Committed Care

As Paul was parting company with the Ephesian elders for what he knew would be the last time, he spoke words of warning, comfort, and exhortation. After all of the time and energy invested in Ephesus, Paul simply had to continue to where he was called, trusting that the Ephesians would be covered in Christ’s tender care. “Now I commit you to God and to the word of His grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” – (Acts 20:32, NIV) Another version states, “Now I am putting you in God’s care. I am depending on the message about His grace to make you strong. That message is able to give you the blessing that God gives to all His holy people.” – (Acts 20:32, ERV)

 

Just as Paul so diligently invested in those he was given charge over, so we ought to do likewise. Though we may not part company in such a dramatic fashion, it is essential for me to be certain that my charges are properly equipped in the ways in which they are meant to go, even in the short span of time that we part ways while they are at school, or are out with friends. As they go, I must commit them to God, and trust that they are in His care (using wisdom in what and where I allow them to go). His word is rooted and established within them, thus His grace will make them strong. May we each invest in God and His word of grace, so we may be built up and receive the inheritance that He gives to those He calls His own.

 

Invested in Christ,Committed Care

deep-rooted in grace;

immersed in His care,

by seeking His face.

He grants us the strength,

to do right by Him;

His blessings given,

His presence within.

As company parts,

let leaders not fear;

for those invested,

His Spirit, can hear.

Father, please protect,

both leader and charge;

in Your tender care,

wherever we are.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us and protect us, and grant us Your strength and grace when we choose invest in You. Thank You that we have an inheritance of eternal life in You, which is far more valuable than anything we could pursue on earth. Thank You that You value people, not possessions, and You want us to do likewise. Forgive us for not investing enough in those around us, or for not trusting You completely with those in whom we invest. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may commit all into Your care, as Your hands are far stronger and more capable of holding those whom we love, than we are. Give us Your heart to love, as You so lavishly love each of us, and may many come to know You as a result. Be glorified as we invest in others and commit them to Your care. Amen.

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

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

Just Faith

Attempting to be right before God in our own strength, does not work.  Our very best intentions will never lead to justification, regardless of how hard we try on our own.  However, when we choose to live by faith, and place our trust in Him, we are counted righteous as He covers us with the mercy of His sacrifice made, and we are seen as spotless, shameless, and set free from sin.

“Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, ‘The righteous will live by faith.” – (Galatians 3:11)

Even our faith is a gift that God gives.  We have the freedom to choose whether or not we are to embrace God and the glorious gifts that He has given; or not.  When we choose Him, He meets us where we are, grows our faith within us, and opens the eyes of our hearts to more clearly see who He is and what He has done for us.  As our understanding deepens, we cannot help but long to love more deeply, and serve more selflessly.  By His grace, we embrace our faith, and He deems us righteous before Him.

In our own strength,Just Faith

no way justified;

only by grace,

we are sanctified.

It is by faith,

not by any law;

that we’re called right,

before Father God.

It is a gift,

for us to embrace;

may each heart know,

His unending grace.

Open our eyes,

to more clearly see;

Your righteousness,

that has set us free.

Dear Jesus, thank You for coming and taking our place on the cross, so that we can be called clean, justified before God, because of what You willingly did on our behalf.  Thank You that despite our best efforts, on our own we would never measure up – yet with You, by faith, we are considered righteous before God.  Forgive us for trying to justify ourselves with our “I’ll do better next time” or “I’ll never do that again“, and help us instead to confess to You, and rely on You to be our help and our hope, so that we will do better the next time we face a similar scenario – not because we are better, but because we are trusting You more.  Teach us how to rely on You completely in all things and at all times, and be our hope and our help, even when we can’t seem to see or hear You in the midst of the mess.  Thank You that You are always present, and always good.  Help us to love others as You love us, and may many come to know You through our loving kindness.   Be exalted in all that we say and do.  Amen.

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

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23

Power Presented in Prayer

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGod’s own Son, Jesus,

prays on our behalf;

in love, for power,

to escape sin’s wrath.

All that God’s given,

He also gives us;

wisdom, protection,

His powerful touch.

Sanctified by truth,

by His strength, we’re armed;

to share with the world,

He keeps us from harm.

May those who’ve not known,

now come to know You;

please open their hearts,

to all that is true.

You are the Potter,

and we are Your clay;

shape us and use us,

help us live Your way.

Make us united,

so that we may stand;

to love as You love,

and fulfill Your plan.

(Responding to John 17)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to live, die and rise again, so that we could come to know You, personally, and be justified and acceptable in Your sight. Thank You that we are called clean before You, not by our works (as if we could somehow do enough) but rather by believing in He who is more than enough, who took our place on the cross and is the lens through which we are seen. Forgive us Father, for trying to be or to do “enough”. Teach us to trust You more deeply, and grow our faith so that we may know You more. Thank You that You are not a God “out there”, but You are God right here, as near as our next breath. Make us strong to trust You so that we may live lives that are pleasing to You, and may our love lead those who are looking, into Your loving embrace. Amen.

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

Grace or Grudge?

When there is dissent

image by Jenny Charlesworth

image by Jenny Charlesworth

found among brothers,

God will grant enough

for peace with each other.

No need to seek out

law suit or revenge;

among believers,

such things will unhinge.

For found in the courts,

the ungodly rule.

The decisions made,

make one side the fool.

Better to be wronged,

let God be the judge.

Release the grievance,

hold not to a grudge.

We as believers,

have been sanctified;

set free from our sins,

old nature has died.

Our ultimate prize,

comes not in this place;

our eternal home,

in God’s loving grace.

(Responding to I Corinthians 6:1-11)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that the moment we ask, You forgive us our sins and remember them no more.  Father, forgive us for holding grudges rather than giving grace.  We need Your help to do as You have done for us.  Teach us Father, so that we will be quick to forgive.  Keep us from seeking revenge, and help us to allow You to heal our hearts.  Thank You that we have been sanctified, set apart and freed from our sin, and prepared with a purpose.  May we ever keep our eyes on You, remembering that we are not home yet.  May the grace we grant to those who grieve us, guide them straight to You, God.  Amen.

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