Living Among Us

For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty Savior. He will take delight in You with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs. – (Zephaniah 3:17, NLT)

The Lord your God is with you. He is like a powerful soldier. He will save you. He will show how much He loves you and how happy He is with you. He will laugh and be happy about you. – (Zephaniah 3:17, ERV)

The Lord your God is in your midst – a warrior bringing victory. He will create calm with His love; He will rejoice over you with singing. – (Zephaniah 3:17, CEB)

 

This is the exact sort of reminder that many of us need this time of year. In the midst of the busy, crazy, seemingly endless push to the finish, we are not alone. More than that, God is with us and He delights in us. He will bring calm and He rejoices over us with singing. Just as a lullaby soothes the restless soul of a little one, so do the joyful songs of our Heavenly Father as He sings over us. Music can change our entire countenance, and I imagine that when that perfect song comes to mind to lift our mood, it did not drift in on its own. May we ever be open to the One who is among us, as His love brings calm in our chaos while He delights in us with gladness.

 

God is in our midst, Forgiveness is Free

He’s mighty to save;

He delights in us,

And makes our hearts brave.

He calms all our fears,

And sings joyfully;

Victory in love,

To eternity.

So, trust in the Lord,

He is ever near;

Delighting with joy,

And calming each fear.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are not God out there, but You are God living among us, right here. Thank You that You are a Mighty Savior who brings victory. Thank You that You delight in us and show us how much You love us. Thank You that You rejoice over us with singing and calm us with Your love. Thank You that You are the ultimate example of a good Father. Forgive us for not turning to You in trust in our trials. Teach us to trust You more, as You are our help and our hope. Show us how to love those around us in a way that brings calm, comfort and joy, so that they may see Your light within us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give You praise for all of our days for Your presence, help and joy among us. Amen.

 

 

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

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; …write them on the tablet of your heart. – Proverbs 3:3

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Being Brave

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. – (Joshua 1:9, NIV)

Remember, I commanded you to be strong and brave. Don’t be afraid, because the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. – (Joshua 1:9, ERV)

Haven’t I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take. – (Joshua 1:9, MSG)

 

This is the reminder that my heart needed to hear this morning, as I am not one to step down nor tap out from anything. Finding myself in a position where I really have no choice, it takes His strength to stand down, step back and rest. Discouragement is probably my greatest foe, as I am unable to do the very things I desire to do the most. Courage and strength are not always running into the battle to fight on the front lines, as at times, the most courageous move we have to make is to remain behind to rest and recover. I know that He is with me every step I take, and that has to be from where I draw my strength. May we ever seek the Lord to be our strength and courage, trusting that He will be present with us wherever we are asked to go.

 

We are commanded, Being Brave

Have courage, be strong;

Choose not be afraid,

Of what might go wrong.

For the Lord our God,

Is mighty to save;

He will be with us,

To make our hearts brave.

Don’t be discouraged,

In the Lord, take heart;

He will be present,

His courage impart.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You command us to be strong and courageous in You. Thank You that we need not fear nor be discouraged, as You will be with us, always. Forgive us for allowing discouragement or fear to enter in based on what we see and teach us to trust You with our hearts and not with our eyes. Grow Your strength within us so that we may be fearless in You. Show us how to love those around us in a way that encourages, strengthens and dispels fear. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we choose to be strong and courageous in Your strength, knowing that You are with us every step that we take.

 

 

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

 

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; …write them on the tablet of your heart. – Proverbs 3:3

The Wisdom We Seek

Do any of you need wisdom? Ask God for it. He is generous and enjoys giving to everyone. So He will give you wisdom. – (James 1:5, ERV)

But anyone who needs wisdom should ask God, whose very nature is to give to everyone without a second thought, without keeping score. Wisdom will certainly be given to those who ask. – (James 1:5, CEB)

If you don’t have all the wisdom needed for this journey, then all you have to do is ask God for it and God will grant all that you need. He gives lavishly and never scolds you for asking. – (James 1:5, VOICE)

 

I am so grateful that God does not grow weary of us asking for answers when we are uncertain, as life requires much wisdom to navigate well. There are so many areas of new that come along in our daily lives, that without Him, we would be walking in the dark. However, when God is with us, His Spirit leads and guides us, as we so often know which way we are meant to go, as our hearts and minds know that which aligns with His good and perfect will. May we ever seek the Lord for wisdom and direction where we need His navigation, and trust His heart within us when we already know the way that He is calling us to go.

 

We all need wisdom, The Wisdom We Seek

To live this life well;

And as we choose ask,

His way, God shall tell.

He does not withhold,

The wisdom we seek;

But gives lavishly,

He’s faithful to speak.

He speaks to our hearts,

And to us makes known;

The answers we need,

As His love is shown.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are faithful to answer as we ask for wisdom. Thank You that You do not withhold nor keep score, but rather You lavishly give as we ask. Forgive us for not seeking You in spaces where we need Your wisdom the most, and teach us to trust You more so that we would turn to You for the wisdom to navigate according to Your good and perfect will. Show us how to love those around us in a way that is wise and encourages each person we encounter. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You for wisdom in all things, as You are the answer we need to navigate our days in strength and love. 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

Rest to Be Shown

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)

“Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to Me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis.” – (Matthew 11:28, TPT)

 

Recently, it has felt like a very heavy season. Between the heartbreaking stories of what has happened locally, to the behaviors manifesting in students all over campus, (likely caused by personal trauma) to sorrows reaching those whom are dear to me, it is nearly impossible to not be affected by the weight of it all. This is the space where it is critical that I hand the heaviness to Him who is best able to bear the burdens, as it is through Christ that I find peace and rest, regardless of what surrounds me. No, turning in trust to God does not make our burdens disappear, but rather it reduces the weight as He grants us the strength to rise up and press on, knowing that He is with us and for us in all things. Finding His rest in the throes of the fight supplies us with the fortitude to persevere. May we go to God with our every burden, for He is where we find light and life, when all that surrounds us seems dark.

 

Our precious Savior,Quiet Hope

In love, He says, “Come”;

“Bring Me your burdens,

My daughters and sons.”

Those who are weary,

In Me, You’ll find rest;

I will refresh You,

No matter the mess.

Carry no longer,

The heavy alone;

For God is calling,

With rest to be shown.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to bring our burdens to You, so that we can find rest. Forgive us for trying to bear the weight of the world on our own. Teach us to turn to You in trust, knowing that Your hands that hold all of creation, can handle whatever lies before us. We lift up those affected by tragedy and trauma, and ask that You would show us how to help walk alongside them and help shoulder the weight in Your strength. Lead us to love well, just as we are loved by You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give You our heavy burdens and readily receive Your rest. Amen.

 

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

 

The joy of the Lord is your strength. – Nehemiah 8:10

 

 

Courage to Continue

Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. – (Psalm 27:14, NLT)

Wait for the Lord’s help. Be strong and brave, and wait for the Lord’s help. – (Psalm 27:14, ERV)

Stay with God! Take heart. Don’t quit. I’ll say it again: Stay with God. – (Psalm 27:14, MSG)

 

It is amazing how this applies to every area of our lives – the things hoped for, the dreams being pursued, and often in our daily devotion to what needs to be done. I appreciate how The Message phrases the verse best, as it reminds us that in the wait, we are often still very actively engaged in whatever we are working towards, yet we need to remember our Source of strength and hope, light and life. Even when things are difficult, (which most things that are worthwhile do indeed require hard work) we must take heart, dig deep and press on. God will supply the strength that we need as it is needed, we ought only continue in the direction to which we are called, and take courage in knowing Who is both with us and for us. For me, I was reminded again of how this applies in a dream being pursued, as we began to walk through plays at football practice. At first, it seemed a bit mind-boggling and overwhelming, but with persistence and commitment to continue, and trust in He who gives me strength, things began to make sense. Though I know there is much to learn, I can take heart in knowing that the courage and strength I need will be supplied as I continue to trust in the Source.  In all things, may we take heart and press on, trusting the Lord to provide the strength and courage that we need to do all that we are called to do, now and forevermore.

 

Be brave, have courage, Courage to Continue

Choose wait on the Lord;

He’s our source of help,

All grace He affords.

Take heart and don’t quit,

Don’t ever give up;

For God is our strength,

Filler of our cup.

Have faith, He will hear,

Each cry of the heart;

As we ask for help,

His strength He imparts.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You grant us strength and courage, help and hope, no matter what our situation or circumstances. Thank You that You care about the things that matter to our hearts. Thank You that no hope nor dream goes unnoticed by You. Forgive us for thinking that the desires of our heart don’t matter. Teach us to trust You with all things at all times. Show us how to love those around us in a way that gives strength and courage, so others too, take heart and continue to pursue that which pulls upon their heart. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we stay with You and trust You to answer and be present in all things, as You are our source of all that we need. Amen.

 

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

 

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. – Joshua 1:9

Perfection, Promises and Protection

God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to Him for protection. – (Psalm 18:30, NLT)

God’s way is perfect. The Lord’s promise always proves to be true, He protects those who trust in Him. – (Psalm 18:30, ERV)

Everything God does is perfect; the promise of the Eternal rings true; He stands as a shield for all who hide in Him. – (Psalm 18:30, VOICE)

 

All that God is and all that God does are good. When we trust in Him, we begin to recognize the truth of His word, and understand how He protects and fulfills His promises. This does not mean we are sheltered from struggles and trials, but it does mean that He is with us and will never leave us, and that He guards our hearts and minds as we choose to be covered by truth. God is faithful to keep us in His hands, and will walk beside us every step we take. We can always run to Him as our hiding place and our space of help and hope. He leads where we are meant to go, and will provide what we need to do as He asks. His ways are perfect, even when they do not make sense to us. May we ever trust the Lord and His promises, and look to Him to be a shield about us as we go where He leads.

 

God’s way is perfect,Perfection Promises and Protection

His promises true;

He’ll do what He says,

Protect and lead through.

Life won’t be easy,

But oh, what a ride;

For all who choose trust,

In the Lord, abide.

Each promise He makes,

By faith, shall prove true;

Stand firm and go forth,

As He leads us through.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your way is perfect and Your promises prove true. Thank You that You are a shield for those who look to You for protection. Thank You that though there are trials and struggles, You never leave us nor forsake us, and utilize the difficulties we endure to show us more of who You are and how You love. Forgive us for not trusting or for not seeking You as we should, as You are our place of promise and the One to whom we can run. Teach us how to trust You more, so that we would trust in Your promises and Your protection, knowing that You are with us and will never forsake us, even when things are not easy. Show us how to love well, those who are in the midst of the difficult. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust in Your ways and know that Your promises are true as You protect us and lead us in all things. Amen.

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

As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. – James 5:11

Giving Good Gifts

So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him. – (Luke 11:13, NLT)

Look, all of you are flawed in so many ways, yet in spite of all your faults, you know how to give good gifts to your children. How much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to all who ask! – (Luke 11:13, VOICE)

 

As humans, we are flawed and sinful and broken. Despite our shortcomings, the vast majority of us who have children, know how to give good gifts to them, as it brings us joy to bless our babies. If we in our brokenness are able to give good gifts, how much more is our loving Heavenly Father willing and able to give as we ask? The most significant gift He bestows upon us is His presence, as He provides His Spirit to dwell in us. When we know and love the Lord, He is always with us, and will never leave us nor forsake us. There is no greater gift than time, and the time we gain from God is eternal. May we ever seek the Lord and His love, so that we can go forth and love as we are loved.

 

Let us seek the Lord,Enter With Thanksgiving

And the gifts He gives;

For all who receive,

Eternally live.

In Him we find life,

Love, hope, help and peace;

Wherever we lack,

His strength shall increase.

Just as we long give,

Good gifts to our kids;

So too does the Lord,

Want us seek as His.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that just as we long to give good things to our children, so You desire to give to us. Thank You that You give the very best You have to offer, as You give Your Spirit to dwell within us so that we have help and hope and peace that is present in all things and at all times. Forgive us for forgetting how very near You are, or for not seeking You in our spaces of need. Teach us to trust You more, as You are our loving Father who cares best for Your kids. Show us how to go forth and love well, all whom we encounter, so that hearts will sense the strength that comes from You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we lean not on our own understanding to give good, but rather listen to Your leading so that we will love well. Amen.

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

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; …write them on the tablet of your heart. – Proverbs 3:3

We Are Called Friends

If, when we were at our worst, we were put on friendly terms with God by the sacrificial death of His Son, now that we’re at our best, just think of how our lives will expand and deepen by means of His resurrection life! – (Romans 5:10, MSG)

I mean that while we were God’s enemies, He made friends with us through His Son’s death. And the fact that we are now God’s friends makes it even more certain that He will save us through His Son’s life. – (Romans 5:10, ERV)

 

The reason I often post a few different versions of a verse, is my way of sharing the process of looking and listening to what He wants my heart to hear on any given day. Sometimes, the words jump off of the page and grab hold of my heart the moment I first read them, however, there are other times that something seems significant and is keeping me stuck on a verse, but it requires repeated reading. Though the main message of Romans 5:10 reminds us that we were saved while we were still sinners because of Christ’s sacrifice, God uses His words that I have read many times, to show me something new, or remind me of truth that my heart needs to hear. This morning, I took pause as I read the portion that says: “now that we’re our best, just think of how our lives will expand and deepen by means of His resurrection life!” That is a loaded statement. It is rare that I feel that I am at my best, as I am well aware of my own flaws and shortcomings. That being said, whenever I am dialed in on the depth and breadth of the hope I have in Him forever, I recognize how much He has done both in and through me, and know that there is so much more as I choose to faithfully follow Him. May we ever identify the incredible gift that we have been given through the grace of God, and go forth in the hope that we hold in knowing He is with us, for us, and our eternity is secure in Him.

 

What is this great love,IMG_2491

That saw us in sin;

Enemies of God,

Yet still welcomed in?

While stuck at our worst,

He made way to friend;

Greatest sacrifice,

So life would not end.

It is by His death,

And rising again;

We’re forgiven friends,

Life with Christ won’t end.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that while we were yet sinners, Your enemies – You called us friends as You gave Your very best so that we could come to have life everlasting in You. Thank You that through Your resurrection, we are also raised to new life by Your mercy and grace, and empowered to walk in Your way, rather than our own. Forgive us for somehow discounting the depth of what You did and thinking that we do not qualify, rather than receiving the gift that You freely give. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would have a proper perspective as to who we are in You. Show us how to walk out our days in the wisdom that we are Your friends, so that we love those around us well. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we embrace the grace that You freely give, and walk forward in that which You have given us to share. Amen.

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

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad. – 1 Chronicles 16:31

The Master Surgeon’s Touch

And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. – (Ezekiel 36:26, NLT)

And I will give you a new heart – I will give you new and right desires – and put a new spirit within you. I will take out your stony hearts of sin and give you new hearts of love. – (Ezekiel 36:26, TLB)

 

As I woke and sat down to begin my quiet time, I began to reflect on how guarded I have become with even those who are most dear to me. I know much of it is my automatic response of self-preservation, and has absolutely nothing to do with my people, and everything to do with my circumstances – yet I recognize that it is not the way that God intends for me to be. I am quite visual, so a few scenes flashed through my mind, and my heart was pulled to the pages that remind me of the truth. Though He has already given me His Spirit, and renewed my heart and mind, there are times when we really need our Master Surgeon’s touch in a specific area. God is gentle and kind, and loves us to life, even in the dark and dying places. Where we are fearful or stubborn to hold fast to what we think will keep us safe, He lovingly reminds us that He is far stronger than our circumstances, and will go before us, with us and behind us – so we need not worry about the “what ifs“. May we be quick to trust He who holds our hearts in His hands, and allow Him to give us the new heart He has prepared for us. His heart for us is one of tenderness and love, and seeks to pursue all that He has for us, in His strength.

 

When our hearts grow hard,

and our love is cold;Receive Life

we must trust the Lord,

take His hand to hold.

For He will remove,

the hardness of heart;

and put in its place,

a gentle, kind part.

His Spirit in us,

is tender and kind;

to lead and to guide,

and when we seek, find.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You give us a new tender and loving heart in exchange for our hard, stubborn ones. Thank You that when we seek You, You show us how to live and love according to Your will, not our own. Forgive us for allowing our hearts to become hard or walled in by fear, and teach us to trust You more, so that we would remain tender-hearted toward You and all whom You call us to love well. Show us how to love as You love, so that others too, will desire a new heart in You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to touch the places in our hearts that hold hurts that keep us from loving completely, so that we may go forth and love as we are loved by You. Amen.

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

Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. – James 5:13

Thankful for the Unshakeable

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe. – (Hebrews 12:28, NIV)

So we should be thankful because we have a kingdom that cannot be shaken. And because we are thankful, we should worship God in a way that will please Him. We should do this with respect and fear. – (Hebrews 12:28, ERV)

God with us, is the preview of His kingdom that is yet to come. Though we are fallible and feeble, Christ in us, is not. No matter what comes, He shall not be shaken. He knows our needs before we bring them before Him, and He holds our heart in the palm of His hand. For each of us who call Him King, He has prepared a future and a hope that we can hold. Our thankfulness unto God ought to be for who He is, and the hope that we have in Him – not for what we see in our immediate circumstance. When offered with reverence and awe for who He is, God receives our worship as pleasing before Him. May we rise up each day with thanks, ready to worship with respect and awe, as God is unshakable, and we are heirs to the glory of His kingdom that is yet to come.

God’s kingdom is ours,The Reason for Reverence

for all who believe;

it can’t be shaken,

it’s ours to receive.

Therefore may we all,

give praise, thanks and awe;

with hearts of reverence,

before our great God.

His promises now,

and hope yet to come;

reasons to worship,

the Most Holy One.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken. Thank You that we have reason to be thankful, regardless of what goes on around us, because of You within us. Thank You that when we worship You with reverence and awe, You receive our offering as acceptable before You. Forgive us for not realizing the power that is present within us, and for not holding fast to the promise of what is yet to come. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would recognize how much greater are You who is in us, than anything that would come against us, and that no matter what comes in the here and now, we have the promised hope of eternity with You. Show us how to love others with eternity in mind. May many come to know You as their Savior and King. Be glorified O God, as we give thanks and worship You with reverence and awe, for Your kingdom that cannot be shaken. 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