Understanding Leads to Gratitude

And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for the Mighty One has done great things for me – holy is His Name.” – (Luke 1:46-47,49, NIV) 

Mary said, “With all my heart I glorify the Lord! In the depths of who I am I rejoice in God my Savior, because the Mighty One has done great things for me. Holy is His Name.” – (Luke 1:46-47, 49, CEB) 

And Mary sang this song: “My soul is ecstatic, overflowing with praises to God! My spirit bursts with joy over my life-giving God! The Mighty One has worked a mighty miracle for me; holy is His Name. – (Luke 1:46-47, 49, TPT) 

 

As I continue to read through and take in the story of Jesus’ arrival, I am moved by the willingness and awareness that Mary had, as the miracle of Christ was coming into existence through her humility and faith. She stands in continuous awe at the wonder unfolding in her life, and gives God praise for who He is and what He is doing. “Her humble perspective forms the basis of her gratitude. The exemplary character of Mary grows out of her understanding of God’s character.” – (The IVP New Testament Commentary) Mary’s example demonstrates how we ought to view both ourselves and our Mighty God. She recognized that though God owed her nothing, He had chosen her. Consequently, Mary knew that God ought to have all – her heart, soul, mind and strength, because He is the One who is holy and deserving of all praise. May we also recognize the holiness of God, the great things that He has done, and as a result, offer all of our praise. 

 

Let all that I am,

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Photo by Dee Jones of Open Door Photography ❤

Offer the Lord praise; 

For who our God is, 

And all of His ways. 

My heart cannot help, 

But give thanks to Him; 

For all He has done, 

Brought light where life’s dim. 

May my very soul, 

All that’s within me; 

Honor God always, 

As His love sets free. 

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our Mighty God who does wonderful things and the One alone who deserves all of our gratitude. Forgive us for not recognizing and honoring You for who You are and all that You do. Teach us how to recognize the everyday wonder that You place in our path and the people whom You provide as blessings in our lives. Show us how to love those around us in a way that reflects our gratitude and awe at who You are and how You love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You with all that we are for who You are and all that You do. Amen.

 

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

 

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. – Colossians 3:16

May We Choose Kindness

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. – (Ephesians 4:32, NLT)

Be kind and loving to each other. Forgive each other the same as God forgave you through Christ. – (Ephesians 4:32, ERV)

Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you. – (Ephesians 4:32, MSG)

 

I could not do my job if I did not seek to follow this guiding principle daily. Kids and colleagues alike, need kindness and compassion, forgiveness and grace. Just as I have been forgiven, I must also forgive. If I did not begin each day new, I cannot even begin to imagine the heaviness that would ensue. We all fall short and need kindness extended our way. May we allow God’s grace to direct our steps as we choose to forgive each other, extending compassion, gentleness and kindness to one another, just as He has done unto us.

 

No matter what comes, Pursue Righteousness and Love

Take pause, look and see;

The one who’s upset,

Needs love and mercy.

For when we are kind,

Forgive and give love;

We act as we’re called,

By God up above.

For He forgave us,

All that we have done;

May we choose kindness,

For everyone.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are kind and compassionate to us, forgiving us each time we come to You and ask. Thank You that You do not ask anything of us that You are not also willing to strengthen and equip us to do. Forgive us for the times that we were not gentle or kind, or we lacked compassion or did not forgive. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would forgive others as we are forgiven by You. Show us how to love like You – extending gentleness, kindness and compassion to one another without conditions, especially to those who seem the least deserving. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we choose to be kind and compassionate and extend forgiveness to one another, just as we have been forgiven by You. 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

Faithful to Move the Fallen Forward

David is remembered as a man after God’s own heart. This is not because he always did everything right in the eyes of the Lord, but rather it was his relentless pursuit of redemption and restoration, even when he had done wrong in the sight of the Lord. He knew that all that he had was a gift from God, and was not at all what he deserved. David’s attitude of gratitude is expressed over and over in the Psalms, and his willingness to praise publicly and put aside his position of prestige, proved to the people that God alone, was deserving of all worship and praise.

 

Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and he said:

“Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my family, that You have brought me this far?” – (1 Chronicles 17:16)

 

David approached God from a position of humility, despite being king. His beginnings as a shepherd boy were not forgotten, nor was the Lord’s faithfulness that had brought him through the trials and tribulations that led to his long before predicted position of leadership. Just as David took time to reflect on all that the Lord had done in his life thus far, so too we ought to do likewise. When we look back and reflect upon all that the Lord has done, we cannot help but stand in awe of His love and faithfulness granted unto us. Even if we are in the midst of messiness, we have previous examples and present provisions, that prove to us that He is for us, and that His promises shall stand the test of time. May we remember the Lord’s faithfulness forever, and look forward with faith in the Lord’s goodness and grace that He grants to all who call on His Name.

 

Lord, help us recall,External Appearance

all that You have done;

to bring us this far,

O Great Holy One.

For You Lord, are good,

Your love will endure;

despite that which comes,

Your faithfulness sure.

Help us move forward,

with trust that’s secure;

thank You for Your grace,

and presence so near.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that no matter where we are in our journey with You right now, we can look back and see that You have brought us a great distance from where we once were. Thank You that You are faithful to transform, renew and restore us, as You lead us forward into the promise of all that You have planned for us. Forgive us for our fearfulness that keeps us from moving forward. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may quickly recall all that You have done for us before, raising up in our hearts, a renewed strength and sense of purpose that will propel us forward toward who You are calling us to become. Lead us to love others with the same tender and relentless love that You have given to us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we remember how far You have brought us, and lead us to move boldly forward into what we are to become. Amen.

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

For the Lord your God will bless you, …and your joy will be complete. – Deuteronomy 16:15

Worry Versus Concern

Though my daily reading plan does not coincide with the events surrounding our celebration of Easter, I cannot help but recognize within each reading, how the words must have moved the hearts of the various men and women who were present at the events leading up to the cross, and beyond. This morning is no exception.

 

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” – (Matthew 6:27)

 

The NIV footnotes explain that “worry immobilizes, but concern moves you to action.” Clearly Christ was concerned for our well-being, as He moved forward to suffer for our sake. Additionally, I think of the disciples who deserted Him in His hour of need. Clearly they worried about their well-being, as each of them scattered in the face of adversity. However, there were those who were clearly concerned, rather than worried. Concern compelled Joseph of Arimathea to risk his reputation and ask to take Jesus’ body to the tomb. Likewise, concern moved Mary Magdalene and many other faithful women to be present at the foot of the cross.

 

Worry kept Pilate from standing strong in his convictions that Christ was indeed innocent. Though he knew Jesus had done nothing deserving of death, Pilate allowed the worry of his reputation to dictate death for One undeserving, simply because the crowd was calling for it. Can you imagine what the remainder of Pilate’s days must have been like, after the events that occurred from the cross to the empty tomb?  Surely Pilate heard the news…

 

Let not worry,Worry Versus Concern

seize your heart with fear;

for no good comes,

when panic is near.

Concern compels,

wills us to action;

trusts Christ to lead,

faithful transaction.

Don’t let worry,

come immobilize;

instead, let faith,

sink in, globalize.

Rise up, dear ones,

release pending doom;

on that third day,

stood the empty tomb.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we need not worry when our trust is in You. Thank You that You who provide for the grass of the fields and the birds of the air, even more abundantly provide for Your people. Thank You that You alone are worthy of all of our trust. Forgive us for allowing fear to seep in and freeze us up from moving forward. Grow in us an unshakable faith, that is compelled to action by concerns, and that carries out Your will rather than our own. May we love others as You love us, and honor You in all that we say and do. May many come to know the help and hope available in You, because of what You did for us during this Easter season. All glory and honor unto You, our perfect Prince of Peace. 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

 

Glory to the Giver

Glory to the GiverTo humble oneself,

is not to put down;

let not comparing,

determine our crown.

For it matters not,

our state verses men;

but rather to Christ,

who was without sin.

Let exaltation,

be given to God;

for there is none else,

deserving such laud.

Recognize the gifts,

He has placed in you;

be obedient,

let purpose ensue.

Serve with a pure heart,

and offer Him praise;

our purpose in Christ,

should direct our days.

Place all trust in God,

for His word is true;

all of creation,

He’s granted to you.

“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” – (Luke 14:11)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not compare us to one another, but rather, when we are in You, You view us through the covering of Your Son – considering us sons and daughters whom You call worthy and loved. Thank You that You grant good gifts to each of us, and allow us to learn and grow in how we might honor You with all that You’ve given. Thank You that Jesus is our perfect example of how we are to walk in humility. He did not elevate Himself, nor neglect those in need; yet He was bold and undeterred in answering Your call, even unto the cross. Please forgive us for comparing ourselves to each other, and for not honoring the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Teach us to view ourselves with proper perspective, as we are all sinners, saved by grace alone. Help us to move mightily wherever You call us to walk, and may many come to know You as Lord of their lives as we live out our purpose, loving well with the gifts You have given. Be glorified in all that we say and do. Amen.

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