Beauty in Belonging

Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. – (Psalm 100:3, NIV)

Know that the Lord is God. He made us, and we belong to Him. We are His people, the sheep He takes care of. – (Psalm 100:3, ERV)

And realize what this really means – we have the privilege of worshiping the Lord our God. For He is our Creator and we belong to Him. We are the people of His pleasure. – (Psalm 100:3, TPT)

 

There is an incredible bond between sheep and their shepherd. They know the voice of the one who protects, gathers and feeds them. And a shepherd will face fierce predators to protect his/her sheep. It makes sense that a comparison would be made that is similar, between God and His people. He knows us each by name, individually, and protects us, gathers us in, and fuels us with His love, strength and truth. The Lord will not allow us to wander too far from others, as He will keep calling us unto Himself until we hear and respond. May we take time to recognize and respond to the voice of He who calls us unto Himself, and give thanks for the beauty in belonging to Him.

 

The Lord’s my shepherd, Masterd by Our Maker No Longer Slaves to Sin

In Him, things are good;

Trusted protection,

Through love understood.

No matter what comes,

In Him I’ll abide;

Greater than all foe,

For He’s on our side.

Nothing against us,

Will win, overcome;

His love, much larger,

’til each day is done.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are God. Thank You that You love us, protect and provide for us, just as a shepherd does for his/her sheep. Thank You that as we know You, we learn to hear Your voice, as You lead us the ways we are meant to go. Forgive us for the times that we have ignored or chosen not to listen to Your leading. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would listen to Your every word, trusting that all that You say is for good. Show us how to love, provide for and protect those around us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You as they witness the evidence of Your hand in our lives. Be glorified O God, as we praise You for who You are and how You lovingly lead, protect and provide for us. Amen.

 

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

 

For He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care. – Psalm 95:7

 

 

Listen and Follow

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. – (John 10:28, NLT)

 

To be His sheep requires an intentional choice to seek to follow Christ. When we make the decision to live for the Lord, rather than for ourselves, we listen for His instructions so that we might do His will and walk in His way. God sees and knows each heart that earnestly seeks Him. He is present to help all who long to follow where He is leading. We may stumble and fall along the way, but He is present to pick us up, dust us off, and continue to lead us the way we are meant to go.

Not one of us will get it right 100% of the time. However, we cannot allow fear of failure to paralyze us from forward momentum. His grace is sufficient, and He will meet us as we move, gently adjusting our sails if we get off course. Sometimes He allows obstacles to be placed in our path, so that we might take pause and reroute, according to His plan, not our own. May we each be sensitive to hear His voice, and intentional to follow wherever He leads.

 

The Lord is present,Masterd by Our Maker No Longer Slaves to Sin

May we hear His voice;

It’s through our seeking,

Intentional choice.

Each one of us known,

With freedom to choose;

To listen and learn,

His path to pursue.

Lord, help us follow,

With all that we are;

Lead us and guide us,

As You’ve done thus far.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we seek You, we find You and we are known by You. Thank You that we can hear Your voice as You speak to us through Your word, through people, and in the stillness of our own hearts. Forgive us for not following as You are leading. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would obey immediately, all that You are asking. Show us how to love others in such a way, that they too, shall come to know Your voice. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we listen and follow after You with all that we are. Amen.

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

Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. – 2 Corinthians 3:5

Secure in His Hand

I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from Me. – (John 10:28, NLT)

I give My sheep eternal life. They will never die, and no one can take them out of My hand. – (John 10:28, ERV)

I give them a life that is unceasing, and death will not have the last word. Nothing or no one can steal them from My hand. – (John 10:28, VOICE)

 

Once we commit our hearts and lives to the Lord, no one can take His love, hope nor peace away from us. Our future is secure in His hands. Eternity is promised in His presence, when our trust is in the Lord. No matter what comes, we are His. There is much comfort in the blessed assurance that the Lord holds us in His hands and will not allow anything nor anyone to steal us away from Him. May we trust all that we are in His hands, and allow the hope found in Christ alone, to permeate every pore of our being.

 

The Lord gives us life,Generous Giving

for eternity;

as we give ourselves,

His love sets us free.

Free to embrace hope,

by truth, we are found;

no more set to die,

in His life, we’re crowned.

And beyond the hope,

He holds us secure;

nothing can remove,

our future’s assured.

All glory to God,

our Savior and King;

Protector, defense,

from trials life brings.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You give eternal life, and that in You, we will never truly die. Thank You that nothing and no one can steal us from Your loving and protective hand. Forgive us for seeing You as less than You are and making You too small in our own understanding. Teach us to begin to grasp the greatness of who You are and how You love, so that we would trust without wavering. Show us how to love others in a way that highlights the hope we hold in You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we receive all that You offer, and trust in You with all that we are. Amen.

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

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. – Psalm 23:6

Sheep Need a Shepherd

The Lord is my Shepherd. I will always have everything I need. He gives me green pastures to lie in. He leads me by calm pools of water. He restores my strength. He leads me on right paths to show that He is good. – (Psalm 23:1-3, ERV)

The Eternal is my Shepherd, He cares for me always. He provides me rest in rich, green fields beside streams of refreshing water. He soothes my fears; He makes me whole again, steering me off worn, hard paths to roads where truth and righteousness echo His Name. – (Psalm 23:1-3, VOICE)

 

Sheep desperately need a shepherd to lead them. They follow one another into harm’s way if they are not routed elsewhere, and they are easy prey for predators if no one is protecting them. We are no different than sheep in our need for the Savior. He is our Shepherd. He leads us and protects us, if we are willing to be among His flock. The Lord’s leading brings us to places of rest, safety and renewed strength, as He shows us the road to righteousness and truth. His direction for our lives is good, and in Him, we need not fear. He heals, restores, and loves us to life, when we are weary and worn. May we trust in the true Shepherd, as He provides all that we need and leads us on the path to life everlasting.

 

God is my shepherd,Masterd by Our Maker No Longer Slaves to Sin

I have all I need;

He protects, provides,

hears what my heart pleads.

The Lord grants me rest,

when I become worn;

restores what’s broken,

when my heart is torn.

He renews my strength,

when all strength is gone;

and shows me the path,

I’m meant to walk on.

Where He leads is good,

for His way is right;

He points to the truth,

and leads by His light.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our Shepherd. Thank You that in You, we have everything that we need. Thank You that You give us places of rest and refreshment, and that You restore us and make us whole again when we are weary, worn and broken down. Thank You that You lead us on Your path that is right and true, so that we can obey and honor You. Forgive us for attempting to run when You call us to rest. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will listen for Your voice and do as You ask, trusting that Your way is what is best for us. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they too may find refreshment and rest in You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, Lord. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to shepherd us on the path to life everlasting. Amen.

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

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; …write them on the tablet of your heart. – Proverbs 3:3

 

He Leads Us to Rest

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul. – (Psalm 23:1-3, NASB)

Shepherds lead, guide and protect their sheep to keep them safe and help them grow strong. The Lord is our Shepherd. He knows what we need, and cares for us accordingly. When we are weary, He brings us to a place of rest, where if we still our soul and seek Him, we become acutely aware of His nearness and provision for us. He restores our brokenness through His kindness, and loves us all the while. If we choose to follow Him, we want not; for He provides what we need, as it is needed. May we look to the Lord and allow Him to lead, as He is our good Shepherd.

When I know He’s near,Rest in His Unfailing Love

I’m safe in His arms;

He leads and protects,

keeps me safe from harm.

He brings me beside,

places I can rest;

He knows what’s needed,

and His ways are best.

My soul is restored,

as I trust in Him;

He loves me to life,

and leads me again.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our Shepherd and that in You, we shall not want. Thank You that You bring us to quiet spaces of rest, where You restore our soul, and renew our strength. Thank You that all that we need is provided in You. Forgive us for our fearfulness and angst that rises up when life becomes chaotic. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will allow You to lead, and willingly follow You wherever You call us to go. Show us how to love others as You so generously love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust in Your leading and rest in the spaces of peace that You draw us into. 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

Listen and Follow As We Are Known

My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me. – (John 10:27)

 

When we listen to the Lord, we come to know and understand that we are known by Him. There is nothing quite so powerful to propel us to follow our Heavenly Father, as His love for us, individually. Just as a child will follow their parent and listen for their leading when they feel safe and loved, so too, can we trust and obey what our loving Lord asks of us. He leads us to places that we never thought that we would go, for purposes we never dreamed we might serve. However, that being said, all things are ultimately used for His glory, and He uses everything for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. It is well worth it to listen and follow the Lord, for we are known and loved, and will be lead into the place that He has prepared for us forever. May we listen well for His voice, and follow Him wherever He may lead; for each one of us is fully known by God.

 

We are the sheep,Masterd by Our Maker No Longer Slaves to Sin

that the Lord has named;

we’ll hear His voice,

as truth is proclaimed.

For we are known,

by the Lord on high;

Who loves and leads,

and hears our heart’s cry.

We must follow,

where He calls us to;

He has purpose,

for all we go through.

He’ll take the bad,

and use it for good;

to help others,

His grace understood.

May we each know,

as we are well known;

how much we’re loved,

through all Christ has shown.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can listen for Your voice and hear what You have to say to each of us. Thank You that You speak to us through Your word, through prayer, through worship, through people, through pictures, with Your still small voice within; thank You that You are not limited in how You can speak if we are only willing to listen. Thank You that You know us each intimately, as You alone knit us together in our mothers’ wombs. Thank You that You grant us the capacity to follow You, when we give You our hearts and our lives. Forgive us for straying from the path on which You have placed us, or for fearing forward momentum in the direction that we have been called. Teach us to trust You completely, as we are so completely known and protected by You. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they too may come to know Your voice and the light that comes from a life invested in You. Be glorified O God, as we listen to You and follow what You ask, because we are fully known. Amen.

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

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

Praise All of Our Days

I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify Your Name forever. For great is Your love toward me; You have delivered me from the depths of the grave. – (Psalm 86:12-13)

 

Fire has always frightened me to my core, ever since I was a little girl. In fact, when the fire department did a fire safety talk at my elementary school, I would not sleep at night until my parents installed smoke detectors in our home. Right now, we are experiencing an unusually hot and dry summer in Washington State. On the eastern side of the state, in Wenatchee where my Mom resides, their first big fires of the season just hit yesterday. Typically, they are far from where my mom lives, so all that is observed is the constant flying of helicopters to the river to fill giant containers that are then flown over the flames, and poured out to douse them with water. Unfortunately, yesterday evening the fires were crawling closer and closer to where my mother lives. Her neighborhood was on voluntary evacuation, but she and her neighbors decided to stay and be ready to go at a moment’s notice. Late into the evening, flames burst forth from the ravine on the far side of her vacant lot. Suddenly her home was surrounded by firefighters and her exit blocked by fire trucks. Even if she had wanted to leave, there was no way out, as the fire was burning too near the only road out. For hours, I watched, waited, and prayed. I imagine she did much of the same.

 

This morning’s Psalm really resonates as to how I feel on behalf of my Mom and the many in her housing development whom are dearly loved friends. His love has been great as He has delivered and protected them from what could have been catastrophic. My heart is overflowing with praise, for He is good and His love endures forever.

 

No matter what comes,

Image from my Mom's driveway...

Image from my Mom’s driveway…

I will give You praise;

for You are my God,

help all of my days.

With all of my heart,

to You, glorify;

forever, always,

hope to testify.

You have delivered,

me from the great depths;

and spared me the grave,

of unrighteousness.

Though we walk through fire,

You lovingly keep;

us in Your safe hands,

as You tend Your sheep.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your love for us is so great, that You sent Your Son to deliver us from the depth of an eternal grave. Thank You that You are worthy of our praise, with all of our heart, for all of our days. Forgive us for losing sight of the truth when storms rage or fires burn. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will glorify You in every circumstance, as You are worthy of our praise forever. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they may see Your heart for them through us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we offer our praise until the end of our days. 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

Our Great Shepherd

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. – (Psalm 23:1-3a)

 

A shepherd leads, loves, cares for and protects his sheep, and knows them each by name. How much more does our Heavenly Father do this for us, as He is our Great Shepherd? As we trust in the Lord to lead us, His path and provision are more than enough to supply all that we need.

 

Green pastures and still waters invoke soothing spaces, as I imagine places that are plentiful in His peace. It is these very spaces that He calls our hearts to come, so that He may restore in us the very peace He intended for our hearts, minds and souls. Regardless of the chaos around us, in Him, there is peace. May we allow the Lord to lead us to lie down in green pastures and sit beside quiet waters, as He restores our souls.

 

Despite the chaos,Our Great Shepherd

He calls us to come;

rest in His pastures,

as tension is unstrung.

Beside still waters,

He restores each soul;

healing what’s broken,

He refreshes, makes whole.

He’s the Good Shepherd,

who knows all our needs;

the Lord will provide,

so that we shall succeed.

Succeed in His ways,

as we trust in Him;

fearless, undaunted,

through the Spirit within.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are the Great Shepherd who leads us, loves us, guides and protects us, as You take us to places of peace when the world around us is in turmoil, and You restore our souls. Thank You that You are always present, even when we are unaware. Forgive us for not relying on You right away when trials come, or for seeking rest and refreshment anywhere other than where You lead. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may know the fullness of Your rest and restoration, as we then go forth and give back to a world in need. Lead us to love others well, just as You so perfectly love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we fearlessly follow the path You place before us, and rest and recharge when You ask. 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

The Sheep of His Pasture

You my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, are people, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign Lord. – (Ezekiel 34:31)

 

These words were spoken by the Lord through Ezekiel, at the end of a prophesy of warning to those who were in leadership positions who had abused their authority and not cared for those whom they were meant to provide care. For those who had remained faithful, the Lord promised a covenant of peace and His blessing. God reminded them that He counted the faithful as His own, and that He would care for them, as would a good shepherd. Even more than that, the Lord assured them that He was their God, and His sovereignty was their assurance that He indeed has the supreme power and authority over all. The word given then, remains true throughout the ages. The Lord is still our Good Shepherd. He is our God and is sovereign over all. If we draw near to Him and give Him our heart, He counts us among His people. May we seek our Savior with our whole heart, and know His sovereignty in our lives.

 

May we be faithful,The little lamb

whole-heartedly seek;

our Savior and Lord,

as His humble sheep.

He is our Shepherd,

Who tends us with care;

provides safe pasture,

delivers us there.

When He is our God,

He forgives our sin;

He rules and He reigns,

our Lord, sovereign.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we seek You with our whole heart, You count us among Your people. Thank You that You shepherd us with Your loving kindness, and that You are sovereign over all. Thank You that no matter what comes our way, You are God, and You are greater. Forgive us for our fear and lack of faith, and help us to trust in Your unfailing love. Teach us to love as You so lavishly love us, and may many come to know You as their God, as we faithfully follow You. Be glorified, Lord God, as we go forth as the people of Your pasture. Amen.

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

Listen… be wise, and keep your heart on the right path. – Proverbs 23:19

He Knows His Sheep

I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know Me – (John 10:14)

 

Jesus was again addressing a crowd, trying to help them understand who He was, and what that could mean in their lives if only they would choose to believe for themselves. To be counted among His sheep, is everything. As the Good Shepherd, He lovingly guides us and knows us by name; yet fiercely protects us from the enemy, to the point of willingly laying His life down for ours. Our very human make-up has an innate need to know and be known. We are wired to be in relationship with our Good Shepherd. May we embrace the grace that He so freely gives, and seek to follow Him all of our days, as we choose to listen to His voice.

 

We are the sheep,Unfettered Forgiveness

of His pasture land;

granted His grace,

held up by His hand.

He calls our name,

and we know His voice;

kept safe from harm,

when He is our choice.

Not free from storms,

yet future’s secure;

promised presence,

His nearness assured.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our Good Shepherd and that You call us by name. Thank You that when we choose to follow You, You help us to hear and know Your voice. Thank You that You lead us and guide us in Your love, and You willingly laid Your life down for ours, so that we have hope not only for today, but for all of eternity. Forgive us for becoming distracted by the dangers that lie outside of the pen of Your protection, and help us to fix our eyes securely on You, trusting that You are with us and will hold us steady, even in the strength of the storm. Lead us to love others as You so lavishly love us, and may many come to know You as their Good Shepherd too. Be exalted, Lord God, as we follow Your voice today. Amen.

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

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; …write them on the tablet of your heart. – Proverbs 3:3