Made New By Mercy

He saved us, not because of the righteous things we have done, but because of His mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. – (Titus 3:5, NLT)

He saved us because of His mercy, not because of any good things we did. He saved us through the washing that made us new people. He saved us by making us new through the Holy Spirit. – (Titus 3:5, ERV)

 

I am so grateful that salvation is based on God’s goodness, not ours. His mercy declares us forgiven and grants us the desire to do His will, not the other way around. It is far too easy to get caught up in the “enough” mindset. Thankfully, in Christ, we are enough. It has nothing to do with what we do or do not do, but rather in Whom we place our trust. May we embrace the grace that God freely gives to all who call on His Name, and receive the new life His Spirit brings so that we may move forward in faith.

 

Because of mercy, Rise Again

In Christ we are free;

We need only come,

Let go, trust in Thee.

Embrace the Lord’s grace,

For He freely gives;

All who seek His face,

Gain new life to live.

It’s not what we do,

But rather our trust;

That shows us His grace,

As He lifts us up.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your amazing grace that saves us. Thank You that it is Your mercy, not our works that make us new by Your Holy Spirit. Thank You that You receive all who earnestly seek Your face. Forgive us for not trusting that Your grace is enough, and somehow thinking that we must earn it. Teach us to trust You completely so that our motivation for all that we do will be to please and honor You. Show us how to love those around us in a way that extends grace and mercy to all. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we receive Your mercy and give You praise for Your incredible grace. Amen.

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

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. – Psalm 23:6

Embracing the New

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! – (2 Corinthians 5:17, NLT)

When anyone is in Christ, it is a whole new world. The old things are gone; suddenly, everything is new. – (2 Corinthians 5:17, ERV)

Therefore, if anyone is united with the Anointed One, that person is a new creation. The old life is gone – and see – a new life has begun! – (2 Corinthians 5:17, VOICE)

 

Whether we have been rooted in Christ for many years, or it is relatively new, life takes us through seasons. Inevitably, there will always come a season where we must struggle through something – be it a trial, a loss, a refining process, or simply a season of something new that creates challenge as we attempt to adapt and navigate as we have been called. Sometimes in the seasons of struggle, we must be reminded that we are no longer who we’ve been, and that He is leading us into something new that is ultimately for our good. May we embrace the truth that we are a new creation in Christ, and trust Him to provide new life in every area where light is difficult to find.

 

In that broken space,Being Made New

where light seems but lost;

help our hearts to trust,

no matter the cost.

Despite what we see,

Your presence is real;

move on our behalf,

in You, hearts shall heal.

Let us each reach out,

in our brokenness;

allowing Your grace,

move in tenderness.

Thank You that this space,

is not where we’ll be;

for we have the hope,

of eternity.

No matter what’s now,

better‘s yet to come;

for Christ shall make new,

brand new day begun.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we are made new in You. Thank You that the old sinful and broken self has been washed away, and we are being made new and whole in You. Thank You that despite the seasons that we walk through, You are present, and You use each one to lead us deeper in our walk with You. Forgive us for reverting to that fearful space in seasons that don’t make sense. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would walk boldly in You, trusting that You will lead us each step of the way – no matter what comes. Show us how to love others in such a way, that they too might see the hope found in our new life in You. May many choose to invest their lives in relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we turn away from the old and embrace the new that You are calling us into. Amen.

A song that really hits home for me regarding this process of embracing the new after walking through an extraordinary difficult season is, Tell Your Heart to Beat Again by Danny Gokey. (click highlighted text to listen.)

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

The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. – Psalm 145:8

Real Love

This is real love – not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. – (1 John 4:10, NLT)

This is the embodiment of true love: not that we have loved God first, but that He loved us and sent His unique Son on a special mission to become an atoning sacrifice for our sins. – (1 John 4:10, VOICE)

 

Real love is sacrificial and chooses others first. Jesus came and showed us just how powerful His love is, as He chose to take on all of our sin and shame, and willingly wore them as He hung upon the cross. He who was without sin bore all sin, so that we could know Him, and have life everlasting. There is no greater love than this. Though we are not called to bear the weight of the world’s sin, we are asked to love one another, setting aside our pride and selfish priorities, so that all whom we encounter may have the opportunity to see His love through how we treat one another. May we love because He loved us first, and offer peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness and His hope, to all whom we meet.

 

There is only One,Generous Giving

who shows us what’s true;

His life sacrificed,

so we could be new.

Our sins washed away,

by His suffering;

He willingly went,

for freedom He’d bring.

There’s no greater love,

than the love of Christ;

all grace that He gives,

new hope for our lives.

May we seek to love,

with His love so true;

so all may come know,

how His love breaks through.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You showed us what real love truly is, as You sent Your Son to take away all of our sin and shame so that we might have life everlasting in You. Forgive us for not embracing the grace that You have freely given, or for not extending the hope that we hold to all whom we encounter. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would hold fast to all that we have in You, and in turn, offer the same to all whom we meet. Show us how to love others in such a way, that they too, may come to know the truth of Your great love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we embrace the love that You give to us, and then go forth and offer the same to others. Amen.

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

I thank and praise You, O God of my fathers: You have given me wisdom and power. – Daniel 2:23

Thankfulness As A Sacrifice

Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High. – (Psalm 50:14, NLT)

Set out a sacrifice I can accept; your thankfulness. Be true to your word to the Most High. – (Psalm 50:14, Voice)

At first glance, I wondered how thankfulness would be considered a sacrifice before God, however, when I pondered the passage for a moment, I recognized that the reality in the midst of struggles and suffering is that we must sacrifice some of ourselves (our desire to complain, whine, or wallow) in order to have a thankful heart before the Lord. Additionally, when we present promises to God, He expects us to keep them. None of this is possible in our own strength, yet with Christ in us, we can make thankfulness our sacrifice to God, and be true to the words we commit unto the Lord. May we give up our desire to identify the things that go wrong, and instead sacrifice our self-focus for a God-focus, giving Him all of our thanks and praise. Let us be true to our word to the Lord Most High, as it is by Him and through Him that all moments are measured.

Let a thankful heart,Tether Our Hearts

be our sacrifice;

before the Lord God,

as He paid the price.

For every sin,

has been washed away;

so that we can stand,

and walk in His way.

May we keep the vows,

promises to God;

let’s give our whole heart,

not just a facade.

No matter what comes,

be trial or grace;

may thanks fill our hearts,

and from our lips, praise.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You receive our thankfulness as a sacrifice before You, and that You are pleased when we are true to our word unto You. Forgive us for not making thankfulness our sacrifice before You, or for not keeping the promises that we have made to You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would have hearts that are filled to overflowing with gratitude for who You are and all that You have done, as well as an unwillingness to waiver from our word unto You. Show us how to love others from a position of thankfulness, so that they too may see Your goodness through our gratitude. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we make thankfulness our sacrifice before You, and keep our promises that we make to You. Amen.

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

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. – Psalm 23:6

To Give Thanks

This morning as I was waiting for my coffee to brew, I quickly scrolled through my Facebook feed for fun. What quickly caught my attention, was the reintroduction of the Days of Thankfulness posts for November, as an early rising friend had posted her first proclamation of gratitude. Not only is this a great source of encouragement for others, but it is biblical to choose to give thanks. In fact, to recall a verse to site for this particular post, when I searched “give thanks to the Lord”, twenty-three verses came up. Anytime there is repetition in scripture, it reminds me that it is something that we are really meant to grasp.

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. – (1 Chronicles 16:34)

Because God is good and His love endures forever, we have reason to give thanks. It matters not what else is going on in or around us, the very fact that our hope is secure and our Lord is near, is enough. There are and will be days that He is all that we have to hold. Remarkably, as our hearts begin to pour out thanks and praise unto Him, something happens within our spirit, and we soften before Him, allowing all the weariness to be washed away. His hope rises within us, and we more readily recognize all of the blessings that He has poured out upon us, even in the midst of pain. God is so very good, and His love for us never ends. May we rise each day and give Him thanks for who He is and all that He has done and is yet to do.

Oh Lord, let my heart,Presenting Our Praise

hold an attitude;

that is overwhelmed,

with all gratitude.

For You are so good,

and Your love remains;

no matter our sin,

hurt, scars, or our pains.

May all of our thanks,

and praise unto You;

rise up within us,

refresh and renew.

God, You are our hope,

our safe, strong tower;

the love of our life,

our strength and power.

No matter what comes,

may our hearts give praise;

all thanks unto You,

for now and always.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are good and that Your love endures forever. Thank You that all thanks and praise belong to You. Thank You for the recognition and acknowledgement that is displayed this time of year for who You are and all that You have done. Forgive us for not always having a thankful heart, particularly in the midst of pain. Teach us to trust You more, and to remember that the trials and struggles we experience now are only temporary, whereas You and Your love are FOREVER! That alone is reason for us to be thankful. Lead us to love others in a way that displays our appreciation for who You have created them to be, so that they too, may see You in our expressions of gratitude. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give thanks to You, for You are good and we are so grateful that Your love never ends. 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

The Radiance of God’s Glory

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After He had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. – (Hebrews 1:3)

 

On this day as we celebrate the glory of our nation’s independence, let us not forget the greatest glory of all. For Jesus came to us to show us God’s glory, as the exact representation of God; His one and only Son. We are sustained by His word and purified by His sacrifice made on the cross for our sins. When He sat down at the right hand of the Father, it indicated that the work was complete – all provision for purification had been provided; we need only receive what is offered, and we too, may lay hold of His radiance for ourselves. Let us remember the sacrifices that brought and continue to bring our nation independence, but more importantly, let us never forget the greatest sacrifice that ever was, when our Savior willingly laid down His very life so that we might have life eternal with Him.

 

Holy radiance,The Reason for Reverence

the glory of God;

shown us through His Son,

let the earth applaud.

For by His great word,

the Lord made the way;

for our righteousness,

our sin washed away.

When it was finished,

Christ rose and sat down;

the work was complete,

our hearts could be found.

May we go in grace,

with much thanksgiving;

for the hope we hold,

eternal living.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son, who was the exact representation of You in human form, so that we might come to know and understand more clearly, who You are, and what You have done for us. Thank You for the power of Your word, and for the purification from our sin. Thank You that when Christ sat down at Your right hand, it was finished. Forgive us for thinking that what we have done is beyond the reach of Your grace, or for neglecting to give You gratitude for the magnitude of Your glory. Teach us to trust You more, so that we have a proper perspective as to who You are and all that You have done. Lead us to love others with Your amazing grace, so that they too, may come to know the hope that is found in You alone. Be glorified O God, as we recognize the radiance of Your great glory. 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

Grace and Redemption to Go

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ. – (Romans 3:23-24)

 

The size of our sin does not determine our outcome. No matter where we have been, we can still come to Christ and be covered by the cleansing of the cross. The grace of God is far greater than the weight of our former ways. When we come to Christ and receive all that He has to offer by inviting Him to be Lord of our lives, He enters in and washes away the shame and stains of what we once were, so that we may become who He is calling us to be. Christ’s sacrifice on the cross redeems all who choose to believe. In Him, we are set free from all that formerly enslaved us to the ways of the world, so that we may walk in the freedom of His love and grace. May we remember the enormity of God’s grace and redemption that was granted to us when we first believed, so that we too, may offer more grace than we think we ought to, to all those around us.

 

Everyone has sinned,Doing Good Mutes Malicious Talk

broken, fallen short;

not done as we should,

unrighteous consort.

Yet Christ entered in,

by His grace He came;

to redeem sinners,

set free in His Name.

O Wonderful One,

we come seek Your face;

lead us in Your ways,

as we run our race.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that though all of us have sinned and fallen short of Your glory, that You justify us freely by Your grace and redeem us through Christ, when we choose to place our trust in You. Thank You for this overwhelming gift of love that is so much more than we can even begin to fathom. Forgive us for taking Your grace for granted, or for forgetting all that You have forgiven. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may be fully aware of both the magnitude of the grace and redemption that we have been granted, and Your power and strength that You offer now so that we may walk in the light of Your truth. Lead us to love others as You so graciously love each of us. May many come into a saving relationship with You, as they come to understand not only their need for a Savior, but the security that is found forever in You. Be glorified O God, as we operate fully aware of the grace and redemption that we have been granted, and move forward in Your power and strength to do all that You call us to 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

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