Prioritize Peace

Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. – (Romans 14:19, NIV)

So let’s try as hard as we can to do what will bring peace. Let’s do whatever will help each other grow stronger in faith. – (Romans 14:19, ERV)

So then, make it your top priority to live a life of peace with harmony in your relationships, eagerly seeking to strengthen and encourage one another. – (Romans 14:19, TPT)

 

In as much as we can, we ought to be in pursuit of peace with those around us. We are called to strengthen and encourage one another, prioritizing a life of harmony with those whom have been placed in our lives to love. This is not a “peace at any price” sort of scenario, but rather harmony through mutual encouragement and strengthening. Choosing to love in ways that make those around us stronger, rather than participating in that which can lead to dissension, is the sort of peaceful pursuit for which we are aiming. May we make every effort to do the things that lead to peace and mutual edification through His strength within us.

 

Wherever we can, Embracing Grace

May we pursue peace;

Seek strengthen, build up,

Grace provides release.

Release from burdens,

Of judgment and scorn;

Instead, choose to love,

As Christ, the Adored.

Encourage others,

Do not choose tear down;

May peace direct us,

Let His love be found.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that through Your loving example, we are called to pursue peace. Thank You that You modeled how to strengthen and build up those around You. Forgive us for the times that we have brought others down. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may rely on You to lead us and show us how to build others up in love all around us in a way that brings peace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek to honor You through a life of pursued peace. Amen.

 

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

 

Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. – Psalm 34:14

Reminders Anew

They will hand Him over to the foreigners, who will laugh at Him and beat Him with whips, and then they will kill Him on a cross. But on the third day after His death, He will be raised to life again. – (Matthew 20:19, ERV)

 

As Easter approaches, we are reminded anew of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. He willingly bore the agony of the cross on our behalf, so that we could be raised to new life in Him. This season is a reminder of the awakening that occurred as life was breathed into His body in the tomb. Though there are dark days, when the sun returns and the flowers bloom, we see the hope of the longer, sweeter days of summer on the horizon. In the same way, on the third day, after much darkness and despair, those closest to Jesus went to visit His body, only to discover that He was alive again! Our hope is held in the One who defeated death so that we could find life in Him forever. May we always remember that the darkness is but for a season, and His light dwells within us, holding the hope of all that is yet to come.

 

When darkness and death,Embracing Grace

Seem to dominate;

Remember to seek,

Him who can relate.

For Jesus, He knows,

The weight of our pain;

As we seek His help,

He makes His grace plain.

We’re granted His hope,

His love and His peace;

Life everlasting,

Grace that will not cease.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You willingly endured the scorn and shame of the cross, and overcame the grave to give us new life in You. Thank You that even when darkness and death seem to surround us, there is always light and life in You. Forgive us for making You too small, as You are the Overcoming King. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would rely on You in all things and at all times. Show us how to love others in such a way, that we offer hope, light and life where they fear there is none. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we recognize and celebrate the power held in Your presence as You alone bring hope and new life. Amen.

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

Show me Your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths; …my hope is in You all day long. – Psalm 25:4-5

Growing Awareness

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. – (John 11:33)

 

Jesus had just arrived on the scene where Mary and Martha lived. He watched the sorrowful response of the friends whom He loved, as they grieved the loss of their brother, Lazarus. Our Savior was not some far off, unavailable deity, but rather He came close, and did not hesitate to demonstrate His compassion and love for Lazarus and those who mourned losing him. Just sitting beside His friends in their grief would have been good enough, but God in flesh, opted to demonstrate His power to defeat death, in a such a sorrowful space as He called Lazarus to come out from the tomb, and life was restored where it had been four days dead. No matter our circumstances, He sees and feels what we feel. Christ loves so deeply, that He is moved in compassion and compelled to contend for our care. May we rise up in faith, trusting that He sees and knows our every circumstance, and He is present and moving, even when we are unaware.

 

We serve a Father,Growing Awareness

who’s not unaware;

He knows what we feel,

and He always cares.

He mourns when we mourn,

He weeps as we weep;

He endured all scorn,

so safely He’ll keep.

Trust in His power,

rely on His love;

receive His goodness,

all gifts from above.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us so much that You empathize with us as we experience the things of this life. Thank You Jesus, that You endured all things so that You would understand and care for us individually. Forgive us for doubting Your ability to assist us in the seemingly impossible, and help us to trust You in all things and at all times. Lead us to love others, just as You so completely love each of us. May many come to know You as their Savior and King as we remember the remarkable arrival of heaven here on Earth, as You moved to become God with us. Be glorified O God, as we grow in our awareness of Your glorious presence. 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

Out With the Old Self

The rhododendron on the side of our house is an interesting illustration of death and new life. It seems that perhaps it is two plants growing Out With the Old Self 1so closely together, that their branches are intertwined. Last week, there were fuchsia-colored blooms. Now, those formerly lovely bursts of color, hang lifeless and void of color. However, this week there are new blooms in a pretty pink, beginning to open.

 

Our old life may have seemed appealing, until we discovered just how lifeless and void of color it really was without Christ. Being stuck in the bonds of sin, we had no hope to escape our patterns, without Christ coming in. Yet, while we were still stuck in that space, He pursued us, and brought people around us to present the truth. As we opened our hearts and lives to all that He had to offer, we were set free from our sin and given new life. For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin. – (Romans 6:6)

 

He took all of our sin upon Himself as He hung on the cross, so that we would be set free from our sinful nature and given a helper (the Holy Spirit) to lead us into a new life, free from the bondage of sin. Though we will still make mistakes, and fall short, we may go to God and ask for His forgiveness, as He grants us grace anew. Knowing what He has done, propels us to seek to live a life that honors Him who has set us free. May we be slaves to righteousness, as we are united with Him.

 

Gone are the old ways,Out With the Old Self 2

they’ve been crucified;

the sin, scorn and shame,

with Jesus, they died.

And just as He rose,

His life was restored;

in Him we shall find,

His grace is outpoured.

If we choose to seek,

we surely shall find;

freedom from our sin,

the hope for mankind.

Let’s give Him our chains,

for in Him, we’re free;

all honor to Christ,

the King of Glory.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You bore all of our sin and shame, so that we would no longer be slaves to our sinful nature, but that we could instead, live unto You. Thank You that this is not something that we are meant to do on our own, but rather You gave us Your Holy Spirit to be our help. Thank You too, that You call us to be a body, supporting one another in community, so that each can be challenged, encouraged and held up as we pursue You with our whole hearts. Forgive us for taking lightly the enormity of Your sacrifice, and help us to recognize in awe, the magnitude of Your grace. Let us live and love in such a way, that our gratitude is evident to all whom we encounter. May many come to know Your amazing grace, and enter into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified, O God. Amen.

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

Father, I thank You that You have heard me. – John 11:41

Perfect Perseverance

Running Our RaceA great cloud of witnesses,

is surrounding us all;

so throw off entanglements,

let all that hinders, fall.

May we run and persevere,

the race set before us;

with our eyes fixed on Jesus,

with whom all plans discuss.

The Author and Perfecter,

Creator of our faith;

who for joy set before Him,

endured scorn and disgrace.

So now we must consider,

He sits at God’s right hand;

may we never grow weary,

in pursuing His plan.

For He is our source of strength,

so we needn’t lose heart;

faithful to His promises,

saving grace He imparts.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

– (Hebrews 12:1-3)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have sent before us, a great cloud of witnesses – those who have gone before us who were faithful to endure to the end – so that we might know what perseverance looks like. Thank You Jesus, for enduring the scorn and shame of our unrighteousness, so that we may be seen as righteous. Forgive us for when our faith wavers, and please strengthen and solidify our faith forever in You. May the way we run our race, reflect clearly, Your love, so that those who are seeking may find the One True Source. Amen.

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

Laying Down Our Load

image by BBHB

image by BBHB

Come if you’re weary.

Come if you feel worn.

Come with heart tattered.

Come targets of scorn.

It does not matter,

to God how we come.

But rather we seek Him,

so battles are won.

The yoke we’re bearing,

let Him take and toss.

For He already,

bore it on the cross.

Take off the burden,

let loose heavy chains;

His strength is enough,

to carry our pains.

Extend Him your hands.

Give your whole heart too.

For this is where rest,

is granted to you.

His yoke is easy.

His burden is light.

You are His treasure;

His child, His delight.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – (Matthew 11:28-30)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in You, we find rest.  Thank You that when we are weary and worn out, or burdened beyond what we can bear, You say, “come, let Me carry that.”  Forgive us for trying to power through in our own strength, and help us to be completely dependant on You.  Thank You that every battle we face and every burden we bear, You have already bore on the cross.  Help us to set down our “stuff” so that we can extend our arms to You.  May we recognize the rest You provide, and please keep us from picking our burdens back up again, once we have laid them down.  Help us to extend Your hope to the hurting and the hopeless, so that they too, may come to know Your perfect peace and provision.  Amen.

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