Complete in Christ’s Love

Christ’s love is greater than anyone can ever know, but I pray that you will be able to know that love. Then you can be filled with everything God has for you. – (Ephesians 3:19, ERV)

May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. – (Ephesians 3:19, NLT)

 

If each of us could grasp but a glimpse of the greatness of God’s love, imagine what the world would become. Once a heart begins to hold even an iota of understanding of how deep and how wide the love of the Father is for us, we cannot help but be changed. The more we know love, the more we long to share what has been given. Our capacity to care for those around us multiplies, as we are made aware of how much the Lord cares for us. May we ever seek the Lord and readily receive His love, so that we may be made complete in the fullness of life and power that He has prepared for us to go forth and love as we are loved.

 

A love far greater,Aquiring Armor

Than any that’s known;

The love from the Lord,

As His heart is shown.

Lord, help us to seek,

The love that You give;

So we may be filled,

With fullness to live.

Your life and power,

Await those who seek;

To love and be loved,

Strength when we are weak.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your love is far greater than any that we have ever known, and that but a glimpse of Your great love will change our hearts and lives forever. Thank You that as we come to know You and Your love for us, You fill us with life and power and make us complete in You. Forgive us for not seeking You and Your love. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will ever seek more of You. Help us to receive all that You have for us. Show us how to love well, all those around us as You fill us with Your goodness and grace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we come to know and understand more and more of Your love in our lives, and go forth and love likewise. 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

 

I Look Up

I lift up my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. – (Psalm 121:1-2, NIV)

I look up to the hills, but where will my help really come from? My help will come from the Lord, the Creator of heaven and earth. – (Psalm 121:1-2, ERV)

 

For me, there is nothing like getting out in nature to regain perspective as to who God is, and how awesome His power and might. All it takes is a glimpse of the crashing waves of the ocean or the mighty peaks that rise before me, to realize how great He is and how small I am. This morning, I have the opportunity to go and reset. In the midst of the madness of Christmas shoppers and chaos all around the city, some dear friends and I are going to escape for a few hours to hike in the snowy woods. Fresh air and the beauty of God’s creation await. I cannot think of a better way to spend my morning on this wonderful Wednesday before Christmas. May you all have an opportunity to find rest and reset amidst the madness, and recognize how great our God is, and from where our help is found.

 

As I lift my eyes,i-look-up

What is it I see?

The glory of God,

Created for me.

The very same hands,

That made earth and sea;

Are ready to help,

All who choose seek Thee.

Our help comes from Him,

The Lord above all;

Who loves us to life,

And lifts when we fall.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the glorious gift of Your creation. Thank You that the very same hands that hung the stars in the sky are willing to come close and hold our hearts. Forgive us for not looking to You to be our help, or for neglecting to recognize the majesty of all that You have made. Teach us to see You and Your creation with a holy perspective, so that we would recognize how great and mighty You are. Show us how to love fiercely, so that others too, will be led to look to You as their Source of help and hope. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we look up to You to be our help in all things. Amen.

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

As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. – James 5:11

Build Each Other Up

But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love. – (Jude 1:20-21, NLT)

 

Because we have been given new life in Christ and His Spirit dwells within us, we are called to live according to His will and walk in His way. Time invested in our relationship with Christ through prayer and time in His word, and being rooted and established in a body of believers are basic criteria to which we are called. In order to love God and love people, we need to know both and be around each regularly. God places us among a body of believers so that we can build one another up in our faith and fix our eyes where it matters most. Additionally, we tend to stay true to who we are called to be when we are accountable to others. When we are invested, we remain in the safety of God’s love, provided by being in His presence and among those He places around us. May we build each other up in the faith that Christ has grown within us, as we await the eternal life that is yet to come. Let us love each other well, so that we may remain in the safety of God’s protection and plan for our lives now, and for all that is yet to come.

 

Lift one another,IMG_2137

by faith, let us build;

strength in His mercy,

in grace we are filled.

Pray in His power,

awaiting His grace;

complete in His love,

is where we are safe.

Be in the body,

invest in the word;

pray to the Father,

let His truth be heard.

What we invest now,

affects so much more;

Eternal awaits,

as we seek the Lord.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to invest in our relationships with You and with each other. Thank You that You provide Your Holy Spirit within us to help us pray and to grant us wisdom and insight to know how to navigate how we are meant to go. Thank You that You are merciful, and that You give us the hope of eternal life. Thank You that we are safe in Your love. Forgive us for not building each other up in our faith. Teach us how to trust You more, so that we would speak Your words of truth to each other as You call us to do. Show us how to love others well, so that they would come to know the mercy and safety supplied in the goodness of Your love. May many choose to follow after You with their whole hearts. Be glorified O God, as we build each other up in faith and pray in the power of Your Holy Spirit within us. Amen.

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

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine upon us. – Psalm 67:1

 

Turn to Wisdom

And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. – (Titus 2:12-13, NLT)

Grace arrives with its own instruction: run away from anything that leads us away from God; abandon the lusts and passions of this world; live life now in this age with awareness and self-control, doing the right thing and keeping yourselves holy. Watch for His return; expect the blessed hope we all will share when our great God and Savior, Jesus the Anointed, appears again. – (Titus 2:12-13, VOICE)

It (God’s grace) educates us so that we can live sensible, ethical, and godly lives right now by rejecting ungodly living and the desires of this world. At the same time we wait for the blessed hope and the glorious appearance of our great God and savior Jesus Christ. – (Titus 2:12-13, CEB)

 

God grants us His grace because He completely and thoroughly loves us. Just as a parent loves their children well and gives them instruction to direct, correct and encourage them in the ways in which they are meant to go, God does the same for us. He does not tell us to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures to punish or torture us, but rather He knows that such things create a barrier between us and Him, and He wants to help us avoid anything that will lead to such pain. We are charged to reject ungodly living and choose to live with wisdom, righteousness and devotion. In order to navigate our world, we need Him so that we are aware, have self-control, and remain upright in all of our ways. As we choose to invest our hearts and lives in Him, an expectation of the blessed hope that is yet to come rises within us, and we are assured of the glory of our great God, and the hope held in His promised return. May we allow His grace to grab hold of our hearts and lead us through this life, so that we walk in a way that is upright before Him, as we await the glorious day that we will see Him face-to-face.

 

We are called to turn,Refreshment Through Repentance

runaway, reject;

all that is godless,

may our hearts deflect.

To live in this age,

we need righteousness;

true wisdom from God,

the Lord’s holiness.

As we seek we find,

for God freely gives;

awareness and strength,

to righteously live.

It is in this space,

that we look ahead;

with glorious hope,

when Christ comes again.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You instruct us in how we are meant to live; for Your ways result in wisdom, hope, help and life everlasting. Forgive us for our flirting with the ways of the world, and teach us how to walk upright before You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would turn from all that is godless and sinful, and would be aware and operate with the self-control that You grant us. Show us how to love one another in the same way that we are loved by You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we run away from godless living, and choose to depend on You to walk with wisdom, righteousness and devotion for all of our days. Amen.

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

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

Glorify with the Gifts

On this first day of a brand new year, a world of possibilities awaits. God has not called us to live ordinary and mundane lives, hiding the gifts that He has granted each of us, but rather He has called us to rise up and walk with Him, into the extraordinary, as we operate in the gifts that He has given. When we go where He calls and do as He asks, lives are touched and dreams are made new. He moves when we are willing to step out in faith. The Lord’s faithfulness is not because we are somehow worthy, but because He, as God on high, is good. It seems fitting that we respond just as Mary did, as follows:

And Mary said: “My soul glorified the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has been mindful of the humble state of His servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me – holy is His Name. – (Luke 1:46-49)

What we do now matters. Our children and our children’s children will be impacted by our faithfulness. If we model a life pursuing Christ, they will notice and seek to serve Him as well. Let us share of His faithfulness, for He has done great things for each of us, and is worthy of all of our worship and praise.

May we humbly seek,

IMG_0603 the will of the Lord;

in all faithfulness,

the gifts we’ll afford.

All He has given,

for us to return;

so others may come,

and of Christ they’ll learn.

Let our hearts rejoice,

in the Mighty One;

He’s mindful of us,

Spirit, Father, Son.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are mindful of us. Thank You that when we come to You, You receive us as we are, and transform our hearts and minds to be more like Yours. Thank You for the great things that You have done for us. Thank You that we have Your presence now and hope for all of eternity. Forgive us for not glorifying You, or rejoicing in You for who You are, regardless of our circumstances. Help us to remember that You never change. Teach us to trust You more, so that we have a proper perspective on whatever comes our way. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they too may understand the blessings that You provide as our God and Savior. May many come into a saving relationship with You in this brand new year. Be exalted O God, as we glorify You with the gifts You have granted each of us, and rejoice in who You are. Amen.

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

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. – Genesis 1:3

Abide

Abide. What a beautiful, yet at times, elusive word. To remain, continue, stay, or even await, in the context of Christ, is the place my heart hides best. A dear friend has found herself in a space where her only instruction from the Lord is to simply, ABIDE. Since first hearing, I often think about how I am meant to abide as well. My discovery, is that to abide is a daily decision to walk with Him – in His grace, His love and His peace. It does not necessarily come naturally, but rather is rooted in choice after choice after choice.

 

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vines, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. – (John 15:4, NKJV)

 

For anything good to come out of us, we must be firmly rooted and established in Christ. May our lives be so intertwined with His, that we cannot help but bear good fruit that lasts. All glory and honor to Him, now and forevermore.

 

Come all you weary,

for He’ll grant us rest;Darkness into Light

come all you broken,

He’ll repair our mess.

As we choose to come,

be still and abide;

allow Him access,

to darkness we hide.

For His light’s greater,

than our dark despair;

healing and wholeness,

He grants us, right there.

Throw out what hinders,

with hearts open wide;

He’s faithful always,

as we choose abide.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we abide in You, You abide in us too. Thank You that You are faithful always, and that Your mercies are new every morning. Thank You that as we abide in You, You grow us and strengthen us, so that we may be utilized to touch lives on Your behalf. Thank You that You take us as we are, and turn our past struggles into stories of Your faithfulness to share. Forgive us for our fears and frustrations as we face the fire, and grant us Your eyes to see and Your strength to endure. May we live and love in Your strength as we opt to abide in You, and may many lives be changed as they come to know the truth. Be glorified, O God, as we abide. 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

Watching in Wonder

My favorite New Year’s Eve tradition is attending our New Year’s Eve drop-in service.  It is not like a typical church service.  Rather, it is a time to reflect, anticipate, and allow Him to speak, while hearts are quiet and ready to listen.  The first thing to do upon entry, is grab an envelope, blank piece of paper and a pen.  Our charge is to write down our reflections about where we have been, and where we hope to go with God, in the coming year.  There is a bit more to it than that, but that is the gist.  Our pastoral staff then holds our self-addressed, sealed letters, and mails them back to us around Easter.  It is truly remarkable to be reminded again of what He has done, and to observe what has come of the new year, thus far.  After writing and sealing our note to self, we go forward to a pair that is prepared to pray for us.  They wait on Him, and share what the Lord places on their hearts.

As I read the first two chapters of Genesis this morning, what stood out to me, is that after each new thing that God created and called into being, it is followed by the sentence: “And God saw that it was good.”  God saw that every single thing that He formed and gave life and breath to, was good.  We are His created.  He sees us, and calls us good – not because of our behavior, but rather because we are His creation.  He loves us with an everlasting love.  The very same God who saw that all He had created was good, moves mountains and does the miraculous still today.  One of the words that was given to me last evening, was to “look for the miraculous; not necessarily even where I’ve been asking, but to watch for unexpected miracles.”  For me, this is a reminder to be full of hope and anticipation, for God is indeed, good.  The miraculous takes places all around us every day, but so often it goes unnoticed.  I want to embrace this new year with my head up, eyes open, and my heart ready to receive all that He has prepared for me.

With head held high,Watching in Wonder

eyes ready to see;

all that He has,

miracles for me.

Peace in places,

it’s rarely been found;

silent stillness,

to hear heaven’s sound.

What will await,

in this coming year?

Courage to fight,

in the face of fear?

I look ahead,

with heart open wide;

may I receive,

more of You inside.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are faithful and kind, and that You love us with an everlasting love.  Thank You that when we call on You, You answer, and that You have good things for Your created, whom You love.  Forgive us for being unaware of how mighty You are all around us, and may we be ever aware of the unexpected miracles that are taking place.  Help us to embrace Your goodness and grace, so that we may love others, as You love us.  May many come to know new life in You.  Let Your light shine bright through us, before all.  Amen.

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