All Things Made New

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! – (2 Corinthians 5:17, NIV)

When anyone is in Christ, it is a whole new world. The old things are gone; suddenly, everything is new. – (2 Corinthians 5:17, ERV)

Therefore, if anyone is united with the Anointed One, that person is a new creation. The old life is gone – and see – a new life has begun! – (2 Corinthians 5:17, VOICE)

 

The first day of the new year is great time to remember and recognize that we are made new in Christ. God is the God of fresh starts, and He is ever making us new as we seek and trust in Him. What better time to seek and listen for direction, as we begin the first page of what He will do in 2018? What are we holding in our hands to utilize for Him right now, and what are the dreams that He has given that are not yet? Our charge is to walk forward in what we’ve been given, love as we are loved by Him, and to be faithful to each new step we are shown along the way. May we take time to recognize all of the places in our hearts, minds and lives that the Lord has made new as we begin this brand-new year with eager anticipation for all that He has in store.

 

All things are made new, All Things Made New

New year, a fresh start;

To choose be faithful,

As God’s work of art.

Each with a purpose,

A plan God designed;

Let’s follow in faith,

Heart, body and mind.

Wherever we are,

And where we choose go;

If lived out in love,

The newness will grow.

Goodbye to the old,

Hello to the new;

Each step that we take,

Chance for love shine through.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we are made new in You. Thank You for the blessed reminder that all things are new in You, as we begin day one of a brand-new year. Forgive us for dwelling on the past, and teach us how to embrace what we are given now and the promises that lie ahead. Show us how to love well, all those around us, so that they would be encouraged to embrace all that is made new in You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give You praise for the promise of fresh starts and new beginnings. 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

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Owe Only Love

Owe nothing to anyone – except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law. – (Romans 13:8, NLT)

You should own nothing to anyone, except that you will always owe love to each other. The person who loves others has done all that the law commands. – (Romans 13:8, ERV)

Don’t run up debts, except for the huge debt of love you owe each other. When you love others, you complete what the law has been after all along. – (Romans 13:8, MSG)

 

God calls us to love one another as we have been loved. If we seek to love in the same way that God loves us, it will require a lifetime of loving those around us to carry out that to which we have been called. Love is a rare commodity – for the more we give, the more we discover we are filled and ready to pour out again and again. Every other sort of debt leaves us empty and lacking, yet love fills, restores, and propels us to pour out more. May we allow the only debt that we owe, be that of love to one another.

 

For we have been called, Tether Our Hearts

To fulfill a debt;

The space where love lacks,

Hope where it’s not yet.

Choose not to borrow,

What can’t be paid back;

Unless it is love,

For God can do that.

Never stop loving,

Each other by grace;

This fulfills the law,

To walk in God’s way.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You teach us the ways in which we are meant to live according to Your will. Thank You that the only thing we should owe one another is love. Thank You that as we seek to love one another according to Your will, You fill us and equip us to love as You love. Forgive us for not choosing to love like You, or for running up debts that we cannot repay. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would be wise in our ways and follow You all of our days. Show us how to love one another according to Your good and perfect will. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we opt to owe nothing to anyone except for love. 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

Prepare Your Minds for Action

So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. – (1 Peter 1:13)

 

Self-control and intentional action come when we are firmly rooted and established in the hope that we hold. When we know from Whom our salvation comes, and where we can place our hope, we are ready to act as we are called and refrain from that which is a “no” or a “not yet“. Let us prepare our minds for action and choose to exercise self-control as we place all of our hope in the grace granted through salvation so that we are ready for our Redeemer’s return.

 

May our hearts prepare,The Word of God

For the Lord’s return;

As we choose hold hope,

In truth we have learned.

Exercise control,

In word and in deed;

Be led by the Lord,

Help where we see need.

For when Christ returns,

May our whole lives show;

A life lived in love,

With desire to grow.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we seek You and Your help, You prepare our minds for action and You grant us the strength to exercise self-control. Thank You that You are our Source of hope, as salvation is found in You alone. Forgive us for not clinging to the truth that we already know, or for neglecting to seek You for the strength that we need to navigate our days. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would be ever prepared for active obedience, exercising self-control as we hope in You. Show us how to love those around us in such a way, that hope in You might be revealed. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we prepare our minds for action and exercise self-control, so that our hope in You might be made known. Amen.

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

Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, You who have done great things. Who, O God, is like You? – Psalm 71:19

Rest As Required

They went home and prepared spices and ointments to anoint His body. But by the time they were finished the Sabbath had begun, so they rested as required by the law. – (Luke 23:56, NLT)

 

The women who had faithfully followed Jesus and watched in sorrow as He breathed His last breath on the cross, were without many options as to what they might actually be able to do in response to such a seeming tragedy. The only role they knew was to faithfully prepare that which would grant their Savior a proper burial. I imagine they worked feverishly and with painstaking care, to finish the preparations in hope of going to the tomb right away, prior to their required rest. Sabbath sunrise arrived just after their work was done, and the ladies were left in a holding pattern of not yet.

How often do we too, in our seeming inability to do anything to help a situation, resort to that which we know, only to get to a place where we hit a wall, and find that we are stuck in a space of waiting or not yet? Often, it is much like it was for the women. Sunday is yet to come. That which is ahead, is exceedingly more than we could hope or imagine, even if it is something that has been promised before. Christ had told those who were faithful followers of His that He would rise, yet something about His foretelling did not ever really register with any of them. Often our places of pause or required rest, are strategically spaced just prior to a promise fulfilled or movement of a miracle. May we seek the Lord in our spaces of Sabbath, and simply rest in the assurance that He is good and His faithfulness never ends.

 

In that restless space,Confidence Comes Through Christ

when we hit the wall;

we can’t move forward,

on Him, let us call.

Ever so often,

that‘s the very place;

where He intended,

that we seek His face.

It’s in the seeking,

that we come to find;

His help and His hope,

He’s patient and kind.

Often the forced pause,

that space where we rest;

a season to find,

what‘s coming is best.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are present and moving, even when it seems that we have hit a wall or come to a place of helplessness where we can do nothing more. Thank You that this is the very space where You bring us to rest in You. Thank You that You showed us that things were still and silent, and the world had to wait for the promise to be fulfilled, just as You had said it would be. Thank You for the difference that the next day brought. Forgive us for resisting rest when it seems to be required, or for not making time to sit quietly before You to fix our eyes on You and all that You have done. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would seek You in all things and at all times, regardless of how things appear. Show us how to love others in such a way, that they too may look to You in the quiet stillness where rest is found. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You on our Sabbaths, and trust You in our spaces of waiting. Amen.

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

For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. – 1 Peter 2:19

Instruction and Protection to the Seeking

The Lord is a friend to those who fear Him. He teaches them His covenant. My eyes are always on the Lord, for He rescues me from the traps of my enemies. – (Psalm 25:14-15, NLT)

God-friendship is for God-worshipers; they are the ones He confides in. If I keep my eyes on God, I won’t trip over my own feet. – (Psalm 25:14-15, The Message)

God is faithful to instruct and protect those who earnestly seek Him. He is our Father and friend, and will teach us which way to walk, so that we will not stumble nor be snagged in the enemy’s snare. We are to fix our eyes on Him with reverence and awe, as He rescues us from that which comes against us. May we ever look to the Lord, who makes our path plain and keeps us in the shadow of His wings.

When we fear the Lord,The Direction of Discipline

the Lord is our friend;

He’ll teach us His ways,

His help will not end.

He rescues from foe,

the snares that are set;

show us where to walk,

say, “Go”, and “Not yet.”

For all who choose seek,

with faith in the Lord;

He reveals the truth,

and calls us adored.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are a friend to those who fear and revere You. Thank You that You teach us Your truth. Thank You that as we fix our eyes on You, You rescue us from the traps that are set before us, and lead us to safe passage. Forgive us for not seeking You and Your counsel in truth and how we are meant to go. Teach us to trust You enough to seek You first in all things and at all times. Lead us to love others in the same way that You so generously and graciously love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You with reverence, and obey Your counsel. Amen.

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

The joy of the Lord is your strength. – Nehemiah 8:10