The Power of Praise and Worship

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. – (Colossians 3:16, NIV)

Let the teaching of Christ live inside you richly. Use all wisdom to teach and counsel each other. Sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God. – (Colossians 3:16, ERV)

Remember what Christ taught, and let His words enrich your lives and make you wise; teach them to each other and sing them out in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing to the Lord with thankful hearts. – (Colossians 3:16, TLB)

 

On Sunday, a friend of mine, who happens to be our worship pastor, appropriately spoke about the power of praise and worship. She gave several examples in scripture where it specifically calls us to praise and worship. Next, she defined praise as the expression of admiration, thanks, appreciation and approval for all that God has done. Worship, she explained was an attitude of the heart that should be reserved for God alone; the surrendering of every part of our lives to God’s control. As I went about my day yesterday, I mulled over the words she had spoken. I was intentional in my music selection as I went about my day, both driving and when I slowed down to work on a seated task. The three main benefits found in worship and praise are: 1) It realigns our focus on God. 2) It increases our awareness of God’s presence. 3) It pushes back darkness.

For me, I found all three to be true, as I had discovered myself frustrated and in a less than stellar space having spent the morning cleaning, only to happen upon sugar ants in my kitchen cupboards. After having cleaned out and throwing away many things, I left to spend time in our new home. While seated on the couch writing thank you notes, I selected some of my favorite praise and worship music to listen to. In the process of writing out notes of gratitude and hearing lyrics that gave God glory, my irritation was erased and I found thankfulness overflowing from my heart. The simple act of writing out thanks with music that set my heart right, realigned my focus on the blessings that God has granted, made me aware of His love for me, and pushed back the darkness that had attempted make way through my frustration. God is good and He is faithful to meet us and set our hearts right as we seek Him. May we ever offer our praise to He alone who is worthy, allowing our every breath and heartbeat to worship our Maker.

 

Let all that we know, The Power of Praise and Worship

Of Christ come and dwell;

In our hearts and minds,

As our lives shall tell.

Tell of His goodness,

Sing of His great grace;

With thanks, choose worship,

Both now and always.

For songs sung to God,

With hearts fixed on Him;

Chase away darkness,

And let His light in.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of praise and worship. Thank You that we are called to do both. Thank You that as we do, our hearts are realigned and we become more aware of You. Thank You that worship and praise push back darkness and allow Your light to fill us again. Forgive us for allowing the chaos and challenges to avert our focus from You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would rise with a song in our hearts, reminding us of the goodness of Your love and Your power within us as we praise You. Show us how to love those around us as we walk out our days as an offering of praise and worship unto You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give You all of our praise with hearts set to worship You forever. Amen.

 

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

 

Therefore I will praise You, Lord, among the nations; I will sing the praises of Your Name. – 2 Samuel 22:50

 

 

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

My Soul Finds Rest

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. – (Psalm 62:1)

 

As I sat in my comfy chair eating breakfast and sipping coffee, I was again in awe, as I gazed upon a glimpse of the sunrise.

 

I am an early riser. People wonder how I wake as early as I do. This verse in the sixty-second Psalm, answers the question perfectly. My soul finds rest in Him. As I choose to rise early each morning to begin my day in the still silence of the dawn, my soul finds rest. He reminds me again and again that my salvation comes from Him, and that every promise presented in His word for us, is for me too. Jesus loves us without limits and touches the tender places as only our Savior can. In Him alone, my soul finds rest. Through Christ, I am saved. May the truth of His word and the reality of who He is, permeate every pour of your being today.

 

O weary soul,My Soul Finds Rest

in God find rest;

He hears your cry,

and loves you best.

He is the One,

Who’ll save your soul;

if you ask Him,

He’ll make you whole.

You won’t look far,

to find His peace;

for each heartbeat,

is His release.

The brokenness,

that’s full of ache;

with tender touch,

His love replace.

Find rest, sweet soul,

in Christ alone;

the greatest gift,

man’s ever known.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in You, our souls find rest. Thank You that our salvation comes from You as a gift when we come to You and invite You in. Thank You that we cannot somehow earn either one. Thank You that You love us without limits, and You wait patiently for us to call on Your Name. Thank You that when we do, You come. Forgive us for our stubborn self-sufficiency, and help us to recognize our desperate need for You in all things and at all times. Teach us to seek Your rest, rather than our own; for only Your rest satisfies our soul. May we go forth in love as we are loved by You, and may many come to know Your salvation for themselves, and find their rest in You. Be glorified, O God, in all that we say and do. Amen.

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

Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths; …my hope is in You all day long. -Psalm 25:4-5

To Take Up Our Cross

To Take Up Our CrossTo take up our cross,

doesn’t mean pursue pain;

willing to follow,

allowing Christ to reign.

Ready to lay down,

our will, freedom of choice;

to do all He asks,

and listen to His voice.

Fear not earthly loss,

for our heavenly gain;

shall by far surpass,

erase temporal pain.

Let’s be not ashamed,

of the great Son of Man;

for in Him is life,

the glorious I Am.

Nothing on the earth,

can compare to our gain;

when we walk with Christ,

live and love in His Name.

There will come a day,

each stands before His throne;

all who’ve lived for Him,

will make heaven their home.

(Responding to Mark 8:34-38)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that with life in You, the rewards far surpass the risks. Thank You that You are with us through trial and triumph, and You too, have know the height and depth of pleasure and pain. Thank You that You are not God “up there”, but You are here, present as each breath that we breathe and each beat of our own heart. Forgive us for fearing the press of pain that can accompany the cost of living life, and help us to trust that even the pain can be used for Your glory, when we are willing to walk surrendered to You. Teach us how to trust You more, so that we may go forth fearlessly, wherever You ask. May many be moved toward trust in You through the loving kindness presented, by we, Your people. Lead us to love like You, as we daily choose to take up our cross. Amen.

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

As I was getting ready to post, the song Surrender, by Lincoln Brewster started playing in my heart and mind. Click the title in green to have a listen. 🙂

Evidence of the Eternal

image by Eric J. Christopher

image by Eric J. Christopher

Since the very day,

creation began,

plain is our God’s touch;

clear work of His hands.

Qualities unseen,

visible to man;

looking to the sky,

beholding the land.

Vast oceans of blue,

mighty mountaintops;

abundant valleys,

bright colors that pop.

The joy of new life,

delight of a child;

various creatures,

living in the wild.

Who could not see Him,

looking all around?

God’s majestic hand,

is so clearly found.

Hear Him, created,

He is calling out;

for all to know Him,

and live life devout.

“Since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.  For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” – (Romans 1:19-20)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You surround us with clear evidence of You.  Thank You that each breath, every heartbeat, is a reminder of Your love and attention for each of us.  Thank You that Your power is made plain when we open our eyes to the world around us.  Forgive us for taking any of it for granted, and help us to appreciate the divine detail in Your design.  May we stand in awe as we take in the beauty that surrounds us, and may we clearly convey our gratitude to You, God.  Let us live out loud, a life of love for You, that leads many to move toward You and Your great grace.  May lives be changed and hearts be healed, as we worship You for the wonder that You are.  Amen.

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