Worthy of Worship

photo by Free Republic

“In a loud voice they sang: ‘Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” – Revelation 5:12

All of heaven rejoices in recognition of the remarkable redemption that has been given to all who believe, through the sacrifice of our Savior on the hill called “the Skull”.  The Son was slain in our place, and then presented with all power, wealth, wisdom, honor, glory, praise and strength, supplied by God alone.

Just as is done in heaven, we ought to “sing out” strong our powerful praise for He who grants us great grace and gives the undeserved gift of eternity with Him.  Our song ought to be audible not only by our words, but by how we live our lives in love.

Does my life sing praise?

Is His light lifted high by my behavior?

Some days, it seems that my song is merely a minute hum, rather than a song that soars as it is sung in strength.  There are other days, however, where I feel as though I cannot stay silent and must allow the hope in my heart to be heard.  Thankfully, He is not dependant on our fickle feelings, and fuels the faithful to forge forward as we grow in trust in Him.  Each new day with Him, allows the song to be sung a little louder.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You alone are our reason to sing.  Thank You that our acts of worship and songs of praise are always audible to Your ever-hearing heart.  Forgive us for not always allowing Your heart to be heard through our actions or attitudes.  Teach us to sing songs of praise to You, through everything that we say and do.  May our life song supply others with the strength to seek You, our loving Savior.  Amen.

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

Stripping Away the Stone

“I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.  Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.  They will be my people, and I will be their God.” – Ezekiel 11:19-20

photo by Tigresblanco

If we choose to turn to God, He will change our heart.  He will remove the hard, fortified exterior that repels what is meant to be received, and will replace it with true tenderness that turns to trust as He touches the tough places.  As the heart is changed, both the desire and the ability, by His Spirit, to obey all He asks – increase.  When we give Him our heart and allow Him access to all, He calls us His kids and we come to call Him “Abba Father“, or Daddy God.

As the stone shell is slowly and safely stripped away, a healthy heart that is ready to receive and return to others all the glorious gifts that God is granting, emerges.  He doesn’t wait for us to have it all together.  Rather, He is ready to redeem each time we ask Him earnestly.  He changes our heart and then grants us the grace to follow His good and perfect plan that He has placed before us; ever encouraging, equipping, correcting and directing, until the day we see Him face-to-face.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You unite our hearts to Yours, removing all that divides us from Your deity.  Thank You for Your patience and willingness to change that which hinders us from hearing You.  Teach us to trust You more, as we are careful to keep Your commands.  Help us to embrace our role as Your people and to give proper glory to You, our God.  May our undivided hearts hold all that You have for us, and may we be willing vessels for Your love to flow through.  Amen.

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

Christ Corrects the Called

“Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline.  So be earnest, and repent.” – Revelation 3:19

photo by semwired

“The people I love, I call to account – prod and correct and guide so that they’ll live at their best.  Up on your feet, then!  Run after God!” – (The Message)

Just as loving parents correct and redirect their children, providing boundaries and parameters for right living, so does our Heavenly Father with us – His sons and daughters.  When He brings our bumblings before us, we need to whole-heartedly repent, so right relationship with our Redeemer may again be restored.

His love for us is displayed through discipline.  If He did not love us, He would allow us to keep playing with fire, by which we will ultimately be burned.  Rather, in love, He reminds us of the ruin that will come if we remain in our rebellious state.  He seeks to save us from ourselves, but we must embrace both His encouragement and His discipline.  Both are designed to build us up before Him, and to restore right relationship with Him.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that because of Your great love for us and Your deep desire for us to spend all of eternity with You, You rebuke and discipline us; calling us to repent so that we will not be ruined by our own rebellion.  Lead us, Lord, to earnestly seek You as our Source of both direction and correction, so that we do not stray from the straight and narrow path.  Teach us to hear Your heart and humble ourselves before You, admitting the errors in our ways, and our desperate need for Your guidance and direction.  Thank You for loving us so lavishly that we may lean on and learn from You, even as You discipline and redirect our steps.  May our earnest seeking and honest repenting encourage others to trust You to help turn them from the err in their ways too.  Amen.

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

Ears to Hear

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.  To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.” – Revelation 2:7
Four times, the very same sentence appears in chapter two of Revelation: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (vs. 7,11,17 & 29)  Any time there is repetition in scripture, I tend to take notice.  If we listen and obey (overcoming all obstacles), we will be given the right to eat from the tree of life in God’s very presence in paradise.  This promise presents provision that we who listen and obey, will gain all that He has been preparing for us, when we arrive at the entrance of eternity.
If we are to truly hold the hope of heaven in our heart, we must carefully listen to the call of Christ, by His Spirit, so that we are made certain of all truth revealed by our Redeemer.  To obey, to overcome all that might get in the way of our own obedience, we must be still before our Savior, as He’s granting us ears to hear Him, and a heart to understand.  The heart can only hold hope when His truth is written on the walls within.  Without Him, we are weak and deaf to all of His deity that directs our very path to the promise of paradise with our Provider.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Dear Heavenly Father, please help our hearts to hear all that You are speaking to our ears.  As we hear, help us to obey all that You are asking.  Teach us to trust Your truth and forever hold the hope of heaven in our hearts.  Grant us Your ongoing, unending grace, so that we may passionately pursue the path You place before us, until our final day when we at last see You face-to-face.  May our faith, fueled by Your favor, lead us on the narrow road to permanent paradise in Your presence.  Help us to be a people that not only hold hope, but ones that are swift to share by Your Spirit.  Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Morning Meetings

“Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You.  Show me the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul.” – Psalm 143:8

photo by Jones Design Company

“If You wake me each morning with the sound of Your loving voice, I’ll go to sleep each night trusting You.  Point out the road I must travel; I’m all ears, all eyes before You.” – (The Message)

I have a choice each day that lies before me.  If I rise early to seek Him, the sweet sound of His voice sings softly to me through scripture.  The better I know Him and His voice, the more thorough my trust and deeper my love for the Lord.  His love never fails, therefore, He alone is worthy of all my trust.  As I ask, He is faithful to show me the way that I am to go, and He encourages and empowers my soul to keep seeking Him and His will for my life.

He is my lifeline, and daily, I must keep clear the opportunity for communication.  He is ever-present and always ready to speak – it is I who must silence myself, seek Him, and listen; for He is faithful to speak to a heart that is still before Him.  It is His joy and delight to dwell in His children.  He is not pushy nor invasive; rather He lovingly waits to be invited in.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You meet me fresh every morning, granting me grace so that I might hear Your heart and more deeply place my trust in You.  Thank You that Your love never fails; not even when I falter.  May I again surrender my soul unto You, as You are faithful to lead me lovingly in the way I am meant to go.  Allow my obedience to be a fragrant offering to You and the sweet scent of salvation to a world in need.  Amen.

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

Remaining Reverent

“He made the earth by His power; He founded the world by His wisdom and stretched out the heavens by His understanding.” – Jeremiah 51:15

“By His power He made the earth.  His wisdom gave shape to the world.  He crafted the cosmos.” – (The Message)

How can we even question the existence of God, when all of creation clearly confesses the craftsmanship of our Creator?

To sit so small

in the hollow of a huge canyon,

to gaze heavenward

beneath the countless stars hung in the sky –

I need only to inhale

to be reminded of the Source of my every breath.

All of creation testifies

to the Truth that turns trouble into trust.

With His power, wisdom and understanding, there is nothing our God cannot do!

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that the evidence of Your existence and the passion for Your people is everywhere.  Forgive us for not slowing down enough to truly take in the magnificence of all that You have made.  Teach us to treasure all that is around us, and to give all glory to You, God, for all that You have created in and for Your kids.  May we ever delight as Your sons and daughters, in the glorious display of Your deity all around us.  Glory to You, God, for Your goodness is a gift we have been given.  Amen.

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

The Greatest Love of All

photo by Robin @ Heart of Wisdom

“And this is love: that we walk in obedience to His commands.  As you have heard from the beginning, His command is that you walk in love.” – 2 John 1:6

We are called to walk in obedience to His commands.  His commands, as they have been from the beginning, can be summed up in this: we are to love God and love one another.

Though a simple statement, it is not always easy to do.  Loving God, because He first loved us, is more easily obeyed than the latter.  To return love to One who loves us, is a rather natural response.  However, to love those who hate, persecute, defile, slander use or abuse, is an entirely different animal.  To love where we are loathed is only possible if we are powered by our Provider.  He helps point out the plank in our own eye, so that we may see past the sin against us, and become aware that we too, hurt those around us.

I have found that what helps me most, when it comes to loving the “less loveable”, is that as I ask for His eyes to see them, I am made aware of the awful aches that fuel the less than fantastic behaviors and attitudes of my adversaries.  As I allow His heart to guide my sight, I find that my heart softens toward them, and I am empowered to forgive and extend kindness, fueled by my Father’s lavish love toward me.

No, this does not mean we are to leap into the lion’s den and expect not to get eaten, rather it is an exhortation to be open to hear what He is asking.  How am I meant to show His love to others today?

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we are equipped to extend love because of the enormous love You have for us; as You did not withhold even Your own Son, so that we might know Your love, and lavish the love You’ve given, on the lonely and the broken before us.  Forgive us for withholding love, as You do not withhold love from us.  Teach us how to love like You, so that our world in need may come to know You – the greatest Love of all.  Amen.

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

Answers As We Ask

“Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” – Jeremiah 33:3

photo by UnCollege.org

God is our Source for understanding the unknown.  When we come before Him and ask, He is faithful to answer, as He desires to reveal to us more and more of His heart and His plan for His people.
Incredibly, in my experience, healing happens as He reveals more of His massive heart for me.  Revelation paves the way for restoration.  How can a heart help but heal as it hears more and more of what He has for us, both here and in heaven?
Not only does He hear us and impart new insight, but He walks beside us and dwells within us, as He whispers His words to our hearts and minds.  When we become weighed down by the woes of the world, He picks us up, cradles us close, and He carries us until we again are aware of His equipping and empowering to move forward for Him – as we encourage one another in His love.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we call on You, You answer, and You grant us new insight and understanding in areas where we were previously unclear.  Teach us to ask and to listen as we draw near.  Grant us hearts to hear all that You long to reveal to us as Your children.  May each new insight inspire us to dig deeper and declare boldly all that You are and all that You have done for all who believe.  Lead us Lord, to love as You love us.  Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Greater is He

“You dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” – I John 4:4

God, who has overcome all that would come against us, calls us His kids, granting us the authority to overcome anything that attempts to alter our assurance in Him.

photo by 10000 Birds

Romans 8:37 reminds us that “in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”  In fact, all of Romans eight reassures us of our role as we live our lives as His children of light.  Because His light lives in us, darkness cannot overshadow.  Where there is light, darkness dominates no more.

Though there is suffering and struggle that come against us, we need not fear, because He who is in us is far greater than all that attempts to come against us; and we know we will ultimately remain standing when our hope and rest are in Him.
Our hope and assurance are held in the hands of our Heavenly Father.  We are free as we find our faith in Him.  He loosens all that binds us, and makes way where there seems to be no way.
If our God is for us, who can come against us?  “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38-39
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You who have overcome the world, chose to come close, die for us, dwell in us, and call us Your children.  Thank You that as Your kids, equipped and empowered by Your Spirit, we are capable of overcoming all of our opposition.  Teach us to take hold of the authority that we have in You, so that we may illuminate the darkness for what it is, and move mightily in love, so that Your will be done.  Let the light in us lead others to Your loving arms.  Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Let Love Lead

“Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” – I John 3:18

photo by Breathing through all

“My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love.” (The Message)
Real love, that which is a precious gift from God, requires not words to be eloquently spoken, rather it is an outward expression of our inward conviction, in action.  Love is a verb.  It is alive and active – ever aware of the need around us, ready to step in and choose love.
To love as the Father loves us, we must view the world through Love’s lens.  If we could only see people through our Papa’s eyes, we would not hesitate to give all that we have – our time, our encouragement, our resources, ourselves – to touch lives and transform communities in His Name.  The world knows not what love really is, and unless we, in whom Love resides, walk beside and allow His loving light to shine through us, will remain in darkness.
Let us not use words lightly, nor act without asking to be equipped with His heart for others, lest we do more damage than good.
He, who loved us with His very life, wants us also to set aside self, so that we may live as vessels, ever ready to pour out our hearts and help with our hands so that all who see us, will see Him in us.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You first loved us.  Thank You that Your perfect love for us, Your people, is expressed through actions and in truth.  You don’t just talk about love, You are love!  Forgive us for being as resounding gongs, rather than vehicles moving forward to deliver the delight of Your generous and lavish love to the broken.  Teach us to practice real love.  May our outward expression of our inward conviction cover all who come near with the care Christ gave at the cross.  Let our lives in action be a living extension of Your eternal love that lasts.  Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present