A New Heart

And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. – (Ezekiel 36:26, NLT)

And I will give you a new heart – I will give you new and right desires – and put a new spirit within you. I will take your stony hearts of sin and give you new hearts of love. – (Ezekiel 36:26, TLB)

 

God promises to make our hearts new within us when we submit our lives to Him. All that has been hardened, unresponsive, and stubborn shall be made tender and filled with the love of the Lord. As He fills, we cannot help but respond, for the walls that once stood, begin to break away in the light of His lavish love. May we turn to the Lord and His loving kindness, allowing Him access to our whole heart. Let His love change us from the inside out, so that we might become beacons of hope for a world that needs to know there is hope in Him.

 

Oh Lord, change in me,Receive Life

My hard heart of stone;

Make my heart tender,

As Your love is shown.

Fill me with Your love,

So Your light may shine;

Lead me in Your ways,

Lord, Your will, not mine.

Help me to respond,

To all that You say;

Lead me and guide me,

Lord, show me the way.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You give us a new heart and place Your Spirit within us when we submit our lives to You. Thank You that You transform our hard and unresponsive hearts to ones that are tender and willing to do as You ask. Forgive us for our stubborn self-reliance. Teach us to turn to trust in You in all things and at all times. Show us how to love others with the same lavish love that You give so freely unto us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give You our hearts and our lives, trusting You to make us new and lead us where we are meant to go. Amen.

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

Answer me, O Lord, out of the goodness of Your love; in Your great mercy turn to me. – Psalm 69:16

Seeing Past a Sordid Past

People should never be discounted for who they appear to be, or what they may have done in the past. God can redeem and raise up the unlikeliest of people to do great things for His purposes.

This morning, my daily reading covered Joshua 2:1-21, which is the story of Rahab and how she helped the Israelite spies that Joshua had sent ahead to Jericho.

“Rahab is a woman in a male-centered world; and she is a prostitute, the kind of person we typically vilify. But if she doesn’t rescue these men – and help them escape with the information they have gained – this first campaign in the land of Canaan will fail, and the larger outcome may be complicated  – or worse.” (VOICE footnotes)

As a result of Rahab’s protection of the spies when the king had sent his guards to find them, she and her family would ultimately be spared. The spies spoke the following to Rahab: “We offer our own lives as a guarantee for your safety,” the men agreed. “If you don’t betray us, we will keep our promise and be kind to you when the Lord gives us the land.” – (Joshua 2:14, NLT)

Not only would her life be spared, but all of her family.

I love that a woman with such a sordid past, was used by God to do something so remarkable. Her act of kindness propelled the movement of an entire population into the promise so long sought after. No one should ever be discounted. We all have a past, yet each one has potential. God can do ANYTHING through a heart that is willing. May we rise up and look at the world around us through a lens that sees possibilities rather than just problems. Great things begin with the seemingly insignificant…

 

Do not choose discount,Finding Freedoms Flight

A colorful past;

For last shall be first,

And first shall be last.

God does not do things,

The way we foresee;

But rather He moves,

To set captives free.

Perceptions at times,

Are the thickest walls;

That limit our sight,

And disrupt His call.

Lord, give us Your eyes,

To see as You do;

Each person with gifts,

That You long to use.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You see every single person as someone with potential to do great things according to Your purposes. Thank You that our past does not discount us, nor does our present status. Forgive us for discounting ourselves or others from being useful to You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may see ourselves and others through Your lens, not our own. Show us the potential in those around us, and help us to encourage and draw out the good in all. Help us to love others well, just as You love us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we look for opportunities to move where You are calling, and to encourage those around us as they step out in faith. 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

His Promises Prove True

God’s way is perfect. The Lord’s promise always proves to be true. He protects those who trust in Him. – (Psalm 18:30, ERV)

 

It is easy to grow weary in the waiting, when a promise has been spoken and we can envision what the fulfillment could look like. However, if we lose patience and stray from the way in which God has called us to walk, we miss out on the way that is best. His way is perfect and His promises prove true. The Lord protects us in the wait, as we trust in Him to lead, guide and walk beside us as we only move when and where He asks us to go. May we trust in the Lord and believe Him at His word, for His way is perfect and His promises are true.

 

For the Lord our God,

Hold Hope He is Faithful

image from quotespictures.com

Is faithful indeed;

Perfect in His ways,

Protects in our needs.

His promises true,

So let us choose trust;

Do as the Lord asks,

For His ways are just.

Let’s not run ahead,

Of where the Lord calls;

Instead may we trust,

That He’ll tear down walls.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your way is perfect and Your promises are true. Thank You that You protect those who trust in You. Thank You that You make the impossible possible, when we trust You and Your timing, as You can break down barriers that seem too big to ever overcome. Forgive us for our fears and lack of faith. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would not try to run ahead of You or branch off on our own, but rather that we would do what You ask and follow where You lead. Show us how to love others in such a way, that they might see Your grace and goodness through us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust in You and believe that Your promises are true. Amen.

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

Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. – 2 Corinthians 3:5

Strength for Serving

So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless. – (1 Corinthians 15:58, NLT)

So, my dear brothers and sisters, stand strong. Don’t let anything change you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord. You know that your work in the Lord is never wasted. – (1 Corinthians 15:58, ERV)

My dear brothers and sisters, stay firmly planted – be unshakable – do many good works in the name of God, and know that all your labor is not for nothing when it is for God. – (1 Corinthians 15:58, VOICE)

 

We are called to be firmly planted in Christ. When we allow His strength to be ours, we are unshakable. He calls us unto Himself, as He refines and renews us in Him. As long as we keep our eyes and hearts fixed securely on Christ, we find strength in Him to stand firm. The more we know Him and give ourselves fully to the Lord, the more we desire to serve Him. Nothing that we do unto the Lord is ever wasted. He uses every act of love done in His Name, for good. May we rise up in His strength to stand firm in who He calls us to be, and to serve God and those around us – trusting that He will use everything we do for His glory.

 

Be firmly planted,Living a Legacy Life

as people of Christ;

rooted in His strength,

always shall suffice.

For when we’re in Him,

we shall not be moved;

our hearts remain true,

and hope is renewed.

Choose to serve the Lord,

work as we are called;

our labor useful,

to tear down sin’s walls.

With joy, let us serve,

as He calls us to;

Allowing nothing,

to divert from truth.

Sisters and brothers,

we shall not be moved;

for we are the Lord’s,

in Him, we’re approved.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in You, we can be strong and firmly planted; unshakable in the truth. Thank You that when we work enthusiastically for You, our work is never wasted. Thank You that You use our every offering that is brought to You with a heart that seeks to serve You. Forgive us for taking our eyes off of You and allowing the task to become more of our focus than You, who gives us the ability to complete it. Teach us to trust in You for all things at all times, so that all that we do is of use to You. Show us how to love and serve those around us in such a way, that they may see Your heart through who we are and what we do. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we stay firmly planted in You, doing good works in Your Name. 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

Facing Fears

Fear is a funny thing. It sneaks in the side door of our soul, and tells us that we are not capable of the very things for which we are called. Jesus asks us to take new and courageous steps of obedience so that we might experience more of Him, yet each new step requires risk that is often accompanied by fear. However, the fear is not from God. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. – (2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV)

 

“Courage, after all, is not the absence of fear. It’s the will to persevere even in the face of fear.” – (Christine Caine, Undaunted) The power of God living in us, is greater than anything that will ever come against us. His love propels us to continue on the path He has placed before us, and the hope that we hold in Christ forever, secures a sound mind in the storms. May we invest in the truth found in His word, as He tells us three hundred and fifty times throughout scripture, to “Fear not.”

 

Fear not, O my soul,Facing Fears

for you have been called;

to rise in courage,

go beyond your walls.

God has not given,

a spirit of fear;

but one of courage,

for He’s ever near.

His love shall lead us,

to places unseen;

His power, present,

as love intervenes.

Safety in the storm,

our hope in despair;

fear not with the Lord,

He’s always aware.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us so much that You sent Your Son to make the way, so that we would not be stuck in our sin and shame, forever fearful of what was yet to come. Thank You Jesus, for making the way for us to be restored unto You, so that we could find courage, power, and strength in You, even in the face of fear, knowing that You are present and You are greater than anything that might stand against us. Forgive us for folding in the face of fear, and teach us to trust You more, so that we will stand strong and trust in Your unfailing love for us, and Your power that far exceeds anything that could come against us. Lead us to love others with a love that demonstrates courage, even in the face of fear. May many come to hold their eternal hope in You. Be glorified O God, as we rise up in courage and face the fears in front of us. Amen.

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

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