Chosen to Love

Love means doing what God has commanded us, and He has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning. – (2 John 1:6, NLT)

And loving means living the way He commanded us to live. And God’s command is this: that you live a life of love. You heard this command from the beginning. – (2 John 1:6, ERV)

This is love: that we live according to His commands. This is the command that you heard from the beginning: live in love. – (2 John 1:6, CEB)

 

We are commanded to love one another. It is not a suggestion. When days seem dark and the rubber meets the road, this is the time that we must dig deep and choose to love one another, just as we are loved by God. As we opt to offer kindness, encouragement and the benefit of the doubt to others, remarkably, the same is returned our way. Even in the moments when it is not, we can rest easy in knowing that we walked our road according to His will. May we choose love as we are commanded, and extend patience, kindness, protection, trust, hope and choose to persevere.

 

Commanded to love,

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Photo by Dee Jones of Open Door Photography ❤

It’s what we have heard;

To choose live in love,

It is the Lord’s word.

Though we were unkind,

Unworthy of grace;

God chose to love us,

As we sought His face.

Thanks to His mercy,

We can do the same;

Live a life of love,

That honors His Name.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that while we were yet sinners, You loved us with Your life. Thank You that because You love us, we can go and love one another according to Your command. Forgive us for the times that we do not extend love to those around us as You call us to do. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would live a life of love that fulfills what You expect of Your children. Show us how to love those around us in a way that extends patience and kindness, that chooses to protect and trust, that offers hope and always perseveres. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we live a life of love according to Your command. Amen.

 

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

 

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. – Job 8:21

Love Breaks Down Barriers

Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.”

The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”

Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” – (John 4:7,9-10)

 

I so appreciate this exchange between Jesus and the Samaritan woman. He models for us how we can break down social and cultural barriers, and approach people where they are. Though society would have deemed her unworthy – to acknowledge, let alone speak to – Jesus approached her directly and spoke to her face to face. He was kind, honest, and offered the hope she had so long been looking for. As followers of Christ, we are called to do likewise. Our job is to break down barriers that society deems necessary, and show the world that they are not. We must touch the “untouchable“, love the “unlovable“, give voice to the silent, and meet the needs of those without. So many are misunderstood, misrepresented, and labeled as a result of their circumstances. May we be the ones who answer the call to love our neighbors as Christ has loved us – no barriers, no limits, just love.

 

The Lord, He calls us,Hearts of Thanks

To tear down the walls;

That keep us away,

from hurt who fall.

We’re meant to draw near,

To reach out our hands;

To help and to love,

The way God has planned.

May we be aware,

Help our eyes to see;

Where we’re called to go,

And how to meet needs.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son into the world to show us how to love as You love us. Thank You that though we were broken and sinful and needy, You came near and loved us back to life. Forgive us for not extending the same kindness to all whom we encounter. Teach us to trust You more, so that regardless of how things appear, we would offer what we have been given – kindness and grace. Show us how to love others as You so perfectly love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we approach those whom society has somehow deemed unworthy, and let Your love give worth to all. Amen.

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

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. – 2 Corinthians 1:3

Obedience is Walking in Love

And this is love: that we walk in obedience to His commands. As you have heard from the beginning, His command is that you walk in love. – (2 John 1:6)

To truly live a life of love, is to live one of obedience to that which Christ has commanded. All that Christ asks of us can be summarized quite simply; we are to love God and love people. If all that we say and do is governed by our love for Christ and our desire to show His love to others, we will be operating in obedience to His commands. Though seemingly quite simple, it is much more easily said than done. Without investing in Christ and His created, we are not able to love well. We must know and trust God, and be invested in the world around us to actually touch lives with the love that He gives. Often it requires that we listen, even when we’d rather speak; help, when we’d like to have help ourselves; give, when we’re not sure we have enough, and show kindness, despite disdain that may be extended toward us. Love is a choice that we must choose to make if we desire to obey what the Lord is asking. He grants us wisdom as to when it is unhealthy to come close to those who could bring harm, and grace to extend to those who feel unworthy of being loved. May we each choose to walk in obedience to His commands as we walk out this day in His love.

To truly live life,Tether Our Hearts

obeying the Lord;

we must choose to love,

as we are adored.

For Christ grants to us,

all that we will need;

to go and love well,

let His Spirit lead.

Though it seems simple,

it is quite a task;

to love each other,

as Jesus has asked.

For people are flawed,

broken and cause harm;

it takes total trust,

to love as He arms.

Our obedience,

is well worth the price;

eternity sure,

our most sound advice.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to show us what it is to walk in obedience to Your commands. Thank You Jesus that You modeled a life lived in love. Thank You that You loved us so much that You gave Your very life for ours so that we could live forever with You, and love as You love us. Forgive us for not walking in obedience to Your commands, as we neglect to love You or others as we are called to love. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will love with wisdom and grace, showing others well the way to seek with their whole hearts, Your tender face. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we walk in obedience to Your commands and walk in love. Amen.

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

Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; …my hope is in You all day long. – Psalm 25:4-5

Scars as Signs of Strength

As I continue in my book study, Undaunted, by Christine Caine, I so appreciate the reminders of who God is, and how He utilizes all of our life experiences for His glory. “He took what I thought was broken and unworthy – my heart – and made it into something beautiful by giving it to others who are flattened by life and circumstance. This is God’s nature.” – (Christine Caine, Undaunted) Our places of pain, of peril, or perhaps deep sorrow or regret, when we are willing to give it all to Him, “God can heal every hurt and can turn your scars into signs of strength for His glory.” – (Christine Caine, Undaunted)

 

Our survival through the trials, and our strength that God provides on the other side, can become the hope that others need to see to call upon Him who saves. For when there is hope, strength is found. In Christ, we are able to: Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. – (Psalm 31:24) May we rise up and recognize where Christ has turned our scars into signs of strength for His glory, and look for opportunities to encourage those who are struggling in similar broken spaces that we have overcome.

 

Discarded, broken,

feeling so alone;

yet always our heart,

was held and was known.

When truth was found out,

forever we changed;

beauty for ashes,

as Christ called our name.

The ugliest scars,

He can use for good;

to rescue the lost,

and misunderstood.

What we see as weak,

is really a space;

for God to enter,

and move in His grace.

Allow Christ to reign,

even in the aches;

scars will become strength,

He makes no mistakes.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are able to utilize every trial and struggle that we go through for Your glory, if we are willing to place them in Your hands. Thank You that You give us beauty for our ashes, and hope where we once were in despair. Thank You that in You, there is lasting joy, even in the mourning. Forgive us for keeping our scars covered and hidden, and help us to allow You to use them to show others the strength and beauty that can come, even after the hard and horrible. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will be willing to do whatever You ask of us. Lead us to love others without reservations, just as You love us with total abandon. May many come into a saving relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we allow You to use our scars as signs of strength for Your glory. Amen.

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

Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, You who have done great things.  Who, O God, is like You? – Psalm 71:19

He Seeks to Save

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost. – (Luke 19:10)

 

Jesus broke down every barrier of expectation that people had for the coming Messiah. They expected One who was high and lifted up, to come in power, and claim what was rightfully His. Instead, Christ came as a humble servant, One who came close to the sick, the sinners, and those whom society deemed unworthy and lost. Jesus sought out the seeking, and they were found by Him.

 

Christ continues to come close to the seeking today. He does not have a checklist of qualifications required in order for us to draw near, rather He longs for us to choose Him, to invite Him in, and allow Him access to our life and our heart. Jesus alone, will bring about the necessary changes, we need only allow Him access, followed by willing obedience to that which He asks of us. May we go forth in our sweet salvation, and share His hope with those who are still in search of Him.

 

Humbly He entered,He Seeks to Save

by lowly a birth;

no pompous fanfare,

when He came to earth.

Born in a stable,

announced by a star;

worshipped by angels,

wise men from afar.

The nearby shepherds,

were stricken by fear;

when angels proclaimed,

that Christ had come near.

The Savior, He grew,

wise and without sin;

it took many years,

for His call begin.

He healed the broken,

and touched the disdained;

showed that there’s new life,

and washed away stains.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son in a way that was approachable, reachable and touchable. Thank You that You came near, rather that remaining God out there. Thank You Jesus, that You came and made the way for us to seek You and find You forever. Thank You that when we seek You with our whole heart, we are found by You. Thank You that You love and forgive and grant us new life in You. Forgive us for all that we say and do that does not give glory unto You. Help us to live and love as You love us, so that many may come to know the saving grace that brings salvation to the seeker. Be glorified through our every word, act, and deed today, Lord God. Amen.

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

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