Owning Our Iniquities

But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. – (1 John 1:9, NLT)

But if we own up to our sins, God shows us that He is faithful and just by forgiving all of our sins and purifying us from the pollution of all the bad things we have done. – (1 John 1:9, VOICE)

 

God is faithful to forgive, if we are willing to come before Him and confess that which we have said, thought or done that does not bring honor to His Name. Every unkind thought, every reckless word uttered, and every decision that we make that is not based on loving God and loving people well – He will forgive, if we will choose to own our offenses before the Lord. Not only does He forgive, but Christ deems us righteous before Him, as we are purified from the pollution of our ruptured relationship. May we choose to confess our sins before Him, and trust in His faithfulness to cleanse us from our unrighteousness, so that we may exercise our existence covered in His goodness and grace.

 

If we will confess,Beside Still Waters

all that we have done;

before Jesus Christ,

the battle is won.

For in His Great Name,

we‘ll be forgiven;

if we go to God,

for our wrong living.

He takes all our sin,

and washes us clean;

impurities gone,

and His love is seen.

When we choose stay near,

in step with the Lord;

light and life made plain,

as grace is outpoured.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that if we confess our sins before You, You are faithful and just to forgive us all of our unrighteousness – not because we deserve it, but because You love. Forgive us for not owning our iniquities to confess before You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would be sensitive to Your still small voice and be quick to confess all that we think, say and do that does not give glory to You. Show us how to walk in forgiveness with others, just as we are forgiven by You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, as they see the goodness that comes from a life lived in You. Be glorified O God, as we confess all of our sins before You and walk out our days free and forgiven from all that would keep us from honoring You. Amen.

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

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

Come Boldly to the Throne

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. – (Hebrews 4:16, NLT)

 

God is full of grace and mercy, ready for us to approach Him with both our offerings of praise and our requests. He receives our thanks and hears our appeals, and is grace, help and hope for hurting hearts. Through the loving sacrifice of Jesus, we are covered and seen as worthy to come boldly before the very throne of God. No longer do we have to perform sacrifices and pray lengthy prayers, but instead we can call on the Lord, who is as near as our next breath, and share our heart, our hurts, and our hopes. He hears, He sees, and He loves. His grace is ready and available for each of us, and is freely granted when we need it most. May we boldly come before our gracious God, trusting that we will receive His mercy and find His grace to help us in our time of need.

 

Come boldly before,Gentleness for the Weary

the throne of our God;

whose mercy and grace,

the heavens applaud.

For none can compare,

to what shall be found;

help that is granted,

and love that is sound.

All thanks be to God,

who gives what we need;

welcomes us draw near,

hungry hearts He feeds.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You let us come boldly before Your throne of grace to receive mercy, grace and help when we need it most. Thank You that You are loving and approachable, always. Thank You that we do not need to “clean up” before we come, but rather You cleanse us when we come before You, not because we are deserving, but because of Your great love. Forgive us for fearing that we are not worthy to approach You, or that we have somehow used up our portion of the help that You are willing to give. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would seek You in all things and at all times, regardless of how often we need help, mercy or grace. Show us how to love others with the very same sort of endless mercy and grace, as so often the very idea of love has been demonstrated as a conditional thing rather than a free gift that is given with no expectation of return. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, so that they can understand the only perfect example of what love truly is. Be glorified O God, as we come boldly before Your throne to receive help so that we might go forth and do likewise. Amen.

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

You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence. – Acts 2:28

Disciplined in Love

Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. – (Revelation 3:19)

Just as a loving parent corrects and redirects a misguided child, so does our Heavenly Father do for us. It is because of His great love for us, that He does not allow us to stay stagnant in our sinfulness, nor remain rooted in wrong patterns. Christ came to cleanse us from our unrighteousness, and created the way for us to be called clean. Our charge is to come before Him and repent – to admit our wrong doing and turn away from that which pulled us away from the path which He has placed before us. Any time that we feel that nudge of the Holy Spirit, the check from His still small voice, we must listen and act with fidelity so that we do not become steeped in the snare of sin. May we trust our loving Lord, who is our Heavenly Father, as He loves us and only rebukes and disciplines us because He loves us and wants us to walk out the very best that He has for us. His plans are exceedingly greater than we could ever hope for or imagine.

Because we are loved,Compassion in Confrontations

let us hear His voice;

for He will correct,

when we make poor choice.

He’ll show us the way,

to walk where He calls;

to escape the space,

of sin’s prison walls.

We must choose repent,

confess, turn away;

admit wrong doing,

return to His way.

Trust in our Father,

His love never ends;

His plans are righteous,

as He forgives sins.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that though we may not enjoy being rebuked nor disciplined, You do so in love and for our benefit. Thank You that You love us so much that You do not sit idly by and allow us to stay stuck in our sinfulness. Thank You that You call us out of darkness into Your glorious light. Forgive us for our resistance to correction. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would be earnest to repent as soon as we become aware of what You are asking us to do. Help us to embrace with grace, every correction that You bring, as we know that all discipline from You brings us closer to that whom You are calling us to become. Help us to love others with generosity and grace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we embrace Your correction in love, and repent right away so that we may move forward into that which You are calling us to do. 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

Create in Me a Clean Heart

Clean before Christ is a condition of the heart and mind, not an appearance of our physical form. The Pharisees in Jesus’ day were more concerned with their traditions and rituals that cleansed the outside and limited what and how they could consume nourishment, that they ended up completely neglecting their true need for spiritual cleansing. Jesus himself said the following: “Are you so dull?” he asked, “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him ‘unclean’? For it doesn’t go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body.” – (Mark 7:18-19)

 

We too, ought to be aware as well. What we consume with our heart and mind, determine our cleanliness before Christ. Do we honor Him with the choices we are making? If we falter, do we stop and ask for forgiveness and help so that we can avoid similar temptation in the future? The Lord looks at our hearts. He sees and knows where our priorities lie. May we seek Him first in all things, so that we may keep clean hearts and clear minds before Him.

 

Create in me, Lord,Intentional Retreat

a heart that is clean;

one that always seeks,

truth in the unseen.

For out of the heart,

is where life may flow;

to You we belong,

let Your love light show.

May our hearts and minds,

stay right before You;

so we act in love,

to Thee ever true.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that external things and the foods that we consume cannot make us unclean before You. Thank You that our cleansing happens from the inside out. Thank You that You cleanse our hearts and minds if we are only willing to allow You access to all. Forgive us for focusing on external things, rather than on keeping our hearts and minds pure before You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will place our hearts and minds in Your care, allowing You to cleanse and restore the places that are infected with things that should have never been allowed a voice. Help us to go forth and love well, all whom we encounter, just as You so lavishly love each of us. May many come into a cleansing relationship with You, Lord God. Be glorified as we are obedient to all that You are asking. 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

Good In, Good Out

Good people have good things saved in their hearts. That’s why they say good things. But those who are evil have hearts full of evil, and that’s why they say things that are evil. What people say with their mouths comes from what fills their hearts. – (Luke 6:45, ERV)

 

The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. – (Luke 6:45, NIV)

 

For good to be found within us, our hearts must be firmly rooted and established in Christ. It is only through Christ dwelling in us, that we are able to act according to His good and perfect will. As we trust in Him and abide in Him, the overflow of our time, energy and heart invested, will be made evident to those around us. May we seek to know Him more each day, and may we reflect His heart in all that we do and say.

 

Whatever’s consumed,How He Answers

by our heart and mind;

is the very thing,

that our voice shall find.

If we take in junk,

things that don’t uplift;

our hearts become hard,

and further we drift.

Yet if we seek Christ,

pursue what is good;

then out of us flows,

the good things that should.

Let us seek the Lord,

in all that we do;

so we are steadfast,

to Him, remain true.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in You, good may come from us. Thank You that we may be Your instruments of peace, if we are only willing to allow You to transform our hearts and minds. Forgive us for any garbage that we have allowed in, and cleanse our hearts and minds of that which does not build up and reflect clearly who You are to the world. Help us to bring good things to those around us, out of the abundance that You have so generously given unto us. Let Your love be evident in us, as we seek to love others as You so lavishly love each of us. Be glorified, O God, as we allow Your good to flow from us. Amen.

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

He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. – Proverbs 11:25

The Kindness of God

But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. – (Titus 3:4-7, NIV)

 

But then the kindness and love of God our Savior was made known. He saved us because of His mercy, not because of any good things we did. He saved us through the washing that made us new people. He saved us by making us new through the Holy Spirit. God poured out to us that Holy Spirit fully through Jesus Christ our Savior. We were made right with God by His grace. God saved us so that we could be His children and look forward to receiving life that never ends. – (Titus 3:4-7, ERV)

 

Our salvation, the promised hope of His presence now and our future forever in heaven with Him, is a gift that He freely gives to us out of His insatiable love for His created. His love is equally available to all. There is no preferential treatment in who is saved and who is not, rather it is a matter of who is willing to receive that which He is offering to all. When we grasp but a glimpse of His kindness and love for us, we cannot help but lay hold of that which He is offering. He chose to take all of our sin and shame upon Himself, so that we could be made clean and acceptable before the Father. More than that, when He returned to the right hand of the Father, He sent His Holy Spirit to be present in the hearts of all who believe, ever renewing our minds so that we can become whom He created us to be. What a treasure we hold to be called co-heirs with Christ!

 

It is His kindness,The Kindness of God

that showed us the way;

brought us to repent,

our hearts gone astray.

His love, it woos us,

to mercies brand new;

His grace embraces,

and carries us through.

His Spirit poured out,

to lead and to guide;

to show us the way,

always by our side.

This glorious gift,

is ours to embrace;

receive all He has,

and walk in His grace.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that it is Your kindness and love that draws us unto You. Thank You that we are not saved by our own righteousness, but by receiving that which You offer. Thank You that as we receive, You cleanse us from our unrighteousness and make us new, by Your Holy Spirit. Thank You that in You, we have help for today and hope for all of eternity. Forgive us for thinking that we somehow have to earn our salvation, rather than receive what You are offering. Thank You that as we are saved, You grow in us, the desire to do good works, and use those to bless and encourage those who need to see You in a tangible way. Help us to keep our focus on You in all things and at all times, so that our heart is right before You. May we love others as You so lavishly love us, and may many come to know the glorious gift of eternal life that You are offering. Be exalted, O God, in everything that we say and do. Amen.

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

For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. – I Peter 2:19

Renewing Our Minds

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will. – (Romans 12:2)

 

God’s plans for us are perfect. His will is for the very best for His children. God gave His Son so that we would have access to His pleasing and perfect will, personally. As we seek Him, and give ourselves as living sacrifices unto His service, we are transformed and our minds are made new.

 

No longer conforming to the pattern of this world goes far beyond no longer partaking in corrupt customs or self-pleasing practices that heap harm on ourselves or others, but instead, it involves making a choice to live to honor and obey the Lord. As we allow the Holy Spirit access to all, our hearts are transformed, and our minds are made new. When He is at work in us, we are more aware of His will for us. May we each be malleable, as we allow Him access to transform us and renew our minds.

 

Conform no longer,Renewing Our Minds

to ways of the world;

grant the Lord access,

a future secured.

If we let Him in,

He’ll transform, make new;

cleanse our hearts and minds,

show us what to do.

Wisdom too granted,

to know the Lord’s will;

so we may honor,

by His Spirit’s fill.

May we too, lay down,

our self-pleasing ways;

and be now transformed,

for all of our days.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to no longer conform to the patterns of this world, but rather to be transformed by Your renewing of our minds. Thank You that as we allow You access, You grant us what we need, by Your Spirit in us, to understand what is Your good, pleasing and perfect will. Forgive us for choosing to conform to the ways of the world, or for not listening to the still small voice within. Help us to invest our hearts, minds and time in our relationship with You, so that our hearts are cleansed and our minds are made new. May we live and love according to Your good, pleasing and perfect will, and may many come to know You, personally, as a result. Be exalted, Lord God, as we respond to Your renewing of our minds. Amen.

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

He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. – Proverbs 11:23

 

The Mouth Makes Known the Heart

Though caring for our bodies is quite important, the care and condition of our hearts is critical.

 

“Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and those make a man unclean.” – (Matthew 16:17-18)

 

The condition of our heart is what matters most to God. He sees where others cannot, and only He can shed light where darkness dwells. As we allow Him to rule and reign in our hearts, minds and entire lives, that which comes out of us, becomes pure and pleasing before Him. If we keep things hidden, or do not allow Christ full access, that which escapes from our mouth reveals the darkness dwelling within. May our every move be motivated by our magnificent Maker.

 

Whatever’s let in,The Mouth Makes Known the Heart

will soon be revealed;

is it light and love,

or darkness, concealed?

For out of our lips,

flows what’s in our heart;

may each word we speak,

shed light where it’s dark.

Words that encourage,

grant hope, offer peace;

go forth when Christ reigns,

and set captives free.

May the words we speak,

come straight from the Lord;

let His light flood in,

as love is outpoured.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that more than the external, You care about our heart condition. Thank You that You sent Your Son to make the way for each of us to have clean hearts before You. Thank You that You provide Your word, Your Holy Spirit, and Your Presence to instruct us, correct us, and cleanse us so that we may be considered clean and worthy before You. Forgive us for the things that we keep hidden in our hearts, and consequently, for the ugliness that comes out of us. Create in us a clean heart, and restore a right spirit within us. Teach us to turn to You in all things and at all times, and may we receive Your forgiveness and grace, and go forth, extending the same to all those whom we encounter. Help us to love others as we are loved by You. May many come to know You as their Savior and King. Be exalted in everything that we say and do, so that our entire lives are a reflection of You. Amen.

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

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

The Glory of God’s Grace

The grace of God has the power to take the most sinful of mankind, cleanse us from all that we have ever done, and use us for His glory, to touch lives and transform communities. Paul was a perfect example of God’s generous grace. Prior to his transformation, Paul persecuted people who followed Christ. He purposefully pursued them, and sought to punish, all who were a part of “The Way”. However, once Paul had a personal encounter with Christ, he was transformed. All the passion he had placed into pursuing the punishment of Christians, he then spent on spreading the gospel of truth.

 

“For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them – yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” – (I Corinthians 15:9-10)

 

Paul recognized all that he had been forgiven, and was a very humble man. That being said, he also recognized the power of God’s grace working in and through him, and did not negate the precious power of the Lord. Paul did not see himself as worthless, but rather recognized that his value was found through his redemption, and by the grace of God, he had purpose and was pursuing its fulfillment with his whole heart.

 

Regardless of past,The Glory of Gods Grace

His grace is enough;

to wipe away sin,

cover each of us.

He grants us fresh start,

empowered by grace;

walks beside us still,

for all of our days.

His power given,

to all who receive;

what He is granting,

to trust and believe.

Rise up in power,

for He has erased;

the sins of our past,

God’s love fills that space.

Know that He’s working,

in our hearts and minds;

trust He will use us,

to serve all mankind.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us so much that You forgive ALL of us, regardless of what we have done, if we come to You and confess that we need You, and believe that You are the only way. Thank You that Your grace is enough, even for the worst of us. Thank You that You use ALL who are willing and available, for Your glory. Forgive us for thinking that we are not good enough, or that Your grace is somehow not enough to cover us. Teach us to embrace the grace that You provide, and lead us to follow You all of our days. Help us to hear You clearly, and obey readily. May many come to know You as the Savior of their lives, and may they too, embrace the grace that You alone provide. Be glorified through how we love those around us, just 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

 

External Appearance

God’s economy is not the same as that of man.  Where people may look at position or possessions, God looks directly at the heart.  He will use the least of us to do great things, for His glory, if we are only willing.  A humble heart that is ready to serve, is far more valuable to God, than one with much amassed wealth or a position of power.

“As for those who seemed to be important – whatever they were makes no difference to me.  God does not judge by external appearance – those men added nothing to my message.” – (Galatians 2:6) Paul spoke these words before the apostles and other leaders, as he was sharing his call to preach the gospel before the Gentiles, as there had been some in power positions attempting to burden new believers with the yoke of circumcision, when they were not even Jewish.  God had shown him that He looked at the heart condition, not the outward appearance.  It is our hearts that need to prepare to come before the Lord, not our bodies.

With a heart to serve,External Appearance

may we humbly come;

offer hands and heart,

to the Holy One.

With all that we are,

let our whole lives be;

willful submission,

for the Lord’s glory.

Seek not position,

nor power nor fame;

seek only Jesus,

the truth we can claim.

The Lord will receive,

whatever we bring;

as He sees our heart,

through our offering.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not judge us by external appearances, but rather by the condition of our heart.  Thank You that as we come to You and give our heart to You, You cleanse and make our heart holy and acceptable before You.  Thank You that it is by Your grace, and not by anything that we can or cannot do in our own strength.  Forgive us for trying to do enough or be enough, when really, YOU ALONE, ARE ENOUGH.  Teach us to trust You with our whole heart, soul, mind, strength and life, so that all we do, is in and unto You.  Lead us and guide us by Your lavish and unending love, so that we may love others in a way that leads them straight to You.  Be magnified through every move we make.  We love You, Lord.  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