Our Story, His Glory

For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for Him. – (Philippians 1:29, NLT)

God has blessed you in ways that serve Christ. He allowed you to believe in Christ. But that is not all. He has also given you the honor of suffering for Christ. Both of these bring glory to Christ. – (Philippians 1:29, ERV)

 

At first read, this verse does not seem all that encouraging. Who wants to suffer? And suffering as an honor? Eesh… However, the more I think about it, the more I can see present day application in our area. Currently, in the U.S., there are few examples of people suffering for their faith. That being said, there are those who are in the midst of trials and tragedies that cling closely to Christ. The way in which they hold fast to their faith is a witness to all who know their story. I know I stand in awe when I hear stories of Christians who stand their ground in countries where people are persecuted for their faith. Additionally, I am amazed by the resilience and perseverance of people in the midst of personal pain who cling to Christ with all that they have. When we go through trials of any kind and choose to trust in the Lord, and allow our faith to flavor everything we do, people cannot help but notice and wonder why. God uses our circumstances to draw others unto Himself. It is in the throes of trials that we discover how great God is, and the hope we have in Him. As we come to grasp with certainty the hope we hold, others cannot help but desire what we have. May we recognize the privilege we have to walk out our lives in faith, and trust Christ in all things so that we might bring glory unto Him.

 

We have been given,Being Made New

Privilege in Christ;

In times of blessing,

And when it’s not nice.

For how we choose trust,

In good and in pain;

Will show to the world,

The hope in His Name.

So let us hold fast,

And give God glory;

As we choose to trust,

Him for our story.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we have the privilege to trust You in all things. Thank You for the blessings that You bestow upon us. Thank You for Your grace, strength, presence and peace in times of suffering. Thank You that You can use our suffering for Your glory. Forgive us for wanting to hide away in our suffering, rather than to rise up and move forward in faith. Teach us to trust You more, as You are the ultimate Author of our story, and You have prepared the perfect ending. Show us how to love people well through their seasons of blessing and of suffering, so that they may come to know the hope that is found in You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You in all things and at all times, allowing You glory for whatever happens in our story. Amen.

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

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. – Job 8:21

The Glory of God’s Grace

The grace of God has the power to take the most sinful of mankind, cleanse us from all that we have ever done, and use us for His glory, to touch lives and transform communities. Paul was a perfect example of God’s generous grace. Prior to his transformation, Paul persecuted people who followed Christ. He purposefully pursued them, and sought to punish, all who were a part of “The Way”. However, once Paul had a personal encounter with Christ, he was transformed. All the passion he had placed into pursuing the punishment of Christians, he then spent on spreading the gospel of truth.

 

“For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them – yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” – (I Corinthians 15:9-10)

 

Paul recognized all that he had been forgiven, and was a very humble man. That being said, he also recognized the power of God’s grace working in and through him, and did not negate the precious power of the Lord. Paul did not see himself as worthless, but rather recognized that his value was found through his redemption, and by the grace of God, he had purpose and was pursuing its fulfillment with his whole heart.

 

Regardless of past,The Glory of Gods Grace

His grace is enough;

to wipe away sin,

cover each of us.

He grants us fresh start,

empowered by grace;

walks beside us still,

for all of our days.

His power given,

to all who receive;

what He is granting,

to trust and believe.

Rise up in power,

for He has erased;

the sins of our past,

God’s love fills that space.

Know that He’s working,

in our hearts and minds;

trust He will use us,

to serve all mankind.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us so much that You forgive ALL of us, regardless of what we have done, if we come to You and confess that we need You, and believe that You are the only way. Thank You that Your grace is enough, even for the worst of us. Thank You that You use ALL who are willing and available, for Your glory. Forgive us for thinking that we are not good enough, or that Your grace is somehow not enough to cover us. Teach us to embrace the grace that You provide, and lead us to follow You all of our days. Help us to hear You clearly, and obey readily. May many come to know You as the Savior of their lives, and may they too, embrace the grace that You alone provide. Be glorified through how we love those around us, just as You love us. Amen.

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

Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.

– 2 Corinthians 3:5

 

One Life

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