Humility As We Invest

In whatever you do, don’t let selfishness or pride be your guide. Be humble, and honor others more than yourselves. Don’t be interested only in your own life, but care about the lives of others too. – (Philippians 2:3-4, ERV)

 

There is little that is as uplifting as spending time with individuals who live according to these principles. To be in the company of humble people who honor others and are truly interested and care about those around them, is a joy. No matter how time is spent together, one can’t help but walk away feeling uplifted after keeping such company. This is the very sort of person that I desire to be to those around me. I have incredible examples to look to, and Jesus is our ultimate role model. May we seek Him and trust Him to lead us in His way, so that we may walk in humility, loving and honoring others more than ourselves, and be invested in the lives of those around us.

 

In all that we do,Believe Instead of Striving

Do not allow pride;

To dictate our way,

Where selfish resides.

Instead, be humble,

Choose to honor more;

Those who surround us,

Into their lives pour.

Opt to invest well,

To care for each life;

As pride goes away,

So too does all strife.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to give us the ultimate example of how to be humble and think of others first. Thank You Jesus for showing us how to invest and care well about the lives of others. Forgive us for not investing in others, or for being selfish as we get caught up and too busy in our own stuff. Show us how to prioritize people, so that we will walk in humility and care well for those around us. Teach us to love others as we are loved by You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we remember how great You are and that we are nothing without You, as we go forth and invest well in the lives of those around us. Amen.

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

Show me Your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths; …my hope is in You all day long. – Psalm 25:4-5

 

Break Camp and Move Out

It is easy to become comfortable in our familiar routine, and settle in the surroundings that we know best. Sometimes, we may even find ourselves in seasons of wandering, yet that too can become so routine, that we become fearful of moving into something new. The Israelites had been wandering in the desert for forty years. They had seasons of movement and seasons of staying in place, each with a purpose to hear from the Lord and see the power of His provision and faithfulness in action. When at long last they came to the point where God was calling them forward, fear entered in and prevented the older generation from receiving the promise that the Lord had provided all those years prior.

 

The Lord our God said to us at Horeb, “You have stayed long enough at this mountain. Break camp and advance into the hill country of the Amorites; go to all the neighboring peoples in the Arabah, in the mountains, in the western foothills, in the Negev, and along the coast, to the land of the Canaanites and to Lebanon, as far as the great river, the Euphrates. See, I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land that the Lord swore He would give to your fathers – to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – and to their descendants after them.” – (Deuteronomy 1:6-8)

 

Sadly, when Moses sent men to spy out the land to determine WHERE to enter, they came back and began to spread false reports about the conditions, because they were afraid of the risk involved with obeying what God had asked. Only Joshua and Caleb spoke truth and trusted that God would do all that He had promised. The faithful who trusted, saw God’s promises fulfilled, whereas those who chose to live in fear, missed out on all that God had for them.

 

The same principles are in play for us today. Where is God calling us to break camp and move out? What new territory is He asking us to step into, that He has already prepared in advance for us? Movement can be terrifying, especially when there are giants in the midst of plentiful land. If we give fear a foothold, we miss out on the abundance of what the Lord has prepared for us in advance. May we rise up in courage and obedience, break camp and move out into all that He is calling us to do.

 

Let not our comfort,Break Camp and Move Out

keep us from the Lord;

all He has prepared,

the grace He’ll afford.

When we hear Him call,

may we quickly say;

“Oh Lord, here am I,

help me to obey.”

No matter what’s seen,

make us strong in You;

for where You call us,

You will lead us through.

Rise up in courage,

break camp and move out;

embrace His calling,

our Help and safe route.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your promises and Your presence. Thank You that You lead us to new places of discovering more of You, that go beyond what we would hope for. Forgive us for our fearfulness when we see the obstacles in front of us between here and there, and grant us Your strength and courage to rise up and move out into all that You are asking us to do. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would focus on the promises rather than the obstacles that seem to stand in the way. Thank You that You are far greater than anything that would attempt to keep us from entering into the new You are calling us into. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they may see You in us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, Lord. Be exalted O God, as we break camp and move out into the new things You are calling us to do. Amen.

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

And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you.” – Exodus 33:19

A God of Peace

“For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.” – (I Corinthians 14:33)

 

Though this verse is given as instruction in the context for holding worship services in the church, if we are living our lives as an ongoing act of worship before Him, I imagine that the same principles are meant to be applied throughout our daily walk with Him. When we exercise the gifts that the Holy Spirit has given, we are meant to do so in harmony with one another. Chaos should not reign, for God is not given the opportunity to work among us as He intended, when the world we operate in is a constant whirlwind. When we slow down enough to allow His peace to reign, it permeates our perimeters and is passed on to those around us.

 

After one of my busiest weeks of the year so far, this is a timely reminder. Though I have protected my precious early mornings all week, the succeeding hours each day, were swamped. I know there will be weeks where the constant chaos is nearly unavoidable, but as much as I can help it, I need to be intentional to schedule down time – time where life is slowed down and order is restored, and time to intentionally connect and foster growth in those around me, particularly my progeny. They too have gifts that God is growing in them, and need safe and supportive opportunities to operate in utilizing what they have been given. God is full of grace, and He readily provided places of peace, even in the chaotic spaces. During the most important gymnastics meet of our season, a sweet friend showed up with her son, and sat smiling in the stands for quite some time. Throughout the craziness of our final JV meet yesterday, my fantastic team of coaches rallied together and lightened the load that I so often try to carry on my own. His peace provides order, and He showed me yet again, that He is a God of peace.

 

May we go through each day,A God of Peace

in pursuit of the Lord;

as we seek after Him,

His sweet peace He’ll afford.

As we focus on God,

together or alone;

steer clear of disorder,

honor Him on the throne.

In worship, speak only,

if the meaning’s made known;

we’re meant to encourage,

point to the Lord alone.

Let our lives model peace,

even when chaos reigns;

for His grace is with us,

let our whole life proclaim.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us so much, that You sent Your Son, so that we could have peace and order in Your holy presence. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit that dwells within the hearts of all who believe, and grants us peace. Forgive us for allowing chaos to reign in our lives and in our hearts, and help us to protect Your place as the God of ALL. Teach us to trust You in all things and at all times, so that we may surrender ALL unto You. Lead us to love as we are loved, and may Your peace in us, pass on to all those around us. May many come to know You as their Savior and King, as we operate in obedience to all that You ask of us. May the words of our mouth and the meditations of our heart be pleasing unto You. Amen.

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

And the Lord said, “I will cause all of my goodness to pass in front of you.” – Exodus 33:19

 

Finding Common Ground

“…I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.  I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” – (I Corinthians 9:22b-23)

Paul is telling us a plethora of important principles in but a brief statement.  First, we must find common ground with those around us.  That does not mean we are to partake or indulge in sinful stuff, but rather we must take the time to invest in the lives of those around us, and love them well, where they are at, if we ever hope to have a voice in sharing what matters from our own hearts.  Second, we cannot have a know-it-all attitude.  Humility is the only way we will ever be heard.  Another necessary element in the process is to assure those around us that they are accepted, right where they are.  There are no requirements of “cleaning up” to come to Christ, but rather it is a matter of a sincere heart that is seeking Him.  We must be sensitive to the needs and concerns of those around us, and do what we can, practically, to help meet their needs.  When there is a relationship of trust established, opportunities to share what Christ has done for us personally, will be presented; we need only be available and willing to share.

(Italics  above are paraphrased from NIV footnotes for 9:22-23)

To find common ground,Purple flower

we need open our eyes;

take time to invest,

in other people’s lives.

For if we’re not known,

why would they lend an ear?

No one will listen,

’til another draws near.

We must first listen,

hear each heart and each voice;

notice what’s needed,

sincere service our choice.

When we invest time,

and let love be our choice;

our heart will be heard,

despite chaos and noise.

Let Love lead the way,

be faithful to the Lord;

people will notice,

His light can’t be ignored.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You came and showed us the way to love others well.  Thank You that You came near to all, and made everyone who came near feel accepted and loved.  Thank You that You were always concerned about the needs of those who came, and touched lives as You transformed hearts.  Thank You that You sent Your Spirit, so that we too, have the capacity to love, accept, help, and share in such a way, that people may see You.  Forgive us for not investing time, or not being sensitive to those around us.  Help make us aware of the needs around us, so that we might be Your hands and heart to those who need Your touch, or word of encouragement.  May we learn to find common ground with everyone we meet, and allow You room to move as You see fit.  May many come to know You as their Savior and King.  Be exalted in everything we say and do.  Amen.

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

They will celebrate Your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of Your righteousness.

– Psalm 145:7