Love With All You’ve Got

You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. – (Deuteronomy 6:5, ERV)

You should love Him, your true God, with all your heart and soul, with every ounce of your strength. – (Deuteronomy 6:5, VOICE)

Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love Him with all that’s in you, love Him with all that you’ve got! – (Deuteronomy 6:5, MSG)

 

When we give God all that we’ve got, He meets us where we are. For whatever reason, God seems to show me tangible examples of this through running. This morning, I had a 15k race to run. I have not really been training, and the longest run I’ve gone on in recent months, was just under seven miles. That being said, it was one of those times where it was not about running a certain pace, but rather about running to finish. My friend and I were in the same position, and both determined that we were going to prioritize having fun while we run, rather than achieving a certain pace. As we ran, we discovered that we were able to enjoy the process, and were provided the stamina and strength necessary to run our own race. We both walked away from the event recognizing the parallels to how God shows up when we give things to Him, rather than attempt to force our own agenda. When we love Him and the life that He has given us, He does incredible things in us and through us. May we be ever willing to love the Lord with all that we are, and give Him all that we’ve got!

 

The Lord, He is good,hot-chocolate-run-2017-pic-1

Worthy of our love;

Our heart, soul and strength,

To God up above.

Let all that’s within,

Be given to God;

He takes what we bring,

Though broken and flawed.

So let all we are,

Give love unto Him;

Our strength and our songs,

Both outward and in.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for reminding us to love You with all that we are, as when we do, we are filled to overflowing with Your goodness anew. Forgive us for not trusting or seeking You with our whole heart, and teach us to trust You more, so that all that we are would seek You – heart and soul; loving You with all that we are. Show us how to love those around us in such a way, that they may come to know the blessing of Your goodness and faithfulness in their lives. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we love You with all that we are, and seek to do the same with those around us.  Amen.

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

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23

Living Among Us

For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs. – (Zephaniah 3:17, NLT)

The Lord your God is in your midst – a warrior bringing victory. He will create calm with His love; He will rejoice over you with singing. – (Zephaniah 3:17, CEB)

 

God is not far off and unreachable, He is near – living among us. There is such reassurance in this. Beyond His nearness, He fights for us. The Lord calms our fears with His great love, and He delights in us. It is mind blowing to think that He, the Creator of ALL, would rejoice over us with joyful songs. Despite our doubts, our fears, our brokenness, and our sinfulness – He loves, and He is for us. May we hold fast to the truth of His word, trusting that He is near, He will fight for us, He delights in us, He will calm us with His love, and He will rejoice over us with singing.

 

No matter what comes,Enter With Thanksgiving

We need never fear;

For the Lord our God,

Is present, so near.

He’s mighty to save,

The battle is His;

He delights in us,

And does what He says.

The Lord will bring calm,

By His love, bring peace;

As His songs resound,

With joyful release.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You live among us. Thank You that You are not God out there, but rather You are as close as our next breath. Thank You that You fight on our behalf, and that You delight in us. Thank You that You calm all of our fears. Thank You that You sing over us with joy. Forgive us for forgetting all of these things, as they are the reassurance that can soothe even the most stirred of souls. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would rely on You, as You are for us, and love us through whatever we face. Show us how to love others in the same way, so that Your comfort and calm is extended to those whom we encounter. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we delight in the promise of Your presence, and listen with our hearts for the songs that You sing over us. 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

Always with Joy

Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again – rejoice! – (Philippians 4:4, NLT)

Be glad in the Lord always! Again I say, be glad! – (Philippians 4:4, CEB)

 

When we are walking with the Lord, there is always a reason to be glad. Our joy is not dependent on our current circumstances, but rather on our hope for what is yet to come. In Christ, we know that no matter what comes our way in the here and now, our future glory will be exceedingly more than we can begin to hope or imagine. Joy comes through the blessed assurance that we are known, cared for and loved. The Lord is our Protector, Redeemer, Father and Friend, and loved us when we were most unlovable. Let every heart rise in recognition of our reason to rejoice, for our Redeemer is faithful, always!

 

May our joy be full,Enter With Thanksgiving

And our hearts rejoice;

Let songs fill the air,

In praise, lift our voice.

For gladness is ours,

Because God is good;

He’s faithful always,

All hope understood.

Be glad and rejoice,

For this is the day;

A gift we’re given,

To live, love and pray.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You give us reason to rejoice, and You fill our hearts with joy. Thank You that we can be glad in You, no matter what is going on in or around us. Thank You that joy is not dependent on our circumstances, but rather on our future glory in Your presence. Forgive us for confusing comfort with joy. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would seek You and follow You and Your will in all things and at all times. Show us how to share Your joy with those around us by loving others as we are loved by You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we go forth in your joy, ever glad for the good that You have granted unto us all. 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

Confidence to Praise

My heart is confident in You, O God; my heart is confident. No wonder I can sing Your praises! – (Psalm 57:7, NLT)

God, I am ready, heart and soul, to sing songs of praise. – (Psalm 57:7, ERV)

O God, my heart is quiet and confident. No wonder I can sing Your praises! – (Psalm 57:7, TLB)

 

Because I know the character and faithfulness of God, I am confident in who He is and able to praise Him in all things and at all times. Even when my heart is heavy, weary or worn, I have reason to sing praise, for my hope is not held in the here and now, but rather rests in what is yet to come. May we ever remain confident in the truth of who God is, and how He is for us, even when that which surrounds us is not.

 

Let my confidence,Gifts Given to Glorify

Forever be found;

In You, O my God,

Where all grace abounds.

My heart can’t contain,

Your glorious ways;

All I know to do,

Is offer You praise.

For my heart must sing,

Of all that You are;

My light, life and hope,

O Great Morning Star.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can be confident in You, no matter what is going on in or around us. Thank You that we always have reason to sing songs of praise unto You. Thank You that we can hold fast to the truth and trust You to be God. Forgive us for attempting to fill that role ourselves, or for neglecting to seek You in our storms. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would rest assured in confidence in who You are and how You love. Help us to love others in such a way, that they too would see Your character through how we conduct our lives. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we confidently sing Your praises in all things and at all times. Amen.

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

Show me Your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths; …my hope is in You all day long. – Psalm 25:4-5

Fully Trusting Him

The Lord is my strength and my shield. I trust Him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving. – (Psalm 28:7, NLT)

 

God is so good. He gives strength, protection and joy as our hearts are in need, and something within us cannot help but rise up and respond in gratitude. I would love to say that I trust Him with all of my heart. There are days that I do. Sometimes, fear or doubt find a doorway, and keep me from fully trusting Him. In those spaces, it is where I need His help all the more. When He brings such spaces to my attention, I have the opportunity to turn to trust once again. Each time I place the fear or doubt in His hands, He carries it for me. Where fear formerly reigned, new measures of faith are gained. May we trust the Lord anew this day, as He is our strength and our shield – ever present to help. Let the joy in our hearts flow freely as we sing songs of praise for who God is and all that He does.

 

My strength and my shield,Refreshment Through Repentance

Let trust fill my heart;

For You are my help,

Where all joy does start.

May what leaves my lips,

Be songs of sweet praise;

With all gratitude,

For all of my days.

Let the joy within,

Flow by His great grace;

As trust rises up,

In the Lord’s embrace.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your strength and protection. Thank You that You alone are worthy of all of our trust. Thank You that You help us and fill us with Your joy. Forgive us for not trusting completely or not giving proper praise where praise is due. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would give You our whole heart all of the time. Show us how to let our very lives sing songs of thanksgiving before You. Help us to love others in such a way, that they too, might come to know the safety and strength that You provide. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to be our strength and protection and to fill us with Your joy. Amen.

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

God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me. – Genesis 21:6

The Safest Space

You are my hiding place. You will keep me out of trouble and envelop me with songs that remind me I am free. – (Psalm 32:7, VOICE)

You are my hiding place; You will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. – (Psalm 32:7, NIV)

For You are my hiding place; You protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory. – (Psalm 32:7, NLT)

 

God is faithful, no matter what comes our way. We can always trust in Him to be our space of safety, and the One on whom we can depend. He is our strength, our protection and our peace. As we rest in Him, regardless of what surrounds us, He reminds us that the ultimate victory is His. In Him, we are free. Despite what we see, He is present and moving on our behalf if we call on His Name for help. The Lord will use even the most dire of circumstances for the ultimate good of those who love Him. It does not mean that He orchestrated nor set into motion the difficulties that we endure, yet He, in His loving kindness, will come beside us and supply what we need to navigate the hard, and then bring beauty from the ashes that once reigned. As we watch in wonder the new that He brings forth from what once was broken and laid bare, His sweet songs surround us, reminding us that in Him, there is hope, and the ultimate victory belongs to Him. May we run to Him who is our hiding place, and trust the Lord to be our protection from the perils along our path. Help our hearts to hear Your sweet songs of deliverance as You move on our behalf.

 

You’re my hiding place,Be strong and courageous

as troubles invade;

in Your sweet embrace,

I am not afraid.

For You are safety,

as storms try to rage;

my hope and comfort,

for all of my days.

Your songs of freedom,

surround and remind;

despite what is seen,

in You, hope we find.

Help my heart to hold,

to Your hiding place;

protect and keep me,

for now and always.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our hiding place no matter what comes our way. Thank You that You are our protection through the storms of life, and that You surround us with Your songs of hope that remind us of the ultimate victory found in You. Thank You that You bring beauty from ashes and hope from despair. Thank You that Your grace is sufficient, no matter what we face. Forgive us for our fearfulness in the midst of life’s trials. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would run to You as our hiding place, for in You, we find comfort and safety, despite what surrounds us. Show us how to love those around us in such a way, that we might convey the hope and safety that You alone supply. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we run to You as our hiding place and trust You to keep us from trouble and listen for Your songs that surround our hearts and minds. Amen.

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

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

A Heritage of Faithfulness

The Lord is my strength. He saves me, and I sing songs of praise to Him. He is my God, and I praise Him. He is the God of my ancestors, and I honor Him. – (Exodus 15:2, ERV)

 

Just after the Israelites had passed through the parted Red Sea to safety, and watched the seas cover the Egyptian army that pursued them, these words were theirs, as they recognized, celebrated and honored God for His faithfulness to lead them out of the space of slavery where they had been bound for far too long. God does the same for us today. He comes close and provides what we need as it is needed, and will be our strength to lead us to safety from the places that we have been stuck. For me, I am blessed to have a rich heritage of faithful followers of Christ. I specifically remember both my paternal great-grandmother and her gentle, kindness to all, and my maternal grandmother, who at ninety-six, is still light, life and love to all whom she meets. She is the one whom I most admire, and if I live my life half as well as she has and still is living hers, the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” will surely be heard when my days are done. For all of these things and more, I sing and give God all of my praise. No matter what comes, He is the reason to give thanks. My hope lies not in the here and now, but in that which is yet to come. I know that I only see in part, the fullness of what lies before me. God has purpose and plans for all who love and follow Him. May we rise up and remember who is our source of strength, giving Him all honor and praise as we pursue His ways.

 

The Lord is my strength,Compassion in Confrontations

my reason to sing;

my Savior and hope,

all help, He does bring.

For He is my God,

I give Him my praise;

for His faithfulness,

throughout all my days.

A rich heritage,

of following Christ;

granted unto me,

His grace has sufficed.

May I do the same,

for my next of kin;

show them God’s great love,

so faith enters in.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our strength. Thank You that You save us and give us reason to sing praise unto You. Thank You that You are our God. Thank You for those who have gone before us and set an example of faithfully following You, for it is through their faithfulness that we have found our way unto You. Forgive us for not giving You the praise and honor that You deserve, and help us to honor and praise You with every word we speak and everything we do. Let our very lives give glory unto You. Show us how to love others as You have loved us, so that future generations will have a solid example through us, of what it is to live a life devoted to You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust in Your strength to do Your will, and give You all praise as we go. Amen.

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

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

 

Thanks for Strength to Trust

The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust Him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving. – (Psalm 28:7, NLT)

This has been a week in which I have seen how the Lord has done exactly this; He has been my strength and shield, and He has helped me and filled my heart with joy. It has taken all that I am in some tough moments, to truly trust Him with all of my heart. That being said, there have been many occasions of bursting out into songs of thanksgiving as I have found myself acutely aware of His faithfulness and love just for me. As much as we despise times of trial and troubles, each one provides opportunity for us to see how God is our strength and shield, as we place our trust in Him. In that space where we become aware of His help and His heart for us, we cannot help but find joy and respond with thanks and praise to He alone, who is worthy. May we choose to trust with our whole heart, as the Lord is our strength and shield. He is our help and will fill our hearts with joy. Let every heart burst into song as we give thanks and praise where it is due.

The Lord is my strength,Gifts Given to Glorify

my protective shield;

in Him I will trust,

His joy we shall yield.

May we raise in song,

all our thanks and praise;

because God is good,

O Ancient of Days.

He will be our help,

in our time of need;

and our Source of joy,

as we let Him lead.

All thanks be to God,

our great Mighty King;

our hope for all time,

and reason to sing.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our strength and shield. Thank You that we can trust You with our whole heart, and You will help us and fill us with Your joy. Thank You that songs of thanksgiving rise within us, when we choose to give pause and take in all that You are doing in and around us. Forgive us for not giving You our trust, and for forgetting just how mighty You are. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would depend on You in all things and at all times, as You are our strength and shield, our hope and our joy. Help us to love others with thankful hearts, so that they too may come to know the grace that You freely give to all who seek You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You with our whole heart and sing songs of thanksgiving unto You. Amen.

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

God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me. – Genesis 21:6

Encourage with His Sweet Songs

Encourage each other with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your hearts to the Lord. – (Ephesians 5:19, ERV)

Music is a miraculous gift that breaks down even the bulkiest of barriers. Though there is always music in my day while I travel from place to place in my car, it has been largely absent in my regular routine. About a week ago, on my way into Fred Meyer to buy groceries, something made me take pause at the small display outside of the electronics section. There before me, were small blue tooth speakers that were affordably priced. As I pondered the prices and products, the sales associate wandered my direction. He had helpful suggestions, and I decided to go ahead and make a reasonable purchase, as I had no other source to play music out loud in my home for myself, other than my phone.

Since that day, I have utilized this fantastic little speaker to blare worship music while I prepare for my day. It is remarkable how much better equipped I feel when I have been singing along with reckless abandon, and soaking in the sweet sound that floods my space as I ready myself for what lies ahead.

Interestingly enough, the first portion of the verse has also come to fruition over this week as well. A friend and I have been sending one another links back and forth for our favorite or most encouraging worship songs. It has been such a sweet exchange to be reminded of lyrics long forgotten, that speak truth that my heart needed to hear. My hope is that the same has held true for her. May we find ways to encourage one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs as we go about our day, and may we allow our hearts to sing and make music unto the Lord.

Encourage with songs,

Kari Jobe  - Click to listen to I Am Not Alone.

Kari Jobe – Click to listen to I Am Not Alone.

as the tunes give rise;

for spirits shall soar,

with truth, come alive.

Sing and make music,

from our hearts to His;

may we choose make known,

how worthy He is.

Share of psalms and hymns,

that speak what is true;

so hurting hearts hear,

Who will make them new.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You give us the gifts of Your word, music, and the ability to combine the two. Thank You for Your sweet presence that is made tangible when we choose to worship. Forgive us for neglecting the need within us to sing and make music in our hearts unto You, and the call to encourage others with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Thank You for showing me a new way that this can be done, practically. TeachJust Be Held us to trust You more, so that we would set aside the stuff that weighs us down and choose to allow our hearts to soar in song before You. Lead us to love and encourage others with Your words that meet them where they are and speak to their heart in a way that only You can do. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we encourage each other with songs that reflect Your truth, and as we sing and make music in our hearts unto You. Amen.

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

Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths; …my hope is in You all day long. – Psalm 25:4-5

A few more favorites:

Casting Crowns – Just Be Held

Amanda Cook & Bethel Music – You Make Me Brave

Impossible Made Possible

“We have a God who delights in impossibilities.” – Andrew Murray

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” – (Matthew 19:26, NIV)

Jesus looked at them and said, “This is something that people cannot do. But God can do anything.” – (Matthew 19:26, ERV)

I am so grateful that God is a God of making the impossible, possible. What is seen through human eyes, is not the full reality through God’s perspective. We only see in part, what God sees in whole. That which is our struggle, the mountain that seems impossible to navigate today, may either be made low or He could grant us His strength to overcome far more than we could imagine in the coming days. Our job is to trust and to continue moving forward in the direction to which He is calling. He does not ask us to climb the entire mountain in one swift movement, but rather one step at a time. It is remarkable to take pause and look back, for we can suddenly see clearly, just how far He has brought us beyond where we thought we could climb. May we seek the strength of our Savior, and trust in His unfailing love; for in Him, all things that seem impossible can become possible as He calls them into being.

The mountain ahead,

seems too hard to climb;

for we’ve not the strength,

for just one more time.

It’s not up to us,

but rather to God;

to what is conquered,

and what path we trod.

For impossible,

only through our eyes;

with God there’s a way,

He hears all our cries.

He makes plain our path,

and grants us the strength;

to keep climbing upward,

o’er height and great length.

Let us seek the Lord,

no matter the task;

He makes possible,

to those who choose ask.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that what is impossible for man, is possible for You. Thank You that You delight in showing us Your loving kindness and power, as You strengthen and equip us to do the impossible through You. Forgive us for our lack of faith that causes us to shut down in the face of impossibilities. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would rise up in faith and recognize that though something is impossible for us in our own strength, for You, ANYTHING is possible. Show us how to love others in such a way, that they may come to know and understand Your relentless and unwavering love for them too. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to make the impossible possible, by Your grace and strength. Amen.

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

Is anyone happy?  Let him sing songs of praise. – James 5:13