Jesus is our Deliverer

This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. – (1 John 4:2-4, NIV)

This is how you can recognize God’s Spirit. One spirit says, “I believe that Jesus is the Messiah who came to earth and became a man.” That Spirit is from God. Another spirit refuses to say this about Jesus. That spirit is not from God. This is the spirit of the enemy of Christ. You have heard that the enemy of Christ is coming, and now he is already in the world. My dear children, you belong to God, so you have already defeated these false prophets. That’s because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. – (1 John 4:2-4, ERV)

Here’s how you test for the genuine Spirit of God. Everyone who confesses openly his faith in Jesus Christ – the Son of God, who came as an actual flesh-and-blood person – comes from God and belongs to God. And everyone who refuses to confess faith in Jesus has nothing in common with God. This is the spirit of the antichrist that you heard was coming. Well, here it is, sooner than we thought! My dear children, you come from God and belong to God. You have already won a big victory over those false teachers, for the Spirit in you is far stronger than anything in the world. – (1 John 4:2-4, MSG)

When we know God, and trust in the truth of who He is and how He loves, we need not fear the people and things that will try to come against us. Our confession of who Jesus is and how He lived, died, and rose again, is our protection against anyone or anything that would try to draw us away. Jesus, who dwells in the hearts of all who have invited Him in, is greater than anything that might come against us. We need not fear those who will come against us, but rather we can trust in God and rest secure in His Name, for it is only through Him that we have hope for both now and eternity. God is good and His plans are good. May we ever seek the Lord to show us more and more of Him so that we can clearly recognize what is not from Him. His heart, love, and character do not change, as He remains the same: yesterday, today, and forever.

All that choose confess,

That Jesus is Lord;

Align with the truth,

Gifts that God affords.

Yet those who do not,

Acknowledge Jesus;

Are not for our good,

And are most grievous.

So, look to the Lord,

And pursue what’s true;

Trust in His goodness,

For He’ll see us through.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You show us how to know what is good and true and a gift from You, and what is not. Thank You that You dwell in us and speak to our hearts. Forgive us for the times that we have not listened to Your leading. Teach us to ever trust in You. Show us how to walk in Your wisdom and grace, so that we might be clear evidence that You are our deliverer. Lead us to love those around us in ways that extend hope and peace and promise. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to be our Deliverer and the One in whom we place all our trust. Amen.

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

But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved. – Ephesians 2:4-5

*If you are following along and participating in the 21 Days of Fasting and Prayer, please forgive my mix-up. I accidently did tomorrow’s study today. I will post on today’s study tomorrow. 🙂

Jesus Our Savior

You see at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – (Romans 5:6-8, NIV)

Christ died for us when we were unable to help ourselves. We were living against God, but at just the right time Christ died for us. Very few people will die to save the life of someone else, even if it is a good person. Someone might be willing to die for an especially good person. But Christ died for us while we were still sinners, and by this God showed us how much He loves us. – (Romans 5:6-8, ERV)

Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t wait for us to get ready. He presented Himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put His love on the line for us by offering His Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to Him. – (Romans 5:6-8, MSG)

Jesus is our Savior. When we had no idea that we were lost and in need of saving, Jesus came and died on our behalf. As sinners, without Him, we had nothing to offer Him or to the world, yet He still chose to give all for each one of us so that we would have the freedom to choose eternal life through Him. There was nothing we had done to earn or deserve His love, but rather He chose love because He first loved us. Few would give their life up for someone who was good to us, let alone for someone who was against us, but that is exactly what Jesus did for us all. May we ever look to the Lord and the sacrifice He made, as it reminds us anew of how deeply and selflessly, we are loved by God.

While we were sinners,

Far off, we were lost;

The ultimate love,

Came close, paid the cost.

He took all our sin,

And bore all our shame;

So we would know love,

Is found in His Name.

Jesus our Savior,

Through mercy and grace;

Chose die for us all,

So there’d be a way.

A way to know Him,

And choose enter in;

Gracious salvation,

For here and heaven.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to save us. Not because we were worthy, but rather because You are perfect love. Forgive us for the times that we have felt that we somehow had to earn Your love. Thank You that it is Your overwhelming, gracious, all-encompassing love that draws us unto You. Teach us to continue to seek You anew each day, for in the time we spend with You, You reveal more and more of who You are and how You love. Show us how to love those around us in ways that make Your goodness known. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we thank and praise You for Jesus our Savior, and ever seek You to show us how to demonstrate the same sort of love to all whom we meet. Amen.

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

“But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His Name.” – John 20:31

Our Greatest Treasures

For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be. – (Matthew 6:21, NIV)

Your heart will be where your treasure is. – (Matthew 6:21, ERV)

The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being. – (Matthew 6:21, MSG)

The older I get, the more I find that my treasure is in God and all that He has made. Stuff is just stuff, but salvation, relationships, people, pets, and community are truly the greatest gifts we have been given. When I focus my time and energy on Him and those that He has placed in my life, I am overwhelmed with gratitude, not want. The things that matter to me are not ones of monetary value, but rather are either gifts or reminders of those who matter most. I understand now why photos have always been so important to my mom. Each snapshot is a reminder of God’s faithfulness in a moment in time that was captured. To look at the images is to be reminded that God is good. May we ever look to the Lord with thanksgiving and seek Him to help keep our priorities in order so that our treasures are eternal, and not temporary.

Lord, help us treasure,

That which is from You;

Life and creation,

Eternity too.

May our hearts choose hold,

All of our lives through;

Treasures from heaven,

That point us to You.

Show us Your own heart,

All that matters most;

Lead us in Your love,

Through grace, peace and hope.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our greatest treasure and that every good and perfect gift comes from You. Forgive us for the times that we have been more concerned with stuff than with that which matters eternally. Teach us to have a heart after You. Lead us in Your love so that we would treasure You and Your created, as these are the things that last. Show us how to love those around us in ways that make Your heart known. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we recognize our greatest treasures are found in You and from You. Amen.

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

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. – 2 Corinthians 4:18

Clean and New

God, create a clean heart for me and renew a steadfast spirit within me. – (Psalm 51:10, HCSB)

God, create a pure heart in me, and make my spirit strong again. – (Psalm 51:10, ERV)

Create in me a clean heart, O God; restore within me a sense of being brand new. – (Psalm 51:10, VOICE)

As I gaze upon the freshly fallen snow, and the world looks clean and new, I am reminded that God does this for us each time we ask. He wipes away all of our guilt and shame, and provides a new start as we seek Him. Each time I fall short and am given a fresh start, I am compelled to do and be better. God is faithful to meet us each time we seek Him, and His heart is to ever give us a fresh start. May we ever seek the Lord to cleanse us and strengthen us so that we may clearly reflect His goodness and His love.

O God, cleanse my heart,

May it be made pure;

Strengthen my spirit,

As You remain near. 

Lead me in Your love,

May Your heart move mine;

To love others well,

And always be kind.

With each brand new day,

May I rest assured;

That You are with me,

In You I’m secure.

Ever Your faithful,

So we should be too;

Deepen my love, Lord,

So I love like You.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You cleanse us and make us new, and You strengthen us for all that we are called to do. Forgive us for our fears and doubts, for You are faithful forever. Teach us how to trust You more, so that from the moment we rise to the close of our day, we operate in the lavish goodness of Your unending love. Show us how to love those around us well, and to forgive as we have been forgiven by You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, as they come to know who You are and how You love. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to cleanse us and strengthen us by Your love so that we may love likewise. Amen.

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

Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always. – 1 Chronicles 16:11

Needed Strength

Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always. – (1 Chronicles 16:11, NIV)

Depend on the Lord for strength. Always go to Him for help. – (1 Chronicles 16:11, ERV)

Always follow the Eternal, His strength and His face. – (1 Chronicles 16:11, VOICE)

This is the time of year that I am reminded of my desperate need for God and His strength. From the start of school to Veteran’s Day, there are no days off nor long weekends. Additionally, it is when cold and flu season rears its ugly head and the shorter days are full of gray skies and cold rains. Kids and staff go through the cycle of sickness, and the germs are passed around. With a sub shortage, it means losing our planning period regularly as well. All of this becomes a bit exhausting, and we need strength beyond ourselves. Each morning, I look to the Lord to be my strength as I seek Him. Even on the toughest days, I know His nearness and He grants me what I need to get through each day. May we ever look to the Lord for strength and depend on Him, for He is faithful to meet us each time we seek Him.

Choose look to the Lord,

For all that you need;

He’s faithful, gracious,

And His strength exceeds.

God’s more than enough,

To show us the way;

Keep moving forward,

Throughout each new day.

No matter what comes,

He’ll always be near;

To strengthen, uplift,

Show us that He hears.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can come before You and depend on You to provide the strength we need to navigate each new day. Thank You that You are faithful to meet us each time we seek You. Forgive us for trying to gut things out on our own, or for quitting before we begin. Teach us to trust in You and to rely on Your leading and strength each day that we draw breath. Show us how to love those around us well, so that they may come to know the goodness and faithfulness of Your overwhelming love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we depend on You to lead and strengthen us for each new day. Amen.

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

But You, Lord, don’t be far away. My Strength, come quickly to help me. – Psalm 22:19

Seek Now

Seek the Lord while He may be found; call to Him while He is near. – (Isaiah 55:6, HCSB)

So you should look for the Lord before it is too late. You should call to Him now, while He is near. – (Isaiah 55:6, ERV)

Seek God while He’s here to be found, pray to Him while He’s close at hand. – (Isaiah 55:6, MSG)

So turn your attention and seek the Eternal One while it is still possible; call on Him while He is nearby. – (Isaiah 55:6, VOICE)

The thing about this is that God is eternal and we are not. We all have an expiration date that we cannot predict. Our time to seek the Lord is now, and we can call on Him, for He is near. As we pray, we discover His nearness. This is not about being or doing enough, but rather taking the opportunity to get to know the Creator of all, personally. He knows us far better than we know ourselves and has a plan and a purpose for our lives. That being said, God is not pushy or demanding, and He did not create us to be robots. We were each individually designed with gifts and talents and a free will. It is up to us to seek Him to get to know Him. The more we know Him, the more we want to know Him. God’s grace, goodness, kindness and love go far beyond what we can comprehend. When our attention is directed to Him and our focus on being still before Him, we grow in our understanding and our heart grows in our own capacity to love as He loves us. May we ever turn our attention to God and seek Him, for He is faithful to meet us each time we do.

As we seek the Lord,

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

He’s near to be found;

Our time has limits,

Hope in Him is sound.

God is eternal,

On earth, we are not;

Our hope forever,

Granted as He’s sought.

So, turn to Jesus,

Lord God on His throne;

He’s waiting for us,

To make His heart known.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we seek You, You meet us and reveal more and more of Yourself to us. Thank You that we have access to You at all times and in all places. Forgive us for taking Your nearness for granted, or for assuming we will always have more time later to do what ought to be done now. Teach us to seek You with intention; to purposefully sit in Your presence and listen to Your leading. Show us how to love those around us as You do. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You and spend time in Your presence now, for we know not what tomorrow may hold. Amen.

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

Search for the Lord and for His strength; seek His face always. – Psalm 105:4

Where Help Comes From

I lift my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. – (Psalm 121:1-2, HCSB)

I look up to the hills, but where will my help really come from? My help will come from the Lord, the Creator of heaven and earth. – (Psalm 121:1-2, ERV)

I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains? No, my strength comes from God, who made heaven, and earth, and mountains. – (Psalm 121:1-2, MSG)

Lifting our eyes is a way to take our gaze off of what lies directly before us, and to look beyond to what could be. Each time I see the majestic mountains, I am reminded of the power and goodness of God. The same God who formed the mountains, is the One who comes and dwells within us as we invite Him in. He is our help and our hope, and the One in whom our future rests. To look to the mountains is to gaze upon the tangible evidence of God. For me, when I look upon the beauty of creation, I am reminded of the One who made it all. He is so much more than we see, yet the tangible evidence of His goodness makes the unseen easier to grasp. May we ever look to the Lord to be our strength, help and hope, and readily receive the reminders all around us as we gaze upon the beauty of all that He has made.

When we choose look up,

Our eyes truly see;

All of creation,

Made purposefully.

Our help and our hope,

Come from God above;

He sees and He hears,

And answers in love.

Majestic mountains,

And sparkling seas;

Glimpses of the Lord,

And His majesty.

His power and grace,

Are visibly seen;

To show us His love,

As He meets our needs.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have shown us Your power through the beauty of creation all around us. Thank You for such incredible reminders of Your power and strength that are available to all who seek You. Forgive us for the times that we have looked to anything other than You to be our strength, and for the times that we have somehow made You too small. Teach us to look to You in all things and at all times, for You are greater than all. Show us how to love those around us in ways that lift up and encourage everyone. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to be our strength, and praise You for the tangible reminders of Your power and grace. Amen.

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

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. Therefore my heart rejoices and I praise Him with my song. – Psalm 28:7

Praise for Perpetual Goodness and Love

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His faithful love endures forever. – (Psalm 118:1, HCSB)

Praise the Lord because He is good! His faithful love will last forever! – (Psalm 118:1, ERV)

Thank God because He’s good, because His love never quits. – (Psalm 118:1, MSG)

Give thanks to the Eternal because He is always good. He never ceases to be loving and kind. – (Psalm 118:1, VOICE)

Each day that we wake up and draw breath, we have reason to thank God for His goodness. His faithful love has carried us through the night, and His presence remains as we rise. The Lord’s loving kindness grants us a brand new day, and His faithfulness causes the sun to rise again and again. Everywhere we look, there is evidence of the Lord’s goodness and love. Right now, I am flanked by our sweet pups, one on either side of me as I am writing. There is evidence of God’s goodness everywhere, and He is faithful to show us again and again how much He loves us as we intentionally seek Him. May we ever look to the Lord as we begin each new day, and give Him thanks and praise for who He is and how He loves.

Give thanks to the Lord,

For He’s always good;

His love knows no end,

He’s hope understood.

Wherever we look,

We can’t help but see;

God’s loving kindness,

For you and for me.

Each new day we wake,

His presence so near;

His love evident,

As hope is made clear.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are always good and loving and kind. Thank You that evidence of Your nearness is everywhere. Thank You that You make Your heart known to us. Forgive us for not recognizing Your goodness and grace that grants us each new day. Teach us to praise You with each new breath, for You alone are worthy of all thanks and praise. Show us how to love those around us in ways that make Your heart and hope evident. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You for Your goodness and Your faithful love forever. Amen.

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

I will sing the Lord’s praise, for He has been good to me. – Psalm 13:6

All for Good

We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. – (Romans 8:28, HCSB)

We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love Him. These are the people God chose, because that was His plan. – (Romans 8:28, ERV)

We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan. – (Romans 8:28, VOICE)

This does not say that all things happen for good, or have been caused by God. However, God can bring good from even the worst of things if we allow Him room to move. For example, there is nothing good about sickness, disease, or injuries. The good is how God can use such things to grow our faith, show us His power, and lead us to something more than we imagined before. Additionally, He shows us He is good as He loves, supports, encourages and surrounds us. Love is made tangible, even in the midst of great struggle or suffering. Our circumstances are not always good, but God always is good. May we ever seek the Lord to show us who He is, even in the midst of challenges and difficulty; for He is faithful to be present for those who seek Him.

Because God is good,

He moves through all things;

Hope in our heartache,

Strength and peace He brings.

In love, He takes hold,

Of extended hands;

He lifts and He leads,

So we again stand.

Choose look to the Lord,

In each circumstance;

Watch how the Lord moves,

When given the chance.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are able to work all things out for good for those who love and trust in You. Thank You that You are the same God that brings beauty from ashes and hope from despair. Thank You that You have shown Yourself faithful time and time again. Forgive us for our fears and doubts when we cannot see past our circumstances. Teach us to look to You, for You grant us Your eyes to see the hope held beyond what we are seeing or experiencing right now. Show us how to love and encourage those around us, so that they too come to know and understand that You bring good, always. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we look to You to lead us, and trust the hope that we hold in You forever. Amen.

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

But You are near me, Lord, and all Your commands can be trusted. – Psalm 119:151

Help Each New Day

But I call to You for help, Lord; in the morning my prayer meets You. – (Psalm 88:13, HCSB)

Lord, I am asking You to help me! Early each morning I pray to You. – (Psalm 88:13, ERV)

But I am calling out to You, Eternal One. My prayers rise before You with every new sun! – (Psalm 88:13, VOICE)

When we start the day seeking God, our hearts are in the right space and we are making room for God to move. No, He does not need our permission, yet His Father’s heart for us is that He wants His kids to seek and ask, inviting Him into every part of our day. As we do, He is faithful to meet us, walk beside us, and remind us of His loving kindness. The state of the world today is our ever-present reminder to seek Him. May we look to the Lord to be our help, for His mercies are new every morning.

O Lord, each morning,

We seek You anew;

To help and lead us,

And see the day through.

We call upon You,

Our help and our hope;

To begin each day,

With promises spoke.

Your promised presence,

And love that abounds;

Purpose empowered,

In You, help is found.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that each new day we can rise and seek You to be our help and our hope. Thank You that You are faithful to meet us when we seek You. Forgive us for the times that we have not sought You. Teach us to trust You and turn to You in all things and at all times. Show us Your power and Your loving kindness anew. Lead us to love those around us in ways that give help and strength to persevere in all things. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we call on You for help and pray to You at the start of each new day. Amen.

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

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. Therefore my heart rejoices, and I praise Him with my song. – Psalm 28:7