A Final Act of Love

But very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. They found the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. So they went in, but they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. As they stood there puzzled, two men suddenly appeared to them, clothed in dazzling robes. The women were terrified and bowed with their faces to the ground. The men asked, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive?” – (Luke 24:1-5, NLT) 

 

Though Jesus had told those who followed Him that He would rise again, I imagine it was still difficult to conceive, as the very idea was a seeming impossibility. As I attempt to place myself in the position of one of the women who went to the tomb that morning, I picture women overwhelmed with grief as they walked toward the resting place of their Redeemer. This Savior whom they loved, was now three days in the grave, and they were prepared to interact with His broken body as a final act of love and a way to say goodbye. The tomb had been sealed by a giant boulder, immovable, even by a malicious act of will. Imagine the shock that flooded their hearts and minds as they approached the tomb when they saw that the stone had been rolled away. Fear? Anger? Concern? What could have happened to the body of their beloved? Then, as they stood there puzzling over what was missing, two men in dazzling robes appeared out of nowhere. Clearly the women recognized that the men were messengers from God, as they bowed their faces to the ground in terror. From sorrow to confusion to frustration to fear, these ladies must have been flooded as heaven came near. And then, after all of that, to hear that Jesus was alive… The women navigated the roller coaster quite gracefully, as the very next thing they did was go and tell the disciples what they had seen and heard.  

This is the very day that we celebrate and remember the miracle of the resurrection. The grave could not hold Him, and He is alive and moving on our behalf. May we remember our Risen Savior as we go about this day and know that His sacrifice saved us while His resurrection reminds us that we are no longer dead in sin.  

 

Early Sunday morn, Hope in an Empty Tomb

They went to the tomb; 

Grieving act of love, 

No hope yet assumed. 

Imagine their hearts, 

With Jesus not there; 

Distraught and confused, 

The Lord is gone. Where? 

Angelic visit, 

In dazzling light; 

The women bowed low, 

Faced the ground in fright. 

The men then asked them, 

“Why did you come here? 

Don’t look among dead, 

For live to appear.” 

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the incredible gift of Your Son, Jesus. Jesus, thank You for Your sacrifice on the cross for all of our sin and shame. Thank You that the grave could not hold You, and that You rose again and are seated at the right hand of the Father, moving on our behalf. Thank You that in You we can have life and light and love forever. Forgive us for not recognizing the magnitude of Your sacrifice and the glory of Your resurrection. Help us to grasp the enormity of Your mercy and grace. Show us how to extend love and goodness to those around us as an outpouring of our gratitude to You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we rise and give You glory for Your love that defeated death and gives life to all who receive You as Lord. 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

Peace in Times of Trouble

“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – (John 16:33)  

Jesus spoke plainly to the disciples about what was going to happen on the night He was to be betrayed, and let them know why He was leaving and to Whom He was being sent. Despite the darkness that was about to befall the disciples as they would watch their Savior and friend walk the long and agonizing road to the cross alone; Jesus assured them that it would not be the end. His assurance was played out in the most miraculous way ever recorded. Jesus defeated death, after bearing the brunt of all of our sin and shame. He rose again, appeared to many, and then returned to the Father so that He could send His Holy Spirit to be our Counselor. Jesus truly overcame the world, and in Him, we too, can overcome any obstacle that comes our way. His peace is available for us, and His strength in steady supply. To take heart is to place our trust in Him and allow Him to lead us, no matter what season we are walking through. He is faithful and He has already overcome all that lies before us. May we rise up in faith and take heart, for our Heavenly Father is holding us in the hollow of His hand.

Jesus has told us,His Mighty Power

a number of things;

so we may find peace,

that only He brings.

Though we’ll have trouble,

He won’t let us fall;

the Lord’s overcome,

He’s conquered it all.

Let’s rise up in faith,

in Christ, take a stand;

for the Lord is good,

we’re held in His hand.

Strength for the weary,

so we won’t grow faint;

His Spirit in us,

let’s trust in His Name.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You give us Your word that tells us what is good and true and lovely. Thank You that when we seek You, we find You and come to know Your peace. Thank You that despite the trouble that we all face, we have the blessed assurance that ultimately, in You, we will overcome. Thank You that we are more than conquerors in You. Forgive us for forgetting how near and powerful You are when the waves begin to overwhelm us. Teach us to slow down, and fix our eyes on You, rather than the storm that surrounds us, so that we may see what really is the truth. Lead us to love others well, so that they too may come to know Your peace and provision in such a way, that they turn to You forever. Be glorified O God, as we take heart in You, learning to lean into Your peace as You lead us to overcome all that comes against us. Amen.

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

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

Hold Hope – He’s Faithful

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. – (Hebrews 10:23)

 

To hold unswervingly is to not allow anything to drive us away from that which we know to be true. Our hope that we profess is life eternal with our Savior. For Jesus did not come so that we could just get by, but rather He came, lived, died and rose again to be seated at the right hand of the Father, so that He could send His Holy Spirit to be present with us; faithful both now and forever. May we hold fast to the hope we have in Christ, no matter what comes our way; for He who promised, is faithful to fulfill every spoken word.

 

May we ever grow,

image from quotespictures.com

image from quotespictures.com

in our walk with God;

so that we hold fast,

and with hope, we trod.

Let our mouths profess,

His promises too;

for Christ is faithful,

what He says, He’ll do.

As we keep moving,

forward with the Lord;

doubts are set aside,

through grace He affords.

Where wisdom was not,

God graciously gives;

for His will’s for all,

to believe and live.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we may hold unswervingly to the hope we have in You; for You are faithful to all that You have promised. Thank You that Your faithfulness is not dependent on us, but rather is because of who You are. Forgive us for allowing the trials and tribulations of life to deter our eyes from You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we hold fast to our hope in You, no matter what comes our way. Lead us to love others with Your loving kindness, so that they too, may come to know the hope that is held forever in You. Be glorified O God, as we hold fast to the hope we profess, and rest assured that You are faithful to all that You have promised. 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

Awe and Reverence

Simon Peter, James and John (the sons of Zebedee), were fishermen. Their livelihood was dependant on their daily catch. One day, after a rough night of catching absolutely nothing, Jesus came along and spoke to the men. He told them to let down their nets in deep water. The fishermen, having spent the entire night trying to no avail, decided to do as Jesus had said, simply because it was He who said it. When they cast their nets, they caught so many fish that their nets began to break and their boats became so full of fish, that they started to sink. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” – (Luke 5:8)

 

Simon Peter was so moved by this miracle, that his response was the recognition of his own sinfulness, in comparison to the greatness of Christ. Though Simon Peter and the others had seen Jesus heal the sick and drive out demons, he could not help but be overwhelmed by the personal attention and care Christ provided for their day to day lives. Jesus cared about their livelihood. He provided in a way that went way beyond what they had ever known, yet was tangible in their terms. God came close and their lives were forever changed. May we recognize the miracles all around us, as Christ came close to dwell within the hearts of all who believe.

 

In the midst of life,Honoring the Temple

Christ comes near to us;

He makes Himself known,

precious Lord Jesus.

Miracles abound,

if we simply look;

He loves and heals hearts,

all our sins He took.

May we too respond,

in reverent praise;

give glory to God,

for all of our days.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for loving us so much that You sent Your Son to reestablish that which was broken between us. Thank You Jesus, that You took all of our sin and shame on the cross, erasing our debt and calling us clean. Thank You that You rose again in power and are seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding on our behalf. Thank You for sending Your Holy Spirit to dwell in us, to lead, guide and direct our steps. Forgive us for any response to You that does not include awe and reverence, as You, O Lord, are worthy of all of our worship and adoration. Help us to grasp a greater understanding of who You are and what You have done for each of us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may move securely in the truth. Lead us to love others as You so generously love each of us. May many come to know You as their Savior and King. Be glorified O God, as we operate in awe and reverence of who You are and all that You have done for each of us. Amen.

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

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. – 2 Corinthians 1:3