Because Love…

Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. – (1 John 4:7, HCSB)

Those who are loved by God, let His love continually pour from you to one another, because God is love. Everyone who loves is fathered by God and experiences an intimate knowledge of Him. – (1 John 4:7, TPT)

My loved ones, let us devote ourselves to loving one another. Love comes straight from God, and everyone who loves is born of God and truly knows God. – (1 John 4:7, VOICE)

We are called and created to love one another. Because God first loved us, when we seek Him and invite Him to rule and reign in our lives, we are equipped and empowered to love those around us. It is up to us to choose to seek Him and allow God to work in and through us so that we may love those around us well. As we grow in our knowledge of God and His perfect love, our desire to love as He does increases. May we ever seek the Lord to grow us and lead us in love, so that we may love one another as God intended.

When God’s our Father,

We learn to love well;

The best example,

Equips us to tell.

Tell of His goodness,

Give lavishly, grace;

Love one another,

The whole human race.

As we seek the Lord,

He transforms our hearts;

Leads us to love well,

Shows us where to start.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You not only call us to love, but You grow us and equip us to love like You as we earnestly seek You. Forgive us for our lack of seeking, or for neglecting to allow You to lead us in love. Teach us to embrace Your goodness and grace so that we may share it with all those around us. Show us how to love each person we encounter as You do. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we continually pour out to others from the abundance that You have poured into us. Amen.

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

This is my command: Love one another as I have loved you. – John 15:12

Love Answers With Action

Little children, we must not love with word or speech, but with truth and action. – (1 John 3:18, HCSB)

My children, our love should not be only word and talk. No, our love must be real. We must show our love by the things we do. – (1 John 3:18, ERV)

Beloved children, our love can’t be an abstract theory we only talk about, but a way of life demonstrated through our loving deeds. – (1 John 3:18, TPT)

My little children, don’t just talk about love as an idea or a theory. Make it your true way of life, and live the pattern of gracious love. – (1 John 3:18, VOICE)

Love is a funny thing. We can say it all we want, but until we see and experience it for ourselves, it is merely a theory that holds little value. God designed us intentionally. Our hearts are created to give and receive love. People have varying ideas as to what love is, for in our broken human condition, the word often becomes skewed and hollow rather than something to embrace, give and receive. Most of us really begin to understand what real love is when it is shown through the actions of others who have no expectation of anything in return. Amazingly, the more we know and experience love, the more we are filled up and ready to love others in the same way. With God, we grow in our understanding of the magnitude of His love for us; a love that gave all so that we might have life in abundance. If we desire to truly love as Christ loves us, we must make love and grace a way of life. God spells out for us what love is and is not. 

Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, it is not boastful, it is not conceited, does not act improperly, is not selfish, is not provoked, and does not keep a record of wrongs. Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. – (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a)

May we ever look to the Lord to lead us to love, not with mere words, but with our every decision, action, and lifestyle.

O Lord let our love,

Be far more than words;

May our actions speak,

Beyond what is heard.

Lead us and guide us,

To love as You do;

Let our very lives,

Give praise unto You.

As we choose love well,

With actions and deeds;

May Your love be clear,

The answer to needs.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have called and created us to love. Thank You that You not only call us to love, but You show us how and You equip us to do so. Forgive us for the times that our words have been hollow or our actions have not been a reflection of the love that You give to us. Teach us to love others as You first loved us. Show us how to live a life of love that makes Your love evident through our every action and deed. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we rely on You to lead us to love well with our lives. Amen.

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

Pursue the greater gifts, and let me tell you of a more excellent way – love. – 1 Corinthians 12:31

Our Strength and Peace

The Lord gives His people strength; the Lord blesses His people with peace. – (Psalm 29:11, HCSB)

May the Lord make His people strong. May the Lord bless His people with peace. – (Psalm 29:11, ERV)

God makes His people strong. God gives His people peace. – (Psalm 29:11, MSG)

I don’t know about you, but I am in a space where God’s strength and peace are necessary for my survival. It has been an incredibly long and challenging school year thus far, and this final stretch prior to our winter break always feels long. Yesterday, I began the day with a fresh spring in my step and peace in my heart after a bit of extra time to rest over the long weekend, and the recognition that there would only be three weeks until a much-needed, longer break. However, by the time we were a few minutes into first period, I felt as if the strength had been sapped and the peace removed. God is with me always, it is just far more difficult to see and feel His presence when things feel tumultuous. Today is a new day. I have hope that things will improve, and the peace in knowing we are a day closer to the holidays. He is good, and I will trust anew for His strength and peace to reign. May we ever seek the Lord for strength and peace, for He is faithful to be near in all things and at all times.

The Lord grants us strength,

To rise and press on;

And provides His peace,

When the days seem long.

Ever He is near,

To love and uphold;

Fill us with new hope,

For His love is bold.

Lead us, Lord Jesus,

With strength and resolve;

Grace to keep going,

As worry dissolves.

No matter our day,

You are always good;

Please fill us anew,

True peace understood.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our strength and our peace, always. Thank You that Your loving kindness is not dependent on our circumstances or what we do or do not do, but rather You are available to all who come to You. Forgive us for our fears and frustrations that zap our strength and steal our peace. Teach us to turn to You for all that we need, for You are faithful always. Lead us to love those around us well, so that we too may extend strength and peace in places where both are difficult to find. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to be our strength and peace as we navigate each new day. Amen.

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

He said, “Don’t be afraid, you who are treasured by God. Peace to you; be very strong!” As He spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, “Let my Lord speak, for You have strengthened me.” – Daniel 10:19

Our Reasons to Praise

Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim His greatness. Let the whole world know what He has done. – (1 Chronicles 16:8, NLT)

Give thanks to the Lord and call out to Him! Tell the nations what He has done! – (1 Chronicles 16:8, ERV)

Thank God! Call out His Name! Tell the whole world who He is and what He’s done! – (1 Chronicles 16:8, MSG)

Having a much needed long weekend reminds my mind and heart of all that I have and the countless reasons I have to give thanks. God is good, even when life’s circumstances are not. I am blessed with family and friends near and far, a roof over my head, working vehicles to get where we need to go and back again, a job, a healthy body, crazy puppies, a church and community to be a part of, and God’s love made tangible through the wonderful ones that He has placed in my life. For all of these things, and so much more, I give thanks. May we ever be intentional to take pause and recognize the reasons that we have to give God thanks, and make His goodness known as we pass on the blessings that we have been given to all those around us.

Give thanks to the Lord,

Choose call on His Name;

He is always good,

As His love proclaims.

Our reasons to praise,

Come from all He gives;

Our hope, peace and love,

The life that we live.

May our lives exclaim,

God’s goodness and grace;

So all too may know,

Of His loving ways.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for all of the ways You bless us, protect us, and pour Your love out upon us and give us peace. Thank You that You are our hope, help and peace. Forgive us for the times that we neglect to recognize Your goodness all around us. Teach us to see the good in all things and to give You thanks for the love that You bring. Show us how to extend the same sort of love to all those around us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give You thanks and praise and tell of all Your wonderful ways. Amen.

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

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His faithful love endures forever. – 1 Chronicles 16:34

Our True Hope

Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations. – (Psalm 100:4-5, NIV)

Come through the gates to His Temple giving thanks to Him. Enter His courtyards with songs of praise. Honor Him and bless His Name. The Lord is good! There is no end to His faithful love. We can trust Him forever and ever! – (Psalm 100:4-5, ERV)

Go through His gates, giving thanks; walk through His courts, giving praise. Offer Him your gratitude and praise His Holy Name. Because the Eternal is good, His loyal love and mercy will never end, and His truth will last throughout all generations. – (Psalm 100:4-5, VOICE)

Because of Jesus, we are able to come before the throne of God. His sacrifice made the way for us to enter His very courts without fear or hesitation, but rather in confident faith that we are known, loved and received however we come. It is the Lord’s great love that reminds us of the countless reasons that we ought to give Him thanks and praise His Name. When we begin to understand what faithful love truly is, we cannot help but give thanks and praise. May we ever enter His courts with thanksgiving and offer Him all of our gratitude for His never-ending faithful love.

Enter God’s presence,

For He’s ev’rywhere;

Loving arms outstretched,

With mercy and care.

In love the Lord waits,

For us to draw near;

Each prayer we offer,

He lovingly hears.

All thanks unto God,

Our Savior and King;

For love, life and hope,

The joys that He brings.

God is our true hope,

In whom we are known;

All thanks unto Him,

Who sits on the throne.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can come to You and enter Your courts, Your very presence, as You welcome us with open arms. Thank You that You love and forgive and draw us unto Yourself with Your overwhelming and unending love. Forgive us for the times that we have not given praise and honor unto You. Every good and perfect gift comes from You, and we ought to recognize and acknowledge the abundant blessings You bring to us all. Teach us to see Your hand in all things, and make us ever aware of Your loving kindness. Show us how to love those around us well, so that they too, might come to know the beauty of Your unending love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we thank You and praise You for who You are and how You love. Amen.

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

Be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord. – Psalm 31:24

The Peace of Christ

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 heart be always guided by the peace of the Anointed One, who called you to peace as part of His one body. And always be thankful. – (Colossians 3:15, TPT)

When we allow Christ’s peace to rule our hearts, each body that we are a member of is extended His peace and gratitude cannot help but rise up in such spaces. As we begin this week of Thanksgiving, may we be intentional to recognize our reasons for giving thanks, and may we allow God to guide us by His peace as we gather with friends and family, near and far. Lord, lead us in Your perfect peace and fill our hearts with thanks and praise for all that You are and all that You have done.

O Lord, guide our hearts,

By Your perfect peace;

Lead us in Your love,

All grace be released.

Show us our reasons,

To give thanks and praise;

For all the blessings,

That have come our way.

Family and friends,

Supply of our needs;

Your loving kindness,

And hope that exceeds.

More than imagined,

Or what we could dream;

Your mercy and grace,

Show us what love means.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You lovingly guide our hearts and minds in Your perfect peace as we seek and depend on You. Thank You that You have called and created us for community, and You place us in the circles we are in for a purpose. Thank You for the gift of those whom You have placed around me, for even on the most difficult days I am encouraged and supported in love. Forgive us for allowing the struggles of this life to divert our eyes from the abundant blessings that surround us. Teach us to have Your eyes to see our surroundings and circumstances as You do, so that our hearts might overflow with gratitude for Your goodness and grace. Lead us to love those around us in such a way that others too, would recognize the overwhelming love and perfect peace that You alone provide. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give You all of our thanks and praise for Your goodness, kindness, and perfect peace. Amen.

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

And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:7

Unseen Reality

Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen. – (Hebrews 11:1, HCSB)

Faith is what makes real the things we hope for. It is proof of what we cannot see. – (Hebrews 11:1, ERV)

Faith is the assurance of things you have hoped for, the absolute conviction that there are realities you’ve never seen. – (Hebrews 11:1, VOICE)

Faith and hope are funny things, for we all have faith and hope in something. Some hope for a spouse, a job, a vacation or simply something more than they have known before. In Christ, we can have faith in a hope that is certain, and proof of what we cannot see. His love overwhelms and surrounds us and shows us that we can be certain in the reality that we do not yet see. Without faith, it is impossible to find hope, for we must trust in something to hope that there is more than what we now see. May we ever look to the Lord to grow our faith, it is through Him that we know hope and trust in the things unseen.

Lord, strengthen our faith,

In all that is true;

Let Your hope be known,

As we trust in You.

Please grant us Your peace,

In space of unrest;

Lead us and guide us,

To all that is best.

Make the things unseen,

Known reality;

For all that You are,

Hope that sets us free.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we learn and grow in the goodness of Your love, faith rises and we become certain of our hope in You. Thank You that though we cannot see You, we can know You and be tangibly aware of Your presence. Forgive us for our fears and doubts and for relying on what is only seen right now. Teach us to trust You more, for You are our hope, help and future that is secure. Show us how to love those around us so that they too may know hope, even in that which is not seen. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust in You to grow our faith, for our hope is held in You forever. Amen.

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

So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. – 2 Corinthians 4:18

Love Deeply

Above all, maintain an intense love for each other, since love covers a multitude of sins. – (1 Peter 4:8, HCSB)

Most important of all, love each other deeply, because love makes you willing to forgive many sins. – (1 Peter 4:8, ERV)

Most of all, love each other steadily and unselfishly, because love makes up for many faults. – (1 Peter 4:8, VOICE)

This is critically important in culture today. Currently, it is the seeming norm for people to blast those who do not share the same opinion as themselves rather than choosing to love and simply scroll past. Humans are allowed to have their own opinions. No one truly knows what has led a person to view the world through their lens, so name-calling or worse on social media is not going to change their view. Rather, if we love intensely and deeply, we can accept our differences and forgive or look past perceived faults. The more we love, the more willing we become to forgive, and consequently, we begin to value differing opinions and perspectives. Every day is new, and we are meant to treat it accordingly. If we hold onto hurts and disdain for another person, we are only poisoning ourselves. May we ever look to the Lord to lead us to love one another deeply and allow His love to cover us and teach us to forgive.

Choose to love deeply,

Forgive and give grace;

Love one another,

The whole human race.

We are created,

To love as God loves;

Forgive each other,

Like the Lord above.

God, give us Your eyes,

So we truly see;

The power love gives,

To set our hearts free.

Help us to choose love,

Despite what is done;

Grant us Your wisdom,

God, most Holy One.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to love one another. Thank You that love like Yours forgives and covers sin. Thank You that You first loved us in this way, as You forgive us each time we ask, and love us no matter what. Forgive us for our lack of love when people cross us or have different values than our own. Show us how to love well, no matter how others view the world. Lead us to bless and encourage and begin everyday with a clean slate. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we choose to love deeply and forgive as we have been forgiven. Amen.

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

The Lord of Hosts says this: Make fair decisions. Show faithful love and compassion to one another. – Zechariah 7:9

Cares to Him Who Cares Best

Casting all your cares on Him, because He cares about you. – (1 Peter 5:7, HCSB)

Give all your worries to Him, because He cares for you. – (1 Peter 5:7, ERV)

Pour out all your worries and stress upon Him and leave them there, for He always tenderly cares for you. – (1 Peter 5:7, TPT)

Since God cares for you, let Him carry all your burdens and worries. – (1 Peter 5:7, VOICE)

This is far easier to say than it is to actually do. For me, it is an ongoing process that requires daily practice. I begin each day giving all to God, yet as new challenges and trials arise, I often find myself trying to carry them alone. It is not intentional, but rather is a habit of independence that seems to propel me to trudge forward with weight I am not meant to bear, stacked heavily upon my heart. Thankfully, the older I get, the more quickly I realize that I have allowed the worries to weigh me down and turn to God and give Him what was never meant to be mine to hold. He is tender and kind, and lovingly bears the weight that was never meant for us in the first place. In His loving kindness, He never rushes in and grabs things from us, but patiently and lovingly waits for us to turn to Him for help. His capable strong hands hold us up and have already bore the burdens that arise. May we ever seek our Savior and give our stress and worries to Him, for He will carry the weight and comfort and care for us well.

Cast every care,

On Jesus, our King;

For He is the One,

Who can bear all things.

The weight of the world,

He already bore;

Heaped upon the cross,

They are ours no more.

Yet it’s up to us,

To give Him all things;

And trust in His love,

As goodness He brings.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to cast our cares and worries upon You, for You already bore every weight upon Your shoulders on the cross. There is nothing new under the sun that You have not carried. Thank You that You exchange Your love and grace for our burdens that we hand over to You. Forgive us for our feeble attempts to carry what is not ours to bear. Teach us to hand our struggles and worries over to You, for You are faithful to meet us and uphold us and carry the weight in our place. Show us how to love one another well, so that we may come alongside those who are heavy-laden, and point the way to Your love and light that exchanges the weight for goodness and peace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we come before You each time we find our cares weighing us down so that we may place them in Your strong hands that lovingly lift us up and lead us forward. Amen.

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

When I am filled with cares, Your comfort brings me joy. – Psalm 94:19

Be Transformed

Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. – (Romans 12:2, HCSB)

Don’t change yourselves to be like the people of this world, but let God change you inside with a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to understand and accept what God wants for you. You will be able to know what is good and pleasing to Him and what is perfect. – (Romans 12:2, ERV)

Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in His eyes. – (Romans 12:2, TPT)

We need God to know what is best and then to actually do it. As we seek the Lord and invite Him to transform our minds, He grants us wisdom and insight to know what is good and pleasing to Him, and how to follow His will in every area of our lives. This does not happen overnight, but rather it is a lifelong process. Every day that we seek the Lord with intention, we are transformed a bit more to reflect His heart, love and light to the world. It is impossible to shine for Him if we are imitating what we think the world wants. His loving kindness, goodness and grace flows from those who seek to be authentically who He has made them to be. May we invest our hearts and lives in seeking the Lord, for it is through our seeking that He empowers us to live the beautiful life that He intended.

Lord, protect our hearts,

Show us what is best;

Transform and renew,

And grant us Your rest.

Teach us to seek You,

In all things, always;

So we walk Your way,

Our lives give You praise.

Protect us from lies,

That seem to be true;

Lead us in Your love,

Show us what to do.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You lovingly lead us in Your ways, if only we seek and depend on You. Thank You that through our seeking, You transform our hearts and minds to more clearly reflect Your love to the world. Forgive us for allowing the patterns of this world to influence our decisions instead of You. Show us how to continually seek You and Your will in all things and at all times. Lead us to love those around us in ways that make Your heart evident to all. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You and trust You to transform us more and more to become who You have created us to be. Amen.

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

Light shines in the darkness for the upright. He is gracious, compassionate, and righteous. – Psalm 112:4