Fresh Hope Reconciled

He came to His own people, and even they rejected Him. But to all who believed Him and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God. – (John 1:11-12, NLT) 

He came to the world that was His own. And His own people did not accept Him. But some people did accept Him. They believed in Him, and He gave them the right to become children of God. – (John 1:11-12, ERV) 

He came to His own people, but they didn’t want Him. But whoever did want Him, who believed He was who He claimed and would do what He said, He made to be their true selves, their child-of-God selves. – (John 1:11-12, MSG) 

 

Under the law, God was One to be approached from a distance, rather than One whom we could draw near and be in relationship with personally. Jesus came to break the barrier that separated us from God and give us access to our Heavenly Father as dearly loved children. Our part is to believe and trust in Him. As we do, we are adopted as daughters and sons of the living God. The reality that we are considered children of God when we believe and accept Him as our own, is overwhelming. He sees and knows everything about us, and yet He loves us more than we can even begin to grasp. My role as a mom likely only begins to give a glimpse of the depth and breadth of His love for us. The love I have for my children feels limitless. When they hurt, I hurt. When they are doing well, I am full of joy. How much greater is the capacity to love of He who created all that is and ever was, as He knit us together and breathed life into our being? May we embrace the glorious grace that we have been given, as we receive the gift of being called daughters and sons of the living God through believing in Him and accepting His word is true. 

 

Often rejected, Risk to Reward

Jesus, He still came; 

To offer His love, 

As we call His Name. 

For all who believe, 

Accept His word’s true; 

Become His own kids, 

As we are made new. 

No longer from far, 

But we can draw near; 

Speak to Mighty God, 

We have Daddy’s ear. 

Just as a parent, 

Loves deeply their child; 

We’re loved by the Lord, 

Fresh hope reconciled. 

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You came and made the way for us to be restored to right relationship with You. Thank You that when we believe and accept Your word, You call us Your own. Forgive us for rejecting the truth that You make known to us, and teach us to trust You more. Help us to walk in Your way and honor You in all that we say and do. Show us how to love those around us so that they might gain glimpses of You through our love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we accept, believe and receive all that You show us of Yourself and Your word. Amen. 

 

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

 

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; …write them on the tablet of your heart. – Proverbs 3:3

Chosen Representatives

But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do His work and speak out for Him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference He made for you – from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted. – (1 Peter 2:9-10, MSG)

 

If we are followers of Christ, we are among those considered His chosen people. Those who are chosen, are also now called. Our calling is to be representatives of Christ – to be His instruments of peace, telling others of all that He has done in us and for us. Both our words and our deeds should demonstrate the dramatic difference that an identity in Christ makes in how we navigate. May we represent well the wonders of the work of His hands, so that many may come to know Him.

 

For we are chosen,Forgiveness is Free

To represent well;

A life changed by God,

Our story to tell.

In all that we do,

And words that we say;

May His light be seen,

As we walk His way.

Once we were nothing,

Headed for demise;

Then God made the way,

And loved us to life.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we seek You, we find You, and You call us Your own. Thank You that You choose us to be Your instruments of peace, to represent You to those around us. Thank You that You qualify and equip us to do so. Forgive us for staying silent when we have so much to say about all that You have done in us and for us. Teach us to trust You more so that we would be bold on Your behalf. Show us how to love others where they are, so that they may seek to find the Source of our love too. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we do and say the things You call us to on Your behalf, allowing us to represent You well. Amen.

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

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad. – 1 Chronicles 16:31

Strong to the End

He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful. – (1 Corinthians 1:8-9)

 

The promised strength and covering of Christ is given not because we are somehow “good enough“, but rather because He is faithful. As we choose to place our trust in Him, the Lord leads us out of our lives of sin, and looks at us through the lens of His Son. Though not one of us are blameless before Him, we are forgiven, and seen as spotless because of the sacrifice that Jesus made on our behalf. More than that, we are welcomed into an eternal fellowship with Christ, from the moment we first believe. The Creator of all, whom we despised and rejected, now calls us His children; His friends. May we go forth in His strength, as we recognize the faithfulness of He who calls us His own.

 

Those who have answered,Faith for Forever

we’ve been welcomed in;

Christ’s own fellowship,

those set free from sin.

He grants us His strength,

to stand strong in Him;

to remain blameless,

led by Christ within.

He calls us His own,

kids of Christ the King;

despite our failures,

to hope we may cling.

For what He’s promised,

will always be true;

the Lord is faithful,

what He says, He’ll do.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are faithful to Your promises, and You grant us strength and cover us, making us blameless before You. Thank You that You welcome us into fellowship with You and consider us Your own. Forgive us for not trusting You enough, or for doubting Your faithfulness. Teach us to trust You more, even when we see no evidence of Your presence. Make us strong and blameless before You, so that we may go forth in truth. Help us to live and love in such a way, that those around us see You clearly. May many come to know You as their Savior and King. Be glorified, O God, as we trust in Your faithfulness and follow You with all that we are. 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

Favored, Not Forgotten

Have you ever felt rejected or forgotten by God? Psalm 74 is a great reminder of what we ought to do when we find ourselves in such a space. Our God is big enough to hear our concerns, yet as we pause and reflect on who He is, we will begin to remember just how great He truly is. The first line of Psalm 74 begins with: Why have You rejected us forever, O God? A mere eleven verses later, the Psalmist writes: But You, O God, are my king from of old; You bring salvation upon the earth. As the writer continues to unpack the memories of God’s power and faithfulness, faith seems to rise up, and requests are made with confidence.

 

What can we do when we find ourselves in a similar space – a place where we feel as if we are out of the favor of our Heavenly Father? If we follow the example set before us in Psalm 74, first, we need to be honest with God and let Him know how we are feeling. He is a loving Father, and will not be crushed by our honest admission of frustration or doubt. Next, we ought to spend some time remembering times of His favor and faithfulness. As we speak of the great things He has done, faith rises up, and strength for the stretch ahead, seems to return. Finally, we are meant to ask the Lord for His help. If we are afraid, we need to pray for His courage to rise up within us. If we are weary and worn, we need ask for His strength to sustain. He is, where we are not. May we seek the Lord honestly, and remember all that He has done.

 

Seasons of silence,Do Everything in Love

quiet and alone;

feeling forgotten,

wanting to be shown.

Stop and remember,

the Lord’s faithfulness;

His grace and mercy,

in times of distress.

Time and time again,

His hand, evident;

He rescued and loved,

His peace swiftly sent.

Cry out to the Lord,

for He will give ear;

to all that we ask,

His presence is clear.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that even when we feel like we are alone and abandoned, You are present and moving on our behalf. Thank You that our feelings are not indicators of Your working. Thank You that we can come to You and speak to You honestly and openly, wherever we are at, and You still love us the same. Thank You for Your faithfulness throughout the ages, so that we can look back and see and remember how faithful You truly are. Forgive us for doubting Your presence or Your willingness to intervene on our behalf because Your timeline is different from our own. Teach us to trust You and Your timing, and grant us Your peace in the waiting. May we persevere with confidence, trusting in You alone. Let us love others as You so lavishly love us, and may many come to know You as their Savior and King as a result. Be glorified, O God, as we seek to trust You even when we are unaware of Your presence. 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

Transforming Touch

Seeping the sores

image by Heather LaPierre

image by Heather LaPierre

that cover my skin.

Far deeper the scars,

aching within.

Despised by all,

rejected in fear.

No human touch,

none will dare come near.

News of a man,

in village nearby,

who heals the sick.

Could He hear my cry?

He is coming,

to my town, and soon.

What shall I ask?

What am I to do?

That must be Him,

who’s walking this way.

I have to now,

I must seize the day!

I ran to Him,

and fell at His feet.

“If You’re willing,

You can make me clean.”

With tender touch,

compassionate face,

He said, “Be clean!”

Right there, in that place.

My despised heart,

now tenderly heard,

with but a touch,

and promising word.

(Responding to Mark 1:40-42)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are not repulsed nor repelled by our brokenness, but rather You willingly and lovingly come close and touch that which the world deems untouchable.  Thank You that You love us in the places where we feel most broken and unlovable.  Forgive us for being slow to ask, and help us to remember to run to You, as You are always waiting with arms open wide.  May we receive all that You have for us, so that we in turn, may be quick to extend our hands and hearts to those who feel unlovable or untouchable by the world’s standards.  Use us to lead the lost to Your loving arms of grace.  Amen.

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