The Ultimate Love

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. – (John 3:16, NIV)

Yes, God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him would not be lost but have eternal life. – (John 3:16, ERV)

For this is how much God loved the world – He gave His one and only, unique Son as a gift. So now everyone who believes in Him will never perish but experience everlasting life. – (John 3:16, TPT)

 

Because God loved us, His created, so much, He sent His Son to make Himself tangible and approachable to all. Jesus made the way for all who choose to believe, to have life eternal in Him. This blessed assurance provides hope, peace, comfort and removes fear from all that lies ahead. No matter how tumultuous life can become, there is so much more waiting for us when our time here is done. Though we mourn loss of loved ones as we have to adjust to life without their tangible presence, we may also rejoice for those who know Him, as they enter into eternal glory. Additionally, when we know the Lord as well, goodbye is really just a “see you later.” One day, we will be reunited with those who have gone before us to be with the Lord. Imagine the celebration that will take place when we see Jesus face-to-face, and again join with loved ones who have gone ahead of us. May we rejoice in the incredible love that God has for each of us, as His Son showed us what He is like and how greatly He truly loves.

 

The ultimate love, Healed Hands Reach Out

Chooses truly see;

Past every flaw,

And looks to meet needs.

There’s no greater love,

Than God’s sacrifice;

A love undeserved,

Paid ultimate price.

A death undeserved,

In our place He chose;

Faced the darkest grave,

And third day, He rose.

He went on ahead,

To prepare a place;

For all who believe,

His welcome embrace.

May we look to God,

Ever seek His face;

Trust all that He is,

And unending grace.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that because You loved, we too, may come to know love. Thank You for the precious gift of Your Son, who made love tangible for all to see and understand. Forgive us for the times that we let go of hope and allow our struggles to define what we see. Teach us to trust You more, so that despite the hard things that we walk through and endure, there is everlasting hope to be held in You. Show us how to love those around us in a way that demonstrates Your love and provides hope for what is yet to come. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we thank You and praise You for our everlasting hope, and embrace the grace that You alone give. Amen.

 

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

 

In Your unfailing love you will lead the people You have redeemed. In Your strength You will guide them to Your holy dwelling. – Exodus 15:13

The Lens of Love

The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. – (1 Samuel 16:7b, NLT)

God doesn’t look at what people see. People judge by what is on the outside, but the Lord looks at the heart. – (1 Samuel 16:7b, ERV)

God doesn’t look at things like humans do. Humans only see what is visible to the eyes, but the Lord sees into the heart. – (1 Samuel 16:7b, CEB)

 

I am so grateful that God sees beyond the exterior that we present to the world and gets to the heart of the matter. He sees faith, hope and love, even when the world cannot. God will take the smallest seed of good and grow it into something greater. People tend to notice faults, whereas God sees strength and beauty and potential in the glory of His created. The more we seek and depend on Him, the more we begin to see others through His eyes. May we pursue the Lord with our whole hearts so that we may see others through the lens of His love.

 

Judge not appearance, the-lens-of-love.jpg

Of all those you see;

But look at the heart,

And love lavishly.

For that which is seen,

It never will last;

Yet the heart God sees,

Created, steadfast.

Let’s look at others,

Through Love’s lavish lens;

To see true beauty,

And choose grace extend.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not look at us the same way that people do. Thank You that You look past how things appear and get straight to the heart. You see and You know the heart of the matter, and You love us through it all. Thank You that Your love shows us how we are meant to love one another. Forgive us for the times that we judge people or circumstances based on what we see. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would look to You to learn the heart rather than superficial appearances. Show us how to see others through Your lens of love so that we can extend the same goodness and grace to others that we have so generously been given. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek to see others through Your lens of love. 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

Seek to Know

God looks down from heaven on the entire human race; He looks to see if anyone is truly wise, if anyone seeks God. – (Psalm 53:2, NLT)

From heaven the one True God examines the earth to see if any understand the big picture, if any seek to know the true God. – (Psalm 53:2, VOICE)

God looks down from heaven to see if there is anyone who is wise, anyone who looks to Him for help. – (Psalm 53:2, ERV)

 

The Lord is not looking for those who “have it all together” and think that they know all the answers that they need to navigate life well, but rather He desires the hearts of those who earnestly seek Him. As we come to recognize our own need for the Lord and His help, wisdom comes our way. It is only in knowing our need for God that we desperately desire more and more of Him. Incredibly, as we seek Him, we find Him, and He is faithful to answer all that we ask. Answers may not appear the way we would anticipate, but His ways are higher than our ways, and His plans are always best. May we ever seek the Lord and His help, as we come to know our own need for His hand in our lives.

 

God’s ever seeking,Beside Still Waters

Those who seek Him too;

Hearts longing for help,

To know what is true.

As we choose to search,

We always shall find;

The Lord’s path made plain,

It is His design.

Wisdom is granted,

To all those who seek;

God shows us the way,

He’s faithful to speak.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we seek You, You are already available and waiting for us. Thank You that wisdom is found by those who seek Your will and Your way. Forgive us for not always seeking You. Teach us to trust You more, as You alone hold the answers to all of our questions. Show us how to walk out our faith in love, so that we love those around us well. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek to know You well, as all wisdom and understanding come from You. Amen.

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

God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me. – Genesis 21:6

We Are One

For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ. – (Galatians 3:26-28, NLT) 

 

God looks at us through the lens of His Son. Not one of us is more or less worthy than another, but rather we are equally covered and called clean by what Christ has done for us on the cross. Our part is to trust in Him, believe that His grace is enough, and move forward as one body in the freedom that we’ve been given so that we may go forth and love as we are loved. May we each embrace our status as children of God, and walk out our days as one body, determined to love God and love people as God so lavishly loves each of us.

 

We are the children, not-defined-by-a-day

Of God our great King;

United with Christ,

Such love the Lord brings.

Through our own choosing,

To receive the gift;

Our faithful pursuit,

Grants us a soul lift.

For through this union,

We have been made new;

Cleansed and called righteous,

One body in You.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can be called Your children when we choose to place our trust in Jesus and what He did on our behalf. Thank You that through baptism, we are united with Christ, and covered and called clean before You. Thank You that You see Christ in us, rather than the guilt and shame that we carry. Forgive us for not receiving all that You are offering, or for somehow holding onto that which You have already forgiven. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would receive all that You offer, and see others through Your eyes. Show us how to love as You love, so that we may move as one body, with one purpose, as You have called us to love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we go forth and love as we are loved. Amen.

 

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

 

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

Look to the Heart

But The Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by the outward appearance, but The Lord looks at the heart.” – (1 Samuel 16:7, NLT)


I am thoroughly enjoying my time at high school camp. People made all sorts of assumptions about teens, and what it might be like to be surrounded by so many for an entire week. These young people have tender hearts that are earnestly seeking our Savior. Despite the struggles and distractions of their day to day, they are hungry to have more of Him. God sees their hearts and is moving in mighty ways. We can’t ever discount anyone based on what we see or think we know; for The Lord sees and knows the heart – and through the heart, comes the remarkable. May we seek The Lord in all things, expecting Him to move mightily in the hearts of all who believe. 
Do not choose discount, 

 One based on what’s seen;

For God sees the heart,

The calling unseen. 

We’re not meant to judge,

To use what we see;

To decide who God,

Will call royalty. 

So often the heart,

Holds treasures unseen;

We need to give room,

For gifts to be freed. 


Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not judge us by height nor appearance, but rather You look at our heart. Forgive us for determining what we think of others based on what we see, rather than leaving room to really know their hearts. Teach us to trust You more, so we would have Your eyes to see the treasure You have created in everyone around us. Show us how to love people in such a way that they might know they are valued as Your created. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we look at the heart of Your people in whom You delight. Amen. 
For The Lord your God will bless you, … and your joy will be complete. – Deuteronomy 16:15


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



Giving Ourselves Away

Calling His disciples to Him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything – all she had to live on.” – (Mark 12:43-44)

Jesus looks at our heart as we give of ourselves. Are we giving out of our excess of time, energy and resources, or are we intentionally setting aside some of ourselves to give away, even if it is costly? It takes faith to give in areas where we do not have an abundance, yet it is often in those very spaces of trust, that we see the mighty hand of God, move in ways we could have never began to imagine. Our willingness creates opportunities to see God’s plan unfold before us. Though God is God, and can move mightily whether we partner with Him or not; we have the incredible blessing of being called to walk beside Him, and partake in His plan as He points us along the path that He has placed before us. Often that road includes giving our time, energy and resources beyond what we would choose to do on our own. That being said, it is in that very space, that we witness the wonders of the work of His mighty hand as He moves in us and through us. May we choose to listen to the Lord’s leading, and freely give of ourselves as He calls us to give.

Give not out of wealth,Listen Learn and Love

but where the Lord calls;

for His ways are best,

for one and for all.

Despite how things seem,

the Lord plans to move;

He does not call us,

to Himself remove.

For His way is blessed,

in that space of trust;

as He moves mountains,

He’s faithful and just.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that though You so often call us to give more of ourselves than we would freely choose to give, when we walk in obedience, You move in miraculous ways. Thank You that You are faithful and trustworthy, and that we need not fear that which You call us to do. Forgive us for our fearfulness and lack of obedience, and teach us to trust You more, so that we would be quick to be generous with our time, our talents and our resources. Lead us to love others well, so that they might clearly see You through us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give ourselves away, as You have so generously given unto us. 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

Love Looks to Act

Luke 10:27-37, is an account of the parable of the Good Samaritan.  The story, is of a man who was traveling toward his destination, when he encountered a band of bad guys who “stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.” (vs. 30)  A priest, one who should have rushed to his aid, being the very nature of his calling; but alas, this man of the cloth, saw the man lying in the road in his horrible state, and crossed the road away from him, and kept walking.  Another man, one whom had been trained in the ways of the law, and again ought to have rushed to the aid of the hurting man, quickly crossed the road and avoided him, hurrying on his way as well.  Finally, a Samaritan, one whom was considered a half-blood, a despised people among the Jews, not only stopped, but came to the rescue of the wounded man, and cared for him beyond just the moment along the side of the road.  He took him to an inn in town, and paid for his care from his own pocket.  Beyond that, he promised to cover any additional expenses that were necessary, all for the sake of an injured stranger.

The question an expert of the law had asked Jesus prior to the telling of the parable, was “And who is my neighbor?” (vs. 29)  After Jesus had told him all of this, Jesus asked the man, “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?”  The expert in the law replied, “the one who had mercy on him.”  Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” (vs. 36-37)

Three principles about loving our neighbor are highlighted in this passage:

1) Lack of love is often easy to justify, even though it is never right.

2) Our neighbor is anyone of any race, creed, or social background who is in need.

3) Love means acting to meet the person’s need.  Wherever you live, there are needy people close by.  There is no good reason for refusing help.  (taken from NIV footnotes)

Love looks at the pain,Who is My Neighbor 2

straight in the hurt face;

it meets it head on,

comes and extends grace.

Love looks at the need,

and offers a hand;

it shares what we have,

and does what it can.

Love makes no excuse,

turns not a blind eye;

it points to the One,

for whom all sin, died.

Love sees through His eyes,

the value of each;

all His created,

our reason to reach.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love and value each and every one of Your created, equally.  Thank You Jesus, for showing us what Love should look like.  For You loved without limits – You touched the untouchable, You spoke to those whom society deemed socially unacceptable, You dined with sinners, and traveled with fishermen – You did not place value on power nor position nor wealth, but rather on those who were willing to set aside their own agendas and choose to follow You.  Forgive us for thinking we are too busy to help, or that we have too little to make a difference.  Help us to know what we are to do, and how we are to help, in all things and at all times.  Thank You that if we slow down and listen, You will whisper what we are to do.  Help us to hear You.  Teach us to listen and love, as You so lavishly love us.  May we be Your hands, heart and voice to the hurting, and may many come to know You through practical presentations of Your provision.  Be glorified in all that we say and do.  Amen.

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