Contend for God’s Call

image from Cicero Christian Church

image from Cicero Christian Church

In these latter days,

bold scoffers have come;

who live to please self,

not honor the Son.

They follow their wants,

fleshly desires;

obeying instinct,

not Spirit-led fire.

But we, my dear friends,

must in faith stand firm;

pray in His Spirit,

trust what we have learned.

Keep selves in God’s love,

for mercy we wait;

eternal life comes,

secure is our fate.

Grant mercy to doubts,

save friends from the flame;

we silence all hell,

when we call His Name.

Hate every sin,

but the sinners, love;

for safety will come,

to hearts fixed above.

(Responding to Jude 17-22)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You forgive and free us from fleshly desires as we call on Your Name and trust in Your truth. Grant us wisdom and compassion so that we may love and extend the hope held in You, to all those in need. Keep us from compromise when contending for what You are calling us to do. Forgive us for our fears and frustrations with those who know You not, and help us to, in kindness, demonstrate Your lasting love that will lead the lost to You. May we stand forever firm in our faith, and may many come to trust in You. Amen.

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

Found By Faith

“For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.” – Romans 3:28

For proof of His presence is EVERYWHERE!image by Yoga on the Beach

For proof of His presence is EVERYWHERE!
image by Yoga on the Beach

Our forgiveness, salvation and justification from and before the Father are found only by faith; by trusting whole-heartedly that Jesus’ death on the cross was enough for us to become right with God.  We are not saved by works.  Only by FAITH.

“Why does God save us by faith alone?

(1) Faith eliminates the pride of human effort, because faith is not a deed that we do.

(2) Faith exalts what God has done, not what people do.

(3) Faith admits that we can’t keep the law or measure up to God’s standards – we need help.

(4) Faith is based on our relationship with God, not our performance for God.” – (NIV Study Bible footnotes)

If faith eliminates our personal pride for what we practice, then as we come before Him with humble hearts, He can do immeasurably more than we could ever hope or imagine.  As we exalt what God has done, we point to the path for people to find faith in the Father.

As our faith grows, we come to know just how short we fall from keeping the law in our own strength.  When we come to know our own need, we seek Him for the strength necessary to sustain us and keep our path straight.

Finally, faith is found through relationship with our Redeemer, not through our personal performance.  If our hearts and minds are busy looking to see how we are measuring up, we have moved our focus off of the Father and are missing the point.  However, when we press in and keep our focus on the Founder of our faith, spending time with Him, accepting His limitless love, mercy and grace, our faith finds secure footing and we learn to stand strong on  solid ground.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that through Your Son, You have provided the way for our salvation.  Thank You that it is not through our performance, nor through our ability to follow the letter of the law (for we ALL fall short – Romans 3:23) that we are saved, but instead, it is through accepting the immeasurable investment that You have made available to every heart that believes.  Jesus’ life paid our price, so that we might receive eternal residence in Your holy presence.  Forgive us for forgetting our faith and trying to work to please You.  May we find rest in the very best that You grant us all, by faith and forgiveness through the sacrifice of Your Son.  Lead us to live lives faithfully in and for You, so that many may come to find faith too.  Amen.

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

His Supply As We Rely

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.  Do everything in love.” – I Corinthians 16:13-14

painting by Matthieu van Plattenberg (

Paul’s exhortation to the church in Corinth is a great call for us still today.  To walk victorious in Christ, we must be vigilant, stand firm in our faith, be strong and courageous, and in all things, let Love lead.

To be on our guard is to be diligently keeping watch.  We need to be ever aware of our surroundings – physically, emotionally, and spiritually – and the impact that they are having on our soul.  If we find ourselves in a space that seems to be sucking us into sin, we must seek His help to be removed from said space.

Standing firm in our faith is to stay true to our Savior, no matter what comes our way.  When storms come, and they surely will, we must stay in the boat and trust our God to guide us through the storm, and return us to safe harbor once again.

To be people of courage, we are not to rely on our own resolve to face the giants, rather we are to take heart and trust in Him, for He is far greater than anything that might try to come against us.

Strength is not our physical stamina to survive life’s storms, but instead is the wisdom to yield our weaknesses to our Heavenly Warrior, so that He may supply the very strength we need in our space of weakness.

Doing everything in love requires us to first be willing to receive His love.  To truly love, we must trust the truth of His great love for us.  Out of our hearts will flow that which we truly know.  We are equipped and empowered to love, as we come to know and allow His love to cleanse, renew and fill our hearts so that the overflow is an outpouring of His love through us.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your word is true and relevant to teach us how to live and love in You and through You.  Forgive us for taking Your grace for granted, and teach us to live in love.  May we be ever watchful as we stand firm in our faith in You.  Equip us to be people of courage who will stand strong in You, regardless of the storms.  Let our every word, thought and deed be laced in Your love, so that others too, might come to know and receive all that You have to offer.  Amen.

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

Acceptance As We Acknowledge

“I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God.” – Luke 12:8

photo by Joan Davis

If we give honor and glory to God before the people around us, He will hold high our hands as His kids, before all of the heavenly hosts.

I find it easy and natural to talk or write about anything that is exciting to me.  When passion is present, it becomes contagious.

How much more easily ought I communicate about the Lover of my soul; my Source and Supply in every circumstance?

Sometimes, it does seem easy.  When conversations come, and it is clear that Christ has prepared each heart for a moment such as this – it feels as if every breath is ordained by God, and our very souls sing of His glory, as we speak freely of our forgiving and faithful Father.

However, there are times when wisdom eludes me, and weakness and weariness have found way into my walk.  The hurt of another heart threatens harm to all who hear, yet Jesus would still have drawn near.  He needed not an invitation to be present.  His touch, His kindness, His healing, and His provision, provided way to get to the heart of the matter, and guide lost souls toward a safe and forever dwelling place.

We can only acknowledge Him before others, if we know Him for ourselves.  We can only know Him if we hold fast to He who dwells in our hearts, and spend time in His presence, soaking in His word.

I don’t know about you, but the very image of God the Father being pleased with me and proudly presenting me as His daughter before all of the hosts of heaven, is such a sweet space of hope that I can hold.  It is not dependant on perfection; rather it is reliant of the receiving of redemption.  Freely He offers, and it is lovingly granted to every heart that asks…

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You know us each by name, and that You long for us to become Your beloved as we turn to trust in You.  Lead us in love so that we too, might love well as we share of all that our Savior has done before everyone whom You have prepared to hear.  Grant us wisdom and courage, grace and direction, so that we might share the story You have scripted on our hearts.  Let our very lives lead others straight into Your sweet and holy presence.  Amen.

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

Natural Need Provides a Path for Miracles

image by The Crossroads Initiative

“Late in the afternoon the twelve came to Him and said, ‘Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here.’  He replied, ‘You give them something to eat.” – Luke 9:12-13

The disciples were recognizing the natural need of the vast crowd through a lens that was based on what they could see – there was no natural way to feed the multitude with their meager supply.  However, Jesus, with His heavenly perspective, placed a challenge before His disciples to look not to the lack, but instead to the Source.  He, in His wisdom and grace, told them to give the masses something to eat.  Again, the disciples looked at their lack, rather than their Source.  It was not until Jesus gave them specific instructions, that they could see the set up Jesus was providing for the presentation of the miraculous.

Aren’t most of us much like the disciples at one time or another?  We are given a word, and find our eyes cannot even begin to imagine how in the heck we can possibly do what is being presented before us.  Until we receive specific instructions, our eyes are blind to the power of our Provider in the midst of the seemingly impossible places.  It is in the press, the spaces where we have no choice but to seek Him, that we discover He has had a perfect plan all along, and has remained patiently present, waiting for us to pursue the path that He has prepared.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our ever-present help, and that You have a plan and a purpose for each of us.  Please teach us to trust, to seek, and to move, in whatever direction You lead.  Help us to not miss the miraculous by giving in to the impossibility of what we perceive.  Prepare us, equip us, lead us and empower us, so that we might be ever aware of the potential You make possible when we seek You as our Source of strength.  May our momentum in both the mundane and the miraculous move others to seek You alone.  Amen.

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

Speaking to Signal of His Strength

“At that time your mouth will be opened; you will speak with him and will no longer be silent.  So you will be a sign to them, and they will know that I am the Lord.” – Ezekiel 24:27

photo by Carolyn Watts

These words of the Lord were spoken to Ezekiel after his wife had died, and the people of Israel were about to be punished for their ongoing sin against God, despite multiple warnings and words of redirection.  These things spoken to him were a promise of prophecy for him to again warn the people of the wrath that would come if they did not turn from their wicked ways.

God does this for us still today.  When we are meant to speak, to no longer stay silent, the words rise up.  However, we must be willing to release our own filter, and let His heart be heard.  He uses people to deliver direction, correction, and exhortation, as we make ourselves available vessels.  When we hear a word from Him, it is our responsibility to ask Him what we are appointed to do, and what we are meant to dismiss.  The purpose of speaking the words He gives us to say, is to demonstrate the deity of the living God.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You use people to present an audible voice to announce the words You want us to hear.  Please help our ears and hearts to be open, so that we are certain of when You are asking us to speak, and when we are meant to stay silent.  Equip us to discern the difference.  May our mouths move in ways that make Your presence and power known.  Protect us from presenting anything other than what You supply us to speak.  Use our words to show people the way into Your loving arms of goodness and grace.  Amen.

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

Answers As We Ask

“Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” – Jeremiah 33:3

photo by

God is our Source for understanding the unknown.  When we come before Him and ask, He is faithful to answer, as He desires to reveal to us more and more of His heart and His plan for His people.
Incredibly, in my experience, healing happens as He reveals more of His massive heart for me.  Revelation paves the way for restoration.  How can a heart help but heal as it hears more and more of what He has for us, both here and in heaven?
Not only does He hear us and impart new insight, but He walks beside us and dwells within us, as He whispers His words to our hearts and minds.  When we become weighed down by the woes of the world, He picks us up, cradles us close, and He carries us until we again are aware of His equipping and empowering to move forward for Him – as we encourage one another in His love.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we call on You, You answer, and You grant us new insight and understanding in areas where we were previously unclear.  Teach us to ask and to listen as we draw near.  Grant us hearts to hear all that You long to reveal to us as Your children.  May each new insight inspire us to dig deeper and declare boldly all that You are and all that You have done for all who believe.  Lead us Lord, to love as You love us.  Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Sharing Our Story

image by Janet Oberholtzer

“But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do His work and speak out for Him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference He made for you – from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.” – I Peter 2:9-10 (The Message)

He has called and created us to love Him and to love people.  Each one of us who has sought our Savior, and seeks to serve only Him, has a story to tell of His faithfulness, and how in Him, our lives are forever changed.  Regardless of our circumstance or surroundings, we are accepted and valued in Him.  Our significance to Him was made plain, when He suffered for our sake on the cross.

When we slow down, it is simple to see our Savior’s significance and faithfulness in our own story.  In the blessings and in the blame, in the joy and in the shame, His hand has led and guided, touched and transformed, the hearts of all who believe.

What is your story that can be shared for our Savior’s glory?

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us Your own and have chosen each of us to play a part in the sharing of Your story.  Thank You for Your faithfulness and kindness in our own.  Forgive us Father, for allowing fear to sway us from sharing, and grant each of us opportunities to open our hearts and our mouths to share of Your great love and perfect plan, that allows each of us to enter into eternity with You.  Teach us how to tell of Your great love, so that all may taste and see of Your goodness and grace.  Amen.

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