Reason to Rejoice

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! – (Philippians 4:4, NIV)

Always be filled with joy in the Lord. I will say it again. Be filled with joy. – (Philippians 4:4, ERV)

Be cheerful with joyous celebration in every season of life. Let your joy overflow! – (Philippians 4:4, TPT)

The key to this is Whom we rejoice in, not our circumstances. To rejoice is to be glad and take delight in, which is how our hearts feel when we understand who God is, and how He loves. Joy and rejoicing are not dependent on our circumstances, but rather are present despite our circumstances as we look to and lean on the Lord. True joy is found in Him, and is not swayed by what goes on around us. Though rejoicing is not dependent nor determined by our circumstances, I think He often uses the people in our lives to remind us of His goodness, grace and loving ways. Yesterday, I was in need of a reminder of the joy found in every season. It was a long week, and the opportunity to spend one-on-one time with my youngest, blessed my heart and reminded me of my reasons to rejoice in He who has provided me with my family. Though each day and season presents its own set of challenges, there is always reason to rejoice in the Lord. May we ever seek to know Him more, for the more we know Him, the better our heart holds onto the joy provided through His love.

Rejoice in the Lord,

Be glad for His grace;

Give thanks unto Him,

Throughout all our days.

For blessings we know,

All come from the Lord;

Our reasons to praise,

Him who we adore.

His gift of children,

A love that delights;

Each season given,

Wonder in plain sight.

Let all that’s in me,

Rejoice and give praise;

For love unending,

That lasts for all days.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our reason to rejoice in every season. Thank You for the tangible blessings that point our hearts back to You with gratitude. Forgive us for allowing our circumstances to overshadow our hope that is held in You. Teach us to continue to trust and pursue You, as You are our Source of strength and hope, love and light. Show us how to love those around us well, so that they may understand the delight that is held in Your nearness. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we delight in the goodness of Your love, and praise You for the hope we have in You forever. Amen.

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

Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. – Psalm 105:3

True Beauty

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. – (Proverbs 31:30, NIV)

Charm can be misleading, and beauty is vain and so quickly fades, but this virtuous woman lives in the wonder, awe, and fear of the Lord. She will be praised throughout eternity. – (Proverbs 31:30, TPT)

Charm can be deceptive and physical beauty will not last, but a woman who reveres the Eternal should be praised above all others. – (Proverbs 31:30, VOICE)

God wants our hearts, not our appearance nor charisma. Incredibly, the most beautiful and charming people I know are those who have a heart after God’s own. Media tends to place the most value on beauty and charm, yet God looks at the heart. Our most important investments are the ones that last. Loving God and loving people well is what teaches us to live in wonder and awe of the Lord. It requires our dependence on Him to live as He calls us to live. Fear of the Lord is not a space of terror, but rather is a healthy respect that recognizes who God is and the capacity of His power. When we allow God to be God, we begin to live and move and interact the way that we were designed to do. In this context, being praised means being approved. The most critical message in this verse is that we are approved by God when we focus on relationships rather than appearances. May we ever seek the Lord in awe and wonder, depending on Him to grow us in how we live and love.

May we ever aim,

Typography poster lettering love and ethnic patterns. The feathers of birds form a heart. Vector illustration hand drawn.

To love like the Lord;

Beauty from within,

As grace is outpoured.

With respect and awe,

Let love for God lead;

In all that we do,

Each word and each deed.

The God of all grace,

In love, does approve;

When we seek to love,

In all that we do.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to focus on what lasts. Thank You that true beauty comes from within, not from the exterior. Thank You that we are approved by You as we earnestly seek to walk in Your ways and do Your will. Forgive us for allowing our hearts to be swayed by the world’s definition of beauty rather than Yours. Teach us to have beautiful hearts that love and respect You and all those around us. Show us how to love people best as we invest our heart into learning how to love as we were created to love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we thank You for the beauty all around us, but more importantly, for the beauty created within us all to honor You and love well. Amen.

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

But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in His unfailing love. – Psalm 33:18

Do Not Be Moved

Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. – (1 Corinthians 15:58)

 

Whatever He calls us to, we are meant to stick to; for He calls us with purpose and has a plan for each of us. When we know that to which we are called, we are meant to give ourselves fully to the task, as whatever we do, is unto Him. Anything that we do unto the Lord, is not done in vain. May we stand firm in Christ’s strength, allowing nothing to move us from the place to which He has called us.

 

Let us each stand firm,Faith for Forever

may we not be swayed;

by life’s distractions,

lest we’ll be afraid.

For when we’re in Christ,

we shall not be moved;

steadfast to the course,

that He leads us to.

Let’s fully invest,

to what the Lord calls;

for all unto Him,

His strength He installs.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in You, we may stand firm and not be moved. Thank You that as we give ourselves fully to that which You call us to, our investments of time, talent, and treasure are not in vain. Thank You that the risk is always worth the reward, even if it is not seen until we see You face-to-face. Forgive us for our lack of firm footing or our half-heartedness in that which we are called to do. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will stand firm and do all things fully as unto You, so that we may honor You in the process. Lead us to love others well, so that they may see You through us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, Lord. Be glorified O God, as we stand firm and whole-heartedly invest in all that You call us to do. Amen.

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

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

Bad Company Corrupts Good Character

Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” – (1 Corinthians 15:33)

 

If the constant company that we keep is corrupt, then the corners of our character begin to corrode. That is not to say that we cannot spend time with unbelievers, (for how else would they hear) but in order to keep from compromising our character, we must be balanced in the company we keep. Time spent with fellow believers that encourage, challenge and help hold us accountable, is both beneficial and necessary to remain upright before Christ. The Holy Spirit within grants us wisdom as to where and with whom we should walk. We must be sensitive to His leading, and listen to His still small voice. May our hearts be protected from being misled, and our character remain upright before Him.

 

Do not be misled,

for our hearts should know;

whatever we reap,

we will also sow.

If all of our time,Bad Company Corrupts Good Character

is with the corrupt;

our good character,

will surely slip up.

For we cannot help,

but somehow be swayed;

if all of our time,

is walking away.

We have been crafted,

created with care;

for relationships,

that keep us aware.

The Holy Spirit,

and good, Godly friends;

help keep us upright,

stay true to the end.

So let not our lives,

be yoked with corrupt;

may the faithful near,

lift each other up.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You give us instructions in Your word to protect us and keep us from falling into the snares that would try to entangle us. Thank You that You show us what we are to do, and what we are not meant to do. Thank You that Your Holy Spirit is available within us to grant us wisdom in the areas where we are uncertain. Forgive us for being misled and thinking that somehow we are immune to the sway of sin. Protect us from the pull that seeks to suck us in, and help us keep accountable before You and with fellow followers of You. Teach us to trust and rely on You more, so that we are more firm in our convictions. Help us to live and love as You love us, and may our choices be an encouragement to those who are searching for You. May many come to know You as their Savior and King. Be glorified, O God, as we depend on You to steer clear of sin’s snares. 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

In One Accord

lighted pathThough his friends pleaded,

begged him to not go;

Paul knew he was called,

no pain he’d forgo.

All knew what waited,

in Jerusalem;

they wept at the thought,

of losing their friend.

Paul answered, “Why weep?

You’re breaking my heart.

I’m ready for this,

I will do my part.”

When his friends did see,

he could not be swayed;

they at last gave up,

blessed him on his way.

Imagine knowing,

such trials await;

would we still go forth,

or would we debate?

His boldness a gift.

His spirit, assured;

for all of his trust,

and hope was secured.

All that was in him,

relied on the Lord;

so too his actions,

aligned in accord.

(Responding to Acts 21:10-14)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of Your Holy Spirit, Whom You sent to dwell in us as our Counselor and Friend. Thank You that Your words for us are whispered within, through Your Spirit, and are always available for us to hear if we are willing to slow down and silence ourselves before You. Forgive us for the times that we have not acted on what we have heard, and help us to overcome the fears that create the barriers preventing us from becoming all that You are calling us to be. Strengthen our hearts and minds, while keeping us truly tender towards others. Let us love as You love – giving generously of ourselves – our time, talents, and resources, shared in love, just as You so lavishly have poured into each of us. May many come to know You, personally, as a result of our outpouring. Amen.

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