Value Everyone

Respect everyone, and love the family of believers. Fear God, and respect the king. – (1 Peter 2:17, NLT)

Recognize the value of every person and continually show love to every believer. Live your lives with great reverence and in holy awe of God. Honor your rulers. – (1 Peter 2:17, TPT)

Treat everyone you meet with dignity. Love your spiritual family. Revere God. Respect the government. – (1 Peter 2:17, MSG)

 

Considering the climate within our country right now, this is a very timely verse. If we each could recognize the value of one another, regardless of what is perceived, there would be far less tension and more movement toward solutions. The church is not exempt from the struggle. The body of believers is called to love one another. If we all choose to love, then our primary mode of operation should be to seek to understand first. In all things, we are called to live in reverence of God. When we remember Who ultimately is in control, our priorities and perspectives begin to align with His, and love flavors all that we say and do. Finally, we are called to respect the governing body. How do we do this? There are so many conflicting views and opposing opinions, how are we supposed to honor and respect that which seems so unreal? For me, the best way I know to do this is to choose to pray. Pray for wisdom and insight for those who are in positions of leadership. I do not have to agree with who is in position, nor what their position is to pray for them to lead well and make decisions that are best for our city, state, or country. May we ever rise up and recognize the value of every person on this planet that has been placed here by the most holy God. Let us live in reverence of Him as we treat others with dignity and choose to love.

 

For we each are called, Show the Love

look and recognize;

The value of all,

To see through God’s eyes.

Among believers,

We’re meant to love well;

To be family,

God’s story to tell.

To honor rulers,

Let us choose to pray;

For wisdom to lead,

The very best way.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not ask anything of us that You are not willing to give us the strength and grace to do. Thank You that while we were yet Your enemies, You loved us. Thank You that when we choose to respect and love those around us, You break down barriers and make a way for Your light to shine where darkness once reigned. Thank You too, that You work in ways that we cannot see and can use leaders that we don’t understand to do things for eventual good. Forgive us for not choosing love and respect for others when that is what we are called to do, regardless of what we receive. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would extend Your love and grace to all whom we encounter, no matter what comes our way. Show us how to love like You, so that barriers are broken down and Your peace may prevail. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we choose to value everyone and love as You love us. Amen.

 

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

 

Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. – 2 Corinthians 3:5

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Gather With Gladness

Every day they met together in the temple and ate in their homes. They shared food with gladness and simplicity. – (Acts 2:46, CEB)

The believers shared a common purpose, and every day they spent much of their time together in the temple area. They also ate together in their homes. They were happy to share their food and ate with joyful hearts. – (Acts 2:46, ERV)

 

I love the value that was placed on community in the early church. There is nothing that brings people together better than sharing a meal with joy and generosity. When those around us who are united in purpose come together as family, the joy that is discovered in fellowship over a meal is multiplied. Each summer, my church creates opportunity for family connect groups. These groups meet one evening a week for a meal at a host home during the month of August, as new friendships are discovered and relationships are formed. My first connect group of the year begins this evening, and I am reminded of the early church as I prepare to go. Though I know not who will be in attendance, I anticipate joy and gladness as we gather in grace to share a meal together. May we ever seek opportunities to gather together with those around us, and meet with others to share a meal with joy – as God so often uses such circumstances to form friendships He intended to occur all along.

 

Actively look for, Welcome Boxes 1

People that we know;

To join together,

So His grace may flow.

With hearts full of joy,

May we freely share;

What we’ve been given,

So all know You care.

May our hearts be filled,

As we share a meal;

Joy overflowing,

His way is ideal.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You created us to be in community. Thank You that You call us to continue to do what the early church did – to gather together to worship and to share meals and fellowship together. Forgive us for isolating ourselves and not plugging into the community to which we are called. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would be willing to go where You call and invite others to share time and fellowship and food with us. Show us how to love well the people that You have placed in our path. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we gather together with gladness. Amen.

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

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

How Harmony Happens

May God, who gives the patience and encouragement help you live in complete harmony with each other as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. – (Romans 15:5, NLT)

I pray that our God, who calls you and gives you perseverance and encouragement, will join all of you together to share one mind according to Jesus the Anointed. – (Romans 15:5, VOICE)

We are called to live as one body. The purpose that unites us ought to be our commitment to love God and love people as we have been commanded to do. Being humans with our own minds, we will never see eye-to-eye on everything with others. However, if we are choosing to love according to what is asked of us, a harmonious life with one another is possible through Christ. He gives patience and encouragement when ours wears thin, and shows us His heart for those around us if we only ask. May we seek the Lord and His love, so that we may be at peace with those around us. 

Called as a body, 

 To live well as one;

United purpose,

Reflecting the Son. 

For if we love God,

And all those we see;

Together we’ll rise,

In Christ’s unity. 

He gives us patience,

To choose persevere;

To love as He loves,

So His peace is near. 


Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You provide patience, encouragement and love so that we can live together as one in You, as the body of believers. Father forgive us for all that we do to destroy the harmony You intended among us, and give us Your eyes and heart for one another so that above all, we choose to love. Show us how to love like You in all things and at all times so that others may see Your peace present within us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You for all that we need to live in harmony as one body of believers. Amen. 

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. – Psalm 34:8


Able to Answer

Be wise in the way you act with those who are not believers. Use your time in the best way you can. When you talk, you should always be kind and wise. Then you will be able to answer everyone in the way you should. – (Colossians 4:5-6, ERV)

Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversations be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone. – (Colossians 4:5-6, NLT)

 

The things that we say and do matter. In some circles, the only Jesus people have ever seen is that which we display through our words and deeds. If we show love and kindness and wisdom with our words and actions, the grace of God within us will draw others unto Himself. This is not something that just flows out of us at will, but rather is a capacity within us that is nurtured and grown as we seek and spend time with our Savior. The more we know Him, the more we reflect His heart through our words and way of being. May we ever seek the Lord and His grace, so that our lives are a clear reflection of His goodness and grace as we respond according to the Lord’s leading.

 

Be wise with actions,choose-love1

Wherever you go;

For our words and deeds,

Are how God’s made known.

Help every word,

Be gracious and kind;

So we always speak,

With Your heart in mind.

If we seek the Lord,

For wisdom and grace;

He’ll help us respond,

And walk in His ways.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You will give us wisdom to act according to Your will and use our time wisely, if we seek You for help. Thank You that You do the same for how we speak with others, as You grant us Your grace to extend kindness and wisdom in how we answer everyone. Forgive us for acting according to our own will, rather than Yours, or for attempting to be kind without seeking You and Your grace. Teach us to trust You more, as You are our Source and Supply in all things. Show us how to love with kindness, wisdom and grace, so that people see You through how we love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek Your wisdom to act according to Your will wherever we go. Amen.

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

Shout aloud and sing for joy. – Isaiah 12:6

Clothing the Corners of Our Heart

With the ever growing unrest and tensions in the world around us, it is all the more imperative that we go out prepared, according to God’s standards. It is not about how we appear on the outside, but rather how we clothe the corners of our heart.

 

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. – (Colossians 3:12, NIV)

 

Can you imagine what the world would look like if everyone approached one another with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience? Though we cannot expect others to conform to the “clothing of Christ“, we can extend these things to all whom we encounter, modeling the very things that we hope to see in return. Change does not happen with giant waves of conformity, rather it begins with one, or perhaps a few, who choose to be kind or compassionate. Those who opt to walk in humility and gentleness, despite that which surrounds them – these are the agents of change in the world. May we have the patience to press in and seek the Lord, allowing Him to be our Source and our strength to clothe our hearts with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, so that we may go forth and give to others as the Lord intended.

 

As the believers,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Let us rise and choose;

To be clothed in Christ,

All unkindness lose.

Be clothed with kindness,

Compassion and grace;

Gentle and humble,

To the human race.

Always be patient,

For God’s been with us;

He loved us to life,

And gave us Jesus.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for loving us so much that You sent Your Son to save us from ourselves. Thank You that when we seek You, You meet us where we are. Thank You that in Your strength, we can be clothed with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, so that we may extend the same to others. Forgive us for not seeking You or for not clothing our hearts with Your character. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would more accurately reflect who You are to a world so desperately in need of Your goodness and grace. Show us how to love with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek to honor You by clothing ourselves in the character traits of Christ. 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

The Endurance and Patience We Need

We also pray that you will be strengthened with all His glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy. – (Colossians 1:11, NLT)

Strengthen them with Your infinite power, according to Your glorious might, so that they will have everything they need to hold on and endure hardship patiently and joyfully. – (Colossians 1:11, VOICE)

 

Not only was Paul a conveyor of truth, but he was great at encouraging believers to persevere, no matter what they were facing. He spoke not out of hypothetical scenarios, but rather much of his writing was done in prison or while under house arrest. He knew what it meant to be strengthened by the Lord, and had experienced again and again, the endurance and patience that God gives. Despite his circumstances, Paul was full of joy. The glorious power that the presence of God provides, was Paul’s constant companion, and the reason that he could exhort his fellow believers as he did. We too, have the very same Spirit dwelling within us, when we place our trust in Christ. All of His power provides the endurance and patience that we need to navigate whatever comes our way. His joy fills us as we recognize the reality of who He is and how He loves. May we go forth as encouragers who convey the truth, always persevering, no matter what comes. May His joy fill us to overflowing.

 

May we be strengthened,Growing Awareness

With the Lord’s power;

In our time of need,

Seek our Strong Tower.

He shall provide us,

All strength to endure;

Patience and His joy,

In Him, we’re secure.

All that we might need,

The Lord shall supply;

He’s present to hear,

Every heart cry.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we come to You and pray to You, You hear us and answer our heart’s cry. Thank You that You strengthen us with Your glorious power, and give us endurance and patience that we so desperately need. Thank You that You fill us with Your joy. Forgive us for our lack of patience and perseverance when things get difficult. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would lean into You, relying on Your strength rather than our own. Show us how to love others in a way that strengthens and encourages every heart that is feeling defeated, so that they would look to You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to be our strength, and rely on You to provide patience and endurance as You fill us with Your joy. Amen.

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

They will celebrate Your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of Your righteousness. – Psalm 145:7

He is Risen

But very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. So they went in, but they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus. – (Luke 24:1-3,  NLT)
The very same women who had stood at the foot of the cross in horror on Friday, then set to task making burial spices that night, were stuck staying in their space of sorrow on the Sabbath, and now, at last on Sunday, as they thought that they could go and anoint the body of their beloved Savior – discovered He was no longer in the grave! Panic gave way to praise as the angels of the Lord explained to the women what had happened and why Jesus was no longer lying in the tomb. Recalling the truth that they had been told by Jesus before His death on the cross, the ladies rushed back to tell the other believers what they had discovered. As we awaken to the truth that today holds, may we feel the same sense of urgency to go and let the truth be made known.

 

A matter of days,Hope in an Empty Tomb

and everything changed;

a sorrowful space,

now all rearranged.

Where death had seemed reign,

the truth became clear;

hell was defeated,

through Christ coming near.

He took on the cross,

all our sin and shame;

laid it in the grave,

set free by His pain.

It did not end there,

on Sunday He rose;

up out of the grave,

so His grace, we’d know.

Jesus has risen,

and we are set free;

forgiven and loved,

all praise unto Thee.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to make the way for us to have a restored relationship with You. Thank You Jesus, for taking all of our sin and shame upon Yourself, so that we might have life everlasting. Thank You that it did not end at the cross, for the grave could not hold You, as Your love is too great for us, Your created. Forgive us for not recognizing the magnitude of Your love and sacrifice that is given freely unto us. Teach us to embrace all that You give, so that we might have life abundant in You. Show us how to love others in such a way, that they too, may come to understand the greatness of Your mercy and grace that You freely give. May many choose to place all of their trust in You. Be exalted O God, as we give all glory and honor to You. Amen.

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

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

Gratitude is Not Conditional

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. – (1 Thessalonians 5:18, NLT)

Give thanks to God no matter what circumstances you find yourself in. (This is God’s will for all of you in Jesus the Anointed.) – (1 Thessalonians 5:18, VOICE)

 

Gratitude is the attitude that should be ever present among believers. Though our circumstances may be less than stellar sometimes, we have the assurance that our ultimate outcome will be far greater than we can even begin to imagine. This hope that we hold is reason enough to be thankful at all times, regardless of what we are going through. Additionally, even when we walk through our darkest times, we are never alone. Christ comes near and remains present, granting us further reason to be thankful in all things. May we give thanks with a grateful heart, not necessarily for what we are going through, but for He who walks beside us, and gives us help and hope and strength to get to the other side.

 

No matter what comes,The Benefit of Broken Barriers

give thanks to the Lord;

not for circumstance,

but hope He affords.

For all in this life,

is but a season;

hope is eternal,

our thanking reason.

Let every heart,

rise up and give praise;

not for what we see,

but for the Lord’s ways.

In each circumstance,

know that the Lord’s near;

each cry of our heart,

is heard by His ear.

Thanks be to the Lord,

for now and always;

in each circumstance,

let us choose to praise.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are good, no matter what comes our way. Thank You that You goodness and faithfulness are not dependent on our circumstances. Thank You that when we belong to You, our hope is steadfast and secure forever. Forgive us for forgetting our reasons to give thanks in ALL things and at ALL times, despite the difficulties we endure. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would remember our reasons to give You thanks and praise, even when the things around us are less than ideal. Show us how to love others in a way that offers hope and help in the midst of challenging seasons, so that they may see the light of Your hope in us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we give thanks to You no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in, for You are ALWAYS worthy of our thanks and praise. Amen.

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

May God Almighty grant you mercy. – Genesis 43:14

A Command to Love

The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. – (1 Timothy 1:5, NIV)

 

In this passage, Paul was giving Timothy instruction as to how to stand firm in the faith. Paul’s instruction was received well by Timothy because Paul had proven his heart toward him and his fellow believers over time. Love had been made evident over time, and the instructions were delivered from one with a good conscience, sincere faith and a heart that had been made pure by that which Christ had done. We are called to do likewise. It is our charge – His command to us – to love. The only way that we can truly do this is if we love as He has loved us. When we submit ourselves to Christ, He purifies our hearts, cleanses our conscience from any unrighteousness, and grows us in sincere faith. It is from this space of submission, that we are able to fulfill the goal of the greatest command – to love. May we choose to receive that which He has given unto us, and go forth and do the same to all whom we encounter.

 

The greatest command,Purposeful Prayer

that we have been told;

instructs us to love,

all whom we behold.

Not just those we choose,

but all whom come in;

as Christ’s beloved,

treat all as if kin.

From a heart that’s pure,

and conscience that’s clean;

with a sincere faith,

show all what love means.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not ask anything of us that You do not first demonstrate and then equip us to do. Thank You for the gift of Your Son, Jesus, who came and showed us how to love from a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith. Thank You Jesus, for Your sacrifice so that we could become pure and acceptable before God because of what You have done for us. Forgive us for not recognizing the remarkable work that You did on our behalf on the cross to make us acceptable before You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would receive that which we have been freely given, and would then go forth and do likewise in love. Help us to love others well, as You so perfectly love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek to obey Your call on our lives to love others well from a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith. Amen.

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

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad. – 1 Chronicles 16:31

 

 

Enter With Thanksgiving

Enter His gates with thanksgiving; go into His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His Name. – (Psalm 100:4)

Before Christ came, people had to go to the temple to be in the presence of God. To truly present their thanks, praise and offerings, they had to physically go to the temple courts and partake in a rigorous routine. Today, we can enter His gates with thanksgiving and go into His courts with praise, any hour of any day. Christ dwells within our very own heart, if we choose only to invite Him in. When we give thanks to God and praise His Name, it is as if we are in the throne room itself, because of God with us, through the Holy Spirit. Because we are blessed as believers to have Christ with us at all times, we always have reason to give Him thanks and praise. May we choose to rise up and enter His gates with thanksgiving and go into His courts with praise, not for what is going on around us, but for who He is within us.

May each heart enter,Enter With Thanksgiving

His gates full of thanks;

go into His courts,

to offer God praise.

For this is a space,

found within our heart;

as we recognize,

where the throne room starts.

We need not look far,

for the Lord is near;

our help and our hope,

each prayer He will hear.

All thanks be to God,

give praise to His Name;

for He is so good,

let our hearts proclaim.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can enter Your gates with thanksgiving and go into Your courts with praise directly, without having to travel far, nor participate in rigorous rituals to be made right before You. Thank You for the gift of Your Son, who made the way for us to be seen as clean before You. Thank You, Jesus, for bearing all of our sin and shame, so that we could be viewed as acceptable and worthy to worship before You. Forgive us for taking the magnitude of Your sacrifice for granted, or for not giving proper thanks and praise unto You. Teach us to have hearts that overflow with thanksgiving for who You are, as You alone are worthy of all thanks and praise. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they too, may find reason to offer thanks. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we enter Your gates with thanksgiving and go into Your courts with praise. Amen.

© 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