Accept One Another

Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory. – (Romans 15:7, NLT)

Christ accepted you, so you should accept each other. This will bring honor to God. – (Romans 15:7, ERV)

So accept one another in the same way the Anointed has accepted you so that God will get the praise He is due. – (Romans 15:7, VOICE)

 

We are called to accept others in the same way that Christ has accepted us – with open arms that see the good, not highlight the flaws. God does not look at us and immediately go into “fix it ” mode, but rather He sees us in love. It is through coming to understand the depth of His love and grace that we are compelled to make changes so that our lives will more clearly reflect His light through our own. The more we know Him, the greater our desire to do as He has done for us. May we ever seek to grow in our understanding of who God is and how great His love is, so that we may go forth and love others as we are loved by God.

 

We’re called to go forth, OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And love as we’re loved;

Received, accepted,

By grace from above.

As we do the same,

Accept each other;

God’s given glory,

Grace to discover.

So, let us choose love,

As Christ has loved us;

All praise to the Name,

Of our Lord Jesus.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love and accept us, just as we are, even in our broken and messy spaces. Thank You that Your love is what cleanses and heals us. Thank You that You only call us to do that which You have already done, and are willing to strengthen and equip us to do as well. Forgive us for withholding love or acceptance from anyone, and teach us to trust You more, so that we extend the same acceptance to others that You give to us. Show us how to love and accept all those around us in a way that blesses them and honors You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we accept others just as You have accepted us. 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

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Love that Will Not Fail

For I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from His love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels won’t, and the powers of hell itself cannot keep God’s love away. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, or where we are – high above the sky, or in the deepest ocean – nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ when He died for us. – (Romans 8:38-39, TLB)

 

There is much reassurance in this passage. No matter what twists and turns our life takes us on, Christ will be present and His love shall remain. When curve balls come our way, it is easy to allow worry to enter in. Even in our space of angst, Christ is near. His love leads us out of our darkness, and into His light, where we can regain a proper perspective – recognizing that He is far greater than anything that comes against us. As we establish our hope in He who is eternal, we begin to realize the significance that our hope truly holds. Though there will be struggles – highs and lows, peaks and valleys – that we must walk through – He will be present, and what awaits us at the end of our journey is far greater than any difficulty that we encounter along the way. May we hold fast to the truth of who God is, and how unfailing and eternal His love is for all who call on His Name.

 

To where can we go,Enter With Thanksgiving

where love cannot find?

No depth is too deep,

nor mountain too high.

Wherever we are,

God will be there too;

His love shall remain,

to light the way through.

No force that may try,

to come against us;

compares to the strength,

found in Christ Jesus.

Nothing on the earth,

above or below;

compares to the love,

that in Christ we know.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that nothing can ever separate us from Your love. Thank You that no matter where we go, or what comes against us, You remain with us, loving us through. Forgive us for forgetting how very faithful and powerful Your love is, and help us to depend on You in all things and at all times. Show us how to turn in trust, even when it feels as if our world is caving in on us. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they might see Your strength and hope through how we love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust in Your unfailing, eternal love. Amen.

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

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. – Psalm 23:6

You are Chosen

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of the darkness into His wonderful light. – (1 Peter 2:9, NIV)

 

But you are His chosen people, the King’s priests. You are a holy nation, people belonging to God. He chose you to tell about the wonderful things He has done. He brought you out of the darkness of sin into His wonderful light. – (1 Peter 2:9, ERV)

 

All of us who have committed our lives to Christ, are counted among His chosen people, His royal priesthood. We have the privilege of not only belonging to God, but being granted the charge of sharing all that He has done to set us free from the darkness of our own sin as He has led us into His loving light. May we go forth and declare His praises, as He alone is worthy of all of our worship and praise.

 

To each who has come,Lose the Law Grab the Grace

and bowed at His throne;

a holy nation,

the Lord’s very own.

Called chosen people,

created to praise;

sent forth with the task,

to speak of His ways.

Let His love light shine,

wherever we go;

declaring His praise,

so all come to know.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the privilege of being called Your chosen people. Thank You that when we come to You and trust, You receive us, and we belong to You. Thank You that You allow us to share our stories of how You brought us out of the darkness and into Your light, to encourage others to seek You. Forgive us for staying silent when we are meant to speak, or for discounting Your ability to utilize us for Your good. Teach us to trust You more, and to recognize that it has nothing to do with us, and everything to do with You and who You are. Lead us to love and share Your light wherever we go, and may many come into a lasting relationship with You in the process. Be exalted O God, as we let Your love light shine. 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

Seek Not Approval of Men

One of my least favorite parts of being an educator is the process of being observed and evaluated. I know the intent is good, and it is a way to identify strengths and areas to improve, yet, for me, as one who desires to please, and do things well, it is a painful process, regardless of the kindness of the observer. My own microscope of my craft is far more critical than that by which anyone else may utilize. Each day, my responsibility to God, not men, is to do my best for the kids in my care. This morning, I will be observed as I teach. As I was reading my devotions, the following passage may as well have been the only passage on the page, as it served as a neon sign, reminding me of what matters most. Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. – (Galatians 1:10)

 

Though these words were Paul’s to the Galatians in regards to works verses grace, they serve as an excellent reminder for me this morning. It takes courage to remember that my priority is to please God, not men. If I am serving and honoring God by doing the job that He has called me to do to the best of my ability, then that will be enough. It is not about me, but rather Christ in me, that will be evident anyway. May we each go forth this day in courage, allowing His light to shine brightly before all men, seeking God’s approval, not man’s.

 

Seek not approval,Seek Not the Approval of Men

from our fellow man;

but rather seek God,

to do what we can.

Look to honor Christ,

in all that we do;

give glory to God,

and point to the truth.

Let our hearts be set,

on pleasing the Lord;

not allowing truth,

set aside, ignored.

May we all rise up,

as servants of God;

remaining steadfast,

inspired and awed.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we need not seek the approval of men, but rather we need only seek to serve You. Thank You that Your grace is enough. Thank You that as we come to You and trust in You, You meet us where we are and do the miraculous through our willing hearts. Forgive us for trying to please men, and help us to fix our eyes on You alone. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may do all things as unto You. May many see our heart for You as light and life and love that they have not known before. Let many be led unto You as we seek to honor You in all that we do. Be glorified, O God, as we serve You with our lives. 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

Made to Shine

When Jesus was teaching the disciples the meaning of a parable He had told, Jesus went on to ask them a few questions to reveal to the disciples the importance of their position as they were to go forth to share the truth. He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand?” – (Mark 4:21, NIV) Jesus wanted the disciples to understand that if others could not see His light in them, it would be useless.

 

We are created and called to shine before all; not to hole up in our tidy little Christian circles, never to get out of the church’s four walls. He calls us to be a light wherever we are. Are there “bowls” in our hearts that keep us from shining? If so, how might we get out from under them, so that Christ can again shine brightly through us, wherever we go? May we seek Him, keeping short accounts, so that as we go forth, His light in us shines bright before all whom we encounter.

 

He grants us His word,Made to Shine

so that we shall know;

the hope of His truth,

peace that makes us grow.

In our very hearts,

His Spirit resides;

to shine before men,

truth can’t be denied.

Let nothing cover,

what shines from within;

for His light is life,

to all steeped in sin.

Use us Lord, Jesus,

so many will know;

the hope we now hold,

let Your freedom flow.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we come to You and give You our hearts and our lives, You use us to shine brightly before others. Thank You that it is nothing that we do in our own strength, but rather it is Your Spirit dwelling in us that others may see. Forgive us for anything in us that has caused Your light to grow dim in us, and help us to remove the “bowls” so that Your light is clearly seen. Lead us to love generously and shine brightly, just as You so do unto us. May many come to know You as Lord and King as a result. Be glorified, O God, as Your light shines through us, unhindered and in plain view. Amen.

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

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy. – Hebrews 4:16

Watch and Wait

Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God. – (Acts 5:38-39)

 

Though Gamaliel was a member of the council whom Peter and John were standing before on trial, he became an unlikely ally when he spoke the wise words above. Gamaliel recognized that if these men were moving in their own strength, that they would not be sustained for very long, and the whole movement would soon die out. However, if it was in fact a true manifestation and movement of the living God, then there would be no stopping it anyway. His wise council gave the disciples room to breathe, as they continued to faithfully follow that which they had been called to do. Many of the movements that people claim are from God that occur today, must also be approached in much the same way. Watch, wait, and see if it stands the test of time. If it is of God, there will be no stopping the power of His presence as He moves mightily through His people. Likewise, if it is of human origin, it will not be sustained, and will quickly lose momentum and fade away. May God grant us the wisdom to know when to wait and see, and when to walk away from that which is not of Him. Let us have Your heart to discern what is good and pleasing before You, O God.

 

The power of God,Bless You

propels us to move;

to step out in faith,

and plainly speak truth.

When others speak out,

words leave us unsure;

seek God for wisdom,

the truth shall endure.

Weigh everyone’s words,

with the Word of truth;

allow His Spirit,

to shine His light through.

Where Christ’s light reflects,

we can clearly see;

what we should embrace,

and from what to flee.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You grant us wisdom and discernment when we earnestly seek You. Thank You that there are times when we must wait and see whether or not something is truly a movement from You, or if it is a movement of men. Thank You that You are good, and that You guard our hearts and minds, as we fix our eyes on You. Forgive us for our misconceptions that we may be holding onto, and please shine Your light and reveal to us what is true. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may release our wrong thinking and embrace everything You have for us to hold fast in our hearts. Lead us to love others as You so tenderly love each of us. May many come to know the power and presence available to all who call on Your Name, personally. Be glorified, O God, as we seek Your wisdom and truth. Amen.

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

Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, You who have done great things.  Who, O God, is like You? – Psalm 71:19

Review the Basics

Review the BasicsLet us remember,

the basics of truth;

the foundation of

all we are to do.

Just as good athletes,

review basic skills;

so also in faith,

to go deeper still.

Do not grow weary,

or bored of what’s true;

for all is built on,

what God has shown you.

As long as we have,

our days, may they count;

let His light burn bright,

so lost become found.

Each time we reread,

the truth of His word;

He shines brand new light,

on all that is heard.

The deeper truth’s known,

the stronger we stand;

discerning what’s true,

live life as He’s planned.

(Responding to 2 Peter 1:12-15)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are unchanging and faithful to what You have promised. Thank You that as we choose to spend time with You – in Your word, in worship, in prayer – You continue to reveal more of Yourself unto us. Forgive us for allowing the weights of the world to make us weary, and help us to hand all our burdens to You, so that we may stand strong in Your truth. May our lives lived in constant pursuit of You, lead those who are looking, to the light of Your truth. Thank You that there is always more to learn, and that You love to further illuminate our understanding of who You are and how deeply You love each of us. All praise to You, our Purpose and Provision. Amen.

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