Firm in Freedom

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. – (Galatians 5:1)

                                                                                                                                                                Christ came so that we would no longer bear the burden of having to attempt to follow the letter of the law and make sacrifices for our every sin, reminding us that we would NEVER measure up.  In Christ, we are covered, and can rise up with courage, knowing that we are forgiven and free, ready to go forth and love well, because all of the sin and shame that would have once hindered us, is gone.  No more do we have to fear our getting it wrong, but rather we can rely on our Redeemer to help us get it right.  A few verses later in Chapter five of Galatians, Paul goes on to say that “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” – (Galatians 5:6b)  As we trust Christ, His love is made evident in how we live.  May we stand firm in our freedom in Christ and go forth allowing His love to flow freely through us.
                                                                                                                                                             It is for freedom,Glory to God
that Christ set us free;
He removed the yoke,
of sin’s slavery.
As we choose embrace,
in faith, what He gives;
His love freely flows,
each day that we live.
May we each rise up,
in faith, choose love well;
extending Christ’s hope,
all glory to tell.
 
                                                                                               Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son to set us free from the yoke of slavery to sin and shame, and to the burdens that we could never bear.  Jesus, thank You for living a sinless life, so that You could take all of our sin and shame upon Yourself and make the way to set us free from the burden that we were meant to bear.  Forgive us for thinking that we have to do or be enough to somehow earn Your favor, and help us to embrace the forgiveness and grace that You give, so that we will rise up and stand firm in the freedom that You have granted.  Teach us to trust You more, so that we may hold fast to our faith in You.  Let our faith fuel a free flow of love to others, just as You so generously love each of us.  May many come into a lasting relationship with You.  Be glorified O God, as we stand firm in our freedom from You, moving forward to love well by faith.  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

Come Close to Rest

Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. – (Matthew 12:28-30)

 

The burdens that we take up and try to carry are far too heavy and not meant for our shoulders. Some of these may include: our sin, excessive demands, oppression and persecution, and weariness in the pursuit of paths we were never meant to walk alone. Christ sets us free from the weight of the yoke our shoulders should not bear, and grants us rest in Him. Through our relationship with Jesus, the seemingly meaningless and mundane, can become spiritually productive and purposeful, as Christ comes and provides us with His peace, love, healing and help. He makes our yoke easy and our burdens light, in comparison to the weight of the way we were attempting to walk alone. May we lay hold of the rest Christ provides for our souls as we sincerely seek Him.

 

When life’s burdens,Come Close to Rest

are weighing us down;

we need seek Christ,

where answers are found.

Jesus is kind,

and humble in heart;

He is gentle,

where solutions start.

Rest for weary,

strength when we feel weak;

gone are burdens,

we’re not meant to keep.

His peace given,

healing and help too;

restored purpose,

refreshed and renewed.

Come near, dear ones,

He will grant us rest;

sweet interlude,

Christ’s great faithfulness.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not desire for us to carry the weight of the world. Thank You that You ask us to come to You and give You our burdens, and allow You to carry the weight that was never meant for us, and You replace it with that which You equip us to bear. Thank You that You are gentle and humble and have rest ready for our weariness. Forgive us for trying to carry things that we were never meant to bear, and help us to lay down the loads before You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may continually come before You and hear clearly what we are meant to carry, and what we are to hand over to You. Lead us to walk in love, unburdened by loads not meant for us. May many come to know You, as they witness the freedom we have found in the ease of Your yoke. Be exalted, Lord God, as we learn from You each new day. Amen.

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

They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness. – Psalm 145:7

External Appearance

God’s economy is not the same as that of man.  Where people may look at position or possessions, God looks directly at the heart.  He will use the least of us to do great things, for His glory, if we are only willing.  A humble heart that is ready to serve, is far more valuable to God, than one with much amassed wealth or a position of power.

“As for those who seemed to be important – whatever they were makes no difference to me.  God does not judge by external appearance – those men added nothing to my message.” – (Galatians 2:6) Paul spoke these words before the apostles and other leaders, as he was sharing his call to preach the gospel before the Gentiles, as there had been some in power positions attempting to burden new believers with the yoke of circumcision, when they were not even Jewish.  God had shown him that He looked at the heart condition, not the outward appearance.  It is our hearts that need to prepare to come before the Lord, not our bodies.

With a heart to serve,External Appearance

may we humbly come;

offer hands and heart,

to the Holy One.

With all that we are,

let our whole lives be;

willful submission,

for the Lord’s glory.

Seek not position,

nor power nor fame;

seek only Jesus,

the truth we can claim.

The Lord will receive,

whatever we bring;

as He sees our heart,

through our offering.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not judge us by external appearances, but rather by the condition of our heart.  Thank You that as we come to You and give our heart to You, You cleanse and make our heart holy and acceptable before You.  Thank You that it is by Your grace, and not by anything that we can or cannot do in our own strength.  Forgive us for trying to do enough or be enough, when really, YOU ALONE, ARE ENOUGH.  Teach us to trust You with our whole heart, soul, mind, strength and life, so that all we do, is in and unto You.  Lead us and guide us by Your lavish and unending love, so that we may love others in a way that leads them straight to You.  Be magnified through every move we make.  We love You, Lord.  Amen.

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

Because of the tender mercy of our God, … the rising sun will come to us from heaven. – Luke 1:78

Calling for Counsel

Acts 15, for me, has two terrific take-aways.  The first, is when there is a question or dispute about what is right according to God’s will, seek the word and the wisdom of godly counsel.  Second, if there is a point of disagreement that seemingly has no resolution that is not foundational in our faith – agree to disagree and move on.

It was brought to the attention of Paul and Barnabas, that some men from Judea and Antioch were teaching in such a way, that they were attempting to place the yoke of the old law upon the necks of Gentile believers, rather than recognizing that the inner working of the Holy Spirit in their lives was more than enough.  “This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them.  So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question.” – (Acts 15:2) After meeting with the counsel of elders, who examined the scriptures, they recognized that there was no longer a need to place the former regulations required for Jewish believers upon the neck of the Gentiles who had come to Christ.  Instead, they were given a few simple instructions to follow that were to protect their physical and spiritual well-being.

Paul and Barnabas were great friends and brothers in Christ.  They had traveled many miles together, and shared miraculous moments that the Lord had provided both through them and in them along the way.  After they had met with the counsel, the two men disagreed about whom they should bring along on the next leg of their journey.  Ultimately, they parted company and each took a new traveling companion, thus doubling the ministry teams that were sent out.  Both men had very effective ministries, that were eventually reunited and ultimately combined (as the point of contention had been over bringing Mark along, and Mark later became a vital part of Paul’s ministry).

When things are unclear,Calling for Cousel

seek that which is true;

first God, then the word,

then wise counsel, too.

If disputes arise,

try first to resolve;

let not opinions,

true friendships dissolve.

For there will be times,

when it will be best;

let disagreements,

lay down, put to rest.

If we truly love,

then we’ll be okay;

if not eye to eye,

in every way.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your goodness and grace.  Thank You that You provide us with Your wisdom through Your Holy Spirit and through Your word.  Thank You too, that there are godly men and women around us whom we can seek together, when questions arise, or answers seem unclear.  Thank You that You create us for community so that we may learn and grow with one another.  Thank You too, that as humans, it is okay to disagree on some things.  Forgive us for attempting to make snap decisions without seeking You and further counsel when necessary, and also for not being okay with others having opinions that differ form our own.  Please grant us the wisdom to know to always seek You first, and to know when we are meant to seek further counsel.  Help us to know when it is okay to agree to disagree.  May we live in the light of Your love, so that those who know You not, might come to see the goodness and grace that is available through a relationship with You.  May many choose to live for You.  Be glorified in all that we say and do.  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

Laying Down Our Load

image by BBHB

image by BBHB

Come if you’re weary.

Come if you feel worn.

Come with heart tattered.

Come targets of scorn.

It does not matter,

to God how we come.

But rather we seek Him,

so battles are won.

The yoke we’re bearing,

let Him take and toss.

For He already,

bore it on the cross.

Take off the burden,

let loose heavy chains;

His strength is enough,

to carry our pains.

Extend Him your hands.

Give your whole heart too.

For this is where rest,

is granted to you.

His yoke is easy.

His burden is light.

You are His treasure;

His child, His delight.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – (Matthew 11:28-30)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in You, we find rest.  Thank You that when we are weary and worn out, or burdened beyond what we can bear, You say, “come, let Me carry that.”  Forgive us for trying to power through in our own strength, and help us to be completely dependant on You.  Thank You that every battle we face and every burden we bear, You have already bore on the cross.  Help us to set down our “stuff” so that we can extend our arms to You.  May we recognize the rest You provide, and please keep us from picking our burdens back up again, once we have laid them down.  Help us to extend Your hope to the hurting and the hopeless, so that they too, may come to know Your perfect peace and provision.  Amen.

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

Bearing Burdens

At times I discover

image by Gisle

image by Gisle

the world’s too heavy for me.

The burdens I’m bearing,

making me too blind to see.

The things that I carry,

not meant to be mine at all.

He asks me to give back,

that which will cause me to fall.

For His yoke is easy,

and godly burden is light,

as He wants to carry,

to stand in, cover, and fight.

He wants only my heart,

ready and listening.

And He’ll give back to me,

His light, ever glistening.

My role is quite simple.

He asks me to walk beside,

those for which I’m burdened,

and allow His heart to guide.

Lean not on my own ways,

in Him, place my every trust;

acknowledge only Him,

to take the straight path, I must.

“For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:30

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your path straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not ask us to bear the burdens of this world.  Thank You that You already have.  Forgive us for trying to carry that which You willingly bore, and help us to recognize and remember that You are so much stronger and better at bearing these things.  Teach us to trust You completely, and help us to hand You each thing that we try to take up again.  Keep our load light before You, so that our burden is light and our bounty might be plentiful for Your kingdom.  May we walk in obedience so that we can be used as You have purposed for each of us.  Help us to love freely, without fear, as You so lavishly love us.  May many come to know You, by our love.  Amen.

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