Archive for March, 2014


As Paul was coming to the close of his letter to the people of Corinth, he gave some basic instructions. One small verse spoke volumes, both at the time, and still today. “Do everything in love.” – (I Corinthians 16:14)

 

What would that actually look like? If EVERYTHING we said and did was motivated by love, imagine the peace in our households, our neighborhoods, our churches and beyond… We need not look too far to find evidence of how a life lived this way, practically played out. Jesus was our perfect example of doing everything in love. When He approached people, He loved them where they were. They felt His acceptance, and found His love brought life, healing and opportunity that they had never known. Christ’s ability to love through all that He said and did, brought life where it had not previously been found.

 

The very same power that equipped Jesus to “do everything in love”, dwells in the hearts of all who believe. We too have the capacity, through Christ, to “do everything in love”. It is merely a matter of surrender and ongoing dependence. Have we surrendered all that we are unto Him? Do we depend on Him daily, in all things and at all times, to be our help and our hope? Each of us are a work in progress; moving toward our heavenly home. The more we invest in our relationship with Christ, the more readily we will respond in love. All that we do is a reflection of Him who dwells in us. May we be a radiant reflection, as we love well.

When early we rise,Do Everything in Love

may our eyes fix above;

as we work and play,

may all be done in love.

When we interact,

let our deeds point above;

and grace guide each word,

as we speak too, in love.

When trials do come,

let our hearts get rid of;

all doubt and all fear,

and hold fast to His love.

As day draws to close,

may all praise point above;

for another day,

He’s granted by His love.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are LOVE. Thank You that because You sent Your Son, You made the way for us to draw near and know Your perfect love, personally. Thank You that You equip and empower us to move in love in all that we say and do, if only we are willing. Forgive us for attempting to rely on our own strength rather than Yours, and help us to trust You more so that we may do all things in Your love. Lead us and guide us to love as You love. May many come to know You as the Lover of their soul, and know the hope that is held forever in You. Be exalted through our love. Amen.

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

When times are good, be happy. – Ecclesiastes 7:14

 

The grace of God has the power to take the most sinful of mankind, cleanse us from all that we have ever done, and use us for His glory, to touch lives and transform communities. Paul was a perfect example of God’s generous grace. Prior to his transformation, Paul persecuted people who followed Christ. He purposefully pursued them, and sought to punish, all who were a part of “The Way”. However, once Paul had a personal encounter with Christ, he was transformed. All the passion he had placed into pursuing the punishment of Christians, he then spent on spreading the gospel of truth.

 

“For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them – yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” – (I Corinthians 15:9-10)

 

Paul recognized all that he had been forgiven, and was a very humble man. That being said, he also recognized the power of God’s grace working in and through him, and did not negate the precious power of the Lord. Paul did not see himself as worthless, but rather recognized that his value was found through his redemption, and by the grace of God, he had purpose and was pursuing its fulfillment with his whole heart.

 

Regardless of past,The Glory of Gods Grace

His grace is enough;

to wipe away sin,

cover each of us.

He grants us fresh start,

empowered by grace;

walks beside us still,

for all of our days.

His power given,

to all who receive;

what He is granting,

to trust and believe.

Rise up in power,

for He has erased;

the sins of our past,

God’s love fills that space.

Know that He’s working,

in our hearts and minds;

trust He will use us,

to serve all mankind.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us so much that You forgive ALL of us, regardless of what we have done, if we come to You and confess that we need You, and believe that You are the only way. Thank You that Your grace is enough, even for the worst of us. Thank You that You use ALL who are willing and available, for Your glory. Forgive us for thinking that we are not good enough, or that Your grace is somehow not enough to cover us. Teach us to embrace the grace that You provide, and lead us to follow You all of our days. Help us to hear You clearly, and obey readily. May many come to know You as the Savior of their lives, and may they too, embrace the grace that You alone provide. Be glorified through how we love those around us, just as You love us. Amen.

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

Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.

– 2 Corinthians 3:5

 

“For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.” – (I Corinthians 14:33)

 

Though this verse is given as instruction in the context for holding worship services in the church, if we are living our lives as an ongoing act of worship before Him, I imagine that the same principles are meant to be applied throughout our daily walk with Him. When we exercise the gifts that the Holy Spirit has given, we are meant to do so in harmony with one another. Chaos should not reign, for God is not given the opportunity to work among us as He intended, when the world we operate in is a constant whirlwind. When we slow down enough to allow His peace to reign, it permeates our perimeters and is passed on to those around us.

 

After one of my busiest weeks of the year so far, this is a timely reminder. Though I have protected my precious early mornings all week, the succeeding hours each day, were swamped. I know there will be weeks where the constant chaos is nearly unavoidable, but as much as I can help it, I need to be intentional to schedule down time – time where life is slowed down and order is restored, and time to intentionally connect and foster growth in those around me, particularly my progeny. They too have gifts that God is growing in them, and need safe and supportive opportunities to operate in utilizing what they have been given. God is full of grace, and He readily provided places of peace, even in the chaotic spaces. During the most important gymnastics meet of our season, a sweet friend showed up with her son, and sat smiling in the stands for quite some time. Throughout the craziness of our final JV meet yesterday, my fantastic team of coaches rallied together and lightened the load that I so often try to carry on my own. His peace provides order, and He showed me yet again, that He is a God of peace.

 

May we go through each day,A God of Peace

in pursuit of the Lord;

as we seek after Him,

His sweet peace He’ll afford.

As we focus on God,

together or alone;

steer clear of disorder,

honor Him on the throne.

In worship, speak only,

if the meaning’s made known;

we’re meant to encourage,

point to the Lord alone.

Let our lives model peace,

even when chaos reigns;

for His grace is with us,

let our whole life proclaim.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us so much, that You sent Your Son, so that we could have peace and order in Your holy presence. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit that dwells within the hearts of all who believe, and grants us peace. Forgive us for allowing chaos to reign in our lives and in our hearts, and help us to protect Your place as the God of ALL. Teach us to trust You in all things and at all times, so that we may surrender ALL unto You. Lead us to love as we are loved, and may Your peace in us, pass on to all those around us. May many come to know You as their Savior and King, as we operate in obedience to all that You ask of us. May the words of our mouth and the meditations of our heart be pleasing unto You. Amen.

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

And the Lord said, “I will cause all of my goodness to pass in front of you.” – Exodus 33:19

 

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.”

– (I Corinthians 13:1-3)

 

Paul was speaking to the people of Corinth. The point Paul was driving home, is that no spiritual gift is of any value, if it is not utilized in love. If the purpose for our actions (our exercising of our spiritual gifts) is not to build up the body as we love the Lord, there is no point. It is love that makes the gifts that God gives, useful. His love is available to everyone. Though we all have different gifts, we all have the same God, who loves each of us with His everlasting, sacrificial, unconditional love. We cannot earn it, we must choose to receive that which is available before us. As we choose His love, we are supplied to love others as He loves us.

 

If we speak out,Above All Else Love

but have not love;

the sound’s in vain,

not for God above.

If we foretell,

what God reveals;

yet have not love,

its value’s repealed.

If we give all,

to them with none;

yet have not love,

our reward is done.

If we suffer,

for the Lord’s sake;

yet have not love,

it’s all a mistake.

All that we do,

all that is done;

must be in love,

unto everyone.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that above all, You give us and value love. Thank You that the gifts You give us to encourage and build up the body, are only meant to be used if they are fueled by Your love. Thank You that it is Your love that makes our actions and gifts useful, and that Your love is available to all of us. Forgive us for thinking that we don’t have enough to offer, or for doing anything that was not fueled by Your love. Teach us to trust You completely, and let Your love lead us in everything that we say and do. May many come to know Your great love, as we love others as You love us. Be glorified as we love, above all else. Amen.

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

He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. – Proverbs 11:25

 

Together, we are the body of Christ. Not one of us, on our own, possesses all that is needed to effectively do all that the Lord longs to do through His people. However, when we are united in purpose, collectively, the combination of gifts and grace that have been granted by God, are all that we need to effectively accomplish that which He calls us to do. (see I Corinthians 12:12-24)

 

We are not meant to devalue either our own gifts, nor those of another; nor are we meant to exalt that which has been given to us by God. Instead, He calls us to utilize that which He has given, for His glory – united in purpose. Also, we are meant to be aware of those around us. If one is suffering, we ought to sit beside them, and if another is honored, we are to rejoice with them. (see I Corinthians 12:25-26)

 

“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” – (I Corinthians 12:27)

 

May we seek to serve,To Be the Body

with all of our hearts;

utilize the gifts,

that the Lord imparts.

Together as one,

the body of Christ;

each filling our role,

willing sacrifice.

See every gift,

as one from the Lord;

no room for envy,

nor pride to afford.

If someone suffers,

come close and be near;

if one is honored,

stand with them to cheer.

We are His body,

we each play a part;

all of us needed,

hands, feet, mouth and heart.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us so much that You made each of us unique, with different gifts and talents to use for Your glory. Thank You that despite our differences, we can come together and be united in purpose for You. Thank You that unity does not mean duplicate drones, but rather a beautiful varied collection that can come together to seek and serve You. Forgive us for thinking that we do not have enough to offer, or for thinking that someone around us has something better. Help us to recognize that each gift is a blessing from You, meant to build up the body. May we celebrate the gifts You give, and come along side those who are suffering. Grant us wisdom and grace to best know how to love as You love us. May many come to know You as their Savior and King. Be honored through our every word and deed. Amen.

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

The joy of the Lord is your strength. – Nehemiah 8:10

 

 

At the end of his life, when the Israelites had entered into the promise land, Joshua reminded the people of the Lord’s ongoing faithfulness. After reviewing all that God had done, Joshua told them that they had to make a choice. Choose to serve the Lord with all that they are, or walk away. “If you decide that it’s a bad thing to worship God, then choose a god you’d rather serve – and do it today. Choose one of the gods your ancestors worshiped from the country beyond The River, or one of the gods of the Amorites, on whose land you’re now living. As for me and my family, we’ll worship GOD.” – (Joshua 24:15, The Message)

 

Each one of us comes to a point in life where we must choose whom we will serve. We might not consciously make the choice, but we either choose God, or we choose the things of this world. Where our priorities lie, are excellent indicators as to where our heart is aligned. Are we serving God, or self?

 

Look all around,Whom Will You Serve

miracles made known.

Whom will you serve?

Is your heart your own?

One way brings life,

the other, sure end;

are you willing,

on Him to depend?

Great is the price,

to trust and obey;

yet far greater,

our promised one day.

Presence for now,

hope for forever;

He will not leave,

or forsake, ever.

For me, it’s clear,

there’s no turning back;

I’ll serve the Lord,

wherever I’m at.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You give us the freedom of choice. Thank You that You love us so much, that You give us a free will, and You are willing to allow us to walk our own way. Thank You that You receive us with open arms when we are ready to run to You, and that You embrace us and cover us with Your grace. Forgive us for thinking that there is any other way to live, aside from total surrender to You. Teach us to trust You completely in all things and at all times. May we love and serve with all that we are, just as You do for us. Let those who are looking, find the peace of Your presence and the hope that is held in You alone. May our every word and deed reflect Your radiance. Be exalted, Lord God. Amen.

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

For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. – I Peter 2:19

 

 

 

 

Temptation is a funny thing – the longer we learn to stand strong against it, the more subtle it becomes. All of us are and will continue to be tempted. It is a matter of how we choose to face that which lies before us, that will determine whether or not we will overcome that which is luring us away from God’s very best for us.

 

“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” – (I Corinthians 10:13)

 

Despite society’s state of seeming moral decay, there are no temptations that are new to mankind. Everyone has to face some sort of dilemma and make a choice. Many who have gone before us, have faced and overcome the same sort of obstacles. God will grant us all that we need to resist every temptation under the sun. Wisdom is also granted by God, to recognize people, places and situations that tempt us to succumb to sin. We must steer clear of such spaces. Choose what is right. If we seek God, and His help, asking Him to guide us to friends whom will help us resist temptation, rather than fall into it, He will be faithful to answer. Lastly, run from settings where sin is inevitable. Why subject oneself to testing that is unnecessary and foolish?

 

Temptations come,To Turn from Temptation

to all mankind;

God is faithful,

to help toe the line.

We must seek Him,

for His help, ask;

to overcome,

never a small task.

Flee from wicked,

resist what’s known;

seek God and friends,

don’t just face alone.

Seek His wisdom,

ask for His grace;

stand firm in Christ,

there’s no safer space.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our faithful and present help, always. Thank You that we will not be tempted beyond what we can bear, and that You will always provide a way out for us. Forgive us for not heeding Your warnings, and for ignoring Your still small voice, when we have given in to temptations. Teach us to be tender to Your voice, and not only quick to hear, but immediate to obey. May we overcome temptations that are placed before us, and walk victorious in You. Let our love lead those who are looking, straight into Your loving arms. May many come to know You, personally, as their salvation and safety. Be glorified in our every word and deed, as we flee from temptation and stand strong in all that You are asking. Amen.

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

May God Almighty grant you mercy. – Genesis 43:14

The song Overcomer, by Mandisa, came to mind as I was finishing up.  Please click the title to enjoy!  🙂

 

 

“…I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.  I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” – (I Corinthians 9:22b-23)

Paul is telling us a plethora of important principles in but a brief statement.  First, we must find common ground with those around us.  That does not mean we are to partake or indulge in sinful stuff, but rather we must take the time to invest in the lives of those around us, and love them well, where they are at, if we ever hope to have a voice in sharing what matters from our own hearts.  Second, we cannot have a know-it-all attitude.  Humility is the only way we will ever be heard.  Another necessary element in the process is to assure those around us that they are accepted, right where they are.  There are no requirements of “cleaning up” to come to Christ, but rather it is a matter of a sincere heart that is seeking Him.  We must be sensitive to the needs and concerns of those around us, and do what we can, practically, to help meet their needs.  When there is a relationship of trust established, opportunities to share what Christ has done for us personally, will be presented; we need only be available and willing to share.

(Italics  above are paraphrased from NIV footnotes for 9:22-23)

To find common ground,Purple flower

we need open our eyes;

take time to invest,

in other people’s lives.

For if we’re not known,

why would they lend an ear?

No one will listen,

’til another draws near.

We must first listen,

hear each heart and each voice;

notice what’s needed,

sincere service our choice.

When we invest time,

and let love be our choice;

our heart will be heard,

despite chaos and noise.

Let Love lead the way,

be faithful to the Lord;

people will notice,

His light can’t be ignored.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You came and showed us the way to love others well.  Thank You that You came near to all, and made everyone who came near feel accepted and loved.  Thank You that You were always concerned about the needs of those who came, and touched lives as You transformed hearts.  Thank You that You sent Your Spirit, so that we too, have the capacity to love, accept, help, and share in such a way, that people may see You.  Forgive us for not investing time, or not being sensitive to those around us.  Help make us aware of the needs around us, so that we might be Your hands and heart to those who need Your touch, or word of encouragement.  May we learn to find common ground with everyone we meet, and allow You room to move as You see fit.  May many come to know You as their Savior and King.  Be exalted in everything we say and do.  Amen.

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

They will celebrate Your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of Your righteousness.

– Psalm 145:7

In Chapter eight, of I Corinthians, Paul is addressing the concerns brought before him regarding whether or not people should eat certain things.  This particular passage is pointing to food that has been sacrificed to idols, yet it can be applied to numerous things within our Christian walk that may be permissible for some, yet a stumbling block for others.

Paul’s response was: “Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that we all possess knowledge.  Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.  The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know.  But the man who loves God is known by God.” – (I Corinthians 8:1-3) The Message words it this way: “The question keeps coming up regarding meat that has been offered up to an idol: Should you attend meals where such meat is served, or not?  We sometimes tend to think we know all we need to know to answer these kinds of questions – but sometimes our humble hearts can help us more than our proud minds.  We never really know enough until we recognize that God alone knows all.”

It appears that in these areas of gray, where God has not given specific instructions across the board for all people, it is not a matter of worldly wisdom, but rather of wisdom provided by God, as we seek Him for answers.  He will direct our steps and lead us in what is and is not permissible for us individually, and will heed warning if our freedom in an area may be a stumbling block around another believer.  Our job is to love God and love people.  If we are loving God with all that we are, we will listen to Him, and will seek to safeguard the hearts of those around us, even if it means not participating or partaking in something for a time, to encourage those whom it may hinder.

Knowledge puffs up,Dew and Dandilion

pride leads to a fall;

yet love, builds up,

it overcomes all.

Those who seek God,

find wisdom and grace;

and learn to give,

the Lord proper place.

Answers will come,

if love is our goal;

to reflect Christ,

and actions extol.

Let not freedom,

be what matters most;

but rather, love,

to the Lord, draw close.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that true wisdom comes from You.  Thank You that though many things are permissible, not all things are beneficial.  Thank You that You provide guidance to help us know the difference, if we are willing to seek You.  Thank You that Your love made way for us to enter into a personal relationship with You.  Forgive us for our foolish pride, and help us to seek all wisdom from You.  Teach us to trust You more, so that we are ever aware of what Your Spirit is whispering to our heart.  May we love with all that we are, and may many lives be touched as a result.  Let hearts be transformed and families filled with faith in You.  Be glorified through all that we say and do.  Amen.

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

For the Lord your God will bless you, … and your joy will be complete. – Deuteronomy 16:15

Few of us are called to formal full-time ministry positions as an occupation.  However, each one of us are all called to serve and be a witness, wherever we are, regardless of our title or position.  We can show His love to those around us as we teach children, manage households, check groceries, pick up garbage, sell insurance, prepare and serve meals, enforce the law, volunteer and so on.  Our occupation does not limit how God can utilize us for His glory, right where we are, currently.

“Nevertheless, each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him and to which God has called him.” – (I Corinthians 7:17)

“Each one should remain in the situation which he was in when God called him.” – (I Corinthians 7:20)

“Brothers, each man, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation God called him to.” – (I Corinthians 7:24)

When repetition occurs in scripture, I tend to take notice.  Three times Paul said nearly the same thing to the people of Corinth.  Though his words were in the specific context of marriage, I believe it applies to every area of our lives.  God will use us wherever we have been called, right now, not when we obtain a certain status or position.  What He calls us to, He will use us to work through, if we are willing and available to be obedient to whatever He asks of us.  There are days when it seems impossible that He could utilize me to reach another, yet it is in those spots of the strongest struggle, that His strength is shown and progress is made known.  May we trust Him where we are, and be open to opportunities to touch lives as we love as He loves us.

Each of us called,Bloom Where We're Planted

to serve where we are;

no need to wait,

He’s brought us this far.

Not by our strength,

but rather, by His;

trust Him to lead,

He’ll do what He says.

In all we do,

to God, let it be;

we too were bound,

’til He set us free.

Let His love lead,

and His Spirit guide;

with hearts open,

His peace realized.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to the spaces where we are, even when they don’t always make sense.  Thank You that You are our strength in the struggle and our help and hope.  Thank You that You use us for Your glory, regardless of our lot in life, if we are willing to serve You.  Forgive us for thinking we have to reach a certain position or knowledge base, or for being fearful of mankind.  Teach us to trust You to give us wisdom, words and all that we need, to love and serve, wherever we are called to be.  May we touch lives and transform communities through faithfully serving where we are called, and may all glory and honor be given to You.  Thank You that You love us where we are, yet continue to grow us more deeply in You.  Amen.

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

Father, I thank You that You have heard me. – John 11:41

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