Even in the Small Things

This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I trust Him. – (Psalm 91:2, NLT)

I say to the Lord, “You are my place of safety, my fortress. My God, I trust in You.” – (Psalm 91:2, ERV)

 

Though I am a person who typically requires less sleep than most, I do struggle to function well if I get fewer than four hours in a given night. Saturday night, the already late event we went to was delayed by an hour in beginning, and because it was over an hour away from home, I did not even get home to get to bed until nearly 2:00 am. Sunday, I had already committed to running media at both services at church, so that meant I needed to be there by seven-thirty. In order for me to do my usual morning routine, it requires at least ninety minutes. Graciously, God (and strong coffee) kept me alert and able to do that which I had agreed to do. After, I had already determined that the boys and I should drive to see my Mom, as it was her first Mother’s Day without her mom. This is where I felt that the need to trust Him to be our safety and refuge was needed, as going to see her was a non-negotiable. There was only one point on the way where I began to feel drowsy. I made a pit stop for snacks and caffeinated beverages, and we were good the remainder of the drive. Though far shorter a visit than any of us would have liked, I knew after our time together, that it was exactly what we were meant to do. The drive home was relatively easy and uneventful, and my copilot did a great job of making sure I was alert. God is faithful to answer as we ask, even in such seemingly small things. May we ever remember that He alone is our refuge and place of safety; our God in whom we can trust.

 

The Lord’s my refuge,Even in the Small Things

In Him we can trust;

Our place of safety,

He is true and just.

No matter what comes,

Big things or small;

To Him we can run,

He can handle all.

So speak out in faith,

Declare what is true;

“God, You’re my fortress,

And I trust in You.”

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our refuge and place of safety. Thank You that You are our help and worthy of our trust. Thank You that You equip and empower us to do that which You call us to, regardless of how things appear. Forgive us for our lack of faith, and teach us to trust You more. Show us how to run to You as our refuge in all things and at all times. Lead us to love those around us in a way that offers safety and trust where it has not been known before. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to be our place of safety; always. 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

The Way to Love

For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. – (John 3:16, NLT)

For God expressed His love for the world in this way: He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not face everlasting destruction, but will have everlasting life. – (John 3:16, VOICE)

 

God loves us so much, that He willingly gave of Himself. Through His Son, Jesus, all who believe in Him will have life forever with Him. He, who is love, showed us that love gives what matters most. For us today, there is no longer need for sacrifice like His, as that which Jesus gave, covered it all. However, we do have resources that are valuable to us and to God’s economy. The manner by which we are able to love in a way that is sacrificial, is to give of our time, talents and resources. God designed and gifted each of us in a unique way, so that we might love well. We all have a choice as to how we use what we have been given. Are we utilizing the gifts from God that we have been granted to love others well, or are we keeping them to ourselves and just living out our days in isolation? Though there is no longer an extensive list of that which we shall and shall not do, we have been called to love God and love people. If we are committed to love, then our expression of His love will reflect the very nature of that which He has given unto us. May we believe and receive what we have been freely given, and go forth in His love, to love as we are loved by Him.

 

For God loved the world,Purposeful Prayer

Far more than we see;

Mighty sacrifice,

For all who believe.

To trust in the One,

Who in love, gave all;

So we’d know the way,

To rise from our fall.

The thing that He asks,

Is that we choose love;

Lift up each other,

Fix our eyes above.

By the Lord’s great grace,

All who choose believe;

Will live forever,

By His love, receive.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your love that is so much greater than we can grasp. Thank You that what You require of us is trust in You. Thank You that as we believe, we are called to love as we are loved. Forgive us for not loving others as You so lavishly love each of us. Teach us to trust You more, so that loving You and loving people becomes our passionate pursuit, all of our days. Show us how to love others as You have loved us. Lead us to lovingly give of our time, talents and resources in a way that points people to You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we receive the remarkable give of Your love, and go forth to love others as we are loved by You. Amen.

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

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

What He Requires

And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you? He requires only that you fear the Lord your God, and live in a way that pleases Him, and love Him and serve Him with all your heart and soul. – (Deuteronomy 10:12, NLT)

Now, Israelites, listen! What does the Lord your God really want from you? The Lord your God wants you to respect Him and do what He says. He wants you to love Him and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. – (Deuteronomy 10:12, ERV)

And now, Israel, what is the Eternal your God asking of you? Only that you fear Him, live as He wants you to, and love Him; serve Him with every part of you, heart and soul. – (Deuteronomy 10:12, VOICE)

 

What God asked of Israel, is still what He asks of us today. He desires our hearts and souls to be committed to Him in all of our ways. When we come to know God, and who He is, we cannot help but stand in awe of His power and majesty – for He is God and we are not. If we live in a way that places the Lord on His rightful throne in our lives, then we will be living in a way that is pleasing to Him. God gives us a free will. We must choose to either follow Him, or walk away. Unless we are purposefully pursuing the Lord, we are moving further away from Him and His will in our lives. May we seek the Lord in awe and reverence, giving Him all of our heart and all of our soul as we love and serve Him for all of our days.

 

More than anything,What is in a Name

God longs for our hearts;

to seek and to trust,

in ALL, not just part.

For the Lord is good,

in all of His ways;

worthy of our awe,

throughout all our days.

May we live our lives,

pleasing to the Lord;

loving and serving,

through grace He affords.

With all of our heart,

and all of our soul;

may we stand in awe,

and yield our control.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that there is a remarkable exchange when we choose to follow You. Thank You that when we choose to submit to Your will and way, we gain Your presence and promises forever. Thank You that You do not ask anything of us that You are not also willing to empower us to do. Thank You that You give us Your Spirit to love and serve as You ask of us. Forgive us for not having a healthy fear and reverence of You, as You are God and we are not. Teach us to have a proper perspective, so that we will seek to love and honor You in all things and at all times. Show us how to love others in the same way that we are loved by You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek to live, love and serve in a way that is pleasing unto You. 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

Life Lessons Realized on the Road

For more than a year now, I have been committed to running consistently. Since early spring, I have had a running buddy who has become a dear friend. What used to be a labor-intensive chore to talk myself into walking out the door, is now something that I eagerly anticipate. There is a dramatic difference between having to tackle the miles alone, verses having a friend to run beside, encouraging each other and striving together to accomplish whatever goal we have set for ourselves.

 

Our walk with Christ is no different. If we try and go it alone, we can be committed, yet it is far easier to stay on track if we are invested in a body of believers. We need others who are pursuing the same path to walk beside us and encourage us, just as we need to be useful in building up others in the body of Christ.

 

An additional parallel between running and our walk with Christ has to do with pain. When running, there are different types of pain. Some pain is good, as it is simply the body working harder than it is used to, and strength is on the rise. There is other pain that is the body’s warning of injury, that deems rest and recovery a necessity. With Christ, we do not have any guarantees to be free of pain, in fact, we are certain to face trials at times. However, in Him, we are provided what we need to either press through the pain, or to pause, rest and recover, so that we may continue in the direction He has called us to go.

 

Mile after mile,Life Lessons Realized on the Road

He calls us to run;

His path to take,

and work to be done.

Though we’re each called,

to run our own race;

He grants people,

to help set the pace.

Each step we take,

He remains with us;

our strength and help,

precious Lord, Jesus.

Even through pain,

His presence remains;

power when weak,

hope that shall sustain.

 

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. – (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)

 

Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. – (2 Corinthians 13:11)

 

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching. – (Hebrews 10:24-25)

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to not only commit ourselves to You, but to be invested in Your body. Thank You that You meet us as we move, and You grant us what we need to continue in the direction You are calling us to go. Thank You that even in the places of pressure or pain, You provide Your strength, help and rest, so that we may continue as You are asking. Forgive us for our fearfulness and our lack of perseverance in the press of pain, and teach us to cling to You so that we will rely on Your strength rather than our own. Lead us to love others as You so generously love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, as they recognize the magnitude of Your majesty. Be exalted O God, as we spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up in our meeting together. Amen.

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

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

You are Chosen

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of the darkness into His wonderful light. – (1 Peter 2:9, NIV)

 

But you are His chosen people, the King’s priests. You are a holy nation, people belonging to God. He chose you to tell about the wonderful things He has done. He brought you out of the darkness of sin into His wonderful light. – (1 Peter 2:9, ERV)

 

All of us who have committed our lives to Christ, are counted among His chosen people, His royal priesthood. We have the privilege of not only belonging to God, but being granted the charge of sharing all that He has done to set us free from the darkness of our own sin as He has led us into His loving light. May we go forth and declare His praises, as He alone is worthy of all of our worship and praise.

 

To each who has come,Lose the Law Grab the Grace

and bowed at His throne;

a holy nation,

the Lord’s very own.

Called chosen people,

created to praise;

sent forth with the task,

to speak of His ways.

Let His love light shine,

wherever we go;

declaring His praise,

so all come to know.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the privilege of being called Your chosen people. Thank You that when we come to You and trust, You receive us, and we belong to You. Thank You that You allow us to share our stories of how You brought us out of the darkness and into Your light, to encourage others to seek You. Forgive us for staying silent when we are meant to speak, or for discounting Your ability to utilize us for Your good. Teach us to trust You more, and to recognize that it has nothing to do with us, and everything to do with You and who You are. Lead us to love and share Your light wherever we go, and may many come into a lasting relationship with You in the process. Be exalted O God, as we let Your love light shine. 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

One Life

As Paul bids farewell to the Ephesian elders in Acts 20:13-38, the internal workings of the Holy Spirit in Paul, are blaringly obvious.  This man who formerly persecuted those who tried to proclaim the truth of Christ, now willingly risked everything, to share the love of God with both Gentile and Jew, everywhere he was led to go.  Despite being forewarned of impending imprisonment and hardships, Paul was willing to continue, committed to carry out his calling.

The depth of Paul’s love and investment into the lives of the believers in Ephesus, is made evident in their response to his news that he would not ever see them again. “When he had said this, he knelt down with all of them and prayed.  They all wept as they embraced and kissed him.” – (Acts 20:36-37)  That which Paul had poured out into the lives of the people in Ephesus, had been received and multiplied.  The church was growing and thriving because of his obedience and openness to the Holy Spirit.  Lives were forever changed, because one man was willing.  How many lives might be changed if we too, are willing?  How can we invest in the lives of those around us, and love as we are loved?

Only one life,One Life

yet many were claimed;

he shared the truth,

professed Jesus’ Name.

The Spirit moved,

as he boldly spoke;

he sought not wealth,

but hearts of the folks.

Each place he went,

the story’s the same;

people were saved,

as he shared Christ’s Name.

It was not Paul,

but the Lord within;

Who tore down walls,

so they’d let truth in.

We too, can move,

wherever He asks;

trust Him to help,

stay true to His tasks.

May hearts be soft,

tender to His call;

may we love well,

and serve Him in all.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the examples that You give us in Your word of how we are meant to live unto You.  Thank You that the very same Spirit that dwelled in Paul, dwells in the hearts of all who invite You in, still today.  Thank You that You equip and empower us to do all that You ask, even if it involves enduring hardships.  Thank You that it is so often in the midst of the hardships, we find ourselves closest to You, as You are to whom we cling.  Forgive us for our frustration and impatience when things are challenging, and help us to trust You more.  May we have a hope that is unfailing, and a love that mirrors Your love for us.  May many come to know You, as we live and love as You call us to do.  Be glorified through how we spend our days.  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