Peace and Gratitude

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. – (Colossians 3:15, NIV)

Let the peace that Christ gives control your thinking. It is for peace that you were chosen to be together in one body. And always be thankful. – (Colossians 3:15, ERV)

Let your hearts fall under the rule of the Anointed’s peace (the peace you were called to as one body”, and be thankful. – (Colossians 3:15, VOICE)

We are called to be the body of Christ together in peace. When we allow gratitude to rule our thinking, Christ’s peace reigns in our hearts and we are empowered to peacefully be together as one. Peace among the body does not mean that we are all exactly alike, but it instead means that we appreciate and honor one another’s strengths and perspectives. May we ever seek the Lord with grateful hearts, and allow Him to lead us to be one body, united in purpose.

With grateful hearts,

We are called to peace;

To be the body,

Where love is released.

As we give God room,

To reign in our hearts;

Gratitude rises,

We’re shown how to start.

Honor each other,

Seek to understand;

Let thanks overflow,

Side by side, we stand.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the abundant blessings that You pour out upon us as You have placed us in communities on purpose, with a purpose. Thank You that in You, there is peace, and that You show us how to function together in Your peace. Forgive us for allowing our egos to get in the way. Show us how to allow gratitude to rise and Your peace to permeate all that we say and do. Teach us how to love those around us in ways that unite us in purpose and bind us in Your perfect love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You with grateful hearts and trust You to lead us to be the body in Your perfect peace. Amen.

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

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. – Psalm 107:1

Sacrificial Love

No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends. – (John 15:13, HCSB)

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. – (John 15:13, NIV)

There is no greater way to love than to give your life for your friends. – (John 15:13, VOICE)

Today is a day that many of us are given off as a day to appreciate and celebrate the sacrifices that those who have served or are still serving have made to protect the freedoms that we all know and love. Each person who has served, has willingly given up the comforts and conveniences of home to go and serve to protect our country. Whether foreign or domestic, by land, air or sea, our service members have set their own lives aside to protect ours. This willing sacrifice to serve is a reflection of the love that Jesus has for us. May we take time to honor and appreciate these men and women who have served, and give God the glory for hearts that are willing to serve and protect us all.

No greater a love,

Than one that lays down;

Their own life for ours,

So peace may be found.

Safety, protection,

Willingly they’ve served;

Placed lives on the line,

A love undeserved.

May we choose give thanks,

Appreciate those;

For the sacrifice,

And freedoms we know.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the men and women who have chosen to serve and protect the freedoms we know and appreciate. Thank You that their sacrifice reflects the sort of love that You have for us all, as You paid the ultimate price for our security forever in You. Forgive us for taking our freedoms for granted. Teach us to honor and respect those who have given on our behalf, and give You praise for hearts that willingly serve. Show us how to love like You, so that we might truly reflect the goodness and depth of Your great love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we thank You for Your ultimate sacrifice, and honor those who have sacrificed for the security of our nation. Amen.

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

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. – Romans 12:10

To Live in Peace

…Slander no one, be peaceable and considerate, and always be gentle toward everyone. – (Titus 3:2, NIV)

Tell them not to speak evil of anyone but to live in peace with others. They should be gentle and polite to everyone. – (Titus 3:2, ERV)

Don’t tear down another person with your words. Instead, keep the peace, and be considerate. Be truly humble toward everyone. – (Titus 3:2, VOICE)

Our words ought to be to build others up, not tear down. When we watch our words, we are better equipped to live in peace with those around us. Gentleness toward and consideration of others are ways to walk out our days as God intended. May we ever seek the Lord to lead us in how we use our words, for what exits our mouth is a direct representation of our heart.

Speak out no evil,

Don’t tear others down;

Instead, choose speak life,

Let kindness be found.

Be gentle, humble,

Considerate, kind;

Let peace breathe purpose,

So love’s what we find.

The Lord is faithful,

To lead us with care;

So seek Him always,

As love’s what we share.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are loving and kind, and that You are faithful to lead us with words that give life as we depend on You. Forgive us for the times that we have spoken out with the intent to harm rather than to encourage and build up and extend love. Teach us to speak life to those around us so that they may come to know the magnitude of Your incredible and unending love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we choose to be peaceable, considerate and gentle towards everyone. Amen.

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

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. – Romans 12:18

Approach Boldly

Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time. – (Hebrews 4:16, HCSB)

With Jesus as our high priest, we can feel free to come before God’s throne where there is grace. There we receive mercy and kindness to help us when we need it. – (Hebrews 4:16, ERV)

So let us step boldly to the throne of grace, where we can find mercy and grace to help when we need it most. – (Hebrews 4:16, VOICE)

Because Jesus came and took all of our sin and shortcomings upon Himself, we are able to stand before God to ask for His mercy and grace when we need it. We need not fear that God will grow weary of our asking, for He sent Jesus because He knows our desperate need. This morning, as I am weary and ready for rest this weekend, I know that He will supply the strength and endurance I need to get through today. May we ever approach the throne of grace with boldness, for God welcomes us into His presence and provides what we need as we come before Him.

With mercy and grace,

Is how we are met;

By God, our Father,

Who erased our debt.

The sins of the past,

He’s wiped them away;

And gives us His grace,

To love well each day.

May we keep seeking,

The Lord God above;

Who grants us mercy,

And fills us with love.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to make the way for us to come before You with confidence. Confidence in knowing that we will be heard and helped and held. Forgive us for the times that we have not come before You in our need, for You instruct and remind us to come unto You. Teach us to bring all our burdens before You, for You flood us with Your mercy and love and give us the grace we need to keep moving forward in the direction to which we have been called. Show us how to love those around us well, so that Your goodness, mercy and love are made evident through all that we say and do. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we boldly come before Your throne, grateful for Your goodness and grace that made the way for us to know and depend on You. Amen.

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

“Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28

Walking the Way of Love

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. – (Ephesians 5:1-2, NIV)

You are God’s dear children, so try to be like Him. Live a life of love. Love others just as Christ loved us. He gave Himself for us – a sweet-smelling offering and sacrifice to God. – (Ephesians 5:1-2, ERV)

Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with Him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of Himself to us. Love like that. – (Ephesians 5:1-2, MSG)

Some days, walking the way of love is far more difficult than others. There are moments in the craziness of my days that I am unsure of what love ought to look like. This is where we need Jesus more than ever. We need His eyes to see and His heart to love when we cannot even process the things unfolding before us. Yesterday, an insane incident in one of my classes left me so stunned that all I could do was ask if kids were okay after I had the disrupter step outside. I am very aware of my need for God to lead me in His love in everything I say and do, for I am not equipped on my own to navigate all that comes my way. May we ever seek the Lord and His lavish love, so that we may navigate our days in the light of His love.

Lord, teach us to love,

In all things like You;

Extravagantly,

So Your heart shines through.

For love is given,

Not so that we get;

But rather to show,

All that’s to come yet.

As we choose draw near,

Train us in Your ways;

Make Your love made known,

Throughout each new day.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we are an ongoing work in progress. Thank You that You continue to grow us and transform us to better reflect Your love to those around us. Forgive us for our frustrations and expectations of others. Teach us to see others through Your lens, as we recognize the need for love all around us. Show us how to love those whom You place on our path as You do. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we ever seek You to continue to teach us to love like You. Amen.

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

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

Rise and Shine

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord shines over you. – (Isaiah 60:1, HCSB)

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. – (Isaiah 60:1, NIV)

Arise, shine, for your light has broken through! The Eternal One’s brilliance has dawned upon you. – (Isaiah 60:1, VOICE)

The glory of God lives in all who believe, and His light shines through those who are faithful in pursuing Him. His glory is made evident through our lives as we seek to follow after God and do His will. Just like the candle lighting at a Christmas Eve service, what begins as a single flame, soon can fill an entire space with lights burning bright. That single flame did not lessen, but rather it spread and shined all the brighter. The same is true with us. When we allow the Lord’s light to shine through us, it spreads, and the goodness of God is made visible to those around us. May we ever seek the Lord to shine His brilliant light both upon us and through us, as we rise up in the goodness of His grace and love.

O Lord, may Your light,

Shine bright upon me;

So goodness and grace,

Are made known clearly.

Let all that I do,

And all that I say;

Make love evident,

As I choose Your way.

Lead me and guide me,

With each step I take;

Flood me with goodness,

Each morning I wake.

Ever stay near me,

As I choose abide;

Show me each next step,

With arms open wide.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You shine Your lavish light upon us, and kindle the flame within us, so that we may shine brightly into the world. Forgive us for the times that we have kept the light of Your love hidden, or have withheld love when we were meant to shine. Teach us to trust in You to lead us well, for Your grace and goodness flood our hearts with Your light. Show us how to love those around us like You, so that many may come to understand the depth and breadth of Your overwhelming love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we ever seek You to shine upon us and through us as we navigate each new day. Amen.

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

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. – Matthew 5:16

Devoted

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. – (Colossians 4:2, NIV)

Never stop praying. Be ready for anything by praying and being thankful. – (Colossians 4:2, ERV)

Pray diligently. Stay alert, with your eyes wide open in gratitude. – (Colossians 4:2, MSG)

To devote oneself to God is to be dedicated and committed to communicating with our Creator. It is an intentional act of speaking and listening, by which we give our gratitude and present our petitions to the Lord. We are charged to be watchful and aware, which sets our hearts at the ready as we communicate with and praise God. This purposeful devotion results in constant communion with Christ. He is faithful to meet us each time we draw near, as He hears our prayers and praise, and speaks to our hearts as we wait in silent stillness. May we choose to pray diligently, for as we do, we are aware and equipped, and overwhelmed with gratitude to God.

Because of Jesus,

We have access to;

The Holy Father,

Who blesses, renews.

In this sweet freedom,

We are called to pray;

Commune with the Lord,

Throughout ev’ry day.

Faithful to meet us,

The Lord’s ever near;

Each praise and request,

In love, the Lord hears.

With wonder, seek Him,

Ask and we’ll receive;

Direction and help,

And all that we need.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to come near and commune with You. Thank You that You are but a heartbeat away. Thank You that You hear our petitions and praise, and that You answer us as we call on You. Forgive us for merely presenting a laundry list of requests. Teach us to see all of the reasons we have to praise You as we go about our days. Show us how to love those around us in ways that make Your goodness and love evident. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we continually pray, prepare and praise through our time intentionally spent with You. Amen.

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

I call on You, my God, for You will answer me; turn Your ear to me and hear my prayer. – Psalm 17:6

Seek Now

Seek the Lord while He may be found; call to Him while He is near. – (Isaiah 55:6, HCSB)

So you should look for the Lord before it is too late. You should call to Him now, while He is near. – (Isaiah 55:6, ERV)

Seek God while He’s here to be found, pray to Him while He’s close at hand. – (Isaiah 55:6, MSG)

So turn your attention and seek the Eternal One while it is still possible; call on Him while He is nearby. – (Isaiah 55:6, VOICE)

The thing about this is that God is eternal and we are not. We all have an expiration date that we cannot predict. Our time to seek the Lord is now, and we can call on Him, for He is near. As we pray, we discover His nearness. This is not about being or doing enough, but rather taking the opportunity to get to know the Creator of all, personally. He knows us far better than we know ourselves and has a plan and a purpose for our lives. That being said, God is not pushy or demanding, and He did not create us to be robots. We were each individually designed with gifts and talents and a free will. It is up to us to seek Him to get to know Him. The more we know Him, the more we want to know Him. God’s grace, goodness, kindness and love go far beyond what we can comprehend. When our attention is directed to Him and our focus on being still before Him, we grow in our understanding and our heart grows in our own capacity to love as He loves us. May we ever turn our attention to God and seek Him, for He is faithful to meet us each time we do.

As we seek the Lord,

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

He’s near to be found;

Our time has limits,

Hope in Him is sound.

God is eternal,

On earth, we are not;

Our hope forever,

Granted as He’s sought.

So, turn to Jesus,

Lord God on His throne;

He’s waiting for us,

To make His heart known.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we seek You, You meet us and reveal more and more of Yourself to us. Thank You that we have access to You at all times and in all places. Forgive us for taking Your nearness for granted, or for assuming we will always have more time later to do what ought to be done now. Teach us to seek You with intention; to purposefully sit in Your presence and listen to Your leading. Show us how to love those around us as You do. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You and spend time in Your presence now, for we know not what tomorrow may hold. Amen.

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

Search for the Lord and for His strength; seek His face always. – Psalm 105:4

To Cultivate Good Fruit

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. – (Galatians 5:22-23, HCSB)

But the fruit that the Spirit produces in a person’s life is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these kinds of things. – (Galatians 5:22-23, ERV)

The Holy Spirit produces a different kind of fruit: unconditional love, joy, peace, patience, kindheartedness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. You won’t find any law opposed to fruit like this. – (Galatians 5:22-23, VOICE)

As we nourish our spirits with the goodness of God’s word and spend time seeking Him to teach us and grow us, He cultivates this sort of fruit within us. We discover love and joy, peace and patience, kindness and goodness, faith and gentleness, and our self-control rises up. Though people decide they are opposed to following Christ, I have never met anyone who was opposed to being on the receiving end of the fruit that Christ within us produces. Perhaps the opposition that people feel stems from those who claim to follow Christ, yet do not spend time with Him and give God room to transform them more into His likeness. If none of the Spirit’s fruit is evident, then the soil of the heart is parched and unable to produce the good fruit. May we ever seek the Lord and spend time in His word, for it is through our time with Him, that the soil of our heart is nourished and good fruit is produced to share with those around us.

Lord, help us seek You,

With ev’ry new day;

And grow within us,

Fruit that shows Your way.

Water and nourish,

The soil of our hearts;

As You produce fruit,

Your ways You impart.

Let Your love and joy,

Peace and patience too;

Kindness and goodness,

And faith that is true.

May Your gentleness,

And great self-control;

Show others Your heart,

As You we extol.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that the fruit of Your Spirit is not something that we have to try to grow on our own, but rather is something that You plant within us and cultivate as we continue to come before You to listen and learn. Forgive us for thinking that we can just try to be better and do better, and that somehow, the fruit of Your Spirit will rise up within us. Show us what it is to give You our whole heart so that You can transform us into who You created us to become. Lead us to love as You do, in ways that make Your fruit evident to all. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to continue to grow Your fruit well within us, so that we can extend Your nourishment to those around us. Amen.

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

Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification. – Romans 14:19

Extend Love

Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. – (Philippians 2:3-4, HCSB)

In whatever you do, don’t let selfishness or pride be your guide. Be humble, and honor others more than yourselves. Don’t be interested only in your own life, but care about the lives of others too. – (Philippians 2:3-4, ERV)

Don’t let selfishness and prideful agendas take over. Embrace true humility, and lift your heads to extend love to others. Get beyond yourselves and protecting your own interests; be sincere, and secure your neighbors’ interests first. – (Philippians 2:3-4, VOICE)

Life cannot just be about ourselves. When we are inwardly focused, we become miserable, and end up spreading our misery to others. However, when we take our eyes off of the mirror and begin looking out the window, we see those around us and recognize ways that we have been designed to reach out and to love. This is true in our household, neighborhood, communities, and beyond. When we care about the lives of those around us, our love seems to multiply and joy is discovered in the little things. A simple example of this being applied at home is the way that time yesterday was spent. If I had my way (my own selfish agenda), the day would have been spent taking off and exploring and being outdoors. That being said, my husband had just returned from being out of town all week, and there were things around the house that desperately needed to be done. His military background creates a need in him to have order. My artist brain does not mind a bit of clutter, as long as things are cleanish. The decision to spend several hours cleaning and organizing and purging, was an act of love that spoke clearly to my husband’s “acts of service” love tank. Incredibly, as I saw the appreciation on his face and the peace that settled in his countenance, I was blessed as well. May we ever seek the Lord to lead us to look for ways to love and care for those around us. 

When we take the time,

To pause, look around;

Places to reach out,

Are easily found.

An arm to extend,

Encouraging words;

Help we can offer,

Make the Lord’s love heard.

Instead of just self,

Look out for others;

Find God’s way to love,

And bless each other.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to be “otherly”. Thank You that You showed us what it is to look like through Jesus. Forgive us for the times that we have neglected to do the good that we were designed to do because we were too busy worrying about ourselves. Teach us to look around and to love one another as You intended. Show us how to love in practical and tangible ways, for it is in the simple and everyday acts of love that we can clearly see Your heart. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to lead us in Your love to be extended to those around us in the same way that You so lavishly give unto us. Amen.

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

And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works. – Hebrews 10:24