Faith Requires Action

My brothers and sisters, if a person claims to have faith but does nothing, that faith is worth nothing. Faith like that cannot save anyone. – (James 2:14, ERV)

My brothers and sisters, what good is it if people say they have faith but do nothing to show it? Claiming to have faith can’t save anyone, can it? – (James 2:14, CEB)

Dear brothers, what’s the use of saying that you have faith and are Christians if you aren’t proving it by helping others? Will that kind of faith save anyone? – (James 2:14, TLB)

 

No, there is nothing that we can do to make God love us more than He already does, nor is there a way to “earn” His favor. However, when there is a transformed heart through faith in Him, a desire to love as we are loved rises up within us. What we do and how we love is an outward demonstration of the internal transformation that Christ is doing within us. If we claim to have faith, but have no kindness, there is no evidence that faith actually exists. The outward expression of the faith that is fortified in Christ, ought to grow greater as we dig deeper in our walk with the Lord. May we ever invest time and energy in allowing God to grow our faith, so that our actions may clearly shine the light of His love.

 

Brothers and sisters, Good Gifts

May our faith shine bright;

As we seek love well,

In others, delight.

For faith in just words,

Means nothing at all;

If it is not shown,

Our words simply fall.

Yet faith that is shown,

Through actions in love;

Illuminate light,

From the Lord above.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we act in faith and choose to love and move in the direction You call, Your light shines bright before others. Forgive us for the times that faith has been a theory hidden in our hearts, rather than what we act upon and allow to lead us to move and do as You have done for us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will give action to the faith we hold in our hearts. Show us how to love well those around us, so that needs are met and good is given where it has been lacking. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we put our faith in action. 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

Our Story, His Glory

For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for Him. – (Philippians 1:29, NLT)

God has blessed you in ways that serve Christ. He allowed you to believe in Christ. But that is not all. He has also given you the honor of suffering for Christ. Both of these bring glory to Christ. – (Philippians 1:29, ERV)

 

At first read, this verse does not seem all that encouraging. Who wants to suffer? And suffering as an honor? Eesh… However, the more I think about it, the more I can see present day application in our area. Currently, in the U.S., there are few examples of people suffering for their faith. That being said, there are those who are in the midst of trials and tragedies that cling closely to Christ. The way in which they hold fast to their faith is a witness to all who know their story. I know I stand in awe when I hear stories of Christians who stand their ground in countries where people are persecuted for their faith. Additionally, I am amazed by the resilience and perseverance of people in the midst of personal pain who cling to Christ with all that they have. When we go through trials of any kind and choose to trust in the Lord, and allow our faith to flavor everything we do, people cannot help but notice and wonder why. God uses our circumstances to draw others unto Himself. It is in the throes of trials that we discover how great God is, and the hope we have in Him. As we come to grasp with certainty the hope we hold, others cannot help but desire what we have. May we recognize the privilege we have to walk out our lives in faith, and trust Christ in all things so that we might bring glory unto Him.

 

We have been given,Being Made New

Privilege in Christ;

In times of blessing,

And when it’s not nice.

For how we choose trust,

In good and in pain;

Will show to the world,

The hope in His Name.

So let us hold fast,

And give God glory;

As we choose to trust,

Him for our story.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we have the privilege to trust You in all things. Thank You for the blessings that You bestow upon us. Thank You for Your grace, strength, presence and peace in times of suffering. Thank You that You can use our suffering for Your glory. Forgive us for wanting to hide away in our suffering, rather than to rise up and move forward in faith. Teach us to trust You more, as You are the ultimate Author of our story, and You have prepared the perfect ending. Show us how to love people well through their seasons of blessing and of suffering, so that they may come to know the hope that is found in You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You in all things and at all times, allowing You glory for whatever happens in our story. Amen.

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

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. – Job 8:21

Season Our Surroundings

Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear. – (Luke 14:34-35)

 

Jesus was making a comparison between Christians and salt. Just as salt flavors and preserves food, those who believe and follow Him, are called to flavor and preserve His goodness and grace unto the world. Salt has a distinct flavor and is easily identifiable unless it has lost its saltiness. We too are called to be distinctly different from the world. Our commitment to following Christ should flavor all that we say and do, and therefore be evident to all whom we encounter. May our lives season our surroundings with the grace and goodness of Christ.

 

Let each of my words,To Season the Earth

be seasoned with grace;

and every deed,

point unto Your face.

Make my very life,

Your salt and Your light;

guiding the seeking,

to Your ways, upright.

May goodness be seen,

Your heart clear through mine;

help me be salty,

O Glory Divine.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to flavor and preserve Your good in the world. Thank You that You do not ask nor expect us to do this on our own, but rather You give us Your Holy Spirit to guide, direct, equip and empower us to do all that You are asking. Forgive us for the times that we have blended in with the world, rather than stood up for You as we should have. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will be strong and courageous, trusting You in every circumstance to direct our steps to take the position to which we are called. Lead us to love others as You unfailingly love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, as they recognize the magnitude of Your sacrifice. Be exalted O God, as we seek to season our surroundings with Your goodness and grace. 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

Confidence in Christ Compels Correct Living

When Paul was on trial before Felix for his faith, he eloquently captured the heart of why we as Christians, seek to do God’s will. I have the same hope in God that these Jews have – the hope that all people, good and bad, will be raised from death. This is why I always try to do what I believe is right before God and before everyone. – (Acts 24:14-16, ERV) It is our hope, our looking forward with confidence in Christ, that we are compelled to act in alignment with what we believe. This is not something that we are able to do in our own strength, but rather through the power of the Holy Spirit within us. Jesus, our example, spoke these words: The One who sent me is with me; He has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases Him. – (John 8:29) May we go forth this day, seeking to do right before God, as we hold fast to the hope we have in Him.

 

Our hope is held,Confidence in Christ

in Christ alone;

Who’ll raise us up,

before His throne.

May we do right,

as He has shown;

speaking the truth,

so it is known.

Let all the lost,

make God their own;

as they too trust,

in Christ alone.

May our actions,

and words be sown;

as light and life,

so Christ is shown.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that because we have hope in You, we have reason to seek You in all things. Thank You that when we come to You, You hear us and receive us as we are. Forgive us for not keeping short accounts before You, and help us to do right before You, always. Lead us and guide us in all that we do and say, so that Your light is evident in everything. Teach us to trust You more, so that our fervent faith is contagious. Help us to love well, as You so wonderfully love each of us. May many come into a saving relationship with You, as Your light shines through us. Be glorified, O God, as we pursue the path of righteousness in You. Amen.

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

And the Lord said, “I will cause all My goodness to pass in front of you.” – Exodus 33:19