Be Our Strength

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. – (Ephesians 6:10, NIV)

And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and He wants you strong. – (Ephesians 6:10, MSG)

Now my beloved ones, I have saved these most important truths for last: Be supernaturally infused with strength through your life-union with the Lord Jesus. Stand victorious with the force of His explosive power flowing in and through you. – (Ephesians 6:10, TPT)

 

If anyone can speak truth into our lives as we are limited in what we can safely and wisely do, it is Paul, through his letter to the church in Ephesus. Paul was writing from a Roman prison, encouraging all to find strength in God. His reminder to us is that as we are invested in our walk with God, His strength will rise up in us and flow through us, in all things. In a space of rapidly increasing restrictions and limited availability, there are still a plethora of freedoms that we are granted that Paul did not experience in a Roman prison. We are able to communicate with loved ones, near and far; we are able to get outdoors and take in the fresh air and move. Technology grants us access to far more than ever before, even in as much as the opportunity to worship together, separately, from our own homes, with our own congregations, online. No, it doesn’t look the same, but it is far better than the space Paul was in, and likewise, far better than the confines of a hospital bed, fighting for life. In this time of being primarily home bound, there is room to grow closer to our family, with whom we reside, and time to invest in things that we seldom otherwise do. Yesterday, I walked around the perimeter of our yard and snapped some photos, choosing to be intentional as I looked through the lens. I found great delight in observing how the light and shadows danced among plants ready to bloom, and soaked in the sunshine that has been present all week. Our evening ended with a family game night, and our middle son dominated at Dominoes. Smiles were on each face around the table, and there was a sweet peace in one another’s presence as we laughed and played together. God is so good, and His strength is granted as we trust and depend on Him in all things, great and small.

 

Be strong in the Lord, DSC00007

For that is how strength;

Rises within us,

And reaches great lengths.

As we trust in Him,

For life, love and grace;

He meets and equips,

To run well, our race.

Trust in His goodness,

Look around and see;

He’s ever faithful,

Watch and you’ll agree.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your strength is limitless and Your love, boundless. Thank You that You make us strong as we seek You. Forgive us for our lack of faith when times are tough. Teach us to trust You, no matter what we see. Show us how to love in the strength You give us, so that others may come to know the abundance of Your great love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we love You and trust in You to be our strength all of our days. Amen.

 

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

 

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. – Joshua 1:9

Seeking Solace

I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. – (Ephesians 3:16-18, NIV)

I ask the Father with His great glory to give you the power to be strong in your spirits. He will give you the strength through His Spirit. I pray that Christ will live in your hearts because of your faith. I pray that your life will be strong in love and be built on love. And I pray that you and all God’s holy people will have the power to understand the greatness of Christ’s love – how wide, how long, how high, and how deep that love is. – (Ephesians 3:16-18, ERV)

And I pray that He would unveil within you the unlimited riches of His glory and favor until supernatural strength floods your innermost being with His divine might and explosive power. Then, by constantly using your faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside you, and the resting place of His love will become the very source and root of your life. – (Ephesians 3:16-18, TPT)

 

Paul’s encouragement to the church in Ephesus is still an encouragement that is applicable and relevant to us today. In fact, I had to take pause and recognize my own need to receive his words, as I realized just how much I have been missing my husband, boys, and community at home. It is not that I resent nor regret what I am doing here, as I would not trade this time with my mom for anything. I am overwhelmingly blessed with time that could have been stolen, had things gone differently, and I am witnessing daily, the miracles that come with healing and recovery from a stroke. It is a strange sort of struggle to be pulled between two places. During mom’s waking hours, I am fully engaged and focused on whatever lies before us, and we enjoy our time together, celebrating victories and giggling and the small stuff that comes in the wake of exhaustion and recovery. It is in the quiet moments while mom is resting, or her attention is fixed on a movie, that I am torn and struggle being away from my husband and boys. We talk and text daily, but it is not the same, and all of my guys are loves who are generous with their affection for me. I miss the comfort of their nearness and the easy interactions that take place so often. I know it is just for a season, and the line in the TPT version “the resting place of His love will become the very source and root of your life”, is the space that I need to seek His solace.

As for mom’s progress from yesterday, she walked farther than she has walked (with a walker and slight assistance), since she had her stroke! For those who have been in mom’s house, she walked up and down her entire hallway. (The length of it is over 30 feet!) What I loved even more, was the recognition of hope that mom found through the process. After Victor, her physical therapist had gone, we sat down in the living room. She looked at me and said, “It really is possible, isn’t it?” I looked at her for a moment, studying her face, and realized that for the first time, she was recognizing that walking again was indeed possible for her. I let her know that we had seen and known the possibility all along, and after today, imagined that it would come even more quickly than we might have originally thought. Hope is a beautiful thing, and I am in awe realizing that despite her not really thinking it was possible to walk again, she was positive and hard-working, loving and kind. We reminded her all along that it was possible, however, I guess she had to physically experience the possibility for herself to understand. Mom was again open and receptive to short visits with a few friends, as she met with one dear one in the morning, and another prior to lunch. Both were wonderful boosts that brought much delight to the day.

I am so thankful that He does strengthen us with His power, out of His glorious riches through His Spirit in our inner being, and He dwells in our hearts through faith. As we are rooted and established in Him, may we together, grasp how great is His love.

 

Dear Father, I pray, Be strong and courageous

From Your vast supply;

You’ll give strength to those,

On You, choose rely.

And by Your Spirit,

Where in hearts Christ dwells;

Grow stronger our faith,

So we trust You well. dsc04451587116784.jpg

Each rooted in love,

Together by grace;

May we understand,

How great all Your ways.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are a loving and gracious God. Thank You that You know and see our need before we are aware of it ourselves. Thank You that You give us strength and grace, hope and love. Forgive us for allowing our fears or frustrations to find footing, rather than releasing all unto You. Teach us to trust You more, as You are our Provider and Place of Peace. Show us how to love those around us well, so that each may be strengthened, encouraged and find faith that is ready to nourish and grow. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You in all things and at all times, praising You for Your presence. Amen.

 

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

 

May Your unfailing love be my comfort, according to Your promise to Your servant. – Psalm 119:76

Committed Care

As Paul was parting company with the Ephesian elders for what he knew would be the last time, he spoke words of warning, comfort, and exhortation. After all of the time and energy invested in Ephesus, Paul simply had to continue to where he was called, trusting that the Ephesians would be covered in Christ’s tender care. “Now I commit you to God and to the word of His grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” – (Acts 20:32, NIV) Another version states, “Now I am putting you in God’s care. I am depending on the message about His grace to make you strong. That message is able to give you the blessing that God gives to all His holy people.” – (Acts 20:32, ERV)

 

Just as Paul so diligently invested in those he was given charge over, so we ought to do likewise. Though we may not part company in such a dramatic fashion, it is essential for me to be certain that my charges are properly equipped in the ways in which they are meant to go, even in the short span of time that we part ways while they are at school, or are out with friends. As they go, I must commit them to God, and trust that they are in His care (using wisdom in what and where I allow them to go). His word is rooted and established within them, thus His grace will make them strong. May we each invest in God and His word of grace, so we may be built up and receive the inheritance that He gives to those He calls His own.

 

Invested in Christ,Committed Care

deep-rooted in grace;

immersed in His care,

by seeking His face.

He grants us the strength,

to do right by Him;

His blessings given,

His presence within.

As company parts,

let leaders not fear;

for those invested,

His Spirit, can hear.

Father, please protect,

both leader and charge;

in Your tender care,

wherever we are.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us and protect us, and grant us Your strength and grace when we choose invest in You. Thank You that we have an inheritance of eternal life in You, which is far more valuable than anything we could pursue on earth. Thank You that You value people, not possessions, and You want us to do likewise. Forgive us for not investing enough in those around us, or for not trusting You completely with those in whom we invest. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may commit all into Your care, as Your hands are far stronger and more capable of holding those whom we love, than we are. Give us Your heart to love, as You so lavishly love each of us, and may many come to know You as a result. Be glorified as we invest in others and commit them to Your care. Amen.

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

The joy of the Lord is your strength. – Nehemiah 8:10

Living Testimonies

Exciting news has always found way to spread quickly.  In Ephesus, during the time of Paul’s ministry, there was no exception. “God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.” – (Acts 19:11-12)  There were some Jews who were jealous of both the power and influence that God had given Paul, and they were going around driving out spirits, using both the name of Jesus, and Paul’s name, in attempt to make something happen.  These men soon learned that it required more than the use of His Name to overcome evil spirits, as the fellas were beaten within an inch of their lives, and ran away.

As word of this occurrence spread, both Jews and Greeks gained a proper perspective of the power of the Lord, and held His Name in high esteem.  Many  who had come to believe, came and confessed their sins and began to rid their homes and lives of things that were in direct violation with the ways of the Lord.  The depth of their commitment to Christ was further solidified, through the hearing of His awesome power.

What sort of news do we spread?  How do we impact people with the power of His Name?  Are we making others aware of His awesome power and great love, or are we “talking heads” without the depth of commitment?  Paul’s ministry was powerful only because his priority was to love God, and to love people.  His love compelled him to share of all that the Lord had done in him, and allowed the power of the Holy Spirit to move through him.  God moves mightily through us when we are willing vessels.

May Your love spread,Living Testimonies

let hearts be ablaze;

as people come,

to follow Your ways.

Let willing hearts,

be Your hands and voice;

so all might know,

of redemption choice.

Yes and amen,

shall be our reply;

let others know,

You alone supply.

Be lifted high,

through our word and deed;

may we love well,

as You meet each need.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that the news of You has traveled far and wide, providing opportunity  for us to come to know You as our Savior and King.  Thank You that You love us so much, that You have granted examples of the faithful to show the way, and have provided miracles, to move the hearts of those who need to see to believe.  Forgive us for the times that our words and actions have not aligned, or our hearts have not held fast to the truth in trust.  Teach us to trust You more, and help us to be living examples for those around us.  May we be people who are not just hearers of the word, but rather doers of the word.  May our very lives be living testimonies of Your faithfulness and truth to all whom are within our sphere of influence.  May many come to know You as their Savior, as we faithfully love and serve You and one another.  May You be honored in all things.  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