Lean into Love

For the law never made anything perfect. But now we have confidence in a better hope, through which we draw near to God. – (Hebrews 7:19, NLT)

The Law of Moses could not make anything perfect. But now a better hope has been given to us. And with that hope we can come near to God. – (Hebrews 7:19, ERV)

After all, the law could not make anyone or anything perfect. God has now introduced a new and better hope, through which we may draw near to Him. – (Hebrews 7:19, VOICE)

 

Our confident hope is found through drawing near to Jesus. No longer are we weighed down with the burden of abiding by a strict set of rules and regulations for every aspect of our lives, but rather we are called to love God and love each other, and thus by doing so, we fulfill His requirements of us. A life of drawing near to God deepens our love and understanding of what His will is for our lives. Additionally, the better we know the Lord and His heart for us, the more certain we are of our hope in all that is yet to come. May we draw near to God with hearts full of thanks, as He shows us the hope that is found forever in Him.

 

Though all imperfect,

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Photo by Dee Jones of Open Door Photography ❤

Weighed down by our sin;

When we go to God,

We are forgiven.

Made right by His grace,

Compelled by His love;

He shows us His hope,

As He’s sought above.

Let’s turn to the Lord,

With hearts full of praise;

Lean into His love,

And walk in His ways.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we are no longer required to adhere to an extensive list of rules and regulations to attempt to come before You. Thank You that You made the way for us to come directly to You through the sacrifice of Your Son. Thank You that Your grace covers us and leads us to a life of love that is full of hope in You. Forgive us for the times that we have not turned to You, as You are our Source of help and hope forever. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would lean into You in all things and at all times. Show us how to love those around us in a way that draws others into Your goodness and grace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give You praise forever for the hope we have in You. Amen.

 

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

 

Guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long. – Psalm 25:5

 

 

Our Thoughts Control Our Life

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. – (Proverbs 4:23, NLT)

Above all, be careful what you think because your thoughts control your life. – (Proverbs 4:23, ERV)

Above all else, watch over your heart; diligently guard it because from a sincere and pure heart come the good and noble things of life. – (Proverbs 4:23, VOICE)

 

The thoughts we hold in our heart determine the direction that we take in life. If we hold onto negativity or fear or frustration, each step that we take is weighed down by the heaviness we are holding. However, if we guard our hearts and listen and trust in His word of truth, our burdens lessen and we are better able to stay the course to which we have been called. Obstacles will always stand before us, yet if we move forward with our eyes open and our hearts fixed on He who is greater, the challenges will not determine our direction; the path that has already been presented will continue to propel us to progress in the life to which we are being led. May we ever guard our hearts and minds, fixing all securely on our Savior; for in Him, we find safe harbor and a course that has been set for us to successfully navigate with Him.

 

Let us guard our hearts,

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photo by Dee Jones of Open Door Photography. ❤

Above other things;

For the thoughts we think,

Impact our blessings.

As we are weighed down,

Fixed on weight we bear;

We miss so much good,

That God has to share.

Protect heart and mind,

For good things shall come;

Our path is made plain,

When we seek the Son.

The blessings in life,

All good things that flow;

Are from God to us,

As we seek to grow.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we guard our hearts and place our trust in You, You lead us on a course that is far greater than we could have hoped or imagined. Thank You that though trials and difficulties will come, as we fix our eyes on You, rather than the challenge, You lead us on and carry us through. Forgive us for not guarding our hearts from the heaviness that life can bring. Teach us to trust You more, so that we do not get weighed down by the difficulties and instead rise up in Your strength to press on. Show us how to love those around us well, so that we may extend Your goodness, strength and grace to help others navigate the course to which You are calling them. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we guard our hearts and fix our eyes on You; for with You, good and noble things light the path to which we are called to walk.

 

© 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

Called to be Family

When Jesus saw His mother standing there beside the disciple He loved, He said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son.” And He said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home. – (John 19:26-27, NLT)

 

As Jesus was hanging on the cross, weighed down by the weight of the world’s sin, He still took notice of the growing grief on the faces of those He dearly loved. A further example of how Jesus loved people, even as He hung in agony, is revealed to us in this short exchange between Jesus, His mother, and John. Knowing that both Mary and John would need comfort and care from another who had shared in the entire experience of the life and death of Jesus, He presented them to each other in new familial roles so that they could help one another in Jesus’ absence. Clearly Christ’s words were taken to heart, as John took Mary into his home from that day forward. Jesus is all about relationship. He cares about our heart and wants our grieving hearts to be comforted. The people around us are not in place by mistake. He sets the lonely in families, and loves us to life when our light has grown dim. May we ever fix our eyes on Christ, and allow Him to move in us and through us in ways that bring comfort and care to all in need, as we look to the hope that is held forever in Him.Called to be Family 1

 

Jesus sees our hearts,

And knows all our needs;

Surrounds the lonely,

And hungry, He feeds.

Wherever we are,

He sees and He knows;

His heart is to love,Called to be Family 2

So our faith might grow.

Even in anguish,

Christ spoke how to be;

Support each other,

We’re now family.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that family is not only those related by blood, but rather they are those whom You surround us with to be our safety and support. Thank You that Jesus showed us how important it is to be in ongoing relationship with one another, as it was one of the last things He pointed out before He drew His last breath on the cross. Forgive us for withdrawing or not investing ourselves into those that You have placed in our lives to be family – whether they are related by blood or not. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would love those around us as You have loved us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we embrace and invest in those around us, just as we are called to do. 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

Sit Not in Suffering

Yet it was our suffering He carried, our pain and distress, our sick-to-the-soul-ness. – (Isaiah 53:4a, VOICE)

Yet it was our weakness He carried; it was our sorrow that weighed Him down. – (Isaiah 53:4a, NLT)

 

Every pain and every sorrow is known by our Savior. He willingly and lovingly bore the weight on our behalf as He hung upon the cross. Death and darkness were defeated on that day, so though trials and tragedies will come our way, in Christ, the ultimate victory is ours. May we rise up in hope as we trust in the Lord, knowing that our eternal outcome will be in the precious peace of His presence forever.

 

The pain and sorrow,Refreshment Through Repentance

That happen to us;

Don’t escape notice,

Of our Lord Jesus.

He already bore,

The weight of our woes;

As we come to Him,

He gets it, He knows.

It was His great love,

That bore all our strife;

So we could be free,

As His love brings life.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You willingly chose to bear our suffering, sin, weakness and pain, so that You not only could identify with us, but could love us back to life again. Thank You that You forgive us and set us free from the things that weigh us down, and offer new life in You. Forgive us for sitting in our suffering rather than reaching out to You. Teach us to trust You more, as You are our Healer and our Hope. Show us how to love those around us in ways that ease pain and offer comfort, allowing Your heart to be made visible through our words and deeds. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give all of our trials to You, and trust You to be our ever-present help and hope. Amen.

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

But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ. – Ephesians 2:4-5

Where Strength is Reborn

Then Jesus said, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” – (Matthew 11:28, NLT)

“Come to Me all of you who are tired from the heavy burden you have been forced to carry. I will give you rest.” – (Matthew 11:28, ERV)

 

After a good, but seemingly extraordinarily long day, I did not realize just how weary I had become. For whatever reason, when I returned home from work, I jumped right into cleaning and laundry mode without really pausing to take a break. From there, I went to my kettlebell training session, and then onto a Christmas gathering with dear friends. Despite the joy in seeing everyone, I felt like I needed to head home to check on one of my sweet sons who had been sick and missed school. Once home, all was well, the boys were resting and content, so I went to my room to lay down for a few minutes. Of course once cozy and warm, the few minutes became many hours. I woke at 2am, and had already slept five hours. Surprisingly, I merely turned off my bedroom light and went back to sleep until a more reasonable hour this morning. Nearly nine hours of sleep later, I am better rested than I have been since summer. God knew what I needed, and rest was granted beyond what I would have sought for myself. The Lord provides where we are lacking, and longs for us to seek Him to find rest. May we remember to seek the Lord in this sacred season, and allow Him to take our burdens as He is the One who will grant us rest.

 

Come all you weary,where-strength-is-reborn

Unto Christ the Lord;

He takes our burdens,

As rest He affords.

The Lord knows our need,

And lovingly gives;

Help to the seeking,

In grace, He forgives.

Bring all your burdens,

You weary and worn;

His rest is ready,

In Him, strength’s reborn.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can come to You when we are weary and weighed down, and You will give us rest. Thank You that at times, You provide the rest we don’t even realize we so desperately need. Forgive us for trying to gut things out in our weariness, and help us to seek You for strength. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would bring our burdens before You, as You are our Source and Supply. Show us how to love those around us well, and where we can help bear the burdens of those around us through practical help and support. May many come to know You as their Savior this season as they see Your heart through the actions and encouragement that You place around them. Be glorified O God, as we come to You when we are weary and worn, and receive the rest that You so graciously give so that we may go and do likewise. 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

Strength in Sorrow

My spirit sags because of grief. Now raise me up according to Your promise! – (Psalm 119:28, CEB)

My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to Your word. – (Psalm 119:28, NIV)

My soul weeps and trouble weighs me down; give me strength so I can stand according to Your word. – (Psalm 119:28, VOICE)

 

Life has a way of walking us through seasons of grief. It is a space that no one longs to enter, and all desire the season to end quickly. Sadly, the only way out of a space of sorrow, is to walk through it. In order to move, we need His strength. God’s word is full of His promises to be present and to give us the strength that we need to navigate the trying trails. When we seek Him, we find Him; and He remains present, even in the most difficult places. The Lord will lift us up, take us by the hand, and lead us through the muck, until we find way to the space where we are no longer stuck in the sorrow. His peace shall remain, always. May we seek the Lord when we are weary and weighed down with the woes of this world, and trust Him to give us the strength that He has promised.

 

When sorrow surrounds,The Benefit of Broken Barriers

we‘re weighed down by grief;

seek the Lord alone,

whose strength brings relief.

His promises clear,

that He will provide;

all that is needed,

to help us survive.

He will raise us up,

where grief brings us low;

as we trust in Him,

the way He will show.

Through all the heartache,

the mourning and grief;

the truth of God’s love,

is hope we can keep.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are with us and You are faithful to strengthen us, even in the weight of our sorrow. Thank You that we can stand firm in You, despite our weariness with what surrounds us. Forgive us for not seeking Your strength in our sorrow, and teach us to trust You more. Show us again Your faithfulness and unending love, in the midst of our heartaches. Lead us to love others in the middle of their trials, so that they too might see Your help and hope through our hands and hearts. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek Your strength in our sorrow, and hold fast to Your promises – always. Amen.

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

And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you.” – Exodus 33:19

Submit Not to the Snare of Fear

Fear of people and what they may or may not do, can keep us from living life to the fullest. To walk in reverence of God; to operate from a posture of trust, adoration and awe, proves to be a place of protection and provision, as the Lord is good and grants freedom to those who choose to walk by faith.

 

Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe. – (Proverbs 29:25)

 

God did not intend for us to live life trapped in fear, but rather He provided the Source of all safety and security, when He sent His Son to take away every foundation for fear. Far greater is He who is in us, that he who is in the world. May we walk out each day in total trust, seeing clearly the snare that is set when the fear of man attempts to enter in.

 

Allow not our hearts,Submit Not to the Snare of Fear

be weighed down by fear;

for the Lord is safe,

and always, He’s near.

Let us place our trust,

in the Lord alone;

for greater is He,

than any unknown.

The fear of mankind,

is simply a snare;

to trap us in fear,

keep us unaware.

God is our refuge,

our safety and Light;

when the Lord’s with us,

fear’s snares must take flight.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that those who trust in You are kept safe. Thank You that You do not intend for any of us to be caught in the snare of the fear of man. Thank You that far greater are You who is in us, than anything else that is in the world. Forgive us for allowing our hearts and minds to become trapped into fearing man, and teach us to trust You more so that we will remember immediately, that You are the One who keeps us safe in the storms. Lead us to love well, so that many may come to know the safety found in You alone, and escape the snare of fearing what man may or may not do. Let hearts be turned and lives be led unto You. Be glorified O God, as we sidestep the snares of the fear of man, and trust in You alone. Amen.

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

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

Wielding Words Wisely

image from Teen Challenge

image from Teen Challenge

When life becomes heavy,

and our hearts are weighed down,

we are left with a choice;

swim to Him, or just drown.

Anxiety laden,

burdens we try to bear;

we must cast them to God,

allow Him access there.

A word to encourage,

sound advice from the wise;

invaluable lifelines,

to prevent our demise.

God uses our voices,

to drown out ugly lies;

to build up the body,

and to answer our cries.

From the fruit of our lips,

can come a great return;

when kindness and wisdom,

are what we seek to learn.

He delights in the truth,

our speaking of wise words;

for here healing happens;

His delight shall be heard.

(Responding to Proverbs 12:14,15,18,22,25)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we were never meant to bear burdens on our own.  Thank You that You are always at the ready, waiting for us to ask for Your assistance.  Forgive us for trying to power through, and help us to be quick to turn to You, trusting that You are more than enough to bear the burdens that weigh us down.  Please grant us wisdom and Your words to encourage and build up the body.  May we soundly speak truth in spaces where it is lacking, and may Your light illuminate the darkness that deems such spaces so dismal.  Thank You that You are so much more than enough!  May many come to know You and trust You to carry the cares that have kept them from You.  Amen.

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