A Fitting Reply

Everyone enjoys a fitting reply; it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time! – (Proverbs 15:23, NLT)

People are happy when they give a good answer. And there is nothing better than the right word at the right time. – (Proverbs 15:23, ERV)

Everyone enjoys giving great advice. But how delightful it is to say the right thing at the right time! – (Proverbs 15:23, TPT)

 

Our capacity to give good advice is directly connected to both our wisdom and life experience. If we look for the lesson in the difficulties we walk through, we gain insight and understanding that might be helpful to another. Additionally, if we seek wisdom from the word of God and His heart to understand, our heart becomes better equipped to reach out and speak life to another. The incredible peace found in this is that God will use a willing heart to give the right words at the right time. In as much as the words are intended to bless, encourage or build up another, when they are well-timed for the recipient, the speaker is blessed and encouraged as well. May we ever seek the Lord for wisdom as we walk through our days, and glean from the insight that trials display, so that we may give fitting replies to those needing to hear from Him.

 

A fitting reply,

wp-15402085608088414935723196070822.jpg

Photo by Dee Jones of Open Door Photography ❤

Brings joy to the heart;

Provision of peace,

Through us, God imparts.

Such delight is found,

At just the right time;

When the Lord is sought,

His wisdom we find.

And all the more joy,

To know that our words;

A fitting response,

That’s meant to be heard.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You utilize every experience that we walk through to grow us in Your wisdom and grace. Thank You that as we seek You to deepen our understanding, You are faithful to impart Your wisdom upon us. Forgive us for not seeking You or for neglecting to depend on You in how we respond to those around us. Teach us to trust You more, so that our words and actions would be a clear reflection of Your heart. Show us how to love those around us in a way that reflects Your wisdom in our words of response. May many come into a lasting relationship with You as they recognize the glory of Your goodness and grace. Be glorified O God, as we depend on You to grant us wisdom to reply to those around us in the same way that You would. Amen.

 

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

 

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. – Proverbs 15:1

The Marvel of Mercy

image by pixelmama

image by pixelmama

Abundant in love,

God, I need Your grace.

Bathe me in mercy;

every sin erase.

I know I transgress,

in word, thought and deed.

Evil in Your sight,

desperate in need.

I deserve judgment,

as You want what’s true.

Yet You grant wisdom,

forgive and renew.

Cleanse me and I’m clean;

as spotless as snow.

Washed in Your kindness,

forgiven, I’ll know.

Let joy and gladness,

be what my heart hears.

Please look no longer,

at my former years.

Create a pure heart,

steadfastness in me.

Take not Your Spirit,

nor presence from Thee.

Restore unto me,

my reason for joy.

Make my heart willing,

so sin won’t destroy.

(Responding to Psalm 51:1-12)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your love for us is unending, and that You grant us grace and mercy when we deserve judgment.  Forgive us for our every word, thought and deed that has not honored You, and lead us to live and love in a way that gives glory to You.  Grant us wisdom in the ways we are meant to go, and an acute awareness of Your permanent presence in our hearts and all around us.  May our willing hearts love well, so that many might come to be cleansed in Your mercy and grace.  Amen.

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

An Approach to Answer

“To the weak I become weak, to win the weak.  I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.  I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessing.” – I Corinthians 9:22-23

image by Jeremy Meyers

Paul gives several important principles for ministry:

1)  Find common ground with those you contact

2)  Avoid a know-it-all attitude

3)  Make others feel accepted

4)  Be sensitive to their needs and concerns

5)  Look for opportunities to tell about Christ. – (Life Application Bible footnotes)

If we are answering the call to love as Christ has loved us, the above mentioned actions will fall into place.  It is not about striving to check off the list, rather it is by being sensitive to His Spirit in us, and listening to His leading.

Finding common ground with another human being ought to occur naturally.  Because we are all in the same race, much of our “scenery” will be similar – believer and unbeliever alike.  The human need to love and be loved, crosses all barriers of belief and beyond.  When we find out what matters most, we find common ground – the place where our paths intersect.

Humility and a listening ear lend themselves to love far better than a soapbox stance…

To make others feel accepted, we must be accepting.  We are not called to stand in judgment of others, we are called to love one another, wherever and however we come.  God loves ALL, and we are asked to do the same. (see Matthew 7:1)

Sincere sensitivity to another’s needs comes as we call on Christ to open our eyes and hearts to see and hear as He does, not merely by our own human observation.  What we do unto the least of our brethren, we do unto Him. (see Matthew 25:40)

Opportunities to talk about Christ, to share our own stories, present themselves as we listen and love like Him.  As we grow in our faith and find comfortable footing with those around us, conversations will come, often initiated by another who is ready to hear that which they are asking.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not want us to pretend to be someone we are not, and that You lovingly take who we are as we trust in You, and allow us to touch lives by loving as You have loved us.  Forgive us for overlooking opportunities out of fear or selfishness, and lead us to learn to listen and love like You.  May our availability make way for You to touch hearts and change lives for Your glory.  Amen.

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

Faith Fuels a Firm Foundation

photo by Chris Esty

“God, who knows the heart, showed that He accepted them (the Gentiles) by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as He did to us.  He made no distinction between us and them, for He purified their hearts by faith.” – Acts 15:8-9

God is not interested in our pedigree nor our position (though He can and will use both if we are willing); rather He cares only for the condition of our hearts.  He accepts and blesses with the presence of the Holy Spirit, all, who by faith, come to believe.  Our hearts are not made pure by piety (works), but instead by our faith in the Father, and through the work of His Spirit in us.  We each hold equal and infinite value to our Creator.

God grants each of us the grace that is needed to share our story, and to impact the internal condition of the hearts of all whom we call our community.  It matters not to Him, our position, nor history, and yet He utilizes both to breathe life and hope to all who hear.  He uses the least of us to touch lives and transform communities, when we have a willing heart that is founded in faith.  Our influence reaches far beyond what our eyes can see.  Who but God, truly knows the reach of a redeemed heart that is ready to serve?

For me, it was the willing hearts of teachers, Sunday school staff, grandparents, great family and friends, who were full of faith and obedient to the Father, that led me to believe and trust our Beloved, from a tender age.  Though I knew not the full historical significance, nor the Hebrew, I knew that Jesus had come into my heart, and was granted the grace to grow my faith that taught me to trust that He would remain.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son because You love us, and longed to make a way to lead us back to a restored relationship with You.  Forgive us for when our faith is lacking, and remind us again of the mountains You can move, if only we are willing to walk in Your way.  Teach us, lead us, and guide us I pray, so that a firm foundation of faith will fuel us to follow You all of our days.  May our willing obedience open hearts to hear the truth.  Amen.

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

Saved and Supplied to Bless

“So will I save you, and you will be a blessing.  Do not be afraid, but let your hands be strong.” – Zechariah 8:13b

photo by Aysha Schurman

Though this verse is part of a passage that speaks of promised blessings to Jerusalem, it leapt off the page and reminded me that He who calls us, will keep us and use us to be a blessing, when we are willing.  We do not need to fear, and He will be our strength.

Today, this is my hope and my prayer as I go forth in obedience to the new and totally terrifying.  On Thursday afternoon, I received a call from my pastor, asking if I would be willing to be one of three, whom he would interview as a part of today’s sermon about “Sharing Our Stories”.  As my heart sank to my stomach and settled there, I told him that I was terrified, but willing.  Normally, my immediate response would have been an emphatic “NO!”  However, He has been whispering to my heart that a time is coming that He will be asking me to use my voice, and not just my pen…

So, after time with trusted friends yesterday, and the covering of all who care to pray, I am up and ready to trust Him to use my story to bless those who need to hear.  I am nervous, but I know He is bigger than my crippling fears, and that He will be with me, holding my hand and heart in His, supplying the words He has for me to speak.  I am so glad that He is not finished with me yet…

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You save us from ourselves, and that You use us, despite our brokenness, to bless others and draw Your

photo by Bryn Blankinship

created unto Yourself.  Father, please keep fear far from us, and supply our hearts and hands with Your strength.  May our stories speak volumes of Your goodness and grace, and may we be used to turn hearts toward You.  Amen.

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

There is No Neutral

photo by Rudy Atallah

“He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me, scatters.” – Luke 11:23

“This is war, and there is no neutral ground.  If you’re not on My side, you’re the enemy; if you’re not helping, you’re making things worse.” – (The Message)

Idleness, the space of inaction, is a form of opposing the Omnipotent.  He calls us to move, to act in His loving kindness, sharing His light with the world.  If our light does not shine, we are living in and perpetuating darkness.  God is the Father of Lights, and in Him, there is no darkness.

After Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension into heaven, He sent His Spirit, who is a light that cannot  be snuffed out.  If He dwells in us, He is our ever-present flame, present so that we may go out and illuminate the darkness.  Where there is light, darkness dissolves.  It is impossible for darkness to remain when light is present; which must be why He asks us to go and be a light unto the world.

Because our Heavenly Father loves us so immensely, how could we possibly refuse that which He is asking us to do?

Nothing – not fear, not fighting, not fleeing, nor lack of faith, can separate us from His love.  Knowing that, why would we run and hide?  For He has promised to remain present and be our guide.

The fruit of a life spent seeking the Savior, serving and loving like Him; yields an abundant harvest. He will take whatever we are able to give of ourselves, and make it great for the furthering of His kingdom. Every willing heart that acts, that takes the action that the Almighty is asking, is helping to gather, in His glorious grace. We have the privilege to be part of His plan!

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Spirit to be our source and supply, our light and our guide, as we seek to serve.  May Your light burn brightly within us, so that we may illuminate the path that leads into Your loving arms.  As we receive Your mercy and grace each time we miss the mark, may we move forward and go forth to help gather as You ask.  Teach us, lead us and love us, so that we might shine brightly with Your light, before all who draw near.  Amen.

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