Redeemed to Love

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. – (Romans 3:23-24, NIV)

All have sinned and are not good enough to share God’s divine greatness. They are made right with God by His grace. This is a free gift. They are made right with God by being made free from sin through Jesus Christ. – (Romans 3:23-24, ERV)

For we all have sinned and are in need of the glory of God. Yet through His powerful declaration of acquittal, God freely gives away His righteousness. His gift of love and favor now cascades over us, all because Jesus, the Anointed One, has liberated us from the guilt, punishment, and power of sin! – (Romans 3:23-24, TPT)

We all are broken and fall short. However, Jesus came so that we could be forgiven and free from all of our sin and shame, and find new life in Him. This is available for all people, for the hardened criminal and the good citizen alike; it is up to us to receive what He freely offers, and pursue a life following after Him. Today, this is my reminder to not allow anger or frustration a foothold, for the ones who did such such horrible things are received and forgiven if they repent and turn to God, in the same way it is available for you and me. If I am truly to have a heart like Christ, this indeed must be my hope for them. There are consequences for criminal behavior, as there should be, yet the heart can be forgiven and set free from all. Though I would be willing to guess that they do not know Jesus, I can pray that they would come to know Him. Eternal freedom is far more important than the temporary satisfaction of revenge or retaliation. The law is clear and there will be consequences for their actions, so my responsibility is to keep loving God and loving people, even when it means praying for those who inflicted harm on the defenseless. It is a process, daily, and at times, hourly; for I know what I must continue to do. May we ever seek the One who sets us free from our sin and shame, and allow Him to soften our hearts and love bigger than we ever thought possible.

O Lord help our hearts,

To forgive, set free;

Place all in Your hands,

Lord Jesus, help me.

A sin is a sin,

And I’m not the judge;

Help me to release,

A hold of a grudge.

For true forgiveness,

Sets our own hearts free;

So sins ugly grip,

No longer holds me.

For justice belongs,

To the Lord above;

True freedom is found,

Through grace, hope and love.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have made the way for all to know freedom and forgiveness in You. Thank You that none are disqualified from receiving redemption in You, regardless of our sin. Forgive us for our desire to retaliate and return evil for evil. Teach us to trust You and the laws that are established to take care of what is just. Show us how to love like You so that we would willingly pray for our enemies and those who have hurt us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You and discover the overwhelming mercy, goodness and love that You pour out upon all who receive what You offer and pursue eternity with You. Be glorified O God, as we allow You access to transform our hearts so that we may mirror You lavish love to the world. Amen.

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

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. – Matthew 6:14

Imitate Who We Appreciate

Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are His dear children. – (Ephesians 5:1, NLT)

You are God’s dear children, so try to be like Him. – (Ephesians 5:1, ERV)

Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. – (Ephesians 5:1, MSG)

 

Imitation is a form of admiration. As small children, we imitated those whom we most appreciated and the traits and strengths most desired to be duplicated. Once a person comes to know Jesus, a more defined set of ideals come into our consciousness. He who loved with His life and lived without sin, is the ultimate example of whom we ought to aspire to imitate. Through seeing and experiencing His love first hand, we learn how to love as we are loved. May we ever seek to imitate God in all that we do, so that our every word and deed is done in love, according to His good and perfect will.

 

In all that we do, Imitate What We Appreciate

Let’s imitate God;

The love that He gives,

To broken and flawed.

It is by His grace,

That we know He’s good;

It’s not what’s deserved,

Yet kindness withstood.

So let us go forth,

And love just like Him;

Imitate His grace,

Again and again.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You not only call us to imitate You as Your children, but You sent Your Son to show us the way and equip us to go forth to do as You do for us. Forgive us for attempting to imitate anyone other than You, as You alone are the only example that is free from all sin and without flaw. Teach us to look to Your example in all that we do, so that we may be tangible examples of Your goodness and love. Show us how to love as You love, so that all might see Your light that burns within us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek to imitate You in all that we do, so that others may come to know Your goodness and grace. Amen.

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

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

Out With the Old Self

The rhododendron on the side of our house is an interesting illustration of death and new life. It seems that perhaps it is two plants growing Out With the Old Self 1so closely together, that their branches are intertwined. Last week, there were fuchsia-colored blooms. Now, those formerly lovely bursts of color, hang lifeless and void of color. However, this week there are new blooms in a pretty pink, beginning to open.

 

Our old life may have seemed appealing, until we discovered just how lifeless and void of color it really was without Christ. Being stuck in the bonds of sin, we had no hope to escape our patterns, without Christ coming in. Yet, while we were still stuck in that space, He pursued us, and brought people around us to present the truth. As we opened our hearts and lives to all that He had to offer, we were set free from our sin and given new life. For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin. – (Romans 6:6)

 

He took all of our sin upon Himself as He hung on the cross, so that we would be set free from our sinful nature and given a helper (the Holy Spirit) to lead us into a new life, free from the bondage of sin. Though we will still make mistakes, and fall short, we may go to God and ask for His forgiveness, as He grants us grace anew. Knowing what He has done, propels us to seek to live a life that honors Him who has set us free. May we be slaves to righteousness, as we are united with Him.

 

Gone are the old ways,Out With the Old Self 2

they’ve been crucified;

the sin, scorn and shame,

with Jesus, they died.

And just as He rose,

His life was restored;

in Him we shall find,

His grace is outpoured.

If we choose to seek,

we surely shall find;

freedom from our sin,

the hope for mankind.

Let’s give Him our chains,

for in Him, we’re free;

all honor to Christ,

the King of Glory.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You bore all of our sin and shame, so that we would no longer be slaves to our sinful nature, but that we could instead, live unto You. Thank You that this is not something that we are meant to do on our own, but rather You gave us Your Holy Spirit to be our help. Thank You too, that You call us to be a body, supporting one another in community, so that each can be challenged, encouraged and held up as we pursue You with our whole hearts. Forgive us for taking lightly the enormity of Your sacrifice, and help us to recognize in awe, the magnitude of Your grace. Let us live and love in such a way, that our gratitude is evident to all whom we encounter. May many come to know Your amazing grace, and enter into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified, O God. Amen.

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

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