Strong to the End

He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful. – (1 Corinthians 1:8-9)

 

The promised strength and covering of Christ is given not because we are somehow “good enough“, but rather because He is faithful. As we choose to place our trust in Him, the Lord leads us out of our lives of sin, and looks at us through the lens of His Son. Though not one of us are blameless before Him, we are forgiven, and seen as spotless because of the sacrifice that Jesus made on our behalf. More than that, we are welcomed into an eternal fellowship with Christ, from the moment we first believe. The Creator of all, whom we despised and rejected, now calls us His children; His friends. May we go forth in His strength, as we recognize the faithfulness of He who calls us His own.

 

Those who have answered,Faith for Forever

we’ve been welcomed in;

Christ’s own fellowship,

those set free from sin.

He grants us His strength,

to stand strong in Him;

to remain blameless,

led by Christ within.

He calls us His own,

kids of Christ the King;

despite our failures,

to hope we may cling.

For what He’s promised,

will always be true;

the Lord is faithful,

what He says, He’ll do.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are faithful to Your promises, and You grant us strength and cover us, making us blameless before You. Thank You that You welcome us into fellowship with You and consider us Your own. Forgive us for not trusting You enough, or for doubting Your faithfulness. Teach us to trust You more, even when we see no evidence of Your presence. Make us strong and blameless before You, so that we may go forth in truth. Help us to live and love in such a way, that those around us see You clearly. May many come to know You as their Savior and King. Be glorified, O God, as we trust in Your faithfulness and follow You with all that we are. 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

Love Looks to Act

Luke 10:27-37, is an account of the parable of the Good Samaritan.  The story, is of a man who was traveling toward his destination, when he encountered a band of bad guys who “stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.” (vs. 30)  A priest, one who should have rushed to his aid, being the very nature of his calling; but alas, this man of the cloth, saw the man lying in the road in his horrible state, and crossed the road away from him, and kept walking.  Another man, one whom had been trained in the ways of the law, and again ought to have rushed to the aid of the hurting man, quickly crossed the road and avoided him, hurrying on his way as well.  Finally, a Samaritan, one whom was considered a half-blood, a despised people among the Jews, not only stopped, but came to the rescue of the wounded man, and cared for him beyond just the moment along the side of the road.  He took him to an inn in town, and paid for his care from his own pocket.  Beyond that, he promised to cover any additional expenses that were necessary, all for the sake of an injured stranger.

The question an expert of the law had asked Jesus prior to the telling of the parable, was “And who is my neighbor?” (vs. 29)  After Jesus had told him all of this, Jesus asked the man, “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?”  The expert in the law replied, “the one who had mercy on him.”  Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” (vs. 36-37)

Three principles about loving our neighbor are highlighted in this passage:

1) Lack of love is often easy to justify, even though it is never right.

2) Our neighbor is anyone of any race, creed, or social background who is in need.

3) Love means acting to meet the person’s need.  Wherever you live, there are needy people close by.  There is no good reason for refusing help.  (taken from NIV footnotes)

Love looks at the pain,Who is My Neighbor 2

straight in the hurt face;

it meets it head on,

comes and extends grace.

Love looks at the need,

and offers a hand;

it shares what we have,

and does what it can.

Love makes no excuse,

turns not a blind eye;

it points to the One,

for whom all sin, died.

Love sees through His eyes,

the value of each;

all His created,

our reason to reach.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love and value each and every one of Your created, equally.  Thank You Jesus, for showing us what Love should look like.  For You loved without limits – You touched the untouchable, You spoke to those whom society deemed socially unacceptable, You dined with sinners, and traveled with fishermen – You did not place value on power nor position nor wealth, but rather on those who were willing to set aside their own agendas and choose to follow You.  Forgive us for thinking we are too busy to help, or that we have too little to make a difference.  Help us to know what we are to do, and how we are to help, in all things and at all times.  Thank You that if we slow down and listen, You will whisper what we are to do.  Help us to hear You.  Teach us to listen and love, as You so lavishly love us.  May we be Your hands, heart and voice to the hurting, and may many come to know You through practical presentations of Your provision.  Be glorified in all that we say and do.  Amen.

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

Transforming Touch

Seeping the sores

image by Heather LaPierre

image by Heather LaPierre

that cover my skin.

Far deeper the scars,

aching within.

Despised by all,

rejected in fear.

No human touch,

none will dare come near.

News of a man,

in village nearby,

who heals the sick.

Could He hear my cry?

He is coming,

to my town, and soon.

What shall I ask?

What am I to do?

That must be Him,

who’s walking this way.

I have to now,

I must seize the day!

I ran to Him,

and fell at His feet.

“If You’re willing,

You can make me clean.”

With tender touch,

compassionate face,

He said, “Be clean!”

Right there, in that place.

My despised heart,

now tenderly heard,

with but a touch,

and promising word.

(Responding to Mark 1:40-42)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are not repulsed nor repelled by our brokenness, but rather You willingly and lovingly come close and touch that which the world deems untouchable.  Thank You that You love us in the places where we feel most broken and unlovable.  Forgive us for being slow to ask, and help us to remember to run to You, as You are always waiting with arms open wide.  May we receive all that You have for us, so that we in turn, may be quick to extend our hands and hearts to those who feel unlovable or untouchable by the world’s standards.  Use us to lead the lost to Your loving arms of grace.  Amen.

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