The Seeming Lunacy of Lavish Love

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. – (1 Corinthians 1:18, NIV)

The teaching about the cross seems foolish to those who are lost. But to us who are being saved it is the power of God. – (1 Corinthians 1:18, ERV)

To preach the message of the cross seems like sheer nonsense to those who are on their way to destruction, but to us who are on our way to salvation, it is the mighty power of God released within us. – (1 Corinthians 1:18, TPT)

 

Without the cross, we would have a lengthy laundry list of laws that we would be required to follow to find way to heaven. The cross changed all that. Laws show us our sinfulness, yet Christ went to the cross to bear the burden of our every failure to follow. Rather than rules and rituals requiring strict adherence to look to the Lord, we now have hope in a Savior who calls us to love. The saving power that was presented at the cross, provides the desire and strength to look to the Lord and be in relationship with Him. Before, there was a veil that separated people from God. Torn in two, as Jesus took His last breath, His decision to die for us all destroyed the barrier between God and mankind, and made the way for us to know Him, personally. The more we know the Lord, the more we are compelled to let go of our former foolishness and follow after Him. He who knew no sin, wore all of our sin upon Himself so that we could come to know His power, individually. His mercy and grace provided us with a fresh start and a call to two things: love God and love people. When we do the two, we reflect the goodness of God to the world, and make salvation tangible for those who do not know Him. May we ever embrace the goodness and grace that was granted at the cross, and receive His power that is presented to us as we come to Him in faith.

 

Seemingly foolish,Live Right by His Light

God sent His own Son;

To take away sin,

This Most Holy One.

Bearing our burdens,

In love, chose to die;

So we might know Him,

All sins rectified.

Such power and love,

Laid bare on that cross;

All to offer life,

Horrifying cost.

Yet freely He chose,

So we could know grace;

Receive and believe,

Daily, seek His face.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the radical and unfathomable love that You have for us. Thank You for making the way for us to come to know You, personally. Forgive us for all that we think, say and do that led You to choose the cross so that we might live. Teach us to trust You more, ever coming before You with gratitude and eyes to see the depth and breadth of Your love. Show us how to love those around us in a way that makes Your goodness and grace visible to all. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give You praise for who You are and how You love, trusting our very lives into Your holy hands.  Amen.

 

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

 

When we were overwhelmed by sins, You forgave our transgressions. – Psalm 65:3

A Choice of Will

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. – (Colossians 3:13, NIV)

Don’t be angry with each other, but forgive each other. If you feel someone has wronged you, forgive them. Forgive others because the Lord forgave you. – (Colossians 3:13, ERV)

Be gentle and ready to forgive; never hold grudges. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. – (Colossians 3:13, TLB)

Fault-finding, blame, grudges and the like, do nothing but keep heaviness in the heart of the holder. Though there are some situations where wisdom will lead us to walk away, it does not mean that we are to hold unforgiveness in our heart. Forgiveness looks different in every situation, but the one thing that is constant is that it is a choice of will, and a decision that has to be made over and over again. There are days that forgiveness comes easily, and we find ourselves in a good space, recognizing that because we have been forgiven much, we too, can forgive much. However, there are times when whispers of previous offenses rise up, and so too does the anger. It is in these moments that we have to choose again to forgive. May we fix our eyes on the Lord who has forgiven us for all that we have done, so that we may go forth and forgive in the same way.

We’ve been forgiven,

The Unforgiving Debtor

For everything;

All our transgressions,

And harm that we bring.

Because of this love,

We’re called to the same;

To forgive others,

Let go, remove blame.

Often the process,

Of choosing release;

Hurt brought by others,

As God’s grace increased.

May we choose to rise,

Forgive in His Name;

Love as we are loved,

Let grace be our aim.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to forgive as we have been forgiven by You. Thank You that as we choose again and again to forgive, You refine and change our hearts to be more like Yours. Forgive us for the times that we have held onto hurts or allowed old injury to rise up and renew our anger toward another when we have chosen to forgive. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would seek Your strength to forgive again and again, each time a hurt or offense comes our way. Show us how to love and forgive others, just as You love and forgive each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we turn to You to be our strength and our example for forgiveness so that we may go forth and do the same. Amen.

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

Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends. – Proverbs 17:9

Light Destroys Darkness

He reveals deep and hidden things; He knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells within Him. – (Daniel 2:22, NIV)

God is the one who uncovers what lies deeply hidden; He knows what hides in darkness; light lives with Him! – (Daniel 2:22, CEB)

He knows hidden secret things that are hard to understand. Light lives within Him, so He knows what is in the dark and secret places. – (Daniel 2:22, ERV)

 

The truth is that God knows all things. There is nothing that is hidden from Him. Even that which is held in the deepest, darkest recesses of our hearts, are known by God. In spite of what we hide, He loves. When the things that are hidden are what we are meant to discover and deal with, He gently shines His light for us to see. If we are lost or confused and feel as if things are dark and hazy, the light of His truth begins to illuminate what is His will and His way in the midst of our darkness. When we seek Him, we find Him; for darkness no longer exists when light enters in. The two cannot coexist. Light destroys darkness. May we each allow the Lord to shine His light in our hearts and lives, so that darkness will disappear and His light may be reflected to others through us.

 

There’s nothing hidden,Believe Instead of Striving

that God cannot see;

for He is the light,

that lives within me.

Even those spaces,

of hurt and of pain;

the Lord, He’s ready,

to breathe life again.

We must choose seek Him,

for He’s gentle, kind;

He won’t force way in,

as we seek, we’ll find.

New understanding,

of deep mysteries;

are gifts that He gives,

so blind hearts might see.

God is the pure light,

He knows all there is;

He loves and He gives,

so all might choose live.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You reveal deep and hidden things, and that You know what lies in darkness because You are the Light. Forgive us for attempting to keep our hurts and our transgressions hidden from You, for You already know each one. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would be quick to confess our need for You and Your help, forgiveness and light, as we navigate the often darkness that surrounds us. Show us how to be Your light unto the world through loving others with the very same love that You give unto us. Let Your grace and peace be what we extend to all whom we meet, so that they can clearly see Your light through us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You and Your light to illuminate the places that seem so dark – for darkness disappears when Your light enters in. 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

Blessed are the Forgiven

“Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.” – (Romans 4:7-8)

 

This freedom of being fully forgiven comes only through faith in Christ. It is not something that we can earn nor somehow convince ourselves is true. As we admit our guilt to God and ask for His forgiveness, He comes close and helps our hearts hold fast to the truth that the guilt is gone because Christ has already paid the price. Often our side of the equation takes much repetition, despite our sins being erased the first time we came before the Lord with repentant hearts. The guilt may cause us to repeat the process of returning again and again to our knees in prayer, asking God to assure us of the truth. Thankfully, the Lord is patient and kind, and He loves us so much that He is willing to remind us each time we come before Him, that we are covered and clean, and that His love for us endures forever. For those who have come before Christ and confessed their transgressions with a repentant heart, He has forgiven. Blessed is what we can be called – for our future is secure, as we know where our hope is held both now and forevermore. May we rise up and remember that our guilt is gone and we are considered blessed as we go forth this day.

 

For those who confess,Forgiveness is Free

their sins to the Lord;

are considered blessed,

by God, we’re adored.

Forgiven and free,

no longer with shame;

for our sins are gone,

through hope in His Name.

All that once caused guilt,

has been wiped away;

the Lord won’t look back,

life starts new each day.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we come to You and confess our sins with repentant hearts, You forgive us and never count our sins against us. Thank You that we are considered blessed, because we are forgiven and renewed in You. Forgive us for returning again and again to that which You have already forgiven, or for not confessing things that are weighing on our hearts. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will bring all before You as it comes. Lead us to love with goodness and grace, just as You so graciously love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, Lord. Be exalted O God, as we walk confidently in the freedom that You have granted us through Your forgiveness and grace, so that we may share the blessing with all who need to see Your face. 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

The Marvel of Mercy

image by pixelmama

image by pixelmama

Abundant in love,

God, I need Your grace.

Bathe me in mercy;

every sin erase.

I know I transgress,

in word, thought and deed.

Evil in Your sight,

desperate in need.

I deserve judgment,

as You want what’s true.

Yet You grant wisdom,

forgive and renew.

Cleanse me and I’m clean;

as spotless as snow.

Washed in Your kindness,

forgiven, I’ll know.

Let joy and gladness,

be what my heart hears.

Please look no longer,

at my former years.

Create a pure heart,

steadfastness in me.

Take not Your Spirit,

nor presence from Thee.

Restore unto me,

my reason for joy.

Make my heart willing,

so sin won’t destroy.

(Responding to Psalm 51:1-12)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your love for us is unending, and that You grant us grace and mercy when we deserve judgment.  Forgive us for our every word, thought and deed that has not honored You, and lead us to live and love in a way that gives glory to You.  Grant us wisdom in the ways we are meant to go, and an acute awareness of Your permanent presence in our hearts and all around us.  May our willing hearts love well, so that many might come to be cleansed in Your mercy and grace.  Amen.

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

Forgiveness is Free

image by Steve Rhodes

image by Steve Rhodes

The size of our debts,

far beyond our reach.

We could never pay,

the steep price for each.

Yet our loving Lord,

ransomed His own Son,

to cancel our debts;

the victory won.

Forgiveness is free,

but one thing He asks,

that we forgive too,

our critical task.

If we don’t forgive,

our blessings we block;

we must walk the walk,

not just talk the talk.

Often the offense,

seems larger than life,

yet when in the heart,

it will cause much strife.

Hand all to the Lord,

our every offense;

He will empower,

that which won’t make sense.

Do unto others,

as if done to you;

our Father sees all,

and honors what’s true.

(Responding to Matthew 18:21-35)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not limit the number of times that You are willing to forgive us for our transgressions.  Forgive us for placing limits on how many times we feel that we ought to forgive others, or when we stand in judgment and deem an offense “unforgiveable”.  Help us to see through Your eyes, and have Your heart for others.  Grant us wisdom to know when and where we are to stay, and when and where You would have us walk away.  May our extension of Your grace and forgiveness to others, lead those who are looking, straight to You, Lord.  Amen.

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