To Offer Obedience and Reverence

Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. – (Ecclesiastes 12:13, NIV)

That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey His commands, for this is everyone’s duty. – (Ecclesiastes 12:13, NLT)

Now, what should we learn from everything that is written in this book? The most important thing a person can do is respect God and obey His commands, because He knows about everything people do – even the secret things. – (Ecclesiastes 12:13, ERV)

 

Regardless of which version of the text we take in, the bottom line remains. We are called to give God the honor and respect that is due, and obey that which He asks of us. On our own, we would fail miserably, as we are all flawed and broken vessels. However, when we choose to seek first His kingdom, His righteousness is added unto us, and we are led and empowered by His Spirit to do that which we are called to do. His strength is made perfect where we are weak, and His grace abounds where we have none. All that is needed He shall supply, if we are dependent on Him who is the Author and Finisher of our faith. Let us have a proper perspective of who God is, as the King who reigns, and allow His Spirit to lead and guide us so that we will walk in obedience to all that He is asking.

 

Our great God, Most High,Refreshment Through Repentance

sits upon His throne;

He loves and equips,

so truth may be known.

We’re called to uphold,

reverence and awe;

obey His commands,

not self-imposed law.

For the Lord, He reigns,

with mercy and grace;

He opened the way,

eternal embrace.

Let our lives be lived,

as an offering;

all praise unto Him,

may each heart choose sing.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that though You are God and the Creator and King of all, You chose to love each of us, individually. Thank You that You have given us Your instructions for how we ought to live, and help us, by Your Spirit, to live accordingly. Forgive us for not viewing You with proper reverence and awe, or for taking lightly, the expectations that You have set before us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would seek You and Your will in all things, resulting in our willing obedience to what You are asking. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they would see Your heart through ours. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we view You with respect and reverence, and seek to walk in obedience to all that You are asking. Amen.

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

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

Place to Pray

No effort is required to discover the multitude of things that are vying for our attention on a daily basis.  Chaos, noise and duty seem to never be silenced in the daily doing of life.  WIth all of life’s demands, how are we meant to find a quiet place to withdraw and pray?  It is a serious dilemma, as our strength comes from God, and we are strengthened in Him, by spending time in His very presence.

“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” – (Luke 5:16)

Jesus, who was sought after everywhere He went, was followed by crowds of  sick and sinful, who were each aware of their need to be near Him.  In order for Jesus to love, touch and teach all who would come, He had to withdraw and spend time on His own with His Heavenly Father.  If the Son of God needed to pause from loving and serving, how much more is it necessary for us?  He does not call us to run ourselves ragged, but rather He simply calls us to come.  As we invest our heart in Him, we are strengthened and equipped to love and serve others well.  His help and His heart for people is present, when we look to Him as we go forth.

May my heart be still,Place to Pray

before You, my Lord;

I want to hear You,

my whole life is Yours.

Let me draw away,

from all of the noise;

so in the silence,

I shall hear Your voice.

Help quiet the storm,

that rages around;

may my eyes see You,

and my heart be found.

Teach me how to pray,

in Spirit and truth;

strengthen my resolve,

and make me brand new.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to show us the way to You.  Thank You Jesus, for making the way for us to come and pray without having to offer sacrifices again and again.  Thank You that You were the ultimate sacrifice, once and for all.  May we never forget, nor take the greatness of Your gift for granted.  Forgive us for allowing the busyness of life to distract us from withdrawing to quiet places to pray.  Please show us how we can prioritize, so that prayer is present in our daily lives.  Thank You that prayer is for our benefit – an opportunity to come and commune with You, the Creator of ALL.   May we embrace the encounters we have with You each day, and be strengthened to love others well, as You have loved us.  May many come to know the great gift of salvation that is available to all who call on Your Name and believe that what You say is true.  Be glorified, Lord God.  Amen.

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

The Good Shepherd

Christmas is a remembrance of when Love came near.  God, came in flesh, so that all might know the saving grace that is available through the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus, the Light unto the world, and the good Shepherd to all whom believe.

In John 10:11, it says, “I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” Though few of us have much exposure to present-day shepherds, what I can gather from footnotes and other resources that I have read, is that shepherds treat their sheep as family, and are willing to lay down their own life to keep each of them safe from harm.  A shepherd’s love and commitment to care for his flock is not a paid position, but rather one’s chosen duty as he cares for each sheep as if it were his own precious progeny.

Jesus, throughout scripture, is called the Good Shepherd.  He is the ultimate example of one who loves us with His very life, and cares for each of us, individually.  When we make the decision to follow Him, we become the sheep of His flock – the people of His pasture.  The cross was endured on our behalf, so that we are forgiven and freed from all that would lead us away from the security of our Good Shepherd; and His resurrection and the sending of His Holy Spirit, provide us with the ability to hear and obey His voice, as well as the power to hold fast to the promise of our eternal hope.  What a treasured song to sing, when His glad tidings we choose to bring.

The Savior came near,The Good Shepherd

in flesh, became man;

still fully holy,

for us, came to stand.

The Light of the world,

came down to the earth;

an innocent child,

lowly stable birth.

Announced by angels,

to shepherds in field;

for they knew of love,

sacrificial yield.

Baby became man,

Good Shepherd to all;

who choose to follow,

and answer His call.

For He gave His life,

so our life we’d gain;

eternal promise,

the truth to proclaim.

Sing out, fellow sheep,

glad tidings to share;

for His hope is ours,

rejoice in His care.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our Good Shepherd.  Thank You that You know us and love us, individually.  Thank You that You willingly laid down Your life, so that we could have life with You forever.  Forgive us for allowing the worries of the world to steal our joy, and help us to rejoice in the promises that are ours forever.  Help us to share the great news of who You are, and may many receive the gift of You this Christmas.  May we love as You love, so that Your light is evident in all that we say and do.  May our actions be announcements of Your goodness and grace.  Amen.

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