Courageously Love

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love. – (1 Corinthians 16:13-14, NIV)

Be careful. Hold firmly to your faith. Have courage and be strong. Do everything in love. – (1 Corinthians 16:13-14, ERV)

Keep your eyes open, hold tight to your convictions, give it all you’ve got, be resolute, and love without stopping. – (1 Corinthians 16:13-14, MSG)

 

No matter where we are, where we go, or who we are with, we are called to stand firm in our faith. It takes courage to be strong in our convictions, especially to do so in love. We must remain ever aware, through the lens of love, so that we can see others through His love, and respond accordingly. Loving others who see the world differently, who choose to operate through a different set of convictions, does not mean that we are unable to love. Our charge is to stand firm in what we are called to do and who we are called to be, yet ever doing so in love. In today’s political climate, this can get a bit crazy if we focus on the beliefs, rather than the individuals who hold them close. What I have discovered is that the seemingly vast divide is not nearly as great as the media makes it out to be. The majority of the people I know and love, despite being on both sides of the debate, take their particular side for personal reasons that are valid. Ultimately, each wants what is best for themselves, their families, their city and their nation. If only disputes could be approached in love… May we ever keep our eyes open, holding fast to our convictions, always choosing to love without stopping.

Mom is standing firm in her faith as she is being courageous in her convictions and strong to persevere with each new therapy appointment. Love surrounds her, and at the end of the day, she is a step closer to the end goal than she was the day prior. Days likely feel like spinning wheels, yet I anticipate when I at last get to go and see mom for myself, I will notice significant progress. Our prayer is still for her to regain movement in her right arm, as there really is none beyond small movements in her shoulder. Please pray with us for her right arm to be regained, and for her ongoing recovery to continue well.

 

Be ever on guard, Courageously Love

Hold fast to what’s true;

Stand firm in the faith,

To God what is due.

Courageous and strong,

Do all things in love;

Love one another,

As loved from above.

No matter what comes,

Choose seek to love first;

So often we find,

Ugly is reversed.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to show us what it means to stand firm in our convictions and do everything in love. Thank You Jesus, that You loved the sinners, the outcasts and the rejected, yet never compromised who You are to love. Forgive us for the times that we have walked away from the opportunity to love. Show us how to love others well, especially those who see the world differently than we do. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we stand firm in the truth, and choose to courageously love in all things. Amen.

 

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

 

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. – Ephesians 4:2

In Strength, Choose Love

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love. – (1 Corinthians 16:13-14, NIV)

Be careful. Hold firmly to your faith. Have courage and be strong. Do everything in love. – (1 Corinthians 16:13-14, ERV)

Keep your eyes open, hold tight to your convictions, give it all you’ve got, be resolute, and love without stopping. – (1 Corinthians 16:13-14, MSG)

 

This is something that we are all called to live out, in every area of our lives. It is both rare and wonderful, when there are public figures who live by this principle in a way that is seen, heard and known. Last night, my husband and I went to a concert that featured my favorite band, Skillet. Their lead vocalist, John Cooper, is completely clear in his convictions as he performs, and is courageous and strong as he shares his music and message in love. After more than twenty-three years as a Christian band that tours with bands that typically are not, and it is evident that they are careful to be on their guard and hold firm to their faith. Each time I have seen them in concert, the other bands touring with them have raved about the kindness extended to them by Skillet. What that speaks to me is that they are living out loud, the very message that they follow in faith. If a rock band can cling to their convictions and love well, why can’t we? May we each be aware of the things that distract us from what is true, and with courage and strength, hold fast to the faith that anchors us secure. And in all that we do, may we let love be our motivation.

 

Help us guard our hearts, img_2019-08-29_06-26-021861362932488398857.jpg

To our faith, hold fast;

Have courage, be strong,

With the love that lasts.

For each time we choose,

In strength, to love well;

We are showing Christ,

His story we tell.

Not with our speaking,

So much as our deeds;

People remember,

Those who met their needs.

Let us choose to love,

In all that we do;

Rely on His grace,

He’ll carry us through.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You warn us to be careful of that which distracts us from the truth, and You call us to stand firm in Your strength to the truth so that we may do all things in love. Forgive us for the times that we allowed the things around us to pull us off course. Teach us to stay anchored in You. Show us how to love those around us in all things and at all times, just as we are loved relentlessly by You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we stand strong in the truth, ever aware of what surrounds us, and choose to love, just as You love us. Amen.

 

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

 

Stand firm , and you will win life. – Luke 21:19

Stand Firm and Love Well

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love. – (1 Corinthians 16:13-14, NIV)

Listen, stay alert, stand tall in the faith, be courageous, and be strong. Let love prevail in your life, words, and actions. – (1 Corinthians 16:13-14, VOICE)

Remember to stay alert and hold firmly to all that you believe. Be mighty and full of courage. Let love and kindness be the motivation behind all that you do. – (1 Corinthians 16:13-14, TPT)

 

With so many ideas and influences bombarding us day in and day out, it is critical that we guard our hearts and minds, and know with certainty, what we believe. It takes courage and strength to remain strong in our convictions, yet when we remember, above all, to allow love to lead in every part of our being – our life, our words and our actions, there are less often challenges to the faith on which we stand. Because I know what I believe and try to allow love to be my motivation behind all that I say and do, I have had amazing, peaceful and kind conversations with friends that hold opposing viewpoints to my own. We do not need to view the world the same way to choose to love, and love and kindness do not soften the strength of one’s faith. May we listen and be aware of what influences are surrounding us so that we can have courage to stand strong in our faith. Above all, let love and kindness be the motivation behind all that we do.

 

We need to listen,

dsc078507199877344294618322.jpg

Photo by Dee Jones of Open Door Photography ❤

Choose to be aware;

Know well our beliefs,

And cover with prayer.

In strength, choose to stand,

By faith, for what’s true;

Take courage in Christ,

He’s always with you.

Let love and kindness,

Above all, prevail;

In word, deed and life,

Love shall never fail.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your word and Your Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us in what is good and true. Thank You that You not only call us to be strong and courageous in our faith, but You equip and empower us to do so. Thank You that the greatest call we are given is to love You and love people. Forgive us for the things that have not demonstrated love to You or to Your created. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would rely on You to be our Source and Supply. Show us how to love those around us with our words, deeds and the very life we lead. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we stand firm in our faith and lead lives of love. Amen.

 

 

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

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. – Proverbs 3:3

Bad Company Corrupts Good Character

Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” – (1 Corinthians 15:33)

 

If the constant company that we keep is corrupt, then the corners of our character begin to corrode. That is not to say that we cannot spend time with unbelievers, (for how else would they hear) but in order to keep from compromising our character, we must be balanced in the company we keep. Time spent with fellow believers that encourage, challenge and help hold us accountable, is both beneficial and necessary to remain upright before Christ. The Holy Spirit within grants us wisdom as to where and with whom we should walk. We must be sensitive to His leading, and listen to His still small voice. May our hearts be protected from being misled, and our character remain upright before Him.

 

Do not be misled,

for our hearts should know;

whatever we reap,

we will also sow.

If all of our time,Bad Company Corrupts Good Character

is with the corrupt;

our good character,

will surely slip up.

For we cannot help,

but somehow be swayed;

if all of our time,

is walking away.

We have been crafted,

created with care;

for relationships,

that keep us aware.

The Holy Spirit,

and good, Godly friends;

help keep us upright,

stay true to the end.

So let not our lives,

be yoked with corrupt;

may the faithful near,

lift each other up.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You give us instructions in Your word to protect us and keep us from falling into the snares that would try to entangle us. Thank You that You show us what we are to do, and what we are not meant to do. Thank You that Your Holy Spirit is available within us to grant us wisdom in the areas where we are uncertain. Forgive us for being misled and thinking that somehow we are immune to the sway of sin. Protect us from the pull that seeks to suck us in, and help us keep accountable before You and with fellow followers of You. Teach us to trust and rely on You more, so that we are more firm in our convictions. Help us to live and love as You love us, and may our choices be an encouragement to those who are searching for You. May many come to know You as their Savior and King. Be glorified, O God, as we depend on You to steer clear of sin’s snares. 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

Above All – Love

In this day and age, more and more is being deemed permissible and acceptable, despite that only a decade ago, the very same, was viewed with disdain.  It is a strange space to stand – to have morals and convictions that are steadfast, yet live in a society where what is seen as acceptable, is ever changing.  My charge, as one who loves God and longs to serve Him well, is to love people, not judge and condemn them.  I only need look to the scriptures to see how Jesus interacted with those living a life of intentional sin.  He did not condemn them, rather He loved them where they were.  He touched, He healed, He helped, and He showed them that there was another way – a way that would bring life and light, hope and peace, not only for now, but for eternity.

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged.  Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.  Forgive, and you will be forgiven.  Give, and it will be given to you.  A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.  For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” – (Luke 6:35-36)

In the face of criticism for touching the untouchables, dining with the “unworthy“, healing on a day that had been declared a day off, and for loving with His life, Jesus, who alone is worthy to judge and condemn, spoke the above written words.  If He, who will be our final judge and jury tells us not to judge, then we ought not stand in judgment of one another.  It does not mean that we are to allow ourselves to become entangled in that which we know is wrong, but we are not to point a finger, while we still have four other digits that are aimed back at us.

We are called to forgive, just as He forgives us.  I cannot even begin to count the times that I have asked for His forgiveness, and yet, neither will He.  The same must hold true from me toward others.  I am called to forgive in the same way.  Likewise, I ought to be generous and kind, not withholding goodness and grace from anyone.  For He has given unto me, so I also am to give.

Judge not in the world,Above All Love

for we are not called;

to stand on the throne,

a place self-installed.

No condemnation,

is issued in love;

rather grace given,

from our God above.

When a heart repents,

and asks for His grace;

He takes sin away,

puts love in its place.

How will they know Him,

if in us they see;

our pointing fingers,

rather than mercy?

Let us love so well,

that all long to know;

what is our reason,

so they too may grow.

May goodness and grace,

and God’s love be seen;

so many may come,

to know what Love means.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to show us how to live and love the way that You want us to.  Help us to not judge nor condemn those around us, and please grant us the grace to forgive and extend mercy to all.  Forgive us for judging and condemning things, even if only in our hearts, and help us to approach all with Your mercy and grace, so that many may see Your love in us.  May many who are stuck or are somewhere in the search, come to find the Light in You, as we are faithful to do as You ask of us.  Help us to forgive and give, as if it is unto You.  Be exalted in our obedience to all that You are asking.  Amen.

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