Favor in Forgiveness

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. – (Matthew 6:14, NIV)

Yes, if you forgive others for the wrongs they do to you, then your Father in heaven will also forgive your wrongs. – (Matthew 6:14, ERV)

And when you pray, make sure you forgive the faults of others so that your Father in heaven will also forgive you. – (Matthew 6:14, TPT)

 

There is so much power in forgiveness and reconciliation. Last night, I had the privilege of watching this truth play out in the life of a dear friend. Quite some time ago, she had been severed from the lives of people whom she loved. It had been a point of pain for far too long, and yesterday, she decided to reach out to one of those whom she had lost. Her faithfulness to reach out in love was met with an open heart and reciprocated, and the decision to move past the pain was rewarded with tremendous joy. Though not every act of extending an opening for restoration is met and returned, whenever we choose forgiveness, God sees and knows and blesses us with His incredible grace. May we keep short accounts and choose to forgive others; for as we do, we too will be forgiven.

 

As we choose forgive, Faith and Hope in Action

Freely extend grace;

God sees and meets us,

Right there in that space.

This act of free will,

In love, reaching out;

Is answered in love,

It’s what God’s about.

So, ever choose rise,

Look beyond the pain;

As an act of love,

Forgive in His Name.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our God who restores relationships and forgives in the same way that we choose to forgive. Forgive us for not acting in love and forgiveness to others, as we so desperately desire this from You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we find the grace and love to forgive others as we are forgiven by You. Show us how to love those around us in a way that brings restoration and healing. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we choose to extend forgiveness and grace to others, just as You so graciously do unto us. Amen.

 

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

 

O Lord, You are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for Your help. – Psalm 86:5

The Outlook of the Open

For the Lord is righteous, He loves justice; upright men will see His face. – (Psalm 11:7)

 

If it were not for Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, this verse would be completely daunting. Not one of us is able to be upright on our own; however, in Christ, we are called clean, forgiven and free, and He sees us as upright before Him. That being said, we are charged to live a life devoted to Him. As He loves us, so we too, must love. Christ’s goodness and grace are not our free ticket to do whatever we please, but rather our point of redemption and reconciliation from our wrong living, so that we may turn from our wicked ways and live upright before Him for the remainder of our days. May we receive the gift that the Lord has freely given, and respond with a life lived justly, as He empowers us to be upright before Him. Let us hold fast, knowing that our hope is in the promise that we will one day see Him face-to-face.

 

The Lord is righteous,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

in all of His ways;

and He loves justice,

truths that will not change.

Those who live upright,

and receive His grace;

live lives of promise,

and shall see His face.

Christ’s love sacrifice,

created the way;

for us to follow,

and on His path stay.

May we each receive,

all that He’s given;

so we tell of how,

to be forgiven.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are righteous and that You love justice. Thank You that the upright will see Your face. Thank You that righteousness, justice and our status as upright, are not dependent on our abilities, but rather on our willingness to allow You into our hearts and lives to make changes. Forgive us for withholding any area from You, and teach us to trust You more, so that we will release all unto You, granting You full access to clean, refine, restore and renew that which needs to change. Lead us to love others justly and with Your goodness and grace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, Lord. Be glorified O God, as we pursue the path You have placed before us with willing hearts, that are open to all that You want to do both in us, and through us. Amen.

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

Answer me, O Lord, out of the goodness of Your love; in Your great mercy turn to me. – Psalm 69:16

When Anger Arises

In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. – (Ephesians 4:26-27)

 

Anger can be a tricky topic. Just as any other emotion, there are times when anger is an appropriate response to a given situation. That being said, it is always a matter of how we handle our anger that determines whether or not we are responding in righteousness, or running on the road to ruin. Bottling builds bitterness, and outburts wreak havoc, yet Paul says to deal with anger immediately. Ideally, our objective ought to be to approach the offender in love, with the intent of reconciliation, not retaliation. If a resolution is not readily available, we can, at the very least, submit the situation to our Savior in prayer. As we speak out the words of anger, hurt and frustration openly and honestly before Him, there comes a softening, and He equips us with the capacity to pray for the very person or people that inspired the onset of anger. Through prayer and seeking to set things right, the devil has no hold on the destruction that was originally intended. When anger rises, may we seek to set things right.

 

When fury rises,When Anger Arises

don’t fold and give in;

let not the sun set,

in anger, don’t sin.

Give not the devil,

a foothold to take;

seek to reconcile,

and hatred shall break.

Pray for the people,

who wrong or do harm;

go and confront them,

grace through outstretched arms.

Seek to extend peace,

where chaos has reigned;

love as Jesus loved,

let truth be proclaimed.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that anger is not all bad, provided we do not sin when it rises up within us. Thank You that Jesus modeled what righteous anger looked like, when merchants were preventing people from worshiping You and You cleared the temple courts so that they could again enter the space to focus their attention toward You. Forgive us for the times that we have sinned in our anger – for thoughtlessly venting, for bottling it up and becoming bitter – and help us to seek You first so that we act according to Your will, when anger arises. Teach us to trust You more, so that we might respond in righteousness, regardless of the situation or circumstance. Lead us to love others as You so generously love each of us. May many come to know the saving grace that is available in You. Be glorified Lord God, as we act appropriately when anger arises. Amen.

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

But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ. – Ephesians 2:4-5

 

Revealing Reconciliation

image by St. Mark's Church

image by St. Mark’s Church

If there is any

good that’s done through me.

It’s because of Christ,

who has set me free.

By His willing death,

the old’s all but gone.

A new creation,

to pass His love on.

The outside, fleeting,

yet insides will last.

In Christ, a new heart,

true freedom from past.

Each of us is called,

to do all we can,

to share of His love,

with our fellow man.

All were created

to be reconciled,

but all must hear it,

to know we’re His child.

(Responding to 2 Corinthians 5:14-20)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that because You came and bore all of our ugliness, we, by Your Spirit, can be used for good.  Thank You that from the moment we come into relationship with You, we are a new creation, with a new capacity to love like You.  Forgive us for attempting anything in our own strength, and help us to be completely dependant on You.  Use us mightily Lord, to touch hurting hearts with Your lasting love that heals and grants eternal hope, so that many may enter into an everlasting relationship with You, our Redeemer.  Amen.

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