Focus on the Good of Others

Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others. – (1 Corinthians 10:24, NLT)

Try to do what is good for others, not just what is good for yourselves. – (1 Corinthians 10:24, ERV)

We should stop looking out for our own interests and instead focus on the people living and breathing around us. – (1 Corinthians 10:24, VOICE)

 

I never cease to be amazed at how quickly things change when my focus shifts from self to others. Even if my situation does not change, my perspective inevitably does. If someone around me needs encouragement and I find ways and words with which to offer encouragement, I discover that I too, am encouraged in the process. Joy and hope accompany each act of extending ourselves to others. May we fix our gaze outward rather than in, so that we may seek to do good for others, just as the Lord has done for us.

 

Do not be concerned,The Power of the Tongue

For your sense of good;

But do for others,

That which Jesus would.

For we’re being called,

To look out, not in;

Encourage, build up,

Love others like kin.

God in His goodness,

Meets us as we give;

Strengthens and equips,

New life as we live.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to look outside of ourselves to seek to do good for others. Thank You that we need not worry about ourselves, as You are far more capable than we are, so it is best for us to focus our attention on loving You and loving people, allowing You to be who You say You are. Forgive us for not trusting You to be big enough to carry our concerns. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would place the weight of our worries in Your hands, and look to You to show us how to do what is good for those around us. Help us to have open eyes and willing hearts, so that we may see opportunities to love well and act on them. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we focus on loving You and the people that You place all around us. Amen.

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

When times are good, be happy. – Ecclesiastes 7:14

Strength We Lack

I love You, Lord; You are my strength. – (Psalm 18:1, NLT)

I love You, God – You make me strong. – (Psalm 18:1, MSG)

 

Today is the final day before Christmas break. This has been the longest week of the school year thus far. Between a very full moon, the threat of snow, much colder temperatures than usual, and the anticipation of a much needed and long awaited break, both the campus and our classrooms have been engulfed in constant energetic activity. As educators, it takes every ounce of strength we have to attempt to channel that energy into productivity in the classroom. By the time the last bell rings at 2:10, I look back at my disheveled room in awe, and wonder how on earth I managed to navigate another day. In reality, I do know how. My source of strength lies in the Lord, and He meets me in each moment and provides the strength I lack. Despite my weariness, He meets me and restores my strength and joy, granting what is needed to navigate each class period. My love of the Lord grows ever greater, as I recognize His provision and care for me and those around me. May we go forth this day in His strength, ready to finish the week strong, as we trust Him to provide whatever we lack through His loving grace.

 

When weariness comes,Healed Hands Reach Out

And strength is near gone;

The Lord will provide,

Help us carry on.

Let all that we are,

Give Him thanks and praise;

For His loving grace,

Granted all our days.

We love You, O God,

Our strength and our song;

In You there’s enough,

To rise and press on.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of Your grace. Thank You that You meet us where we are and provide the strength that we need to continue in the direction that we are called. We love You Lord for who You are and how You love us so well. Forgive us for not seeking You or giving You the praise that is due Your Name. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would come to You in our need and our plenty, asking for what we need and giving You praise for who You are. Show us how to love those around us in tangible ways, so that they may be strengthened and encouraged to finish well. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give You thanks and praise for the strength You provide for all of our days. We love You Lord. 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

Humility to Honor

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up in honor. – (James 4:10, NLT)

Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet. – (James 4:10, MSG)

 

We must submit to the Lord and His will, in order to create room in our lives for Him to work in and through us. As we choose to humble ourselves before Him, the Lord meets us and honors our faithful pursuit of Him and all that He has planned for us. He grants us strength we did not have, courage we have not known, and the ability to do far more than we ever thought we could, when we place our trust in Him. When we bow our knees before the King, He lifts us to our feet and leads us on the path we’re meant to walk. May we choose to seek our Savior in humility, and watch in awe, as God does abundantly more than we could ever hope or imagine.

 

Let us choose bow down,Beside Still Waters

Before Christ our King;

For humility,

Is what we should bring.

For He is our God,

Ready to lift up;

All who seek His face,

Are filled by His love.

The Lord, He honors,

Those who choose bow down;

Called sons and daughters,

Each receive a crown.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we seek You in humility, You meet us and lift us up. Thank You that You provide all that we need to walk in Your will and follow Your ways. Forgive us for our foolish pride that prevents us from seeking You, and teach us to trust You more, so that we would come to You in all things and at all times, on our knees before You in faith. Show us how to love all those around us, so that they too might see Your goodness and grace through our words and deeds. Lead many to come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we humble ourselves before You, and trust You to do all that You have promised. 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

Hope Never Fails

And hope will never fail to satisfy our deepest need because the Holy Spirit that was given to us has flooded our hearts with God’s love. – (Romans 5:5, VOICE)

 

The Holy Spirit within us grants us hope in our spaces of greatest need. Love from the Lord fills our hearts, and points to the places where hope is held, even when darkness seeks to destroy. It is our charge to look to the Lord when we struggle to hold His hope. He meets us in our moments of need, and floods us with His love. There is a delicate balance between hope for the future, and truly fixing our ultimate hope in Him alone.

Right now, this is a very personal struggle as I wait, not so patiently, for my back to heal from a compression fracture. It has been two very long months, and I am really ready to resume my full activity level with a vengeance. That being said, I must wait and see what the specialist says today after I get a new set of x-rays and he looks at my progress. My hope is that he will say that my back is better and I can return to all activities, but I know that I must really place my hope in the Lord, and trust that He has my very best in mind, and whatever the verdict, I am loved and I am held. God will carry me, regardless of the outcome. If I am cleared, the Lord will grant wisdom as to how I am to resume regular activities. If I am not, He will sustain my sanity, and grant me the grace that is needed to continue to wait for my body to heal.

When we hope in the Lord, we will never be disappointed. His love never fails. Humans fail. God never fails. May we place our trust in Him and allow the Lord to hold our heart and our hope as we go forward into this brand new day.

 

To hope in the Lord,Refreshment Through Repentance

Love that will not fail;

Where people fall short,

The Lord shall prevail.

Let us place our trust,

In He who is love;

Hope that is fulfilled,

By our God above.

Let not the longings,

For things here and now;

Influence our hope,

Of what He’ll allow.

For all that matters,

On our final day;

Is do we trust Him,

Let Him lead the way?

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that hope in You will never fail to satisfy our deepest need because Your Holy Spirit dwells within us, and floods our hearts with Your love. Thank You that no matter what surrounds us, Your hope is ahead of us. Forgive us for our fearfulness and lack of faith when things seem hopeless through our own eyes. Teach us to trust You more, and to hold fast to an eternal perspective rather than one that is temporary. There is so much more than the here and now. Show us how to love others well, so that they too, might see the hope that is found in You alone. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we hope in You and allow Your love to flood our hearts and overflow to those around us. Amen.

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

You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence. – Acts 2:28

Truth Be Told

As Jesus was on the road to Jerusalem and the people began to shout out praise and adoration for all that they had seen through Him, some of the Pharisees objected strongly, and asked Jesus to rebuke those who were following Him.

He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” – (Luke 19:40, ESV)

 

When the truth of God need be told, it will come forth – be it naturally or supernaturally. God often uses unlikely places to speak His truth in a way that helps our hearts to hear Him best. For Jonah, it took time in the belly of a big fish to get his attention. For Saul, who became Paul, he was blinded through a heavenly encounter along the road. For another, a talking donkey; still others, pillars of fire, a burning bush, parted seas, plagues, writing on a wall… The list goes on. God comes close and meets us where we are, so that we might turn to Him and seek His face. In our space of seeking, we come to find His nearness, and how faithful He is to listen to our heart’s cry. He walks beside us through the wilderness, and leads us to safe pasture where we find rest. He is good, and His love endures forever. May we ever speak of the wonders that He has done, so that others too, may hear His heart for people.

 

Let’s not be silent,Confidence in Christ

for we’re called to praise;

speak of His goodness,

for all of our days.

For if not from us,

the truth still be told;

the rocks shall cry out,

all praise to behold.

It is our calling,

what we’re charged to do;

to speak of His love,

and how we’re made new.

It is by His grace,

our story to tell;

may we share in faith,

with hope, it is well.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to participate in the sharing of Your story. Thank You that we each have a story of how You have come into our lives and changed our hearts as we have sought after You. Thank You that You love people so much that if we did not speak the truth of who You are, even the rocks would testify on Your behalf. Forgive us for staying silent when we are meant to speak. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would be courageous and not fear what others might think of us when we share of what You have done for us, personally. Thank You that You have done so much. Show us how to love others so that they may see the hope that is held in You alone. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we speak of Your goodness and grace, and how You love in even the most broken space. Amen.

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

Father, I thank You that You have heard me. – John 11:41

 

 

Day and Night He Loves to Life

But each day the Lord pours His unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing His songs, praying to God who gives me life. – (Psalm 42:8, NLT)

By day the Lord commands His faithful love; by night His song is with me – a prayer to the God of my life. – (Psalm 42:8, CEB)

Yet in the light of day, the Eternal shows me His love. When night settles in and all is dark, He keeps me company – His soothing song, a prayerful melody to the True God of my life. – (Psalm 42:8, VOICE)

 

God’s love for us is not limited. He does not operate on a time clock, nor does He only make Himself available during certain hours of the day. The love of the Lord is being poured out upon us, day and night. When we prayerfully seek Him, He meets us in the moment – to comfort us and remind us of His presence and the hope that we have in Him. The more we seek Him, the more readily His songs rise up within our hearts, and go out to Him in prayer. His faithful love soothes even the weariest of souls, and we are never truly alone when we have the Lord in our lives. May we turn to Christ in prayer, and rest in Him as He pours His unfailing love upon us and soothes us with His sweet songs of life.

 

The love of the Lord,Bold and Unhindered

shall never fail us;

for both day and night,

the Lord hears requests.

As we pray to Him,

He soothes us with song;

grants life unto us,

hope for our life long.

When all things seem dark,

the Lord’s love is light;

that chases away,

all that is not right.

For He is our God,

Who hears each heart cry;

He loves us to life,

and peace He supplies.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You pour out Your unfailing love upon us each new day. Thank You that Your love is not limited to certain times of the day, but day and night – always – You are available and listening, present and willing to meet us in our place of need. Thank You that our prayers are met with Your comfort, and that Your songs soothe the weariest of souls. Thank You that You give us life everlasting in You. Forgive us for placing limits upon You, as if You were a mere man, rather than the Most Holy God, who sees, hears and knows what we need before we even ask. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would come to You in all things and at all times, confident that You will meet us in our moments, as You are always faithful. Show us how to love others in a way that brings comfort and encouragement, just as You comfort and encourage us. May many find hope and life everlasting in You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You and sing Your songs, as You grant us life. Amen.

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

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. – Job 8:21

Wisdom and Insight to the Seeking

Give discernment to me, Your servant; then I will understand Your laws. – (Psalm 119:125, NLT)

I am Your servant. Give me wisdom to understand Your rules. – (Psalm 119:125, ERV)

 

Without God’s wisdom and discernment, we only see things at face value, rather than discovering the deeper truth that we are meant to gain, as we spend time in His word. God is faithful to open our understanding and speak to our hearts, if we seek Him and spend time in His word. It amazes me that each time I read a passage, He highlights new things that I have not seen before, or shows me a new application for my own life. When our earnest pursuit is to understand the things of God through a heart that longs to serve Him, He opens our understanding and provides insight that we could not gain on our own. May we seek the Lord with a heart to serve, and grow in wisdom and insight as He meets us in our faithful pursuit of Him.

 

Give me discernment,The Word of God

as I seek You, Lord;

grant understanding,

to walk in accord.

May I live my life,

in constant pursuit;

of seeking Your face,

and learning Your truth.

Please grant me wisdom,

to know well, Your word;

so I trod Your path,

in truth undeterred.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You give wisdom and discernment to those who earnestly seek You. Thank You that You open our understanding, so that we might know the expectations that You have set before us as to how we ought to live in accordance to Your standards. Forgive us for not seeking You for wisdom and understanding, and help us to seek You in humility and truth. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would listen to Your voice as we spend time in Your word. Show us how to love others in a way that leads them to the light of Your love that never fades. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You for wisdom and discernment, so that we may understand the path You have placed before us, and can walk it well in the strength that only You can provide. 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

Because We Have Heard

Lord God, this is why You are so great! There is no one like You. There is no god except You! We know that because of what we ourselves have heard about what You did. – (2 Samuel 7:22, ERV)

There is nothing quite so uplifting and encouraging, as hearing stories of what God has done in the lives of those around us. God is faithful and kind, and in His great love for us, He does exceedingly more than we could ever hope or imagine. He loves us personally and individually, and He cares about the little things just as much as the big ones. We know God can move mountains, but sometimes it is in the lesser things, that we forget how readily He is willing to move on our behalf. I am continually in awe, as I hear how He meets people in those moments – the ones where they are feeling completely isolated and a friend calls out of the blue, or they are short on what is needed for a bill and a check arrives in the mail… God is not limited in how He can meet us, for there is no one like the Lord. His love is immeasurable, and the lengths He will go to on our behalf, inconceivable. May we recognize the greatness of our God today, as we listen for the reports of His faithfulness through the gratitude of those who are around us.

Lord God, You are great,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

there’s no one like You;

for all You have done,

and Your word is true.

You know us so well,

yet love us the same;

are faithful to help,

those who call Your Name.

You do so much more,

than we dare to dream;

You move our mountains,

and meet all our needs.

You don’t limit love,

but keep giving more;

each day it is new,

and You don’t keep score.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that there is no one like You. Thank You that You are so great, and that You choose to love us! Thank You that You show us who You are and how You love, and You allow us to hear stories of Your faithfulness through those who surround us. Thank You that we each have stories to share as well. Forgive us for not being faithful to speak of all that You have done when another needs to hear. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would be bold to tell our own stories of Your faithfulness as You call us, and not worry about the thoughts of those around us. Show us how to love others with the same love that You give unto us. May many come to know You, personally and completely, as they hear of Your faithfulness. Be glorified O God, as we both listen for what You have done in others, and share of what You have done in our own lives. Amen.

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

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

Love Leads to Safety

He led me to a place of safety; He rescued me because He delights in me. – (2 Samuel 22:20, NLT)
God is gracious and He longs to lead us to spaces of security and safety. He rescues us from our chaos and brings order, because He delights in us. It does not always mean that He removes us from the mess we are in, but He does calm the storm within. However, when where we are is a place that is unsafe and unfit for our well-being, He will provide a way out, and lead us to a place of safety. Because we are His children in whom He delights, it is His joy to rescue us and keep us safe. It is never His desire to see us stuck in circumstances that are destructive, and He will lead us to safety if we are willing to listen to His voice. May we open our ears and hearts to all that He has for us, so that we do not remain in the spaces where we were never meant to stay.

When we find ourselves,Compassion in Confrontations

where we should not be;

we have to listen,

for God sets us free.

Christ shows us the way,

where safety is found;

He rescues in love,

from where we are bound.

We are His delight,

which is why He saves;

each of us hand made,

in Him, we’re made brave.

Rise up and be bold,

fear not as He leads;

for His ways are good,

and He meets our needs.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You lead us to places of safety, and that You rescue us because You delight in us. Thank You that though we find ourselves in destructive circumstances, You don’t leave us there to suffer in silence. Thank You that You desire to bring us out of such spaces and into the shadow of Your wings. Forgive us for turning a deaf ear to what You are calling us to do, or for being too fearful to move where You are leading us to go. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will rise up and follow wherever You call, knowing that You lead us to places of safety and that You give good gifts to Your children in whom You delight. Lead us to love others well, so that they may feel You kindness and grace through us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to lead us to places of safety because we are Your delight. Amen.

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

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. – Psalm 23:6

Use It or Lose It

“Consider carefully what you hear,” He continued, “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you – and even more. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.” – (Mark 4:24-25)

God gives us His grace, mercy and insight, so that we might in turn, give it away. If we receive and believe all that He has done for us, yet do nothing with the truth, we are wasting our greatest gift that was meant to be given away. Incredibly, as we give of ourselves, we are given more. Christ meets us and moves in us, so that we gain greater insight, love more deeply, and desire all the more to display His heart to all whom we encounter. Conversely, if we do nothing, we begin to lose the power and passion that once stirred so strongly within. May we consider carefully all that we hear, and carry the truth He grows within us, to all whom we encounter.

With care consider,Tether Our Hearts

each word that we hear;

from the heart of God,

to our waiting ear.

May His sweet Spirit,

give wisdom and grace;

so that we may grow,

let the truth be raised.

Wherever we go,

whatever we do;

let us choose depend,

on Christ see us through.

As we keep seeking,

choose trust and believe;

He keeps giving more,

of His heart, receive.

Not just for ourselves,

but to touch others;

so all enter in,

sisters and brothers.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we consider carefully what we hear, and we use what You give to us, You in turn, continue to give and refill our hearts and minds with more to give away. Forgive us for keeping the truth that You have planted within us to ourselves, and teach us to trust You more, so that our every word and deed would be a reflection of the truth that dwells within us. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they too, might come to receive all that You have to give. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we take all that You give unto us, and give ourselves away. 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