Tag Archive: multiplied


Every day they met together in the temple and ate in their homes. They shared food with gladness and simplicity. – (Acts 2:46, CEB)

The believers shared a common purpose, and every day they spent much of their time together in the temple area. They also ate together in their homes. They were happy to share their food and ate with joyful hearts. – (Acts 2:46, ERV)

 

I love the value that was placed on community in the early church. There is nothing that brings people together better than sharing a meal with joy and generosity. When those around us who are united in purpose come together as family, the joy that is discovered in fellowship over a meal is multiplied. Each summer, my church creates opportunity for family connect groups. These groups meet one evening a week for a meal at a host home during the month of August, as new friendships are discovered and relationships are formed. My first connect group of the year begins this evening, and I am reminded of the early church as I prepare to go. Though I know not who will be in attendance, I anticipate joy and gladness as we gather in grace to share a meal together. May we ever seek opportunities to gather together with those around us, and meet with others to share a meal with joy – as God so often uses such circumstances to form friendships He intended to occur all along.

 

Actively look for, Welcome Boxes 1

People that we know;

To join together,

So His grace may flow.

With hearts full of joy,

May we freely share;

What we’ve been given,

So all know You care.

May our hearts be filled,

As we share a meal;

Joy overflowing,

His way is ideal.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You created us to be in community. Thank You that You call us to continue to do what the early church did – to gather together to worship and to share meals and fellowship together. Forgive us for isolating ourselves and not plugging into the community to which we are called. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would be willing to go where You call and invite others to share time and fellowship and food with us. Show us how to love well the people that You have placed in our path. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we gather together with gladness. Amen.

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

As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. – James 5:11

Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. – (Romans 12:15, NLT)

When others are happy, you should be happy with them. And when others are sad, you should be sad too. – (Romans 12:15, ERV)

Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. – (Romans 12:15, MSG)

 

Part of loving well is walking alongside those around us, no matter what state they are in. If a person is happy and has reason to celebrate, we ought to join them in expressing joy. When we encounter the sorrowful, it is not our job to fix them, but rather to sit beside them in the midst of their pain and be present. Remarkably, when happiness is shared, it miraculously feels multiplied; yet when sadness and sorrow is shared by someone who comes and sits in the space alongside the suffering, the weight of the ache is lessened somehow. God intended us to be in community. So much of scripture directs us as to how to be in relationship with one another, and to function as a body of believers. Two are better than one… A three-strand cord is not easily broken… There are countless references reminding us that we are not meant to do this life alone. May we place our trust in He who walks beside us in joy and pain, and go forth with intent to do the same.

 

Choose to celebrateThe Benefit of Broken Barriers

Those with happiness;

Share space of sadness,

With ones in a mess.

For God walks beside,

And ever stays near;

Present in weeping,

And likewise in cheer.

We have been chosen,

As community;

To love as Christ loves,

For His love sets free.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You not only call us to be happy with those who are happy, and to weep with those who weep, but You sent Your Son to show us what it looks like to love like that. Thank You Jesus, for showing us how to love without limits, despite what You were going through and the things that surrounded You. Forgive us for making excuses as to why we just cannot get involved when things seem to messy or emotional. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would remain present with those whom You have placed in our lives, no matter what comes their way. Show us how to love like You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we are happy with those who are happy, and share tears with those who are down. Amen.

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

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

Never walk away from someone who deserves help; your hand is God’s hand for that person. – (Proverbs 3:27, MSG)

Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them. – (Proverbs 3:27, NLT)

Do everything you possibly can for those who need help. – (Proverbs 3:27, ERV)

 

To love well, we must see the need around us and do what we can with what we have. Christ came and modeled what it is to not withhold good when it is within one’s power to help. His willingness to be present in the midst of people’s pain, is the very thing that helped them most. If healing was needed, He not only touched the physical ailment, but He heard their need and brought a love that truly listened, and healed hearts as well. Where there was hunger and seemingly not enough, Christ had the disciples share what they did have, and it was multiplied before their eyes. The very same power that was working in Jesus, is at work in us today. In the spaces where we think we don’t have enough time, talent, or resource, the Lord meets us and provides as we reach out and share what we have to help another in need. Often, the greatest need around us in others, is to be heard and known, as humans are designed to crave connection. May we navigate our days with our eyes open to see the need all around us, so that we might do what we can to be extensions of God’s hands and heart to a hurting world.

 

In our call to love,The Power of the Tongue

May we clearly see;

Help where it’s needed,

Give kindness; it’s free.

Do not withhold good,

But rather, choose give;

Whatever we can,

To better lives lived.

Whatever we do,

When love’s our command;

Is light to the world,

As God’s heart and hand.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us so well. Thank You for the people whom You have placed in our paths to show us Your hands and heart for us. Thank You that You call us to do what we can for those around us, just as You have done for us. Forgive us for neglecting the needs we see, or for allowing our hearts to become overwhelmed rather than seek You for direction. Teach us how to trust You more, so that we would seek You and Your guidance as to how we are meant to meet the needs we see. Show us how to love others as we are so lavishly loved by You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we do all that we can for those who need help around us. Amen.

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

And the Lord said, “I will cause all My goodness to pass in front of you.” – Exodus 33:19

As Paul bids farewell to the Ephesian elders in Acts 20:13-38, the internal workings of the Holy Spirit in Paul, are blaringly obvious.  This man who formerly persecuted those who tried to proclaim the truth of Christ, now willingly risked everything, to share the love of God with both Gentile and Jew, everywhere he was led to go.  Despite being forewarned of impending imprisonment and hardships, Paul was willing to continue, committed to carry out his calling.

The depth of Paul’s love and investment into the lives of the believers in Ephesus, is made evident in their response to his news that he would not ever see them again. “When he had said this, he knelt down with all of them and prayed.  They all wept as they embraced and kissed him.” – (Acts 20:36-37)  That which Paul had poured out into the lives of the people in Ephesus, had been received and multiplied.  The church was growing and thriving because of his obedience and openness to the Holy Spirit.  Lives were forever changed, because one man was willing.  How many lives might be changed if we too, are willing?  How can we invest in the lives of those around us, and love as we are loved?

Only one life,One Life

yet many were claimed;

he shared the truth,

professed Jesus’ Name.

The Spirit moved,

as he boldly spoke;

he sought not wealth,

but hearts of the folks.

Each place he went,

the story’s the same;

people were saved,

as he shared Christ’s Name.

It was not Paul,

but the Lord within;

Who tore down walls,

so they’d let truth in.

We too, can move,

wherever He asks;

trust Him to help,

stay true to His tasks.

May hearts be soft,

tender to His call;

may we love well,

and serve Him in all.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the examples that You give us in Your word of how we are meant to live unto You.  Thank You that the very same Spirit that dwelled in Paul, dwells in the hearts of all who invite You in, still today.  Thank You that You equip and empower us to do all that You ask, even if it involves enduring hardships.  Thank You that it is so often in the midst of the hardships, we find ourselves closest to You, as You are to whom we cling.  Forgive us for our frustration and impatience when things are challenging, and help us to trust You more.  May we have a hope that is unfailing, and a love that mirrors Your love for us.  May many come to know You, as we live and love as You call us to do.  Be glorified through how we spend our days.  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

So often, the truth of God’s word comes to life through the faith of children. Kids do not overcomplicate nor overanalyze, but rather they take the truth as it is presented, and make it a part of their reality.

As I was reading in John six this morning, something new stood out to me as significant. When Jesus had asked Philip where they might buy bread for the multitude that had gathered to hear Him, it was not Philip, nor even one of the disciples who brought forth any sort of offering; instead, a boy with five small loaves and two small fish came forward and offered what he had. Jesus took the gracious gift of a child and multiplied it into enough to feed the masses, and more. The miraculous happened after the movement of one young boy, who offered what he had.

“Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. When they had all had enough to eat, He said to the disciples, ‘Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.’ So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.” – (John 6:10-13)

I imagine that is why He asks us to have a “child-like” faith. If we simply have faith and do not doubt, we see far more of the miraculous. Our offering is not about how much we give, but rather our heart, as we bring what we have to offer. If we come and believe that He will take what we offer and transform it into something great for His purposes, then we understand the point in giving at all. When we give, our hearts gain opportunity to grow further in our faith. We often get to witness the miraculous in our lives, and the lives of others, simply because we choose to offer what we have.

May I come to You,Child like Contributions

with faith like a child;

and give without doubt,

with a heart beguiled.

Let that which I bring,

to You, give glory;

so many may know,

how great Your story.

May Your truth be told,

through our offering;

our time, talents, gifts,

unto You we bring.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are faithful to meet us wherever we are at, and that You readily receive that which we offer. Thank You that You can take something seemingly so small, and use it for something great in Your kingdom. Thank You that it is not up to us to determine how our offering will be used, but rather how we prepare our hearts, and choose to give in faith, trusting that You will utilize all that we offer, for good. Forgive us for holding back for fear that we have to little to offer, or for giving with doubts that anything could possibly be done with that which we bring. Thank You that You determine the value of our offering, not the world. Thank You that You see our time, our talents, and our resources as all equally valuable in touching lives and transforming communities. Teach us to trust You more, and help us to have “child-like” faith as we give of ourselves, trusting that You will do the miraculous as we are willing to move. May many come to know the greatest gift that has ever been given this Christmas, as they come to know the true reason for the season. Help us to love like You, so that You are seen in us. Be glorified in our giving of gifts this sacred season. Amen.

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

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