Rise and Press On

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. – (Psalm 73:26, NIV)

Maybe my mind and body will become weak, but God is my Source of strength. He is mine forever. – (Psalm 73:26, ERV)

I admit how broken I am in body and spirit, but God is my strength, and He will be mine forever. – (Psalm 73:26, VOICE)

 

Learning something new can be the most exhilarating and frustrating thing on the planet. I know from experience that everything worthwhile, requires hard work. Currently, I am in a space where the learning curve is a bit overwhelming, as my mind attempts to grasp all the new and I commit my body to conform to the physical demands that are unlike anything I have ever done before. Nagging aches and strains are challenging my resolve, and my mind’s capacity to recall play after play as it is called seems to be compromised. Despite my feelings of lack, weakness and brokenness, the strength He provides within me, drives me to press on. Each day is new, and He refreshes and rebuilds us in our spaces of lack and leads us forward in His strength. May we ever seek God in our areas of weakness, trusting Him to empower us to move forward forever in His goodness and grace.

 

On days that we fail, You Make Me Strong

Feel broken and weak;

Let’s trust in the One,

Provides those who seek.

For strength from within,

Is from God alone;

Forever He gives,

And makes His heart known.

Power presented,

To rise and press on;

Strengthening of heart,

Resolve is made strong.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we feel broken and weak, You are strong and You are our Source of strength to press forward in You. Thank You that You are our portion forever. Forgive us for our frustration with our own humanity, as we fall short and fail. Teach us to turn to You to be our Source of strength in our every weakness. Show us how to love and encourage those around us when they feel broken or weak. May many rise up and come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to be our strength where we are weak and give You all praise for Your faithful provision. Amen.

 

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

 

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

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The Greatest Gift

But when the set time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. – (Galatians 4:4-5, NIV)

But when the right time came, God sent His Son, who was born from a woman and lived under the law. God did this so that He could buy the freedom of those who were under the law. God’s purpose was to make us His children. – (Galatians 4:4-5, ERV)

When the right time arrived, God sent His Son into the world (born of a woman, subject to the law) to free those who, just like Him, were subject to the law. Ultimately, He wanted us all to be adopted as sons and daughters. – (Galatians 4:4-5, VOICE)

 

God knew that humanity needed a Savior. For most, the law was a list of do and do not from a distance out of fear and reverence, rather than being rooted in relationship. The arrival of Jesus changed everything. God out there, became God is here. Jesus’ birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension gave way for us to be adopted into God’s family as His children. No more are we simply subjects attempting obedience out of fear, but rather we are children of the Most High, saved by grace and dearly loved. From this position of freedom, it is difficult not to desire to do what is pleasing to the very One who set us free. May we rise up and recognize the sacrifice that was given so that we could be free, and walk out our days honoring God with our words, deeds and praise.

 

God saw all our need, The Greatest Gift

And set forth a plan;

Redemption and grace,

By His loving hands.

Hands that chose to send,

His beloved Son;

To bear all the weight,

Of what we have done.

Freely He took on,

All our ugliness;

So we may be called,

His in righteousness.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You saw mankind’s need for a Savior and sent Your Son to redeem us. Thank You that not only do You forgive us of all of our sin, but You adopt us as sons and daughters of Your own. Thank You that You lovingly receive all who come seeking You. Forgive us for forgetting the magnitude of Your sacrifice to be called sons and daughters. Teach us to treasure the gifts of Your mercy and grace far more than we do. Show us how to love others in a way that extends the same sort of mercy and grace to others, so that they might see glimpses of You through the good we give. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give You praise for the greatest gift ever given through the sending of Your Son. Amen.

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

 

May God Almighty grant you mercy. – Genesis 43:14

The Gift of Presence

I will make My home among them. I will be their God, and they will be My people. – (Ezekiel 37:27, NLT)

My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be My people. – (Ezekiel 37:27, NIV)

 

Long before the arrival of Christ, God had His plan in place to make things right again so that He could dwell among us. Humanity had become so broken and disconnected from God, that the only way to be restored to a right relationship with Him, was through the sending of His Son. This season marks the celebration of Jesus’ arrival; the beginning of the relationship that restored us to our Redeemer. Without Christ, we would be limited to only drawing as near to God as the outer courts of the temple. However, because Christ came, we can invite Him to be Lord of our lives, and He will come and make His home in us and among us. He no longer is God out there, but He is now the Lord who is always near. May we fix our eyes and hearts on Him who came from heaven to earth to make the way for us to know His nearness, both now and forevermore.

 

From heaven on high,Majesty Moved from the Cradle to the Cross

He came down to dwell;

So people might know,

The hope His life tells.

As we lift our eyes,

To the Lord above;

He calls us His own,

Showers with His love.

Let us fix our gaze,

This holy season;

On Christ born to us,

Our hope and reason.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that it has always been Your plan to dwell among us. Thank You that despite our sinfulness and brokenness, You made the way to restore a right relationship with You through the sending of Your Son. Forgive us for not fixing our eyes on You and the reason for the season, as we get caught up in the chaos of things that “need” to get done. Help us to slow down and settle in, so that we may meditate on the real meaning and the weight of what You have done for us all. Teach us to trust You more, as You alone are worthy of all of our trust. Show us how to love those around us in a way that spreads hope and points them to the path that leads to You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we embrace the treasured gift of Your presence this most sacred season. 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

Light in Loss

I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. – (Lamentations 3:20-22, NLT)

 

Yesterday evening, in our neighboring city, a police officer’s life was senselessly taken. While the officer was responding to a domestic dispute call, he was shot and killed. My heart aches for the family of the slain officer, and for the families of all those who serve and protect our nation. Each time one of our officers in blue is shot, more fear finds way into the hearts of families who anxiously wait for their loved ones to return home at the conclusion of each shift. Grief cannot help but grip our hearts at the brokenness of humanity. When a hero falls, it is indeed a time to grieve. However, we must still dare to hope. Even in the darkness, light finds way to shine. The faithful love of the Lord does not end, and His mercies never cease. Though there were children holed up in the hiding place with the shooter, other officers were able to safely remove them from the scene. Despite the devastation of the situation, there were innocent lives that were spared that could have been lost. May we remember those who have been lost, yet continue to hold hope in the One who loves without limits and is merciful forever.

 

Let us not forget,light-in-loss

Those who serve us well;

With honor, protect,

As crime they dispel.

For far too often,

Lives of these are lost;

As they seek to serve,

The ultimate cost.

May we remember,

Those who serve in blue;

Let mercy and hope,

Surround and renew.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that even in times of grief, You are our hope. Thank You that Your faithful love never ends and Your mercies continue forever. Forgive us for losing sight of these truths in the throes of devastation and heartache. Teach us to trust in You more, so that we would cling to You regardless of what is happening around us. Show us how to love those around us, particularly officers and families of officers in light of recent events. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we hope in You in all things and at all times. 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

 

The Work of His Hands

When I look at the night sky and see the work of Your fingers – the moon and the stars You set in place – what are mere mortals that You should think about them, human beings that You should care for them? – (Psalm 8:3-4, NLT)

 

I so appreciate David’s grasp of the greatness of God. It is easy to get so caught up in our busy lives, that we forget to take pause and look around us. When we do, we cannot help but stand in awe at the mighty work of His hands, and revel in the remarkable that He who created all that is around us, would care for us, individually. The very same God who hung the stars in the sky, knows the number of hairs on our heads… That can only be known by One who is as near as our next breath. Love that sacrifices unto death on a cross, for even those who will never love in return, incomprehensible. May we take time to behold the beauty that surrounds us, and remember that He who created it all, knows and loves us, individually.

 

The moon and the stars,

Remaining Resolute in Our Redeemer

image by bibleabc.net

were hung into place;

the work of God’s hands,

in power and grace.

The very same God,

Who called all to be;

both knows and He loves,

all humanity.

Not just as a whole,

but personally;

He knows minds and hearts,

and longs to set free.

May we stand in awe,

as others have done;

at all that God is,

and hope that’s to come.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the mighty work of Your hands that is both in us and all around us. Thank You that You who created everything, care about us individually and personally. Forgive us for losing sight of Your greatness, and help us to keep a proper perspective of Who You are and how amazing Your love is for each of us. Teach us to see the world and others through Your lens, so that we might continually see the beauty all around us. Show us how to love others, as You so tenderly and intentionally love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we pause and take in all that You have created around us, and go forth loving all that You have made as You do. Amen.

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

And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you.” – Exodus 33:19

Reconciled Through Christ

For, there is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity – the man Christ Jesus. He gave His life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave the world at just the right time. – (1 Timothy 2:5-6, NLT)

 

Without Christ, there would be no reconciliation to a right relationship with God. The former ways of rituals and sacrifices, merely made man aware of our sin, rather than providing a permanent road to redemption. When Jesus came, everything changed. He who knew no sin, bore the weight of all that fractured the freedom between humanity and heaven, and opened the way for all to be restored unto righteousness once more.
Because Christ came and poured Himself out as an offering on our behalf, we have the freedom to live life rooted and established in Him. Help and hope are ours, both now and forevermore. May we receive the freedom that Christ has freely given, and by faith, walk out our days loving God and loving people according to His good and perfect plan.

 

Purchased for a price,Enter With Thanksgiving

this freedom we know;

through Christ’s sacrifice,

we take root and grow.

The old former ways,

needed sacrifice;

to just pacify,

but never suffice.

At just the right time,

God opened the way;

for people restored,

to openly pray.

Removed was the veil,

that kept us apart;

now we can come close,

have Christ in our heart.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of Your Son, and the significance of what Jesus did through His life, death and resurrection for all who choose to believe. Thank You that Jesus removed the barrier between us, and that we can now come close and speak to You directly and know Your nearness for ourselves. Forgive us for not embracing the freedom that You have given in You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would draw ever nearer to You, seeking Your help and hope in all things and at all times. Show us how to love others in a way that points their hearts to You. Be glorified O God, as we walk in the freedom of knowing Your nearness because of the love and sacrifice of Christ. Amen.

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

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

His Hand is Our Help

For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. – (Isaiah 41:13)

 

Have you ever been in a scary space of waiting? That place of uncertainty where desperation is beginning to creep in, and as you cry out to Christ, you cannot help but feel afraid? Currently, I am in a holding pattern that could be quite costly if Christ does not move in a mighty way, and quickly. I know He is far greater than my circumstances, but in my humanity, I cannot help but fight the fear. His presence is very real. I have known Christ in a tangible way since I was quite small. His faithfulness has been shown to me over and over again, throughout my entire life, yet I still find that fear creeps in. This morning, I needed this concrete reminder of Who exactly is in charge. The Lord, my God, will take hold of my hand, and He tells me to not be afraid, and that He will help me. This, this is reassurance. No matter what I see, or what I feel, He is in control. My job is to trust. Sometimes, the hardest part is actually extending my hand to reach for His, for fear that His hand will not be ready to take mine. That being said, He is always there waiting. Never will He leave us, nor forsake us. On Him alone, can we depend. may we reach out our right hand, past the point of fear, and allow the Lord to lead us and help us through our every circumstance.

 

In uncertainty,Compassion in Confrontations

when I am afraid;

I’ll reach out to You,

where all fears must fade.

For You take my hand,

and say, “Do not fear;”

and You are my help,

my hope that stays near.

No matter what’s seen,

Your truth shall remain;

You are far greater,

and make my path plain.

Lead me, Lord Jesus,

no matter what comes;

hold fast to my hand,

let Your will be done.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are the Lord, my God, who takes hold of my right hand and tells me to not be afraid, because You will help me. Thank You that You are greater than any circumstance that comes our way, and that You are more than enough. Forgive us for our fears and lack of faith when trials come our way, and teach us to trust You more. Lead us to reach out our right hand with an unwavering faith, knowing that You are already there, waiting to take hold of us and lead us on the path that You have prepared for us to go. Show us how to love others with Your love, so that many may come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we take Your hand and walk forward without fear, trusting You to be our help. Amen.

For a song that brings great reminders of His reassurance: Your Promises by Elevation Worship.

© 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

Our Shield and Reward

When God made a covenant with Abram, he in his humanity, had fears of what was unknown. Because God had called Abram to go, and Abram had obediently walked wherever God had called for many years, he was now being reassured of the promises of both the Lord’s protection and His blessing.

 

After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:

“Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” – (Genesis 15:1)

 

Just as God gave Abram two fantastic reasons to not be afraid, He offers the same for each of us. The Lord will be our Defender, and has great reward in store for all who trust in Him. Though we may fear what lies before us, we do not need to allow fear to overtake us; for the Lord is our shield and our very great reward. Today as we go forth in faith, may we allow our hearts to hold these words with our own name inserted in the place of Abram’s.

“Do not be afraid, _____________. I am your shield, your very great reward.”

 

Do not be afraid,Our Shield and Reward

for whom shall we fear?

The Lord is our shield,

our Defense, so near.

More than protection,

He promises too;

great rewards waiting,

our Hope that is true.

Let us each embrace,

the truth of His word;

rise up in courage,

receive what we’ve heard.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we need not be afraid, for You are our shield and our promised reward, for all who place their trust in You. Thank You that You are faithful to Your every promise, and that we can place all of our hope and trust securely in You. Forgive us for our fearfulness that keeps us from moving forward. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will not be afraid, knowing fully that You are our shield, protecting us, so that we go forth with the courage and strength that You graciously give. Lead us to love others well, so that they too may come to know both the shield You provide and the hope that is held in You alone. May many come to place all of their trust in You. Be glorified O God, as we fear not, and follow Your leading in faith. Amen.

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

They will celebrate Your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of Your righteousness. – Psalm 145:7

Everything As He Asks

The story of Noah is remarkable one. When Noah was well seasoned in years and living in a location nowhere near water, God told him to construct an ark. Noah did not question God, nor did he ask God how on earth he was to accomplish such a monumental task. Instead, he listened to the Lord, heard His every outlandish instruction, and got to work. Noah did everything just as God commanded him. – (Genesis 6:22)

 

It is easy to get caught up in the particulars, when really, we simply need to obey whatever it is that God is asking. We know that God is good, and His ways are not our ways. That alone ought to compel us to do whatever He asks, regardless of how outrageous it seems at the time. God is given room to move miraculously, if we simply step out in obedience to what He asks. May we set aside our incessant need to know the how or the why, and choose to move in faith.

 

Whatever God asks,Everything As He Asks

may we simply do;

choose to wholly trust,

in faith, follow through.

Miracles happen,

when we step aside;

true obedience,

removal of pride.

May our stories too,

be of lives lived well;

that share of His grace,

of His goodness tell.

All glory to God,

Holy faithful King;

may our moves of faith,

be sweet offerings.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that though humanity rebelled and became evil and wicked, thank You that You saw and saved Noah and his family, who were faithful. Thank You that after the flood, You promised to never destroy everything on earth again until the final day when Christ returns. Thank You that You sent Your Son, Jesus, so that we could be saved from our own sinful natures and given new life in You. Forgive us for questioning the things You ask of us, or wanting to know the details when all we need to do is obey. Teach us to trust You more, so that we do as Noah did, and simply get to work. Whatever the task, help us to move without delay. Lead us to love others as You so wonderfully love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we faithfully follow through on all You ask us to do. 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

For Freedom, We’ve Been Set Free

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. – (Galatians 5:1)

 

Jesus came and bore the cross in our place so that we would no longer have to live under the weight of a long list of laws and regulations that were impossible to obey in their entirety. His sacrifice set us free from the chains that enslaved us to our sin, and has granted us new life – freedom to follow His ways of loving God and loving people. Because of Christ, we can now do what was impossible before – live unselfishly unto Him, rather than to indulge our every desire. Yes, we will still struggle with our own humanity, but we are no longer ruled nor enslaved by the sins that once bound us. May we stand firm in the freedom we have been afforded through the loving sacrifice of Christ.

 

Freed from the chains,For Freedom

that once held us down;

cleansed from our stains,

by His thorny crown.

Our weighty yoke,

He’s taken away;

given instead,

His strength to obey.

Not a long list,

but two simple things;

love God and man,

is what He’s asking.

Eyes looking out,

to God and to man;

selfishness fades,

in freedom we stand.

No more we’re bound,

to sin’s slavery;

held in Christ’s hands,

beloved and free.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in Christ, we have been set free from the yoke of slavery of our sinfulness. Thank You that in You, we are able to stand firm, and fight the good fight, as You are our Champion and our Strength. Forgive us for taking our eyes off of You, and allowing sin and anything that would try to entangle us to have a foothold. Protect us from the snares that seek to enslave us, and grant us Your wisdom to know where to walk and how to stand firm in You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we remain firm in the freedom we have found in You. May many come to know the freedom that You offer, as we live and love as You call us to do. Be glorified, O God, as we stand firm in the freedom of our faith. Amen.

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

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