Pursue Purpose

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. – (Philippians 3:12, NIV)

I don’t mean that I am exactly what God wants me to be. I have not yet reached that goal. But I continue trying to reach it and make it mine. That’s what Christ Jesus wants me to do. It is the reason He made me His. – (Philippians 3:12, ERV)

I admit that I haven’t yet acquired the absolute fullness that I’m pursuing, but I run with passion into His abundance so that I may reach the purpose that Jesus Christ has called me to fulfill and wants me to discover. – (Philippians 3:12, TPT)

 

We are all a work in progress. The more we pursue God and the path He has prepared for us, the more we become the person that He designed and purposed us to be. It is remarkable to think about. The Creator of all, created each of us, with a plan and a purpose. Uniquely designed to love Him and love people in a way that can be exclusively exhibited through us as we walk out our days seeking to honor Him in all that we say and do. Not one of us has perfected this yet, however, we are an ongoing work in progress, and the longer we pursue Him, the more refined we become in living out love according to His for us. May we ever pursue the path that God has placed before us, and seek Him to be our strength to walk out each day well.

 

Let us choose pursue,

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Photo by Dee Jones of Open Door Photography ❤

The path of the Lord;

Though none have arrived,

All grace He affords.

As we keep seeking,

Keep running our race;

God’s love will provide,

What we need for each day.

Keep seeking to love,

And walk in His way;

Let His love light shine,

As we extend grace.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us despite our flaws and failures and call us to pursue the path that You have placed before us, according to how we are each uniquely designed. Forgive us for neglecting to love as we are loved, or for ignoring the way that we know we are meant to go. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would walk out our days living and loving according to Your ways. Show us how to faithfully pursue all that You have for us, so that we may love those around us as only we can do through You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we run with passion in the purpose for which You have placed within us. Amen.

 

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

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

To Find Favor

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. – (Proverbs 3:3-4, NIV)

 

Though God’s word has been carved in the corners of my heart, this is the time of year that love threatens to leave me and my faithfulness falters when facing the ongoing adversity of the end of the year. There are days that school feels more like a combat zone than a place of teaching and learning, and I question my calling to this career. I manage, by the grace of God, to keep my responses calm, but internally, that which is bound around my neck and nearly choking me, is not necessarily the most loving. This week, I was granted favor that was not deserved on two occasions that made all of the difference in the moments in which they occurred. Part of my investment in such early rising, is to prepare my heart and mind for whatever may come my way each day. Without time to quietly reflect on the goodness of God, His love and faithfulness would likely feel out of reach for me. I need reminders often for things to resonate and remain at rest within me. God is good, even when our circumstances are frustrating or trying, and He loves us more than we can fathom. May we let His love and faithfulness be what we display, and allow His truth to take hold of our hearts; for favor and a good name in the sight of God and man come through walking in His ways.

 

Let God’s faithfulness,Delivering Dreams

And love remain near;

Write truth on our hearts,

So His way is clear.

As we choose follow,

Walk right and obey;

We gain the favor,

Of those on our way.

To have a good name,

Before God and man;

What faithful love does,

It’s part of God’s plan.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your love and faithfulness never leave us, and that as we bind them around our neck and write them upon our heart, You use them to grant us favor and a good name in Your sight and the sight of others. Forgive us for allowing our circumstances to hijack our emotions, rather than running to You for strength and help and hope when the burden is too heavy to bear. Teach us how to seek You in all situations, so that love and faithfulness never leave us. Show us how to love those around us as we are loved by You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, Lord. Be glorified O God, as we bind Your love and faithfulness around our necks and write them on the tablets of our hearts. Amen.

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

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

Take Hold of Instruction

Take hold of my instructions; don’t let them go. Guard them, for they are the key to life. – (Proverbs 4:13, NLT)

Take hold of instruction; [actively seek it, grip it firmly and] do not let go. Guard her, for she is your life. – (Proverbs 4:13, AMP)

 

When God instructs us in the ways we are meant to go, we ought to cling tightly to what we have been told, and do our best to obey. His plans and ways lead to light and life, whereas on our own, we tend to run amuck. This can become a grey area for people, as there are the basics that we shall and shall not do as followers of Christ, yet there are other things that are fine for some, yet not a good idea for others. It is in these spaces that it is essential for us to seek the Lord and ask His will for us, individually. Whatever He tells us personally, is what we are meant to do. He does not always ask the same things of us as that of our friends and neighbors. We all have different strengths and challenges, and He knows our need far better than we do. This is the very reason we are meant to seek the Lord and His instruction. His way is best and when we take hold of it and walk it out, His will unfolds before us. May we each seek the Lord and His instruction, and take hold of whatever He asks and guard it for all of our days.

 

Go forth unto God,The Direction of Discipline

And seek all His ways;

Hold His instruction,

For all of our days.

As we choose to seek,

He gladly will show;

What we’re meant to do,

And where we should go.

Guard well the Lord’s words,

For in them is light;

They show us the way,

To do what is right.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we seek You, You instruct us in the ways in which we are meant to go. Thank You that You remind us to guard well the words that You speak to us, as they are the key to life. Forgive us for neglecting to obey the things that You say, or for not asking when we are uncertain about what we ought to do. Teach us to trust You and Your direction in all things and at all times, as Your way is always the way that is right. Show us how to love well all those whom we encounter, so that they might turn to seek Your instruction as well. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we actively seek and take hold of Your instruction, and guard it with all that we are as we forge forward to faithfully follow all that You ask of 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

Soul Sweetening Speech

Kind words are like honey – sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. – (Proverbs 16:24, NLT)

Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. – (Proverbs 16:24, NIV)

 

The words we choose matter. When we opt to offer kindness, not only are we building others up, but we are actually extending light and life where darkness and death try to take hold. The world is full of negativity and unkindness, so our choosing to speak with grace and kindness is extending the very light and life that Christ gives to us. Let us offer kind words to all whom we encounter, as we have the opportunity to bring encouragement to souls and health to bodies, simply by offering the words that well up within us as we listen to the Lord.

 

Let our words be kind,The Power of the Tongue

Wherever we go;

For words we choose speak,

Do more than we know.

Our words can give life,

Bring health to the soul;

Make what was dark, light,

And the broken, whole.

Go forth in kindness,

Let the Lord’s light shine;

Offer a kind word,

May His heart be mine.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You speak kind and gracious words unto us, because You love us without limits. Thank You that You call us to go and do likewise. Forgive us for wielding words that do not bring light nor life to those around us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would listen to Your leading, and speak the gracious and kind words that You place on our hearts to those around us. Help us to love others well, so that they may see You in us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we extend kind words to all whom we encounter. 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

Knowledge Requires Action

Part of Paul’s exhortation to the Philippians included a reminder that simply hearing or knowing the truth is not enough. As we grow in our understanding of the Word of God, we must also put what we learn into practice. It is not enough to simply have heard the word, and let it lie forgotten. It must take root and grow in our hearts, as we allow the Holy Spirit to point us to the places of application in our lives.

 

Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. – (Philippians 4:9)

 

Back then, the people of Philippi did not have access to a Bible as we do. They had to rely on what they had heard and what Paul and other early disciples modeled for them. We have the benefit of both the Bible and an abundant history of faithful followers whom have demonstrated a life lived in obedience before Him. To know that the God of peace will be present with me, makes any sacrifice required, more than worth the price. His presence is far greater than anything we may need to give up out of obedience to Him. May we each be willing to put into practice all that He is showing us, and may our hearts be overwhelmed with the presence of His perfect peace.

 

Let my heart take hold,Knowledge Requires Action

of Your every word;

may truth penetrate,

where Your voice is heard.

Please open my ears,

my mind and my heart;

so all that’s received,

I’m willing to start.

Lord, grant me Your peace,

so I will press on;

no matter the storm,

our true battle’s won.

Let hope be our hold,

as eyes fix on You;

we’ll trust and obey,

as You make us new.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You provide Your word and Your Holy Spirit, to lead us and guide us in how we are meant to live. Thank You that so many have gone before us, modeling a life lived faithfully in You. Thank You that You do not expect us to just figure it out, but You promise to provide Your peace, that surpasses all understanding, as we press on in faith. Forgive us for neglecting to put what we know into practice, or for not allowing the truth to shape how we live. Teach us to give all of ourselves unto You, so that we may become who You have called us to be. Thank You that You are merciful and kind, loving and full of grace. Thank You that You long for us to come to a place where we surrender and choose total obedience unto You. Help us to be disciples, as You call us to be, not just fans. May many come to the place of total surrender, as we walk in loving obedience before You. Let our knowledge lead to action that inspires others too, to make a choice. Be glorified, Lord God, as we move. Amen.

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

Shout aloud and sing for joy. – Isaiah 12:6

Press On to the Goal

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. – (Philippians 3:12, NIV)

 

I don’t mean that I am exactly what God wants me to be. I have not yet reached that goal. But I continue trying to reach it and make it mine. That’s what Christ Jesus wants me to do. It is the reason He made me His. – (Philippians 3:12, ERV)

 

We are all a work in progress. It is our choice to either remain stagnant and refuse to move forward, or we can press on, in spite of ourselves, trusting God is who He says He is, and that He will do what He says He will do – allowing Him to change us from the inside out. Christ does not call us to a life that is standing still, stuck in the pain of our past, but rather He calls us to take His hand and allow Him to lead us into so much more with Him. From the moment we choose Christ, we are His new creation. Our total transformation transpires as we choose to trust Him with more of our heart and life. May we surrender all unto You, as we press on to take hold of all that You have for us.

 

I have not arrived,Press On to the Goal

I am not there yet;

but I am closer,

than I thought I’d get.

For each choice I make,

to further trust Him;

He’s faithful to show,

it’s worth pressing in.

We’re each created,

with purpose in mind;

if we choose seek Him,

the answers we’ll find.

We must keep seeking,

in faith, choose to move;

transformed in likeness,

pressing on in truth.

We surrender all,

unto You, O God;

make us like You, Lord,

light our path to trod.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in You, we are in the process of being made more like You. Thank You that You take hold of the hearts of all who believe, and willingly transform us as we submit ourselves unto You. Thank You that You do not grow weary of our imperfections, and You embrace us where we are. Thank You that You love us beyond what we can see, and draw us out of our limited foresight for ourselves. Forgive us for staying stagnant in our stuff, fearing that our junk could somehow disqualify us from being used by You. Thank You that You often use the places that appear to be the most broken or devastated, to bring the most beauty. Thank You that You have a plan and a purpose for each and every one of us, Your created. May we press on to take hold of that which You are calling us to, and may many come to know You as we walk out our purpose in love. Be glorified, O God, as we press on toward the goal, held in our heavenly home. 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

 

 

 

Proper Pursuit

Christianity is not a practice in passivity, but rather is meant to be alive and active – an ongoing series of steps of faith, as we follow in obedience, that which God is asking.  In I Timothy 6:11-12, Paul explains it this way: “But you, man (people) of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness.  Fight the good fight of the faith.  Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”

Yes, the Holy Spirit will equip and empower us to do that which we are called to do, but we have to take action – place one foot in front of the other (either literally or figuratively) and have an active faith that gives action to what is asked.

I knew I was meant to be a teacher from a very young age.  However, I allowed fear to overshadow my faith when I determined my course of study in college.  Rather than pursuing education classes as I knew I ought to, I chose to hide in the art department and major in graphic design, where studio time did not require presentations nor speeches.  Thankfully, God had other plans.  Though it took a three-year tour around Asia with YWAM, where I had to speak in multiple schools to bring me to the place where I was willing to do as He was asking, I did at last pursue the path that He had placed before me, and applied to and was accepted into grad school, where I simultaneously earned my Master’s Degree and Teaching Certificate.  The traveling was not without purpose though, as it was a season of truly learning how to flee from what is evil, to pursue what is righteous and of Him, that which is good, faithful, loving, and gentle, and how to endure.  Perseverance was necessary to faithfully complete both the travels and the additional schooling, and daily, I had to take hold of that to which I had been called.  That season set the standard for my life, and I am grateful for the good that He brought, even through my initial fearfulness.

People of God,Proper Pursuit

pursue what’s right;

flee from evil,

stay strong and fight.

Take hold of faith,

He’s holding you;

let go of fear,

He’ll make us new.

Faith is active,

alive in us;

may it be light,

to show Jesus.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are so good.  Thank You that You instruct us in the way we are meant to go, and You empower us to move as You ask.  Thank You that faith is not passive, but rather is alive and active – moving, growing, and showing Your faithfulness to the world around us.  Forgive us for allowing fear to keep us frozen in our tracks, or for being passive in our faith when You are calling us to action.  Teach us to not only hear You clearly, but to have the courage to act faithfully as You are asking.  May many come to know who You are, as we live in loving obedience to all that You ask.  Let our lives be lived in active faith, ever pursuing You.  Be magnified in all that we say and do.  Amen.

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