Gratitude is a Choice

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

Whatever happens, always be thankful. This is how God wants you to live in Christ Jesus. – (1 Thessalonians 5:18, NLT)

 

Gratitude is an attitude of choice. Though there are seasons in which finding joy takes far more work, we always have reason to give God thanks. For me, it is easiest to begin with the people around me. I cannot help but give God my gratitude for my boys, for my family and my friends. He has clearly hand-picked the people that are placed in my life for a purpose, as each one in my immediate circle, contributes to the countless reasons that I can give God glory for each new day that I am granted. The remarkable thing I have observed, is that when another is going through a trying season and others can visibly observe his or her gratitude in spite of the trial, they too, are compelled to offer praise and share in a similar attitude of thankfulness. May we begin each day with thanks and praise for He who has given us life and breath, hope and health, and a future that is secure in Him forever. Let our gratitude be obvious to all whom we encounter, so that they too, might find reason to give God praise.

 

In all circumstance,Confidence in Christ

let our hearts choose praise;

for in Christ the Lord,

we have hope, always.

No matter what’s now,

our future – secure;

promises certain,

and He’s always near.

The Lord is our help,

when life seems too tough;

His peace and His hope,

are more than enough.

All thanks be to God,

our soon coming King;

our sun after rain,

and reason to sing.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in You, we ALWAYS have reason to be thankful. Thank You that in every circumstance, You are present with us, as our help and our hope to see us through. Thank You that even in the darkest places, we have light in You. Forgive us for not expressing our gratitude unto You in times of trial. Teach us how to fix our eyes on You, so that gratitude is the first thing to leave our lips, as our existence is reason to give You praise. Show us how to love others in way that demonstrates our gratitude in all things, so that they may see You through us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we learn to express gratitude in all things. 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

The Splendor of His Glory

And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of His mouth and destroy by the splendor of His coming. – (2 Thessalonians 2:8)

 

The lawless one is every force of darkness that would try to come against us.  The imagery in this one verse is both powerful and promising.  Imagine with but a breath from our Savior, every knee bowing, and every foe, falling from power?  More than that, the structures that are set in place that seem so certain, destroyed, the moment He comes in His glory.  What a wonderful and powerful God we serve!  It is easy to forget that Christ, who cleared the temple, is also Christ our coming King.  At His Name, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He alone, is Lord.  May we rise up in faith, and embrace the strength of our Savior, as He is our Warrior and the Defender of our souls.

 

The powers that rise,Choose to Follow

and seek to destroy;

have no place to stand,

no strength to employ.

For greater is He,

who dwells within us;

our Savior and Lord,

soon coming Jesus.

It takes but a breath,

from our Savior’s mouth;

and lawlessness ends,

all evil flees south.

When Jesus returns,

in splendor and might;

dark forces destroyed,

there won’t be a fight.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your power is far greater than we realize.  Thank You that though there are forces working against us, You, who are for us, are far greater!  Thank You that Jesus will overthrow with the breath of His mouth, and that the splendor of His coming will destroy that which fights against us.  Forgive us for making You too small in our own eyes, and help us to see You as the All-Powerful, Almighty, Creator of All, that You truly are.  Teach us to trust You more, so that we may go forth in faith, depending on You in all things and at all times.  Lead us to love as You love us, and may many come into a saving relationship with You.  Be glorified O God, as we embrace the greatness of who You are.  Amen.

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

When times are good, be happy. – Ecclesiastes 7:14

 

 

Our Offering

“On coming to the house, they saw the child with His mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped Him.  Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts of gold and incense and of myrrh.” – Matthew 2:11

image by Contemplative Outreach of St. Louis

The “they” that is found in this passage were the Magi, or wise men, sent on ahead by King Herod to find the whereabouts of this child about whom the Scriptures had foretold.  When the Magi found Him, they did as was done in the presence of royalty, and they bowed down and worshipped Him.  Not only did they offer worship and make themselves low in posture (despite their lofty position in society), but they gave Him gifts that were worthy and appropriate, upon finding He who had been foretold as the coming King.  Even the gifts the Magi gave were significant – both symbolically and financially.  “Gold was a gift for a king; incense, a gift for deity; myrrh, a spice for a person who was going to die.  These gifts may have provided the financial resources for the trip to Egypt and back.” (NIV Study Bible footnotes)

When we approach the living God who came near and now dwells within us, how much more ought we bow down and worship Him, bringing our very best treasures to be trusted unto our Savior?

Do I think we are to always posture ourselves down low every time we come before Him?  No, physically it may or may not be possible in each moment that we call out to Him.  It seems that as long as we are posturing ourselves as such in our hearts, we are granting Him the rightful position of authority in our hearts and lives as God and King.  Do we see that He alone is worthy of our worship, and understand that He alone should sit on the throne to rule and reign in our lives?  Are we willing to offer ALL to Him, and allow Him to direct our path?

There is much we can learn from the Magi…

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You foretold of Your Son’s coming, created signs and wonders to show the way, and granted great wisdom to the gift givers so that they would return home by a different route, not disclosing the location of the infant King.  Lord, You alone are worthy of all of our worship, and to You, all our treasures are due.  Forgive us for allowing our treasure to be in anything other than You.  Please come and help our hearts to hear You, honor You, and may our every gift and offering give glory to You alone.  May we bring before You the very best that You have given in each of us, and my it be made worthy as we worship You alone.  Let our lives lived in reverence of You, reveal the reason You reign above all in heaven and on earth.  May many come to call You King, as even creation cries out of Your credentials as our Almighty.  Amen.

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