Tag Archive: approval


They began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them. – (Luke 22:24, NLT)

Later, the apostles began to argue about which one of them was the most important. – (Luke 22:24, ERV)

The disciples bickered over which one of them would be considered the greatest in the kingdom. – (Luke 22:24, TPT)

 

Even after spending nearly every day with Jesus for the previous three years, the disciples still argued and postured for position. What this shows me is that even those who walk closely with the Lord, are subject to the frailty of the human condition. We all sin and fall short of the glory of God, and we all desperately need a Savior to lead a life of love, according to His good and perfect will. A bit further in the same chapter, Jesus let the disciples know that to be great, is to serve rather than to be served. He reminded them to follow the example that He had set before them all along. As always, the main message can be simplified to loving God and loving people. If we do both of these things, we will not worry about being greater, because we will prefer one another in love. Love lifts up, it does not tear down nor posture for position. May we ever seek the Lord and His ways, so that we can love Him and others for all of our days.

 

Let’s fix not our eyes, Enter With Thanksgiving

On how to be great;

But instead choose serve,

Lift up, elevate.

Choose prefer others,

Let love lead the way;

For this is God’s plan,

To share well His grace.

Never be worried,

About being great;

For God looks at you,

And He celebrates.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us not because of what we do, but because we are Your created. Thank You that You meet us where we are, and love us anyway. Forgive us for our foolishness that argues or seeks position rather than Your affirmation. Teach us to trust You more, so that the only approval that concerns us is Yours. Show us how to love those around us in a way that prefers others first and meets needs wherever they may be. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we choose to love You and love people as You call us to do. Amen.

 

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

 

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy. – Hebrews 4:16

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Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. – (Romans 12:2, NLT)

Don’t change yourself 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)

Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind. As a result, you will be able to discern what God wills and whatever God finds good, pleasing and complete. – (Romans 12:2, VOICE)

 

This is such an important message for all of us to remember. The media floods us with images of how we should look, popular culture tries to dictate what is acceptable and what is not, and those with whom we surround ourselves, have their own ideas as well. God made each of us with a plan and a purpose. Individually, we are hand-crafted with different talents and gifts to utilize for His glory. The only way to know God’s will and what is good and pleasing and complete according to Him, is to seek Him and pursue the path which He has planned for us. If we allow the world to shape our thoughts, ideals and identity, we will never realize what it is to be transformed from the inside out to live a life that fulfills the purposes of our Heavenly Father. Where the world tells us that we are not enough, Christ tells us that we can do all things in Him, as He will give us strength. May we turn a deaf ear to the shouts of the world’s wooing, and instead listen to the gentle whisper of the voice of the living God, who transforms our hearts and minds and leads us to know all that is good and pleasing and complete.

 

Allow not the world,

Transformed from the Inside Out

Image from favim.com

A place or a voice;

For all that is good,

Comes when God’s our choice.

If we choose listen,

Allow God transform;

Our hearts and our minds,

Hope and strength are born.

It’s in Christ alone,

That we come to know;

The path that is good,

Where completion grows.

So, bend not to things,

The world has to say;

Instead seek the Lord,

And walk in His way.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we do not have to change ourselves to be like what the world expects, but rather we are called to allow You to transform us from the inside out, so that we will know what is good and pleasing and complete according to Your will. Forgive us for allowing what we see or hear to influence how we see ourselves, rather than listening to what You say about who we are and how You see us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would worry not about the world’s approval, but instead that we would continue to further discover our infinite worth in You. Show us how to love those around us in a way that helps them to feel valued for who they are, just as they are, rather than if they were a certain way. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, as they discover who You are and how You love. Be glorified O God, as we turn away from the patterns of the world that seek to draw us in, and turn to You to transform us from the inside out. Amen.

 

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

 

Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. – James 5:13

“Whoever boasts should boast only about the Lord.” What people say about themselves means nothing. What counts is whether the Lord says they have done well. – (2 Corinthians 10:17-18, ERV)

But, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends. – (2 Corinthians 10:17-18, NIV)

Anything good that we happen to accomplish, is only done because of Christ in us. For us to boast about our accomplishments, is to take credit for what God has done in and through us. It is far better to give credit where credit is due. All glory and honor go to God for every good and perfect gift. If we have walked in obedience to what He has called us to do, then it is the Lord who will let us know we have done well. We need not seek the approval of men, for that is how pride begins. May we seek to serve the Lord with a pure heart, and give God the glory for any good that comes from the grace that He has given us to go and do that which we have been asked to do.

Boast not of oneself,Presenting Our Praise

but point to the Lord;

for anything good,

through grace He affords.

Let us choose instead,

to walk out our days;

in obedience,

giving God the praise.

For a day will come,

when we stand before;

the Lord God on high,

we’re welcomed to more.

Our God wants our hearts,

and our praises too;

may we point to Him,

give credit where due.

We could do nothing,

without the Lord’s grace;

so let’s boast of Him,

may love come embrace.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are the One in whom we ought to boast; for anything good that is accomplished in or through us, is done by You. Thank You for all that You have done, are doing, and will continue to do. Forgive us for not giving You the glory for things that You have done, or for boasting of what we somehow think that we have accomplished on our own. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would recognize the remarkable grace, strength and supply that You provide us, daily, to do all that You call us to accomplish. Lead us to love others as You so selflessly love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give proper credit due, as all praise and glory belong to You. Amen.

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

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

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. – (Psalm 91:1)

 

For many, this is an excellent promise to remember, as today can be a day of mixed emotions. Though most of us have had the good fortune to have been blessed with either a father, grandfather, uncle, spouse or some male that has held a positive and encouraging role in our lives, not all have had such a gift. The beauty of this day, Father’s Day, is that we all have a Father in Heaven who is perfect in how He loves. His love never fails, and He will always be ready when we run to Him. When we choose to dwell in Him, we find rest, regardless of what is going on in us, or around us. He provides what we need, despite what we seem to desperately be lacking. May we honor Him who is the greatest Father of all, and encourage the men who are seeking after God’s own heart to do likewise. Let us raise up the next generation of young men to do the same, as we show them how to dwell in the shelter of the Most High, and know for themselves, what it is to find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

 

The love of a father,Be strong and courageous

for what can compare?

All seek such approval,

without it, despair.

No matter the father,

you’re granted on earth;

our Heavenly Father,

claims infinite worth.

He sees us and knows us,

and still chooses love;

no matter our failures,

in Him, rise above.

For all is forgiven,

as we hide in Him;

and rest in His shadow,

made strong from within.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we choose to dwell in You, we find rest in You. Thank You for the men that You have raised up to lead and father well, and thank You for those whom You are refining and restoring so that they may move mountains on Your behalf. Thank You that whether we have had wonderful fathers or not, You have always been our perfect Father; ever present and always available to us. Forgive us for allowing earthly errors to skew our view of You, and teach us to trust and hold fast to the truth of who You are, and how You love. Lead us to love others well, and to aid in the raising up of the next generation of young men who will father according to Your will. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, in which their heart is set on serving You. Be glorified O God, as we dwell in Your protective shelter, and rest in the shadow of Your loving kindness. Amen.

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

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

Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. – (Galatians 1:10)

 

When we try to win the approval of men, we eventually end up disappointed. However, if we are seeking God’s approval, our goal shall be accomplished simply in the seeking. God does not expect us to get it all right, rather He asks that we seek Him whole-heartedly, and live a life in pursuit of Him and His will for our lives. His grace greets us where we fall short, and His love leads us along the path that He has prepared for us. In Christ, even our disappointments can become appointments that are used for His glory. Where we have failed or life has knocked us down, may be the very places that God is preparing us to encourage another in the same position. In Christ, all things can be worked together for the good of those who love Him. May we spend our days seeking the Lord and serving Him, rather than concerning ourselves with capturing the attention or affection of those around us.

 

Seek not approval,Appealing for Approval

the pleasing of men;

the search is fruitless,

and it never ends.

Rather seek the Lord,

with a heart to serve;

His grace abundant,

and love undeserved.

The Lord, He approves,

the moment we seek;

though we come weary,

scarred, broken and weak.

His arms open wide,

He turns lives around;

beauty for ashes,

the lost become found.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we need not seek the approval of men, but rather we are meant to serve You. Thank You that when we seek You, You are pleased, and You love us as we come. Thank You that even our brokenness can become blessings when placed in Your hands, as You often use what we see as ugliness or weakness as opportunity to encourage another in a similar space. Forgive us for trying to please people rather than You, and teach us to trust You more, so that we will seek You first in all things and at all times. Help us to find our identity and value in You alone. Lead us to love others unhindered by our own scars, and may many come into a lasting relationship with You as a result. Be glorified O God, as we seek to serve You with all that we are. Amen.

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

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. – 2 Corinthians 1:3

One of my least favorite parts of being an educator is the process of being observed and evaluated. I know the intent is good, and it is a way to identify strengths and areas to improve, yet, for me, as one who desires to please, and do things well, it is a painful process, regardless of the kindness of the observer. My own microscope of my craft is far more critical than that by which anyone else may utilize. Each day, my responsibility to God, not men, is to do my best for the kids in my care. This morning, I will be observed as I teach. As I was reading my devotions, the following passage may as well have been the only passage on the page, as it served as a neon sign, reminding me of what matters most. Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. – (Galatians 1:10)

 

Though these words were Paul’s to the Galatians in regards to works verses grace, they serve as an excellent reminder for me this morning. It takes courage to remember that my priority is to please God, not men. If I am serving and honoring God by doing the job that He has called me to do to the best of my ability, then that will be enough. It is not about me, but rather Christ in me, that will be evident anyway. May we each go forth this day in courage, allowing His light to shine brightly before all men, seeking God’s approval, not man’s.

 

Seek not approval,Seek Not the Approval of Men

from our fellow man;

but rather seek God,

to do what we can.

Look to honor Christ,

in all that we do;

give glory to God,

and point to the truth.

Let our hearts be set,

on pleasing the Lord;

not allowing truth,

set aside, ignored.

May we all rise up,

as servants of God;

remaining steadfast,

inspired and awed.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we need not seek the approval of men, but rather we need only seek to serve You. Thank You that Your grace is enough. Thank You that as we come to You and trust in You, You meet us where we are and do the miraculous through our willing hearts. Forgive us for trying to please men, and help us to fix our eyes on You alone. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may do all things as unto You. May many see our heart for You as light and life and love that they have not known before. Let many be led unto You as we seek to honor You in all that we do. Be glorified, O God, as we serve You with our lives. Amen.

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

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

To bless another, is a way of requesting that God’s divine favor rest upon them.  Finding oneself in the favor of God, is a space of peace and protection, abounding in love.  Who doesn’t long to be in that space of feeling loved and protected in His peace?

The Lord told Moses how Aaron and his sons were to bless the people.  The following are the words He gave:

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.” – (Numbers 6:24-26)

Five different components are contained in this beautiful blessing.  First, it conveys the hope that God will bless you and keep you, which is the Lord Himself, providing His favor and protection.  Next, to make His face shine upon you, is to have God Himself, be pleased with us.  To be gracious, is our great God demonstrating His mercy and compassion toward us.  Turn His face toward you, is an expression that means giving His approval.  Finally, give peace, is the peace that passes all understanding in our hearts and minds, as only God can give.

May the God of all hope,Bless You

be near you today;

may you know His favor,

as you go on your way.

May He be your safety,

wherever you go;

may His face shine on you,

so you reflect His glow.

May the God of all grace,

show mercy to you;

may compassion be near,

in whatever you do.

May you find approval,

from the Lord, Himself;

may His peace be present,

great God, above all else.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You bless us and keep us and make Your face shine upon us as You are gracious to us and You grant us Your peace.  Thank You that You look upon us with loving kindness, and see us as blameless before You, because of the sacrifice of Your Son.  Forgive us for our unkindness toward others, or for any attitude that is not full of gratitude toward You.  You have given far more than we can even grasp, yet we so easily take it all for granted.  Help us become more aware of the magnitude of the blessing that we have before us to behold.  May we embrace the goodness and grace that You have given, and go forth as You are calling, so that many more might come to know the abundant blessings found through faith in You.  Let those who are looking, find their hope in You.  Be glorified in all that we say and do, and may we be a blessing to all who are around us.  Amen.

*(NIV footnotes for 6:24-26 summarized within text above)

© 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

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