Much to Even More

“He replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away.” – Luke 19:26

photo by Heidi Kay

“He said, ‘That’s what I mean: Risk your life and get more than you ever dreamed of.  Play it safe and end up holding the bag.” – (The Message)

To each of us, He has given.  For each of us, much is required.  We must be willing to be bold before both God and man, to share that which we have been granted.  We have all been given grace, so we ought to also extend grace generously.  The gift, that thing that He has planted uniquely in each of us, is meant to be shared, exposed, passed on, and presented; not hidden in the hollows of our hearts.  We must risk vulnerability, to reap the remarkable joy found in His favor.

He loves us wherever we are and in whatever we do, however, there is so much more!

As we step out in faith and surrender ourselves to His strength, the reward is always worth the risk.  If we fall, we learn how to get back up again.  Perseverance provides hope for us to hold.  If we do not waiver, and stand fast in our Savior, we are reminded of how we are to recognize His redeeming strength, and rely on Him completely.

The beauty of it all, the ultimate reward and blessing for us to behold, is found not in the gift, but in the Giver; when we at long last see Him face-to-face, and our hearts will hear the wonderful words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”  The very thought of standing before Him and feeling His pleasure for me, a fallen and flawed kid, saved by grace, overwhelming!

No, our salvation depends not on what we do, yet the fullness of His goodness and grace is granted as we step out in surrender – exchanging our goals, strength, dreams and hopes, for His.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that through the death and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus, we each have been given much, with the heavenly hope of even more.  Lead us to love lavishly, as You have loved us.  Grant us the grace and the  courage to uncover the gifts You have given, that we have been hiding.  Teach us to trust You to be our strength and our song, and may we serve You faithfully, our whole life long.  May many be blessed by our faithful obedience to You, God.  Amen.

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

Use the Gift, Honor the Giver

photo by Danny N. Schweers

“For everyone who exalts himself with be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” – Luke 14:11

Humility is not a hiding of the gifts He gives, rather it is in granting all glory to the Giver.  Our perfect example of this is found in Jesus.  He came as an infant; into a stable He was born.  His life was lived  with an ordinary family that had been foretold of the significance of their Son.  Though He was the Son of God, He dwelled among those considered “undesirable”, He touched the “untouchable”, fed the hungry, healed the hurting, and washed the feet of His followers, all the while, giving credit and glory to God.  Jesus did great things as He healed and performed many miracles, yet He never sought glory for His giftings, rather He gave all honor to His Heavenly Father.   As Jesus lived a humble life on earth, walking in constant intentional obedience, He gained the very seat beside God the Father, in heaven.  Though He chose humility here, He was admonished and exalted in His eternal dwelling, by God Himself.

If we seek recognition or reward here, what will be left for heaven?  Though being seen and known can be nice, it is nothing when compared to the very thought of hearing His words in the heavenlies, saying, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”  Such reward is far greater than anything that could ever be found through self-seeking honor.

Remarkably, all that we are able to accomplish that is noteworthy in this life, is only by the grace of God.  Anything good that we are graced with the gift to do, ought to be done for the glory of God, who alone is worthy of all of our worship and praise.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do give us great gifts.  Please help us to remember that all we have and all that we are, is only by Your grace.  Our very lives are the outpouring of Your loving kindness, and ought to be lived for Your glory.  Teach us to have a proper perspective of Your purpose and plan for our lives.  May we each utilize the gifts You have granted, and give all glory and honor to You.  Help us to be humble in all things, so that every ear may hear of Your glory and grace.  All praise to You, our Lord and King.  Amen.

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

The Reward of Redemption

photo by Bahman Farzad

“Behold, I am coming soon!  My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he/she has done.” – Revelation 22:12

Our Heavenly Father will return.  Every one of us will one day stand before Him as He takes inventory of all that we have and have not done.  He will either declare, “well done, my good and faithful servant“, or “depart from me, for I never knew you.”

He commands each of us to love Him and to love people.  Jesus modeled this for us, as He did not stand back, walk around, or avoid the sinful, the sickly, or the broken.  He drew near and touched the untouchable, listened to those without a voice, and healed those who had known only harm.  By going beyond the belief barriers of what was thought to be unclean, His love changed lives and transformed communities.  Because Jesus walked in perfect obedience to the Omnipotent, His reward is to forever remain seated at the right hand of the Father.

Our reward for a life lived in passionate pursuit of our Provider, paired with actively loving others as He asks, is to dwell in His Holy presence forever.

At the end of my days, I want to know that I have spent my time seeking Him, loving Him, and allowing His light to shine through me by loving others as He has loved me.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in You, our future is secure.  Teach us to lead lives that give all glory and honor to You, as we love You and love people.  Thank You for Your grace that grants us forgiveness and fresh start, each time we ask forgiveness for straying from Your perfect plan for us, and that all is again seen as clean as You do not hold onto that which has been forgiven.  Lead us to live and love like You, so that all might come to know just how good You are, God.  Amen.

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