Light and Life and Love

Everything good comes from God. Every perfect gift is from Him. Those good gifts come down from the Father who made the lights in the sky. But God never changes like the shadows from those lights. He is always the same. – (James 1:17, ERV) 

Every good gift, every perfect gift, comes from above. These gifts come down from the Father, the Creator of heavenly lights, in whose character there is no change at all. – (James 1:17, CEB) 

Every good gift bestowed, every perfect gift received comes to us from above, courtesy of the Father of lights. He is consistent. He won’t change His mind or play tricks in the shadows. – (James 1:17, VOICE) 

 

Though the world can begin to feel quite dark at times, His good is always greater. Even after the darkest night, a new day dawns and there is light and life again. Everything good comes from Him, as He is light and life and love. God will not change, and the good gifts He has for us, remain. I have known darkness, yet even so, I held fast to the light of His love. His good gifts continue to amaze me as I willingly walk forward in the direction to which I am called. May we ever remember the Source of every good gift, and trust in Him who consistently gives light and love and hope in all things. 

 

Every good gift,  img_20180301_200908_1141842078782.jpg

Comes from God above; 

For He is the light, 

That floods us with love. 

All things that are good, 

Have God as the Source; 

Light in the shadows, 

He directs our course. 

So look to the Light, 

Where all good comes from; 

Trust His light and love, 

’til each day is done. 

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that every good and perfect gift comes from You. Thank You that You are the same yesterday, today and forever. Thank You that we can trust in the light of Your love, as You illuminate the darkness and fill us with Your love. Forgive us for fearing the shadowy spaces and teach us to trust You more to bring Your light and love where it seems far off. Show us how to love others in the light of Your love, so that they too may recognize the good gifts that come from You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give You praise for every good and perfect gift that You give and thank You that You are always the same. Amen. 

 

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

 

But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ. – Ephesians 2:4-5

Recognizing and Responding to Good

Mary responded, “Oh how my soul praises the Lord. How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior! For the Mighty One is holy, and He has done great things for me.” – (Luke 1:46-47 & 49, NLT)

Then Mary said, “I praise the Lord with all my heart. I am very happy because God is my Savior. Yes, the Powerful One has done great things for me. His Name is very holy.” – (Luke 1:46-47 & 49, ERV)

My soul lifts up the Lord! My spirit celebrates God, my Liberator! For the Mighty One has done great things for me; holy is God’s Name! – (Luke 1:46-47 & 49, VOICE)

 

Mary both recognized and responded to the glory of God and the good gifts that He gave. This morning, as I rose long before it was necessary, I find myself in a similar space of gratitude. Though Mary’s circumstances were far different than my own, I share the very same God, and He comes closer still, because of what was done so long ago through the willingness of His faithful. I am regularly in awe of His grace and mercy, and can see how His hand has carried me through the times of trial. He is good, and my whole heart celebrates His loving kindness. May we look to the Lord in awe and praise, for His love and goodness granted all of our days.

 

Let us set our hearts, Believe Instead of Striving

In a poise of praise;

Because the Lord saves,

For all of our days.

The Lord is our help,

May spirits rejoice;

Celebrate our God,

With mind, heart and voice.

Praise for what He’s done,

And who the Lord is;

Our life, love and song,

Why all praise is His.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the precious gift of Your Son, whom You sent to us to save us. Thank You for the great things that You have done for us, in us and through us. Thank You that we can call You our Savior. Forgive us for not slowing down in awe and praise for all that You have done throughout all of our days. Teach us to take time to look around and see the work and wonder of Your hand, help and great love. Show us how to love those around us in a way that demonstrates Your faithfulness and points people to Your grace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You and rejoice in all that You have done; for You are great and worthy of all of our praise. Amen.

 

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

 

He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. – Proverbs 11:25

Giving Good Gifts

So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him. – (Luke 11:13, NLT)

Look, all of you are flawed in so many ways, yet in spite of all your faults, you know how to give good gifts to your children. How much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to all who ask! – (Luke 11:13, VOICE)

 

As humans, we are flawed and sinful and broken. Despite our shortcomings, the vast majority of us who have children, know how to give good gifts to them, as it brings us joy to bless our babies. If we in our brokenness are able to give good gifts, how much more is our loving Heavenly Father willing and able to give as we ask? The most significant gift He bestows upon us is His presence, as He provides His Spirit to dwell in us. When we know and love the Lord, He is always with us, and will never leave us nor forsake us. There is no greater gift than time, and the time we gain from God is eternal. May we ever seek the Lord and His love, so that we can go forth and love as we are loved.

 

Let us seek the Lord,Enter With Thanksgiving

And the gifts He gives;

For all who receive,

Eternally live.

In Him we find life,

Love, hope, help and peace;

Wherever we lack,

His strength shall increase.

Just as we long give,

Good gifts to our kids;

So too does the Lord,

Want us seek as His.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that just as we long to give good things to our children, so You desire to give to us. Thank You that You give the very best You have to offer, as You give Your Spirit to dwell within us so that we have help and hope and peace that is present in all things and at all times. Forgive us for forgetting how very near You are, or for not seeking You in our spaces of need. Teach us to trust You more, as You are our loving Father who cares best for Your kids. Show us how to go forth and love well, all whom we encounter, so that hearts will sense the strength that comes from You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we lean not on our own understanding to give good, but rather listen to Your leading so that we will love well. Amen.

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

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; …write them on the tablet of your heart. – Proverbs 3:3

As We Ask, He Answers

Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. – (Matthew 7:7-8, NLT)

Continue to ask, and God will give to you. Continue to search, and you will find. Continue to knock, and the door will open for you. Yes, whoever continues to ask will receive. Whoever continues to look will find. And whoever continues to knock will have the door opened for them. – (Matthew 7:7-8, ERV)

 

Sometimes I forget that the way to walk in His will and see hopes and dreams that He has planted come to fruition, involves first and foremost, our faithful pursuit of Him. It is easy to get so caught up in all of the things that need to be done to get from here to there, that we neglect our need to seek and ask our Savior what we ought to do next. He opens the doors that lead the direction to which we are called. If we are not asking, it is equally likely that we are not listening for answers. God has promised to hear all who call on His Name, and be found by all who seek Him. May we go forth this day, seeking and asking for the answers that our hearts need to know; for He is faithful to hear us and respond according to His good and perfect will.

 

Lord, teach us to ask,Asking for Amazing Answers

You’re faithful to hear;

You give us good gifts,

As we choose draw near.

It is through seeking,

That we truly find;

God, You are waiting,

You’re loving and kind.

Keep knocking on doors,

That He leads us to;

And watch them open,

As His path’s pursued.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we ask, You answer. Thank You that when we seek You, You are found. Thank You that You open the doors that we are meant to walk through as we move forward in the direction to which we feel called. Forgive us for not seeking or asking when we need answers and Your help. Teach us to trust You more so that we would come to You in all things and at all times, knowing that You are faithful to hear us and help us, opening the doors that we are meant to walk through. Show us how to love those around us in a way that demonstrates Your goodness and faithfulness. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek and ask and knock on the doors that appear before us, trusting You to lead us where we are meant to go. Amen.

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

Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. – James 5:13

Good Gifts

If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him? – (Luke 11:13)

 

Despite our flawed and sinful nature, I imagine all of us give the best gifts we can offer to others. If we, in our ugliness can give good gifts, how much more is the Lord willing to give that which He has promised? Christ came and bore our sin and shame upon the cross. He took our place, so that we could live a life restored in Him. The gift of His Holy Spirit is what He promised to send once He returned to His rightful place in heaven. To receive the Holy Spirit, we must invite Him in. May we be ready to receive all that He offers, as we ask Him to be present and hold fast to His promises.

 

If we give good gifts,Good Gifts

despite sinful self;

how much more will God,

bless us from His wealth?

He sent His own Son,

so that we might live;

and when He returned,

His Spirit to give.

All that He offers,

His love and His grace;

ours for the taking,

when we seek His face.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You give good gifts to us, Your children. Thank You that when we come to You and invite Your presence into our lives, You give us the gift of Your Holy Spirit. Forgive us for not seeking You, or for not embracing the good gifts that You give to us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we too, will extend Your goodness and grace to all whom we encounter. Lead us to love others as You so lavishly love each of us. May many come into a saving relationship with You, as they recognize the good gifts You give all around us. Be glorified O God, as we seek to give and receive the gifts You grant. 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

Mutual Encouragement

People need people. We are called to encourage and walk beside one another in love. Paul was well aware of his purpose, and presented multiple reminders to people as he spoke and wrote letters to the various bodies of believers. In Romans 1:11-12, he states it this way: “I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong – that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.”

 

Just like Paul, we all have gifts to give, encouragement to offer, and benefits to receive, by being part of a body of believers. There is strength in numbers that is not found when one stands alone. Additionally, there is power and presence when we gather together, “For where two or three gather in My Name, there am I with them.” – (Matthew 18:20) Healing, freedom, hope, and help all rise up in the light of His presence. God imparts to human hearts, good gifts, when we gather together to encourage other believers and honor Him who grants us life.

 

May we invest well,Mutual Encouragement

encourage others;

offer our gifts to

sisters and brothers.

As we give away,

so too we’ll receive;

blessings from the Lord,

strength to trust, believe.

Healing and wholeness,

freedom for the bound;

hope for the hopeless,

sweet safety surrounds.

Let’s be the body,

united as one;

love one another,

as loved by the Son.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to be a body of believers together; investing in each other. Thank You that You created each of us with gifts to offer, and the ability to mutually encourage one another. Help us to learn and grow together, as we are in constant pursuit of You. Forgive us for doubting our capacity to contribute to the body, or for neglecting to encourage those we see in need. Help us to trust You in all things at all times, and to be completely dependant on You for the wisdom and the words, understanding that You will use what we offer when we are willing to step forward in faith. Teach us to love as You love us, and help many to find a forever faith in You. Be glorified in all that we say and do. 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

 

 

 

 

Gentleness for the Weary

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – (Matthew 11:28-30)

By Friday, this is an excellent reminder, especially during the unending busyness that accompanies this time of the year. My priority must remain in Him, as He is my source of strength and security, peace and rest. He does not give me burdens too heavy to carry; I am the one who picks them back up again. Each time I start to repack them, I become bogged down by the weight, and weariness quickly follows. It is essential that I give all unto Him, as He determines that which I am to carry, and that which I am not. Christ alone, knows how much ought to be in my bag at any given time, and is excellent at including grace and good gifts, to further ease the load that I am to bear at any given time.

Rest for my soul is a far greater promise than mere rest for my body or mind. If my soul finds rest, all else will follow. As joy bursts forth from the core of our being and is made visible from the inside out, so too, does rest for a weary soul, refresh the body and mind.

Gentleness is the most welcome response for the weary. God knows we need His kindness when we are worn. Though He is the Creator of the entire Universe, He cares for us individually, personally; and our Lord will receive us and provide His rest as we come unto Him.

When weary and worn, Gentleness for the Weary

heavy and weighed down;

come to our Father,

His kindness renowned.

His yoke is easy,

His burden is light;

He grants our souls rest,

allows our heart’s sight.

He helps us to see,

His mercy and grace;

that His load for us,

leads to freedom’s space.

He provides purpose,

and loves us so well;

He takes our burdens,

and the truth He’ll tell.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our place of rest. Thank You that when our soul finds rest in You, we are refreshed from the inside out. Thank You that You are gentle and kind, and humble in heart – though You are the Lord of all, You love us individually. Forgive us for attempting to carry that which is not ours to hold, and for picking back up the things we have already given to You. Help us to hand every burden to You, and trust You to hold our hand, heart and cares of this life – for You alone know what is best in every situation and circumstance. Thank You that we are a work in progress and that You are not finished with us yet. Show us how to love as You love, unburdened and unashamed. May many come to know the safety of Your glorious grace, and enter into an eternal relationship with You. Be glorified in all that we say and do, and may our load be full of Your love, goodness and grace. Amen.

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

One of my favorite reminders of where to turn when I am feeling weary and worn – Worn, by Tenth Avenue North.

Glory to the Giver

Glory to the GiverTo humble oneself,

is not to put down;

let not comparing,

determine our crown.

For it matters not,

our state verses men;

but rather to Christ,

who was without sin.

Let exaltation,

be given to God;

for there is none else,

deserving such laud.

Recognize the gifts,

He has placed in you;

be obedient,

let purpose ensue.

Serve with a pure heart,

and offer Him praise;

our purpose in Christ,

should direct our days.

Place all trust in God,

for His word is true;

all of creation,

He’s granted to you.

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

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not compare us to one another, but rather, when we are in You, You view us through the covering of Your Son – considering us sons and daughters whom You call worthy and loved. Thank You that You grant good gifts to each of us, and allow us to learn and grow in how we might honor You with all that You’ve given. Thank You that Jesus is our perfect example of how we are to walk in humility. He did not elevate Himself, nor neglect those in need; yet He was bold and undeterred in answering Your call, even unto the cross. Please forgive us for comparing ourselves to each other, and for not honoring the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Teach us to view ourselves with proper perspective, as we are all sinners, saved by grace alone. Help us to move mightily wherever You call us to walk, and may many come to know You as Lord of their lives as we live out our purpose, loving well with the gifts You have given. Be glorified in all that we say and do. Amen.

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

Live in Love

image from betterbaking.com

image from betterbaking.com

God grants us each,
some spiritual gifts;

they are most useful,
when to Him we lift.
Be firmly rooted,
immersed in His word;
follow Christ’s teachings,
so His heart is heard.
Steer clear of the myths,
mind not old wives’ tales;
train well in His ways,
for they never fail.
Spiritual fitness,
reaps heaven’s reward;
faith to move mountains,
with future secured.
Let our lives be full,
faithful purity;
may all see His love,
and captives set free.
May we watch our lives,
ever diligent;
persevere in faith,
lead lost to repent.
(Responding to I Timothy 4:7-15)
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You grant each of us good gifts, given to be used for Your glory.  Help us to embrace and operate in these gifts, faithfully and wholly dependent on You.  Train us in the ways You want us to go, and grant us ears to hear, hearts to understand, and feet that are willing to walk wherever You call.  Forgive us for not investing all that we ought to in our spiritual training.  Please teach us to trust You more, so that we may rise up and reveal more of You as we live lives of love, unto You.  May many come to know You as we are intentional to seek and serve however we are called.  Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

When Answers Come

When so long a dream

image by mi9.com

image by mi9.com

and hope seem deferred,

a glimmer of grace,

I question what’s heard.

Years of prayers lifted,

ever-fading hope.

Clinging to lifeline,

the end of the rope.

Then out of nowhere,

words of hope are heard,

is this the answer?

It seems so absurd.

Great joy rising up,

with guardian wall.

I long to shout out,

yet fear I may fall.

It is in His hands,

where it’s always been.

Help me to trust You.

Keep me far from sin.

For You have great things,

in store, just for me.

With no strings attached,

Your great gifts are free.

Isaiah 40:31 – “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Matthew 7:8 – “For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Dear Heavenly Father, I stand in awe of the wonderful ways that You work.  Your ways are so much higher and greater than I could even begin to imagine!  Lord Jesus, I know that the waiting will have been worth all the while; help me to trust You as it all unfolds.  Grant me Your patience, not mine, and allow me to see through Your eyes so that I will not grow weary nor discouraged.  Forgive me for my frustration, fear and hesitation to trust that it could be true.  Thank You that You are so much more than my mind can conceive.  Father, have Your way.  May we be ever-listening and obedient, so that Your love can be clearly conveyed to those who need to know it most.  Amen.

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