To Drive Out Darkness

You, Lord, are my lamp; the Lord turns my darkness into light. – (2 Samuel 22:29, NIV)

O Lord, You are my light! You make my darkness bright. – (2 Samuel 22:29, TLB)

Suddenly, God, Your light floods my path, God drives out the darkness. – (2 Samuel 22:29, MSG)

 

These were the words of David, as he reflected on God’s faithfulness to him. David had faced countless enemies and exhaustion, and God continued to rescue, redeem, and hear his prayers. The same God who provided for David on his most difficult days, is alive and active, ever-ready to overcome the darkness before us. May we turn in trust to the Lord, always seeking Him to light our path and show us the ways we are meant to go.

 

The Lord is my lamp, To Drive Out Darkness

Emitting His light;

Makes plain all our paths,

And which choice is right.

In spaces of dark,

His love light shines through;

As we choose to seek,

Faithfully pursue.

Pursue God’s wisdom,

Direction to know;

What we are to do,

And where we should go.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are loving and kind, faithful and true. Thank You that You are the light that shows us what to do. Forgive us for not seeking You for light in spaces of darkness. Teach us to trust You more, as You make the path plain when we look to Your light. Show us how to love those around us in ways that illuminate Your faithfulness forever. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we pursue the path You light before us. Amen.

 

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

 

You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. – Psalm 18:28

Purposeful Grace

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine on us – so that Your ways may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations. – (Psalm 67:1-2, NIV)

God, show mercy to us and bless us. Please accept us! Let everyone on earth learn about You. Let every nation see how You save people. – (Psalm 67:1-2, ERV)

May God pour His grace and blessings into us and turn His face to shine His light on us. So all those on earth will learn to follow Your way and see Your saving power come to redeem all nations. – (Psalm 67:1-2, VOICE)

 

David, the author of this Psalm, was specific to ask for God’s grace, blessing, and favor. However, his requests did not end there. There was purpose in his petition – David’s prayer was that God’s ways would be known throughout the earth, His salvation spread to all people. His heart was that of a missionary, as David had hope that all might come to see and know the saving power of God. He recognized that as people could see God’s grace, blessing, and favor upon those who already knew and followed God, that they too, would desire the difference. His prayer had purpose. David did not pray for the goodness of God to be evident in him for his pleasure, but rather so that God’s ways might be made known throughout the earth; that people everywhere would come to know His salvation. The heart of David is a model for all who believe. May we seek the Lord and His mercy, grace and blessings, so that His favor upon us may make His heart known to all those around us and beyond.

 

O Lord, may Your grace,numbered-days-and-wise-ways.jpg

Be poured upon us;

So people may see,

The light of Jesus.

Each blessing received,

Make Your glory known;

Through favor to us,

Your love light be shown.

Let all come to know,

Power of Your grace;

So all would seek You,

For all of our days.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that David modeled both what to pray and why. Thank You that Your grace, blessings, and favor have a far greater purpose that extends well beyond the recipient. Forgive us for not recognizing the reason for Your favor. Teach us to see every act of mercy, grace and blessing as an opportunity to show others what it is to know and embrace Your goodness and grace. Lead us to love those around us in a way that extends Your heart and hands. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we ask for and embrace all the good Your pour out upon us, recognizing the opportunity to be Your light and love to the world. Amen.

 

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

 

Yes, the Word was full of grace and truth, and from Him we all received one blessing after another. – John 1:16

He Grows Us in Grace

Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. – (Philippians 1:6, NIV) 

And I am sure that God who began a good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in His grace until His task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns. – (Philippians 1:6, TLB) 

I am confident that the Creator, who has begun such a great work among you, will not stop mid-design but will keep perfecting you until the day Jesus the Anointed, our Liberating King, returns to redeem the world. – (Philippians 1:6, VOICE) 

 

God is not finished with us yet. When we choose to walk with Him, He refines us from the inside out. Our sin and shame are removed, and He shows us how to walk in His way as He grows His grace within us. None of us ever “arrive”, as we all are a work in progress until our final day when we at last meet Him face-to-face. May we rise up and remember that He who began the good work within us will continue to carry it out to completion. 

 

The good God began, He Grows Us in Grace

Is not finished yet; 

Each works in progress, 

Daybreak to sunset. 

It is a process, 

For our whole life long; 

He grows us in grace, 

And makes our hearts strong. 

Refined from within, 

Sin and shame removed; 

Love lavished on us, 

As goodness is proved. 

Let us choose rise up, 

In love, opt do good; 

Rely on His help, 

To do all we should. 

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You who began a good work in us will continue until it is completed on the day that we see You face-to-face. Thank You that You grow us in Your grace so that we may go forth and love as You love us. Forgive us for not seeking or trusting You as we should. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would rely on You to grow Your grace within us so that we are able to love as You call us to love. Show us how to love those around us in a way that extends the same good that You have given to us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we rest assured that You will continue to grow Your grace within us as we seek You until we one day see You face-to-face. Amen. 

 

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

The joy of the Lord is your strength. – Nehemiah 8:10

To Honor the Dream

Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself… – (Leviticus 19:18, NIV)

Forget about the wrong things people do to you. Don’t try to get even. Love your neighbor as yourself… – (Leviticus 19:18, ERV)

You shall not take revenge nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor (acquaintance, associate, companion) as yourself… – (Leviticus 19:18, AMP)

 

Historically, there have been many groups of people that have had reason to hold a grudge for the wrongs done against them, yet for change to occur, the right to revenge had to be released, and love had to prevail. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was a phenomenal example of choosing love, despite his circumstances. Dr. King found ways to bring truth in love, and fight for change through peace. Hate was not his motivation, but rather a heart of love. As a husband, father, minister, leader and spokesperson for civil rights, he let his faith shape the way in which he lived and loved. His words, “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear”, still remind us of the way in which we ought to choose to live. Be it an acquaintance, an associate, or a companion, may we choose to stick with love; for it is the very way in which we are called to live.

 

The only true way, mlk

To find peace at last;

Is to stick with love,

Let go of the past.

When we choose forgive,

Our hearts are set free;

The burden of hate,

Is far too heavy.

May we stick with love,

And choose to redeem;

Value all people,

And honor the dream.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the men and women who have chosen to rise up and stick with love, despite the barriers and difficulties that have stood before them. Thank You that when we choose love, You move mightily among us. Forgive us for the times that we have held grudges rather than chosen love. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would stick with love, and not allow the weight of hate to destroy that which You intend for good. Show us how to love every acquaintance, associate and companion as You would have us love ourselves. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. May your peace prevail, and love win where hate has tried to reign. Be glorified O God, as we choose love again and again, knowing that You will use every decision of love to bring the dream to further fulfillment. 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

Anna’s Answer

Anna the prophetess was also there, a daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher. She was by now a very old woman. She had been married seven years and a widow for eighty-four. She never left the Temple area, worshiping night and day with her fasting and prayers. At the very time Simeon was praying, she showed up and broke into an anthem of praise to God, and talked about the child to all who were waiting expectantly for the freeing of Jerusalem. – (Luke 2:36-38, MSG)

 

Though Matthew does not reveal to us whether or not Anna had been promised to see the Messiah before the end of her life, I imagine that her presence in the Temple was no accident nor coincidence, as Mary and Joseph brought Jesus on the eighth day after his birth. It is difficult to fathom the life of Anna. Widowed, likely at a very young age, she chose to remain in the Temple area day in and day out, for decades. Matthew describes her has a prophet, and her heart was clearly connected to God as she worshiped and prayed day and night. Likely, one of her often prayed prayers was for the Savior to come to rescue Israel, as had been foretold in scripture. Incredibly, after all of her faithful time spent serving and honoring God, she suddenly found herself standing in the presence of a promise coming to fruition. Immanuel, God with us, came near in a tangible way to Anna, who had waited nearly a lifetime to behold the very One who was held before her. May we worship with the same sort of wonder and celebration as those first few whom God blessed with the opportunity to be in the presence of our Savior. The glory of the first Christmas remains the same, as we celebrate God with us, now and forevermore.

 

Remarkable the faith, Annas Answer

And hope she held dear;

Faithful for ages,

Prayers that God come near.

In awe and wonder,

Her eyes did behold;

The promised Savior,

Scriptures had foretold.

She could not help speak,

To all others tell;

This most holy news,

Rejoice! It is well.

The hope she had held,

Was found in the eyes;

Eight-day-old baby,

Future realized.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son to save us. Thank You that Jesus made the way for us to be in right relationship with You, despite our shortcomings. Forgive us for forgetting all that Jesus went through to not only redeem us, but to know and understand our struggles and pain. Teach us to trust You with a relentless faith like Anna. Help us to faithfully pray and worship You, regardless of what we see. Show us how to love those around us in a way that offers hope where there is none, so they too may look to You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we thank You and praise You for all that You have done through the precious gift of Your Son. 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

The Greatest Gift

But when the set time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. – (Galatians 4:4-5, NIV)

But when the right time came, God sent His Son, who was born from a woman and lived under the law. God did this so that He could buy the freedom of those who were under the law. God’s purpose was to make us His children. – (Galatians 4:4-5, ERV)

When the right time arrived, God sent His Son into the world (born of a woman, subject to the law) to free those who, just like Him, were subject to the law. Ultimately, He wanted us all to be adopted as sons and daughters. – (Galatians 4:4-5, VOICE)

 

God knew that humanity needed a Savior. For most, the law was a list of do and do not from a distance out of fear and reverence, rather than being rooted in relationship. The arrival of Jesus changed everything. God out there, became God is here. Jesus’ birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension gave way for us to be adopted into God’s family as His children. No more are we simply subjects attempting obedience out of fear, but rather we are children of the Most High, saved by grace and dearly loved. From this position of freedom, it is difficult not to desire to do what is pleasing to the very One who set us free. May we rise up and recognize the sacrifice that was given so that we could be free, and walk out our days honoring God with our words, deeds and praise.

 

God saw all our need, The Greatest Gift

And set forth a plan;

Redemption and grace,

By His loving hands.

Hands that chose to send,

His beloved Son;

To bear all the weight,

Of what we have done.

Freely He took on,

All our ugliness;

So we may be called,

His in righteousness.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You saw mankind’s need for a Savior and sent Your Son to redeem us. Thank You that not only do You forgive us of all of our sin, but You adopt us as sons and daughters of Your own. Thank You that You lovingly receive all who come seeking You. Forgive us for forgetting the magnitude of Your sacrifice to be called sons and daughters. Teach us to treasure the gifts of Your mercy and grace far more than we do. Show us how to love others in a way that extends the same sort of mercy and grace to others, so that they might see glimpses of You through the good we give. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give You praise for the greatest gift ever given through the sending of Your Son. Amen.

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

 

May God Almighty grant you mercy. – Genesis 43:14

Seeing Past a Sordid Past

People should never be discounted for who they appear to be, or what they may have done in the past. God can redeem and raise up the unlikeliest of people to do great things for His purposes.

This morning, my daily reading covered Joshua 2:1-21, which is the story of Rahab and how she helped the Israelite spies that Joshua had sent ahead to Jericho.

“Rahab is a woman in a male-centered world; and she is a prostitute, the kind of person we typically vilify. But if she doesn’t rescue these men – and help them escape with the information they have gained – this first campaign in the land of Canaan will fail, and the larger outcome may be complicated  – or worse.” (VOICE footnotes)

As a result of Rahab’s protection of the spies when the king had sent his guards to find them, she and her family would ultimately be spared. The spies spoke the following to Rahab: “We offer our own lives as a guarantee for your safety,” the men agreed. “If you don’t betray us, we will keep our promise and be kind to you when the Lord gives us the land.” – (Joshua 2:14, NLT)

Not only would her life be spared, but all of her family.

I love that a woman with such a sordid past, was used by God to do something so remarkable. Her act of kindness propelled the movement of an entire population into the promise so long sought after. No one should ever be discounted. We all have a past, yet each one has potential. God can do ANYTHING through a heart that is willing. May we rise up and look at the world around us through a lens that sees possibilities rather than just problems. Great things begin with the seemingly insignificant…

 

Do not choose discount,Finding Freedoms Flight

A colorful past;

For last shall be first,

And first shall be last.

God does not do things,

The way we foresee;

But rather He moves,

To set captives free.

Perceptions at times,

Are the thickest walls;

That limit our sight,

And disrupt His call.

Lord, give us Your eyes,

To see as You do;

Each person with gifts,

That You long to use.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You see every single person as someone with potential to do great things according to Your purposes. Thank You that our past does not discount us, nor does our present status. Forgive us for discounting ourselves or others from being useful to You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may see ourselves and others through Your lens, not our own. Show us the potential in those around us, and help us to encourage and draw out the good in all. Help us to love others well, just as You love us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we look for opportunities to move where You are calling, and to encourage those around us as they step out in faith. 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

Grace and Redemption to Go

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ. – (Romans 3:23-24)

 

The size of our sin does not determine our outcome. No matter where we have been, we can still come to Christ and be covered by the cleansing of the cross. The grace of God is far greater than the weight of our former ways. When we come to Christ and receive all that He has to offer by inviting Him to be Lord of our lives, He enters in and washes away the shame and stains of what we once were, so that we may become who He is calling us to be. Christ’s sacrifice on the cross redeems all who choose to believe. In Him, we are set free from all that formerly enslaved us to the ways of the world, so that we may walk in the freedom of His love and grace. May we remember the enormity of God’s grace and redemption that was granted to us when we first believed, so that we too, may offer more grace than we think we ought to, to all those around us.

 

Everyone has sinned,Doing Good Mutes Malicious Talk

broken, fallen short;

not done as we should,

unrighteous consort.

Yet Christ entered in,

by His grace He came;

to redeem sinners,

set free in His Name.

O Wonderful One,

we come seek Your face;

lead us in Your ways,

as we run our race.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that though all of us have sinned and fallen short of Your glory, that You justify us freely by Your grace and redeem us through Christ, when we choose to place our trust in You. Thank You for this overwhelming gift of love that is so much more than we can even begin to fathom. Forgive us for taking Your grace for granted, or for forgetting all that You have forgiven. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may be fully aware of both the magnitude of the grace and redemption that we have been granted, and Your power and strength that You offer now so that we may walk in the light of Your truth. Lead us to love others as You so graciously love each of us. May many come into a saving relationship with You, as they come to understand not only their need for a Savior, but the security that is found forever in You. Be glorified O God, as we operate fully aware of the grace and redemption that we have been granted, and move forward in Your power and strength to do all that You call us to do. 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

The Unchanging Nature of God

Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of His purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, He confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. – (Hebrews 6:17-18, NIV)

 

God wanted to prove that His promise was true. He wanted to prove this to those who would get what He promised. He wanted them to understand clearly that His purposes never change. So God said something would happen, and He proved what He said by adding an oath. These two things cannot change: God cannot lie when He says something, and He cannot lie when He makes an oath. So these two things are a great help to us who have come to God for safety. They encourage us to hold on to the hope that is ours. – (Hebrews 6:17-18, ERV)

 

If God says it, He does it. Who He is, will not change. We can trust God to be true to both His nature and His word. Our hope is secure forever in Him. May we grasp the truth that we are sons and daughters – heirs of God – called His children, promised both His presence now and a permanent place dwelling with Him forever, in Heaven. Because He does not change, neither should our hold on hope.

 

True to His word,The Unchanging Nature of God

His promises true;

He will not change,

nor lie unto you.

He is safe space,

to Whom we can run;

our hope to hold,

’til our day is done.

Heaven awaits,

for the faithful ones;

those who choose trust,

as daughters and sons.

Rise up in hope,

children of the King;

may our lives be,

pleasing offerings.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not change and that You keep Your promises forever. Thank You that You are a space of safety whom we can run to, and are faithful and worthy of all of our trust. Thank You that not only do You forgive and redeem us, but You adopt us as sons and daughters; heirs of Your holy inheritance. Thank You that when we choose to place our trust in You, our hope is secured in Heaven forever. Forgive us for our faltering faith, and for our lack of trust. Teach us to see things through Your lens, so that we might have an eternal perspective, recognizing that You will have the final say in all things. Help us to live our lives in love as You so lavishly love us. May many come to know the peace of Your promises as we pursue Your path for our lives. Be glorified in all that we say and do, and may our lives be a pleasing offering unto You. Amen.

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

You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence. – Acts 2:28