He is Risen

But very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. So they went in, but they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus. – (Luke 24:1-3,  NLT)
The very same women who had stood at the foot of the cross in horror on Friday, then set to task making burial spices that night, were stuck staying in their space of sorrow on the Sabbath, and now, at last on Sunday, as they thought that they could go and anoint the body of their beloved Savior – discovered He was no longer in the grave! Panic gave way to praise as the angels of the Lord explained to the women what had happened and why Jesus was no longer lying in the tomb. Recalling the truth that they had been told by Jesus before His death on the cross, the ladies rushed back to tell the other believers what they had discovered. As we awaken to the truth that today holds, may we feel the same sense of urgency to go and let the truth be made known.

 

A matter of days,Hope in an Empty Tomb

and everything changed;

a sorrowful space,

now all rearranged.

Where death had seemed reign,

the truth became clear;

hell was defeated,

through Christ coming near.

He took on the cross,

all our sin and shame;

laid it in the grave,

set free by His pain.

It did not end there,

on Sunday He rose;

up out of the grave,

so His grace, we’d know.

Jesus has risen,

and we are set free;

forgiven and loved,

all praise unto Thee.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to make the way for us to have a restored relationship with You. Thank You Jesus, for taking all of our sin and shame upon Yourself, so that we might have life everlasting. Thank You that it did not end at the cross, for the grave could not hold You, as Your love is too great for us, Your created. Forgive us for not recognizing the magnitude of Your love and sacrifice that is given freely unto us. Teach us to embrace all that You give, so that we might have life abundant in You. Show us how to love others in such a way, that they too, may come to understand the greatness of Your mercy and grace that You freely give. May many choose to place all of their trust in You. Be exalted O God, as we give all glory and honor to You. Amen.

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

The joy of the Lord is your strength. – Nehemiah 8:10

Wages vs. Gifts

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. – (Romans 6:23, NIV)

The payoff for a life of sin is death, but God is offering us a free gift – eternal life through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, the Liberating King. – (Romans 6:23, VOICE)

 

In our natural state of sinfulness, we deserve death. Not even the kindest and most gentle of individuals is without sin. The consequence for such, is death. However, God sent His Son to extend to us, the opportunity to choose life – life everlasting in Him. There is nothing that we can do to earn this gift that He gives, but rather we must choose to receive what is being freely offered. When we choose Christ, we choose life. We are not promised pain-free pleasantries each day of our lives in the here and now, but in Him, we have the glorious hope of our future freedom from all such things, for all of eternity with Christ. There is no greater gift than He who laid down His life for our sin and shame, so that we could have life abundant in Him. May we receive all that He is offering, as we walk into this weekend of remembering not only His death on our behalf, but Christ’s resurrection from the grave that could not contain Him, so that we could enter eternity with Him.

 

Though we deserve death,Good Gifts

He’s given to us;

the gift of His Son,

life in Christ Jesus.

When we choose receive,

new life becomes ours;

where hope is our truth,

and Love empowers.

Let us choose embrace,

this gift given free;

so all may come know,

Christ dwelling in me.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that though we deserve death for our sinfulness, You made way for our lives to be redeemed through the gift of Your Son. Thank You Jesus, for dying in my place, so that I might come to know the truth of who You are, and how You love. Thank You for the hope that we hold forever in You. Forgive us for not living with an eternal perspective, as all in the here and now will one day fade away. Teach us how to trust You more, so that we will see things through Your lens. Show us how to love others well, so that they too may come to know the hope that is found in You alone. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we receive the gift of life that You freely give. 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

Standing Forgiven

If You, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? But with You there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve You. – (Psalm 130:3-4, NIV)

Lord, if You punished people for all their sins, no one would be left alive. But You forgive people, so they fear and respect You. – (Psalm 130:3-4, ERV)

 

The reality is that not one of us could withstand the judgment of God in our own righteousness. We all have sinned and fallen short of His glory. Because God is merciful, He sent His Son to make the way for all of our sin to be forgiven. In that space of recognizing the enormity of His grace, we cannot help but be compelled to revere and long to serve the Lord. He who has given us life and love and hope and help, is the very One whom we ought to honor in all that we say and do. May we walk out each day with the understanding of how much we have been forgiven, so that we too, shall go and do likewise.

 

No record of wrongs,Delivering Dreams

is held over us;

when we trust the Lord,

give all to Jesus.

We are forgiven,

from our sin and shame;

how can we but help,

revere the Lord’s Name?

When we know the truth,

the size of His grace;

our hearts long to serve,

for all of our days.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we come to You and give our hearts to You, You forgive us and keep no record of our wrongs. Thank You that by Your grace, we are able to stand before You, clean and made righteous in You. Thank You that You alone are worthy of our reverence and desire to serve. Forgive us for seeking to serve ourselves or for not giving proper respect and reverence unto You. Teach us to see You in light of who You are and all that You have done, so that we may properly serve and honor You. Show us how to love others in such a way, that they too would come to understand the magnitude of the grace that You extend to all who come unto You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You with all that we are and seek to serve You in all that we do. 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

God Delights to Give

This is real love – not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. – (1 John 4:10, NLT)

True love is God’s love for us, not our love for God. He sent His Son as the way to take away our sins. – (1 John 4:10, ERV)

 

God loves us; not because we are lovable but because He is love, not because He needs to receive but because He delights to give. – C.S. Lewis

 

God has shown us what real love looks like through the gift of His Son. His sacrifice that paid the price for all of our sin and shame, is the greatest gift of love that we have ever be given. Life, when we deserved death. Hope, when we had none. Though we have done nothing to deserve this love, the Lord delights to love us anyway. Because He loves us, we can go and do likewise. May we receive the greatest gift of love that has ever been given, and go forth in love as we are loved.

 

The truest of love,

God Delights to Give

Two of my greatest gifts, as I delight to celebrate their 14th birthday today!

 

that ever has been;

when God sent His Son,

so we might repent.

For it is by grace,

that we’ve been given;

the chance to be free,

all sin, forgiven.

God chose to love us,

not for what we’ve done;

but for the delight,

of calling us sons.

For we are His own,

when we choose receive;

not by what we do,

but when we believe.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for showing us real love. Thank You that You loved us and sent Your Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Thank You that You did this not because we deserve Your mercy and grace, but because You are love, and You delight in calling us Your sons and daughters. Forgive us for thinking that we have to do enough or be enough to somehow earn Your favor, rather than receiving the love that You freely give. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would embrace the forgiveness and grace that You have given, allowing Your love to transform our hearts and minds, so that we too, would go and love likewise. Show us how to love others with the same delight that You find in loving each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we receive Your perfect love so that we may go and love like You. 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

 

 

 

Mastered by God’s Grace

In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus… For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. – (Romans 6:11 & 14, NIV)

 

When we commit our lives to Christ, there is a laying down of our old self, our sinful nature, and we are made new by the grace granted to us through what Jesus did for us once and for all at the cross. No longer are we bound by our sin and shame, but rather we become free to follow, unhindered, all that the Lord has for us. Though temptation does not disappear, we are equipped and empowered to overcome anything that is placed before us, by His Spirit, if we choose to depend on Him. May we rise up and recognize all that we have received, and live alive to God in Jesus Christ, by the glorious grace that we have been freely given.

 

When rooted in Christ,

Thankful for Love that Endures

Vandy Massey Watercolor

we all get to count;

ourselves dead to sin,

for Christ worked it out.

He opened the way,

for us to be free;

no more bound by law,

with grace guaranteed.

Though grace is a gift,

it compels us on;

to walk in the truth,

’til our days are gone.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we place our trust in You, we die to the sinful part of ourselves and come alive in You. Thank You that we are no longer ruled by sin, but rather we are given Your grace so that we may willingly submit to Your authority in our lives, trusting You to lead us where You have for us to go. Forgive us for allowing anything to have a voice that is above Yours, and help us to quiet our hearts and minds to listen so that we can clearly hear Your direction. Teach us to trust You more in all things and at all times, as Your grace is more than enough. Show us how to love others with the same amazing grace that we are given. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we count ourselves dead to our old sinful ways, and alive in You. Amen.

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

Because of the tender mercy of our God, …the rising sun will come to us from heaven. – Luke 1:78

A Place of Radical Grace

Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. – (Romans 5:2, NLT)

Jesus leads us into a place of radical grace where we are able to celebrate the hope of experiencing God’s glory. – (Romans 5:2, The Voice)

 

Faith is so much more than a feeling. It is a confident trust in God and His word, as we hold fast to the hope we have found in Jesus, who has rescued us from our sin and shame, and restored us to a right relationship with Him. We have not earned His mercy and grace, yet it is our faith that frees our hearts to hold fast with confidence, the glory that is yet to come. Joy is ours today, because we have hope for all of eternity. May we each recognize the radical grace that we have been given, and celebrate the hope that we hold in God’s glory that is yet to come.

 

Jesus leads us here,Receive Life

to radical grace;

where He forgives all,

with welcome embrace.

More than the right now,

is hope yet to come;

our future glory,

spent with God and Son.

Consider the joy,

that‘s ours to behold;

this confident hope,

our strength to be bold.

Though we don’t deserve,

all that the Lord gives;

He loves anyway,

in mercy, forgives.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the undeserved place of privilege that You bring us to when we place our trust in You by faith. Thank You that as we do, we can confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing Your glory for all eternity. Thank You for Your amazing mercy and grace. Forgive us for thinking that we somehow need to earn Your favor, or that Your grace is somehow not enough for us. Help us to embrace the grace that You have freely given, and confidently look forward with joy, to all that lies ahead. Teach us to trust You more, so that our confidence would not be in what we see, but rather in what we know to be the truth. Show us how to love others with radical grace, so that they too may come to know who You are and how You love. Be glorified O God, as we stand with confidence and joy, as we look forward to Your glory that lies before us. Amen.

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

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine upon us. – Psalm 67:1

Peace in Times of Trouble

“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – (John 16:33)  

Jesus spoke plainly to the disciples about what was going to happen on the night He was to be betrayed, and let them know why He was leaving and to Whom He was being sent. Despite the darkness that was about to befall the disciples as they would watch their Savior and friend walk the long and agonizing road to the cross alone; Jesus assured them that it would not be the end. His assurance was played out in the most miraculous way ever recorded. Jesus defeated death, after bearing the brunt of all of our sin and shame. He rose again, appeared to many, and then returned to the Father so that He could send His Holy Spirit to be our Counselor. Jesus truly overcame the world, and in Him, we too, can overcome any obstacle that comes our way. His peace is available for us, and His strength in steady supply. To take heart is to place our trust in Him and allow Him to lead us, no matter what season we are walking through. He is faithful and He has already overcome all that lies before us. May we rise up in faith and take heart, for our Heavenly Father is holding us in the hollow of His hand.

Jesus has told us,His Mighty Power

a number of things;

so we may find peace,

that only He brings.

Though we’ll have trouble,

He won’t let us fall;

the Lord’s overcome,

He’s conquered it all.

Let’s rise up in faith,

in Christ, take a stand;

for the Lord is good,

we’re held in His hand.

Strength for the weary,

so we won’t grow faint;

His Spirit in us,

let’s trust in His Name.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You give us Your word that tells us what is good and true and lovely. Thank You that when we seek You, we find You and come to know Your peace. Thank You that despite the trouble that we all face, we have the blessed assurance that ultimately, in You, we will overcome. Thank You that we are more than conquerors in You. Forgive us for forgetting how near and powerful You are when the waves begin to overwhelm us. Teach us to slow down, and fix our eyes on You, rather than the storm that surrounds us, so that we may see what really is the truth. Lead us to love others well, so that they too may come to know Your peace and provision in such a way, that they turn to You forever. Be glorified O God, as we take heart in You, learning to lean into Your peace as You lead us to overcome all that comes against us. Amen.

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

He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. – Proverbs 11:25

Wait to Hear

I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. – (John 5:25)

 

We had a guest speaker in church yesterday who had a great message to share. One of the things that Doug Bursch (@gcfw.org) asked, was “Does God speak to us?” There was a resounding “yes”, but he followed with a few more questions that grabbed everyone’s attention. “Do you hear Him speak?” “If not, are you waiting on Him?” “Are you investing time in His word?” We can only hear and gain life if we are invested enough to seek and listen to the truth. Our source of truth, daily, should come from the word of God, and time spent before Him in prayer. If we are gaining our insight from social media, rather than the word of God, we are not hearing from Him. The above quoted verse from John is part of words spoken by Jesus. His point was that there will be those who are dead in their sin who will come to hear His voice and find eternal life. If we are listening to Him, we are available to offer what He has to those around us. May we be fully invested in His word and waiting on Him, so that we may go forth in peace, extending the love and grace that God alone equips us to offer.

 

Let us come before,

Waiting

the time has arrived;

to wait on the Lord,

where hope’s realized.

Though waiting is hard,

it’s always worthwhile;

for God has purpose,

as we tread each mile.

He teaches our hearts,

and our faith He’ll grow;

so when times are tough,

the truth we will know.

As we’re invested,

He grants us the words;

to lift up others,

so His heart is heard.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to live among us, and model what a life well-lived in You ought to be. Thank You Jesus for taking all of our sin and shame upon Yourself, so that we could have life abundant in You. Forgive us for our lack of patience in waiting on You, and teach us to trust You more, so that we will wait with perseverance, no matter how long You call us to wait. Lead us to love well, all those whom we encounter. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we wait on You, then go forth in obedience to whatever You ask. Amen.

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

I thank and praise You, O God of my fathers: You have given me wisdom and power. – Daniel 2:23

Invisible Qualities Clearly Seen

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. – (Romans 1:20)

 

The hand of God is evident everywhere. One cannot go beyond the boundary of their own home, before the senses are assaulted with the beauty of creation. All that is seen from the earth to the sky, has been created by the mighty hand of God. Each of us, within us, has a space that knows there is One greater than us, by whom we were created. We have a free will and the choice to either accept or reject the truth; but regardless of our choice, the truth remains.

 

The heavens proclaim His righteousness, and all the peoples see His glory. – (Psalm 97:6)

 

God in His goodness is visible, even to those who are not searching. How much more available is His heart to the world through us? Though God makes His eternal power and divine nature visible through all that He has created; that is only part of the story. Without people willing to share of His Son, who He sent into the world to set us free from our sin and shame, they’d never know the power of Christ’s redemption, nor of the Spirit’s direction. God grants both total forgiveness through the sacrifice of His Son, and guidance and direction for our lives through His Holy Spirit. His invisible qualities are made tangible as we invest our lives and hearts in Him. May we allow the Lord to lead us so that He who is eternal, may be clearly seen and understood by all.

 

Since the dawn of time,sunset (2)

God’s work has been seen;

through hand-painted skies,

to glowing moonbeams.

Wherever we look,

there is evidence;

of One far greater,

than our circumstance.

The heavens proclaim,

of His righteousness;

all see His glory,

through His faithfulness.

Yet, how will they see,

that there is much more;

forgiveness and grace,

Jesus, our Savior?

It is up to us,

to choose listen well;

to do what Christ asks,

and of His truth, tell.

For if we don’t speak,

then how will they know?

Each one needs the chance,

to learn and to grow.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your invisible qualities have been clearly seen through the splendor of all that You have created. Thank You that You did not simply stop with glorious creation, but You sent Your one and only Son to set us free from the bonds of sin in which we had become entangled. Forgive us for not embracing the grace and goodness that You have given, or for keeping quiet when You provide us opportunity to share of all that You have done for us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will go forth boldly, wherever You call us to go. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they can clearly see Your heart through ours. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we observe Your glory all around us and go forth and tell of all that You have done. Amen.

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

The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. – Psalm 145:8

To Tend His Temple

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. – (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

 

When we invite Christ into our lives, His Spirit comes and dwells in us. Where God’s very presence used to be housed in the tabernacle in the Holy of Holies, now resides in all who commit their hearts to follow Him. We are His temple. Just as the Israelites took great care in tending the temple because that was where the Lord dwelled; we too, ought to treat our bodies accordingly. The way in which we care for what we have been given, can determine how long we are able to be effective in serving our Savior. If we take care of our bodies, and treat them as God intended, then we are better able to serve Him for the long haul.

 

Additionally, with Christ living in us, He has already paid the penalty for our sin and shame, so we need not continue in our old ways that are detrimental to our temple. Just as we are to feed and grow our spirit, we ought to also invest in caring for our physical body as well. We are mind, body and spirit, and all are meant to be cared for and treated as those belonging to God. May we each invest wisely in how we care for our minds, bodies and spirits, and bring honor to God accordingly.

 

The temple of God,To Tend His Temple

no longer a place;

but rather He dwells,

in faithful heart space.

We are not our own,

we’re bought at a price;

through Christ’s holy gift,

Love’s great sacrifice.

Because of His love,

let’s honor the Lord;

treat well our temples,

serve Him we adore.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You created each of us with purpose and a plan. Thank You that You no longer dwell in a building that we cannot even enter, but rather You reside in the hearts of all who place their trust in You. Thank You that You paid the ultimate price so that we could have life in You. Forgive us for not tending the temple that You have given us in a way that You intended, and teach us how we are meant to best care for our bodies. Help us to trust You more, so that we will allow You into all areas of our lives, granting access to shed light on areas that need to change. Give us strength and resolve to make the changes that You bring to our attention, and help us to ever honor You with our bodies, hearts and minds. Help us to love others as You love us, and may many come into a saving relationship with You as a result. Be glorified O God, as we tend well the temples that You have given unto us. Amen.

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

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad. – 1 Chronicles 16:31