Show Us How to Love

And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. – (Deuteronomy 6:5, NLT)

Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love Him with all that’s in you, love Him with all you’ve got! – (Deuteronomy 6:5, MSG)

You should love Him, your true God, with all your heart and soul, with every ounce of your strength. – (Deuteronomy 6:5, VOICE)

 

As God was preparing the hearts of the Israelites to enter the promised land, one of the things that He made sure that Moses conveyed to the people was the importance of prioritizing the love of God in all things. The promise that follows verse five, explains the blessings that will come if loving God is the priority. Incredibly, the very same promises hold true today, as Jesus repeated the same message and added to it, the importance of loving our neighbors as ourselves as well. If love directs and guides the decisions that we make, then we are far more likely to walk in the will of God. Not one of us has mastered loving God and loving people perfectly. We are all sinners in need of a Savior. However, the more we seek to love God and love people well, the more His heart is shown to those who need to see it most. May we ever delight in the Lord with our whole hearts, and pursue a life that loves Him and those around us well.

 

Let the love of God, Enter With Thanksgiving

Be what rules our hearts;

Mind, spirit and strength,

Completely, not part.

For as we choose love,

There’s blessing and grace;

To walk in His way,

As we seek His face.

Let us choose to love,

Both God and others;

With all that we are,

Sisters and brothers.

By the grace of God,

To love is a choice;

He grants strength and grace,

Listen to His voice.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You not only created us to love, but You call us to love as well. Thank You that as we choose to do that which we were made to do, we discover the blessings that You bestow by Your grace. Forgive us for not loving You or those around us with all that we are, and teach us to trust You more, so that we would love as You love us. Show us how to delight in You and those around us, so that the love You have given may be made known. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek to love You with all of our heart, soul and strength, and trust You to help us love our neighbors as ourselves. Amen.

 

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

 

I thank You and praise You, O God of my fathers: You have given me wisdom and power. – Daniel 2:23

Go in Courage

So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you. – (Deuteronomy 31:6, NLT)

 

Though these words were from Moses to Joshua and those who were to lead the Israelites into the promised land, they hold true for us today as well. Yesterday, as I chose to go in trust to my MRI, I kept reminding myself that God would be with me, despite the claustrophobic conditions that I would be subjected to for my impending MRI, and that no matter what, His presence would be my comfort. As I arrived, my heart was settled, for I had chosen to trust, regardless of what I was about to face. God had personally gone before me in a way that I could not have even imagined, for as the kind technician led me back to the machine, I was greeted by an open machine with a large window looking outside at blooming trees. Because the imaging was for my back, I was placed in the apparatus feet first, leaving my head quite close to the end, with permission and the ability to turn and look out the window as I wished. What could have been an hour of panic and misery, was almost restful and relaxing. I never once felt ill-at-ease, and could not stop thanking God for His overwhelming kindness in something that might be considered so insignificant to many.  My choice to seek strength and courage in Christ, kept fear and panic in check. He personally went before me, and remained present throughout the entire process. If He cares about something so seemingly insignificant as this, how much more does He care about the big stuff? The unknown is always the most unnerving, and Monday that is exactly where I am headed as I go see the specialist about this injury. As I prepare to go, I will cling to the promises that He has proven true again and again, and trust Him to be my source of strength and courage. God has already gone before me and knows the outcome. No matter what is spoken, He will neither fail me nor abandon me. May we choose courage and strength, keeping panic far from us – for God is the one who will go ahead of us without failing us nor abandoning us; for He is always faithful.

 

Do not give panic,Dispelling Discouragement

A place to take hold;

For the Lord our God,

Gives strength to be bold.

He goes before us,

And prepares the way;

He’ll never leave us,

If we ask He stay.

What we are to face,

Really matters not;

For God is greater,

Each battle, He’s fought.

Choose to trust the Lord,

For in Him, strength’s found;

Rise up and fear not,

His grace shall abound.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can be strong and courageous in You. Thank You that we need not fear nor panic, for You go before us and will not leave us nor fail us. Forgive us for our fearfulness when we face the unknown. Teach us to trust You more, for You alone are worthy of all of our trust. Show us how to love others so that they may see Your strength and courage in us, as it is provided by You alone. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we choose to trust You to be our courage and strength, knowing that You go before us and remain with us in all things and at all times. Amen.

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

He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. – Proverbs 11:25

Courage for Change

In life, we are assured there will be change. Seasons change, people change, and circumstances change. Our certainty is found in Christ. As the Lord calls us into new seasons, it is easy for fear to creep in. Though change is inevitable, it is a space of uncertainty, and anything unknown tends to bring uneasiness. God does not call us into the new and then just expect us to give it a go on our own. He promises to be present, and provides what we need, as we need it, to successfully navigate the new. The same words God gave to Joshua and the Israelites as they were preparing to enter the new of the promised land, are still applicable to each of us today as we walk in obedience to all that God is asking of us.

 

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – (Joshua 1:9)

 

May we rise up in His strength and courage, overcoming fear and discouragement, as we hold fast to the promise that God will remain with us wherever we go.

 

Be of good courage,Courage for Change

in seasons of change;

for God has promised,

our hope He’s made plain.

No matter what comes,

or where we need go;

Christ will be present,

this truth we can know.

Be strong without fear,

for He is our strength;

He’ll go where we go,

each height, depth and length.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You grant us strength and courage to overcome fear and discouragement, and You remain with us wherever we go. Thank You that You are faithful to Your promises, and Your love endures forever. Forgive us for allowing fear and discouragement to dull us to Your presence, and teach us to trust You more, so that we will be ever aware of Your nearness, regardless of our circumstances. Lead us to love others with the same relentlessness that You love each of us. May many come into a saving relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we rise up in strength and courage and go forward without fear, as we face every change that comes our way. 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

Fear Not the Long Road

Do not be terrified by them, for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a great and awesome God. – (Deuteronomy 7:21)

 

Though this verse was Moses’ exhortation to the Israelites as they were preparing to enter into the promised place where there were giant men before them that dwelled in the land, the promise of God’s presence is still true for us today. God is a great and awesome God, and He is among us. With Him, we need not be afraid of anything that stands before us.

 

The Lord our God, is Christ with us. When Jesus died, resurrected, and ascended into heaven, He sent His Spirit to dwell in the hearts of all who choose to trust in Him. God with us, is His Spirit among and in us, as we make our hearts His home. Great, means high rank; extraordinary powers – and the Lord is the greatest who ever was, is or is yet to come. Additionally, when we hear that He is an awesome God, it is recognizing that God is the One who inspires an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, and awe. He is good, and with Him, we need not be afraid of anything that lies ahead.

 

Fear not the long road,Fear Not the Long Road

that’s lying ahead;

for the Lord, our God,

will do what He said.

He’ll remain present,

when the road is rough;

He’ll give us the strength,

that’s more than enough.

For the Lord is great,

awesome in power;

present to lead us,

our safe, Strong Tower.

His promises shall,

forever hold true;

our hope for all time,

as He makes us new.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that though things before us at times seem terrifying or overwhelming, in You, we have nothing to fear. Thank You that You, our great and awesome God, are with us, always. Forgive us for allowing fear to deter us from the plans that You have for us, and help us to embrace the road You call us to travel, trusting You, each step of the way. Help us to hold fast to Your promises and Your presence, fixing our eyes and hearts securely on You. Lead us to love others well, as You so perfectly love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we forge forward, without fear, in the fold of Your embrace. 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

Facing the Giants

God is good and loving, and He always has our very best in mind. When He calls us out of something, or leads us into something new, it is for our benefit, and at times, for our protection. When we fail to trust Him, we may miss out on all that He has for us. Even more than that, there are times when “failing to trust God brings even greater problems than those we originally faced. When we run from God, we inevitably run into problems.” – (NIV footnotes for Numbers 14:34)

 

The Israelites were a prime example of this. Because they failed to trust God, they did not enter into the promised land when it was right there, before them. Instead, they rebelled against God and those He had placed in leadership, and ended up wandering in the desert until they died.

 

From the Israelite perspective, following God into the promised land was a frightening prospect. There were men the size of giants, and their numbers seemed far greater than those of the Israelites. However, the Israelites had been miraculously brought out of captivity, provided for again and again by the mighty hand of God Himself, and yet, they failed to see God’s capacity to carry them over one more hurdle to receive the promise that God had made. Despite the numerous examples that we have throughout the Bible, history, and in our own lives, it is easy to fall prey to the same. If we allow our gaze to fix on that which we face before us, rather than Him who will carry us through, our desire to run begins to outweigh our passion to pursue God’s direction for our lives. May we fix our eyes on He who is more than able to carry us through every circumstance, and trust Him to provide what is needed to get where He calls us to go.

 

Our God is loving,Facing the Giants

and He always has;

the best intentions,

for our promised land.

Yet we have to trust,

and choose to obey;

listen and follow,

and walk in His way.

Even when walking,

seems horrid and hard;

He calls us to trust,

allow Him to guard.

He will not take us,

where He will not go;

His presence promised,

and peace we shall know.

Lead us, Lord Jesus,

wherever You say;

and grant us the strength,

to rise and obey.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You will not lead us where You are not also willing to be present. Thank You that You go before us, behind us, and with us, so that we are never alone or unprotected. Thank You that though trusting You can be frightening at times, failing to do so can mean missing out on all that You have for us. Forgive us for the times that we have run from You, and teach us to trust You more so that we run to You, and embrace all that You call us to do. Lead us to move in rapid obedience, fixing our eyes on You. Help us to love others with You kindness and grace, just as You so completely love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, as they learn to fix their eyes and hearts on You, the only One who can lead us into the places of promise. Be glorified O God, as we move in obedience, even in the scary spaces. Amen.

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

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. – Psalm 23:6