The Outlook of the Open

For the Lord is righteous, He loves justice; upright men will see His face. – (Psalm 11:7)

 

If it were not for Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, this verse would be completely daunting. Not one of us is able to be upright on our own; however, in Christ, we are called clean, forgiven and free, and He sees us as upright before Him. That being said, we are charged to live a life devoted to Him. As He loves us, so we too, must love. Christ’s goodness and grace are not our free ticket to do whatever we please, but rather our point of redemption and reconciliation from our wrong living, so that we may turn from our wicked ways and live upright before Him for the remainder of our days. May we receive the gift that the Lord has freely given, and respond with a life lived justly, as He empowers us to be upright before Him. Let us hold fast, knowing that our hope is in the promise that we will one day see Him face-to-face.

 

The Lord is righteous,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

in all of His ways;

and He loves justice,

truths that will not change.

Those who live upright,

and receive His grace;

live lives of promise,

and shall see His face.

Christ’s love sacrifice,

created the way;

for us to follow,

and on His path stay.

May we each receive,

all that He’s given;

so we tell of how,

to be forgiven.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are righteous and that You love justice. Thank You that the upright will see Your face. Thank You that righteousness, justice and our status as upright, are not dependent on our abilities, but rather on our willingness to allow You into our hearts and lives to make changes. Forgive us for withholding any area from You, and teach us to trust You more, so that we will release all unto You, granting You full access to clean, refine, restore and renew that which needs to change. Lead us to love others justly and with Your goodness and grace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, Lord. Be glorified O God, as we pursue the path You have placed before us with willing hearts, that are open to all that You want to do both in us, and through us. 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

Chosen With Purpose

“You did not choose me. I chose you. And I gave you this work: to go and produce fruit – fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you anything you ask for in My Name. This is my command: Love each other.” – (John 15:16-17, ERV)

 

Each and every one of us have been created and chosen by God. He has made us with purpose to do good works, not dependant on our own ability, but rather based on our availability and willingness to go where He calls and obey what He asks. The greatest stumbling block between us and the fulfillment of our purpose, is if we allow the voices in and around us that try to dictate our identity to speak louder that the voice of He who created us. “And therein lies a danger: If we allow other people to tell us what we are and are not qualified to do, we will limit what God wants to do with us. We may never get to those who need our help.” – (Christine Caine, Undaunted)

 

Which voice will we choose listen to? Voices that tell us that we are ill-equipped, not strong enough, not smart enough, not educated enough, just plain not enough; or do we listen to Christ, who calls us His own? In Him, we can do all things to which we are called. Not because we are enough on our own, but because He is enough, and He is faithful to provide all that we lack. What is impossible with people is possible with the living God. We have to choose faith over fear, and grace over perceived gifts. Obviously there are areas where specific giftings are necessary, however, to love others well, requires only a heart that is willing to walk where He calls and faith to do as He asks. May we each embrace our status as chosen by God, and go forth loving people well.

 

The Lord God of all,Chosen With Purpose

He somehow chose me;

He loved me so much,

His love set me free.

The freedom granted,

drives me to obey;

to honor and serve,

and walk in His way.

I know on my own,

I am not enough;

yet through Christ in me,

I’ve strength to stand up.

The places He calls,

where I’m scared to go;

He comes alongside,

makes His presence known.

Help me be willing,

to do all You ask;

and grant me Your strength,

to complete each task.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You loved, created, and chose each of us for Your purposes. Thank You that above all, You love. Thank You that You call us to do the same. Thank You that You do not call us to do anything that You are not also willing to equip us to accomplish. Forgive us for our fearfulness and self-doubt. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will listen not to the voices that surround us, and instead will be tuned in to Your voice so that we hear clearly that which You have to say. Lead us to love others without hesitation, just as You so relentlessly love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we walk out our purpose with resolve. Amen.

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

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23

How Great the Father’s Love

I never grow weary of the parable of the lost son, as each time I read it, I am reminded of just how great the Father’s love is for each of us. In this story, the son had squandered wealth he should have never asked for, and had sunk to rock bottom. His found himself in the lowliest of positions, destitute and desperate. When the son assessed his situation, he realized that repentance before his father, and a willingness to work as a hired hand were far better options than his present position. So he got up and went to his father. “but while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” – (Luke 15:20)

 

The son recognized his sin, repented, and merely hoped to be made a hired hand. Instead, his father ran to meet him from a long way off, embraced him and celebrated his homecoming. God does the same for each of us when we come to Him with a repentant heart. Though we may come, simply hoping to somehow be seen as “okay”, He does so much more. Christ welcomes us, gives us His Holy Spirit to guide us, and we are adopted as sons and daughters of God Himself. We are granted an eternal inheritance that cannot be taken, and provided promises to propel us along our path. May we receive the glorious gift of God’s grace, and welcome with open arms, the compassion conveyed in His embrace.

 

Foolish and selfish,How Great the Fathers Love

the arrogant son;

ran off and rebelled,

lowly position.

When he had squandered,

all that had been his;

he started longing,

for what he fed pigs.

It was then he knew,

that he must repent;

for his father’s men,

lived far more decent.

Perhaps he would hire,

give a chance, employ;

no longer worthy,

to be called dad’s boy.

So the son set off,

he headed for home;

imagine the awe,

as grace was made known.

For while still far off,

his father, he ran;

to greet and embrace,

this shell of a man.

The gifts that he gave,

assured him his worth;

a chance for new life,

a sense of rebirth.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we come to You with a repentant heart, You do for us, just as the father did for his son. You meet us where we are, shower us with Your grace, robe us in Your righteousness, celebrate our homecoming, and call us Your own! Thank You that we are welcomed into Your family, no matter where we have come from. Thank You that Your grace is more than enough to cover our sin and shame, and that You celebrate and embrace each of us as we choose You. Forgive us for thinking that You could not possibly forgive us for what we have done, or that another around us does not deserve the mercy and grace that You give. Teach us to see things through Your eyes, so that we too, will celebrate and embrace each and every individual who comes into Your kingdom. Lead us to love others as You unfailingly love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, as they recognize how ready You are to receive everyone who comes. Be glorified O God, as we give and receive Your great love. Amen.

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

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23

Nothing is Impossible

For nothing is impossible with God. – (Luke 1:37)

 

Though these words were spoken by an angel unto Mary, as he told her of what was yet to come, both in her life, and in the life of her relative Elizabeth, they ring true for each of us today. What God speaks, He will do. Even the seemingly impossible, shall be accomplished if the Lord has said it will be so. Often, it is a matter of our willingness to faithfully take that next step in the direction He is calling, regardless of how outrageous or insurmountable it may appear. God does not call us to failure; He calls us to totally trust in Him. As we do, mountains are moved, and broken are mended, in ways we never thought possible. May we turn toward trust in He who makes all things possible.

 

The battles we face,Nothing is Impossible

insurmountable;

yet when we’re in Christ,

they’re conquerable.

It is up to us,

to choose trust each day;

only in His strength,

will we find the way.

For God is our Source,

our Beacon of Light;

our strength in battle,

our power to fight.

Over the mountains,

through valleys below;

His presence remains,

wherever we go.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that nothing is impossible with You. Thank You that You are greater than every obstacle that we face, and every battle that lies before us. Thank You that You remain with us, and You fight on our behalf. Thank You that You supply the strength and stamina that we need for every step of the way, even when we feel weary and worn. Forgive us for our fears and for our lack of faith when the barriers before us seems insurmountable. Give us Your eyes to see what lies before us, and the faith to move as You call us to move. Help us to love others as You so lavishly love us, and may many come to know the hope that is held in You alone, as we faithfully move forward, wherever You are calling. Be exalted O God, as we see the possible in the obstacles before us, because of who You are. Amen.

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

For the Lord your God will bless you, …and your joy will be complete. – Deuteronomy 16:15

Stand Firm or Fall

If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all. – (Isaiah 7:9b)

 

These words of warning were given by God to Isaiah, to go and speak to Ahaz, the king of Judah. His words, are still sound warning for us today. We cannot allow shifting ideals to sway what we know to be the truth of God’s word. He calls us to a higher standard. God is the same yesterday, today and forever, so the truth of His word remains for all time. Our faith, our very belief in who God is, and what He says is true, are what we must hold fast to – stand firm in – or we will ultimately fall. To stand in faith is not an exercise of our own sheer strength, but rather our willingness to be dependent on Christ. The Holy Spirit, who dwells within us, with fortify our faith, and provide all that we need to stand firm, if we are willing to give ear to His still small voice and invest our hearts in the truth of His word. May we each stand firm in our faith, and be a help to keep others from falling as well.

 

We each are called,Stand Firm or Fall

to rise up, stand firm;

listen to God,

cling to what we learn.

He is our strength,

our power to stand;

keeps us afloat,

far from sinking sand.

May the Lord’s truth,

set deep in our heart;

let nothing sway,

nor tear us apart.

Cover us, Lord,

protect and preserve;

let us not fall,

nor get what’s deserved.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we may stand firm in our faith, not by our own strength, but by Yours. Thank You that it is not up to us to muster enough faith to follow through, but rather You take our willing hearts, and You grow our faith so that we may stand secure in You. Forgive us for not investing in our faith, and open our eyes, ears and hearts to all that You have for us to grow in Your grace, so that we may have a faith that is firmly founded in You. Let us love others as You love us, and may many come to know how to stand firm in all that You offer, as a result. Keep us from falling as we seek to stand firm in our faith in You forever. Be glorified, O God, as we forge forward in faith. 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

For Faith to Flourish

By faith, ordinary people have done extraordinary things throughout human history.  The size of their faith as each individual began, did not matter nearly as much as in Whom their faith was held.  As each one took the next obedient step, His faithfulness was there to meet them, encouraging them to press on and continue to forge forward and further move in faith.  “Faith is total dependence on God and a willingness to do His will.” (NIV footnotes for Luke 17:5,6)

In Luke 17, Jesus and the disciples are having a discussion about forgiveness.  When Jesus informed them of how often we are meant to forgive if a person repents and asks to be forgiven, the disciples then recognized their own need for more faith to do just that.  “The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith!’  He replied, ‘If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.” – (vs. 5-6) 

Though a mustard seed is tiny, it grows into one of the largest among plants, with deep roots and vast, far-reaching branches.  The same holds true with faith.  God will take a small speck of genuine faith in Him, and help it take root and grow.  We too, will gain deep roots and be far-reaching, if we whole-heartedly invest in Him.  As we allow Him to prune, water, and tend to the soil of our heart, we grow and take shape that becomes something beyond what we could have envisioned.  Before we even realize our own capacity to reach, He will utilize our faith to touch lives around us.  May we each choose to depend on Him and be willing to do His will.

For faith to grow,For Faith to Flourish

it is not on us;

but by His grace,

as we trust Jesus.

Lean into Him,

and not on our own;

He’ll show the way,

and make the path known.

Spend time with God,

and He will refine;

He shall increase,

so through us, He’ll shine.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that faith is not something we somehow must summon, but rather is what You grow and increase in us as we invest our time getting to know You more.  Thank You that as we depend on You and are willing to do Your will, You meet us where we are, and do far more than we could have imagined.  Forgive us for placing human parameters on You, as You are the God of ALL creation and are capable of ALL things.  Teach us to trust You more, and help us to walk confidently in our faith in You.  Help us to love well, even those who are difficult to love; and may many come to see You, as we walk out our days in faithful surrender to You.  Be glorified, our faithful and loving Lord.  Amen.

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

He Has Given

image by Melody @ everydaywithgrace.com

image by Melody @ everydaywithgrace.com


God does not give us

a spirit of fear;

He fans into flames,

the truth that we hear.

His Spirit’s power,

to boldly proclaim,

the truth of His word,

without any shame.

With sincerest faith,

share of His great love,

for He gave His life,

His thoughts high above.

Be self-disciplined,

and follow His ways;

walk boldly in truth,

for all of our days.

As we have been saved,

willing may we give;

share of His great hope,

so others may live.

Grace be upon us,

as we follow Christ;

keep us from trouble,

let not sin entice.

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” – (2 Timothy 1:7)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we choose to follow You, You equip us with Your Spirit, so that we may be bold as we grow in You. Teach us to walk in Your power, love and self-discipline, so that Your word is heard by all who long to hear. Forgive us for our fearfulness, and help us to grow in confidence in You. Thank You that You are always faithful, regardless of our faithfulness. Empower us to walk in truth all of our days, and may many come to know You and be saved. May we firmly hold the hope we have in You. Amen.

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