each have a purpose and a position that is meant to edify the body and bring forth the full potential of that which God has for us and those around us. May we each rise up and fulfill the role to which we have been called.

 

We are the body,

#iamacolon

#iamacolon

and each have a role;

if one’s not moving,

the body’s not whole.

Each part is needed,

to work as God planned;

so move forth in faith,

in grace, take a stand.

Allow God to lead,

however He asks;

and trust it is good,

to answer each task.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have uniquely designed each of us to play an equally important role in the body of Christ. Though not all roles are as visible as others, thank You that each one is necessary and valuable for the body to function as You intended. Forgive us for either neglecting the gifts that You have placed within us, or for comparing our role to that of another. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will seek You and allow You to use us as You have equipped us – in whatever way is most beneficial to the body. Lead us to love others well, just as You so perfectly love each of us. May many come into a saving relationship with You, as they too discover that they were uniquely designed with a purpose. Be glorified O God, as we operate in the giftings that You have given unto us. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Answer me, O Lord, out of the goodness of Your love; in Your great mercy turn to me. – Psalm 69:16

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to be a part of a huge community event to raise awareness and support to stop human trafficking in our area. The event was a 5k run/walk, and though my dear friend and I had originally signed up to run, we were recruited to be officials at the start line. It was a powerful experience to see so many from our community come together for the common good. The event that had only around three-hundred participants last year, had grown to nearly a thousand this year. Watching each group, team, family, and individual come up to the corral and prepare to enter the chute, ready to begin their own race with purpose, was a powerful perspective on how God intends us to operate as community.

 

Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me. Set me free from my prison, that I may praise Your Name. then the righteous will gather about me because of Your goodness to me. – (Psalm 142:6-7)

 

Those stuck in the snare of human trafficking are crying out, and in desperate need. They need rescue, and cannot escape on their own. The only way for them to be set free from the prison they have been forced into, is when we rise up and answer what the Lord would ask of us. For some, it is in the seeking. Others have the task of educating and creating awareness of not only the problem, but of how to protect our kids from being lured into the snares of such sickness. Additionally, there are those whom the Lord has gifted with the ability to surround those who have been set free from the prison of such crimes, and care for them so that their minds and hearts may join the physical freedom that they have found. May we each ask of the Lord what we are meant to do, and then walk in obedience to what He is asking.

 

Can you hear the cries,To Break the Chains

of those trapped in chains?

Oh people rise up,

He’s calling our names.

So many are stuck,

enslaved at the hand;

of selfish pursuit,

of the greed of man.

Though they may be strong,

in numbers, we’re more;

for God is our strength,

and He opens doors.

Down with the captors,

and freedom for those;

righteous, come gather,

so goodness is known.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You hear the cries of those who are in desperate need; who need rescue from those who pursue and are too strong for us to fight on our own. Thank You that You set people free from the prisons they have become ensnared in, and You gather the righteous around them so that they may come to know the goodness of Your great love. Forgive us for our ignorance to all that goes on around us, or for our apathy in standing idly by. Teach us to trust You more, so that we are willing to do whatever it is that You would ask of us, and allow You room to move in and through us as You see fit. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they see You through us. May many come into the safety of a lasting relationship with You, as they come to know that true security is found in You. Be glorified O God, as we listen to Your call, and answer all that You ask. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. – James 5:11

For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. – (Psalm 91:11)

 

What a glorious promise to hold! God sees us and is concerned about us in all of our ways. He knows our needs, and He commands His angels to keep watch over us at all times. The Lord never leaves us nor forsakes us, and He provides what is needed so that we may successfully stay the course to which we have been called. Lead us Lord, to operate in confidence, knowing that You have commanded Your angels to guard us, as we walk in Your way.

 

Though we may know not,Gods protection

the angels around;

the Lord sends His guard,

to keep us each sound.

Despite being one,

He sees us alone;

and cares where we are,

though He’s on the throne.

About all our ways,

the Lord is concerned;

He keeps watch of us,

let His grace be learned.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You command Your angels concerning us, to guard us in all of our ways. Thank You that You care about every detail in our lives – both large and small. Thank You that You set us on Your path of righteousness, and supply what we need to safely stay the course. Forgive us for allowing the obstacles and challenges of this life to keep us from fully trusting You. Teach us to grant You every last corner of our heart, allowing You access to all – as You are our safety and and protection, and will never leave us nor forsake us. Lead us to love others well, just as we are loved by You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, Lord. Be exalted O God, as we recognize the remarkable ways that You care for and cover us in all of our ways. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ. – Ephesians 2:4-5

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