Clothed with His Character

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

God has chosen you and made you His holy people. He loves you. So, your new life should be like this: Show mercy to others. Be kind, humble, gentle and patient. – (Colossians 3:12, ERV) 

You are always and dearly loved by God! So, robe yourself with virtues of God, since you have been divinely chosen to be holy. Be merciful as you endeavor to understand others, and be compassionate, showing kindness toward all. Be gentle and humble, unoffendable in your patience with others. – (Colossians 3:12, TPT) 

 

When we know God, we are called and chosen to walk in His ways. This past week, I have been intentional to pray for specific students before the school day has even begun. What I have observed this week, has been a shift in a few individuals who were my most difficult. Two eighth grade boys have caused much struggle and strife this semester. For the first time in a long while, they were calm and attempting to actually work on the projects that have been assigned. Each one was given room to enter and settle, allowing them to get set in their space. Once students are set and working, I have sought to be compassionate and gentle in my approach. With one, I gather the materials needed for the day’s project and set them before him, extending my availability to answer questions or provide help if needed. For him, it seemed to make a way to focus and complete work. With the other, I have likewise chosen compassion, and simply asked what project he would like to work to complete each day. He too has been calm and attempting to work, rather than sitting idly by on his phone. Though I was gentle and kind previously, a slight shift in my approach seems to have been met with a shift in them as well. There are still others in that class that are “acting a fool”, but the simple transformation in the two is an example of my prayers heard and answered. May we ever seek the Lord to be our Source and Supply, allowing Him to clothe us in compassion, kindness, gentleness, patience and humility, keeping us from becoming offended by the actions of others. 

 

Because we are loved, Sowing Seeds of Peace

We also are called; 

To be the Lord’s light, 

For one and for all. 

Called to compassion, 

Equipped to give grace; 

Kindness and patience, 

Granted in our space. 

With a humble heart, 

Let no one’s offense; 

Deter us from love, 

His grace is immense. 

So, be clothed in love, 

That chooses extend; 

The heart of our God, 

On Whom we depend. 

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You hear our prayers and equip us to carry out all to which we are called. Forgive us for our frustration when we cannot see the change You are making. Teach us to trust and rely on You more, as Your love covers all. Show us how to love those around us, especially those who are most challenging to love. Grant us Your eyes to see them, and Your heart to extend kindness and grace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we rely on You to supply us with kindness, patience, humility and love for all whom we encounter. Amen.

 

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

 

You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in Your providence watched over my spirit. – Job 10:12

The Mirror of the Heart

As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person. – (Proverbs 27:19, NLT)

Just as you can see your own face reflected in water, so your heart reflects the kind of person you are. – (Proverbs 27:19, ERV)

A mirror reflects a man’s face, but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses. – (Proverbs 27:19, TLB)

 

The very heart of who we are is demonstrated by the choices we make. Our words, our deeds and the very company we keep, all show the content of our character in the same way that water or a mirror reflect our physical appearance. People are far more aware of the condition of our heart through what we do consistently over time, rather than what we claim. A few of my favorite quotes that are connected to this verse, include: “Actions speak louder than words” and “Preach the gospel always. When necessary, use words.”(St. Francis of Assisi) Both quotes emphasize the importance of what we do. People cannot and will not have any desire to hear what we have to say if they do not trust our heart. May we ever seek our Savior to strengthen us to love as He loves us, without limits or conditions, so that we may clearly reflect the heart of our Father in heaven.

 

May what we reflect, The Mirror of the Heart

From the inside out;

Be a heart of love,

Spread kindness about.

For all that we do,

Speaks louder than words;

Each time we give grace,

Love’s goodness is heard.

In all that we do,

And all that we say;

May our hearts reflect,

The Lord’s loving ways.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are good and kind and loving to all who seek You. Thank You that as we ask, You equip us to do the same. Forgive us for the times that our words, thoughts or actions have not been loving or kind. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would extend kindness and grace, even in the spaces where it does not seem warranted. Show us how to love those around us in tangible ways that help their hearts hear how Your heart beats for them. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to fuel our hearts with faith to live out Your love in our every word and deed. Amen.

 

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

For great is His love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord. – Psalm 117:2

The Unlikely Chosen

Then he told me, “The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know His will and to see the Righteous One and hear Him speak. For you are to be His witness, telling everyone what you have seen and heard.” – (Acts 22:14-15, NLT)

Ananias told me, “The God of our fathers chose you long ago to know His plan. He chose you to see the Righteous One and to hear words from Him. You will be His witness to all people. You will tell them what you have seen and heard.” – (Acts 22:14-15, ERV)

Then he said, “You have been chosen by the God of our ancestors to know His will, to see the Righteous One, and to hear the voice of God. You will tell the story of what you have seen and heard to the whole world.” – (Acts 22:14-15, VOICE)

 

Paul, who was previously known as Saul, had a divine encounter with God on the road to Damascus. His experience interrupted his entire system of belief. Where Paul had been persecuting people who were claiming this new Way, rather than living by a strict code of rules and rituals, he now too, had a first-hand encounter with the living God, and could not go back to what he formerly had known. God chooses seemingly unlikely people to interrupt in their tracks and touch hearts and lives. The incredible thing is, no one can dispute our own personal experiences. I imagine that is what made Paul’s testimony so powerful. People knew who Paul had been, were seeing a man transformed, speaking of grace and forgiveness, where he had once likely spoken of following the law or else. The remainder of his life was used to do exactly that – to tell the whole world of what he had seen and heard. Paul traveled far and wide for the times, and recorded much of God’s faithfulness in the New Testament. May we walk out our days with hearts wide open, ever willing to share our own story of God’s faithfulness to us.

 

With eyes wide open, Chosen With Purpose

May we walk along;

Trusting our Savior,

As He makes us strong.

When chances arise,

Share His faithfulness;

So others may know,

There’s help in the mess.

Help us to love well,

Be Your heart and hands;

Extend hope to those,

Who need see Your plan.

For You are so good,

No matter what comes;

Let us rest in You,

’til each day is done.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not call the equipped, but You equip the called. Thank You that we do not have to measure up to serve and honor You, but rather You transform us from the inside out as we pursue a life in You. Forgive us for anything that gets in the way of walking out that which You are calling us to do. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would listen and obey. Show us how to love those around us in a way that points hearts to You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we tell our own stories of Your faithfulness in our lives so that people may know of Your goodness and grace. Amen.

 

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

 

Listen… be wise, and keep your heart on the right path. – Proverbs 23:19

Sharing a Shoulder

Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. – (Galatians 6:2, NLT)

Help each other with your troubles. When you do this, you are obeying the law of Christ. – (Galatians 6:2, ERV)

Shoulder each other’s burdens, and then you will live as the law of the Anointed teaches us. – (Galatians 6:2, VOICE)

 

At my church, there has been a phrase that has been spoken many times over the years. I always knew that it was Biblically based, but never really thought about the specific reference from which it may have been derived. However, this morning, this seems a fitting verse to align with the statement, “At Grace, no one stands alone.” The statement is a direct affirmation of a commitment to be obedient to share each others burdens so that no one is attempting to carry the weight on their own. Whatever the challenge, it is lessened when another chooses to join in the journey. Often when we help one another, we end up being helped ourselves in the process. There is a discovery of strength and help and grace, as we walk beside another in the strain of their struggle. May we rise up and look to help one another bear the burdens that life brings, so that we are walking in obedience to Christ and recognizing the power that is present as we choose to obey.

 

The Lord is calling, OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So that we might see;

Each other’s burdens,

Places where there’s need.

We are meant to share,

The weight of their load;

To help them travel,

Where they’re meant to go.

As we opt rise up,

And help bear the weight;

It’s as God has called,

His peace shall be great.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to share each others burdens so that we have tangible help through You. Thank You that as we walk alongside one another, we are being obedient to what You ask of us. Forgive us for attempting to shoulder the weight of our woes alone, or for neglecting to reach out to those that we know are in need. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would rely on You to lead us to those we are meant to walk beside, and receive the help from others that You provide. Show us how to love those around us who are bearing heavy burdens, so that we might help lessen their loads. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we help one another in times of trouble, just as You are present to help each of us. Amen.

 

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

 

Because of the tender mercy of our God, …the rising sun will come to us from heaven. – Luke 1:78

Patient Acceptance

Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. – (Ephesians 4:2, NLT)

Always be humble and gentle. Be patient and accept each other with love. – (Ephesians 4:2, ERV)

 

If God, the Creator of the Earth and all that exists, chooses to be patient and gentle with us, how much more should we extend patience and gentleness to those around us? Jesus humbled Himself to step down from heaven and make His love known in a tangible way. By His grace, we each have the opportunity to love and be loved by God; for He forgives our faults and loves us as we come. In the same way, we are called to accept others in love, just as they are, knowing that each of us is a work in progress. Not one of us has “arrived“, and we all need grace. May we walk in humility and gentleness, extending patience, as we accept one another in love.

 

Always be humble,Gods protection

Extend gentleness;

Be patient and kind,

To show God exists.

For when we accept,

Each other in love;

Christ’s love is made known,

As hope points above.

Let us overlook,

The faults of others;

Instead choose to love,

Sisters and brothers.

From this sort of love,

Our hearts shall know peace;

As grace is granted,

Barriers release.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You not only call us to be humble and gentle and patient with each other, but You have shown us how through Jesus. Thank You Jesus, for demonstrating what it is to overlook other’s faults in love, as You looked past what was, and saw who people could become. Forgive us for not having patience with imperfections, as we all are fallen and flawed. Teach us to view others through Your lens, so that we would see the good in everyone whom we encounter. Show us how to love others with patience and gentleness, leading us in humility as we go. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, Lord. Be glorified O God, as we humbly extend patience, gentleness and love to all whom we meet. 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

No Record of Wrongdoings

If You, God, kept records of wrongdoings, who would stand a chance? As it turns out, forgiveness is Your habit, and that’s why You’re worshiped. – (Psalm 130:3-4, MSG)

 

Today, I am so thankful that God is not like us. Imagine if God were only able to forgive over time? Or worse, if God held grudges? Though we may pursue to extend the same forgiveness to others that Christ has given to us, not one of us has arrived. There is always something that weighs on our hearts, or that takes us time to walk through, before we can truly forgive. With God, He chooses to take our sin and remember it no more. Such mercy and grace warrants worship. May we embrace the grace that our loving Father grants to us, and offer all of our praise to Him, as we seek His help to do unto others as He has done for us.

 

The glory of grace,Risk to Reward

Beyond what we see;

For not one could stand,

Without God’s mercy.

Forgiveness given,

Though it’s not deserved;

Reason for worship,

Give praise undeterred.

May we seek the Lord,

for His love and grace;

So we can extend,

The same all our days.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You keep no record of our wrongs when we repent before You. Thank You that You forgive out of Your abundant love. Forgive us for our stubborn hearts that hold grudges and hurt, rather than giving the offenses over to You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would bring all of our burdens before You, and allow You to mend the brokenness with Your lavish love. Show us how to keep no record of wrongs, and to extend mercy and grace to all those around us. May many come to find a lasting relationship with You, as they see Your love in our words and deeds. Be glorified O God, as we seek to love without limits and to forgive freely like You. 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

Our Source of Inner Strength

I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. – (Ephesians 3:16-17, NLT)

I ask the Father with His great glory to give you the power to be strong in your spirits. He will give you strength through His Spirit. I pray that Christ will live in your hearts because of your faith. I pray that your life will be strong in love and be built on love. – (Ephesians 3:16-17, ERV)

 

Though physical training is beneficial to our bodies, and external strength can serve us well; far greater still is when we gain strength within from the Holy Spirit whom resides in the hearts of all who trust in Him. A life lived strong is one that is built on the love of Christ, and then lived out accordingly. May we invest our hearts and lives in the Lord so that would be a people deep-rooted in the love of God, and able to extend love through the strength He has grown within us.

 

When we seek the Lord,Living a Legacy Life

He does hear our prayer;

Granting our hearts strength,

As we choose draw near.

He’ll enter our hearts,

Where He shall remain;

Planting our roots deep,

Making our path plain.

Though the Lord has all,

In love, chooses you;

Makes your heart His home,

And grants strength anew.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You empower us internally with Your strength, so that we may trust in You and love others as You love us. Thank You that You make our hearts Your home when we invite You to enter in. Forgive us for attempting to rely on any strength other than that which comes from You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would seek You in all things, allowing You to lead and guide us every step we take. Show us how to allow You to grow our roots deeper in You, so that we may be strong and steady in the truth. Help us to love others as You so faithfully love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we allow You to be our Source of strength, and the One on whom we depend. Amen.

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

Answer me, O Lord, out of the goodness of Your love; in Your great mercy turn to me. – Psalm 69:16

Real Love

This is real love – not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. – (1 John 4:10, NLT)

This is the embodiment of true love: not that we have loved God first, but that He loved us and sent His unique Son on a special mission to become an atoning sacrifice for our sins. – (1 John 4:10, VOICE)

 

Real love is sacrificial and chooses others first. Jesus came and showed us just how powerful His love is, as He chose to take on all of our sin and shame, and willingly wore them as He hung upon the cross. He who was without sin bore all sin, so that we could know Him, and have life everlasting. There is no greater love than this. Though we are not called to bear the weight of the world’s sin, we are asked to love one another, setting aside our pride and selfish priorities, so that all whom we encounter may have the opportunity to see His love through how we treat one another. May we love because He loved us first, and offer peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness and His hope, to all whom we meet.

 

There is only One,Generous Giving

who shows us what’s true;

His life sacrificed,

so we could be new.

Our sins washed away,

by His suffering;

He willingly went,

for freedom He’d bring.

There’s no greater love,

than the love of Christ;

all grace that He gives,

new hope for our lives.

May we seek to love,

with His love so true;

so all may come know,

how His love breaks through.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You showed us what real love truly is, as You sent Your Son to take away all of our sin and shame so that we might have life everlasting in You. Forgive us for not embracing the grace that You have freely given, or for not extending the hope that we hold to all whom we encounter. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would hold fast to all that we have in You, and in turn, offer the same to all whom we meet. Show us how to love others in such a way, that they too, may come to know the truth of Your great love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we embrace the love that You give to us, and then go forth and offer the same to others. Amen.

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

I thank and praise You, O God of my fathers: You have given me wisdom and power. – Daniel 2:23

To Serve and Follow the Savior

Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. – (John 12:26)

 

Jesus does not limit who may come and follow Him, however, He does require us to serve and follow only Him. Whomever chooses to serve and follow Christ, will be honored by the Father, and considered a servant of Christ. If we are sincere in our seeking, He is ready for the meeting. We are welcomed by Christ and His promises and provisions are for all of us. May we each choose to serve and follow Christ, so that we may be considered His servants and honored by Him whom we serve.

 

Let us choose to serve,Compassion in Confrontations

rise up, follow Christ;

in all that we do,

bring honor, delight.

The Lord will honor,

all who come to serve;

pour out His kindness,

despite what’s deserved.

Joy in the journey,

that we give Christ lead;

He helps and holds us,

and meets all our needs.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we serve and follow You, we are where You are. Thank You that You honor those who serve You, despite the broken places from which we have come. Forgive us for thinking that we have nothing to offer, or for getting too caught up in our own world to look outside of ourselves to see the needs that You are calling us to meet. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would keep our eyes fixed on You and our ears and hearts open to all that You have for us to do. Lead us to love others well, just as You so graciously love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we choose to serve and follow You all of our days. 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

Such A Time As This

I love the story of Esther. This morning, as my daily reading had me go through chapters three through eight, the ah-ha that grabbed my attention was found in the footnotes that accompany verses 4:17-5:1. God was in control, yet Mordecai and Esther had to act. We cannot understand how both can be true at the same time, and yet they are. God chooses to work through those willing to act for Him. We should pray as if all depended on God and act as if all depended on us… (NIV footnotes)

 

Esther knew what she needed to do, yet had the wisdom to seek prayerful covering prior to her appearance before the king. She and all of the Jews who were willing to join her in fasting and praying, did so with all of their hearts for three days prior to her act of faith. For Esther to appear before the king without being summoned could have resulted in her demise. However, God’s favor was upon her, and the king received her into his presence and heard the petition she presented before him. Mordecai’s words to her when she first learned about the edict against her people, confirmed what she knew she must do. “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” – (Esther 4:14)

 

How are we being called to act on God’s behalf? Wherever we are called, and whatever we are called to do, we must be prayerfully depend on God, and faithfully move forward in action. May we each honor the Lord wherever we have be placed, for this time, in this space.

 

As we choose silence,Certain Hope

so that we may hear;

what is God asking,

in spite of our fear?

Always there is risk,

a powerful price;

yet, the freedom found,

will more than suffice.

For our steps of faith,

are met by the Lord;

Who upholds our hearts,

and grace is outpoured.

Wherever we are,

is intentional;

a time such as this,

be exceptional.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in all things we are to pray, completely depending on You, yet move forward in the strength that You have granted us to go forth. Thank You that You have placed each of us where we are for a purpose. Thank You that no matter how things appear, we are where we are, for such a time as this. Forgive us for not recognizing the opportunities that You place before us, not depending on You when we ought to, and for not moving forward when You have told us to go. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may act immediately when we hear You ask. Help us to love others as You so generously love us, and may many come to know the mercy and grace that You freely give to all who come before You. Be glorified Lord God, as we make the most of this time and space.

© 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