Purposeful Reign

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is My word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. – (Isaiah 55:10-11, NIV) 

Rain and snow fall from the sky and don’t return until they have watered the ground. Then the ground causes the plants to sprout and grow, and they produce seeds for the farmer and food for the people to eat. In the same way, My words leave My mouth, and they don’t come back without results. My words make the things happen that I want to happen. – (Isaiah 55:10-11, ERV) 

 

It has been a typically torrential week, weather-wise, in the great Pacific Northwest. Rain has poured down daily, and the mountains are gaining significant snow to help us all remember that December is actually here. Though I prefer the sunshine and sweeter, more leisurely days of summer, there are blessings to behold as the rains come down. Yesterday, as my best running buddy and I were braving the elements on a run, we hit a favorite sweet spot that is an actual decline (as everywhere we run in our town is hilly) an old song I love kept going through my head – Send Your Rain”. As the lyrics were on repeat as we ran, I thought about the benefit and beauty that our wet winter weather affords our area. It is lush and green and gorgeous, and there is a view of either the mountains or water, (or both!) nearly everywhere one goes. In the same way, as I immerse myself in His word each morning, what I learn seems to be recalled at the most opportune moments, when I need to be reminded most. God is a God of intention, and He is able to use everything for good. Even the wet, cold days of winter serve a purpose, as they bring bounty as we walk into spring. (The jury is still out on spiders though, just sayin’…) May we ever seek the Lord and His word, recognizing that what He says is true and what He promises, He will do. May we allow Him reign in our hearts. 

 

Each raindrop that falls, fb_img_15445766468148440667160544576070.jpg

Has purposed intent; 

To water the earth, 

This grace, heaven-sent. 

The same with God’s word, 

Each spoken with care; 

To guide and instruct, 

Love, help and prepare. 

Both are sent for growth, 

For their yield is great; 

Each to be absorbed, 

New life, generate. 

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your rain and Your word. Thank You that both are used to nurture and grow. Thank You that You give us tangible, visible examples in the world around us to grasp that which might not be clearly seen. Forgive us for not absorbing all that we can from Your word, as You generously give us all that we need to navigate well. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would seek You and rely on Your word. Show us how to love those around us well, so that they may feel refreshed and grow in the grace that You so lovingly give. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we receive Your reign in our lives and soak in all that You speak to our hearts. Amen.

 

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

 

The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice. – Psalm 97:1

 

 

As Seed Are Sown

Then He told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop – a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” – (Matthew 13:3-8, NIV)

 

Last Sunday, our pastor spoke on this particular parable. As he unpacked the meaning, he suggested the notion that perhaps it was not illustrating four different types of hearers of the word, but instead, it represents each of us at different stages of our relationship with God, or in different areas of our lives. There are indeed times when we are so closed off that words spoken, simply fall to the ground as if they had never been said. The second sort of soil, that which was shallow and rocky, mirrors our hearts when we hear the words, want to do well, but do nothing to invest to allow what we hear to take root. It is our desire for gratification without dedication, and it does not bring growth to fruition. When we are not rooted, the storms that come can destroy us. Seed among thorns is when the word of God is competing with the weight of the world that we attempt to bear. Worries will choke out all that is good if we do not allow God to be the gardener who prunes and pulls out that which does not belong in our lives. Finally, the seed that is sown on good soil is the word of God that we allow to enter our heart and act upon it. It is an ongoing investment in relationship with God and a choice to be intentional to spend time in His word, in worship and in prayer. As we know Him more, we more clearly reflect His heart to those around us. When others see His heart through us, that is when they too, desire to know the One who loves us so. May we ever seek the Lord to soften the soil of our heart and keep the rocks and worries that become barriers far from us, so that we may learn and grow and love others as we are loved by Him.

 

Let seed that are sown, How Faith Grows

Land on fertile soil;

Soften my heart, Lord,

Let not Your seed spoil.

For Your words are life,

Your love shows the way;

As we seek You more,

We trust and obey.

All time spent with You,

Helps us better know;

The gift of Your grace,

You grant us to grow.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You tend to our heart as we seek You and spend time with You. Forgive us for the times that we have been hard-hearted, shallow, or allowed the worries of the world to reign rather than You. Teach us to trust You more, as You are greater than anything that we face. Help us to prioritize our time to invest in knowing You more and loving those around us well. Show us how to love all whom we encounter in a way that ultimately points their hearts to You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as You tend to the soil of our hearts, and nurture growth as we allow You to water and care for the things that You so intentionally plant within us to nourish those around us. Amen.

 

 

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

You pour rain on the plowed fields; You soak the fields with water. You make the ground soft with rain, and You make the young plants grow. – Psalm 65:10

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.Psalm 23  1

He makes me lie down in green pastures,

He leads me beside quiet waters,

He restores my soul.

He guides me in paths of righteousness

for His name’s sake.

Even though I walk

through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil,

for You are with me;

Your rod and Your staff,

they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me

in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows.

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

God is my guide. Psalm 23  2

WIth Him, I lack nothing. 

He provides me place to rest,

and grants refreshment unto my soul. 

He leads me and guides me

in the ways in which I am meant to go. 

Even when things are frightening,

or death is knocking at my door.

I need not fear, for He is with me. 

The Lord is my Protector and Comforter. 

He prepares abundant provisions for me,

right in front of my enemies,

and claims me as His own,

pouring out His blessings upon me. 

Your goodness and love will remain with me,

every day of my life,

and I hold fast to the promise

of my future forever with You in heaven.

The 23rd Psalm is a source of much comfort to many.  It is a reminder of God’s presence, provision, and power.  He is good, and is available to pour out His blessings upon those who faithfully seek Him.  The Lord is worthy of our trust, and His love is unfailing.  There has never been, nor shall ever be a mere man, to whom we can compare His capacity to love us, individually.  May this day, afford you the opportunity to take some time to simply soak in the reality of His remarkable redemption, granted by His glorious grace, just for you.

You are my guide,Psalm 23  3

Provider of all;

You grant me rest,

catch me when I fall.

Lead me to peace,

to quiet my soul;

so I may hear,

Your heart that makes whole.

Show me the way,

unto righteousness;

despite shadows,

remove fearfulness.

Help me to trust,

You as Protector;

may my heart see,

all foes bow before.

You prepare much,

all see that I’m blessed;

You call me Yours,

clothed in righteousness.

Goodness and love,

for my whole life long;

my hope secure,

my Strength and my Song.

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You that Your love is unfailing, and that You provide, protect and persist in Your pursuit of our whole heart.  Thank You for the bountiful blessings that You pour out upon us, and for the promise we may hold when we give our heart to You.  Forgive us for our fearfulness and lack of trust, and help us to seek You in all things.  May Your grace and mercy be evident in every area of our lives, and may we extend the same to all whom we encounter.  Let Your love be evident in us.  Lead those who are looking unto Your loving embrace.  Be glorified, our great and mighty King.  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