Pursue Peace

Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness – without it no one will see the Lord. – (Hebrews 12:14, HCSB)

Try to live in peace with everyone. And try to keep your lives free from sin. Anyone whose life is not holy will never see the Lord. – (Hebrews 12:14, ERV)

Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness, since no one will see God without it. – (Hebrews 12:14, VOICE)

There are times that this seems like a monumental task, yet it is what we are called to do. If we are pursuing peace, we are choosing to love over being right. To pursue holiness, we must pursue He who is holy. It is Christ in us that makes us holy, not anything that we say or do on our own. Our eternal hope is held in the Lord and as we choose Him again and again, we can rest assured that He holds us in His hands. God strengthens and equips us to pursue peace with those around us and to seek His righteousness to keep us on the path that He has prepared for us. May we ever seek the Lord for love, strength and direction as we pursue peace and aspire to live according to His good and perfect will, so that we may rest assured in the promise of heaven forever. 

O Lord show us how,

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To pursue Your peace;

A love that settles,

Puts others at ease.

Lead us and guide us,

Away from all sin;

Show us Your nearness,

Give strength from within.

For only in You,

Is there holiness;

We’re covered and cleansed,

By Your righteousness.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to pursue peace and to live right through the power of Your great love. Forgive us for every time we fall short. Teach us to ever seek You to be our strength that propels us forward in peace and righteousness. Lead us to love like You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, Lord. Be glorified O God, as we pursue peace with everyone and walk in the wonder of Your great love knowing that our hope is in eternity with You. Amen.

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

Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path. – Psalm 119:105

So Much More

John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” – (Luke 3:16, NIV)

John’s answer to this was, “I baptize you in water, but there is someone coming later who is able to do more than I can. I am not good enough to be the slave who unties His sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” – (Luke 3:16, ERV)

But John made it clear by telling them, “There is one coming who is mightier than I. He is supreme. In fact, I’m not worthy of even being His slave. I can only baptize you in this river, but He will baptize you into the Spirit of holiness and into His raging fire.” – (Luke 3:16, TPT)

As we have begun to march our way through December, I have decided to join in and read the corresponding chapter of Luke each day, leading to Christmas eve. This morning, as I read through Luke 3, verse sixteen stood out to me as a reminder of how we ought to view the season. In this season of Advent, the waiting for “The Arrival”, there is a powerful opportunity to look back on the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Even before Jesus began His ministry, there were indicators along the way that pointed out just how powerful and significant Jesus would be. John, the cousin of Jesus, had been raised up to faithfully follow God, and grew in wisdom and boldness as he faithfully taught and baptized all who were ready to hear and follow after God. Despite his following, John always pointed people to look forward to Jesus and the mighty power He would hold. In the same way, we ought to fix our eyes on Jesus, as He came to us as a baby, but returned to heaven as our Eternal King. May we marvel at God’s goodness this season, as He sent His Son to save us so that we might know the power of His Spirit within and among us.

The good we see now,

Is merely a glimpse;

Of what is to come,

That yet to exist.

Our hope, heavenward,

Where light and love dwell;

Let our hearts choose Him,

As we’re loved so well.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to dwell among us and show us the love and power, goodness and hope that is found in You. Forgive us for losing sight of the reason for the season. Teach us to look at the entire picture, not just the snapshot of a baby in a manger. Show us how to love those around us in practical and tangible ways. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You and study Your word to better grasp the goodness held in life with You. Amen.

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

But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. – John 16:13

Where Status is Certain

Facebook has taken a person’s “status” to a whole new level. For some, their status is changed daily, based on how they are feeling. For others, once a status is selected, they are bound and determined for it to remain the same forever. Sadly, life does not always allow us the choice to uphold nor freely change our “status“. Sometimes the storms set in, and though we survive, we emerge changed. Even if our “status” change is for our own good, there is often grief and sorrow that stay with us, as we adjust to our new label.

In Christ, we never have to worry about our status changing. If we choose Him and obey Him, we are His. But if anyone obeys His word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in Him: Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus did. – (1 John 2:5-6) Christ does not expect us to do this on our own, but rather He indwells us upon our invitation. When we invite Him to reign in our lives, He empowers us to live as He lived, and to love as He loved. The only “status” that lasts forever is who we are in Him. May we choose to trust in Christ, and allow Him to transform our hearts and minds to reflect God with us.

Status

Facebook status options…

Our status may stand,

when found in the Lord;

for all others ways,

are tossed to and fro.

We cannot control,

the storms that do come;

but we can rely,

on God’s only Son.

For when we’re in Christ,

He too is in us;

granting us the strength,

to rise and to trust.

The only thing certain,

is our walk with Him;

for He never leaves,

once invited in.

May we be transformed,

in our heart and mind;

to reflect the Lord,

through loving mankind.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that our status with You is certain when we trust in You. Thank You that You alone are our hope and our strength in the storms, and that You will see us through every struggle we encounter. Thank You that You never leave us nor forsake us, and that what You promise, You will do. Forgive us for our fearfulness and our disappointment in our own defeated expectations. Teach us to trust in You completely, so that what is hoped for, is that which You place in our hearts. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they too would seek secure status in You alone. Be glorified O God, as we stand certain in our status as Your children, loved completely by You. Amen.

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

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