Our Provider

We are currently in the midst of a series at church, where my pastor is unpacking the roles of Jesus. Yesterday, the topic of study was Jesus is Our Provider. Among the many names known for the Lord, Jehovah Jirah means, our provider.

 

During Jesus’ time on earth, He proved to be a provider to many. Just after Jesus had learned that His cousin, John, had been beheaded by Herod and was setting out by boat to a solitary place, the crowds followed Him on foot, and in their zeal to see Him, arrived before Him. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, He had compassion on them and healed their sick. – (Matthew 14:14) More than that, it was on that same occasion that Jesus fed the multitude from five small loaves and two fish. Again, the Lord saw the need of the people, and He provided.

 

God wants us to trust Him with our time, talent and treasure. In return, He gives us enough to sustain us and to give away. Even when it feels like we don’t have what we will need, the Lord wants us to ask Him to provide for each day, and He is faithful to meet us accordingly. When Jesus taught us how to pray, He said to say: “Give us today our daily bread.” – (Matthew 6:11) We are to ask for what is needed today, and let tomorrow worry about itself. For as our day is, so too shall our strength be.

 

And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. – (Philippians 4:19)

 

May we ask of the Lord what is needed for this day, and go forth in faith, trusting that He will provide all that we need, according to His glorious riches.

 

Jehovah Jirah,Finding Freedoms Flight

our great Provider;

full of compassion,

true hope decider.

For He has taught us,

to choose ask each day;

for what is needed,

come to Him and pray.

Our needs shall be met,

one day at a time;

enough to sustain,

His power divine.

Let’s bring to the Lord,

time, talent, treasure;

and He will pour out,

with lavish measure.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our Provider. Thank You that as we pour out, You provide. Thank You as we trust You with our time, talent and treasure, You meet us where we are at, and grant us the strength and supply as each day comes. Thank You that You even taught us how to pray – to ask You each day for that which is needed, one day at a time. Forgive us for worrying about things too far down the road, or for spaces where we are short supplied. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will seek You first, and ask for that which is needed for this day, as we go forth and sow generously with our time, talent and treasure. Lead us to love well all those whom we encounter, just as You so wonderfully love each of us. May many come into a saving relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we trust all of our time, talent and treasure in Your hands, and seek You for what is needed each day. 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

Be the Hope

The twentieth-century American educator and author Loren Eiseley wrote a short piece titled “The Starfish Story” or “The Starfish Thrower,” which has been told and retold in many versions through the years. In this classic tale, we learn a simple lesson about the difference one person can make. Here’s the gist of the story:

A man walking along an otherwise deserted beach came upon another man throwing into the sea a starfish that had been deposited on the sand by the tide. When the man asked the star thrower his purpose, the thrower explained that the starfish left untended, would be dried by the sun and eventually die. But how, wondered the first man, given that there were thousands of starfish scattered for miles along the the beach. The thrower bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it into the ocean with all his might. He smiled as he said, “It makes a difference for this one.” – (excerpt from Undaunted, Christine Caine)

 

When we look at the world around us, it is easy to see that there are a multitude of starfish lying on the sand, desperate for someone to come along and extend a hand. At first glance, it may seem too overwhelming to even know where to begin, when there is so much need that surrounds us. We can either choose to turn and walk away, or we can walk toward the need, and pick up one starfish at a time. It may not seem like much in the moment, yet to that one starfish, it is a chance to live.

 

Paul was an ongoing example of a starfish thrower, as he extended hope to all whom he encountered. His circumstances mattered not, for he chose to speak truth and shine the light of Christ wherever his journey took him. When Paul was summoned to appear before King Agrippa, he worried not about his own safety, but rather about sharing the truth that would bring freedom and salvation to all who might hear. Clearly Paul had captured Agrippa’s attention.

Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?”

Paul replied, “Short time or long – I pray God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.” – (Acts 26:28-29)

May we rise up and be the change that sees not the multitude and becomes overwhelmed, but rather that we look to each need, individually, and do what we can to offer hope where hope is not.

 

Scattered on the sand,Be the Hope

a vast sea of need;

what am I to do,

to rescue, to feed?

We’re not called to meet,

every need seen;

but to offer hope,

step in, intervene.

Often so simple,

a word or a touch;

an acknowledgement,

can matter so much.

Oh Lord I’m ready,

to offer Your hope;

may Your love and light,

be the safety rope.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have given us so many examples of “Starfish Throwers” throughout both Your word and history. Thank You that though the need in our world is great, one life touched at a time, can make all the difference. Thank You that You can use us, individually, to offer hope to a hurting world. Forgive us for seeing the need and turning a blind eye because we are overwhelmed or think that we cannot make a difference. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may rise up and take each next step of obedience that touches lives as You ask of us. Lead us to love others well, just as You so completely love each of us. May many come into a saving relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we go forth to be the hope, one life at a time. 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

An Appropriate Answer to Anger

A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control. – (Proverbs 29:11)

 

Considering the multitude of injustices taking place in the world around us, it is easy to become angered at the outrage. However, when we are in Christ, we are called to handle ourselves in such a way, that the world sees a difference – even when we are angry. This does not mean we are to sweep offenses that need attention under the rug, but rather we are to approach them in the opposite spirit, with the intent to bring healing and wholeness to the offender as God provides opportunity.

 

In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. – (Ephesians 4:26-27)

 

“The Bible doesn’t tell us that we shouldn’t feel angry, but it points out that it is important to handle our anger properly. If vented thoughtlessly, anger can hurt others and destroy relationships. If bottled up inside, it can cause us to become bitter and destroy us from within. Paul tells us to deal with our anger immediately in a way that builds relationships rather than destroys them. If we nurse our anger, we will give Satan an opportunity to divide us. Are you angry right now? What can you do to resolve your differences? Don’t let the day end before you begin to work on mending your relationship.” – (NIV footnotes)

 

There are times when reconciliation is neither possible, nor wise. In such cases, all that we can do is continually give our anger to God, and trust Him bring about His justice. Despite what we see in the here and now, all will have to one day answer for what we have or have not done. May His wisdom grant us control, so that we may properly deal with anger.

 

Be not a fool,An Appropriate Answer to Anger

that rages in sin;

choose His control,

Christ’s peace from within.

Allow it not,

to fester and grow;

go deal quickly,

don’t grant a foothold.

God’s great wisdom,

will show us the way;

to make amends,

and forgive each day.

Vengeance is not,

for us to decide;

pray for a change,

His justice preside.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are loving and kind and full of grace, yet You show us time and time again throughout Your word, that vengeance is Yours. Thank You too, for helping us to understand that anger in and of itself is not a bad thing, but rather it is what we do with our anger that determines whether or not we are responding in righteousness. Thank You that if we choose to listen to You and follow what You ask, we need not sin in our anger. Forgive us for our outbursts and for the times that we have stayed silent and harbored anger in our hearts. Teach us to trust You enough to act according to Your good and perfect will for us – even as anger arises. Thank You that anger is a call to action. May we answer the call and act accordingly. Let us love when those who have offended expect spite, and may they come to know that You are the reason for our love. Let the lost find You. Be glorified God, even as we act on what has angered us. Amen.

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

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

 

 

 

Place to Pray

No effort is required to discover the multitude of things that are vying for our attention on a daily basis.  Chaos, noise and duty seem to never be silenced in the daily doing of life.  WIth all of life’s demands, how are we meant to find a quiet place to withdraw and pray?  It is a serious dilemma, as our strength comes from God, and we are strengthened in Him, by spending time in His very presence.

“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” – (Luke 5:16)

Jesus, who was sought after everywhere He went, was followed by crowds of  sick and sinful, who were each aware of their need to be near Him.  In order for Jesus to love, touch and teach all who would come, He had to withdraw and spend time on His own with His Heavenly Father.  If the Son of God needed to pause from loving and serving, how much more is it necessary for us?  He does not call us to run ourselves ragged, but rather He simply calls us to come.  As we invest our heart in Him, we are strengthened and equipped to love and serve others well.  His help and His heart for people is present, when we look to Him as we go forth.

May my heart be still,Place to Pray

before You, my Lord;

I want to hear You,

my whole life is Yours.

Let me draw away,

from all of the noise;

so in the silence,

I shall hear Your voice.

Help quiet the storm,

that rages around;

may my eyes see You,

and my heart be found.

Teach me how to pray,

in Spirit and truth;

strengthen my resolve,

and make me brand new.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to show us the way to You.  Thank You Jesus, for making the way for us to come and pray without having to offer sacrifices again and again.  Thank You that You were the ultimate sacrifice, once and for all.  May we never forget, nor take the greatness of Your gift for granted.  Forgive us for allowing the busyness of life to distract us from withdrawing to quiet places to pray.  Please show us how we can prioritize, so that prayer is present in our daily lives.  Thank You that prayer is for our benefit – an opportunity to come and commune with You, the Creator of ALL.   May we embrace the encounters we have with You each day, and be strengthened to love others well, as You have loved us.  May many come to know the great gift of salvation that is available to all who call on Your Name and believe that what You say is true.  Be glorified, Lord God.  Amen.

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

Child-like Contributions

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.

Better is One Day

Better is One DayFor greater a day,

spent in the Lord’s house;

than a multitude,

elsewhere to espouse.

To draw near the place,

where Holiness dwells;

bask in His great Light,

all fears to dispel.

He’s both sun and shield,

all honor He brings;

as heavenly hosts,

surround Him and sing.

His favor is found,

no good is withheld;

for those who do walk,

upright and upheld.

To all who choose trust,

His blessings unfold;

our promise secure,

His hand we now hold.

Unto us bestowed,

His grace undeserved;

mercy He pours out,

on hearts that have heard.

Heard not with our ears,

but held in our heart;

all hope and promise,

in granted fresh start.

(Responding to Psalm 84:10-12)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the promised hope that is held in every heart that trusts in You. Thank You for making the way for us to one day dwell in Your courts with You forever. Thank You that for now, You make our heart Your home, when we choose to invite You in. Thank You that no matter what comes our way here, it is but a moment when compared to our promised forever with You. Forgive us for losing sight of the hope we hold in You when the world wages war, and grant us Your eyes to see that we are indeed, not home yet. Teach us to rest in You, as You bring peace in the peak of the storm, and light our every darkness with Your lavish love. Show us how to trust You more, and help us to walk upright before You. May our hearts be filled with songs of praise, not for what surrounds us, but for the hope we hold in You. Let us love as You love, and may many come to know the warmth and hope that from You flow. Let hearts be opened and lives be changed. All glory and honor to You, God – our hiding place and holy hope. Amen.

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