Tend to This Temple

Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. – (2 Corinthians 7:1, NIV)

Dear friends, we have these promises from God. So, we should make ourselves pure – free from anything that makes our body or our soul unclean. Our respect for God should make us try to be completely holy in the way we live. – (2 Corinthians 7:1, ERV)

With promises like this to pull us on, dear friends, let’s make a clean break with everything that defiles or distracts us, both within and without. Let’s make our entire lives fit and holy temples for the worship of God. – (2 Corinthians 7:1, MSG)

 

Each one of us who claims Christ as our King, is a temple in which His Spirit dwells. Our charge, as one who tends His temple, is to be mindful of our body and spirit, so as to nourish our very being with what we take in. When we fuel and care for our bodies well and spend time in His word, our thoughts align with His and our bodies are better equipped to do that to which we are called. The decision to be wise with what we opt consume – physically, mentally and emotionally, is an act of reverence to the very One who created us. May we make clean breaks from all that distracts or defiles us so that we may become fit and holy temples for He who dwells within us.

 

Lord, help us be wise, strength-in-waiting

With things that we choose;

For heart, mind and soul,

Your way, let’s pursue.

In You, there is truth,

Love, laughter and light;

Sound mind and body,

True space of delight.

Lord, may this temple,

Be prepared for You;

Help me to tend well,

And walk in Your truth.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You come and dwell in all who call on Your Name. Thank You that You created each one of us to be a temple for Your Holy Spirit. Forgive us for the times that we have neglected the care of either body, mind or spirit, as all work together for You. Teach us to trust You more, as You lead and provide what we need to be a suitable space for Your Spirit. Show us how to love those around us in a way that models and provides care for mind, body and spirit in each one. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to lead and guide the decisions we make about how to best tend the temple You have provided. Amen.

 

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

 

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? – 1 Corinthians 3:16

Listen for Wisdom

Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life. – (Proverbs 19:20, NLT)

Listen to advice and accept discipline, then you, too, will become wise. – (Proverbs 19:20, ERV)

 

Wisdom comes over time, through actively seeking to know and understand. My mom models this principle, much like her mother before her. She pursues new learning wherever she can, and reads constantly. Her circle of friends is vast and diverse, exposing her to a wide knowledge base, even in her social arena. Today is the day that we celebrate her birth, and I am beyond blessed to call her my Mom. She loves with her whole heart, and gives all of herself to those whom she loves and whatever she does. Her wisdom is not flaunted, but sweet and subtle, just as her mother before her. However, when a conversation of depth is covered, the years of actively pursuing truth is evident, and I still call my mom to ask her how to do things and want her to be pleased with the things that I say and do. May we give thanks for the moms who raised us, or those who came alongside us to show us what it is to mother well.

 

All thanks be to God, Mom

For my own mother;

Whose wisdom and strength,

Led like no other.

As she sought advice,

Her wisdom and grace;

Showed me how to live,

To run well, my race.

Thank You, dear Jesus,

For this precious gift;

For my loving Mom,

All praise to You, lift.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we seek advice and instruction from You, You give us wisdom. Thank You for my mom and her mom before her that have modeled this so beautifully for me. Please bless and keep her today and always, as she is a treasure that I am so grateful to have in my life. Forgive us for not seeking You for advice and instruction, and teach us to remember that all wisdom that lasts, comes from You. Show us how to love and appreciate those whom You have placed in our path to both parent us, and for us to do the same. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek wisdom and instruction from You, so that we might be wise in the ways that You are calling us to go. Amen.

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

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad. – 1 Chronicles 16:31

Reverence Reveals His Joy

The Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love. – (Psalm 147:11, NIV)

The Lord enjoys people who worship Him and trust in His faithful love. – (Psalm 147:11, ERV)

But His joy is in those who reverence Him, those who expect Him to be loving and kind. – (Psalm 147:11, TLB)

 

God is far greater than we can begin to grasp. He is both our loving Father and Almighty God. The Lord is worthy of all of our worship and adoration, and we ought to have a reverent respect full of awe and wonder at all that He is, has done, and ever will be. We bring Him joy and delight as we trust Him, and allow our hearts to hope in His unfailing love. Let every heart trust in His unending love as we offer our worship in reverent awe of who He is and how He loves.

 

To be the delight,Refreshment Through Repentance

Of our Holy God;

We must trust His love,

With hope, stand in awe.

We need choose revere,

His power and might;

Trust unfailing love,

To be His delight.

God is always good,

And His love is true;

Let every heart hope,

In Christ, be made new.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for loving us without limits, and for delighting in us when we trust in You with the reverence that is due. Forgive us for not giving You proper praise, or for questioning the character or nature of who You are, as Your love never fails. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would not place human parameters on Your nature or character, but instead, in reverence and awe, would recognize the enormity of Your unfailing, faithful love for all who call on Your Name. Show us how to love those around us in a way that models our reverence for You and the hope that we hold in Your love that never fails. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we worship You and trust in Your unfailing love. Amen.

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

Shout aloud and sing for joy. – Isaiah 12:6

Love Breaks Down Barriers

Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.”

The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”

Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” – (John 4:7,9-10)

 

I so appreciate this exchange between Jesus and the Samaritan woman. He models for us how we can break down social and cultural barriers, and approach people where they are. Though society would have deemed her unworthy – to acknowledge, let alone speak to – Jesus approached her directly and spoke to her face to face. He was kind, honest, and offered the hope she had so long been looking for. As followers of Christ, we are called to do likewise. Our job is to break down barriers that society deems necessary, and show the world that they are not. We must touch the “untouchable“, love the “unlovable“, give voice to the silent, and meet the needs of those without. So many are misunderstood, misrepresented, and labeled as a result of their circumstances. May we be the ones who answer the call to love our neighbors as Christ has loved us – no barriers, no limits, just love.

 

The Lord, He calls us,Hearts of Thanks

To tear down the walls;

That keep us away,

from hurt who fall.

We’re meant to draw near,

To reach out our hands;

To help and to love,

The way God has planned.

May we be aware,

Help our eyes to see;

Where we’re called to go,

And how to meet needs.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son into the world to show us how to love as You love us. Thank You that though we were broken and sinful and needy, You came near and loved us back to life. Forgive us for not extending the same kindness to all whom we encounter. Teach us to trust You more, so that regardless of how things appear, we would offer what we have been given – kindness and grace. Show us how to love others as You so perfectly love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we approach those whom society has somehow deemed unworthy, and let Your love give worth to all. 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

In and Out of Season

Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. – (2 Timothy 4:2)

 

Preaching the Word does not just mean speaking the truth, but it also includes living a life that models what we believe. So often it is our actions that open opportunities for conversation, not our words.

To be prepared in season and out of season, is to always be ready to serve God whenever and wherever He asks. It is rarely convenient, and often in unlikely places, yet it is always for His light to shine.

Correct, rebuke and encourage are core requirements for parents who love their children. In order to grow, we need to be corrected when we are off course, rebuked when we intentionally go the wrong direction, and encouraged when we choose wisely. Just as children need guidance to grow, we too need direction to grow in God’s grace.

The guidance given must be done with great patience and careful instruction in order for the recipient to be ready to receive what is being offered. Just as children thrive when they are under the tutelage of one who is patient and carefully instructs, so too are we.

 

Lord may we offer,Dew and Dandilion

the truth of Your word;

always in season,

a time to be heard.

Let all that we say,

be backed by action;

may Your truth be clear,

holy transaction.

Correct us Lord God,

show us all our ways;

that don’t honor You,

and lead us to change.

Encourage what’s right,

and lead us in grace;

to shine bright for You,

each day of our race.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word. Thank You for the clear instructions that You give us, and for Your Holy Spirit who equips us to do as You ask. Forgive us for not doing what You have called us to do, and grant us the strength and the courage to rise up and trust You more so that we may be ready in all things and at all times to do whatever You ask. Lead us to love, correct, rebuke and encourage as You would have us do, and help us to be receptive to the same. May many come into a saving relationship with You this season. Be glorified Lord God, as we preach Your Word through our attitudes and actions as well as our words. Amen.

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

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine upon us. – Psalm 67:1

Watching for Wisdom

In Acts 11, just after Peter had gone into the home of Cornelius – the generous, God-seeking, Roman centurion, and had witnessed the mighty move of the Holy Spirit among Gentiles, he faced Jewish believers and their countless questions as to why on earth he had gone into the presence of those considered unclean. Peter unpacked all that had transpired prior to his encounter with Cornelius and company, followed by all that God had done while he had been with them in obedience. When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.” – (Acts 11:18)

 

The example set by the early church models how we ought to handle disagreements today. Though they were shocked at the very idea that Peter had done something so counter cultural, they asked questions, then listened to his answers before going off the deep end. In fact, once they heard the entire story, they praised God. Rather than judging behaviors of fellow believers, it is critical that we hear one another out. We never know what the Holy Spirit is doing in and through others, until we ask and listen. May we listen well so that we learn all that He is trying to teach us through others.

 

Often the way things,Watching for Wisdom

seemingly appear;

are not what we think,

but God’s new frontier.

The way that He moves,

is not to be mapped;

instead His power,

should be sought and tapped.

When we are confused,

unsure of what’s seen;

He calls us to ask,

find out what things mean.

If we then listen,

He will make it known;

if the move is His,

or one on their own.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are a loving and all-inclusive God. Thank You that no one is excluded from Your love. Thank You that You desire to reach everyone – people from every nation and walk of life, regardless of where we have been. Forgive us for being judgmental or leery of the new or unknown, rather than asking questions and truly listening to hear what You have to say. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may ask and listen for answers. Help us to love as You so graciously love each of us. Let those who are looking, be found forever in You. Be exalted, O God, as we seek to hear Your will, even in the new. Amen.

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

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

Living Waters Flow

Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him. – (John 7:38)

 

In this passage, Jesus was speaking to a crowd in the temple courts. His words of life were offered before all who stood around Him, and despite the antagonizing of the Pharisees, many among them, believed. The streams of living water Jesus spoke of indicated the promise of eternal life. His Holy Spirit is our Source from which living water flows – not only for today, but for all of eternity. If we choose to believe and trust what His word says to be true, and allow Him to be Lord of our lives, living water will dwell in us and flow from us, both now and forevermore. May we each embrace the entirety of His word, and allow Jesus to rule and reign in our lives. Let Your living water flow from us, Lord God.

 

Nothing satisfies,Living Waters Flow

our insatiable thirst;

except for Jesus,

with His love, we’re immersed.

As we choose believe,

our soul comes to know life;

His living waters,

come fill up and revive.

When our hearts are filled,

from us too shall outpour;

our eternal hope,

a life that models more.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we believe in You, and place our trust in You, You come and fill us with Your living waters to the point of overflowing. Thank You that You send Your Spirit to dwell in us, so that we may extend some of what has been given to us, unto others. Thank You that in You, we have security and hope, not only for today, but forever. Forgive us for losing sight of eternity when life gets difficult, and help us to keep a proper perspective on the finite. Teach us to trust You in all things at all times, so that Your living water may continually be pouring out of us, as Your vessels of hope to those who do not yet know You. May many come to know You as their Savior and King, and hold the hope that Your living waters bring. Be exalted as we allow Your living waters to dwell in us and flow through us today. Amen.

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

Because of the tender mercy of our God, …the rising sun will come to us from heaven. – Luke 1:78