The Seeming Lunacy of Lavish Love

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. – (1 Corinthians 1:18, NIV)

The teaching about the cross seems foolish to those who are lost. But to us who are being saved it is the power of God. – (1 Corinthians 1:18, ERV)

To preach the message of the cross seems like sheer nonsense to those who are on their way to destruction, but to us who are on our way to salvation, it is the mighty power of God released within us. – (1 Corinthians 1:18, TPT)

 

Without the cross, we would have a lengthy laundry list of laws that we would be required to follow to find way to heaven. The cross changed all that. Laws show us our sinfulness, yet Christ went to the cross to bear the burden of our every failure to follow. Rather than rules and rituals requiring strict adherence to look to the Lord, we now have hope in a Savior who calls us to love. The saving power that was presented at the cross, provides the desire and strength to look to the Lord and be in relationship with Him. Before, there was a veil that separated people from God. Torn in two, as Jesus took His last breath, His decision to die for us all destroyed the barrier between God and mankind, and made the way for us to know Him, personally. The more we know the Lord, the more we are compelled to let go of our former foolishness and follow after Him. He who knew no sin, wore all of our sin upon Himself so that we could come to know His power, individually. His mercy and grace provided us with a fresh start and a call to two things: love God and love people. When we do the two, we reflect the goodness of God to the world, and make salvation tangible for those who do not know Him. May we ever embrace the goodness and grace that was granted at the cross, and receive His power that is presented to us as we come to Him in faith.

 

Seemingly foolish,Live Right by His Light

God sent His own Son;

To take away sin,

This Most Holy One.

Bearing our burdens,

In love, chose to die;

So we might know Him,

All sins rectified.

Such power and love,

Laid bare on that cross;

All to offer life,

Horrifying cost.

Yet freely He chose,

So we could know grace;

Receive and believe,

Daily, seek His face.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the radical and unfathomable love that You have for us. Thank You for making the way for us to come to know You, personally. Forgive us for all that we think, say and do that led You to choose the cross so that we might live. Teach us to trust You more, ever coming before You with gratitude and eyes to see the depth and breadth of Your love. Show us how to love those around us in a way that makes Your goodness and grace visible to all. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give You praise for who You are and how You love, trusting our very lives into Your holy hands.  Amen.

 

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

 

When we were overwhelmed by sins, You forgave our transgressions. – Psalm 65:3

Where Greatness is Found

They began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them. – (Luke 22:24, NLT)

Later, the apostles began to argue about which one of them was the most important. – (Luke 22:24, ERV)

The disciples bickered over which one of them would be considered the greatest in the kingdom. – (Luke 22:24, TPT)

 

Even after spending nearly every day with Jesus for the previous three years, the disciples still argued and postured for position. What this shows me is that even those who walk closely with the Lord, are subject to the frailty of the human condition. We all sin and fall short of the glory of God, and we all desperately need a Savior to lead a life of love, according to His good and perfect will. A bit further in the same chapter, Jesus let the disciples know that to be great, is to serve rather than to be served. He reminded them to follow the example that He had set before them all along. As always, the main message can be simplified to loving God and loving people. If we do both of these things, we will not worry about being greater, because we will prefer one another in love. Love lifts up, it does not tear down nor posture for position. May we ever seek the Lord and His ways, so that we can love Him and others for all of our days.

 

Let’s fix not our eyes, Enter With Thanksgiving

On how to be great;

But instead choose serve,

Lift up, elevate.

Choose prefer others,

Let love lead the way;

For this is God’s plan,

To share well His grace.

Never be worried,

About being great;

For God looks at you,

And He celebrates.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us not because of what we do, but because we are Your created. Thank You that You meet us where we are, and love us anyway. Forgive us for our foolishness that argues or seeks position rather than Your affirmation. Teach us to trust You more, so that the only approval that concerns us is Yours. Show us how to love those around us in a way that prefers others first and meets needs wherever they may be. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we choose to love You and love people as You call us to do. Amen.

 

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

 

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy. – Hebrews 4:16

Foolish Grow Silent with Good

For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. – (1 Peter 2:15, ESV)

For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. – (1 Peter 2:15, NIV)

You see, it is God’s will that by doing what is right and good you should hush the gabbing ignorance of the foolish. – (1 Peter 2:15, VOICE)

 

As we choose to do the right thing and walk in the will of God, those who have ill intentions toward us, or opt to speak without awareness, will not long be heard by those who observe the truth of who we are. Our heart and character speak far louder than either ill-intended or misunderstood murmurings about a mere snapshot of our story. Consistency over time tells a much truer tale than an isolated observation or a limited impression. What matters most is that we seek the Lord and pursue His heart in all that we do and say. If our words and deeds are motivated by love, then all other interpretations of our actions will eventually be silenced. May we rise up and choose love again and again, as this is the will of God that shall silence foolishness that finds faults rather than loves.

 

The will of the Lord, choose-love1

Is that we’ll do good;

That we will choose love,

His law, understood.

Foolish are silenced,

As love is given;

His grace overwhelms,

With wrongs forgiven.

So, let us do good,

Make the choice to love;

Silence foolishness,

Show grace from above.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You first loved us and that You do good for us, to silence our ignorance and foolishness. Thank You that as we pursue Your will and act accordingly, Your character that is conveyed through our love, speaks for itself. Thank You that foolishness is silenced and the truth will stand. Forgive us for the times that we have not chosen well or have acted in ignorance rather than sought You for answers when we were uncertain about what stood before us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would choose to do good in all things, ever walking out Your will everywhere we go. Show us how to love those around us in such a way that our words and deeds silence the foolishness that would lead them to believe lies about their value. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek to do good according to Your will, just as You do for us. 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

Steps for the Seekers

The naïve are heirs to foolishness, but the clever are honored with insight. – (Proverbs 14:18, VOICE)

 

This evening will be a unique experience for me. As a teacher, I have attended my school’s 8th grade celebration/graduation numerous times over the past nineteen years, yet tonight will be the first time in that my role is both as a parent and a teacher. My boys are finishing up their final days of middle school. It is bittersweet, as I have loved having them with me each morning and afternoon on the way to and from school, and there is a certain comfort in knowing that your own children are present on the campus on which you teach. That being said, they are ready for more. Neither of them has allowed themselves to get caught up in the foolishness of which some of their peers partake, and consequently, they have gained great insight and earned good grades, preparing them for that which lies ahead. Although I will miss their daily presence, I am excited to see all that awaits them in their high school experience and beyond. May we each embrace every opportunity for growth that is placed before us, so that we would operate in a space of His wisdom, rather that from our own foolishness.

 

Those who are clever,photo (5)

Are rewarded well;

Insight is granted,

In wisdom they’ll dwell.

With feet both planted,

Secure on the ground;

Future before them,

Their path has been found.

It’s about moving,

Where you’re meant to go;

For that is how we,

Each learn and we grow.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we seek You, we find You, and we are rewarded with wisdom and insight through our seeking. Thank You for all of the young people who have earnestly sought You, as they are preparing for next steps in their lives – so many transitioning from elementary school to middle school, middle school to high school, high school to college or work, and beyond. Thank You that whatever the transition, You are present and leading. Forgive us for forgetting how big You are, and give us the strength to trust You more with the next steps for our progeny. Show us how to continue to lead them well, and help us to love those around us in a way that points people unto You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek Your wisdom and insight in all of our next steps. Amen.

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

As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. – James 5:11

The Fallacy of Foolishness

The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. – (1 Corinthians 1:18, NLT)

For people who are stumbling toward ruin, the message of the cross is nothing but a tall tale for fools by a fool. But for those of us who are already experiencing the reality of being rescued and made right, it is nothing short of God’s power. – (1 Corinthians 1:18, VOICE)

 

The very idea that someone would come and die on our behalf to take away all of our sin and shame, seems too good to be true. Why would someone who was without sin, take on every sin that ever was and will ever be? Remarkably, the very same God who created each of us, loves us so much that He sent His Son to make the way for us to return to a right relationship with Him. Once we discover the powerful presence of Christ in our lives, we can begin to wrap our minds around the magnitude of His sacrifice and the depth of His love for us. In the presence of God, there is peace when storms surround us, hope when circumstances point to despair, and light and life when darkness and death are what seem inevitable. His power and grace provide way where no way seems possible. May we readily receive the message of the cross, for the power of God alone, is what saves.

 

On ruin’s wide road,Perseverance in the Face of Persecution

foolish seems the cross;

why would someone die,

for me, take a loss?

The powerful love,

for you and for me;

is why Jesus chose,

to hang on that tree.

His love made the way,

for all to draw near;

to come to know Him,

He makes the path clear.

We must choose believe,

the truth of His word;

embrace and obey,

follow undeterred.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for loving us so much that You made the way for us to come close to You. Thank You that it is by Your power, we are saved. Forgive us for our foolishness that thinks we have to somehow earn Your gift of grace. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would seek You in all things and at all times, and would desire with all that we are, to walk in Your ways and live out the truth. Show us how to love those around us in a way that demonstrates Your goodness and grace, so that they too may embrace the hope that we now hold. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we live in the reality of being rescued and made right by Your power alone. Amen.

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

For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. – 1 Corinthians 1:25

 

Search Us and Know Us

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends You, and lead me along the path of life everlasting. – (Psalm 139:23-24, NLT)

God, examine me and know my mind. Test me and know all my worries. Make sure that I am not going the wrong way. Lead me on the path that has always been right. – (Psalm 139:23-24, ERV)

 

Though God already knows our hearts and minds, He is gentle and kind, and will not force His way into our lives. We must invite Him to enter in and be the Lord of all. To truly allow Him to be in charge, we need to grant Him access to all – our thoughts, our desires, our words, our deeds, our direction and our needs. As we do, He comes alongside us, and shows us what is not in alignment with Him, and directs us on His perfect path of peace. God’s ways lead to life everlasting, whereas our ways lead only to worry, heartache and our ultimate demise. May we seek the Lord and grant Him access to search us and know us, so that we may be directed along the path to life everlasting in Him.

 

Please search me, O God,Asking for Answers

know my heart and mind;

test me and show me,

anything unkind.

Please point out the things,

offensive to You;

and show me the way,

that I’m meant to choose.

Lead me on Your path,

that‘s righteous and true;

to life eternal,

in heaven with You.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we invite You into our hearts and lives, You search us and know us, and show us the way in which we are meant to go. Thank You that You lovingly and gently correct and redirect our course, so that we may stay on the path that leads to life everlasting in You. Forgive us for not granting You access to all, as we allow fear and foolishness to get in the way. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will trust You in all things and at all times, knowing that You always have the very best for us in mind. Show us how to love those around us in a way that points hearts to You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we invite You to search us and know us, test us and grow us, so that we may be led forever by You. Amen.

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

Answer me, O Lord, out of the goodness of Your love; in Your great mercy turn to me. – Psalm 69:16

Forget Foolishness and Follow Him

Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. – (I Timothy 4:7, NIV)

 

People tell silly stories that don’t agree with God’s truth. Don’t follow what these stories teach. But teach yourself to be devoted to God. – (I Timothy 4:7, ERV)

 

Godless myths and old wives’ tales are made up stories that are meant to have a message, yet they are missing an essential element: the truth of God’s word. Investing our time and energy in such things does nothing for our spiritual development, nor for the deepening of our relationship with our Redeemer. Instead, we ought to focus our time and energy on digging deeper in His word, and seeking to understand His truth; allowing Him to lead and direct our every step. He is faithful to answer as we ask, and will train us in the ways we are meant to go, if we choose to humbly seek Him. May we fix our hearts and minds on God, being devoted to Him in all things, so that we may become more like Him each day.

 

Look to the Lord,Forget Foolishness and Follow Him

in all of your ways;

allow not myths,

to lead you astray.

Such foolishness,

leads to agony;

yet seeking Christ,

shall set the heart free.

Invest your heart,

your soul and your mind;

all unto Christ,

so His truth you’ll find.

The investment,

is worth the return;

future secure,

His heart to discern.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we seek You and invest our hearts, minds and souls in the pursuit of becoming who You have created us to be, You make us more like You. Thank You that You train us in the way we are meant to go, if we willingly submit to You. Thank You that You provide Your word, Your Holy Spirit, and godly wisdom in trusted individuals that You place in our lives. Forgive us for giving ear to any foolishness, and give us hearts to discern clearly, that which is from You, and that which is not. May we walk in Your wisdom and truth as we love all whom You place on our path. May many come to know the saving grace that is found in You alone, as they turn away from foolishness, and toward Your eternal truth. Be glorified, O God, as we train ourselves to be as You call us to be. Amen.

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

I thank and praise You, O God of my fathers: You have given me wisdom and power. – Daniel 2:23

 

 

 

Make More Room

Make more room.  On Sunday, we had a guest speaker at church who spoke about how God can take our Plan A, with all of its fears, failures, and foolishness, and turn it into His perfect Plan B; but only when we willingly give both our permission and our participation.  God is gentle and kind, and does not force His will upon us.  Rather, He stands at the door and knocks. (Revelation 3:20)   We either open our hearts and our lives completely unto Him, or we miss out on the very best that He has for us.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That being said, surrender is not a simple thing.  Surrender involves sacrifice.  We must give up our perception of how things ought to be, and allow God to shape and show us what we are to do, and where we are to go.  Often, His directions make little sense, and lead us into the middle of a mess.  What may appear to be a mistake, may very well be the exact place that He has called us, in order to give others glimpses of His grace and point people to His majesty.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                As I stand at the end of 2013, awaiting the arrival of 2014, am I willing to allow God to inconvenience me?  Will I be able to recognize that I perhaps am meant to be in the midst of the messes I find myself in, to shine the light of His glory?  Will I get out of the way, and make room for the miraculous?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             God is not looking for our ability, He is looking for our availability. I do not have to have certain qualifications to serve and honor Him, for He has called me from the moment that I invited Him into my life.  We are chosen to communicate His hope, when we give Him full access, and are willing to participate.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Let this be the year,
where room shall be made;Make More Room
space to help others,
salvation prayers prayed.
May we be ready,
to lend hand and voice;
to do what You ask,
make You our first choice.
Let us freely move,
wherever You ask;
even in the mess,
accomplish Your task.
For sharing Your light,
You ask for more room;
so hope may shine forth,
dispelling the gloom.
May we surrender,
our whole lives to You;
may mountains be moved,
as we walk in truth.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You take our Plan A in all of its messiness, and turn it into Your perfect Plan B, when we willingly surrender all that we are unto You, and are choose to step out in faith, participating in the plan that You have prepared for us.  Thank You that You have a plan for us (Jeremiah 29:11), and that when we trust You, and move forward faithfully in You, You meet us where we are and guide us where we are meant to go.  Forgive us for attempting to hold fast to our own plans, or for submitting ourselves without movement.  Teach us to trust You fully, so that we shall surrender, sacrifice, and MOVE.  Give us faith to trust You, even if the place You call us to is in the middle of a mess.  Be our strength and our song.  May we love others as You love us, and may many come into a lasting relationship with You in the coming year.  May we make room for all that You have planned for us in 2014.  Amen.

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

To God Give the Glory

Give Thanks to the Lord‘Tis pure foolishness,

to sit on a throne;

receive accolades,

sans making Him known.

For let all glory,

be given where due;

in all that we are,

and all that we do.

For anything good,

that is done by man;

is powered by Christ,

the work of His hand.

A day will soon come,

where each one shall stand;

will it be, “Well done,”

or “Leave now, this land?”

Our choices on earth,

matter much to God;

do we crave credit,

or give Christ applaud?

Thank Him for the gifts,

and walk humbly;

let Him be made known,

so through us He’s seen.

(Responding to Acts 12:21-23)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have created each of us uniquely, and placed within us, talents and gifts intended to be vehicles to allow Your light to shine through us. Thank You that You are generous and loving and kind. Forgive us for not giving credit where credit is due, and teach us how to give You glory in all that we do. Help us to use and develop what You have created in us to be a blessing to the world. May our blessing be that we bring the truth of who You are to all who are ready to hear. May many receive the remarkable gift of Your grace, and enter into an eternal covenant with You, our soon and coming King. Amen.

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

Living a Life of Grace

image by Jesus is Lord

image by Jesus is Lord

“For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God.  I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.  I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” – Galatians 2:19-21

“What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work.  So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man.  Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it.  I identified myself completely with Him.  Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ.  My ego is no longer central.  It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God.  Christ lives in me.  The life you see me living is not “mine”, but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.  I am not going back on that .

Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God?  I refuse to do that, to repudiate God’s grace.  If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, the Christ died unnecessarily.” – The Message

Rituals and rules,

bring not my heart to Thee.

They point instead to man,

displaying piety.

For law without the Lord,

is just a foolish way,

to try and claim the throne,

where He was meant to stay.

We desperately need,

the grace of our great King;

His forgiveness and love –

accept His offering.

In Him we have new life,

and He will dwell in thee.

By faith and not by sight,

submitted humbly.

For if we don’t receive,

and allow Him to reign;

the cross was all for naught,

the death He died in vain.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You so much for sending Your Son.  Thank You for Your unending grace, and Your great love that has replaced the required rituals with Your remarkable redemption, granting each of us the opportunity to enter into a personal relationship with You, the Creator of all!  Thank You that as we receive what You have to offer, our old nature dies, and Your Spirit comes to dwell within us.  Forgive us for trying to “do” or “be” enough, and help each of us to embrace the grace that You freely give, and grow us in the understanding that in You, we are enough.  May we be continually refined so that we reflect more clearly, who You are to a world that needs to know You.  May many come to know You as we obediently walk where You ask.  Amen.

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