Love Makes No Distinction

He made no distinction between us and them, for He cleansed their hearts through faith. – (Acts 15:9, NLT)

God does not discriminate nor give preferential treatment when it comes to receiving people into His kingdom. All have fallen short, and all must earnestly seek Him to be saved. It is only by His grace that we are saved when we come before Him in faith, trusting that He is who He says He is. In the same way, we must not discount anyone, nor assume that they are too hard to receive the love and grace that God has set in place for us to extend toward them. It is not up to us to determine how it is received, but rather to be obedient to extend His loving kindness to all whom we meet. God will be God, and He will do immeasurably more than we could ever hope or imagine if we do our part and then get out of the way. Let love and faithfulness be our motivation, as we love well and allow God to reign.

To say, “God so loved”,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

where grace was begun;

when God sent for us,

the gift of His Son.

Because Jesus came,

each can become clean;

by faith, seeking God,

trusting the unseen.

This gift is for all,

all people of earth;

cleansing, renewing,

blessed second birth.

Please open our hearts,

help reach out our hands;

so we may love well,

just as You have planned.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not make a distinction between us, as You receive ALL who call on Your Name in faith. Thank You that when we trust in You and give our hearts to You, You purify all that is sinful within us, and call us clean before You. Forgive us for thinking ourselves or anyone else is too far gone to be reached by Your grace. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would walk in obedience and allow You to be God, as You move in ways that only You can move. Lead us to love all those around us, even if they seem unloveable. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You for the wondrous ways that You move in our midst, despite our doubts based on what we see. Amen.

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

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy. – Hebrews 4:16

Called to Come Together

There is a reason that God calls us to be a part of the body. We were never meant to walk through this life alone. Though Christ is with us and will never leave us once we have invited Him in, there is something powerful that He purposed in the gathering of His people. He hears the cry of our heart when we pray, yet His word instructs us that there are times when we ought to also band together with others to present our petitions before Him.

 

For where two or three come together in My Name, there am I with them. – (Matthew 18:20)

 

Not only are we called to invest in the lives of others, but we were meant to join and lift one another up in prayer. As we pray together, His power is promised to be present. No matter what we are facing, be it a blessing or going through great grief, knowing that Christ will be present as we join together to pray, is reason enough to do so. May we join hearts and hands in His Name, as we present our petitions and praise unto He who is able to make all grace abound unto us.

 

Be in the body,Called to Come Together

and follow His way;

gather together,

with open hearts, pray.

For as we choose come,

gather in His Name;

His presence’s made known,

as truth is made plain.

Whatever is faced,

we’re meant to surround;

united in Christ,

where true strength is found.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are faithful to be present in the midst of us, any time that two or three of us come together in Your Name. Thank You that You hear our prayers, and that You are loving and kind and full of goodness and grace. Thank You that we were not meant to navigate this journey on our own, but rather each of us are meant to be a part of the body; moving, growing, contributing and comforted, as we follow after You. Forgive us for isolating ourselves when things get difficult, and teach us to trust You more, so that we are willing to be transparent in the safety of those whom You have placed in our path to pray alongside us and lift us up. Lead us to love well, so that we too, may be sensitive to hear Your leading as to how we might walk beside others who need the encouragement that You grant us to give. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, Lord. Be exalted O God, as we invest well in the body of believers, gather in Your Name, and then go forth. Amen.

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

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. – Psalm 34:8

May Compassion Compel Us to Action

During those days another large crowd gathered. Since they had nothing to eat, Jesus called His disciples to Him and said, “I have compassion for these people: they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them home hungry, they will collapse on the way, because some of them have come a long distance.” – (Mark 8:1-3)

 

Jesus identified a practical need of the people before Him, and went beyond simple concern. Christ’s compassion compelled Him to action, and He carried out another miraculous feeding of the masses. Likewise, the Lord sees and knows our daily needs. He is concerned for us, just as He was for those who had gathered to hear Him. God is never too busy to hear us, nor too callous to not care for our needs. He provides what we need when we need it, though often in ways we would never expect. We are meant to be available vessels, as often He uses us to be His hands and feet to supply what is needed for another. Our hearts ought to be ever open to hear Him, so that we may be ready to reach out however He may ask. Likewise, we need also be willing to receive that which the Lord provides through others, as they may very well be the supply to where we are lacking. May we go forth with open hands and hearts, ready to give and receive all that the Lord has for us.

 

The Lord knows our need,May Compassion Compel Us to Action

far better than us;

that is why He sent,

precious Lord Jesus.

Not one of us could,

live life without sin;

we needed saving,

so Christ entered in.

Beyond the big needs,

Christ cares for the small;

He sees where we lack,

and provides for all.

May hearts be open,

to do as He asks;

to give or receive,

trust Him in each task.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are the God who sees and knows our needs before we do. Thank You that You care for us and provide in ways that we could not even fathom. Thank You that You invite us to partner with You as Your instruments of peace, to go forth and be Your hands and feet to a world in need. Forgive us for not going where You call us to go, or for refusing to receive what You are providing through another. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may have Your eyes to see what is right before us. Lead us to love others as You love us, and may many come into a lasting relationship with You as a result. Be exalted O God, as we allow compassion to lead us to action wherever You call us to go. Amen.

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

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

Bloom Where We’re Planted

Few of us are called to formal full-time ministry positions as an occupation.  However, each one of us are all called to serve and be a witness, wherever we are, regardless of our title or position.  We can show His love to those around us as we teach children, manage households, check groceries, pick up garbage, sell insurance, prepare and serve meals, enforce the law, volunteer and so on.  Our occupation does not limit how God can utilize us for His glory, right where we are, currently.

“Nevertheless, each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him and to which God has called him.” – (I Corinthians 7:17)

“Each one should remain in the situation which he was in when God called him.” – (I Corinthians 7:20)

“Brothers, each man, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation God called him to.” – (I Corinthians 7:24)

When repetition occurs in scripture, I tend to take notice.  Three times Paul said nearly the same thing to the people of Corinth.  Though his words were in the specific context of marriage, I believe it applies to every area of our lives.  God will use us wherever we have been called, right now, not when we obtain a certain status or position.  What He calls us to, He will use us to work through, if we are willing and available to be obedient to whatever He asks of us.  There are days when it seems impossible that He could utilize me to reach another, yet it is in those spots of the strongest struggle, that His strength is shown and progress is made known.  May we trust Him where we are, and be open to opportunities to touch lives as we love as He loves us.

Each of us called,Bloom Where We're Planted

to serve where we are;

no need to wait,

He’s brought us this far.

Not by our strength,

but rather, by His;

trust Him to lead,

He’ll do what He says.

In all we do,

to God, let it be;

we too were bound,

’til He set us free.

Let His love lead,

and His Spirit guide;

with hearts open,

His peace realized.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to the spaces where we are, even when they don’t always make sense.  Thank You that You are our strength in the struggle and our help and hope.  Thank You that You use us for Your glory, regardless of our lot in life, if we are willing to serve You.  Forgive us for thinking we have to reach a certain position or knowledge base, or for being fearful of mankind.  Teach us to trust You to give us wisdom, words and all that we need, to love and serve, wherever we are called to be.  May we touch lives and transform communities through faithfully serving where we are called, and may all glory and honor be given to You.  Thank You that You love us where we are, yet continue to grow us more deeply in You.  Amen.

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

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

Ancient of Days

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGreat are His many signs,

True Ruler of this world;

let us stand in wonder,

as evil ways are furled.

His kingdom, eternal,

His dominion, always;

for generations shall,

stand before Him with praise.

How mighty is our God,

Creator of all seen;

Who sees and knows us all,

covers and makes us clean.

Let each heart lift in song,

the wonder of His ways;

may our hope always dwell,

in the Ancient of Days.

With one voice united,

may we lift up His Name;

show each generation,

the truth that we proclaim.

O Lord, for You alone,

open hearts, minds and eyes;

and all who trust in You,

will with You, one day rise.

“How great are His signs, how mighty His wonders! His kingdom is an eternal kingdom; His dominion endures from generation to generation.” – (Daniel 4:3)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your Name is great, and worthy of all praise. Thank You that despite the darkness we see, Your light surrounds us and shows us the path we are meant to take. Help us to fix our eyes securely on You, in all things and at all times. Forgive us for allowing our gaze to be set on our struggles, rather than on You, our solution. Teach us to trust You more, so that our eyes may be locked on He who is eternal. Move us toward what matters most, and let us love others as You love us. Let many who are searching, come to stand in Your light and love. May our hearts be full of praise, for You alone are worthy, our Ancient of Days. Amen.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnne update: Yesterday was a weary day for Anne, as she slept for much of it. When I went to visit, she was sleeping soundly on the couch. It was both horrible and wonderful to simply sit near her, hold her hand, and pray. When she woke, we were able to visit a while before I had to go. Other dear friends went to visit later in the evening, and I know her heart must have been so full as she drifted off to sleep. Please pray for peace and for the pain to subside as she will be going to a very difficult doctor’s appointment today. Anne and the loving trio that will go with her, need wisdom and strength as they go. Thank You dear ones, for holding her up before our Healer. With my eyes on the Eternal, Shannon

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

Power Presented in Prayer

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGod’s own Son, Jesus,

prays on our behalf;

in love, for power,

to escape sin’s wrath.

All that God’s given,

He also gives us;

wisdom, protection,

His powerful touch.

Sanctified by truth,

by His strength, we’re armed;

to share with the world,

He keeps us from harm.

May those who’ve not known,

now come to know You;

please open their hearts,

to all that is true.

You are the Potter,

and we are Your clay;

shape us and use us,

help us live Your way.

Make us united,

so that we may stand;

to love as You love,

and fulfill Your plan.

(Responding to John 17)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to live, die and rise again, so that we could come to know You, personally, and be justified and acceptable in Your sight. Thank You that we are called clean before You, not by our works (as if we could somehow do enough) but rather by believing in He who is more than enough, who took our place on the cross and is the lens through which we are seen. Forgive us Father, for trying to be or to do “enough”. Teach us to trust You more deeply, and grow our faith so that we may know You more. Thank You that You are not a God “out there”, but You are God right here, as near as our next breath. Make us strong to trust You so that we may live lives that are pleasing to You, and may our love lead those who are looking, into Your loving embrace. Amen.

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

Let His Voice be Heard

image by John White

image by John White

A hardness of heart,

will come if we stray;

our greatest defense,

stay true to His way.

If left on our own,

we may get sucked in;

for a great resource,

each other, from sin.

Encourage others,

be true to His way;

keep heart so open,

hear His voice today.

Hold firm till the end,

lift each other up;

trust in the Father,

He’ll fill empty cups.

Let His voice be heard,

so hearts won’t rebel;

help one another,

fend off force of hell.

“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” – (Hebrews 3:13)
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we were created to be in relationship with You and with one another.  Thank You that You encourage and strengthen us, as we encourage and strengthen each other.  Forgive us for attempting to forge forward on our own, and help us to allow others to come along side and encourage us as we pursue You in all that we say and do.  Keep our hearts soft and sensitive to Your voice.  May our open obedience, as we live life in Your love, lead many to seek and find You.  Teach us to be united in purpose as we encourage one another in You.  All glory and honor to You, God.  Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Give Without Getting

image by Jesus is Lord

image by Jesus is Lord

In quiet and truth,

as we lead life well;

others will notice,

our actions will tell.

Minding our business,

working with our hands;

we’ll earn the respect,

following His plans.

Depend on no one,

for a free handout.

Work as unto Him,

and not one shall doubt.

For where there is trust,

open hearts are too;

that is our purpose,

to love as You do.

Give without getting.

Expect nothing back.

Selfless is His love;

in Him, there’s no lack.

(Responding to I Thessalonians 4:11-12)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your love for us is a selfless and sacrificial love.  You gave up Your heavenly throne to come to earth and model a life of love, and then freely gave that life away in our place, though we deserved it not.  Forgive us for our foolish expectations for some sort of return from anyone at anytime.  Help us instead to fix our eyes and hearts on You, and that which we have already received by Your Spirit.  Thank You that all that we need has already been provided; for great is Your faithfulness indeed!  Teach us to work hard and live well, so that our lives are not a distraction, but rather are an attraction, to Your great love and light.  May many come to know You and Your love, according to what You are asking.  Amen.

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