Practice As His Poetry

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago. – (Ephesians 2:10, NLT)

God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us new people so that we would spend our lives doing the good things He had already planned for us to do. – (Ephesians 2:10, ERV)

We have become His poetry, a re-created people that will fulfill the destiny He has given each of us, for we are joined to Jesus, the Anointed One. Even before we were born, God planned in advance our destiny and the good works we would do to fulfill it! – (Ephesians 2:10, TPT)

 

This week, I had the pleasure as a parent, of watching my children do some of what they were designed to do, as they each took part in their fall concert. Both boys have always loved music; it is part of their design. Watching my eldest (by one minute) sing with the concert choir, and his twin brother play the viola with the concert orchestra, filled my heart with joy. God has given each of us talents and gifts, dreams and desires – all of which can be used for His good. When we utilize what we’ve been given with gratitude, God receives the glory. As we seek Him and join our hearts with His, good works can come in every avenue of our lives. Encouragement, kindness, gratitude, generosity and love, all demonstrate His heart for people, and provide opportunity for those who may not know Him, to see the light of His goodness and grace through those around them. May we ever remember that we are God’s poetry, His very masterpiece – created to delight those around us by doing good.

 

For we have been made, Practice As His Poetry

To be who we are;

God’s own masterpiece,

To shine like the stars.

We’re meant to do good,

Fulfill what God planned;

Love as God loves us,

By His grace, choose stand.

Stand for the hurting,

Encourage, lift up;

Answer His calling,

In all things, choose love.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have created each of us with a plan and a purpose, and that You consider each of us Your poetry – Your masterpiece. Thank You that we have been designed to do good things that You planned for us long ago. Forgive us for not recognizing the masterpiece in others, or for choosing to walk away from the good to which we are called to carry out. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would see all whom we encounter through Your eyes, and treat them accordingly. Help us to do good works and walk out our purpose in all that we do. Show us how to love, encourage and lift up all whom we encounter, so that Your light might shine bright before everyone. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we celebrate who You are by being who You have made us to be. Amen.

 

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

 

Father, I thank You that You have heard me. – John 11:41

Outward Pressure Inward Transformation

Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad – for these trials make you partners with Christ in His suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing His glory when it is revealed to all the world. – (1 Peter 4:12-13, NLT)

 

“Outward pressure works inward transformation. Rivals reveal the destiny that God has prepared for us.” – (Without Rival, Lisa Bevere) As my book study continues, not only are there fantastic foundational truths that are being reinforced, but there are these great little nuggets that resonate as relevant reminders that whatever we go through – can all be used to further refine us into whom God is calling us to become. We do not grow and change when we are comfortable. It is in the times of trial that we are forced to rise up and cling to Christ, and discover the true strength that He alone can provide. Though we might not enjoy the trying times, they are the very spaces that show us who He is, and how much more we can have of Him. May we seek the Lord in times of trial and of blessing, and recognize that rivals are real ways for God to reveal more of Himself to us and through us as He works within us.

 

Fear not the trials, God Within Her

That happen our way;

For God uses them,

To show us He’ll stay.

Every rival,

God can use for good;

To grow and refine,

His strength understood.

For outward pressure,

Causes change within;

As we lean on Christ,

Glory’s ushered in.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that trials transform us into more of who You are calling us to become. Thank You that though we don’t want to endure trials or rivals of any kind, You use them to grow us and raise us up according to Your plan. Forgive us for wanting to run and hide when trials come. Teach us to trust You completely, so that we would seek You and Your strength, to forge forward and face whatever obstacle comes our way, knowing that You will provide whatever we need to continue in the direction to which we are called. Show us how to love, support and encourage those around us, so that they too would keep moving towards all that You have for them. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to transform us when the pressure is placed upon us. Amen.

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

Shout aloud and sing for joy. – Isaiah 12:6

Protecting Our Priorities

Priorities and values matter.  Despite what society would like us to believe, it is not all about us.  Jesus told His disciples, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.” – (Mark 8:35) This does not mean He wants us to set out to die, but rather to set aside our own selfish ambitions and allow His heart to be heard.

The NIV footnotes for the same verse, explain it this way: “We should be willing to lose our lives for the sake of the gospel, not because our lives are useless, but because nothing – not even life itself – can compare to what we gain with Christ.  Jesus wants us to choose to follow Him, rather than to lead a life of sin and self-satisfaction.  He wants us to stop trying to control our own destiny and to let Him direct us.  This makes good sense because, as the Creator, Christ knows better than we do what real life is about.  He asks for submission, not self-hatred; He asks us only to lose our self-centered determination to be in charge.”

When our priorities are in place, we realize that we need Christ to be in charge.  Without Him, we have nothing.  In Him, light and love, wisdom and strength, and all that we need to navigate this life according to His will, are provided.  Our choice and our charge is to protect our priority in Him.  Is He first in our lives, or is He simply a go-to God when we feel that we need Him?

A hope secure,Protecting Our Priorities

invested in Christ;

chooses to make,

Him first place in life.

Seeks not to save,

temporary things;

gladly gives all,

to honor the King.

Releases reigns,

submits all control;

to One worthy,

our God to extol.

All that is lost,

consider a gain;

eternity –

the promise is plain.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we freely give our life to You, You give us something far greater in return – a future that is secure forever with You!  Thank You that You loved us so much that You sent Your Son to lay down His life on our behalf, so that we would have a way to come to You.  Thank You that You want us to spend time with You.  Thank You that You consider us worthy, because of what Jesus has already done on our behalf.  Forgive us for not protecting our priorities, for allowing anything or anyone to come before You.  Teach us to keep our priorities in order, and help us to depend on You to be our wisdom and strength.  Guide us in how we are meant to navigate the hectic lives we lead, so that we may be effective for You, and refreshed and renewed in You.  May we live and love as we are loved by You.  May many come to know the provision of Your grace and mercy as they understand who You are and how to make You their priority.  Direct our days, dear Lord.  Amen.

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

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. – Job 8:21

Actions Speak Louder

Student-led conferences are a brilliant parallel to a godly principle that we are meant to walk out in our daily lives.  The evidence of His presence is not simply in whether or not we can talk the talk, but rather found when we consistently walk the walk.  Similarly, as students presented work to their parents, no amount of suave speaking could make up for a lack of evidence of work that had not been well done.  Those who had solid evidence of consistent effort over time, were able to prove to parents that they were doing their job and working to accomplish their academic goals.

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” – (I Corinthians 4:20) Merely knowing the right words to say is not an adequate reflection of His presence, nor of His power present in me.  Kingdom principles are meant to be lived out daily, not just discussed.  Knowing the right answers does not determine our destiny; we must act and believe, giving action to our faith.  Our very lives are meant to be a living testimony to the power of God present in us.  One of my favorite quotes by Francis of Assisi is “Preach the gospel always.  When necessary, use words.”  What I gather from this thought is that my actions should do the talking.  If I am living a life that is profoundly grounded in Christ, He will provide opportunities for me to speak.  People will notice the difference in me, and ask questions.

Let His kingdom,Choose to Do Good

be clearly shown;

may my actions,

make His truth known.

Let every deed,

Your love present;

reveal Your light,

perfect intent.

May Your power,

be seen through me;

through acts of love,

done unto Thee.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not expect us to be great orators in order to share of Your great love with those around us.  Thank You that You take us as we are, and utilize our obedience to touch lives and create opportunities to share our stories of how You have transformed our own lives.  Forgive us for the times that we have not backed up our words with action, and help us to let every area of our lives be a living testimony of Your grace and power that is present in us.  Let our hearts be ready to hear the words that You would have us speak, and our whole will obedient to all that You ask.  May many come to know Your power and presence in their own lives through the consistent commitment to live our lives honoring You.  Be glorified in all that we say and do.  Amen.

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