Courage to Do the Work

“Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God is with you.” –  (1 Chronicles 28:20a, NIV)

“Be strong and brave and finish this work. Don’t be afraid, because the Lord God, my God, is with you.” – (1 Chronicles 28:20a, ERV)

“Be strong, courageous, and effective. Do not fear or be dismayed. I know that the Eternal God, who is my God, is with you.” – (1 Chronicles 28:20a, VOICE)

 

In the same way that David extended these words of encouragement to his son, Solomon, as he was tasked to build the temple for the ark of the covenant, so too, does God extend the same to us, every time we step forward in faith to answer His call. These words feel a bit like a battle cry this morning, as Friday was probably my last “true academic teaching day” of the school year, and this morning, my last morning at home for several weeks. I am called and chosen to go and be with my mom, and I would not have it any other way; however, I am human, and there are elements of the unknown that cause me to constantly have to fend off fear, as well as a sort of grieving for the loss of the close of this school year with my students and time with my family and friends at home. God is good, and I know that He has called, chosen and prepared my sister and me for such a time as this. He has orchestrated time off and supplied for our every need. We are surrounded, supported and loved; tangibly. Our spouses, children, family and friends have only encouragement and love to offer, and we are eternally grateful. We are strengthened and encouraged to be effective in the work that lies ahead, because of the warriors that are battling on our behalf, behind the scenes. God is with us, and with Him, we need not fear.

As for mom, the busy days continue with her transition day drawing nearer still. Yesterday, between her morning of therapy sessions and the excitement of my brother-in-love and nephews arriving and spending time with she and my sister, she was completely exhausted and ready to call it a day, shortly after dinner. There are two wonderful things about this, as I pause to ponder what took place. First, mom advocated for herself, and let it be known that she was tired and ready to rest. (Of utmost importance, as the brain continues to heal and repair itself during rest) Second, I imagine some of her decision was the hostess in her, that desperately desired Meg to spend some time with her fellas. That too, is another indicator of her healing, as more and more of her usual ways become evident in all that she says and does. Selfless and loving, preferring others above herself, I imagine she wanted desperately for her girl to have time with her husband and boys, and she figured the rest would do her some good as well. Win. Win.

 

Be strong, take courage,

img_2019-05-26_06-29-226071714814702286098.jpg

An early morning view from Mom’s deck. ❤

For we’re not alone;

We’re called and chosen,

And completely known.

We’ve nothing to fear,

With God by our side;

No mountain’s too great,

Nor valley too wide.

Do not be dismayed,

When things seem go wrong;

For God is present,

And He’ll make us strong.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You never leave us nor forsake us, even when the road ahead seems intimidating in the unknown. Thank You that we’ve nothing to fear, for You are always with us. Forgive us for allowing the unknowns to intimidate us into fearfulness. Teach us to depend on You to be our strength and resolve, trusting You to lead us and guide us, every step of each new day. Show us how to love those around us well, so that they may be strengthened and encouraged and shown Your love in tangible ways. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust in You to be our strength and resolve in all things. Amen.

 

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

 

We also pray that you will be strengthened with all His glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy. – Colossians 1:11

A Promise to Enter Rest

Therefore, since the promise of entering His rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. – (Romans 4:1)

Though these words were originally written to the Jewish Christians who were likely in danger of turning back from their promised rest in Christ, due to the difficulty of the present reality that was clouding their perspective, we too, can listen and heed the advice.  For all who call on His Name and trust in Him, the promise of entering Christ’s eternal rest remains.  Though we all fall short, for each of us are sinful and broken, yet in Christ, if we choose to trust Him and persevere in His presence, we can overcome our current circumstances and carry on into the call that He has placed on our lives, and remember that the Lord’s promise is for us, and He shall give us rest.

When we are in Christ,IMG_1181

there is promised rest;

for He knows our needs,

and His ways are best.

No matter what comes,

His promises stand;

our future glory,

secure in His hand.

So let us beware,

to not fall away;

let not life’s troubles,

lead our hearts astray.

Hold fast to the truth,

and let us each run;

He’ll strengthen our hearts,

our great Holy One.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You promise us Your rest, both in our present places, and into eternity.  Thank You that in You, we are forgiven and granted the strength to press on and persevere on the path to which You have called us to travel.  Forgive us for our lack of fortitude in the fight, when weariness overwhelms us, and teach us to trust You more, so that we will depend on You in such a way, that we bring everything to You as it comes.  Lead us to love others with the same relentless and selfless love that You give to us, and may many come into a lasting relationship with You as a result.  Be glorified O God, as we hold fast to Your promises and receive the rest that You readily grant us.  Amen.

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

You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence. – Acts 2:28

If We Love

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us. – (1 John 4:12)

 

When we are in relationship with Christ, His Spirit lives in us. Our love that comes from the Father, extended to all whom we encounter, is a glimpse of God Himself, to those who know Him not. This is both a great privilege and a tremendous responsibility. Imagine with joy, knowing that we get to represent His hands and His heart to the world. However, in doing so, it is essential that we love others as He loves us. Christ’s love is patient and kind, not envious nor boastful, nor rude. It does not seek recognition nor return. It is not easily angered and does not keep score. Christ’s love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. His love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Jesus’ love never fails. In order for us to love as He loves us, we must fully rely on Him. On our own, we will fall miserably short. In Him, we are equipped to love beyond what we would have thought possible. May we go forth in His love, so that many may gain a glimpse of just how glorious our God truly is.

 

Though no eye has seen,Adventurous & Cautious
the face of the Lord;
we have seen in part,
through love He affords.
His Spirit within,
faithful human hearts;
grants us all glimpses,
His glory, in part.
Christ’s love is selfless,
it’s given away;
no expectations,
to somehow repay.
It always speaks truth,
it never keeps score;
it always protects,
leaves us wanting more.
God’s love always hopes,
ever perseveres;
it will never fail,
it wipes away tears.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that though we have never seen You face-to-face, we have been given glimpses of Your glory through the hearts of those whom love and serve You. Thank You that when You dwell in us, Your love is made complete in us. Thank You that we have the privilege of being extensions of Your hands and heart to the world. Forgive us for falling short – for not loving as You would love. Please grant us Your eyes to see others, and break our hearts for what breaks Yours. May we be moved by the things that stir Your heart, and then act upon those things in love. Lead us and guide us in Your goodness and grace. Let the lost be found as they are given glimpses of who You are through the love of those faithfully following You. Be glorified, O God, through our love. 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

Give Without Getting

image by Jesus is Lord

image by Jesus is Lord

In quiet and truth,

as we lead life well;

others will notice,

our actions will tell.

Minding our business,

working with our hands;

we’ll earn the respect,

following His plans.

Depend on no one,

for a free handout.

Work as unto Him,

and not one shall doubt.

For where there is trust,

open hearts are too;

that is our purpose,

to love as You do.

Give without getting.

Expect nothing back.

Selfless is His love;

in Him, there’s no lack.

(Responding to I Thessalonians 4:11-12)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your love for us is a selfless and sacrificial love.  You gave up Your heavenly throne to come to earth and model a life of love, and then freely gave that life away in our place, though we deserved it not.  Forgive us for our foolish expectations for some sort of return from anyone at anytime.  Help us instead to fix our eyes and hearts on You, and that which we have already received by Your Spirit.  Thank You that all that we need has already been provided; for great is Your faithfulness indeed!  Teach us to work hard and live well, so that our lives are not a distraction, but rather are an attraction, to Your great love and light.  May many come to know You and Your love, according to what You are asking.  Amen.

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