Selected to Serve

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. – (Philippians 2:5-7, NIV)

In your life together, think the way Christ Jesus thought. He was like God in every way, but He did not think that His being equal with God was something to use for His own benefit. Instead, He gave up everything, even His place with God. He accepted the role of a servant, appearing in human form. – (Philippians 2:5-7, ERV)

And consider the example that Jesus, the Anointed One, has set before us. Let His mindset become your motivation. He existed in the form of God, yet He gave no thought to seizing equality with God as His supreme prize. Instead He emptied Himself of His outward glory by reducing Himself to the form of a lowly servant. He became human! – (Philippians 2:5-7, TPT)

 

Jesus was the ultimate example of how we ought to relate to one another. He let go of who He was so that He could love all in a way that was tangible and approachable. Heaven came to earth and walked among us. The Creator of all that is and was and ever will be, set down His deity to become like us, so that we might understand what love means. Jesus did not come as a king demanding to rule, but rather as one who served and loved, helped and healed, touched and taught. By serving in love, Jesus influenced the hearts of humans for all of eternity. We are called to do the same. May we seek the Lord and His loving kindness, so that we may love and serve with the same mindset that Christ has for us.

 

How vast is the love, Healed Hands Reach Out

That set throne aside;

To be made like man,

Deity denied?

And O so much more,

Jesus came and gave;

He taught, lived and loved

Healed, sacrificed, saved.

O how the Lord loves,

Still unto this day;

Contending for us,

To walk in His way.

We are also called,

To choose do the same;

To love and to serve,

Honor Jesus’ Name.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the incredible gift of Jesus. Thank You Jesus for the example You lived, and for Your ongoing help through Your Holy Spirit. Thank You that You showed us what it looks like to serve and love. Forgive us for not following the example that You are calling us to walk out. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would choose loving kindness, regardless of what we receive. Show us how to love those around us with Your goodness and grace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You for strength to walk in Your ways and do Your will, all of the days of our lives. Amen.

 

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

 

Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people. – Ephesians 6:7

Filled by Grace

From His abundance we have received one gracious blessing after another. – (John 1:16, NLT) 

Yes, the Word was full of grace and truth, and from Him we all received one blessing after another. – (John 1:16, ERV) 

And now out of His fullness we are fulfilled! And from Him we receive grace heaped upon more grace! – (John 1:16, TPT) 

 

Jesus came so that we could have life abundant in Him. Full of grace and truth, He grants us blessings upon blessings. That is not to say that He gives us a life free of suffering and pain, but rather He promises to be with us, as He pours out His love, grace and blessings in the midst of all. Christ is the light in our darkness and joy in the midst of difficulty. His loving kindness knows no end. May we seek the Lord and His gracious love, allowing His goodness to be made known, both in us and through us. 

 

In the beginning, 0802180628a2020644511162622208.jpg

The Word always was; 

Loving, creating, 

Heart ever for us. 

At the very time, 

The world so in need; 

Came God, the Most High, 

So all might be freed. 

Set free from our sin, 

Pain and all our shame; 

The hope of the world, 

Found in Jesus’ Name. 

His grace upon grace, 

To us He outpours; 

So we might know hope, 

And choose sin no more. 

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the precious gift of Your Son. Thank You that through Him, grace, love and blessings are poured out abundantly. Forgive us for not looking to You to be our peace, comfort and hope in the midst of our storms. Teach us to trust You more, as You are the giver of all grace, and You pour out Your provision to all who seek You. Show us how to love those around us in a way that shares Your loving kindness and grace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You for the blessings that You pour out on us and the grace You give so that we trust You in all.

 

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

 

And all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. – Romans 3:24

 

 

Good That Overcomes

Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good. – (Romans 12:21, MSG)

Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good. – (Romans 12:21, NLT)

Don’t let evil defeat you, but defeat evil by doing good. – (Romans 12:21, ERV)

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. – (Romans 12:21, NIV)

 

Though a seemingly simple concept, it is often difficult to carry out. Humans have a natural inclination to seek justice when we have been “wronged“. When someone intends us harm, the last thing we want to do, is extend kindness or grace. Jesus was the ultimate example of not allowing evil to overcome Him; for even as He hung on the cross He cried out for the forgiveness of those who placed Him there, rather than for their destruction. Most of us struggle to not use ugly words when we are cut off in traffic. I had a friend growing up that used to yell, “Bless you, in Jesus Name!“, each time someone cut him off or did something stupid on the highway that could have potentially caused harm while driving. When I asked him about it, he replied that it was a way to begin to train his heart to do good, even when he wanted otherwise. He intentionally chose words that were for good, rather than for harm, even if the tone did not yet match. Granted, I know that traffic violations are hardly comparable to gross acts of evil, but if we are able to do good with the small things, perhaps our hearts will be tender and receptive as God asks us to choose to overcome evil with good in the larger things later on. May we ever seek the Lord and His wisdom and strength, so that evil may not get the best of us and we can rise up and do the good He asks of us.

 

Flying Butterfly

Do not let evil,

Get the best of you;

For it’s overcome,

By good that we choose.

God provides the strength,

To rise and do well;

As we move in grace,

We overcome hell.

Evil cannot stand,

Where grace and love flow;

Let’s keep doing good,

So all may come know.

 

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that evil can be defeated when we choose to do good in Your Name. Thank You that this is not something that we have to attempt to do in our own strength, but rather You equip and empower us to do that which You call us to do, so that we may overcome the darkness that would attempt to destroy us. Forgive us for thinking that we have to fight alone, or for allowing the darkness around us to overwhelm us, rather than looking to the light within. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would rely on You in all things and at all times, as You alone can overcome anything that would try to get the best of us. Show us how to love those around us, so that we would be light in dark places and do the good that overcomes that which attempts to destroy. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we conquer evil by doing the good that You call us to do. 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

Just Believe

Jesus heard this and said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid! Just believe and your daughter will be well.” – (Luke 8:50, ERV)

But when Jesus heard what had happened, He said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid. Just have faith, and she will be healed.” – (Luke 8:50, NLT)

 

Need has an interesting way of breaking down barriers as people reach the point of desperation. Jairus, despite being a high official in the synagogue, did not hesitate to drop to his knees in need before Jesus on behalf of his dying daughter. The desire to see her healed was greater than his concern about societal norms. Faith and hope brought Jairus to Jesus, and it was likely the comforting words that Jesus offered upon hearing the news that his daughter had died that kept him from losing his mind with grief. What Jesus says, He will do, and Jairus had to choose to either trust Him and believe, or lose hope and his only daughter to death forever. I can only imagine the wrestling match that must have been going on in his mind as they walked the long road back to his home to where his dead daughter was waiting. “Can He who healed the bleeding woman with the hem of His garment, bring life back to my dead daughter?” My mind’s eye imagines that Jairus gained a bit more boldness with each step, as he recalled what he had just witnessed with the woman who had suffered for twelve long years and then was healed by her unwavering faith. Perhaps each step was taken to an internal cadence that he simply spoke to himself, “Believe, believe, believe!” Regardless of how Jairus traveled, when Jesus and the disciples went up to his daughter with he and his wife, their daughter was brought back to life, and their lives were never the same. May we listen for the voice of Jesus in the midst of our scary spaces, and hear Him as He reminds us to have faith and just believe.

 

In uncertainty,Our Map and Our Guide

Trial or in pain;

We’re called to believe,

Trust in Jesus’ Name.

For the Lord is good,

He alone can save;

Bring comfort to fears,

When we feel afraid.

God of all wonder,

Your power and might;

Is what we can trust,

To set all things right.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are good and faithful and loving. Thank You that You move mountains when we have but a mustard seed of faith. Forgive us for the times that our faith falters because we rely on what we see, rather than what we know to be true in You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would have faith, even when things do not make sense, as You see the entire outcome. Help us to live and love in such a way, that our faith is infectious to all whom we encounter. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we believe and have faith, no matter what we see; for You are alone are the One who directs our path. Amen.

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

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

Peace that Overcomes

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in Me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. – (John 16:33, NLT)

I have told you these things so that you can have peace in Me. In this world you will have troubles. But be brave! I have defeated the world! – (John 16:33, ERV)

 

Walking with God does not mean that our lives will be without trouble or trial, but rather it is a promise that we will have the peace of His presence and the hope of His help, as He who is in us is far greater than anything that could come against us. Every year, this is the time that people begin to look ahead in anticipation of all that is yet to come. For many, this is a space of fearful uncertainty. Not one of us can predict all that lies ahead, but when we place our trust in Christ, we can be certain that whatever comes, we will not be in it alone. God will go before us, walk beside us, and surround us, to make certain that we know His nearness and His peace. Nothing is unexpected to Him, and He already knows the outcome before the day begins. Our help and our hope are in the Lord, and we need to trust Him to lead us each new day. May we look to the Lord to be our peace, and take heart in His goodness as we prepare to move forward into a brand new year.

 

The Lord is my strength,IMG_1849

My hope and my song;

Where all peace is found,

Despite what goes on.

Even in trials,

In sorrow and fear;

With Christ there is peace,

Because He is near.

So choose to take heart,

Rise up and proclaim;

Peace that is for us,

Who trust Jesus’ Name.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that no matter what lies ahead, we can have peace in You. Thank You that You have already overcome all that might come against us. Thank You that Your Spirit in us is far greater than all that attempts to overwhelm us. Forgive us for our fearfulness of that which is yet to come, and teach us to trust You more so that we would look fearlessly to the future. Help us to see things through Your eyes and not our own, so that the things that seem overwhelming to us, could be viewed as the simple to You. Show us how to love those around us in a way that provides peace and comfort in a seemingly chaotic world. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You and Your peace regardless of the trials that come our way. 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

 

 

Calm in the Storm

On Sunday, my church family was presented with an assignment for the week, if we were so inclined to accept. As we study and review together who Jesus is, the challenge put forth is to spend the week reading through the book of Mark. This morning, through the reading of chapters 3-5, two passages presented parts of of the nature of who Jesus is, in mighty ways.

 

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. – (Mark 4:39) This first passage attests to both the power of Jesus, and how He is indeed worthy of our trust. Though the disciples were distressed and afraid in the sudden storm and panicked because Jesus was asleep, the moment they turned to Jesus, He stood, spoke, and all was still. The very same presence that silenced the storm, dwells within the hearts of all who believe. Wind and waves may toss us about, but Christ will keep us from going under. At times, He will calm the chaos around us, but more often, He will silence the storm within so that we are able to see the storm through His eyes, instead of our own.

 

The second passage that struck a chord with me this morning, is the interaction between Jesus and Jairus, the synagogue ruler, when men from his house brought news that his daughter had died. Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” – (Mark 5:36) Jesus is the God of comfort and compassion, and He does not want us to be afraid. I cannot imagine what must have gone through the mind of Jairus, as Jesus told him to “just believe.” Hope? Resolve? Curiosity? It was likely quite overwhelming and all a bit surreal. First, he knew his daughter was gravely ill. Then, Jairus was brought news that his daughter was dead. Now, standing before him, the Savior spoke hope that he could hold onto. Jesus is still the same today. When all seems hopeless, He is hope. Nothing is impossible for Him. He who set the stars in the sky and hand-crafted each human before their first cries were ever heard, can do immeasurably more than we can fathom.

 

He’s calm in the storm,Calm in the Storm

peace when there is none;

hope in the heartache,

our safe space to run.

He’ll speak to the wind,

and help us believe;

when fear overwhelms,

or our hearts are grieved.

Our Source of comfort,

when chaos, it reigns;

power to defeat,

death by Jesus’ Name.

Do not be afraid,

in Christ, just believe;

all that He offers,

is ours to receive.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Jesus is powerful and worthy of all of our trust. Thank You too, Jesus, that You are comforting and compassionate. Thank You that You know us and love us, in spite of ourselves. Thank You that there is nothing that we face nor go through that You are not both present and able to walk us through. Forgive us for our fearfulness and lack of faith. Teach us to trust You more, so that we might lean into You all the more, rather than run or try to stand in our own strength in the storms. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they may see Your comfort, compassion and strength through us. May many come into a saving relationship with You, Lord. Be glorified O God, as we trust in Your power to see us through the storms, and receive Your comfort when we are afraid. Amen.

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

Answer me, O Lord, out of the goodness of Your love; in Your great mercy turn to me. – Psalm 69:16

Complete Confidence

Peter and John healed a man

soon the priests and temple guard ablaze.

Those fearful Sadducees,

thought they had crucified this craze.

Peter and John were seized,

and taken off to jail.

Despite their detention,

attempts to silence, were a fail.

Many who had heard that day,

found faith, trusted and believed.

Annas and his questions,

these events he could not conceive.

Full of the Holy Spirit,

image by Paths of ReTurn

image by Paths of ReTurn

Peter boldly replied,

“I act in Jesus’ Name,

the One you crucified.”

“God raised Him from the dead,

and brought Him back to life.

He is my Authority,

that no one can deny.”

Though ordinary men,

unschooled, untrained, yet here.

They stood in His authority,

and spoke without any fear.

They were told to teach no more,

but those boys, they replied,

“Judge for yourselves what’s right,

but our God won’t be denied.”

(Responding to Acts 4:1-20)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our reason to be brave and bold in the face of adversity.  Thank You that in Your Name, mountains can be moved and fears can be faced.  Forgive us for not trusting You completely, and lead us to learn how to have complete confidence in You in all things and at all times.  Teach us to trust You with our whole lives, and as we do, may we be used as Your vessels to deliver peace and hope to people who need to know You.  May many come to know Your nearness.  Amen.

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

Fuel for Our Faith

“By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong.  It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through Him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.” – Acts 3:16

 
“Faith in Jesus’ name put this man, whose condition you know so well, on his feet – yes, faith and nothing but faith put this man healed and whole right before your eyes.” – (The Message)
The healing of the crippled beggar happened a short time after Jesus had ascended into heaven and had sent His Holy Spirit to reside in His faithful followers.  It was by faith, fueled by the Spirit dwelling within them, that Peter and John were confidently able to come close to the broken and call out for him to be healed.  As Peter took his hand to help him up, the healing happened instantly.  Faith to action, to amazement.  The makings of this miracle were not because of some mystical powers present in Peter or John, but rather it was made possible by faith; the believing in He who had called them to do as He had done.  Peter was able to speak boldly and trust completely, knowing that God had healing in mind for the broken man.
Imagine the sight as they walked together down the street toward the temple courts.  This man, the very one who had been crippled and set by the temple gates to beg each day, was now approaching the temple as he was “walking and jumping, and praising God”!  I can only imagine the joy and the giddy grin worn on the face of this grown man as he leapt and jumped and shouted out in joy for the faithfulness of our Heavenly Father.  Free at last from that which had held him captive in his own body, now gone, and nothing was holding him back!
All of us have our areas where we feel crippled or bound.  It is only through faith in He who will make us free, that we are able to find the sort of faith that fuels forward momentum.  Faith calls for movement.  Movement results in action.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that the very same faith that fueled the healing of the crippled beggar is available and active to heal the brokenness of our own human frailty for each of us who finds faith to believe.  Thank You that our faith is not something that we must muster, but rather it is readily supplied by Your Spirit as we ask.  Thank You that You heal our hearts and provide the hope of wholeness both for today, and in the life that is yet to come.  Regardless of our reality and/or limitations here on earth, that which is yet to come holds total health and wholeness in Your heavenly presence forever!  Forgive us for our fear that holds us back, and form in us Your faith that fuels the realization of impossibilities, and makes mountains move in Your mighty Name.  Grow our faith, Father, that we might walk in Your good and perfect will that leads the lost to Your loving and healing hands.  Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present