Love Comes Near

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. – (John 13:34, NLT) 

I give you a new command: Love each other. You must love each other just as I love you. – (John 13:34, ERV) 

So I give you a new command: Love each other deeply and fully. Remember the ways that I have loved you, and demonstrate your love for others in those same ways. – (John 13:34, VOICE) 

 

On the same night that Jesus was betrayed, He shared a last meal together with His disciples. After they had eaten, He spoke the words above to them. Each of the disciples had walked with, learned from, listened to, and had seen with their own eyes and experienced for themselves how deeply and completely Jesus loved. When He spoke the words, they understood what Jesus was calling them to do. In the same way, we are commanded and called to love. We are not called to set limits and qualifications as to whom and how we love, but rather we are called to love one another deeply and fully, just as Jesus loves each of us. It is not always an easy calling, but it is always worthwhile when we follow through. His love makes way where there seems to be no way and softens even the hardest of hearts. May we rise up and be ready to forge forward in faith and love one another in the same way that He loves each of us. 

 

We have been given, Ambassadors of Love

A command to love; 

To love like Jesus, 

As He so loves us. 

Love that is faithful, 

Trustworthy, sincere; 

That’s freely given, 

And chooses come near. 

Love without limits, 

Nor rules to receive; 

By grace, it’s given, 

Because we believe. 

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your faithful and generous love for each of us. Thank You that You both call and command us to love one another as we are loved by You. Thank You that You equip and empower us to give the very same love that we have received to all whom we encounter. Forgive us for withholding love in spaces where it is needed most. Teach us to trust You more, as You loved us when we were most unlovable so that we could do the same for others. Show us how to love like You, so that many may come to know the depth and fullness of Your lavish love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to fill us to overflowing so that we may go forth and love others as we are loved by You. 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

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Not Defined by a Day

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago. – (Ephesians 2:10, NLT)

For we are the product of His hand, heaven’s poetry etched on lives, created in the Anointed, Jesus, to accomplish the good works God arranged long ago. – (Ephesians 2:10, VOICE)

 

This is a very timely reminder for me. Yesterday, I felt nothing like a masterpiece nor product of heaven’s poetry, as something I had planned, prepared, and was invested in, fell flat when I needed it to go well. It is extra frustrating when the very thing that we have invested our time, energy and heart into, is well-received in some spaces, then not in another. What I have to remember is that one day does not define who He has called me to be, nor what He has called me to do. As the daughter of the King, I need to pick up my crown, dust it off, and stand tall, trusting that each new day is an opportunity to accomplish the good works that He has prepared for me. We are the product of His hands. He anoints us to accomplish good things. God gifts each of us to carry out the call that He has placed on our lives. Yes, there will be days that are not so poetic, but God is still seated on the throne. He makes us new, and equips us to do each and every next thing. May we rise up and remember to whom we belong, and trust Christ to help us learn from the less-than-fabulous days, and to forge forward in faith for all that lies ahead.

 

We are created,not-defined-by-a-day

God’s own masterpiece;

Made to do good things,

His love shall not cease.

We’re made new in Christ,

So we can go out;

Embrace what He gives,

And follow His route.

Even on bad days,

Christ shall remain near;

He picks us back up,

And makes His love clear.

Rise up dearly loved,

Remember your name;

You’re called masterpiece,

Our great God proclaims.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we are Your masterpiece, even when we feel like nothing of the sort. Thank You that in Christ, we are made new, and have been created to do good things. Thank You that Your poetry is etched on our lives, even when we cannot see it. Forgive us for our fears and frustrations when things do not go according to our hopes or plans. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would embrace the opportunity to learn lessons from the lows, and celebrate that which You accomplish through us. Show us how to love those around us in a way that helps each individual we encounter feel valued and known. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we embrace the new creation that You have made us to be, and go forth to do the good that You call us to do. Amen.

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

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

He Chose Us

Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. – (Ephesians 1:4, NLT)

God chose us to be in relationship with Him even before He laid out plans for this world; He wanted us to live holy lives characterized by love, free from sin, and blameless before Him. – (Ephesians 1:4, VOICE)

 

When I read this verse, I am a bit overwhelmed. I am very aware of my faults and sinful nature, and know that what He gives, is the last thing that I deserve. However, God does not base His love for us on what is deserved; there are no conditions. He loves because we are His created, and when we choose to place our trust in Him, He forgives all our sin and views us through a fault-free filter. As His Spirit comes and covers us, making us holy before Him, we are able to live according to His plan, and go forth and love as we are loved. No, we will not be without fault or flaw, but we will be forgiven and loved as we forge forward in our pursuit of His plan. May we invest well in our relationship with the Lord, and allow His love to cover and transform us, so that we may recognize the remarkable in relationship with Him, and live out a life of love.

 

We each are chosen,Delivering Dreams

Called and loved by God;

Fault free and holy,

As our path we trod.

Before time began,

God had thought of us;

He knew that we’d fail,

So He sent Jesus.

Oh what love is this –

To be chosen, known?

God’s love sets us free,

As we’re called His own.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You loved us and chose us to be holy and without fault before we even came into being. Thank You that Your love, mercy and grace are far greater than we can even begin to grasp. Thank You that we are forgiven and free in You; able to stand blameless before You, despite the things we have done before. Forgive us for not receiving what You offer, or for not seeking that which You freely and lovingly give. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would invest well in our walk with You, and reflect Your character in our actions. Show us how to love those around us, so that they may come to know the depth and breadth of Your mercy and grace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we choose You, just as You have chosen 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

Prepare and Trust

Do your best, prepare for the worst – then trust God to bring victory. – (Proverbs 21:31, MSG)

Go ahead and prepare for conflict, but victory comes from God. – (Proverbs 21:31, TLB)

 

When we know a trial or struggle stands before us, we are called to rise up and do what we can do. However, ultimately, we must trust God to provide the strength and success in whatever we are facing, as He is the Rock on which we can stand. May we rise up and ready our hearts for whatever lies before us, trusting that God is our victor, and He has the very best for us as we forge forward in faith.

 

The battles will come,Healed Hands Reach Out

Of this, rest assured;

But do not lose heart,

Success is secured.

For we need not fret,

In the heat of mess;

If we trust the Lord,

And give it our best.

Whatever we lack,

The Lord has and more;

So rise up in faith,

See what is in store.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You meet us in our need, no matter what we are facing. Thank You that You call us to prepare for the worst and trust for the best. Thank You that in all things, You are present with us, seeing us through. Forgive us for our lack of faith when we cannot clearly see evidence of Your hands. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would seek You in every moment of each day, knowing that You are with us and for us.  Show us how to love and support those that You place in our path so that they might see You through our words and deeds. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we prepare and trust in the goodness of You. 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revere, Return and Remember

In Samuel’s farewell speech to Israel, his words were ones of wise instruction as to how to follow after the Lord so that they would remain in the space of His favor.

 

“But be sure to fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things He has done for you.” – (1 Samuel 12:24)

 

After reading several translations of the same verse, the charge to be sure to fear the Lord was translated a few different ways. To fear the Lord in this sense, is to revere, trust and honor Him. We are able to do that if we serve Him faithfully with all of our heart. Additionally, that reverence, trust, honor and holy fear comes naturally, as we consider and meditate on all of the great things that He has done for us throughout our lives. The Lord is faithful and true, and He has great plans for each of us. Despite what we see in the here and now, as we trust His faithfulness and continue to forge forward, we discover all that He has for us, both now and into eternity. May we rise up in reverence and trust in Him, as we serve Him faithfully with our whole heart. Let us continue to consider all of the great things that He has done.

 

The fear of the Lord,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

is a space of trust;

standing in reverence,

to serve Him, we must.

Let us consider,

all of the great things;

our faithful Father,

through His love, He brings.

With all that we are,

let us trust and serve;

for a life of praise,

is what God deserves.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are worthy of all of our reverence, trust and honor. Thank You that we can trust You completely, and serve You faithfully with our whole heart. Thank You that we have much to consider, when we think of all of the great things that You have done for us. Thank You that we need only recognize our next heartbeat, next breath, next sight or next sound, to understand how much You love us and bless us through life and light and all that is around us. Forgive us for not giving You proper praise or reverence, or for not giving You our whole heart. Teach us to trust You more, as we recognize who You are and all that You have done for each of us. Lead us to love others with the very same love that You have poured out upon us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust in You, serve You faithfully with our whole heart, and consider all that You have done for us. 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

Delivering Dreams

When a dream long dreamed seems all but dead, it is difficult to hold fast to a promise that seems to have been forgotten. Sarah, the wife of Abraham, had longed to have children for many years, but had been barren. She was long past child-bearing age when she and Abraham were visited by angels on their way to carry out the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. During their short stay, they told Abraham that he and his wife Sarah would conceive a son. Sarah, in her sorrow, bitterness, and unbelief because of her advanced years, laughed in response to what had been spoken. Abraham and Sarah traversed more trials in their travels, as they followed where God had called them to go. Just as the angels had foretold, Sarah conceived and bore to Abraham a son, Isaac. Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” – (Genesis 21:6)

 

Though the timing was not what Sarah had hoped for, God was faithful to fulfill His promise, and her heart overflowed with joy. At the initial announcement of the promise, Sarah laughed in disbelief. When the God’s promise at last came to pass, Sarah laughed again, this time for joy in awe and wonder of the goodness of God. We have the benefit of the Bible. Throughout the pages, countless stories of God’s faithfulness are recorded for our benefit. Additionally, we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, to remind us that His word is true, and He is faithful to all that He promises to do. May we hold fast to God’s promises to us, and ever forge forward in faith, trusting that God is always good.

 

The Giver of dreams,Delivering Dreams

our Lord God above;

true to His promise,

and faithful in love.

No matter how long,

we seemingly wait;

we’re not forgotten,

and God’s never late.

His timing’s perfect,

all things by His plan;

in faith, we must trust,

it’s all in His hands.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are good. Thank You that what You promise, You provide. Thank You that You ways are higher than our ways, and Your timing is not according to our timetable. Forgive us for our impatience and our lack of faith when the wait is long, and help us to trust and persevere. Teach us to hold fast to Your word, and keep our hearts from discouragement and disbelief. Lead us to love well, just as You so generously and faithfully love each of us. May many come to know of Your goodness and faithfulness for themselves, and may we be used as Your instruments to share of how You have been faithful in our own lives. Be exalted O God, as we forge forward in faith, trusting in Your eternal goodness and grace. Amen.

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

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

For Faith to Flourish

By faith, ordinary people have done extraordinary things throughout human history.  The size of their faith as each individual began, did not matter nearly as much as in Whom their faith was held.  As each one took the next obedient step, His faithfulness was there to meet them, encouraging them to press on and continue to forge forward and further move in faith.  “Faith is total dependence on God and a willingness to do His will.” (NIV footnotes for Luke 17:5,6)

In Luke 17, Jesus and the disciples are having a discussion about forgiveness.  When Jesus informed them of how often we are meant to forgive if a person repents and asks to be forgiven, the disciples then recognized their own need for more faith to do just that.  “The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith!’  He replied, ‘If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.” – (vs. 5-6) 

Though a mustard seed is tiny, it grows into one of the largest among plants, with deep roots and vast, far-reaching branches.  The same holds true with faith.  God will take a small speck of genuine faith in Him, and help it take root and grow.  We too, will gain deep roots and be far-reaching, if we whole-heartedly invest in Him.  As we allow Him to prune, water, and tend to the soil of our heart, we grow and take shape that becomes something beyond what we could have envisioned.  Before we even realize our own capacity to reach, He will utilize our faith to touch lives around us.  May we each choose to depend on Him and be willing to do His will.

For faith to grow,For Faith to Flourish

it is not on us;

but by His grace,

as we trust Jesus.

Lean into Him,

and not on our own;

He’ll show the way,

and make the path known.

Spend time with God,

and He will refine;

He shall increase,

so through us, He’ll shine.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that faith is not something we somehow must summon, but rather is what You grow and increase in us as we invest our time getting to know You more.  Thank You that as we depend on You and are willing to do Your will, You meet us where we are, and do far more than we could have imagined.  Forgive us for placing human parameters on You, as You are the God of ALL creation and are capable of ALL things.  Teach us to trust You more, and help us to walk confidently in our faith in You.  Help us to love well, even those who are difficult to love; and may many come to see You, as we walk out our days in faithful surrender to You.  Be glorified, our faithful and loving Lord.  Amen.

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