Receive Life

Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. – (Revelation 22:14, NIV)

 

Great blessings belong to those who have washed their robes. They will have the right to eat the food from the tree of life. They can go through the gates into the city. – (Revelation 22:14, ERV)

 

Our “robes” are washed, when we receive what Christ freely offers. We are cleansed by the sacrifice He made for our sin, when He suffered and died in our place. If we embrace what He lovingly gives, and choose to follow Him all of our days, we will be granted entry into Christ’s eternal presence, and allowed to eat from that which people were previously not permitted. All that is good, right, lovely, holy and true, will be the eternal surroundings of those who have chosen to make Jesus the Lord of their lives. Imagine a day when God’s glory alone is what lights our surroundings so brilliantly, that there is no longer need for the sun, nor lamps, nor any other source of light. May we receive what Christ has to offer, and allow His healing hands to cleanse us from all of our unrighteousness.

 

Our garments worn,Receive Life

surrounding our heart;

showing what dwells,

in the deepest part.

We all have stains,

wrinkles and some scars;

yet Christ calls us,

to come as we are.

The miracle,

of His great mercy;

and grace for us,

cleanses and makes clean.

Where blemishes,

were once dominant;

His love is seen,

light so radiant.

Not by our works,

but by His great grace;

we must receive,

as we seek His face.

Imagine when,

our days here are done;

the welcoming,

by Father and Son.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we seek You, we find You, if we seek You with our whole heart. Thank You that You forgive us and cleanse us, washing us clean, as if we had never sinned. Forgive us for either taking Your grace for granted, or for somehow thinking that Your grace is not enough to cover what we have done. Teach us to have a proper perspective of who You are, and what You have done for us. May we love others well, as You so lavishly love us, and may many come to know the glorious gift of Your forgiveness and grace as a result. Be glorified O God, as we receive what You offer, and walk in the fullness of Your grace. Amen.

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

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

Righteous Ruler

“We give thanks to You, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign.” – Revelation 11:17

image by Birru Sadhu

image by Birru Sadhu

John heard the twenty-four elders speaking these words as they fell to their faces in worship of God in heaven, as the seventh trumpet was sounded to announce the coming judgments on the earth.

Though God has always ultimately reigned, He has restrained Himself until His chosen time, when the end times will come to pass, so that all people will have the opportunity to hear of the hope held in Him, and choose whether or not to make the decision to follow Him forever.  I can only imagine the anticipation in heaven.  Those who are in His eternal presence have been waiting, and are likely eager for the promised passing of all evil on the earth, and the return of His perfection to come once again to all.  Imagine restoration everywhere – not just in heaven.  To return to the glory where walking beside God in the garden was commonplace, and within that space, there is only good – gone are suffering, sin and pain.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are the One who is, who was, and who will always be.  Thank You that regardless of what is happening or what will happen, You are God, and You are good.  Forgive me Father, for the fear that creeps in when I read about the events that will unfold in the end times.  Help us to remember that You will strengthen and sustain us through any and every trial that we will encounter, or we might be so lucky as to be among those who are raptured…  More than that, please help us to keep our eyes securely fixed on You.  Open our understanding so that we might more clearly see You and comprehend Your ways.  Teach us to trust You and Your perfect plan.  Lead us in love so that we may love others as we are loved.  Be evident in all that we say and do today, and place people in the path of those we hold dear to tell them of Your great love.  In Your Holy Name, Amen.

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

Pressed, Not Crushed

image by Melanie L. Hall

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” – 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

“We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t been broken.” – (The Message)

In this second letter that Paul sent to the church in Corinth, he acknowledges the struggles, and submits to them that the strength in the suffering is supplied only by our Savior.  “Paul reminds us that though we may think we are at the end of the rope, we are never at the end of hope.” – (NIV Study Bible footnotes)

Because Jesus took all sin and suffering upon Himself for our sake on the cross, He provided the way for us not only to be covered and called clean, but He also sent His Spirit to dwell in us and provide the strength and encouragement we need to press on to the prize of our heavenly home.  This life is not our end.  We either choose Him and have the hope of heaven in our hearts, or we choose self, submit to sin, and secure our space in eternal suffering and separation from our Savior.

Life is not always easy, but it is worth living when the light of Love lives in us, and leads us tenderly through the trials.  Death has no victory when the light of Christ lives in us.  Regardless of what happens here, we have the promised hope of eternal presence with our Provider!

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that though things will come against us, we will not be overcome when our hope is held in You.  Forgive us for our fear that fights for footing when troubles come, and teach us how to stand triumphantly in You.  May our hope in You help others to see the safety and security supplied by You, our Heavenly Hope.  Help us to use each day to point the way, so that in You, the lost may be found.  Amen.

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

He Holds Our Hearts

“But God raised Him from the dead, freeing Him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on Him.” – Acts 2:24

Just as we cannot cause the sun to stop rising, the very hand of hell could not keep the perfect Prince of Peace from rising from the dead.  What God foretold, He was faithful to finish, and provided the path for our permanent peace in His perfect presence.
As I gaze upon the glory of His creation, I am in awe of how much He has done to save me from the sentence of death that I do, indeed deserve.  Where I see wickedness or wavering faith within me, He sees the sinless shroud of His Son, and calls me clean.  In Him, I am made worthy to be declared His daughter.  His heart for me is that I would come close, cast my cares upon Him, and allow Him to carry me as He cradles me close.
Who would not want such wonder as well?
That longing, that deep down need for something more, begins as a God-sized hole until we know Him.  It then becomes an ache for our heavenly home.  We are granted a finite number of days to seek Him and follow His ways, before the day will come when we are each called to cross over to our eternal existence.  With Christ, that promised place in His eternal presence is far beyond what we could even begin to imagine.  The alternative to paradise – I have no desire to dwell on that one…
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that nothing, not even the hand of hell, can separate us from Your love when we are in Christ.  As Your Spirit dwells within us, we are seen as clean, despite the depths from which we have come.  Forgive us for our falters in faith, and lead us always back to the sweet space where we may stay in Your holy presence and be embraced by Your loving arms.  Teach us to trust in the safety of the space that You provide, regardless of the appearance of that which surrounds us.  May we be Your hands, heart and voice to those whose hearts the hand of hell is trying to hold.  Unfurl the ugly fingers, and replace them with Your glorious grip of grace that holds hearts from here to heaven.  Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Bless Because He Blesses Us

“Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.  Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” – I Peter 3:8-9

photo by Lori Thomason

“Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless – that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing.” (The Message)

To be agreeable, our character need be one that is pleasant, likable, accommodating, gracious, amiable, compatible and harmonious.  In order to be sympathetic, we are to commiserate with kindness and tenderness, with those who are hurting.  To be loving, we are to extend the same profound tenderness that God has given us, to all those who are around us.  Humility and modesty go hand-in-hand.  For anything that is good that we have to give, is a gift from God, for which we cannot claim credit.

As we allow Him the reigns, our Redeemer reconstructs our wreckage, so that we may more clearly become a reflection of Him.  As we acquire His attributes (by His Holy Spirit), we learn to respond in love at all times, even as we are under attack.  We are asked to bless and not to harm.  As we allow His heart to help and heal our own, we become better equipped to extend blessings to others, even when the intent toward us is evil.  Our ultimate reward is the promised blessing of being in His eternal presence in heaven.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not ask anything of us that You will not also equip us to do.  Teach us to depend on You to shape our character, so that we may better reflect the remarkable mercy and grace that You have given each of us.  May we be sympathetic and loving, humble and harmonious, even when all that is within us wants to repay evil with evil, so that we may offer blessings as we live in Your lavish love.  Equip us to extend blessings, so that ultimately, the recipient will want to receive You.  Amen.

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

His Perfect Plan

photo by Erin Go Run

“Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in.  Study how He did it.  Because He never lost sight of where He was headed – that exhilarating finish in and with God – He could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever.  And now He’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God.” – Hebrews 12:2 (The Message)

Jesus is the ultimate example of how we are meant to run our race.  No matter what obstacle was set before Him, He was able to endure and overcome, as He was fully reliant on the Father for His every need.  God gave Him strength and wisdom, endurance and power, to accomplish all that had been asked of Him.  Now, after He has successfully endured all things – even the cross on our behalf – He is seated beside our Heavenly Father forever.

I must keep my eyes on the prize, and ever seek the Source with supplication, to finish strong so that I may find myself dwelling in His eternal presence at the end of my days on earth.  Regardless of the obstacles I must overcome, He has promised to remain ever present within me.  Each obstacle I endure, through the strength of His Spirit, trains my heart and mind to trust Him more, so I may move forward in maturity in my faith in the Father.  All things that we endure on earth are but a moment, when compared to the great joy we will find when we dwell in His presence in heaven forever.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the perfect example that You set before us by Your Son, Jesus.  Thank You that we not only have our majestic model of how we are to run, through Your Son, but that You sent us Your Spirit to dwell in every heart that asks, and supply our every need.  Teach us to hear with our hearts, Your every direction, and guide us in grace, the way in which You want us to go.  May our momentum in You encourage others to enter this race that leads to our heavenly home with You forever.  Amen.

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