Giving Grace and Peace

May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. – (Ephesians 1:2, NLT)

 

Though the words are simple, they are not always easy to receive. For the peace of God goes far beyond silence or stillness, and is a space within our hearts and minds where we find that we are in a state of being free from distractions or anxiousness; untroubled; content – despite what surrounds us. Grace that God gives is the freely given, unmerited favor and love of the Lord. As the seasons change, and life seems to be in a space of reawakening, all of us could use more of God’s grace and peace. As I glance ahead at my calendar for the next several weeks, I am acutely aware of just how near I need the Lord. Much of the busy is good, but when life becomes so scheduled, it does not take much to become overwhelmed and lose sight of His grace. When our sightline becomes askew, the peace of God is far more difficult to find. May the grace and peace of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with us as we navigate the new of this next season.

 

May God, our Father,When the Sun Shines In

And Jesus, His Son;

Grant us grace and peace,

So His will be done.

As we know favor,

The love that God gives;

We find that we’re free,

To rise up and live.

Live in the power,

Strength, hope, love and grace;

That God intended,

To run well our race.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You give Your grace and peace to those who seek You. Thank You that Your grace is freely given, and that You love and favor us as Your children because we are Yours. Thank You that You give us Your perfect peace, despite that which surrounds us, when we choose to come before You. Forgive us for spiraling in our spaces of chaos, rather than reaching out to You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would seek Your peace and grace in all things. Show us how to be Your hands and heart to those around us, so that we love in such a way as to offer Your grace and peace to all whom we encounter. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as Your grace and peace go forth from our hands and hearts to the world. 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

Right by Grace

But we know that no one is made right with God by following the law. It is trusting in Jesus Christ that makes a person right with God. So we have put our faith in Jesus Christ, because we wanted to be made right with God. And we are right with Him because we trusted in Christ – not because we followed the law. I can say this because no one can be made right with God by following the law. – (Galatians 2:16, ERV)

 

I am so grateful for God’s grace. Imagine having to abide by a set of rules and regulations to somehow earn our salvation. If that were so, the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf would have been for naught. Sadly, there are those who still believe that they have to do enough, or be enough, to somehow earn God’s favor to gain access to eternity. Instead, Jesus came so that we could come to know and trust Him and be in right relationship with Him, personally, and through our faith move forward to that which we are called. As we know Him, we long to serve Him. It is not a prerequisite, but rather a response to the remarkable redemption that He has granted to all who choose receive what He freely gives. May we go forth in the grace that God grants us, and allow His love to transform us into people who live and love as He has shown us through His Son.

 

Salvation is found,not-defined-by-a-day

Through relationship;

As we receive grace,

We’re cleansed and equipped.

For we cannot earn,

Eternity’s crown;

By following laws,

Ultimate breakdown.

We must trust in Christ,

For He is the One;

Who makes us righteous,

As daughters and sons.

Let us place our faith,

Where all faith is due;

In Jesus our Lord,

Our hope ever true.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we are not made right before You by following a set of rules and regulations. Thank You that it is through relationship with You, our Redeemer, that we are considered righteous before You – not by anything that we do or do not do, but rather through what You did for us on the cross. Forgive us for thinking that we have to do enough or be enough to somehow be qualified to come to You or serve You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would always come as we are and allow You to pick us up, dust us off, and lead us where we are meant to go. Show us how to love those around us well, so that they too, may come to know the amazing grace that You give to all who call on Your Name in faith. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we place our faith in You and trust You to make us right before You. Amen.

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

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23

Praise in Mourning

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. – (2 Corinthians 1:3, NIV)

All praise goes to God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Anointed One. He is the Father of compassion, the God of all comfort. – (2 Corinthians 1:3, VOICE)

 

This morning, I find myself in a strange space – torn between grief and gladness; sorting between sorrow and surrender. My whole life, my grandmother has been a very real and powerful presence. Her faithfulness to our Heavenly Father, paired with the gifts that He birthed within her that she used without restraint, have been the model that I have looked to, and one whom I admire most. Gram has always been the glue that bound our family to one another. Despite differences, each of us has had a unique and treasured gift in the bond that she has formed with us, individually. The ability to see the value in people and set their heart at peace simply by being in her presence, is a trait that drew so many unto her.  She lived a live unrivaled, faithful in all that she endeavored. Gram served her family, her church, her community, and above all, God. The love grown deep in the quiet time on her knees, overflowed to all who knew her. No matter what I was going through, I knew she was covering me in prayer. After ninety-eight years on the earth, and a long year of colon cancer taking root and stealing the independence she had always known, she went home to be with Jesus last night. I am grateful that her suffering was not prolonged, yet grieve not getting one more visit. God is compassionate, and He offers comfort to us as we mourn. Though there is much sorrow for the personal loss of the phenomenal person my grandmother was, it is tempered with great joy in knowing that she is singing with our Savior. No more sorrow, no more pain. I imagine a great celebration as she is reunited with so many who have gone before her. May we all take comfort in the Father of compassion and comfort, as we give praise for the blessings we’ve been given in the time we had.

 

This morning, it seems appropriate that I share one of my grandma’s poems rather than write my own. Her words are likely the echo of what she is singing right now.

 

Song of Praise – by Rosemary Steiner

Glory and majestyPraise in Mourning

To the Lord God,

Who created the Heavens

And the Earth;

And breathed life

Into all creatures,

Even us, His people.

He gave meaning to our being;

He called us brothers

And prepared a place

For us with Him

Eternally.

He breathed life into us,

Transcendent life of the Spirit –

Gave us eyes to see beauty,

Ears to hear truth,

Wills to choose His way.

The heavens reflect His omnipotence

Time without end.

God enjoys the music of the spheres,

But hears our dissonance

With compassion,

How worthy is He.

How infinite His love.

Holy be His Name forever. Amen.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the incredible gift that so many of us were given through the long and loving life of Gram. Thank You that though we mourn her passing, we can celebrate her homecoming with You. Thank You that we have the blessed hope of being together again for all of eternity in heaven. Forgive us for our fears and regrets, and teach us to trust You so that we might fully live out each of our days, according to Your good and perfect will. Show us how to love with compassion and comfort, all those who grieve. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, as they see the faithfulness that has been fulfilled through the life of my grandmother. Be glorified O God, as we choose to give You praise, even as we mourn. Amen.

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

There is a time to cry, a time to laugh; a time to mourn, a time to dance. – Ecclesiastes 3:4

Grateful for What is Given

Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. – (2 Timothy 1:2, NIV)

May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord give you grace, mercy and peace. – (2 Timothy 1:2, NLT)

 

These words were Paul’s exhortation to Timothy as he was essentially waiting on death row. Emperor Neuro had shifted the blame for the great fire in Rome from himself to those who faithfully followed Christ. Despite being in a cold dungeon, awaiting his sentence to be carried out, Paul used the time he still had to encourage Timothy. Grace is the good we receive that we do not deserve, and mercy is not being given that which we do. Furthermore, in the midst of persecution, Paul was praying for peace. Regardless of circumstances, his hope was that Timothy would cling to Christ, and remember the promises and good that come from God alone. The very same words meant to encourage one man who was likely mourning the impending death of his dear father-like friend, are also for each of us. May we embrace the grace and mercy that God provides, and pursue the place where we can simply rest in the peace that He alone can give, despite what is going on around us.

 

No matter what comes,

Thankful for Love that Endures

Vandy Massey Watercolor

Help us look around;

See grace and mercy,

From where peace is found.

Thank You, Lord Jesus,

That You are the way;

Calm in our chaos,

Our hope for each day.

Let us ever seek,

Your help and Your heart;

So we’ll know the truth,

Of all You impart.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our source of grace, mercy and peace, regardless of what is going on around us. Thank You that when we seek You, we find You, and are made aware of Your goodness and grace. Forgive us for not seeking You in the midst of our storms, and help us to trust You more, so that we would remember that all grace, all mercy and all peace are provided by Your loving hand. Show us how to love others in a way that extends Your grace, mercy and peace, so that many may come to know the hope that is held in You alone. Be glorified O God, as we are so grateful for the grace, mercy and peace that You give in both calm and chaos, as we navigate all of our days. 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

Prepare Your Minds for Action

So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. – (1 Peter 1:13)

 

Self-control and intentional action come when we are firmly rooted and established in the hope that we hold. When we know from Whom our salvation comes, and where we can place our hope, we are ready to act as we are called and refrain from that which is a “no” or a “not yet“. Let us prepare our minds for action and choose to exercise self-control as we place all of our hope in the grace granted through salvation so that we are ready for our Redeemer’s return.

 

May our hearts prepare,The Word of God

For the Lord’s return;

As we choose hold hope,

In truth we have learned.

Exercise control,

In word and in deed;

Be led by the Lord,

Help where we see need.

For when Christ returns,

May our whole lives show;

A life lived in love,

With desire to grow.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we seek You and Your help, You prepare our minds for action and You grant us the strength to exercise self-control. Thank You that You are our Source of hope, as salvation is found in You alone. Forgive us for not clinging to the truth that we already know, or for neglecting to seek You for the strength that we need to navigate our days. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would be ever prepared for active obedience, exercising self-control as we hope in You. Show us how to love those around us in such a way, that hope in You might be revealed. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we prepare our minds for action and exercise self-control, so that our hope in You might be made known. 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

Our Constant in Continual Change

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. – (Hebrews 13:8, NLT)

 

In this day and age where so much changes at a pace that is impossible to track, the place where peace is found is in Christ. His love is constant, and His faithfulness does not waiver. The promises of God that were presented in the beginning, hold true and remain our hope from now unto eternity. Regardless of the rapid rate at which our surroundings switch, our Savior is constant, and we can steady our hearts and our hope in Him. May we trust in the Lord with all of our heart, and lean on Him for understanding. For no matter what comes, His love and presence remain consistent and true for all time.

 

No matter what comes,The Reason for Reverence

Or how things do change;

Jesus is constant,

And His love remains.

What was yesterday,

Holds true still today;

Will be tomorrow,

His faithfulness stays.

So fear not, dear ones,

The Lord’s ever near;

Though life’s uncertain,

In God, there’s no fear.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are the same yesterday, today and forever. Thank You that we need not fear when everything around us changes before our eyes, as long as we place our hope in You. Thank You that You hold us in the palm of Your hands, and steady us when we feel weary. Forgive us for our fear of change that continues around us. Show us Your presence in the new that surrounds. Teach us to trust You, even when we cannot see how change could possibly be a good thing. Lead us to love those around us well, so that we may provide consistency in an ever-changing world. Help us to be Your light before all those whom we encounter. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we cling to You to be our constant in this ever-changing world. Amen.

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

For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. – 1 Peter 2:19

Givers of Grace and Peace

May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. – (1 Corinthians 1:3, NLT)

 

Yesterday was a perfect reminder of how abundantly God pours out His grace and peace when we are in need. So often, He uses the people around us to make His hands and heart for us tangible. Saturday evening, I was visiting dear friends and got blasted with the worst migraine of my life. Between the intensity of the pain in my head and the continuous vomiting, I was completely miserable. Rather than rush me home, these dear friends sacrificed their own comfort to tend to me through the night, despite multiple wake-ups to be ill, and made sure I was still hydrated enough to be safe. In the morning when I was brought home, my treasured friend asked if there was anything else I might need. It wasn’t long, and she was back again, just to be present so that I wouldn’t be home alone. Despite the pain, there was peace, as it was made tangible through the presence of one willing to be near. Additionally, I was supposed to be in the nursery at church yesterday morning, and could not move without being ill. I received a text asking if I was coming, and when I let her know that I had a migraine and was ill, I was again showered with grace. The few dear friends who heard of what was going on, checked in to see how I was doing, and my own boys were tender hearts as they made sure mom was okay throughout the day. All this to say that His grace and peace are true and tangible. I never cease to be amazed at how He demonstrates His loving kindness to us. May God our Father give you a fresh grace and peace today as you go.

 

The Lord of all grace,photo (16)

Is so good to give;

His hands and His heart,

Bring peace where we live.

He makes His heart known,

As His love surrounds;

Tangible friendships,

Where goodness abounds.

Oh what a treasure,

To know grace and peace;

Amazing blessings,

Through friends are released.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the grace and peace that You give to us. Thank You that You use the hands, hearts, and voices of those around us to show us in tangible ways, just how great Your love is for us. Thank You for the gift of treasured friends. Forgive us for not trusting You enough to slow down and seek You for the grace and peace that we so desperately need in the midst of our busy lives. Show us how to be grace givers and peace providers to all of those around us, so that we can love as You love us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we receive the grace and peace that You so generously give, and then go forth and do likewise. Amen.

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

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

 

 

Reminders of You

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say. – (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17, NLT)

 

There are days that I need to have this taped to my forehead. The last day or so has been among them. One minor incident drew out of me, a response that was completely unwarranted and out of character. After an early morning run that included good conversation with a trusted friend, the real reason for my reaction reared its ugly head. My own fear got in the way, and I could not recognize what was right in front of me. I have all of the grace and comfort, hope and strength that I need to navigate every situation. It is my charge to seek the Source when things seem awry. Thankfully, He is gracious, and provides people to help point out the truth when we lose sight of Him who is holding us in His hands. May we go forth this day in trust, as the Lord who loves us will give us grace, comfort, hope and strength in every good thing we do and say.

 

Lord Jesus Himself,

Away with Anxietys Hold

ishareimage.com

Full of love and grace;

Grants us His comfort,

As we seek His face.

He gives strength to stand,

In word and in deed;

Our Hope and our Peace,

He will meet our need.

Choose now in stillness,

Let His love make way;

Comfort and strengthen,

All we do and say.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us by Your grace and You give us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope. Thank You that You comfort and strengthen us in every good thing. Forgive us for not seeking You, or neglecting to recognize the depth of our own need for You in all things. Teach us to trust You more. Show us how to love others in such a way, that we might offer Your grace, comfort and hope to strengthen those in need. May many come into a lasting relationship with You as a result. Be glorified O God, as we trust in You for all that we say and do. 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

Trust in Consistency

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. – (Hebrews 13:8, NLT)

 

Knowing that Christ is consistent provides peace and comfort, regardless of what we are going through. Though our circumstances will change, Jesus will not. We can trust in the faithfulness of our Heavenly Father, as His presence is not conditional and grace is not given based on our goodness. Once we place our trust in the Lord, He comes and dwells in us, and lovingly leads us in the ways in which we are meant to go. Christ is not fickle and will not say one thing and do another, nor will He change His mind. We can trust that what He says, He will do, and the places we’re called He will help us break through. May we trust completely in He who is faithful forever, who loves relentlessly and without wavering, regardless of how we come before Him.

 

True and unchanging,Honoring the Temple

how great is our God;

faithful forever,

let all hearts applaud.

The love of Jesus,

that was yesterday;

remains forever,

it‘s the same always.

His love – relentless,

kind, faithful and true;

draws us unto Him,

in all that we do.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not change – that You are the same yesterday, today, and forever. Thank You that when we come to You and place our trust in You, we are Yours. Thank You that our adoption as Your children cannot be revoked because we don’t do enough or aren’t somehow good enough, but rather we are enough, because we are Yours. Forgive us for forgetting just how consistent and faithful You are. Teach us to trust You in all things and at all times, as You are always present and available to all who call on Your Name. Show us how to faithfully extend Your loving kindness and grace to all those around us, so that many may choose to follow after You. Be glorified O God, as we trust in the consistency and faithfulness that is found in You forever, and share the same with all whom we encounter. Amen.

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

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

Owning Our Iniquities

But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. – (1 John 1:9, NLT)

But if we own up to our sins, God shows us that He is faithful and just by forgiving all of our sins and purifying us from the pollution of all the bad things we have done. – (1 John 1:9, VOICE)

 

God is faithful to forgive, if we are willing to come before Him and confess that which we have said, thought or done that does not bring honor to His Name. Every unkind thought, every reckless word uttered, and every decision that we make that is not based on loving God and loving people well – He will forgive, if we will choose to own our offenses before the Lord. Not only does He forgive, but Christ deems us righteous before Him, as we are purified from the pollution of our ruptured relationship. May we choose to confess our sins before Him, and trust in His faithfulness to cleanse us from our unrighteousness, so that we may exercise our existence covered in His goodness and grace.

 

If we will confess,Beside Still Waters

all that we have done;

before Jesus Christ,

the battle is won.

For in His Great Name,

we‘ll be forgiven;

if we go to God,

for our wrong living.

He takes all our sin,

and washes us clean;

impurities gone,

and His love is seen.

When we choose stay near,

in step with the Lord;

light and life made plain,

as grace is outpoured.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that if we confess our sins before You, You are faithful and just to forgive us all of our unrighteousness – not because we deserve it, but because You love. Forgive us for not owning our iniquities to confess before You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would be sensitive to Your still small voice and be quick to confess all that we think, say and do that does not give glory to You. Show us how to walk in forgiveness with others, just as we are forgiven by You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, as they see the goodness that comes from a life lived in You. Be glorified O God, as we confess all of our sins before You and walk out our days free and forgiven from all that would keep us from honoring You. Amen.

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

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