When Loved Ones Die

The Lord cares deeply when His loved ones die. – (Psalm 116:15, NLT)

Very dear to the Lord are the lives of His followers. He cares when they face death. – (Psalm 116:15, ERV)

Precious in the eyes of the Eternal are the deaths of those who follow after Him. – (Psalm 116:15, VOICE)

 

I know the Lord cares about our grief when we lose loved ones, in fact, when Lazarus died and Jesus saw his sisters, He wept. His heart is for us, as we were designed by the work of His hands. Though I am certain I have read Psalm 116 many times before, this morning is the first time that this particular verse caught my attention. Perhaps it is because my heart is heavy after the loss of the grandson of my mom’s best friend, yet it certainly is a significant reminder of the Lord’s love and compassion in our seasons of loss. God sees, knows, and cares about those who die and those who are left behind in grief. May we find comfort in knowing that He is waiting with open arms for those who have gone on to be with Him, and that when we know and follow the Lord, we will one day be reunited in heaven.

 

Precious in His sight, When Loved Ones Die

Are those who have died;

God loves them deeply,

Draws each to His side.

Imagine the look,

Of love on His face;

As He welcomes them,

Into His embrace.

So precious are each,

Who’ve entered His rest;

All pain disappears,

In glory, they’re blessed.

And God, by His grace,

Will grant us His peace;

As we grieve the loss,

His comfort released.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You care deeply about Your loved ones who die, and those who are left behind to mourn. Thank You that You welcome little children into Your open arms and embrace them, and You extend comfort and peace to those who mourn so deeply. Thank You that though grief and healing are a long road, You remain present and are big enough to handle our fears, frustrations and questions. Forgive us for not running into Your waiting arms, as we so often freeze in the weight of our own grief. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would lean on You, and trust You to carry us when we do not have the strength to walk another step. Father, please be with the family of Eli as they prepare to remember him well tomorrow. Thank You that You are good, even when life is hard. Show us how to love and support those who are grieving or walking in the weight of loss. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give You the glory for loving us through loss, and for welcoming those who go before us into Your presence. 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

Great Joy in His Grace

Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, “This day is sacred to the Lord your God. Do not mourn or weep.” For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.

Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” – (Nehemiah 8:9-10)

Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them. – (Nehemiah 8:12)

 

When the people heard God’s word and recognized just how far they had fallen from His will, they wept. God saw their sincerity and rather than smite them, He called for celebration. His people who had wandered and lost their way, were now found and on the road to restoration. God’s heart was for them to go out and share their abundance with those who had none, so that all could partake in celebrating His goodness and grace. There is great joy that He brings, when we choose to celebrate and honor our Holy King. May we come before Him with repentant hearts, grateful for His mercy and grace, celebrating what a glorious and good God we serve!

 

Each day is sacred,Great Joy in His Grace

a gift from our King;

may we give glory,

our whole offering.

Let’s set our hearts right,

repentantly seek;

our Heavenly Lord,

Who strengthens the weak.

Give glory to Him,

celebrate with joy;

all His righteousness,

free gifts to employ.

He makes His word known,

allows our hearts hear;

the truth of His love,

as He holds us near.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You open our understanding and forgive us as we come to You with repentant hearts. Thank You that You do not want us to dwell on our past mistakes, but rather You invite us to celebrate Your goodness and grace, and share of all that You have done with those around us. Forgive us for dwelling on our errors and not embracing the grace that You freely give so that we can then go forth and share of Your goodness and grace with those around us. Teach us to trust You more so that we will turn away from all unrighteousness, and seek to serve You alone. May we love others as You so generously love each of us. Let those who are looking, find a forever faith in You. Be glorified, Lord God, as we go forth giving thanks for Your grace. 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

One Life

As Paul bids farewell to the Ephesian elders in Acts 20:13-38, the internal workings of the Holy Spirit in Paul, are blaringly obvious.  This man who formerly persecuted those who tried to proclaim the truth of Christ, now willingly risked everything, to share the love of God with both Gentile and Jew, everywhere he was led to go.  Despite being forewarned of impending imprisonment and hardships, Paul was willing to continue, committed to carry out his calling.

The depth of Paul’s love and investment into the lives of the believers in Ephesus, is made evident in their response to his news that he would not ever see them again. “When he had said this, he knelt down with all of them and prayed.  They all wept as they embraced and kissed him.” – (Acts 20:36-37)  That which Paul had poured out into the lives of the people in Ephesus, had been received and multiplied.  The church was growing and thriving because of his obedience and openness to the Holy Spirit.  Lives were forever changed, because one man was willing.  How many lives might be changed if we too, are willing?  How can we invest in the lives of those around us, and love as we are loved?

Only one life,One Life

yet many were claimed;

he shared the truth,

professed Jesus’ Name.

The Spirit moved,

as he boldly spoke;

he sought not wealth,

but hearts of the folks.

Each place he went,

the story’s the same;

people were saved,

as he shared Christ’s Name.

It was not Paul,

but the Lord within;

Who tore down walls,

so they’d let truth in.

We too, can move,

wherever He asks;

trust Him to help,

stay true to His tasks.

May hearts be soft,

tender to His call;

may we love well,

and serve Him in all.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the examples that You give us in Your word of how we are meant to live unto You.  Thank You that the very same Spirit that dwelled in Paul, dwells in the hearts of all who invite You in, still today.  Thank You that You equip and empower us to do all that You ask, even if it involves enduring hardships.  Thank You that it is so often in the midst of the hardships, we find ourselves closest to You, as You are to whom we cling.  Forgive us for our frustration and impatience when things are challenging, and help us to trust You more.  May we have a hope that is unfailing, and a love that mirrors Your love for us.  May many come to know You, as we live and love as You call us to do.  Be glorified through how we spend our days.  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

In One Accord

lighted pathThough his friends pleaded,

begged him to not go;

Paul knew he was called,

no pain he’d forgo.

All knew what waited,

in Jerusalem;

they wept at the thought,

of losing their friend.

Paul answered, “Why weep?

You’re breaking my heart.

I’m ready for this,

I will do my part.”

When his friends did see,

he could not be swayed;

they at last gave up,

blessed him on his way.

Imagine knowing,

such trials await;

would we still go forth,

or would we debate?

His boldness a gift.

His spirit, assured;

for all of his trust,

and hope was secured.

All that was in him,

relied on the Lord;

so too his actions,

aligned in accord.

(Responding to Acts 21:10-14)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of Your Holy Spirit, Whom You sent to dwell in us as our Counselor and Friend. Thank You that Your words for us are whispered within, through Your Spirit, and are always available for us to hear if we are willing to slow down and silence ourselves before You. Forgive us for the times that we have not acted on what we have heard, and help us to overcome the fears that create the barriers preventing us from becoming all that You are calling us to be. Strengthen our hearts and minds, while keeping us truly tender towards others. Let us love as You love – giving generously of ourselves – our time, talents, and resources, shared in love, just as You so lavishly have poured into each of us. May many come to know You, personally, as a result of our outpouring. Amen.

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