Our Invitation for Intervention

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. – (Psalm 139:23-24, NIV)

God, examine me and know my mind. Test me and know all my worries. Make sure that I am not going the wrong way. Lead me on the path that has always been right. – (Psalm 139:23-24, ERV)

God, I invite Your searching gaze into my heart. Examine me through and through; find out everything that may be hidden within me. Put me to the test and sift through all my anxious cares. See if there is any path of pain I’m walking on, and lead me back to Your glorious, everlasting ways – the path that brings me back to You. – (Psalm 139:23-24, TPT)

 

Though God already knows our mind and our thoughts, it is our invitation for His intervention that makes all the difference. When we request that our Redeemer show us that which is within us that needs to go, He makes His path plain and leads us in light of His love. There are plenty of anxious thoughts within me, as the state of my school feels chaotic. This morning, I have to attend mandatory “Active-Shooter Training” for an hour before my classes even begin. In this space, I have to walk forward in faith, and trust that I am where I am meant to be for such a time as this. If my mind and my thoughts determined my path on my own, I would have walked away a few months ago. However, that is not how I am being led. Though I know not what will become of this year, I have to trust that He will bring about His glory and use it all for good. May we ever seek the Lord and invite Him in, as He leads us in light of His love and shows us which way we are meant to go.

 

Search me and know me, Our Invitation for Intervention

O Lord above all;

I trust You’ll catch me,

Not allow me fall.

For as I seek You,

You make Your path plain;

As You lead onward,

I’ll trust in Your Name.

Remove from my heart,

All that is untrue;

Flood me with Your love,

As I follow You.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we seek You and invite You in, You show us our worries and how to trust in You. Forgive us for our anxious thoughts, as each one is a space where we struggle to trust You enough. Lead us in Your ways everlasting, so that we will follow the path that You set before us. Show us how to love others well, so that we walk in light of Your love and act as agents of calm in spaces of chaos. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we invite You to search our hearts and thoughts and show us where change is needed and the direction that we are meant to go. Amen.

 

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

 

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

 

 

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Ever Be

But You are always the same; You will live forever. – (Psalm 102:27, NLT)

But You never change. You will live forever! – (Psalm 102:27, ERV)

But You are the same, You will never change; Your years will never come to an end. – (Psalm 102:27, VOICE)

 

As I read the various versions of this particular passage, song lyrics began to play through my mind immediately. The song, Ever Be, by Aaron Shust, has a line that kept repeating over and over as I took in the truth – “Faithful You have been and faithful You will be…” God is always the same and will not change. His love and faithfulness for us, remain for all time. Before the world began, He was. Long after life as we know it ceases, He will be. The constant is God. When everything that surrounds us seems to be swirling out of control, the one true thing that shall always remain, is who God is and how He loves. He is the anchor of our soul, and the One on whom we can always depend. May we ever trust in the Lord, for He is good and loving and kind, and His faithfulness will never end.

 

For You never change, The Reason for Reverence

You’re always the same;

Faithful forever,

We trust in Your Name.

Though we are all born,

And will one day die;

You are forever,

Hope never denied.

Help us always seek,

You, our faithful Lord;

All praise be to You,

The One we adore.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are always the same, and that Your Kingdom knows no end. Thank You that Your faithfulness is forever, and we can trust in You. Forgive us for thinking that You are fickle like us, that You would somehow change Your mind. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would readily believe and receive all that You have for us, as You are faithful forever. Show us how to love others with the same faithfulness that You give to us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give You praise for all of our days that You never change and that Your years shall not ever end. Amen.

 

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

 

God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me. – Genesis 21:6

Rejoice in Our Refuge

But let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread Your protection over them, that all who love Your Name may be filled with joy. – (Psalm 5:11, NLT)

But let those who trust in You be happy forever. Protect and strengthen those who love Your Name. – (Psalm 5:11, ERV)

But let those who run to You for safety be glad they did; let them break out in joyful song. May You keep them safe – their love for You resounding in their hearts. – (Psalm 5:11, VOICE)

 

David reminds us that when we chose to trust in God, He is our source of safety, strength and joy. As we recognize the Lord’s protection, His love for us becomes increasingly evident. When we know we are loved, we cannot help but be filled with joy. Just as there is great joy and security in knowing we are loved by another person, how much more does this hold true when the love and protection come from the Creator of all that is and was and ever will be? May we take refuge and rejoice in our Redeemer, as He alone is worthy of our praise as our Protector and Provider of joy.

 

Let us run to God, Quiet Hope

For safety and joy;

It is by His love,

His strength is employed.

He is our refuge,

Protection and peace;

He loves forever,

In Him, joy’s complete.

So trust in the Lord,

Rejoice in His Name;

He’s faithful always,

In Him, there’s great gain.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that all who take refuge in You have reason to rejoice, as You are our strength and protection. Thank You that Your love fills us with joy. Forgive us for not running to You when we are fearful or uncertain of what stands before us. Teach us to trust You in all things at all times, as You are our refuge and reason for joy. Show us how to love others in a way that strengthens, encourages and shares the joy that we’ve come to know in You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we take refuge in You and rejoice in Your faithfulness forever. Amen.

 

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

 

For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. – 1 Peter 2:19

Praise in Wonder

O Lord, I will honor and praise Your Name, for You are my God. You do such wonderful things! You planned them long ago, and now You have accomplished them. – (Isaiah 25:1, NLT)

Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You and praise Your Name, for in perfect faithfulness You have done wonderful things, things planned long ago. – (Isaiah 25:1, NIV)

 

God deserves all of our honor and praise, for His faithfulness is perfect, and what He says, He does. The Lord is faithful to fulfill all of His promises, and we can trust that He is true to His word. Sometimes, in the hectic pace of life, we lose sight of all that God has done, and become anxious about what lies ahead. It is both good and necessary to slow down and recognize all that God has done to faithfully fulfill His promises to us. For me, I need only look on the faces of my children to remember the wonderful ways in which He fulfills His word. May all that is within us recognize the wonderful things that He has done, giving our honor and praise to He alone who is worthy of our awe and wonder.

 

Let us choose honor,unseal-my-lips

Give praise to His Name;

May all within us,

Of His love, proclaim.

See all the wonder,

The great things He does;

How He keeps His word,

And oh, how He loves.

All that He has planned,

The Lord shall fulfill;

We can always trust,

What He says, He will.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do such wonderful things. Thank You that the things that You planned long ago, You fulfill. Thank You that You are always faithful. Thank You that You are my God and I can honor and praise You. Forgive us for not recognizing the wonderful things that You have done in us, through us and around us. Teach us to take pause and look around, so that we would both remember and recognize all of the places where You have stepped in and shown Your faithfulness to us. Help us to trust You more. Show us how to love those around us in a tangible way, so that they might come to see the light of Your love through our words and deeds. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we exalt You and praise Your Name for who You are and the wonderful things that You have done. Amen.

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

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

Reverence Reveals His Joy

The Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love. – (Psalm 147:11, NIV)

The Lord enjoys people who worship Him and trust in His faithful love. – (Psalm 147:11, ERV)

But His joy is in those who reverence Him, those who expect Him to be loving and kind. – (Psalm 147:11, TLB)

 

God is far greater than we can begin to grasp. He is both our loving Father and Almighty God. The Lord is worthy of all of our worship and adoration, and we ought to have a reverent respect full of awe and wonder at all that He is, has done, and ever will be. We bring Him joy and delight as we trust Him, and allow our hearts to hope in His unfailing love. Let every heart trust in His unending love as we offer our worship in reverent awe of who He is and how He loves.

 

To be the delight,Refreshment Through Repentance

Of our Holy God;

We must trust His love,

With hope, stand in awe.

We need choose revere,

His power and might;

Trust unfailing love,

To be His delight.

God is always good,

And His love is true;

Let every heart hope,

In Christ, be made new.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for loving us without limits, and for delighting in us when we trust in You with the reverence that is due. Forgive us for not giving You proper praise, or for questioning the character or nature of who You are, as Your love never fails. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would not place human parameters on Your nature or character, but instead, in reverence and awe, would recognize the enormity of Your unfailing, faithful love for all who call on Your Name. Show us how to love those around us in a way that models our reverence for You and the hope that we hold in Your love that never fails. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we worship You and trust in Your unfailing love. Amen.

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

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

Praise for His Plans

Lord, You are my God, I will exalt You and praise Your Name, for in perfect faithfulness You have done wonderful things, things planned long ago. – (Isaiah 25:1, NIV)

O Lord, I will honor and praise Your Name, for You are my God; You do such wonderful things! You planned them long ago, and now You have accomplished them, just as You said! – (Isaiah 25:1, TLB)

 

God deserves all of our honor and praise. He is perfect in all of His ways, and is always faithful. What He speaks, He is faithful to fulfill, and all of the wonderful things that we experience were planned long in advance. The Lord loves us, and knows our needs. In His goodness and grace, He is present and has prepared a path before us that leads us to life everlasting. May we exalt our God and praise His Name, for He is faithful to do all that He says He will do.

 

Lord, You are my God,Marvelously Made

I exalt Your Name;

for Your faithfulness,

and truth You proclaim.

For all that is good,

You planned long ago;

You spoke forth Your word,

and then made it so.

May I remember,

to always give praise;

for Your faithfulness,

throughout all my days.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are my God and that You are perfect in Your faithfulness. Thank You that You have done wonderful things that You planned long ago. Thank You that You receive our worship and praise, as You alone deserve all. Forgive us for not recognizing Your faithfulness in the wonders all around us, and for not giving You proper praise for who You are and how You love. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would exalt You in all things and at all times, as we always have evidence of Your faithfulness all around us. Show us how to love others, so that they might come to understand Your faithfulness too. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we honor and praise Your Name, for who You are, and all that You do. Amen.

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

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

Praise All of Our Days

I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify Your Name forever. For great is Your love toward me; You have delivered me from the depths of the grave. – (Psalm 86:12-13)

 

Fire has always frightened me to my core, ever since I was a little girl. In fact, when the fire department did a fire safety talk at my elementary school, I would not sleep at night until my parents installed smoke detectors in our home. Right now, we are experiencing an unusually hot and dry summer in Washington State. On the eastern side of the state, in Wenatchee where my Mom resides, their first big fires of the season just hit yesterday. Typically, they are far from where my mom lives, so all that is observed is the constant flying of helicopters to the river to fill giant containers that are then flown over the flames, and poured out to douse them with water. Unfortunately, yesterday evening the fires were crawling closer and closer to where my mother lives. Her neighborhood was on voluntary evacuation, but she and her neighbors decided to stay and be ready to go at a moment’s notice. Late into the evening, flames burst forth from the ravine on the far side of her vacant lot. Suddenly her home was surrounded by firefighters and her exit blocked by fire trucks. Even if she had wanted to leave, there was no way out, as the fire was burning too near the only road out. For hours, I watched, waited, and prayed. I imagine she did much of the same.

 

This morning’s Psalm really resonates as to how I feel on behalf of my Mom and the many in her housing development whom are dearly loved friends. His love has been great as He has delivered and protected them from what could have been catastrophic. My heart is overflowing with praise, for He is good and His love endures forever.

 

No matter what comes,

Image from my Mom's driveway...

Image from my Mom’s driveway…

I will give You praise;

for You are my God,

help all of my days.

With all of my heart,

to You, glorify;

forever, always,

hope to testify.

You have delivered,

me from the great depths;

and spared me the grave,

of unrighteousness.

Though we walk through fire,

You lovingly keep;

us in Your safe hands,

as You tend Your sheep.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your love for us is so great, that You sent Your Son to deliver us from the depth of an eternal grave. Thank You that You are worthy of our praise, with all of our heart, for all of our days. Forgive us for losing sight of the truth when storms rage or fires burn. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will glorify You in every circumstance, as You are worthy of our praise forever. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they may see Your heart for them through us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we offer our praise until the end of our days. 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

Upheld By His Hand

Change is inevitable. At times, change is a choice that we embrace and make with enthusiasm, yet there are other times that change must occur in response to our present circumstances. During the latter, we seldom are responding with enthusiasm, and often it is instead a space of fear or dread. There is sorrow in such seeking, and a desperate need to know that the Lord is present in the catalyst of change that we feel called to make. Our difficult decisions for change that Christ calls us to, He also strengthens and upholds us as we move forward in faith.

 

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. – (Isaiah 41:10)

 

Despite how things appear in the here and now, when Christ calls us to change, it is for our ultimate good. Though there may be a season of mourning, His joy does come again. We need not fear, for His presence is promised. We need not dismay, for we know Who is with us. He will strengthen, help and uphold us with His hand, not our own. It is not up to us to power through, rather we are meant to move in obedience; dependent on Him, each step of the way. May we release every fear to He who is our strength and our help, and trust Him to uphold us in His righteous right hand.

 

Lord help me embrace,Generous Giving

what You call me to;

though changes are hard,

I have help in You.

Even when sorrow,

accompanies change;

help me to trust You,

and call on Your Name.

Lord, help me not fear,

keep me from dismay;

be my strength and hope,

as I choose obey.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we need not fear, because You are with us. Thank You that we need not be dismayed, for You are our God. Thank You that You strengthen and help us; and that You hold us up in Your righteous right hand. Forgive us for our fearfulness, in spite of Your faithfulness. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will be certain of all that You have promised and walk in obedience accordingly. Lead us to love others fearlessly and relentlessly, even if they are afraid to receive the love that You are providing. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, Lord. Be glorified O God, as we surrender our fears and our fretting, and choose to embrace the strength and help that you provide as You hold us up in Your righteous right hand. Amen.

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

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

His Help Sustains

“Surely God is my help; the Lord is the One who sustains me.” – (Psalm 54:4)

 

As I read this morning’s passages, this verse in Psalm 54, commanded my attention. Though they were David’s words in reference to his own struggles with Saul and his insanity that was constantly trying to kill him, (among other challenges), I could not help but relate it to Jesus and what He must have been going through on this day, so many years ago. He knew the horrors He would willingly have to endure to make the way for mankind to become reconciled back to right relationship with the Father. Jesus also knew that He would be betrayed and abandoned by His dearest friends in His greatest hour of need. After time in the upper room with the disciples, Jesus knew He needed to go to the garden to pray, to commune with God, His help and the One who sustained Him when all others were unable to so much as stay awake and keep watch.

 

People are flawed, and cannot nor should not be our ultimate source of help and hope. Yes, God gives us amazing people in our lives to help, encourage, lift up, and walk beside – but ultimately, our help comes from Him. He is the One who sustains us, and the Lord is our help and our hope. Because of what He willingly went through all those years ago, first in the garden, then before Pilot and Herod and the rest, what He endured on both the ground and while He hung on that cross – was all for us – for you and me, individually, so that we could come to Him and trust Him to be our help and our hope. If not even death can defeat Christ, how can we not trust Him to be our help in all things?

 

Surely You are,His Help Sustains

my help and my strength;

sustaining One,

Who goes to great lengths.

You bore my sin,

and all of my shame;

so I might know,

the hope in Your Name.

O Lord, my God,

again I’m amazed;

at Your great love,

I give You all praise.

I place my trust,

in Your mighty hands;

Your will be done,

by Your grace, I stand.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our help and the One who sustains us. Thank You for sending Your Son to make the way for us to have access to You and know You as our personal Savior. Thank You that You are not God out there, but You are God right here, dwelling in the hearts of all who believe. Forgive us for not turning to You when troubles come, or for attempting to take on trials in our own strength. Thank You that You love us so much that You provide Your help and strength, and often, You provide people too. Help us to be available to those around us, so that You may use us to encourage and build up the body. May we love others as You love us, and may many come to know You as their help and their hope this Easter weekend. Be glorified, Lord God. 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

 

 

 

Radical Obedience

Yesterday, as we continued our series, Into the Wild, the title of the day’s message was Radical Obedience.  The message was based on Genesis 17, as God continued to ask Abraham to step out in obedience, in order to walk blamelessly before Him.  As the story unfolds, three key points were conveyed.

1.  Obedience isn’t a suggestion, it is an expectation. God Almighty expects us to live blamelessly in obedience to Him.  We ought to obey because He is worthy.  What He asks of us is not to restrain us, but rather to free us into what will be.  (As He knows the ultimate outcome of all things.)

2.  Obedience requires sacrifice.  There is always a personal cost to do what God asks of us, yet His return, is far greater than any price we may initially invest.  Abraham had to give up comfort and endure pain, yet He entered into a covenant that was sacred between he and God, that was to last for many generations to come.  To be considered God’s chosen people, was well worth the temporary pain.

3.  The outcome of obedience is a change in our hearts, not just in our actions.  (see Hosea 6:6) When we obey for the sake of stuff instead of for our heart, it’s religion.  When we obey to change our heart, it is relationship with our Redeemer.

(three points outlined by Pastor Matt Ramirez @ gcfw.org)

May we seek to obey,Radical Obedience

for the sake of our heart;

to honor our great God,

follow Him from the start.

Allow no sacrifice,

to steer our hearts away;

for whatever the cost,

will be worth it one day.

Our great, Almighty God,

alone worthy, indeed;

let us live without blame,

so His return we’ll see.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us into radical obedience unto You.  Thank You that You do not just want part of us, but rather, You want all of us – heart, soul, strength and mind.  Thank You that as we choose to sacrifice our own selfishness, the return in You, is far greater.  Forgive us for our disobedience, or for obeying in hope of getting stuff.  Help our hearts hold You in the proper place, so that our motivation is Your worthiness, and our desire to know and honor You.  May we grow deeper roots in our relationship with You.  Let us live and love as You love us, so that many may come to know the saving grace that You so generously give to all who call on Your Name.  Be glorified through every act of obedience.  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