Do the Good

Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins. – (James 4:17, NIV)

If you fail to do what you know is right, you are sinning. – (James 4:17, ERV)

 

Each one of us has an inner voice that directs us in the way in which we are meant to go. Some call this a conscience, others liken it to an internal compass; while those who place their trust in Christ, come to know that this is actually the very voice of God. His Spirit who dwells in us, whispers to our hearts – that which we are meant to do, and that which we are not. So often we think of sin as a long list of “Thou shall nots“, instead of the reality of truly listening and obeying the still small voice within. I imagine few of us have ever gone out and murdered anyone, (though we each have likely harbored unkind thoughts about another) yet how many of us have neglected a need of another that is near us?

 

Yesterday evening, my boys and I were at the gas station and I had just finished filling my car. An elderly gentleman caught my attention and politely asked if I had a few dollars I could spare, as he seemed to be in a bit of a panic, claiming that he must have dropped his card and needed to get a bit of gas to travel home. For some reason, I reached in my wallet, grabbed out the few dollars that I had folded in there, and handed it to him. He graciously and gratefully accepted my small offering. As we drove away, it sparked a great conversation with my boys. Usually, when approached for money in a parking lot, I am able to honestly answer that I do not carry cash. Yesterday, however, felt different. For some reason, I had just a few dollars, and I felt like I should give it to him. After explaining to the boys that sometimes, you just have to trust that you are doing the right thing. Out loud, in front of the boys, I simply prayed for the man to be able to purchase enough gas to take him safely home. May we choose well to do the right which we are called to do, as we listen carefully to the still small voice within.

 

Sin is not only,Compassion in Confrontations

when we choose do wrong;

but when we neglect,

live out our life’s song.

If we’re called to love,

and we opt love not;

then we’re choosing sin,

in selfish snares caught.

If we will listen,

for His still small voice;

and act on His call,

we’ll make the right choice.

When we act in love,

allow the Lord lead;

broken can be healed,

through Him, we meet needs.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You continually show us what we are meant to do; through Your word, through those who have gone before us, and through the still small voice of Your Holy Spirit who dwells within us. Thank You that if we are willing to listen, we will hear You. Forgive us for the times that we did not do the good that we should have done, and teach us to trust You more, so that we will be ready and willing to act in obedience the next time You present the opportunity for us to do good on Your behalf. Lead us to love others in practical and tangible ways. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we do the good that You are calling us to do. Amen.

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

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

The Power of Praise

Though much of Psalm 69 is spent crying out to God about the troubles that David is facing, and how he longs for God to intervene, there is a verse that is pivotal, as David turns and points out the power of praise and how God receives it. I will praise God’s Name in song and glorify Him with thanksgiving. – (Psalm 69:30) He goes on to speak of how God is more pleased with praise than with sacrifice, and that our hearts are changed in the process.

 

Praise and thanksgiving are powerful tools to turn our hearts and minds away from our troubles, and onto He who is our solution. It never ceases to amaze me at how different my circumstances appear, when I begin looking through the lens of gratitude to God. Though I may not appreciate my circumstance, there are always things to be grateful for in the midst of them. His blessings are present, even when the storms are raging. Shelter, a life boat, our anchor in Him – all things for which we can give Him thanks and praise. Each breath that we breathe and the moments we are given are gifts to be utilized for His glory. May we praise His Name with our life song, and glorify Him as we give Him thanks for who He is and all that He has done and will do in our lives.

 

When storms are raging,The Power of Praise

and the waters rise;

may we give God praise,

never compromise.

Let thanksgiving flow,

from our grateful hearts;

as we speak the truth,

for love He imparts.

Though the trials come,

His glory shall last;

Christ’s power within,

our strength to move past.

Glorify the Lord,

praise His Name in song;

He lifts up the weak,

and helps us be strong.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You alone are worthy of all praise and thanksgiving. Thank You that You are more pleased by our songs of praise and thanksgiving that come from a heart of gratitude for You, than You are for mere offerings given out of ritual or obligation. Forgive us for doing anything out of obligation rather than from a place of praise. Help our hearts to be right before You, so that when we think of You, we cannot help but pour out praise and thanksgiving for who You are and all that You have done in and through us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may slow down enough to see You in the midst of the storms. Lead us to love others, just as You so completely love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You in song and glorify You with thanksgiving. 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

The Essence of Exaltation

Glory to the GiverThe essence of worship,

when our love is outpoured;

giving earthly treasures,

without seeking reward.

He laid down His own life,

price we couldn’t afford;

showing obedience,

our great heavenly Lord.

As we bring our worship,

He looks into our heart;

does He see sacrifice,

or us playing a part?

Like the pure perfume jar,

poured upon Jesus’ head;

may our offering be,

as the Spirit has led.

May our acts of worship,

all honor that we bring;

give glory to our God,

our Hope and Everything.

The great gracious Savior,

is so worthy indeed;

let our life song be sung,

so that captives are freed.

(Responding to Mark 14:3-9)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not want robots that go through rituals, rather You desire disciples who are devoted to loving You and loving others with our whole lives. Thank You Jesus, that You showed us what it is to live a life of loving God and loving people with all that You are. Forgive us for the countless ways in which we have fallen short, and use each one as an opportunity to be refined, so that we may more clearly love like You. Teach us to quiet our hearts before You, so that we are intent to listen, and help us to act on all that You ask. May many be moved toward Your majesty through our ongoing acts of worship. Be exalted in everything we say and do, and let our lives bring praise to You. Amen.

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

As my reflection this morning is based on the story of the Alabaster jar broken and poured out as an offering, I found this song to be a perfect pairing. 🙂 Click the title in green to enjoy: Alabaster Jar by Kari Jobe.