Weighing the Why

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourself, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others. – (Philippians 2:3-4, NIV)

In whatever you do, don’t let selfishness or pride be your guide. Be humble, and honor others more than yourselves. Don’t be interested only in your own life, but care about the lives of others too. – (Philippians 2:3-4, ERV)

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. – (Philippians 2:3-4, NLT)

 

I am so thankful that God is gentle as He comes alongside us to remind us of what matters most. This past weekend, I was wrestling with a decision that I thought I had already made. After much prayer and a loving and supportive ear from my Viking, I discovered that I was meant to navigate a different direction than I had determined I would go. Weighing the “why” brought me to a place of peace with the decision that is best for my family. Because I had unconditional support, I had not previously given much consideration to the choice I thought I had already made. It was the gentle prompting in my heart that led me to wrestle with my “why”, and ultimately choose differently.  May we ever seek our Savior to lead and guide us in our every decision, allowing Him room to show us the way that is best for others and not just ourselves.

 

Let each decision, Weighing the Why

Be unto the Lord;

Set aside all pride,

And seek the Adored.

For all that we do,

Impacts more than us;

We need consider,

Others and adjust.

God, help us be wise,

And allow You room;

To show us what’s best,

So Your love may bloom.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us and lead us in the ways that are best for all. Thank You that You come alongside us and guide us when we determine to go a direction that You do not intend for us to go. Forgive us for our selfishness and pride that lead us to make decisions that are less than the very best You have for us. Teach us to hold our plans loosely, so that we are willing to allow You to interrupt and reroute us as we go. Show us how to love those around us in a way that considers their best interest in all that we say and do. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek Your wisdom and grace to lead us in the ways we are meant to go to best love, support and encourage those around us. Amen.

 

 

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

 

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. – 1 Corinthians 13:4 & 7

Blot Out Barriers to Love

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others. – (Philippians 2:3-4, NIV)

In whatever you do, don’t let selfishness or pride be your guide. Be humble, and honor others more than yourselves. Don’t be interested only in your own life, but care about the lives of others too. – (Philippians 2:3-4, ERV)

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. – (Philippians 2:3-4, NLT)

 

Selfishness and pride are both barriers to love. To love others as we are called to love, we have to take a genuine interest in people and care about their lives. As we set aside self and allow our focus to becomeotherly, pride is dispelled and love flows freely. This is not to say that goals are not good, but rather we ought to look to discover how we are best able to help others succeed in their goals as we work toward that which we too are pursuing. May we worry less about what we can attain or achieve on our own, and instead set our sights on how we might love others well.

 

Lord, help us to keep, Blot Out Barriers to Love

Aware of others;

May our hearts know well,

Sisters and brothers.

Remove within us,

Pride and selfishness;

And teach us to love,

With true tenderness.

Show our hearts the way,

To love and invest;

To put others first,

And support them best.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to love others in the same way that You love us. Forgive us for our selfishness and pride that prevent us from investing in the lives of those around us. Teach us how to place others above ourselves in a way that encourages and values people, without losing our own sense of purpose in the process. Show us how to love as we are loved by You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we set aside the parts of ourselves that withhold or withdraw, and move forward with open hearts and arms, set to support and serve. Amen.

 

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

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. – 1 Corinthians 13:4

 

 

Assured to Approach

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. – (1 John 5:14, NIV)

We can come to God with no doubts. This means that when we ask God for things (and those things agree with what God wants for us), God cares about what we say. – (1 John 5:14, ERV)

We live in bold confidence that God hears our voices when we ask for things that fit His plans. – (1 John 5:14, VOICE)

 

This verse is a great reminder of how God is our loving Father. Just as a parent listens and cares about what we say, the words are only given weight if they are for good and in agreement with what the parent knows is best. God, who is the ultimate Father, knows the potential outcome before we begin. His heart is for our good, and He leads and guides us in the direction that ultimately leads to His glory. That being said, we have a free will, and He will not control us like robots. He allows us to make our own decisions, yet His blessing is present when we pursue things according to His will. Our Heavenly Father knows best, and when we approach Him with a heart that is after His, He hears and leads us in the way we are meant to go. God is good and He wants good for us. May we ever approach God with confidence, trusting that He hears us as our heart is set to walk in His will.

 

We have a Father, Be strong and courageous

Who knows our heart best;

He listens to us,

And provides us rest.

Whatever we ask,

That follows His will;

He hears and He helps,

By grace He fulfills.

So, seek the Lord’s heart,

And ask all of Him;

He hears and He loves,

Granting hope within.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our loving Father who knows what is best for us; always. Thank You that we can come to You and ask of You, anything that aligns with Your will and be heard. Forgive us for asking things out of selfish ambition or for not asking when our intent is motivated by love, as You call us to do. Teach us to trust You more and help us to ever be motivated to do all things in love. Show us how to love those around us in a way that clearly conveys Your goodness and grace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we come to You confidently, trusting that You will hear our heart in all things as we seek You. Amen.

 

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

 

In Him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. – Ephesians 3:12

Mighty in Power

Our Lord is great, with limitless strength; we’ll never comprehend what He knows and does. – (Psalm 147:5, MSG)

Our Lord is great. Nothing is impossible with His overwhelming power. He is loving, compassionate, and wise beyond all measure. – (Psalm 147:5, VOICE)

Great is our Lord and mighty in power; His understanding has no limit. – (Psalm 147:5, NIV)

 

This ought to bring reassurance and a reminder of the greatness of God. The Lord knows and sees all. He knows our thoughts, our fears, our triumphs and our faults and loves us anyway. In His wisdom and power, God makes all things possible through Him. That being said, such power also requires reverence. We ought to stand in awe of who God is and all that He does. Though we cannot begin to grasp the depth and breadth of His strength and wisdom and power, we can acknowledge and give praise for what we do know thus far. May we continue to seek the Lord in His mighty power, trusting that He will meet us with His love and compassion as He sees and understands all that we need before we ever call on His Name.

 

The Lord God is great,Honoring the Temple

Mighty in power;

In love He provides,

Our strong safe tower.

Though we’ll never know,

The depth of His might;

Let us keep seeking,

To live in His light.

There is no limit,

To what God can do;

Help us ever trust,

God to lead us through.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are great and that nothing is impossible with Your overwhelming power. Thank You that You are loving, compassionate and wise beyond what we can even begin to comprehend. Forgive us for forgetting just how powerful You are, and living our lives according to our own selfish ambition or desires rather than according to Your good and perfect will. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would walk in Your way and live in the light of Your truth. Show us how to love those around us with Your love, compassion and wisdom, just as You so graciously and generously love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You for who You are and all that You can do. Amen.

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

They will celebrate Your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of Your righteousness. – Psalm 145:7

In Humility, Love

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. – (Philippians 2:3, NIV)

In whatever you do, don’t let selfishness or pride be your guide. Be humble, honor others more than yourselves. – (Philippians 2:3, ERV)

Don’t let selfishness and prideful agendas take over. Embrace true humility, and lift your heads to extend love to others. – (Philippians 2:3, VOICE)

 

If our actions are motivated by what we can get, there is no love in what we do. Christ calls us to be humble and seek to lift others up, rather than elevate ourselves. When we are motivated by a desire to love as we are loved, people are valued and Christ’s love is made known. May we choose to do as He has shown us, to do that which is good – to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God. (Micah 6:8)

 

In all that we do,Faith and Hope in Action

May humility;

Be motivation,

To love tenderly.

For there is no gain,

In selfish nor pride;

But rather in truth,

Let Christ be our guide.

If we are humble,

Value others first;

Then we are loving,

As Christ has endorsed.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son, Jesus, to show us what it truly means to do nothing out of selfish ambition, and to embrace humility and extend love to others. Thank You Jesus, for showing us again and again in Your word, how You would set aside even Your own needs to reach out and love those in need of Your touch, encouragement, peace, hope and help. Forgive us for allowing our own selfishness to get in the way of loving others. Teach us how to set aside our pride and walk in humility, so that we may love others as You love us. Show us who and how we are to love, and how we can honor those around us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we embrace humility, seeking to love as You love. Amen.

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

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy. – Hebrews 4:16

 

To Choose to Be Still

“Be still, and know that I am God!…” – (Psalm 46:10a, NLT)

“Be still, be calm, see, and understand that I am the True God…” – (Psalm 46:10a, VOICE)

 

Life can get extraordinarily busy. I am no exception. This is by far, my busiest season, as I am on the go from 3:30am to 8:00pm or later most weekdays. The reason for such early rising is to provide myself the opportunity to do just as this verse instructs. Beginning my day in silent stillness before the Lord, offers calm and clarity to take on each new day. It can be easy to get caught up in the busy, and forget Who has equipped us to do the things that we do, and as we make way through the midst of it all, how deeply we are loved by Him. Our reason to be still is to come into a space of understanding of who God is, and how He loves. As we learn and grow, we are compelled to go forth and do likewise – not out of obligation nor selfish ambition, but simply because we are loved we and want to do the same. May we take pause and be still before the Lord, so that we may hear His heart for us, and understand the greatness of our God.

 

We are invited,Hope in What is Unseen

to come before Christ;

in quiet stillness,

where hope’s realized.

As we choose be still,

our hearts come to know;

the greatness of God,

and how His love flows.

True understanding,

place of clarity;

is found in stillness,

solidarity.

Let our hearts be calm,

come into His rest;

know He is the Lord,

and He loves us best.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we quiet ourselves before You, we come to understand more of who You are, and how You love. Thank You that You are the True God who knows us and loves us, in spite of ourselves. Forgive us for not slowing down to be still before You, as we miss out on all that You have for us. Teach us to be still and set our hearts on You, as we further discover who You are and how You love. Show us how to demonstrate the love and grace that You give to us and to all whom we encounter. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we choose to be still and recognize the greatness of You. Amen.

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

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

What We Have In Christ

Think about what we have in Christ: the encouragement He has brought us, the comfort of His love, our sharing in His Spirit, and the mercy and kindness He has shown us. If you enjoy these blessings, then do what will make my joy complete: Agree with each other and show your love for each other. Be united in your goals and in the way you think. – (Philippians 2:1-2, ERV)

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. – (Philippians 2:1-2, NIV)

In Christ, we are given out of the abundance of who He is – His comfort, His love, His Spirit, His mercy, His kindness, His tenderness and His compassion. If we receive and appreciate all that we are given, we too, should go and do likewise. Our love for Christ is best expressed through how we love one another. If we walk united in purpose, and agree to love one another as He loves us, joy is found and our faith is sound. May we go forth today united in purpose, and love as He first loved us.

Such encouragement,Hearts of Thanks

found in Christ the Lord;

His comfort granted,

and grace He affords.

Gift of His Spirit,

kindness, mercy too;

all gifts He gives us,

as we are made new.

Let us be tender,

compassionate, kind;

love as one body,

one spirit, one mind.

For if we choose love,

as He first loved us;

the world will know,

the joy of Jesus.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the encouragement that You provide when we are united with You. Thank You that You grant us the comfort of Your love, Your tenderness and compassion, Your mercy and grace, and in You, we may go and do likewise as one body if we choose to trust in You. Forgive us for not seeking to invest in the body, or for choosing to serve our own selfish ambitions, rather than love as You love us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would be tender, kind, compassionate, merciful and full of Your goodness and grace to all whom we encounter. Lead us to love others as You so perfectly love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we are encouraged through our unity in You to go forth and do all that You are calling us to do. 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

To Be On Our Guard

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love. – (1 Corinthians 16:13)

 

These are weighty and wise words by which we are meant to live. To be on our guard, means that we are aware of what is around us – the things that are influencing us and affecting us, and taking a posture of readiness. Standing firm in the faith requires us to know what we believe. In order for that to happen, we must invest time in the Word and in prayer. The more we invest in knowing God, the more secure we can stand when storms come our way. Courage and strength are gifts that God supplies as we need them most. Even when we don’t necessarily feel courageous nor strong, when we choose to do the next right thing, or take the next obedient step, we are actually operating in His courage and strength. Finally, to do everything in love, is to allow the Lord to flavor all that we do. Let nothing be out of selfish ambition nor with malicious intent, but rather to love as Christ first loved us. When we have to take a stand or step back from spaces that are toxic, even then, there is room to do so in love. If we are listening to the Lord and allowing Him to direct our steps, we can trust that He will work all things out for good. May we each be on our guard; standing firm in our faith; as men and women of courage and strength, as we do all things in His love.

 

To be on our guard,The Way of Wisdom

means we are aware;

of what we take in,

and what is out there.

We must choose stand firm,

in faith to what’s true;

as we seek the Lord,

for He makes us new.

Both courage and strength,

are gifts from the Lord;

granted as needed,

blessings He affords.

So may we each do,

all we do in love;

so hearts may be turned,

to the Lord above.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You give us direction in Your Word as to how we are meant to live life as You intended. Thank You that in all that You ask, You provide what is needed to do as You call us to do. Thank You that You equip us to be on guard and stand firm in our faith, as You give us courage and strength to do all things in love. Forgive us for being unaware of that which surrounds us, or for being deaf to that which You are speaking to our hearts. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may hear You well, and embrace the courage and strength that You supply so that we go forth doing everything You ask in love. Lead us to love as You love us, and may many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we are on our guard, standing firm in the faith with Your courage and strength to do all things in love. Amen.

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

For the Lord your God will bless you, …and your joy will be complete. – Deuteronomy 16:15

Protecting Our Priorities

Priorities and values matter.  Despite what society would like us to believe, it is not all about us.  Jesus told His disciples, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.” – (Mark 8:35) This does not mean He wants us to set out to die, but rather to set aside our own selfish ambitions and allow His heart to be heard.

The NIV footnotes for the same verse, explain it this way: “We should be willing to lose our lives for the sake of the gospel, not because our lives are useless, but because nothing – not even life itself – can compare to what we gain with Christ.  Jesus wants us to choose to follow Him, rather than to lead a life of sin and self-satisfaction.  He wants us to stop trying to control our own destiny and to let Him direct us.  This makes good sense because, as the Creator, Christ knows better than we do what real life is about.  He asks for submission, not self-hatred; He asks us only to lose our self-centered determination to be in charge.”

When our priorities are in place, we realize that we need Christ to be in charge.  Without Him, we have nothing.  In Him, light and love, wisdom and strength, and all that we need to navigate this life according to His will, are provided.  Our choice and our charge is to protect our priority in Him.  Is He first in our lives, or is He simply a go-to God when we feel that we need Him?

A hope secure,Protecting Our Priorities

invested in Christ;

chooses to make,

Him first place in life.

Seeks not to save,

temporary things;

gladly gives all,

to honor the King.

Releases reigns,

submits all control;

to One worthy,

our God to extol.

All that is lost,

consider a gain;

eternity –

the promise is plain.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we freely give our life to You, You give us something far greater in return – a future that is secure forever with You!  Thank You that You loved us so much that You sent Your Son to lay down His life on our behalf, so that we would have a way to come to You.  Thank You that You want us to spend time with You.  Thank You that You consider us worthy, because of what Jesus has already done on our behalf.  Forgive us for not protecting our priorities, for allowing anything or anyone to come before You.  Teach us to keep our priorities in order, and help us to depend on You to be our wisdom and strength.  Guide us in how we are meant to navigate the hectic lives we lead, so that we may be effective for You, and refreshed and renewed in You.  May we live and love as we are loved by You.  May many come to know the provision of Your grace and mercy as they understand who You are and how to make You their priority.  Direct our days, dear 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