The Ultimate Love

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. – (John 3:16, NIV)

Yes, God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him would not be lost but have eternal life. – (John 3:16, ERV)

For this is how much God loved the world – He gave His one and only, unique Son as a gift. So now everyone who believes in Him will never perish but experience everlasting life. – (John 3:16, TPT)

 

Because God loved us, His created, so much, He sent His Son to make Himself tangible and approachable to all. Jesus made the way for all who choose to believe, to have life eternal in Him. This blessed assurance provides hope, peace, comfort and removes fear from all that lies ahead. No matter how tumultuous life can become, there is so much more waiting for us when our time here is done. Though we mourn loss of loved ones as we have to adjust to life without their tangible presence, we may also rejoice for those who know Him, as they enter into eternal glory. Additionally, when we know the Lord as well, goodbye is really just a “see you later.” One day, we will be reunited with those who have gone before us to be with the Lord. Imagine the celebration that will take place when we see Jesus face-to-face, and again join with loved ones who have gone ahead of us. May we rejoice in the incredible love that God has for each of us, as His Son showed us what He is like and how greatly He truly loves.

 

The ultimate love, Healed Hands Reach Out

Chooses truly see;

Past every flaw,

And looks to meet needs.

There’s no greater love,

Than God’s sacrifice;

A love undeserved,

Paid ultimate price.

A death undeserved,

In our place He chose;

Faced the darkest grave,

And third day, He rose.

He went on ahead,

To prepare a place;

For all who believe,

His welcome embrace.

May we look to God,

Ever seek His face;

Trust all that He is,

And unending grace.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that because You loved, we too, may come to know love. Thank You for the precious gift of Your Son, who made love tangible for all to see and understand. Forgive us for the times that we let go of hope and allow our struggles to define what we see. Teach us to trust You more, so that despite the hard things that we walk through and endure, there is everlasting hope to be held in You. Show us how to love those around us in a way that demonstrates Your love and provides hope for what is yet to come. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we thank You and praise You for our everlasting hope, and embrace the grace that You alone give. Amen.

 

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

 

In Your unfailing love you will lead the people You have redeemed. In Your strength You will guide them to Your holy dwelling. – Exodus 15:13

Draw Near with True Hearts

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. – (Hebrews 10:22, NIV)

Sprinkled with the blood of Christ, our hearts have been made free from a guilty conscience, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. So, come near to God with a sincere heart, full of confidence because of our faith in Christ. – (Hebrews 10:22, ERV)

Let us draw near with true hearts full of faith, with hearts rinsed clean of any evil conscience, and with bodies cleansed with pure water. – (Hebrews 10:22, VOICE)

Christ made coming to God possible. Through His sacrifice, once and for all, we have full assurance that the price has already been paid for our sins. Because we have been washed clean from the inside out, when we draw near to God and receive what He freely offers, we can confidently enter into His presence and communicate with the nearness of a loving Father and friend. May we readily receive what Christ gives by His glorious grace, and draw near to the Lord with faith, as we are fully known.

 

One great sacrifice,

dsc05856629176734122440876.jpg

Photo by Dee Jones of Open Door Photography ❤

Made way for us all;

To become washed clean,

Be heard when we call.

What Christ did for us,

Is ours to receive;

By faith, to lay hold,

All hope we believe.

So, let us draw near,

With hearts that embrace;

The gift of new life,

Through God’s lavish grace.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son as the ultimate sacrifice for us all. Jesus, thank You for taking on all of our sin and shame, so that we could be made clean and worthy to approach the throne of God. Forgive us for taking Your sacrifice for granted, or for somehow thinking it could not possibly cover the weight of our own ugliness. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would receive the grace that You have so generously given, and never forget the ultimate price that You paid on our behalf. Show us how to love those around us well, so that they might recognize Your grace and love through our words and deeds. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we receive the incredible gift of grace that You freely give, and continue to come close to You so that we will know how to best walk according to Your will. Amen.

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

For the law made nothing perfect, and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. – Hebrews 7:19

 

Love’s Sacrifice

God gave Jesus as a way to forgive people’s sins through their faith in Him. God can forgive them because the blood sacrifice of Jesus pays for their sins. God gave Jesus to show that He always does what is right and fair. He was right in the past when He was patient and did not punish people for their sins. And in our own time He still does what is right. God worked all this out in a way that allows Him to judge people fairly and still make right any person who has faith in Jesus. – (Romans 3:25-26, ERV)

 

Though we did not deserve it, Jesus died in our place. God, in His glorious grace, gave. We who are sinful and deserve suffering, have been granted the gifts of mercy and grace. When we receive by faith, the new life that is freely offered through Christ, all of our sins are washed away. No longer are we viewed through the lens of our ugliness, but rather we are seen through the sinlessness of God’s own Son. God is rich in mercy and abounding in love. May we embrace the grace that He has granted, and go forth as extensions of the same mercy and love to all whom we encounter.

 

Love’s sacrifice,Confidence in Christ

we did not deserve;

ultimate price,

nothing that we’ve earned.

God sent His Son,

to make way for us;

to be restored,

gracious Lord Jesus.

No punishment,

where we should be judged;

because of Christ,

we are viewed in love.

Let faith rise up,

as gift’s understood;

may we go forth,

as our Jesus would.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the loving sacrifice that You made of Your One and Only Son so that we could be restored to a right relationship with You. Thank You that we are forgiven and justified through Jesus. Thank You Jesus, for willingly taking my place. Thank You that it is by faith, and not by doing enough nor being enough, that we find forgiveness and grace. Forgive us for taking Your grace for granted, or for somehow thinking that we need to earn it. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may operate fully in the peace provided when we know we are loved and forgiven by You. Lead us to love others, as You so lavishly love each of us. May many be moved toward a relationship with You, so that they too, may embrace the grace that You freely give. Be glorified O God, as we go forth in faith, extending mercy and grace to all whom we encounter. Amen.

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

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy. – Hebrews 4:16

Purchased at a Price

You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men. – (1 Corinthians 7:23)

 

Christ came and willingly went to the cross so that we could be set free from the bonds of sin. Those things that can so easily entangle us, and attempt to master us again, no longer have any power because our penalty has been paid; our freedom has been bought. To become slaves of men, we have to choose to set aside the freedom that we have found in Christ, and allow the yoke of sin, pride and fear to be placed around our necks. We are covered by His grace, and such things can gain no ground if we remain rooted and established in Him. Let us embrace the freedom that we have found in Christ, and turn away from all that entices in attempt to enslave us again.

 

The ransom’s been paid,Purchased at a Price

the Lord’s life for mine;

the ultimate price,

He suffered and died.

We need not be slaves,

to sin nor to man;

we have been set free,

Christ’s salvation plan.

May we choose embrace,

all that He has done;

and share of His grace,

our great Holy One.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for coming to earth and suffering on my behalf, so that I could be set free from the bonds of sin. Thank You that I am no longer a slave to my own selfish desires, but rather am free to follow You, unhindered by the sin that so easily entangled me. Forgive us for setting aside the glorious grace that You have given to go and pursue the temptations that try to entangle us once again. Teach us to trust and rely on You more, so that we seek You in every situation, rather succumb to the snare of sin’s luring. Help us to love others as You so faithfully love each of us, and may many come to know the freedom that is found in You alone. Be exalted, O God, as we embrace our freedom that You purchased at such a precious price. Amen.

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

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23

Reinstating Radiance

This morning, the reading plan I follow had me reading the account of David numbering the fighting men in Israel, (found in both 2 Samuel 24 & 1 Chronicles 21). The gist of the story is that David was incited by Satan to take a census of Israel of all his fighting men. Rather than listen to Joab, his commander, who tried to dissuade him, David sent Joab on his way. Upon his return, David recognized the reality of his sin, (for he was looking to trust more in military power than in God) and confessed to the Lord the error in his ways. God was gracious and gave him a choice as to which of three consequences should befall the nation of Israel. David selected the shortest of the three, and an angel of the Lord began to carry it out. As the people of the nation of Israel were falling, David cried out to the Lord’s grieved heart. God was merciful, and had the angel withdraw. David went on to purchase a field, build an altar, and sacrifice burnt offerings to the Lord.

 

Psalm 30, also accompanies today’s read. This particular passage is one of David’s, in which he celebrates God’s deliverance. It is bookended in the following verses: “I will exalt you, O Lord, for You lift me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me. – vs. 1 “You turned my wailing into dancing; You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give You thanks forever.” – vs. 11-12

 

God is gracious and hears our prayers, no matter what situation we find ourselves in. Be it in the sludge of our own sin, the anguish of a loss, fear, defeat, despair – He is able to remove the wreckage and reinstate joy and hope and peace. May our hearts cry out to Him, as we allow the Lord to fill the spaces once occupied by sorrow, with sweet songs of praise.

 

No matter what state,Reinstating Radiance

our hearts when we come;

His arms are open,

where all peace is from.

He’ll take our sorrow,

the wreckage of loss;

and love us to life,

no matter the cost.

He already paid,

the ultimate price;

so we could find hope,

Love’s true sacrifice.

He will grant us joy,

where sorrow once stood;

and plant in us, peace;

all from Him is good.

May praises rise up,

all thanks to the Lord;

true freedom is found,

hearts in one accord.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are gracious and kind, and ready to receive us, no matter how we come. Thank You Jesus, for making the way for us to come unto You with repentant hearts, knowing that as we do, we are forgiven and set free from the stains of our sin. Thank You that You hold our hearts in Your hands, and that You turn our mourning into joy, and raise up songs of praise as You continue to show us Your faithfulness, even in the difficult and painful places. Forgive us for losing sight of Your hand in the hard places, and help us to trust You, regardless of the trials we face. Grant us strength and peace and joy and hope, as You are the reason we sing. May we love others as we are loved by You, and may we encourage and lift up those who are hurting. Let those who are looking, find the peace that is held in You alone. Be exalted, O God, in all that we say and do. 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

 

 

Honoring the Temple

In our media-driven society, we are flooded with what to eat, what to wear, how to look, and how to appeal to others.  The barrage of messages can overwhelm a soul that is not centered in Christ.  Those images and messages are not from God, yet so often are taken to heart. “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own; you were bought at a price.  Therefore honor God with your body.” – (I Corinthians 6:19-20)

Though we are given the freedom to choose, when we choose Christ, we are no longer our own, but instead, we are now His.  Each one of us are His craftsmanship, created in His image; prepared to do good works, representing Him well, before those around us.  What we choose to do with the temple, (our body) in which His Spirit dwells, matters.  If we care for our bodies, avoiding sin that has been explained throughout scripture, not giving in to gluttony nor other indulgences, we are honoring God with what we have been given.  Christ sacrificed His own body on the cross, so that we could have life in ours.  May we choose well, to honor God with our entire being.

Though we have a choice,Honoring the Temple

we need to choose well;

for freedom unchecked,

is pathway to hell.

Yet freedom in Christ,

teaches us to trust;

the Spirit within,

and hear Him, we must.

We are His temple,

where Spirit resides;

if we will listen,

He’ll lead and He’ll guide.

May we honor God,

with our whole being;

let the lost be found,

and blind start seeing.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You paid the ultimate price for our freedom.  Thank You that Your Spirit dwells in the hearts of all who believe.  Forgive us for not treating our bodies as Your temple, by overindulging or by neglecting needs.  Teach us to care properly for the body that we have been given, so that we can best honor You each day.  Thank You that we belong to You, and that You are willing and available to lead and guide us in the ways in which we are meant to go.  Thank You that You care about even the smallest of details, as You are the one who knit us together in our mother’s womb.  May we listen and obey  all that You ask of us, and may many come to know You, personally, as their Savior and King.  Let us love and serve others as You so lavishly love and care for us.  Be exalted in everything we say and do, and may we live as though we are merely the tenants of these temples in which we dwell, as we treat them as treasures belonging to You.  Amen.

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

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. – Psalm 34:8