All Together for Good

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. – (Romans 8:28, NIV)

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them. – (Romans 8:28, NLT)

We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan. – (Romans 8:28, VOICE)

 

God is able to take all that we experience – every trial and triumph, each heartache and happiness, and use them together for good for those who choose to receive what He offers and walk in His ways. If we never experienced defeat, we would not appreciate the thrill of victory. If we did not know what it was to ache, we could not fully grasp the beauty and bounty of His blessings. God does not cause the struggles and trials that we face, but He does take our ashes and brings beauty for all to behold. I am in a season currently, where I am witnessing just how much beauty and blessing He ushers into the spaces that once were swallowed by sorrow. Dashed hopes have become dreams displayed for my heart to hold again, and where there was once nothing but wreckage, now resides fresh tenacity and vitality, as a new chapter of my story is being authored by He who breathes love and life and grace. May we be confident in our hope in knowing that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him and have chosen to follow the path that He has placed before us.

 

God takes our ashes, All Together for Good

Our space of despair;

Fills them with beauty,

By His tender care.

He orchestrates all,

To work out for good;

For those who accept,

His plans as we should.

In all things, God makes,

His greatness abound;

Darkness becomes light,

And true joy is found.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You take our wreckage and return beauty and hope and good things as we trust our lives in Your hands. Thank You that though we will face trials, we can hold fast to confident hope, knowing that You will ultimately use all things for good. Forgive us for struggling to see hope when darkness seems to surround us. Teach us to trust You more, and to remember that You are the Light that dwells within us. Show us how to love those around us well, so that we may extend hope in spaces of struggle and celebrate with those in seasons of blessing. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to work all things together toward something good as we pursue the path that You have placed before us. Amen.

 

 

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

 

May God Almighty grant you mercy. – Genesis 43:14

Committed Care

As Paul was parting company with the Ephesian elders for what he knew would be the last time, he spoke words of warning, comfort, and exhortation. After all of the time and energy invested in Ephesus, Paul simply had to continue to where he was called, trusting that the Ephesians would be covered in Christ’s tender care. “Now I commit you to God and to the word of His grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” – (Acts 20:32, NIV) Another version states, “Now I am putting you in God’s care. I am depending on the message about His grace to make you strong. That message is able to give you the blessing that God gives to all His holy people.” – (Acts 20:32, ERV)

 

Just as Paul so diligently invested in those he was given charge over, so we ought to do likewise. Though we may not part company in such a dramatic fashion, it is essential for me to be certain that my charges are properly equipped in the ways in which they are meant to go, even in the short span of time that we part ways while they are at school, or are out with friends. As they go, I must commit them to God, and trust that they are in His care (using wisdom in what and where I allow them to go). His word is rooted and established within them, thus His grace will make them strong. May we each invest in God and His word of grace, so we may be built up and receive the inheritance that He gives to those He calls His own.

 

Invested in Christ,Committed Care

deep-rooted in grace;

immersed in His care,

by seeking His face.

He grants us the strength,

to do right by Him;

His blessings given,

His presence within.

As company parts,

let leaders not fear;

for those invested,

His Spirit, can hear.

Father, please protect,

both leader and charge;

in Your tender care,

wherever we are.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us and protect us, and grant us Your strength and grace when we choose invest in You. Thank You that we have an inheritance of eternal life in You, which is far more valuable than anything we could pursue on earth. Thank You that You value people, not possessions, and You want us to do likewise. Forgive us for not investing enough in those around us, or for not trusting You completely with those in whom we invest. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may commit all into Your care, as Your hands are far stronger and more capable of holding those whom we love, than we are. Give us Your heart to love, as You so lavishly love each of us, and may many come to know You as a result. Be glorified as we invest in others and commit them to Your care. Amen.

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

The joy of the Lord is your strength. – Nehemiah 8:10

Paid in Full

“Paid in full.”

Our debt erased.

The final words of our Savior before He breathed His last breath – “It is finished.” (read John 19:26-30) The long journey of His humanity had led up to this moment, this defining time in history where He willingly chose to bear the weight of the world’s sin, so that we might have eternal life through Him.  God’s glorious gift granted unto us in a stable, born in Bethlehem, grew into a man, and showed us what it is to live a life unto God.  However, the story did not end at the cross.  For three days beyond the cross, the grave was empty.  Our risen Lord, appeared to many before returning to the Father to send His Spirit unto all who had chosen to place their trust in Him.  Our hope is held in the whole story.

The hope we hold, allows us to freely approach God because of what Jesus did for us on the cross.  All who believe, can live eternally with God, and are forgiven, escaping the eternal penalty that is deserved for the sum of our sins.  Christmas is our reminder to focus on Christ.  Not just on the baby born in the manger, but on the One who saves, and dwells among us now.  May you and your loved ones be ever aware of the closeness of Christ, and may the blessed peace of His presence fill your hearts and homes.

Sweet baby came,

to bear such weight;

His act of love,

our sins erased.

Upon that cross,Paid in Full

He bore our shame;

He paid the price,

took all the blame.

‘Twas not the nails,

that kept Him there;

but His great love,

and tender care.

Both fully God,

and fully man;

He did fulfill,

salvation plan.

He made the way,

so we might live;

He sacrificed,

His life to give.

Not even death,

could keep Him down;

for in three days,

disciples found.

The empty grave,

our Risen King;

the promised hope,

glad tidings bring.

Heaven’s return,

then Spirit came;

we’re given charge,

to spread His Name.

Go forth in joy,

to all the earth;

share of His love,

from lowly birth.

(response to today’s reading of John 19-21)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You came and made the way for us to have life in You.  Thank You that “it is finished” and the price for our sin, has been paid in  full, when we come to You and ask for forgiveness with a repentant heart.  Thank You that we can freely approach You, as we are seen through the covering of Christ, who is the One without sin.  Forgive us for that which we have done that has not been pleasing unto You, or for that which we have neglected that we should have done.  Teach us to trust You more, and help us to act on that which You are asking, immediately.  May many come to know Your goodness and grace, as You are the greatest gift we have ever been given.  Let our light shine brightly before all, and may Your love be evident in all that we say and do.  Happy Birthday, Jesus.  Let us hold fast to the reason we celebrate the season.  Amen.

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

Grace to Guide Us

image by Mark Buchholz

image by Mark Buchholz

With faithful devotion,

be watchful in prayer;

forever be thankful,

for the Lord’s tender care.

Pray that hearts be opened,

that eyes would come to see;

may the words we all speak,

proclaim Christ’s mystery.

May we ever be wise,

with all our words and deeds;

each opportunity,

cause a planting of seeds.

May grace be what guides us,

ever seasoned with salt;

may He grant us answers,

that lead all to exalt.

(Responding to Colossians 4:2-6)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that all grace and wisdom come from You. Help us to faithfully seek You all of our days, and grant us wisdom in word and deed. Help us to make the most of every opportunity to be salt and light to the lost. Forgive us for speaking without listening first, and for acting without asking You. Let Your grace guide us so that many may come to know You. Help us to be watchful and open to all that You are asking. Amen.

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