Trust Over Worry

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. – (Philippians 4:6, NIV)

Don’t worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks for what you have. – (Philippians 4:6, ERV)

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank Him for His answers. – (Philippians 4:6, TLB)

 

Yesterday, as I quickly grabbed the mail between errands and thumbed through it, one envelope captured my curiosity. There was something from the IRS, and I could not figure out for the life of me, why. Upon opening said envelope, my stress level and anxiety shot through the roof. Inside was a letter informing me that there had been an error in my 2016 filing, and that I owe a large sum of money. As I walked into the house, attempting to make sense of what I was reading, I was greeted by two teenage boys who were yelling at one another about who spilled rice on the floor and who had to finish cleaning it up. The noise only added to my anxiousness, and I quickly let them know that I needed them to chill out so that I could process what I was reading. Their arguing continued, and I had to get out of the chaos. I let them know that I was going to the new house to take care of some things and entered the quiet of the car by myself. Once seated, with the key in the ignition, the verse above tumbled about my brain. There was nothing eloquent about my words, but I simply let God know that I needed His help and could not afford this, especially by the date given on the letterhead, and I really don’t understand how they came up with the numbers that they did. As I neared my turn, I saw a familiar vehicle and took a second glance at the driver. It happened to be a sweet friend of mine, so I called out her name. She had just taken her youngest daughter to the park across the street from our new home, had a bit of time and wanted to come take a tour. Gladly, I invited the distraction and showed the two lovely ladies our soon-to-be dwelling. I was encouraged by her kindness and shared with her what had just happened prior to my drive over. She is a prayer warrior, and on the spot, stopped and prayed the things that my heart held but could not yet give words. As they left, I felt far less anxious and more at peace, knowing that God is in control and I have a fiancé who will walk beside me and a community that has my back in prayer. What it did is remind me how grateful I am for the people whom God has placed in my life and that He will lead me in the way in which I am meant to go in all things. May we remember to not worry about anything, and instead, choose to pray and ask God for help, giving Him thanks for the answers that He will and has already provided.

 

Do not be anxious, wp-15296764255929217887386200022319.jpg

About anything;

Instead, choose to pray,

To God, our fears bring.

He’s faithful to hear,

All that we present;

And He’ll show the way,

Answers Heaven sent.

So, trust in the Lord,

No matter what comes;

He’s faithful always,

The Most Holy One.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You remind us to let go of worry and anxiety and to present our prayers and petitions before You. Thank You that You are faithful to hear us and to provide solutions. Thank You that You answer in ways that we would never dream up on our own, yet they are always what we need, when we need it most. Forgive us for allowing unknowns to dominate our thoughts and cause anxiousness, rather than bring our fears and concerns to You right away. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would present our every request before You, knowing that You will meet us and never leave us. Show us how to love and walk beside those around us, so that they know Your comfort and Your peace in a tangible way. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we present our requests before You and give You praise for Your faithfulness always. Amen.

 

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

 

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; …write them on the tablet of your heart. – Proverbs 3:3

Cut Complaints to Give Glimpses of Good

Do everything without complaining or arguing so that you will be blameless and pure, children of God without any fault. – (Philippians 2:14-15a, ERV)

Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God. – (Philippians 2:14-15a, NLT)

Do everything readily and cheerfully – no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. – (Philippians 2:14-15, MSG)

 

In a world where it is commonplace for people to complain and argue, we have the opportunity to be different. When we choose to love and extend kindness, rather than argue, we offer a glimpse of God’s goodness. Likewise, when things are challenging or overwhelming, if we opt to seek answers or assistance rather than complain, a clear anomaly is observed. God calls us to be love and light to the world, and one of the ways in which we are asked to do so, is to be a breath of fresh air in places where perhaps the normal mode of operation is less than kind and often full of conflict. May we choose to do everything without arguing or complaining, recognizing that our Redeemer calls us to be love and light to grant glimpses of Him in spaces where He otherwise might not be seen.

 

Strong Heart

 

Lord, help us to choose,

Do everything;

Without complaining,

And trust grace You bring.

Try not to argue,

Be ready with cheer;

For our attitude,

Can show God is near.

Let Your love light shine,

A breath of fresh air;

As we choose live right,

And show that we care.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to show us what it is to live a blameless life without complaining or arguing. Thank You that when we choose to do things readily and cheerfully without bickering or second-guessing, we give glimpses of Your goodness to the world. Forgive us for the times that we have chosen otherwise. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would present our concerns to You, and trust You to show us how to navigate, rather than complain or argue. Show us how to love those around us so that they would gain glimpses of Your heart for them, individually. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to do everything readily and cheerfully, according to Your good and perfect will. 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. – 1 Peter 2:19

Without Complaint Nor Argument

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life – in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. – (Philippians 2:14-16)

 

Paul was encouraging the church in Philippi to uphold a higher standard. He knew that if people could see a difference among the believers in how they lived, those who did not yet know Christ, would be more apt to hear and receive the words of life that they were openly offering.

 

I imagine we each can picture a person who willingly serves behind the scenes, that never has a complaint nor argument, and somehow has a bit of a glow about them. The Spirit dwelling within them, is evident, and people want to be near. May we each become more and more like Him, as His blameless and pure children – without complaining nor arguing, so that we may shine brightly, offering forth His words of life.

 

Let not a complaint,Without Complaint Nor Argument

leave these lips of mine;

nor arguing be,

a way to pass time.

Make me more like You,

one blameless and pure;

Your child without fault,

whose hope is secure.

Keep me from crooked,

depraved sorts of things;

allow me to shine,

Your word of life bring.

When my days are done,

I so long to hear;

“Well done, faithful child,”

“Come close and draw near.”

With arms extended,

reaching to embrace;

I’ll run to You, Lord,

as I see Your face.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that our hope is found in You alone. Thank You that You give us instructions as to how we are to be effective for You. Forgive us for our complaining and arguing, and help us to set aside our wicked and warring ways, and fix our eyes entirely on You. Help us to become Your blameless and pure children, without fault, so that we may be a mighty witness of Your word. Let Your light shine brightly through us, as we seek to serve You in all that we say and do. May many come to know You as their Lord and Savior. Be exalted as we are made blameless by the glorious gifts of Your mercy and grace. 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

 

 

 

 

An Attitude Adjustment

Though the story of Peter being called to go and share the good news in the home of Cornelius has an overarching theme that the gospel is for everyone, the thing that struck me as I read the account in Acts this morning, was Peter’s attitude adjustment, in such a short time.

Back in Matthew 18:1-6, as the disciples were traveling with Jesus, and learning and growing beside Him as He led them, they were arguing one day, about which among them would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  Somehow, in all of the attention, their priorities had become askew.  Jesus quickly set the record straight, “And He said: ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child will be greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” -(Matthew 18:3-4)

Fast forward past Christ’s crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, and the impartation of the Holy Spirit.  While in Joppa, Peter had been assured in a vision that he was to go to the home of Cornelius, to share the good news of Christ.  He willingly went with the men Cornelius had sent, when they had arrived to lead him.  “As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence.  But Peter made him get up.  ‘Stand up,’ he said, ‘I am only a man myself.” – (Acts 10:25-26) Peter was quick to humble himself and point Cornelius to Christ.  Despite the potential draw of being adored by such a powerful person, Peter prioritized the presentation of truth, and maintained his position of humility as a servant of Christ.  Because of Peter’s willing submission to God’s call, Cornelius and his entire household came to Christ.  Being a man of high position, I imagine Cornelius had a tremendous impact on many people.

Be humble and kind,An Attitude Adjustment

allow the Lord lead;

be willing to give,

as we see a need.

Trust Him to show us,

what we’re meant to do;

listen to His voice,

faithfully pursue.

Seek not position,

of honor, nor fame;

and if it’s given,

point straight to His Name.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our Source and Supply, and the reason we are able to do anything good in this life.  Thank You for such great examples of change, as You show us how to be more like Christ in what we say and do.  Forgive us for not walking in humility, or for not giving credit where credit is due.  Thank You that all good that we do, is done in Your strength, and that the life You are calling us to, is only possible in You.  May we be invested in You, so that Your light shines through us.  May many come to see Your light through our love, and ultimately, come into a lasting relationship with You.  Be exalted, our great and mighty God.  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

Love Over Law

Often, it seems, Jesus spent the Sabbath teaching in synagogues.  Word of His teaching, must have been spreading like wildfire, for everywhere He went, there were both those in need, and those who hoped to trap Him in some sort of violation of the law.  In Luke chapter thirteen, verses ten through seventeen, there is an account of Jesus healing a woman who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen long years.  “When Jesus saw her, He called her forward and said to her, ‘Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.’  Then He put His hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.” – (vs. 12-13) 

The synagogue ruler had his undergarments in a bunch, and was outraged that Jesus would dare to heal on the Sabbath.  “The Lord answered him, ‘You hypocrites!  Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water?  then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?” – (vs. 15-16) His opponents were left without words to respond, for there was no arguing with such profound truth.  All who had seen the miraculous, marveled at the wonderful things that He was doing.

When we see someone in need, do we respond immediately, or do we rationalize reason to not respond?

Though there are times and places that genuinely prevent us from physically getting out of the car and moving in the direction of the need, can’t we at the very least, lift up a prayer on their behalf?  We cannot always do something tangible to be of help, but we can always pray.  God knows each need far better than we do, and when we pause to pray, we give Him opportunity to speak to us as well.  Perhaps there is something specific that we are meant to do, but unless we stop to listen, we miss the miraculous that He had intended.  Sometimes the miracle is meant for another, yet, at times, it may be something new, moving within our hearts.

When we see a need,Love Over Law

let us stop and pray;

show us what to do,

Lord, You lead the way.

A touch or a gift,

a smile, or prayer;

every need known,

God, You are aware.

Please make known to us,

what we’re meant to do;

to show Your great love,

so we honor You.

Let hearts found in need,

know their needs are met;

by You alone, God,

not one You’d forget.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to show us the way to prioritize people.  Thank You Jesus, that touching lives trumped man-made rules and regulations every time.  Thank You that above all – You loved, and continue to love.  Forgive us for having hearts that resemble the synagogue ruler, who set limits as to when and what could be done.  Help us to recognize that with You, there is no limit – for You are our Source and Supply.  Whatever You call us to do, You will also equip and empower us to complete.  Our part, is to step forward in faith.  Teach us to trust You more.  May we live and move and do all things out of our love for You, and may many come to see Your heart for them as a result.  Let lives be changed and hearts turned toward You.  Be glorified God.  Amen.

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

The Culmination of Complaints

Challenges refine and define character.  Last evening, I looked at the dishes that needed to be done with a begrudging heart, and now, this morning, after being awoken in the wee hours by my sweet boy who was struggling to breathe, I see the dishes differently.  My momentary loss of perspective, allowed my heart to forget that those dishes display that there is plenty to eat, and a place to safely consume our meals, as well as safe water to clean and sanitize the dishes when we are done.

“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life – in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.” – (Philippians 2:14-16)

A heart to serve without complaining, nor arguing, is what I desire.  I want to be seen as blameless and pure as God’s child, and be a light before those around me.  My hope is that others might see something different in the light that lives in me, and come to know Christ is the cause for the difference, that they too, desire.

Let not my lips,The Culmination of Complaints

bring forth complaint;

let not my words,

nor actions taint.

For You are good,

and all should see;

Your light that lives,

growing in me.

May my life shine,

a star, so bright;

so all may know,

You are the Light.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in You, we may become blameless and pure, Your cherished children in whom You delight.  Thank You that You take flawed and broken people, and transform us into stars that shine as Your light unto the world.  Forgive us for complaining and arguing, as nothing beneficial ever comes from either; and help us to have Your heart for whatever trials we face, so that we may approach all things with Your loving grace.  Teach us to trust You to lead and guide us in the way that we are meant to go, and help us to be ever aware of Your presence.  Use us Father, so that we may shine brightly before all those around us.  May many come to know You, and Your saving grace.  Amen.

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