To Be Like Mom

Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone. – (Colossians 4:6, NLT)

When you talk, you should always be kind and wise. Then you will be able to answer everyone in the way you should. – (Colossians 4:6, ERV)

 

Both my mom and her mom before her, are living examples of this verse in action. My grandmother is wise and kind, and her grace and love is apparent with all whom she shares conversation. People are drawn to her, and they seek her out for answers and affirmation. Her daughter, my own mother, has learned well from her. She too, is the sort of person who draws others in with her kindness and grace, and she speaks from a heart that seeks God’s wisdom, rather than her own. I know that not all are so blessed to either still have their mothers present on earth, or to have been given a mom whose heart was after God’s. The remarkable thing about the Lord is that He takes our places of lack, and fills them. Who are the wise and kind women that have been placed your life to help guide you and model what it is to be the sort of person to which the Lord has called? He shows us how we are to seek Him, find Him and know Him, so that we too, may be gracious and kind – responding in the way that is right. Let every word that leaves our lips be kind and full of wisdom granted by the Lord. May we answer all according to His will, and not our own.

 

Let conversations,photo

Be full of God’s grace;

So others may choose,

To seek the Lord’s face.

For when we respond,

In love and we’re kind;

People see Jesus,

True hope, theirs to find.

Just as sweet mothers,

Have loved us so well;

May we do likewise,

Let truth our hearts tell.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the precious gift of mothers, grandmothers, and godly women that You have placed upon our paths to love and care for us well. Thank You that these gifts have modeled what it means to speak with kindness and wisdom, so that we may answer everyone in the way in which You intended. Forgive us for not slowing down to seek You before responding, or for speaking out of anger or frustration rather than out of the grace and love that You give in abundance to us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would depend on You to lead and guide our every conversation so that our words would be those that honor You. Show us how to love others as You love each of us through our conversations and words that we choose to use. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we allow You to lead our conversations and fill our words with wisdom and kindness toward all others. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno 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. – Ephesians 2:4-5

Love One Another

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – (John 13:34-35)

 

These words, spoken by Jesus to His disciples on the night on which He was betrayed, are words meant to lead and guide all that we say and do. If we choose to follow Christ, then we are choosing love. Not only are we opting to love God, but we are signing up to love all those whom we encounter. We are to love those who love us back, and those who are unkind to us. He calls us to love the unloveable, the lonely, the destitute and distraught, just as much as He calls us to love our family and our friends. When we truly love others, people see a difference in us and desire to have what we have. However, if we do not love, they are repelled by what we claim is ours. We bear a weighty responsibility through the choices that we make, yet the reward of watching another come to know that they too, can be the recipients of our Redeemer’s remarkable, unconditional, unending love, is worth the sacrifice of our own selfishness to give love away. May we rise up and choose to love anew, each day.

 

God has commanded,Diligent for All of Our Days

that we choose to love;

all those around us,

as Christ has above.

For He has shown us,

what we are to do;

to love as He loves,

model what is true.

As we are willing,

to love anyway;

people will see Him,

through what we display.

Be His disciples,

follow His commands;

love without limits,

lift up with these hands.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You command us to love one another as You have loved us. Thank You that You showed us what that looks like through the gift of Your Son. Thank You that when we do as You ask, people will know that it is You in us, that provides the ability to love. Forgive us for being disobedient, or selective in whom we choose to love. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will walk in complete obedience to truly love ALL as You call us to love. Lead us and guide us – help us to hear You clearly, and then obey immediately, all the ways in which You ask us to love well, those who are around us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified Lord God, as we love one another as You have loved us. Amen.

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

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

Wait to Hear

I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. – (John 5:25)

 

We had a guest speaker in church yesterday who had a great message to share. One of the things that Doug Bursch (@gcfw.org) asked, was “Does God speak to us?” There was a resounding “yes”, but he followed with a few more questions that grabbed everyone’s attention. “Do you hear Him speak?” “If not, are you waiting on Him?” “Are you investing time in His word?” We can only hear and gain life if we are invested enough to seek and listen to the truth. Our source of truth, daily, should come from the word of God, and time spent before Him in prayer. If we are gaining our insight from social media, rather than the word of God, we are not hearing from Him. The above quoted verse from John is part of words spoken by Jesus. His point was that there will be those who are dead in their sin who will come to hear His voice and find eternal life. If we are listening to Him, we are available to offer what He has to those around us. May we be fully invested in His word and waiting on Him, so that we may go forth in peace, extending the love and grace that God alone equips us to offer.

 

Let us come before,

Waiting

the time has arrived;

to wait on the Lord,

where hope’s realized.

Though waiting is hard,

it’s always worthwhile;

for God has purpose,

as we tread each mile.

He teaches our hearts,

and our faith He’ll grow;

so when times are tough,

the truth we will know.

As we’re invested,

He grants us the words;

to lift up others,

so His heart is heard.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to live among us, and model what a life well-lived in You ought to be. Thank You Jesus for taking all of our sin and shame upon Yourself, so that we could have life abundant in You. Forgive us for our lack of patience in waiting on You, and teach us to trust You more, so that we will wait with perseverance, no matter how long You call us to wait. Lead us to love well, all those whom we encounter. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we wait on You, then go forth in obedience to whatever You ask. Amen.

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

I thank and praise You, O God of my fathers: You have given me wisdom and power. – Daniel 2:23

Righteousness Through Love

Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people. – (Proverbs 14:34)

 

Righteousness, to be right before God, requires that we do as the Lord calls us to do. God does not call us to condemn, but rather, He calls us to love. The greatest command is this: to love God and love one another. Our lack of love towards God or each other is a sin, and that will be our downfall. If we have a neighbor in need, and are too busy looking at what is wrong in the world to make right what is before us and within reach, we are not walking in love. May we rise up and reach out to those standing before us, and extend the same love that the Lord has given unto us. It is in His love, that we will be walking in righteousness before Him, lest we stand condemned in our own prideful sin.

 

There’s only one way,Asking for Amazing Answers

to walk righteously;

to love as God loves,

so trapped are set free.

Not one who is stuck,

in the mire of sin;

will want to get out,

if they feel condemned.

We must offer love,

with God’s endless grace;

so those who are lost,

may soon see His face.

Let our lives model,

compassion and love;

so pursuing God,

is sought far above.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You exalt those who walk right before You, but condemn those who stay in sin. Father forgive us for our sinfulness and our self-righteousness. Forgive us for not loving as You call us to love. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will reach out to the need that is before us, and choose to love as You love us. Lead us to those who are in need, and show us how You would have us love as You love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, as Your loving kindness is made evident before them, again and again. Be glorified O God, as we choose to walk out our days, loving You and loving people, as You have called us to do. 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 25:6

Grow Not Weary of Doing Good

It is a hard road when blatant opposition is directed at us, individually. The temptation to retaliate either with words or actions, is far greater than the pull to take the high road. However, when we are rooted and established in Christ, we are called to a higher standard. Despite direct assault on our countenance, character, or any other aspect of who we are or what we do, we are directed to do the right thing. This is not to say that we are meant to stand and submit to being someone’s doormat, but rather, when opposition comes, we must choose to do right by God. Rather than retaliation, we are to return kindness for cruelty and silence for slander. Walking away from what we were never meant to be a part of, is also a method of mimicking our Maker. Throughout the gospels, Jesus did each of these, when He stood in the face of opposition. He healed despite disbelief; He kept quiet when He was slandered and spit upon; and He slipped away quietly through the crowd when they intended to harm Him.

 

And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right. – (2 Thessalonians 3:13)

 

This is both a charge and a calling for all who believe. Though we may tire and grow weary of doing the right thing in our own strength, the Lord will lead and equip us to continue to choose to do the next right thing, if we are willing to trust and rely on His leading. Each of us has the choice. We can respond in anger and frustration when opposition comes, or we can model the character of Christ, despite the desires of those who intend to defeat us. May we trust in Him who is more than able to lead and equip us in every situation to choose well, so that we do not grow weary of doing what is right.

 

Let’s not grow weary,Faith and Hope in Action

of doing what’s right;

stand strong in the Lord,

and fight the good fight.

Sometimes in silence,

always staying bold;

for we know the truth,

may justice unfold.

When we’re called to speak,

may truth and grace reign;

so all that is false,

returns to the flames.

Our God is able,

to lead and supply;

us through our trials,

on Christ, let’s rely.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to not grow weary in doing good. Thank You that You do not just call us to do this, but You sent Your Son to show us what it looks like, and Your Spirit to equip and empower us to do the same. Forgive us for our weariness in the fight, especially when opposition seems relentless. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may rise up and return kindness for cruelty, silence for slander, and wisdom to know when to stay, and when to walk away. Lead us to love boldly, just as You so brilliantly and individually love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, Lord. Be exalted O God, as we rely on Your strength, so that we do not grow weary in doing good. Amen.

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

Show me Your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths; …my hope is in You all day long. – Psalm 25:4-5

Glorify with the Gifts

On this first day of a brand new year, a world of possibilities awaits. God has not called us to live ordinary and mundane lives, hiding the gifts that He has granted each of us, but rather He has called us to rise up and walk with Him, into the extraordinary, as we operate in the gifts that He has given. When we go where He calls and do as He asks, lives are touched and dreams are made new. He moves when we are willing to step out in faith. The Lord’s faithfulness is not because we are somehow worthy, but because He, as God on high, is good. It seems fitting that we respond just as Mary did, as follows:

And Mary said: “My soul glorified the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has been mindful of the humble state of His servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me – holy is His Name. – (Luke 1:46-49)

What we do now matters. Our children and our children’s children will be impacted by our faithfulness. If we model a life pursuing Christ, they will notice and seek to serve Him as well. Let us share of His faithfulness, for He has done great things for each of us, and is worthy of all of our worship and praise.

May we humbly seek,

IMG_0603 the will of the Lord;

in all faithfulness,

the gifts we’ll afford.

All He has given,

for us to return;

so others may come,

and of Christ they’ll learn.

Let our hearts rejoice,

in the Mighty One;

He’s mindful of us,

Spirit, Father, Son.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are mindful of us. Thank You that when we come to You, You receive us as we are, and transform our hearts and minds to be more like Yours. Thank You for the great things that You have done for us. Thank You that we have Your presence now and hope for all of eternity. Forgive us for not glorifying You, or rejoicing in You for who You are, regardless of our circumstances. Help us to remember that You never change. Teach us to trust You more, so that we have a proper perspective on whatever comes our way. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they too may understand the blessings that You provide as our God and Savior. May many come into a saving relationship with You in this brand new year. Be exalted O God, as we glorify You with the gifts You have granted each of us, and rejoice in who You are. Amen.

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

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. – Genesis 1:3

He is the King

“You are a king, then!” said Pilate. – (John 18:37)

 

Though Pilate recognized the truth about Jesus, he chose to reject the truth that stood before him for the sake of pleasing the masses. Many find themselves at a similar crossroad at Christmas. They hear the truth of who Christ is, and must decide to either receive and embrace the truth, or to reject the Redeemer before them, for the sake of upholding sin and selfishness. As believers, we must model a life lived for Christ. If His love does not clearly flow through us, what possible appeal will the truth hold for those who know Him not? May we be vessels of His light and love unto the world, and may many come to embrace the truth of who Christ is this Christmas.

 

Though many have heard,Majesty Moved from the Cradle to the Cross

they have not embraced;

the mercy of Christ,

as sin He erased.

Jesus is much more,

than infant domain;

He’s the Mighty King,

from His throne, He reigns.

May each seeking heart,

hear the truth, made plain;

and receive the Lord,

to come rule and reign.

Let each heart who knows,

go forth and love well;

shining light and life,

may our lives truth tell.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that regardless of a person’s decision to accept or reject the truth, the truth remains. Thank You that You are the King. Thank You that You came into the world to testify the truth so that all might come to know You. Forgive us for not embracing the truth we know, or for neglecting to stand firm in all things and at all times. Teach us to trust You more, so that we completely rely on You. May we trust the truth, no matter what comes our way. Lead us to love others as You love us, so that many may be directed to embrace the truth that is found in You alone. Be exalted O God, as we live and love in such a way, that the truth we embrace is evident. Amen.

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

For the Lord your God will bless you, …and your joy will be complete. – Deuteronomy 16:15

Hold Fast to Truth

“If you hold to My teaching you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” – (John 8:31b-32)

 

Jesus is the truth that sets us free from the sin and deception that seek to entangle us. When we commit our lives to Christ, and invest our hearts and minds into learning Who He is, we are considered His disciples. However, we must not simply be readers of His word, but also doers of His word. Disciples display faith in action. As freedom is found and truth is made known, our lives should actively reflect His presence in us. May we embrace His teachings so that we know the truth, and walk boldly in the freedom that Christ bestows upon His beloved.

 

Let us each hold fast,His Mighty Power

to God’s Holy Word;

where the truth is found,

and freedom is heard.

When we choose embrace,

the teachings of Christ;

we must also move,

model a changed life.

The truth that we know,

should be evident;

in how we go forth,

in Christ, we’re content.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we come to You and seek to know You, we find You. Thank You that You reveal Yourself to us, and set us free from the sin and deception that entangle us. Thank You that equip and empower us to do Your will, as we actively seek You. Forgive us for not investing in our relationship with You, or for not holding fast to the truth of Your Word. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will be quick to hold fast to all that You have promised, no matter how things appear. Lead us to be faithful doers and not mere talkers. Help us to love others as You so abundantly love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You this season, as they encounter the truth of who You are, and what You have done for them, individually. Be exalted O God, as we actively reflect Your presence in us. 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

A Pattern for Prayer

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. – (Colossians 1:9-12)

 

In this passage, Paul provides a marvelous model of how we can pray for leaders and missionaries. Even if we do not know the individuals for which we are praying, the basic needs to serve well are the same. Each of us needs to: understand God’s will, gain spiritual wisdom, please and honor God, bear good fruit, grow in the knowledge of God, be filled with His strength, have great endurance and patience, remain full of Christ’s joy, and give thanks always. (NIV footnotes) May our hearts be prompted to pray for those in positions of power and influence, both in the church and out on the mission field.

 

Help me remember,A Pattern for Prayer

to constantly pray;

for all those serving,

faithful in Your way.

May each know Your will,

gain wisdom in You;

to You, be pleasing,

as they bear good fruit.

Let their knowledge grow,

fill them with Your strength;

grant them endurance,

to go the whole length.

Fill them with Your joy,

and deep gratitude;

so many may see,

Your love they exude.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of godly leaders. Thank You for Your word and the wisdom You provide. Thank You that even when we do not know how we ought to pray, You provide parameters to guide us. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit, who will speak to our hearts, if we simply will be still and listen. Forgive us for our lack of faithfulness in supporting those You have called to lead and to go out to the ends of the earth, both prayerfully and financially. Show us what we are meant to do, individually, and grant us the courage and the faithfulness to do as You ask. Lead us to love others as You so practically and readily love each of us. May many come into a saving knowledge of You this season. Be glorified Lord God, as we pray for those whom You have called to lead. Amen.

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

Show me Your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths; …my hope is in You all day long. – Psalm 25:4-5