Love in Action

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. – (1 John 3:18, NIV)

My children, our love should not be only words and talk. No, or love must be real. We must show our love by the things we do. – (1 John 3:18, ERV)

Beloved children, our love can’t be an abstract theory we only talk about, but a way of life demonstrated through our loving deeds. – (1 John 3:18, TPT)

 

Today is a day off for many of us, as we celebrate and honor the men and women who have and still serve in our armed forces. These individuals have demonstrated what it is to love with action in truth, as they willingly chose to honor, serve and protect our nation and the freedoms we all enjoy. For most of us, today becomes a bonus day to either rest or accomplish items on our to-do list. Not only are we called to love with actions and in truth, but we ought to take time to appreciate and remember those who have modeled this before us. May we make time to honor, thank, remember or pray for those who have loved with actions in truth, and for those who are still making the decision to do so for the good of all. May the peace and protection of Christ be with each man and woman who has served, and those who still serve, as they understand what it is to love in action and in truth.

Love in action is exactly what is taking place in mom’s current location as she navigates this road to recovery. My sister and her family demonstrate love daily, as they honor and include Mom in their everyday lives. A favorite set of images that I caught on Instagram from Meg were of she, Scott, Mom, and their friends at an event in Corvallis. Smiles were abundant, and it was clear that Mom was enjoying herself and included. Love in action, again and again; chosen daily.

 

Limit not our love,

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My favorite veteran.

To mere words or speech;

But rather allow,

Our actions to teach.

For the things we do,

Each act done in love;

Makes God evident,

As truth shines above.

Words are forgotten,

But feelings remain;

How we are treated,

Oft’ love’s greatest gain.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to demonstrate love through the truth of our actions, not just in words. Thank You for the powerful example set before us by so many who have chosen to sacrifice to protect. Forgive us for taking their sacrifice for granted, as we enjoy our freedoms every minute of each day. Father, quicken our hearts to remember to pray for Your protection, peace, presence and blessings over each man and woman who has served or is currently serving. Show us how to love all those around us with actions and in truth. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You for the ultimate sacrifice that You made on our behalf, so that we could have a relationship with You forever. Amen.

 

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

 

This is my command: Love each other. – John 15:17

Way Maker

He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all – how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? – (Romans 8:32, NIV)

If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing Himself to the worst by sending His own Son, is there anything else He wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? – (Romans 8:32, MSG)

For God has proved His love by giving us His greatest treasure, the gift of His Son. And since God freely offered Him up as the sacrifice for us all, He certainly won’t withhold from us anything else He has to give. – (Romans 8:32, TPT)

 

More than anyone, God understands sacrifice and suffering. In fact, because He chose the ultimate sacrifice for us all, no one is left to face life alone, and though we will endure trials and hardships in this life, we have help and hope to overcome. What we see and perceive is not the whole story. God is at work, far beyond what we can observe or comprehend. Yesterday, mom had her appointment with her new primary care physician in Oregon. We thought that through the consultation, in-home therapies could be referred out and quickly established, just as they had been in Washington. Unfortunately, that was not the case. According to insurance criteria in Oregon, mom has to see a specialist of some sort to gain a referral for her in-home care. In our limited understanding, this is frustrating, as it delays the entire process of getting mom back to work with forward momentum. Even so, God sees far more than we do. He does not withhold good. I have to believe that there is purpose in the delay, and He is making a way for something even greater than we could hope or imagine on mom’s behalf. The Lord is generous and kind, and He loves our mom even more than we do, and wants even greater things for her than us. We have to trust that He has a purpose and plan for the delay, and is making a way that is greater still than anything that we have known before. May we all trust in the Lord, who does not withhold good from us, as He loves us beyond what we can even begin to grasp.

 

O Lord, help us trust,

bloom blossom flora flower

Photo by icon0.com on Pexels.com

Your grace is secured;

For You don’t withhold,

Your love we’re assured.

Despite what we see,

In You, there is more;

The impossible,

Become open doors.

Show us Your goodness,

Flood us with Your grace;

Fill hearts with Your peace,

As You make the way.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are good and that Your love endures forever. Thank You that You do not withhold any good thing from us. Thank You that You willingly and lovingly sacrificed everything to make the way for us to be with You. Forgive us for our fears and doubts, as we somehow make You small, when You are the Creator of all that exists. Teach us to trust You more, as You are our Healer, Provider, Father, Friend, and so much more. Show us how to love those around us through the seasons of waiting, so that they might be encouraged and strengthened and know how deeply they are loved. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust in Your goodness to make the way, where it seems so difficult. Amen.

 

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

 

I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them. – Isaiah 42:16

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,

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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

 

Remember the Fallen

 

Today is a day designated and set aside to remember the faithful who have fallen, as they fought fearlessly to defend the freedoms we know and enjoy. Countless men and women have made the ultimate sacrifice, as they selflessly served. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. – (John 15:13) May we take time to remember the fallen, as they willingly laid down their lives so that ours would be secure.

 

 

How I will remember today...

How I will remember today…

Remember the ones,

who never came back;

so valiantly fought,

while under attack.

Siblings and spouses,

the daughters and sons;

too soon they were lost,

but not forgotten.

We rest from our work,

we pause in our play;

for lives lost and peace,

we humbly shall pray.

Also for those still,

on the battlefield;

faithfully serving,

Lord, please be their shield.

May those who have served,

know our gratitude;

please keep them, dear God,

may blessings ensue.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the faithful men and women who have served and continue to serve our nation. Thank You Jesus for Your sacrifice, as it is only through the gift of Your life that we are able to truly live ours. Thank You for the sacrifice that so many families and soldiers have made, so that we can continue to enjoy the freedoms we know and love. Forgive us for taking our freedom for granted, and help us to lift up our service men and women regularly, and remind us to pray too, for peace. May we live and love with grateful hearts, and encourage all whom we encounter towards the same. Let hearts turn to You, and many come to know true freedom in a lasting relationship with You, our Redeemer. Be glorified, O God. Amen.

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

For the Lord your God will bless you, …and your joy will be complete. – Deuteronomy 16:15

 

 

 

 

The Letter of the Law is Love

Prior to the life, death, resurrection, ascension and anointing provided by and through Christ, access to God took hours of preparation, and very limited interaction was granted.  Only the chosen were allowed into the Most Holy Place behind the curtain, which was where God’s presence would appear.  Today, through the gift of grace we’ve been given through Christ, we may approach God, anytime.

Before Christ, the high priest would have to sacrifice specific animals in certain clothing, worn in a particular way, after cleansing himself, followed by more offerings of animals, then incense, then blood, then animals, then blood, then the release an animal into the desert, then change clothing, bathe again, sacrifice more animals, and finally, burn the fat of them.  If any of the aforementioned procedures were done incorrectly, death would surely come. (See Leviticus 16)

Jesus has provided the way for us to come before God, covered.  He was the ultimate sacrifice – once and for all.  Never again do we need to make a blood offering of an animal on behalf of our sins, for Christ has covered EVERY LAST SIN.  We are free to come and call on the name of the Lord, anytime, day or night, and He will hear our call.  Our position and training are irrelevant, as He looks only at our heart.  When we seek Him with all of our heart, we will find Him.  It is, however, still wise to prepare our hearts to enter into His presence.  In fact, the biblical examples of how we ought to pray, teach us to praise Him, ask for forgiveness, make known our needs, ask for help, praise Him some more, and be sure to listen.  If our heart is set on seeking Him, He is faithful to answer.

Gone are the days,The Letter of the Law is Love

of blood sacrifice;

for Jesus came,

paid the final price.

Never again,

to be bound by law;

instead by love,

price paid without flaw.

May our hearts hold,

such great gratitude;

for all He’s done,

thankful attitude.

Come to the Lord,

He’s ready to hear;

our heart’s prayer,

His presence is near.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are loving and kind, and that You made the way for us to come close to You without having to go through a series of rituals and regulations, done just right, in order to seek You.  Thank You for Your grace, and for the covering provided by the sacrifice that Jesus made for each of us on the cross.  Thank You that because of Him, You see us as clean, covered and cleansed by His righteousness.  Forgive us for thinking that we have to have it all together to come before You, or for being too flippant in our approach.  Help us to come to You with grateful hearts, reverent in awe of Your glory and grace.  May our attitude of thanks be expressed in how we love You, and love people.  May many come to know You as a result.  Be glorified through all that we say and do.  Amen.

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

God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.

– Genesis 21:6

Come Close, for He is Here

“Come near to God and He will come near to you.” – James 4:8a

image by Dr. Bob Bijo

image by Dr. Bob Bijo

Such seemingly simple words that hold such a perfect and powerful truth.  When we call on Him, He answers.  As we cry out to our King, He comes close and comforts.  If we ask, He answers.  He is faithful.  And He is love.

In light of the Connecticut tragedy, many of us find ourselves in need of knowing His nearness.  As a mother and an educator, such a travesty touched far too close to home.  These young ones are precious gifts, presented by our Papa, for us to protect and raise up in the way they are meant to go.  My heart hurts for the families and friends of such tender lives that were taken.  Though I know not why such a monstrosity occurred, I know that God is good, and that He will somehow, ultimately, use even such a horrific happening, for good.

Come close.  He will heal.  Come close.  He will restore hope where hope has been lost.  Come close.  He will hold hands and hearts as He has ushered His tiny treasures home.  Come close.  As we do, we will hear Him whisper the words that our hearts so desperately need to know.  Come close.  Though there is a season of sorrow, joy will come again.

We are able to come close because Christ came close to us.  He entered the earth as a tiny treasure, was born in a stable and laid in a manger.  Sweet innocence and the Son of God.  His coming close did not end in infancy.  He grew and gave as the world had never known.  He healed.  He helped.  He touched and He talked to those who came close.  He submitted Himself to be the ultimate sacrifice, once and for all, so that we could come close and call Him Christ our King.  He sent His Holy Spirit to dwell in us, and I don’t think there can be a close that is closer than that!

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we come near to You, as we call on Your Name, You know our need, and You make Your nearness known.  Please make Your presence tangible to every hurting heart today.  May we hear Your heart, so that we too might be a comfort to those who need to know how to come close and receive Your tender touch.  Let Your peace be presented in the places of pain, and use our hearts and hands to make Your nearness known.  Amen.

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