A Final Act of Love

But very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. They found the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. So they went in, but they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. As they stood there puzzled, two men suddenly appeared to them, clothed in dazzling robes. The women were terrified and bowed with their faces to the ground. The men asked, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive?” – (Luke 24:1-5, NLT) 

 

Though Jesus had told those who followed Him that He would rise again, I imagine it was still difficult to conceive, as the very idea was a seeming impossibility. As I attempt to place myself in the position of one of the women who went to the tomb that morning, I picture women overwhelmed with grief as they walked toward the resting place of their Redeemer. This Savior whom they loved, was now three days in the grave, and they were prepared to interact with His broken body as a final act of love and a way to say goodbye. The tomb had been sealed by a giant boulder, immovable, even by a malicious act of will. Imagine the shock that flooded their hearts and minds as they approached the tomb when they saw that the stone had been rolled away. Fear? Anger? Concern? What could have happened to the body of their beloved? Then, as they stood there puzzling over what was missing, two men in dazzling robes appeared out of nowhere. Clearly the women recognized that the men were messengers from God, as they bowed their faces to the ground in terror. From sorrow to confusion to frustration to fear, these ladies must have been flooded as heaven came near. And then, after all of that, to hear that Jesus was alive… The women navigated the roller coaster quite gracefully, as the very next thing they did was go and tell the disciples what they had seen and heard.  

This is the very day that we celebrate and remember the miracle of the resurrection. The grave could not hold Him, and He is alive and moving on our behalf. May we remember our Risen Savior as we go about this day and know that His sacrifice saved us while His resurrection reminds us that we are no longer dead in sin.  

 

Early Sunday morn, Hope in an Empty Tomb

They went to the tomb; 

Grieving act of love, 

No hope yet assumed. 

Imagine their hearts, 

With Jesus not there; 

Distraught and confused, 

The Lord is gone. Where? 

Angelic visit, 

In dazzling light; 

The women bowed low, 

Faced the ground in fright. 

The men then asked them, 

“Why did you come here? 

Don’t look among dead, 

For live to appear.” 

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the incredible gift of Your Son, Jesus. Jesus, thank You for Your sacrifice on the cross for all of our sin and shame. Thank You that the grave could not hold You, and that You rose again and are seated at the right hand of the Father, moving on our behalf. Thank You that in You we can have life and light and love forever. Forgive us for not recognizing the magnitude of Your sacrifice and the glory of Your resurrection. Help us to grasp the enormity of Your mercy and grace. Show us how to extend love and goodness to those around us as an outpouring of our gratitude to You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we rise and give You glory for Your love that defeated death and gives life to all who receive You as 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

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Kind Words Bring Joy

Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up. – (Proverbs 12:25, NLT)

Worry takes away your joy, but a kind word makes you happy. – (Proverbs 12:25, ERV)

The weight of worry drags us down, but a good word lightens our day. – (Proverbs 12:25, VOICE)

 

The whole idea of “Don’t worry, be happy,” is great in theory, but not as simple in its application. Worry’s weight sneaks in and surrounds us before we realize the enormity of its burden we are trying to bear. At times, something so simple as an encouraging word, has the capacity to lessen our load, and remind us that we are not alone with the weight we carry. Ultimately, worry has everything to do with trust. If we cannot see a possible solution, we struggle to trust that there is a way out from under the weight. God tells us to cast our cares upon Him, as He is more than strong enough to bear the burdens that are far too heavy for us on our own. He promises to go before us, remain with us, and never leave us. If we could only remember His encouraging words when worry wanders our way, we would avoid the trap of being burdened by a weight so overwhelming that it steals our joy. May we go forth this day in trust, knowing that the Lord will help carry our loads, as we both hear His words of encouragement to our hearts and be people who extend encouragement to others.

 

Let not the worries,

Ragnar2016.cheeringrunners

Cheering on runners as the round the corner into the final stretch.

 

Of life weigh you down;

For God is our help,

Our hope that is found.

There’s little as sweet,

As offered kind words;

For they lift us up,

The moment they’re heard.

When worry finds way,

In our hearts and minds;

Help us seek You, Lord,

For Your words are kind.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we do not need to be burdened by the weight of worry, as You are greater than anything that would come against us or seek to steal our joy. Thank You that Your words for us are encouraging and full of life. Thank You that You place people in our lives to encourage us and for us to extend the same. Forgive us for allowing the weight of worry to steal our joy. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would seek You and Your help, as Your arms are more than big enough to bear any burden that lies before us. Help us to encourage others as we are encouraged by You. Show us how to love well, all whom we encounter. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give our worries to You, and allow the truth of Your word to encourage our hearts and minds, so that we may go forth and be an encouragement to those around us. Amen.

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

And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you.” – Exodus 33:19

Reverence Reveals His Joy

The Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love. – (Psalm 147:11, NIV)

The Lord enjoys people who worship Him and trust in His faithful love. – (Psalm 147:11, ERV)

But His joy is in those who reverence Him, those who expect Him to be loving and kind. – (Psalm 147:11, TLB)

 

God is far greater than we can begin to grasp. He is both our loving Father and Almighty God. The Lord is worthy of all of our worship and adoration, and we ought to have a reverent respect full of awe and wonder at all that He is, has done, and ever will be. We bring Him joy and delight as we trust Him, and allow our hearts to hope in His unfailing love. Let every heart trust in His unending love as we offer our worship in reverent awe of who He is and how He loves.

 

To be the delight,Refreshment Through Repentance

Of our Holy God;

We must trust His love,

With hope, stand in awe.

We need choose revere,

His power and might;

Trust unfailing love,

To be His delight.

God is always good,

And His love is true;

Let every heart hope,

In Christ, be made new.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for loving us without limits, and for delighting in us when we trust in You with the reverence that is due. Forgive us for not giving You proper praise, or for questioning the character or nature of who You are, as Your love never fails. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would not place human parameters on Your nature or character, but instead, in reverence and awe, would recognize the enormity of Your unfailing, faithful love for all who call on Your Name. Show us how to love those around us in a way that models our reverence for You and the hope that we hold in Your love that never fails. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we worship You and trust in Your unfailing love. Amen.

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

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

Standing Forgiven

If You, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? But with You there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve You. – (Psalm 130:3-4, NIV)

Lord, if You punished people for all their sins, no one would be left alive. But You forgive people, so they fear and respect You. – (Psalm 130:3-4, ERV)

 

The reality is that not one of us could withstand the judgment of God in our own righteousness. We all have sinned and fallen short of His glory. Because God is merciful, He sent His Son to make the way for all of our sin to be forgiven. In that space of recognizing the enormity of His grace, we cannot help but be compelled to revere and long to serve the Lord. He who has given us life and love and hope and help, is the very One whom we ought to honor in all that we say and do. May we walk out each day with the understanding of how much we have been forgiven, so that we too, shall go and do likewise.

 

No record of wrongs,Delivering Dreams

is held over us;

when we trust the Lord,

give all to Jesus.

We are forgiven,

from our sin and shame;

how can we but help,

revere the Lord’s Name?

When we know the truth,

the size of His grace;

our hearts long to serve,

for all of our days.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we come to You and give our hearts to You, You forgive us and keep no record of our wrongs. Thank You that by Your grace, we are able to stand before You, clean and made righteous in You. Thank You that You alone are worthy of our reverence and desire to serve. Forgive us for seeking to serve ourselves or for not giving proper respect and reverence unto You. Teach us to see You in light of who You are and all that You have done, so that we may properly serve and honor You. Show us how to love others in such a way, that they too would come to understand the magnitude of the grace that You extend to all who come unto You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You with all that we are and seek to serve You in all that we do. Amen.

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

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. – Psalm 23:6

Sharing Scars

Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” – (John 4:39)

 

Regardless of her shameful past, the Samaritan woman had a powerful encounter with the living Christ as she had gone to draw water from the well. She was so moved by what she saw and heard, that she lost herself in the enormity of what was being offered to her, and went into town and told everyone she could find about what Jesus had spoken to her, despite the public potential for her to be further ostracized. Jesus moved, and she was forever changed. So too, were many within that town. If we are willing to respond to the invitation that Jesus extends to each of us, not only will we be changed, but so too, will all whom we encounter. May we readily receive all that our Redeemer has to give, and then share our story with those who are willing to hear.

 

Christ Jesus, our Lord,One to Many

what wonder is He;

Who looks past our sin,

to what we can be.

No matter our scars,

sin, guilt and our stains;

He washes us clean,

so just love remains.

It is by that love,

that we are compelled;

to share the great news,

how Christ loves so well.

May we rise and go,

without fear of past;

for what we can share,

will forever last.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that our testimony is irrefutable, as it is our story that You have redeemed and made beautiful. Thank You that You have always loved us, and that Your love does not change nor fade. Thank You that You deposit in us, that very same love for others. Forgive us for allowing fear to keep us from moving out where we are being called. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will go without concern for where we have been, but will look forward with anticipation to all that You will do. Lead us to love others with the same sort of zeal that You have for us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we share the story of how You have touched our hearts and lives. 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