Reverently Receive

For God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son so that anyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. God did not send His Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it. – (John 3:16-17, TLB)

 

Though we were far from God, living life according to our own agenda, Christ came to show us a better way. He did not come to condemn us, but rather to make us righteous so that we might know Him. God loved so that we could know love. There is no greater love than this – for He loved while we were so unlovable; not because we were worthy, but because we are His created, and He is merciful and full of grace. It is His kindness that leads to repentance and shows us the way to eternal life with Him. May we embrace the mercy and grace that we have been freely and lavishly given by God, and go forth in love as we are loved.

 

Because God so loved,

Hold Hope He is Faithful

image from quotespictures.com

There is a way home;

A path to heaven,

That Christ has made known.

When we place our trust,

In the Lord above;

And follow His ways,

We grow in His love.

It’s through His kindness,

And His loving grace;

That we’re forgiven,

Wrapped in His embrace.

Those who choose to trust,

No more shall we die;

Instead we will know,

Love’s eternal life.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You so loved the world that You gave Your only Son. Thank You that anyone who believes in Him won’t perish, but will live forever with You. Thank You that You did not send Jesus to condemn us, but rather to save us. Forgive us for mistaking You for an angry God that is not merciful, or for taking Your forgiveness for granted. Teach us to view You through the proper lens, and to recognize the weight of what You have done for us to make our presence before You possible. Show us how to love those around us in a way that extends mercy and grace in the same way that we have been given so much from You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we readily and reverently receive the incredible gift of eternal life that You give. Amen.

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

And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you.” – Exodus 33:19

Faithful Forever

I will be your God throughout your lifetime – until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you. – (Isaiah 46:4, NLT)

 

Though this was God’s promise to the Israelites long ago, His word remains true for us today. When we invite Him to be the Lord of our lives, He comes and dwells within us for all of our days. He cares for us, saves us, and carries us when we do not have the strength to take another step. Our hope and our help come from Him. May we rise up and rest in our Redeemer, for He is faithful to meet us where we are, and lead us where we are meant to go.

 

Oh Lord You are God,Hope in What is Unseen

In whom we can trust;

Faithful forever,

You’re righteous and just.

You lead and guide us,

Where we’re meant to go;

You care and provide,

So our faith will grow.

You save us from all,

That gets in the way;

You love us to life,

With each brand new day.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our God now and forever. Thank You that You are faithful throughout our entire lives. Thank You that You made us, know us, save us, carry us when we are weak, and care for us – always. Forgive us for forgetting how faithful You are in the midst of our own struggles. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would look to You and Your strength in all things and at all times, knowing that You are faithful, always. Show us how to love others in such a way, that we would be an extension of Your hands and heart to care for and carry those around us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we trust You and go forth as Your ambassadors. Amen.

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

When times are good, be happy. – Ecclesiastes 7:14

 

Embracing What Lies Ahead

For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a Mighty Savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs. – (Zephaniah 3:17, NLT)

 

On this day before the beginning of a brand new school year, I am so thankful that God is with us. The things that bring uneasiness and concern, can be placed in His hands, and replaced with joyful anticipation of all that is yet to come. His delight in us fills our hearts and minds with hope for all that will be, and grants us the strength to look forward with joy, as we anticipate all that will be accomplished in the coming year. May we rise up and remember that our Mighty Savior is living among us, and that He delights in us and rejoices over us with songs. Let us embrace all that lies ahead with hope, as we trust in He who is able to make all grace abound.

 

For the Lord our God,Bold in Battle

Is living with us;

He’s mighty to save,

All hope in Jesus.

He takes all delight,

In hearts that choose seek;

He calms all our fears,

Gives strength when we’re weak.

And more than that still,

He chooses rejoice;

Over us with songs,

Joy’s His tone of voice. 

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You live among us and that You are mighty to save. Thank You that You delight in us with gladness. Thank You that with Your love, You calm our every fear. Thank You that You rejoice over us with joyful songs. Forgive us for forgetting how great Your love is for us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would seek You in all things and at all times. Show us how to love others in a way that brings joy and calms fears, just as You do for us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You with all that we are, and receive all that You give. Let our every word and deed represent You well. Amen.

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

For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. – 1 Peter 2:19

Always Approachable

So Christ can save those who come to God through Him. Christ can do this forever, because He always lives and is ready to help people when they come before God. – (Hebrews 7:25, ERV)

This is why He can completely save those who are approaching God through Him, because He always lives to speak with God for them. – (Hebrews 7:25, CEB)

 

Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding on our behalf. Because He is for us, we can approach the throne of God, without fear, knowing that we will be received as sons and daughters – as Christ has covered all of our unrighteousness and is ready and available to hear and help us as we come. Let us not forget that we have a Great High Priest who is for us, seated at the right hand of God. No matter what comes against us, He who is both in us and for us, is far greater than anything that is in the world. May we approach the throne of grace, in times of trouble and times of peace, knowing that Christ is ready to hear us and help us; always.

 

May we each choose come,Hope in What is Unseen

Approach the Lord’s throne;

For Christ is ready,

We‘re already known.

He’s interceding,

Before Father God;

So we can be saved,

From sinful steps trod.

Forever He reigns,

In love and by grace;

Ready to save us,

As we seek His face.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to make the way for a right relationship to be restored between us. Thank You Jesus, that You came, lived, died and rose again to be seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding on our behalf. Thank You that You are always ready to help us as we come before You. Forgive us for not seeking You, or somehow thinking that we will not be received. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would come before You in all things and at all times, knowing that You hear our every praise and petition, and You present them perfectly before the Father. Show us how to love those around us in such a way, that they might see the glory of Your goodness and grace through us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we come before You, trusting in Your unfailing love that is always ready to help. Amen.

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

And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you.” – Exodus 33:19

 

 

Promises Assured

He has given us both His promise and His oath, two things we can completely count on, for it is impossible for God to tell a lie. Now all those who flee to Him to save them can take new courage when they hear such assurances from God; now they can know without doubt that He will give them salvation He has promised them. – (Hebrews 6:18, TLB)

 

God’s word and His promises are totally trustworthy, for He is truth and does not lie. All who come before the Lord for salvation can take courage, for He saves all who earnestly seek Him. We need not fear nor doubt, for we are assured that when we submit ourselves to Christ, He comes and dwells in us forever. May we take courage in the Lord and His word, for what He says, He will do.

 

The Lord at His word,The Reason for Reverence

we can always trust;

for what He does say,

shall happen, it must.

For God cannot lie,

only truth be told;

thus courage is ours,

as our hand He holds.

Salvation’s assured,

when we seek His face;

choose give Him our heart,

rest in His embrace.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You give us both Your promise and Your oath, and that we can completely count on all that comes from You. Thank You that when we seek You for salvation, we can take courage, as we have assurance that it is promised in You. Forgive us for not trusting You at Your word, or for not seeking You in the spaces where we need to most. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would trust that Your word is true in all things and at all times, and that we would seek You in all. Show us how to love others in a way that demonstrates Your trustworthiness. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust in Your promises and operate in courage, knowing that You will do all that You say that You will do. Amen.

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

When times are good, be happy. – Ecclesiastes 7:14

Delight to Sing Praise

Praise the Lord! How good to sing praises to our God! How delightful and how fitting! – (Psalm 147:1, NLT)

 

Indeed this is a fitting day to give praise to the Lord, as we celebrate His blessed arrival all those years ago. Having participated in the candlelight service at my church last night, the image of glowing faces singing praises together to the rightful King, still linger this morning in my mind. It is such a treasure to have the freedom to gather with friends that have become family, and worship the One who came to save. Each one of us has a story, and not one of the stories has been without difficulty. In fact, so many have had a really trying year. In spite of that, God’s faithfulness has been made evident again and again, and each showed up, ready to sing praise, knowing that He is good. May we praise Him as we gather, give gifts, live and love out this day, remembering that all that is good, all that is lovely, all that is worthy to be praised – is because of Christ who came to us. Merry Christmas!

 

More than packages,Christmas star

wrapped up with delight;

is the treasure found,

in that holy night.

The greatest of gifts,

we’ve ever received;

when Christ chose come down,

to meet all our need.

Need for forgiveness,

He took all our sin;

though He was sinless,

they crucified Him.

He willingly went,

upon that old cross;

for us, He chose bear,

the ultimate cost.

Death was not the end,

for after three days;

Christ rose as He’d said,

He conquered the grave.

When back on His throne,

at God’s great right hand;

He sent His Spirit,

to fulfill His plan.

How fitting indeed,

that we give Him praise;

for love and for life,

all thanks all our days.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son so that we could be restored to a right relationship with You. Thank You that You are pleased when Your people praise You. Forgive us for not focusing our attention on the real reason for the season, and help us fix our minds and hearts on You as we go about this day. Teach us how to sing praise to You, and how to delight in all that You have done, and all that You are. Show us how to love others as You have so completely loved each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we sing praises unto You, and keep our hearts focused on who You are and all that You have done. Amen.

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

When times are good, be happy. – Ecclesiastes 7:14

Wait Quietly in Hope

Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him. – (Psalm 62:5)

 

Now that the final days of school have passed, and our big community outreach event for church has happened, I look ahead to Christmas week and have a choice to make – do I fill every free moment, or will I allow myself to sit in the silence and quietly wait before God, remembering the real reason for this season? My natural inclination is to fill every moment of every day with movement. Run here, visit friends there, last minute shopping, appointments, workouts, activities for the boys… Though each of these things are good, when my days are without pause, they tend to pass me by. If I have built in spaces of silence, I am more reflective, and remember how remarkable my Savior is, and how all of my hope is held in Him. He brings to heart and mind the ways in which He has been my help and my hope, and shows me how I can encourage, love and care for others. If I don’t take pause, I may miss all that He has for me during this most wonderful time of the year. May we all make time to wait quietly before God, and recognize that our hope is found in Him.

 

On a silent night,

Majesty Moved from the Cradle to the Cross

image by Diana Lovegrove

in a stable bare;

came the still small cry,

as hope filled the air.

For the baby born,

came to save the lost;

little did they know,

what our sin would cost.

This Love that came down,

hope for all mankind;

that would save the lost,

give sight to the blind.

May we choose to wait,

quietly before;

the Lord of all hope,

Christ, whom we adore.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You make Yourself known to us in quiet stillness, and that we can place our hope in You. Thank You that You are present when we draw near, and You remind us of who You are and how You love. Forgive us for getting caught up in the chaos that can come this time of year, and for not making time to wait quietly before You. Teach us to slow down and sit in Your presence, so that we might recognize the hope that we have in You. Show us how to love, encourage and bless all whom we encounter as we go about each day. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we wait quietly before You, and place all of our hope in You. Amen.

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

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

 

Pleasing in His Sight

May my words and thoughts please You. Lord, You are my Rock – the one who rescues me. – (Psalm 19:14, ERV)

May my spoken words and unspoken thoughts be pleasing even to You, O Lord my Rock and Redeemer. – (Psalm 19:14, TLB)

The cry of David’s heart was to please God with his thoughts and his words. He was acutely aware of the role that the Lord filled in his own life, as God had shown Himself faithful to save and protect, even when his very life was on the line. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is still the Rock on whom we can rest, and our Redeemer who will rescue us from ruin. Because the Lord is worthy of all honor and glory and praise, it would indeed be good if we took captive every thought and word, so that all that leaves our heart and lips are things that please the Prince of Peace. May our words and thoughts be pleasing unto the Lord, for He is our Rock and our Redeemer.

Let every thought,The Power of the Tongue

and word that I speak;

be pleasing to You,

as my heart You teach.

For You are my Rock,

the One who redeems;

who rescues my heart,

from chaos unseen.

All praise unto You,

my God and my King;

it is by Your grace,

I’ve reason to sing.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our Rock and our Redeemer. Thank You that You are our safe and stable ground, and that You rescue us from chaos and trouble that comes near. Forgive us for the words that leave our lips and the thoughts in our hearts that have not brought glory to You. Teach us to take captive every thought and word, so that we would more clearly reflect Your heart to all those around us. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they may see You through the way in which we care. May many choose to live their life for You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You completely, and seek to make the words of our mouth and meditations of our heart, pleasing in Your sight. Amen.

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

For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. – 1 Peter 2:19

Mighty to Save

The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over You with singing. – (Zephaniah 3:17)

There are days when we just need to be reminded of how God is present, how much He loves us, and that He delights in us and saves us, as He sings over us.  That is some seriously loaded imagery.  First, remembering that God is with me, even when I am unaware. His presence is powerful, and He is able to do abundantly more than I could ever hope or imagine.  He is mighty to save, and He saves us from ourselves, our circumstances, and that which keeps our hearts from holding the truth of who He is and what He has done for each of us.  Just as a parent delights in their precious progeny, so too does the Lord delight in each of us.  His love can calm the most chaotic of hearts and minds, and bring peace to the weariest of souls.  Because we are His, He rejoices over us with singing.  We cannot do enough, nor be enough, but rather it is the Lord’s great love for His created, that propels His perfect love that He passes on to His people.  May we look to Him who is with us, delighting in us, quieting us with His love, and rejoicing over us with singing as He saves us with His might.
                                                                                                                                                                The Lord is with us,butterflies
He’s mighty to save;
He takes great delight,
in making us brave.
He quiets our hearts,
in His love, there’s peace;
as He sings to us,
we find sweet release.
May our hearts hold hope,
as we trust in Him;
for the Lord, He saves,
and starts from within.
 
 
                                                                                                                                                                         Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are with us, that You save us, and that You delight in us.  Thank You that You quiet us with Your love and rejoice over us with Your singing.  Thank You that You alone can settle our storm-ridden souls.  Forgive us for forgetting how very near You are, and not slowing down and simply sitting and soaking in Your sweet presence.  Teach us to trust You more, so that we will run to You, be it in times of blessing or chaos; for in You, there is always comfort and calm.  Lead us to love others so that they too may come to know the goodness and grace that is found in You alone.  May many choose to trust in You.  Be glorified O God, as we look to You in all things and at all times; for You are our mighty God who saves.  Amen.
He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. – Proverbs 11:25
 
 
 

Just Be Held

The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. – (Zephaniah 3:17)

 

God really is that loving, kind and gracious to us. I am in awe of how he meets us with His love, and touches our hearts so personally. Even when we are overwhelmed by our circumstances or surroundings, the Lord is present, and moving. He delights in us, even in our despair, and only He truly knows how to bring calm to our internal storms.

 

The other day had been a quite tumultuous day for me. I was feeling completely overwhelmed by life’s circumstances, and had just received yet another blow. As I was driving to meet a friend to work out, a song came on the radio that I had not ever really heard before. I am not certain if I had not heard the song before, or if I had somehow missed the actual lyrics, but that day, God completely captured my attention with the words. Each verse seemed to hit straight to my heart, and by the time the chorus came, I knew that God was using this song to speak to me in the moment. The song is “Just Be Held” by Casting Crowns. The lines of the chorus that were such a poignant reminder: “So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away, you’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held, your worlds not falling apart, its falling into place, I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held, Just be held, just be held.” (Click the highlighted title if you would like to hear it too.)

 

It is easy to forget that He delights in us, and will quiet us with His love, and He rejoices over us with singing, when everything seems to be falling apart. He has a plan and a purpose for each of us, no matter how things appear. Even when things seem like they are a complete disaster, often it is a space of rebuilding, before something really remarkable is ready to begin. Our job is to trust, and to know that He is with us, and that God is mighty to save. He is more than able in all situations, we have to be willing to be obedient, and at times that includes completely letting go, and just being held…

 

At times life is hard,Just Be Held

and hope seems so far;

but God’s always near,

wherever we are.

So mighty to save,

we are His delight;

He sings over us,

through the darkest night.

His love will bring calm,

where no peace is known;

surrender to Him,

let His strength be shown.

For often our mess,

the struggle and strain;

is what He will use,

for our greatest gain.

Out of the ashes,

His beauty shall rise;

in Christ all made new,

our hope realized.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are with us and that You are mighty to save. Thank You that You take great delight in us, and that You quiet us with Your love and rejoice over us with singing. Thank You that You take us when we are in a space of chaos, and bring calm. Thank You that we can come to You, throw up our arms in surrender, and just be held. Forgive us for fighting when You are calling us to surrender. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would know when to press on, and when to release what we are so fiercely holding into Your hands. Lead us to love others with Your kindness and grace, and may many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we surrender the things that we are not meant to hold, and simply allow You to hold onto us. Amen.

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

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. – Psalm 34:8