To Live in Peace

But all who listen to Me will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm. – (Proverbs 1:33, NLT)

But those who listen to Me will live in safety and comfort. They will have nothing to fear. – (Proverbs 1:33, ERV)

 

Peace comes not through our own quiet confidence that we can somehow come up with the capacity to cope on our own, but rather through knowing the Prince of Peace and listening to His leading. Fear takes flight as we fix our eyes on He who is far greater than anything that could come against us. As we listen to the Lord and trust in His strength, the situations and circumstances that once seemed terrifying and overwhelming, become interesting opportunities to see the hand of God at work in our lives. May we listen to the Lord and His leading, trusting in His strength, so that we live in the perfect peace that He alone provides.

 

Safety and comfort,butterfly vida

Come through listening;

When rooted in Christ,

Peace His presence brings.

Fear is forced to flee,

When the Lord is near;

For God is greater,

Our safety made clear.

So listen to God,

Sending fear to flight;

Peace in His presence,

The gift of clear sight.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we listen to You, we will live in safety and peace, and have nothing to fear. Thank You that You are far greater than anything that will come against us. Forgive us for losing perspective of how much greater You are than that which is in the world. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would listen to You to provide our safety, comfort and peace. Remove our fears and help us to be brave in You. Show us how to love those around us in a way that promotes peace, safety and comfort. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we listen to You in all that we do. Amen.

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

For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. – 1 Peter 2:19

Go Shine

I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in Me should stay in darkness. – (John 12:46, NIV)

I am Light that has come into the world so that all who believe in Me won’t stay any longer in the dark. – (John 12:46, MSG)

 

Without Christ, we are stuck in the darkness of our own sin. Christ came so that we might have Light and life and truth. When we believe in Him, darkness must flee, for light and dark cannot dwell together. Light illuminates the darkness. Just as a small nightlight can make a world of difference for a little child on a dark night, so too can one person who bears the light of Christ, in a dark world. When we let our light shine, darkness disappears. Kindness, goodness, generosity and grace are contagious. One spark of compassion can ignite an entire community to do likewise. May we go forth in His light and be sparks, allowing His love to fan our words and deeds into a blaze.

 

May we seek to be,Courage for Change

Sparks that fan to flame;

As we honor Christ,

Glorify His Name.

Light dispels darkness,

In practical ways;

With kindness and grace,

That we give away.

Our great example,

Known throughout the earth;

Chose to love and serve,

And grant us great worth.

May we do likewise,

Go forth and be light;

Love as we are loved,

And choose do what’s right.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son into the world to be light and life and love. Thank You that through Him, we can have life abundant in You. Forgive us for remaining hidden in the darkness of our own shame and sin, rather than allowing Your light to shine into the dark spaces to bring light and life where it is needed most. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would invite You to shine brightest in the places that are the darkest. Show us how to love others well, so that we may shine the light of Your hope before them through our kindness and care. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we allow Your light to shine through us wherever we go. Amen.

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

They will celebrate Your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of Your righteousness. – Psalm 145:7

Really Love Them

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. – (Romans 12:9-10, NLT)

Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle. – (Romans 12:9-10, MSG)

 

Above all, we are called to love. This love is not romance nor something that we manufacture, but rather it is a choice to prefer others – to seek to serve and honor others rather than ourselves. We are only able to truly love when we receive and embrace the love that Christ has given unto us. It is through the holding tightly to His goodness and grace, that we are able to in turn, extend the same to others. That which is evil, the things of this world that compete for our attention in a way that draws our hearts to disdain rather than delight, are the very things that we are meant to distance ourselves far away from, so that we can cling to that which is good. May we love one another with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other with the love that Christ grants unto us.

 

We cannot pretend,ç€À

To love each other;

We need assurance,

Sisters and brothers.

Choose to hold tightly,

To that which is good;

Christ’s love that honors,

Grants grace understood.

Flee from what’s evil,

Cling close to the Lord;

Choose to love deeply,

So Christ is adored.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us with a love that gives us new life. Thank You that in You, we are restored and made new, granting us the capacity to love others with the very same love that You have given unto us. Forgive us for choosing to neglect those near to us, or for not loving as You call us to love. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would cling to You and flee from all that is not of You, so that we may be refined to love as You call us to love. Show us how to be good friends who love deeply, that prefer one another in love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, as they see Your loving kindness through us. Be glorified O God, as we cling to You, and love others with the very same love that You have given to us. Amen.

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

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. – Psalm 34:8

 

Promises Assured

He has given us both His promise and His oath, two things we can completely count on, for it is impossible for God to tell a lie. Now all those who flee to Him to save them can take new courage when they hear such assurances from God; now they can know without doubt that He will give them salvation He has promised them. – (Hebrews 6:18, TLB)

 

God’s word and His promises are totally trustworthy, for He is truth and does not lie. All who come before the Lord for salvation can take courage, for He saves all who earnestly seek Him. We need not fear nor doubt, for we are assured that when we submit ourselves to Christ, He comes and dwells in us forever. May we take courage in the Lord and His word, for what He says, He will do.

 

The Lord at His word,The Reason for Reverence

we can always trust;

for what He does say,

shall happen, it must.

For God cannot lie,

only truth be told;

thus courage is ours,

as our hand He holds.

Salvation’s assured,

when we seek His face;

choose give Him our heart,

rest in His embrace.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You give us both Your promise and Your oath, and that we can completely count on all that comes from You. Thank You that when we seek You for salvation, we can take courage, as we have assurance that it is promised in You. Forgive us for not trusting You at Your word, or for not seeking You in the spaces where we need to most. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would trust that Your word is true in all things and at all times, and that we would seek You in all. Show us how to love others in a way that demonstrates Your trustworthiness. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust in Your promises and operate in courage, knowing that You will do all that You say that You will do. Amen.

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

When times are good, be happy. – Ecclesiastes 7:14

Be Full of Light

If you are full of light, and there is no part of you that is dark, then you will be all bright, as though you have the light of a lamp shining on you. – (Luke 11:36, ERV)

Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you. – (Luke 11:36, NIV)

 

In order for us to be full of light, the light of Christ must dwell within us. When we invite Christ to be the Lord of our lives, His Spirit comes and lives in us. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is light and life, and no shadow may remain. For light and darkness cannot coexist. Light chases away all that is dark. Though our human nature contains much darkness, the Lord is light and in Him, all that is dark within us is dispelled. The more we trust Christ in all things, the more clearly His light radiates through us to all who are around us. May we be so filled with the light of Christ that no darkness remains, and may all who come around us see the light of His love through our hearts that are radiating the reality of hope in Him.

 

May we be so full,To Reflect His Radiance

of Your loving light;

that all that is dark,

must flee from our sight.

Far greater are You,

who dwells within us;

for Your light is life,

through Your Son, Jesus.

May all that is dark,

within us dispel;

and Your light remain,

as it shines hope well.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are light and life and hope and help to all who seek Your face. Thank You that in You, there is no darkness. Thank You that when we invite You to be the Lord of our lives, You come and dwell within us, and Your light makes the darkness disappear. Forgive us for the corners that we try to hide, or the shadows we seek to somehow hold. Teach us to trust You more, as Your light is life, and the only hope worth holding. Show us how to go forth and love in the light of Your truth, so that others too, may see the hope that is held in You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we allow Your light to chase away every darkness within us, and trust You to shine through us as we seek to honor You in all that we say and do. Amen.

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

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23

Obey Without Delay

Immediate obedience is what the Lord asks of us, but so often, it takes a bit of time to either wrap our heads around what exactly it is that He is asking, or to find the faith to step out and do that which we are being called to do.

 

After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and His mother,” the angel said…”because Herod is going to search for the child to kill Him.” That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, His mother. (Matthew 2:13-14, NLT)

When Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt. “Get up!” the angel said. “Take the child and his mother back to the land of Israel…” So Joseph got up and returned to the land of Israel with Jesus and His mother. (Matthew 2:19-21, NLT)

Then, after being warned in a dream, he left for a region of Galilee. So the family went and lived in a town called Nazareth… (Matthew 2:22b-23a, NLT)

 

Joseph is acknowledged for his obedience to marry Mary, despite what was perceived. He listened to the angel of the Lord, and did what was right in the eyes of God. That being said, I’ve never given much thought to the steps of obedience that he carefully took after the birth of Jesus. I wonder if he had been so eternally changed by his initial visit by an angel, that he was on constant standby to hear the instructions of the Lord, as he was well aware of the significance of his role in raising the Son of God? Joseph was human and he had a free will. He did not have to obey what was asked of him, but he did – and he did so immediately. His decisions had an impact on all of history. God guided him, but Joseph chose to obey.

 

How often are we in such circumstances? Though we are not raising the Son of God, what if we are raising the next leader of a church, a city, an organization or a nation? What we do matters. Our obedience has the capacity to shape not only our lives, but the lives of those around us. We never really know the significance of our decisions, until long after they have been made. May we listen well for His voice, and choose to step out in obedience as soon as we hear what He is asking. Let the Lord be our strength, courage and light, as we move in the direction that He calls us to go.

 

When God speaks to us,

do we choose obey?Break Camp and Move Out

Does our heart move now,

or wait one more day?

What is the impact,

of obedience?

It’s not about us,

nor our convenience.

Our one decision,

could open the way;

for His light to shine,

on the darkest day.

Our obedience,

matters a great deal;

for God uses us,

to show that He’s real.

Let hearts be open,

and ears set to hear;

may we choose obey,

without pause or fear.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have given us so many examples in Your word of those who boldly and without hesitation, obeyed that which You asked of them. Thank You too, that it is clear why it was necessary for obedience to be immediate. Thank You that You speak to our hearts, and we need simply to listen to know what we are to do and where we are to go. Forgive us for our hesitation and delay to those things that we know You are asking of us. Grow in us a faith that says “Yes and Amen” immediately, to whatever we hear You asking. Show us how to love others in a way that makes Your goodness and grace evident. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we listen to Your leading and then take steps of obedience as soon as we know what we have heard. Amen.

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

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

Remembering His Faithfulness

I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all Your works and consider what your hands have done. – (Psalm 143:5)

David faced some seriously discouraging circumstances. More than once, he had to flee for his very life, despite knowing that God had called him to be king. Despite the dismay at the detours, David chose to direct his heart and mind to the displays of faithfulness that the Lord had demonstrated for the many generations that had gone before him. He knew that God was faithful, and that His word was true. Rather than fixing his eyes on the hardships that he could see, David chose to meditate on all that God had done before, trusting that He would be faithful to continue to keep His promises as He had done so faithfully, for the many generations that had gone before him.

We are called to do the very same thing in the face of adversity. It is our choice to either focus on the problem, or on He who is faithful to hear our every prayer, and be present beside us, every step of the way. When we slow down and remember all the ways in which He has been faithful to us already, it is easier to meditate on the truth of His word, and what He has promised He will do. God is good, and His love endures forever. We need not allow our hearts to be overcome with fret or fear, but rather we ought to meditate on His works and the wonder of all that He has done. May we keep our hearts and minds fixed on Christ and the truth of who He is, so that we always remember what He has done, and where we are ultimately headed.

Remember the times,Break Camp and Move Out

that God has come through;

provided answers,

shown us what to do.

When there was a need,

our God did provide;

unexpectedly,

a whisper replied.

The Lord’s gentle hand,

as someone came near;

His comfort granted,

to our silent tears.

A ray of sunlight,

after raging rain;

hope we can cling to,

He makes our path plain.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are and have always been faithful. Thank You that You remain the same: yesterday, today and forever. Thank You that we can look to the past to remember Your faithfulness throughout the ages, when we are discouraged about today. Thank You that when we look to all that You have done, You restore our hope for both today and forever, as You are unchanging and abounding in love. Forgive us for forgetting to stop and meditate on all of Your works, as when we consider all that You have done, we cannot help but be hopeful. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would slow down and take time to consider all that You have done for us, even in the midst of our greatest trials, as You never leave us nor forsake us. Lead us to love others in such a way, that we might be an extension of Your hands and heart to those who need Your tangible touch. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we remember all that You have done, and go forth in confidence, knowing that Your faithfulness will last forever. Amen.

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

The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. – Psalm 145:8

Pure and Holy Lives

Dear friends, we have these promises from God. So we should make ourselves pure – free from anything that makes our body or our soul unclean. Our respect for God should make us try to be completely holy in the way we live. – (2 Corinthians 7:1, ERV)

God is good. His promises are true and His love endures forever. These truths ought to compel us to flee from anything that would make our bodies or souls unclean. Our honor, admiration and awe for who God is and all that He does, leads our hearts to be dedicated and devoted to serving Him with our words, thoughts and deeds. The more we know Him, the more drawn we are to be the people that He is calling us to be. May we keep ourselves pure from that which would make our bodies and souls unclean, and out of respect for God, be holy in the ways in which we live.

That which God promised,Modeling Our Maker

is faithful and good;

truth endures always,

it’s hope understood.

Because we have hope,

let us be made pure;

both body and soul,

so His way is clear.

Not for some reward,

but out of our awe;

let us be holy,

from His strength we draw.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we have Your promises that remain the same forever. Thank You that when we seek You, You will help keep us from that which would make our bodies or souls unclean. Forgive us for not giving You the respect and reverence You deserve, and teach us to trust You more, so that we will seek to live as Your holy people – people dedicated and devoted to serving You. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they will see Your loving kindness through us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we make ourselves pure and live holy lives. Amen.

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

Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. – 2 Corinthians 3:5

Opposition Moved the Message

On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. – (Acts 8:1) At first glance, these words seem devastating to a growing and thriving body of believers. However, in just a few verses more, the story continues with: Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. – (Acts 8:4)

 

Though persecution had forced the believers to flee from their homes, with them, went their faith. Rather than squash what was thriving, the message of Christ began to be spread throughout Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

 

“Sometimes we have to become uncomfortable before we’ll move. We may not want to experience it, but discomfort may be the best thing for us because God may be working through our hurts. When you are tempted to complain about uncomfortable or painful circumstances, stop and ask if God might be preparing you for a special task.” – (NIV footnotes for Acts 8:4)

 

When pressure or pain,

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make way on my path;

they may have purpose,

that isn’t God’s wrath.

Often He uses,

discomfort to grow;

prepare and strengthen,

ready us to go.

At times it’s the call,

that we truly need;

to step out in faith,

and obey His lead.

When things are painful,

may we slow and ask;

are You preparing,

for a special task?

Let our hearts rely,

on the Lord’s power;

may we overcome,

through our Strong Tower.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You don’t simply allow us to be uncomfortable for the sake of discomfort, but rather You utilize every challenge for ultimate good. Thank You for the example of the early church – what remarkable faith they had to go and share Christ, even in the face of tremendous persecution. Forgive us Father, for complaining when things are uncomfortable or painful, and help us to ask You how You might be using our circumstances to prepare us for something down the road. Teach us to trust You more, so that our initial response is to run to You. Lead us to love others with the love that You have so abundantly poured out upon each of us. May many come into a saving relationship with You. Be exalted Lord God, as we move despite discomfort, and teach us to trust where You are leading. 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

Purposeful Pursuit

But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. – (1 Timothy 6:11)

 

Though this was Paul’s charge to Timothy after he had unpacked the dangers of false doctrine and the love of money, the charge given applies to all who choose to follow in the faith. Another version states it this way: But you belong to God. so you should stay away from all those things. Always try to do what is right, to be devoted to God, and to have faith, love, patience, and gentleness. – (1 Timothy 6:11, ERV) If we devote out hearts and minds to the Lord, then our desire will be to do what is right and to flee from that which is not. The more we know God, the more we take on His character, growing in faith, love, patience and gentleness. May we rise up as people of God, and pursue His righteousness, enduring all things through His strength, as He calls us according to His purposes.

 

Let every heart,Knowing Love

who holds the Lord dear;

flee from what’s evil,

and trust Christ is near.

May we all pursue,

righteousness and love;

faith and endurance,

like the Lord above.

Let Your love and light,

in truth shine through us;

as we pursue You,

may folks see Jesus.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we turn to You and away from what is not good nor beneficial for our growth in You, that You meet us. Thank You that as we pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness, You grant us Your strength and Your heart to reflect Your love and character to those around us. Forgive us for our failure to rely on You or for seeking after things that are not beneficial to our eternal gain, and help us to have Your perspective on what lies before us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may view all things with an eternal filter. Help us to love others as You so relentlessly love each of us. May many come to know the glory of Your grace and marvel and the mercy You freely offer. Be glorified O God, as we pursue the things of You and flee from that which is not. Amen.

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

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