Perfect Love Made Visible

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us. – (1 John 4:11-12, NIV)

My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and His love becomes complete in us – perfect love! – (1 John 4:11-12, MSG)

Delightfully loved ones, if He loved us with such tremendous love, then “loving one another” should be our way of life! No one has ever gazed upon the fullness of God’s splendor. But if we love one another, God makes His permanent home in us, and we make our permanent home in Him, and His love is brought to its full expression in us. – (1 John 4:11-12, TPT)

 

Though no one has seen God, His perfect love is made visible through those who love God and love one another. Not one of us is perfect, but we can be vessels of perfect love. Perfect love is complete, everlasting, and does not have qualifications to give or receive. The more we come to know and love God, the more completely we are equipped to love others, according to His good and perfect will. May we ever seek the Lord and His perfect love, so that we will grow in His likeness to love as He loves us.

 

Because we are loved,

Come with me

Photo by Dee Jones of Open Door Photography ❤

So too, shall we give;

To all whom we meet,

His love ever lives.

Though none are perfect,

God’s love truly is;

As we love like Him,

Love given is His.

In all that we do,

And all that we say;

May we choose to love,

And walk in His way.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are perfect love. Thank You that as we seek You and come to know You more, we are equipped to love completely, according to Your perfect plan. Forgive us for the times that we have not sought You, or not chosen love to lead. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would operate out of the lavish love that You give to us, extending the same to others. Show us how to love well, each person we encounter. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we pursue You with our whole heart, so that we too, may love like You. Amen.

 

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

 

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. – 1 John 4:18

Love As You Are

Jesus replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.” – (Matthew 22:37, NLT)

Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.” – (Matthew 22:37, MSG)

 

We are called to love God in the same way that He loves us. There are no limits nor conditions placed upon His love, and He does not require us to do or be enough to be the recipients of all that He has for us. Jesus tells us that we are commanded to love as we are loved by God. We need not have reservation nor hesitation, and with all that we are, we ought to give our passion and prayer to our Provider. Without Him, we have nothing and are nothing. In Christ, we are vessels created to receive and give love without reservation. May we seek the Lord to show us how to love Him as we are loved.

 

For Jesus has said,not-defined-by-a-day

Love God as you are;

Mind, heart, soul and strength,

To the Morning Star.

Let us not limit,

what we give to Him;

For He is worthy,

Of all that’s within.

As we choose to give,

To God and to man;

He fills us again,

To walk out His plan.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to love You as we are loved by You. Thank You that this is not something that You expect us to do in our own strength, but rather You grow in us the desire and will to love You more and more as we gain insight to who You are and how You love. Forgive us for withholding any part of ourselves from You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would love You without limits, and in turn, go forth and love others too. Show us how to love like You love us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give You all of our prayers, passions and intellect, and trust them unto You. Amen.

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

Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. I’m back home in the house of God for the rest of my life. – Psalm 23:6

May We Be Filled

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – (Romans 15:13, NIV)

I pray that God, the Source of all hope, will infuse your lives with an abundance of joy and peace in the midst of your faith so that your hope will overflow through the power of the Holy Spirit. – (Romans 15:13, VOICE)

 

When we place our trust in God, His Holy Spirit comes and dwells within us, so His power resides in us. Through that place of trust, we are filled with His joy and peace so that what is from Him, may freely flow. Our very lives become infused with all good that God grants by His grace, so that we may go forth and be beacons of hope by His Holy Spirit. May we choose to trust in Him, who is the Source of all joy and peace, so that we my overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

When we choose to trust,

Gracious Giving

the God of all hope;

He freely shall fill,

us so we can cope.

He’ll fill us with peace,

and abundant joy;

present, His Spirit,

power to employ.

He gives and He gives,

’til hope overflows;

so others may come,

to trust what we know.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are the God of all hope, and that You fill us with joy and peace as we trust in You. Thank You that You give us hope through the power of Your Holy Spirit, who dwells in us, when we choose to trust in You. Forgive us for not giving enough credit where credit is due, or for not placing all of our trust in You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would allow Your light and life and love to fill us with all joy and peace and hope to the point of overflowing. Show us how to be vessels that allow the overflow of all that You give to us, to flow freely to all who are around us. Help us to love others well. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust in You, so that Your hope may overflow from us by the power of the Holy Spirit within us. Amen.

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

Listen… be wise, and keep your heart on the right path. – Proverbs 23:19

May Compassion Compel Us to Action

During those days another large crowd gathered. Since they had nothing to eat, Jesus called His disciples to Him and said, “I have compassion for these people: they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them home hungry, they will collapse on the way, because some of them have come a long distance.” – (Mark 8:1-3)

 

Jesus identified a practical need of the people before Him, and went beyond simple concern. Christ’s compassion compelled Him to action, and He carried out another miraculous feeding of the masses. Likewise, the Lord sees and knows our daily needs. He is concerned for us, just as He was for those who had gathered to hear Him. God is never too busy to hear us, nor too callous to not care for our needs. He provides what we need when we need it, though often in ways we would never expect. We are meant to be available vessels, as often He uses us to be His hands and feet to supply what is needed for another. Our hearts ought to be ever open to hear Him, so that we may be ready to reach out however He may ask. Likewise, we need also be willing to receive that which the Lord provides through others, as they may very well be the supply to where we are lacking. May we go forth with open hands and hearts, ready to give and receive all that the Lord has for us.

 

The Lord knows our need,May Compassion Compel Us to Action

far better than us;

that is why He sent,

precious Lord Jesus.

Not one of us could,

live life without sin;

we needed saving,

so Christ entered in.

Beyond the big needs,

Christ cares for the small;

He sees where we lack,

and provides for all.

May hearts be open,

to do as He asks;

to give or receive,

trust Him in each task.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are the God who sees and knows our needs before we do. Thank You that You care for us and provide in ways that we could not even fathom. Thank You that You invite us to partner with You as Your instruments of peace, to go forth and be Your hands and feet to a world in need. Forgive us for not going where You call us to go, or for refusing to receive what You are providing through another. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may have Your eyes to see what is right before us. Lead us to love others as You love us, and may many come into a lasting relationship with You as a result. Be exalted O God, as we allow compassion to lead us to action wherever You call us to go. Amen.

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

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

He is the King

“You are a king, then!” said Pilate. – (John 18:37)

 

Though Pilate recognized the truth about Jesus, he chose to reject the truth that stood before him for the sake of pleasing the masses. Many find themselves at a similar crossroad at Christmas. They hear the truth of who Christ is, and must decide to either receive and embrace the truth, or to reject the Redeemer before them, for the sake of upholding sin and selfishness. As believers, we must model a life lived for Christ. If His love does not clearly flow through us, what possible appeal will the truth hold for those who know Him not? May we be vessels of His light and love unto the world, and may many come to embrace the truth of who Christ is this Christmas.

 

Though many have heard,Majesty Moved from the Cradle to the Cross

they have not embraced;

the mercy of Christ,

as sin He erased.

Jesus is much more,

than infant domain;

He’s the Mighty King,

from His throne, He reigns.

May each seeking heart,

hear the truth, made plain;

and receive the Lord,

to come rule and reign.

Let each heart who knows,

go forth and love well;

shining light and life,

may our lives truth tell.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that regardless of a person’s decision to accept or reject the truth, the truth remains. Thank You that You are the King. Thank You that You came into the world to testify the truth so that all might come to know You. Forgive us for not embracing the truth we know, or for neglecting to stand firm in all things and at all times. Teach us to trust You more, so that we completely rely on You. May we trust the truth, no matter what comes our way. Lead us to love others as You love us, so that many may be directed to embrace the truth that is found in You alone. Be exalted O God, as we live and love in such a way, that the truth we embrace is evident. 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

All for Good

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

 

God works all things for our good, but it does not mean that all things that happen to us are good. Evil is prevalent in our fallen world, but God is able to turn every circumstance around for our long-range good. Note that God is not working to make us happy, but to fulfill His purpose. (NIV footnotes for Romans 8:28) When we love God and are called by Him, His Holy Spirit empowers us to turn to trust in Him, not the circumstances that are seen. Ultimately, even through the most trying of times, we come to see and know His presence, provision, and often some positive that He has produced, in spite of the pain. May we learn to lean into the Lord in all things and at all times, as He will work ALL THINGS together for good, for those who love Him.

 

In trying times,Better is One Day

may we seek the Lord;

trust in His good,

the grace He’ll afford.

He works all things,

together for good;

for those He’s called,

where hope’s understood.

Faithful always,

His promises true;

trust in His plan,

His good will shine through.

Even when things,

are dismal and dark;

God is at work,

prepare to embark.

Look for His light,

on the darkest days;

He will be there,

both now and always.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You work ALL THINGS for the good of those who love You. Thank You that despite how dismal things may appear, You are present and working in the midst of us. Thank You that You can take the ugliest of circumstances and use them to accomplish something good for Your kingdom. Forgive us for our shortsightedness and our inability to see past our own discomfort. Help us to gain a kingdom perspective, even in our most pressing places of pain, so that we may completely trust in You and allow You to have Your way in us and through us. Teach us to be willing vessels, vulnerable and open to be used by You. Lead us to love and share with others, as You have so greatly given unto us. May many come into a saving relationship with You during this blessed season of remembering Your birth. Be exalted O God, as we trust in You to work all things together for our good. 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

Compassion Leads to Action

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. – (John 11:33)

Jesus wept. – (John 11:35)

When He had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” – (John 11:43)

 

These three verses are pivotal points in the story of Lazarus. Though Jesus knew that He would raise Lazarus from the dead prior to His arrival, His compassion for people was made evident through how He came alongside those who were mourning and wept as they wept. However, Christ continues beyond compassion. Jesus, after demonstrating His love for both Lazarus and those who loved him, chose to do more. He opted to make His mighty power known, as He had the gang of grieving lead Him to the tomb where Lazarus had laid for four days. Jesus stepped up, and in a strong voice, spoke the words that were more than His friends could have hoped for. Their lost loved one was being brought back to life!

 

As we are moved by compassion to act, it is necessary that we too, listen for His still small voice. Though we may not be raising people from four days dead, our acts of obedience can create hope where there has only been despair. We never know the impact our actions might have, unless we opt to actually step out in faith. He is faithful to use us as His vessels, if only we are willing to make ourselves available. May we go forth, allowing His compassion to propel our hearts to action.

 

Compassion compels,Care Over Comfort

our hearts to reach out;

to act in His love,

to fill those without.

Just as His kindness,

came near in our need;

so we’re called likewise,

to give and to feed.

Out of our plenty,

and even our lack;

He calls us to love,

He’s loving us back.

May those who don’t know,

come to know His grace;

for once it is known,

there’s no greater place.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son to show us what love in action should look like. Jesus, thank You for loving us without limits and for equipping us to love as You love us. Thank You for placing people in our lives to be Your hands and heart made tangible. Thank You that we too, can be the same for others, if only we are available to listen to Your leading. Forgive us for neglecting to act on that which You are asking, and help us to be willing to go and do whatever You ask of us. Give us Your eyes to see, and Your heart of compassion for all whom we encounter. May the compassion You grant us, compel us to action. Lead us in the way You want us to go, and may many come to know You as their Savior and King as a result. Be glorified as we act with compassion today. 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

Living Waters Flow

Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him. – (John 7:38)

 

In this passage, Jesus was speaking to a crowd in the temple courts. His words of life were offered before all who stood around Him, and despite the antagonizing of the Pharisees, many among them, believed. The streams of living water Jesus spoke of indicated the promise of eternal life. His Holy Spirit is our Source from which living water flows – not only for today, but for all of eternity. If we choose to believe and trust what His word says to be true, and allow Him to be Lord of our lives, living water will dwell in us and flow from us, both now and forevermore. May we each embrace the entirety of His word, and allow Jesus to rule and reign in our lives. Let Your living water flow from us, Lord God.

 

Nothing satisfies,Living Waters Flow

our insatiable thirst;

except for Jesus,

with His love, we’re immersed.

As we choose believe,

our soul comes to know life;

His living waters,

come fill up and revive.

When our hearts are filled,

from us too shall outpour;

our eternal hope,

a life that models more.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we believe in You, and place our trust in You, You come and fill us with Your living waters to the point of overflowing. Thank You that You send Your Spirit to dwell in us, so that we may extend some of what has been given to us, unto others. Thank You that in You, we have security and hope, not only for today, but forever. Forgive us for losing sight of eternity when life gets difficult, and help us to keep a proper perspective on the finite. Teach us to trust You in all things at all times, so that Your living water may continually be pouring out of us, as Your vessels of hope to those who do not yet know You. May many come to know You as their Savior and King, and hold the hope that Your living waters bring. Be exalted as we allow Your living waters to dwell in us and flow through us today. 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

What Shall We Bring?

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise. – (Psalm 51:17)

 

We cannot please God, nor earn His favor with our outward actions, no matter how grandiose, if our heart is not right before Him. God looks at our heart condition. Are we willing to sacrifice our own selfish pride, and confess with a truly repentant heart? The Lord is pleased as we seek to obey Him with our whole being, and humbly come before Him. Genuine repentance and whole-hearted humility are far more pleasing than any outward acts that we could attempt.

 

Bring not a token,What Shall We Bring

of silver of gold;

if we’re not broken,

allowing Him hold.

Does He have our heart,

and our foolish pride?

Have we allowed start,

with arms open wide?

The Lord will be pleased,

if we truly seek;

forgiveness released,

His strength when we’re weak.

Humbly we must come,

give all glory due;

hope as we become,

Your vessels anew.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not desire ostentatious offerings, nor grandiose gestures; rather You desire repentant and humble hearts. Thank You that by Your grace, we may humbly come before You, and that You readily receive us. Forgive us for our foolishness and our selfish pride, and help us to have repentant hearts that walk in true humility before You. May we live in love as You love us, and may many come to know the grace and acceptance that You offer to repentant hearts. Let those who are looking, find a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted as we walk humbly before You, O God. Amen.

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

Is anyone happy?  Let him sing songs of praise. – James 5:13

Remarkable Riches

image by Charles Joiner

image by Charles Joiner

From glorious riches,

His strength and His power;

I pray by His Spirit,

they’d be yours in this hour.

May Christ dwell in your heart,

through a powerful faith;

rooted and established,

by love and glorious grace.

May you grasp the meaning,

of how deep and how wide;

and how long and how high,

is the lavish love of Christ.

It surpasses knowledge,

with this love, may He fill,

may you freely receive,

and allow Him deeper still.

To Him who is able,

what we ask and much more;

for His power in us,

to Him be praise evermore!

(Responding to Paul’s Prayer for the Ephesians in Ephesians 3:16-21)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for who You are.  Thank You that despite our unworthiness, You come close and extend Your heart and hand, so that we might have a restored relationship with You.  Thank You that the depth and breadth of Your love is far greater than we can even fathom.  Forgive us for not receiving all that You have to offer, and help us to be empty vessels, ready and willing to be filled with all that You have for us, so that in turn, we are able to pour out Your love and grace upon all whom we meet.  May every heart be strengthened and encouraged by Your sweet Spirit, and may many come to encounter the eternal hope that is found in You alone.  Amen.

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