Given to Show Goodness

He restores my strength. He leads me on right paths to show that He is good. – (Psalm 23:3, ERV)

He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to His Name. – (Psalm 23:3, NLT)

True to Your word, You let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction. – (Psalm 23:3, MSG)

 

No matter how many times I have read a particular passage, God has a remarkable way of revealing new truth as I choose to invest time in His word. This morning, though I have read Psalm 23 more times than I can calculate, I don’t think that I ever really thought about the depth of why He restores and leads us where we are meant to go. Though it is written, sometimes it takes reading several different versions of the text to have something really sink in. Today, that is what took place for me. God is good all the time – regardless of circumstances, situations, health, hurt or heartache – He is GOOD. Not only does He renew, restore and guide us out of His love, but He makes His goodness known to us as He does that which is tangible. God gives us the strength and guidance we need to demonstrate His goodness, often at just the point that we are ready to give up. His love, His light, and His life, restore us and grant us the grace we need to keep pressing forward in the direction we have been called. May we recognize the honor due unto the Lord, as He restores our strength when it is lacking, and leads us on the right paths that He has placed before us. May we ever bring honor to His Name.

 

The God of all grace,given-to-show-goodness

Gives strength and renews;

He leads us in love,

Helps carry us through.

His giving of strength,

And guidance to go;

Lead us on right paths,

And His goodness shows.

He’s true to His word,

Grants us life and breath;

May we honor Him,

From now unto death.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You restore our strength and lead us on right paths. Thank You that as You do these things, You demonstrate for us that You are good. Thank You for the reassurance, as we so often need reminders of who You are and how much You love. Forgive us for not following Your guidance or not bringing honor to Your Name. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would not only listen, but would obey, every word we hear Your still small voice say. Show us how to follow Your paths set before us in Your strength, so that our words and deeds will demonstrate Your goodness to those around us. Help us to love others with Your generous and unfailing love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to renew our strength when we are weary, and listen to Your leading to stay on the paths that You have prepared for us so that we may bring honor to Your Name. Amen.

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

Father, I thank You that You have heard me. – John 11:41

Because He is Good

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever. – (Psalm 118:1 & 29, NLT)

 

In Psalm 118, the chapter both begins and ends with the very same words. I find that each time I come across repetition in the Word, God is highlighting something for me, and I need to make note of what is written. Yes, I know He is good and that His love is faithful and everlasting, providing reason for me to give praise; however, as I read this in conjunction with the other passage that was a part of today’s reading, it is a reminder that His goodness and faithfulness are not dependent on our circumstances. In Jeremiah 29-30, God’s people were exiled in a foreign land. Despite their situation, God had promised to return them to Jerusalem after an established length of time. The exiles were called to remain faithful to God, and He would stay true to His word. All thanks and praise were due to the Lord, as He blessed and upheld His people, despite their distance from the home they had known. God does this for us today. He is good and faithful, and His love endures always. Because of who He is, He deserves all of our thanks and praise. May we rise up in gratitude for the goodness of our God, and give Him the proper praise He is due.

 

Give thanks to the Lord,

He Sees and Attends to His Created

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For He’s always good;

His love shall endure,

As always has stood.

No matter what comes,

The Lord shall remain;

Present as our help,

He makes our path plain.

Despite circumstance,

His love light shines through;

Leading and guiding,

So faithful and true.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are good, faithful and that Your love endures forever. Thank You that we always have reason to give You thanks and praise. Forgive us for making our gratitude circumstantial, rather than dependent on the truth of who You are. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would give all glory unto You, no matter what comes our way. Show us how to love all those around us in such a way, that You are given the thanks and adoration for every word and deed that is well-received. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust in Your goodness and faithful love that lasts forever. Amen.

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

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. – Psalm 23:6

Finding Favor

Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation. – (Proverbs 3:3-4, NLT)

Stay focused; do not lose sight of mercy and truth; engrave them on a pendant, and hang it around your neck; meditate on them so they are written upon your heart. In this way, you will win the favor of God and others, and they will think well of you. – (Proverbs 3:3-4, VOICE)

 

When we operate our lives according to God’s will, we find the favor of both God and man is upon us. Loyalty, kindness, mercy and truth go far in a world where these attributes are not always easy to find. As we exhibit these things, we are being salt and light; granting glimpses of God to those who do not know Him, in a practical and tangible way. Let us remember with reverence the importance of representing our Redeemer well, as we operate as His ambassadors. May we never let loyalty and kindness leave us, as we allow the Lord to write His truth deep within our heart.

 

The Lord’s loyalty,Enter With Thanksgiving

And kindness to us;

Are ours to pass on,

How we show Jesus.

Let us tie around,

Something near our hearts;

So we don’t forget,

Where grace and love starts.

A reputation,

That is full of good;

To God and people,

Favor understood.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we enter into relationship with You, You show us loyalty and kindness, and You write them upon our hearts. Thank You that as we choose to operate in the very things that we have been shown, Your favor and the favor of those around us is upon us. Thank You that by choosing to faithfully follow You, we will earn a good reputation. Forgive us for our lack of faithfulness, or for our lack of kindness or mercy when we feel we have been wronged. Teach us to trust You more, so that we can extend loyalty, kindness, mercy and truth in all things and at all times. Grant us wisdom as to how we are to do so in a healthy and safe way, and draw people unto Yourself by the kindness we extend by loving in practical ways. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we never let loyalty and kindness leave us. May we be ambassadors of Your mercy and truth all of our days. Amen.

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

Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. – 2 Corinthians 3:5

Hope in Early Rising

I wake before dawn and call for help; I hope in Your words. – (Psalm 119:147, VOICE)

I rise early, before the sun is up; I cry out for help and put my hope in Your words. – (Psalm 119:147, NLT)

 

From the moment I first rise, my mind begins to race with all that I have to do throughout the day. If I were left to my own devices, I would surely self-combust on most of them. However, for me, each day begins with what matters most, as I am intentional to slow my heart and mind, and settle in to focus on God and His word. In the quiet stillness of the early morning, while the world still sleeps, I read the words written from His heart to mine, and He whispers encouragement, instruction, and correction that draw me ever closer unto Him. My hope continues to grow, the more I come to see and know, just how great our God truly is. He is my help and my hope, and He hears every word whispered from the depths of my heart. May each new day greet you with a revelation of His presence, as you become more and more aware of how He is at the ready – waiting and willing to hear every cry of your heart.

 

Before the dawn breaks,Approaching the Throne of Grace

the Lord is so near;

ready as we wake,

as we speak, He’ll hear.

When we call on Him,

our hope is assured;

the truth of His word,

where peace is secured.

No matter what comes,

or what lies ahead;

when Christ is with us,

we‘ve nothing to dread.

Even in trials,

in hardships and pain;

the Lord takes our hand,

His hope shall remain.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we rise early to call on You, You meet us, and provide Your promises of hope in Your word. Thank You that Your presence is assured when we place our trust in You. Thank You that no matter what comes, You promise to never leave us nor forsake us. Forgive us for not bringing our needs before You and trying to take Your rightful place. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will place all things in Your hands, and trust You to lead and guide us in the ways in which we are meant to go. Show us how to love people through their pain, so that their hearts might seek after You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we rise early to spend time with You and study Your word, as it is in this space where our hope grows greater in You. Amen.

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

You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence. – Acts 2:28

With Forever in Mind

That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him.” – (1 Corinthians 2:9, NLT)

But this is precisely what is written: God has prepared things for those who love Him that no eye has seen, or ear has heard, or that haven’t crossed the mind of any human being. – (1 Corinthians 2:9, CEB)

 

There is such hope for those who place their trust in Christ. Not only do we have His presence through His Holy Spirit now, but we have the promise of eternity in a space of such majesty, that our minds and hearts cannot even conceive all that our future glory holds. To be in God’s very presence, unashamed and unafraid – welcomed with open arms… Imagine the peace and rest in that glorious space of God’s tangible grace. We get but a glimpse on earth, of all that is yet to come. When we imagine the people and places that we love the most, they are but a foretaste of all that is yet to come. God is so much more. May we embrace the grace that our God freely gives, and love Him and others as we are loved.

 

In each of our hearts,

God places a piece;Believe Instead of Striving

a longing to know,

love that does not cease.

Eternity’s set,

somewhere deep within;

that creates longing,

to be called Christ’s kin.

The glorious truth,

is that when we come;

and trust in the Lord,

we‘re daughters and sons.

What once was a hole,

is filled with His grace;

hope in forever,

where we’ll see His face.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that there is a glorious future that we cannot even begin to conceive for those who love You. Thank You that You receive us as we seek You, and You give us Your Spirit to follow after You. Forgive us for not upholding an eternal perspective when struggles come in the here and now. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would see all things through Your lens, remembering that this is not our home, but rather our space for a season to love You and love those around us with all that we are. Show us how to love as we are loved by You. Be glorified O God, as we operate with an eternal perspective. Amen.

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

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

 

 

To Offer Obedience and Reverence

Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. – (Ecclesiastes 12:13, NIV)

That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey His commands, for this is everyone’s duty. – (Ecclesiastes 12:13, NLT)

Now, what should we learn from everything that is written in this book? The most important thing a person can do is respect God and obey His commands, because He knows about everything people do – even the secret things. – (Ecclesiastes 12:13, ERV)

 

Regardless of which version of the text we take in, the bottom line remains. We are called to give God the honor and respect that is due, and obey that which He asks of us. On our own, we would fail miserably, as we are all flawed and broken vessels. However, when we choose to seek first His kingdom, His righteousness is added unto us, and we are led and empowered by His Spirit to do that which we are called to do. His strength is made perfect where we are weak, and His grace abounds where we have none. All that is needed He shall supply, if we are dependent on Him who is the Author and Finisher of our faith. Let us have a proper perspective of who God is, as the King who reigns, and allow His Spirit to lead and guide us so that we will walk in obedience to all that He is asking.

 

Our great God, Most High,Refreshment Through Repentance

sits upon His throne;

He loves and equips,

so truth may be known.

We’re called to uphold,

reverence and awe;

obey His commands,

not self-imposed law.

For the Lord, He reigns,

with mercy and grace;

He opened the way,

eternal embrace.

Let our lives be lived,

as an offering;

all praise unto Him,

may each heart choose sing.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that though You are God and the Creator and King of all, You chose to love each of us, individually. Thank You that You have given us Your instructions for how we ought to live, and help us, by Your Spirit, to live accordingly. Forgive us for not viewing You with proper reverence and awe, or for taking lightly, the expectations that You have set before us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would seek You and Your will in all things, resulting in our willing obedience to what You are asking. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they would see Your heart through ours. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we view You with respect and reverence, and seek to walk in obedience to all that You are asking. Amen.

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

Shout aloud and sing for joy. – Isaiah 12:6

Take Joy in Doing His Will

I desire to do Your will, my God; Your law is within my heart. – (Psalm 40:8, NIV)

I take joy in doing Your will, my God, for Your instructions are written on my heart. – (Psalm 40:8, NLT)

The amazing thing about our pursuit of God, is that as we seek Him and His will, He places His Spirit, and thusly His instruction and guidance, within our hearts. Our desire to do His will increases, as we seek to know Him more. When we are walking within the bounds of God’s will for our lives, we find joy in knowing that not only is He with us, but that He is pleased with our obedience. May our desire be to do the will of God, as His law is written on our hearts.

Lord, it’s my desire,Believe Instead of Striving

to choose do Your will;

for Your law’s written,

let my heart be still.

When I am quiet,

Your will is made plain;

for it’s within me,

Your truth shall remain.

May I ever seek,

to walk in Your way;

take joy in doing,

whatever You say.

For You Lord, are good,

and Your way is best;

You bless and keep us,

in You we find rest.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that there is joy in doing Your will, and that Your instructions are written on the hearts of all who choose to trust in You. Thank You that You make our path plain, and that You strengthen and equip us to walk in Your way and do Your will. Forgive us for our lack of faith and fearfulness that keep us from trusting You and the path that You prepare for us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would take joy in doing all that You ask, as You lead us and guide us in the way that is best. Help us to love others in such a way, that they too, would long to find the same joy in following You. May many choose to enter into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we desire to do Your will that You have so lovingly written within our hearts. Amen.

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

When times are good, be happy. – Ecclesiastes 7:14

But On Every Word

Jesus answered, “It is written: Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” – (Matthew 4:4)

 

These words were spoken by Jesus in the desert after His forty days of fasting in the wilderness. The devil was tempting Him to turn stones into bread, but Jesus knew the value in what God had called Him to do. The word of God gives life eternal, where as bread is only nourishment for the here and now. We are meant to balance our priorities and feed both our body and our spirit, so that we have strength for today and hope everlasting. May we make meditating on the word of God as much of a priority in our lives as the nourishing of our bodies.

 

Bread may satisfy,The Bread of Life

but just for a day;

yet the word of God,

comes in and remains.

We need to pursue,

both bread and His word;

nourish our body,

God’s wisdom incurred.

Let what our hearts hold,

be found in God’s word;

so that which we yield,

are God’s blessings heard.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we do not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from Your mouth. Thank You that though food nourishes our bodies, Your word gives us life everlasting. Forgive us for not keeping our priorities in order; for forgetting how critical Your word is to the nourishment of our souls. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will hunger and thirst for Your righteousness and seek daily, answers in Your word. Lead us to love others as You so lavishly love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we feed our souls with the bread of life that is found in Your word alone. 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

Mastered by Grace

If we live our lives focused on rules and regulations, rather than on He who formed us and set our very lives in motion, we become trapped in the trying to do enough in accordance to all that is written by man’s own hand. However, if we invest our heart, mind, soul and strength into seeking God and receiving the grace that He freely offers, we cannot help but pursue doing good. It is in that space of God’s grace, that we find freedom to become who He has called us to be, and we are set free from the chains that once held us captive to sin.

 

For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. – (Romans 6:14)

 

Christ came as the perfect sacrifice so that we would no longer have to make sacrifices for our every sin. Instead, He was the ultimate offering for all that we have ever done, and shall ever do. Because of His amazing grace, we no longer are mastered by sin, but rather may allow our Maker to be our Master, as His reign is done in grace, and His goodness and love lead hearts to repent and return to Him. May we let go of the law that binds us to sin, and embrace His grace as we invite the Lord to be the Master of our lives.

 

Allow not your sin,Answers As We Ask

to master your life;

for living that way,

will just lead to strife.

In Christ we are not,

stuck under the law;

but rather by grace,

to live life we’re called.

Because it’s a gift,

that Christ freely gave;

we’re drawn to repent,

so we can be saved.

Receive what He gives,

as we are set free;

so others may know,

Whom they see in me.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we no longer need to be slaves to sin because You sent Your Son to pay the penalty for ALL. Thank You that when we give our hearts and lives to You, we are ruled by Your goodness and grace, and are compelled to do good, rather than required to do enough or be enough to earn Your favor. Forgive us for trying to do enough or be enough, rather than investing all that we are in our relationship with You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will listen to Your leading and walk obediently wherever You are asking. Lead us to love without limits, and help many to come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek to serve You as You ask us to, as we receive the gift of Your grace that You freely give. Amen.

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

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

To Stay the Course

As Joshua’s life was drawing to a close, he gathered together the leaders of Israel and admonished them with words of warning and wisdom. He reminded them of God’s faithfulness to them, and of the promises that were present if they would continue to walk in all of the Lord’s ways. “Be very strong; be careful to obey all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, without turning aside to the right or to the left.” – (Joshua 23:6)

 

For us, Jesus fulfilled the Law, yet we are still charged with much of the same. We are called to be strong in the Lord, and to not turn away from His will for our lives. Our strength to stay the course is not innately ours, but rather comes from Christ when we seek Him as our help and our hope. May we go forth this day encouraged in the Lord’s strength, to stay the course to which we are called.

 

Be strong in the Lord,To Stay the Course

and choose to obey;

no turning aside,

from His path, don’t stray.

For we have been called,

equipped and made strong;

to do all He asks,

for our whole life long.

May we ever seek,

the God of all grace;

and serve the Lord well,

’til we see His face.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that our strength comes from You alone. Thank You that our ability to stay the course to which we are called is not our own, but rather a gift that is given by You when we seek You. Forgive us for attempting to muscle our way through things on our own, and help us to completely depend on You. Teach us to trust You more, as You are the Source that is safe and secure. Lead us to love well, so that many may be encouraged to follow after You. Be exalted O God, as we stay the course to which we are called in the strength that You provide. 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