Forgiving Offenses

Put up with one another. Forgive. Pardon any offenses against one another, as the Lord has pardoned you, because you should act in kindness. – (Colossians 3:13, VOICE)

Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. – (Colossians 3:13, NLT)

Don’t be angry with each other, but forgive each other. If you feel someone has wronged you, forgive them. Forgive others because the Lord forgave you. – (Colossians 3:13, ERV)

 

We, as humans, are fallen and flawed, and fail to be offense-free forever. No matter how hard we try, nor how much grace we give, eventually we will offend and become offended. What we do with our offenses makes all the difference. The feelings that follow are our own, but what we do in response is a matter of our choosing to trust God and forgive, or rely on our own brokenness and lash out. We are called to forgive because we have been forgiven. Kindness has been given time and time again; though we deserved it not. Though others will wrong us, and we will likewise wrong others, may we ever seek the Lord for strength to go forth in forgiveness, so that His heart may be made known through our love. When we offend others, may we also be quick to repent and remedy the relational strain.

 

O Lord let Your light,Faith and Hope in Action

Be made known through us;

As we choose forgive,

Like Your Son, Jesus.

For we all offend,

As we have been wronged;

We must choose let go,

Trust, rise; carry on.

Don’t let us fixate,

On faults of others;

For we all fall short,

But Your love covers.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have forgiven us, and because we are forgiven, we can go and do likewise. Thank You that Your grace covers every fault found within us. Forgive us for not extending the same grace to others when we are offended or hurt by those around us. Teach us to turn to You in trust, as You suffered every offense known to man, and You forgave anyway. Help us to forgive and love like You. Show us how to extend Your loving kindness to all those whom we encounter, so that they might gain glimpses of who You are and how deeply You love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we forgive the faults and offenses of those around us, and operate our lives in the loving kindness that You have granted unto us. Amen.

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

Because of the tender mercy of our God, …the rising sun will come to us from heaven. – Luke 1:78

Strength to the Seeking

Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always. – (Psalm 105:4)

 

Strength is a funny thing; Jesus grants us what we need, as we need it, yet the sense of it rising up within us never seems to come until we set aside ourselves and seek to solely rely on Him. We are created to be relational. Not just relational with people, but with our Creator. In this fallen world, we need His wisdom, guidance and strength to navigate the ways in which we are meant to walk, daily. Be it in trial or in triumph, may we seek His face, and look to the Lord for His strength, so that we may honor Him all of our days.

 

Though we may have strength,Worry Versus Concern

of faith, might or heart;

without seeking God,

all will fall apart.

For we were designed,

purposed each to be;

in relationship,

with Jesus our King.

Let each day begin,

with seeking His face;

ask the Lord for strength,

and receive His grace.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can seek You and find You always. Thank You that You are our Source of strength, and that You grant us all we need as we choose to rely on You. Thank You that You created us to be in relationship with You, and that You made the way for us to enter into a relationship with You that remains forever. Forgive us for trying to rely on our own strength, or for not seeking You in all things and at all times. Teach us to make it a new normal in our operating throughout our days. May many come to know You as we love others as You love us. Be glorified as we live, love and serve in Your strength. Amen.

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

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

God’s Gift in Grief

It is not good to navigate grief, nor face trials all on our own.  God gives us people to walk beside us and keep watch.  Though our first and foremost resource is our Heavenly Father, He created us to need people too.  In the glory of His goodness, He allows people to be His hands, heart and voice.  Jesus in us, makes Christ tangible to others, when we are faithful friends who do life with one another.

This morning, as I read further in Matthew, something stood out to me in a new way.  “Then He said to them, ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.  Stay here and keep watch with me.” – (Matthew 26:38)  Though Jesus, who was fully God, did not need to have people with Him, He wanted to have friends near Him in His hour of need to keep watch, as He knew what He would soon endure.  If the God of all creation wants to keep friends near when trials come, how much more should we desire the same?  We are relational creatures, created to be in relationship with God and with people.  We must do both to obey the greatest command: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and, Love your neighbor as yourself.” – (Luke 10:27, also Mt 22:37, Mk 12:30) 

God’s greatest gift,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

in the face of grief;

His heart made known,

friendship’s sweet relief.

For we are called,

to love people well;

as Christ loves us,

our actions do tell.

To walk beside,

through the good and bad;

grants glimpses of,

our Heavenly Dad.

Seek Father first,

and let people in;

we are all made,

for sweet communion.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You created us to be relational people.  Thank You that even Jesus, in His hour of need, wanted to have those closest to Him nearby.  Though His priority was time with You, the nearness of friends was also good.  Forgive us for the times that we isolate ourselves, not wanting to bother those who care about us and are a gift from You, and for the times that our priorities are out of order and we do not seek You first.  Help us to know the balance.  Teach us how to seek You first, and to know when to reach out, and when we are meant to sit in Your presence on our own for a time.  Thank You that You love us so well.  May we be a blessing to those around us, as we choose to love as we are loved.  May many come to know You as their Redeemer and Friend.  Be glorified in our love for You and for those around us.  Amen.

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

It is Good to Gather

image by The Natural Heritage Collection

“Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.  For where two or three come together in my Name, there I am with them.” – Matthew 18:19-20

In this passage, Jesus points out the power that is present when two or three believers come together in prayer.  God hears the hearts of His children as we press in, united in prayer.  As we stand in agreement, He is with us, and He is faithful to answer what His followers are asking.

Though it is good and necessary to spend time on our own in study, praise and prayer, it is also important to be involved in a body of believers.  Having a person or two whom we trust and are in a similar space in our faith with, provides accountability and access to put our faith in action.

Where two or three are gathered, there is opportunity to discuss and process a shared experience in His presence.  Sometimes, that which He speaks, or how He comes in power, is beyond our ability to hold or hear on our own.  When another is present, each can help the other recount and remember His  faithfulness to answer from the time together.

God created us to be relational.  We are not meant to walk alone.  When one falls down, the other is there to pick them back up.  Yes, He is always with us, yet He knows our need for the tangible too.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You created us to be in relationship with You and with one another.  Forgive us for trying to go out on our own, rather than connecting with common heart and purpose in prayer with another in You.  Lead us to trustworthy trios and pairings as we gather to call on Your Name.  Teach us to balance our individual time with You, and our time spent corporately as a body of believers.  Grant us wisdom, I pray.  May our purpose and prayers presented to You lead the lost to a lasting relationship with You.  Amen.

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