Mastered by Grace

If we live our lives focused on rules and regulations, rather than on He who formed us and set our very lives in motion, we become trapped in the trying to do enough in accordance to all that is written by man’s own hand. However, if we invest our heart, mind, soul and strength into seeking God and receiving the grace that He freely offers, we cannot help but pursue doing good. It is in that space of God’s grace, that we find freedom to become who He has called us to be, and we are set free from the chains that once held us captive to sin.

 

For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. – (Romans 6:14)

 

Christ came as the perfect sacrifice so that we would no longer have to make sacrifices for our every sin. Instead, He was the ultimate offering for all that we have ever done, and shall ever do. Because of His amazing grace, we no longer are mastered by sin, but rather may allow our Maker to be our Master, as His reign is done in grace, and His goodness and love lead hearts to repent and return to Him. May we let go of the law that binds us to sin, and embrace His grace as we invite the Lord to be the Master of our lives.

 

Allow not your sin,Answers As We Ask

to master your life;

for living that way,

will just lead to strife.

In Christ we are not,

stuck under the law;

but rather by grace,

to live life we’re called.

Because it’s a gift,

that Christ freely gave;

we’re drawn to repent,

so we can be saved.

Receive what He gives,

as we are set free;

so others may know,

Whom they see in me.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we no longer need to be slaves to sin because You sent Your Son to pay the penalty for ALL. Thank You that when we give our hearts and lives to You, we are ruled by Your goodness and grace, and are compelled to do good, rather than required to do enough or be enough to earn Your favor. Forgive us for trying to do enough or be enough, rather than investing all that we are in our relationship with You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will listen to Your leading and walk obediently wherever You are asking. Lead us to love without limits, and help many to come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek to serve You as You ask us to, as we receive the gift of Your grace that You freely give. Amen.

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

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

Because He Loved

Valentine’s Day is an interesting holiday, especially among middle schoolers the day prior. While some students were over-the-moon with excitement, others were nearly manic, as they mourned their mate-less state. Most, however, took it upon themselves as an opportunity to binge on copious quantities of confections, and were bouncing off the walls. The pivotal point that so many get hung up on, is what exactly is love, and how do we celebrate it?

 

If our priorities are kept in place, and we opt to spend the day focusing on loving God and loving people well, then it can be a day worth celebrating, rather than one to view with disdain. One of the most powerful examples of Jesus’ love for us is how He endured all things for our sake, so that we could come to know Him.

 

In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked Him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but He can’t save Himself!” – (Mark 15:31)

 

Though Jesus could have saved himself, He endured this suffering because of His love for us. He could have chosen not to take the pain and humiliation; He could have killed those who mocked Him – but He suffered through it all because He loved even His enemies… Jesus died on that cross for us, and the penalty for our sins was paid by His death. – (NIV footnotes for Mark 15:31)

 

Because He loved, we too may love.

 

What beautiful love,Good Gifts

would lay down His life;

choose to sacrifice,

despite all our strife?

He came not because,

we deserved His grace;

but because He loves,

the whole human race.

The sinners and saints,

man, woman and child;

He came for us all,

to be reconciled.

Let us each embrace,

this glorious gift;

go forth and love well,

encourage and lift.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the incredible gift of Your Son.  Jesus, thank You that You came to set us free from the chains of our sin, and made the way for us to be restored to a right relationship with You. Thank You that You endured endless suffering on our behalf, because You loved. Forgive us for not choosing to love You and others as we are called to love, or for focusing inward instead of out. Teach us to trust You more, so that as we reach out in faith, we will recognize the remarkable ways in which You provide return to refill our hearts again. Lead us to love well, so that many may come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we bring the blessings of Your love to a world in need. 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

Unfailing Love Leads

In Your unfailing love You will lead the people You have redeemed. In Your strength You will guide them to Your holy dwelling. – (Exodus 15:13)

 

Just as God led the Israelites, whom He had set free from captivity out of Egypt, and ultimately brought them into the Promise Land, He will still do the same for us today. It is the Lord’s unfailing love that leads us, as He is patient and kind, despite our grumbling and lack of faith along the way. Any of us who are in Christ, have been redeemed. He has paid the penalty for our sin, and is leading us away from where we once were, into a new space of freedom in Him. The holy dwelling to which He is leading, is not a temporary stop along our path, but rather is our final destination, which will be our eternal home with Christ forever. May we receive His unfailing love, and allow His strength to guide us to the holy dwelling that He has prepared for us all.

 

It’s unfailing love,Unfailing Love Leads

that leads us all home;

that sets our hearts right,

draws back when we roam.

Those who have sought Christ,

have become redeemed;

considered His own,

in love, He shall lead.

His strength will guide us,

His ways He will tell;

He’ll grow and guide us,

’til heaven we dwell.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You lead us in Your unfailing love. Thank You that You redeem all who call on Your Name. Thank You that by Your strength You guide us to Your heavenly home. Forgive us for our fear and grumbling that lead us to wander aimlessly in the desert, rather that follow the path that You have placed before us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may listen to Your leading, and obey all that You are asking. Help us to love others as You so patiently love each of us. May many come into a new space of freedom forever in You. Be glorified O God, as we are led by Your unfailing love. Amen.

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

For the Lord your God will bless you, …and your joy will be complete. – Deuteronomy 16:15

What Gift Shall I Give?

On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. – (Matthew 2:11)

 

This verse is from Matthew’s account of when the Magi traveled to Bethlehem to see the child to whom the star had led them. Their journey had been long, yet they were overjoyed upon their arrival. Despite Jesus still being but a very small child, they bowed down before Him in worship. As wise men, it had been revealed to them, just how significant this toddler would become. Additionally, the treasures that were given, had symbolic significance that likely funded the family’s flight to Egypt and back. Gold was a gift for a king; incense, a gift for deity; and myrrh, a spice for a person who was going to die. – (NIV footnotes)

 

Though the Magi were men of great wisdom, they did not yet know the whole story. We have an advantage, as we have the greatest gift that has ever been given. That toddler, the baby Jesus whom the wise men worshiped and presented gifts to, grew into a man who paid the penalty for all of our sin. He lived a life that was without sin, yet clothed Himself with all the world’s sin and suffered on our behalf upon the cross, then rose again in power so that we too, could overcome the snares of sin. Because Jesus took our place, we have the hope of life everlasting with Him. When we come before Him, what gift can we give? Though He needs nothing from us, He longs for our hearts to seek after His. Our worship, our praise, our adoration, our days – these are the gifts that we can give… May we go forth this day as an offering unto Him, as He has already given us the greatest gift of all.

 

The greatest of gifts,What Gift Shall I Give

we’ve ever received;

was granted to us,

the day we believed.

For as we embraced,

the truth of Your grace;

You freed us from sin,

and removed disgrace.

How can we repay,

such a blessed gift?

There’s nothing You need,

all praises we lift.

Honor and glory,

and hearts that are true;

may we bring You praise,

in all that we do.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to come and make the way for us to be set free from sin and restored to right relationship with You. Thank You Jesus, for bearing all of our sin and shame upon the cross, and demonstrating Your power and glory so that we might receive the gift of Your grace and Your presence as we choose to believe. Forgive us for taking the greatest gift that we have ever been given for granted, and help us to seek to give You the gift of ourselves in return – our hearts, our hopes, our time, our worship – all unto You. Lead us to love people as You so lavishly love each of us. May many come to embrace the grace that You so lovingly and generously pour out upon all who are willing to receive. Be glorified, Lord God, as we give all of ourselves unto You. 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

Purchased at a Price

You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men. – (1 Corinthians 7:23)

 

Christ came and willingly went to the cross so that we could be set free from the bonds of sin. Those things that can so easily entangle us, and attempt to master us again, no longer have any power because our penalty has been paid; our freedom has been bought. To become slaves of men, we have to choose to set aside the freedom that we have found in Christ, and allow the yoke of sin, pride and fear to be placed around our necks. We are covered by His grace, and such things can gain no ground if we remain rooted and established in Him. Let us embrace the freedom that we have found in Christ, and turn away from all that entices in attempt to enslave us again.

 

The ransom’s been paid,Purchased at a Price

the Lord’s life for mine;

the ultimate price,

He suffered and died.

We need not be slaves,

to sin nor to man;

we have been set free,

Christ’s salvation plan.

May we choose embrace,

all that He has done;

and share of His grace,

our great Holy One.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for coming to earth and suffering on my behalf, so that I could be set free from the bonds of sin. Thank You that I am no longer a slave to my own selfish desires, but rather am free to follow You, unhindered by the sin that so easily entangled me. Forgive us for setting aside the glorious grace that You have given to go and pursue the temptations that try to entangle us once again. Teach us to trust and rely on You more, so that we seek You in every situation, rather succumb to the snare of sin’s luring. Help us to love others as You so faithfully love each of us, and may many come to know the freedom that is found in You alone. Be exalted, O God, as we embrace our freedom that You purchased at such a precious price. Amen.

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

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23