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Attempting to obey God and follow Jesus Christ our Lord

Posts tagged “faith

Faith Assured

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. – (Hebrews 11:1, NIV)

 

Faith is what makes real the things we hope for. It is proof of what we cannot see. – (Hebrews 11:1, ERV)

 

The sure and certain hope recorded here are foundational in our faith. They are both the beginning and the end of what we believe. First, to be sure of what we hope for requires that we believe in God’s character – that we trust He is who He says He is. Our certainty comes as we discover His promises, and realize that He will do what He says He will do. God is faithful, and will fulfill and follow through, even when we do not see evidence that is tangible in the here and now. May we allow hope to fill our hearts and minds, as we grant Christ access to further grow our faith.

 

In the dark of night,Faith Assured

we see no evidence;

of new morning’s light,

with faith, reassurance.

So it is with Christ,

though our hearts may not see;

He has paid the price,

for all hearts to be free.

A promise of hope,

His presence for today;

our answer to cope,

the only faithful way.

Allow faith to grow,

may it rise up in you;

as you come to know,

all He’s promised to do.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that faith is not something that we are expected to somehow muster on our own, but rather when we seek You, we find You, and You grow faith within us. Thank You that as we invest our hearts in You, we come to know both Your character and Your promises, which assure us of our hope for both today and forever with You. Forgive us for thinking that we could somehow grow our faith on our own, and help us to trust You to increase our understanding and deepen our dependence on You as we seek You. May we shine Your light and extend Your love to all those whom we encounter, and may many come to know You, personally, as a result. Be glorified, O God. Amen.

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

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. – Psalm 34:8

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See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. – (Colossians 2:8, NIV)

 

Be sure you are not led away by the teaching of those who have nothing worth saying and only plan to deceive you. That teaching is not from Christ. It is only human tradition and comes from the powers that influence the world. (Colossians 2:8, ERV)

 

When we are rooted in Christ, His Holy Spirit dwells in us and grants us wisdom to know what is of Him, and what is not. Our charge is to be on guard, with our eyes and ears open, aware of the motives and intentions of those around us as they speak. If we are invested in our relationship with Christ, spending time in His word and intentional to allow Him to speak truth in our lives, we will be sensitive to hear His still small voice that whispers warnings when something being presented is not of Him. The basic principles of the world or the powers that influence the world, are not from God. He calls us to something far greater. What the world offers is temporary, what Christ offers, is eternal. May we each be rooted and established in Christ, so as to not be deceived by anything or anyone that is not of Him.

 

Give no one access,Limited Access

to your heart and mind;

except for the One,

Who’s Holy, Divine.

For anyone else,

will lead us astray;

the ways of the world,

end in death, decay.

When we’re invested,

rooted in the Lord;

He safeguards our hearts,

His wisdom outpoured.

Our eyes learn to see,

what’s false and what’s true;

His Spirit within,

shows us what to do.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we are rooted and established in You, You safeguard our hearts and minds from that which would contend for our attention away from You. Thank You for the gift of Your Holy Spirit, whom You pour into each of us as we make You Lord of our life. Forgive us for any area where we have given ear to the voice of the world, and help us to hear You clearly as to what is truth. Lead us in Your way, and help us to follow fast, the path that leads to abundant life in You. May our life lived faithfully in love, lead many away from the deceptive ways of the world that lead to death, and unto You, where life everlasting is found. Be glorified, O God, as we are strengthened in faith and trust in You. 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

 

 

 


No More Darkness

For you were once in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth). – (Ephesians 5:8-9)

 

Because we are in Christ, our actions ought to reflect our faith. Morally, we are meant to magnify our Maker with our every move. All that we say and do, is either shining His light into darkness, or casting a shadow where light needs to shine. We are called to live as light. May we operate in such a way that His goodness, righteousness and truth are made evident through every move we make.

 

Though once steeped in sin,No More Darkness

living in the dark;

we now know the truth,

flame grew from a spark.

Called to be children,

that live as His light;

to shine in darkness,

show His path that’s right.

Gone are the shadows,

that chained us to sin;

where light is shining,

darkness cannot win.

In goodness go forth,

both righteous and true;

shine on for the Lord

let our lives bear fruit.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You rescued us from the darkness that surrounded us in our brokenness, and filled us with Your light. Thank You that You call and equip us to be Your children, who You allow to share Your light with the world. Forgive us for not consistently expressing goodness, righteousness and truth in all that we do, and help us to do just that, in all things and at all times. Let our lives be lived as light unto You. May many come to know salvation in You, as we live and love as You love us. Be glorified, O God, as we live as Your children of light. Amen.

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

But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ. – Ephesians 2:4-5

 

 


Where Wisdom Begins

Wisdom, the knowledge of what is true and right, coupled with just judgment as to action, discernment and insight, is a gift from God that He gives as we earnestly seek Him. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. – (Proverbs 9:10 NIV) Wisdom begins with fear and respect for the Lord. Knowledge of the Holy One leads to understanding. (ERV)

 

With all of the chaos and turmoil present in the world, Godly wisdom is an attribute from which I would most certainly benefit. I need to know what is true and right in His eyes, not man’s nor my own, and I must be able to act justly, utilize discernment, and offer insight to those who ask. Daily, I must earnestly seek Him, for He alone is the Source of all wisdom and knowledge to know what is true and right before Him.

 

Each morning I rise,Where Wisdom Begins

to seek and to pray;

to ask You to lead,

to show me Your way.

Lord, grant me wisdom,

knowledge of what’s true;

also sound judgment,

and Your insight too.

Help me understand,

things that are unclear;

draw me closer still,

and show me You’re near.

God I stand in awe,

may my life bring praise;

all glory to You,

for all of my days.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we grow in understanding of You, and put You in the proper place in our lives, You reveal more of Yourself to us, and grant us wisdom and understanding that we did not have before. Thank You that every good and perfect gift comes from You. Thank You that there is nothing that we can do to earn Your love nor Your grace, for You willingly give all that You are to us, simply because we are Your created. Forgive us for not seeking You, as You are ready to reveal so much more to us than we understand. Teach us to trust You more, and help us to place You first in our hearts and lives. May we live and love in the wisdom and understanding that You provide, so that people are drawn to hearts where You reside. Let those who are looking, find a forever faith in You. Be exalted, O God. Amen.

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

May God Almighty grant you mercy. – Genesis 43:14

 

 


Wanting the World for Our Children

Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of Him.

“What is it you want?” He asked.

She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at the left in your kingdom.”

- (Matthew 20:20-21)

 

As a mom, I can understand the motivation that was driving Zebedee’s wife’s question. She wanted assurance that her boys would be secure and established not only now, but in Christ’s kingdom, forever. Though the question was a bit over the top, the heart that had the audacity to ask, was one of a mama who wanted the very best for her boys.

 

Based on the response that Jesus gave, our charge as parents to help establish security for our children, is to teach them to have a heart to serve Him, rather than to pursue recognition. If we keep in mind that our children are not our own, but rather are a precious gift from God, granted for a tender time to raise in the way that He calls them, and then are meant to be released to go forth to pursue whatever path He has placed before them, we may continually be in a space of lifting them up before Him. Our prayers do not go void, and our children never stop being our kids.

 

Faithful the love,Wanting the World for Our Children

of a mother’s heart;

seeks to provide,

safety from the start.

The greatest gift,

granted as they grow;

roots deep in Christ,

so His path, they’ll know.

Lead them in love,

show a heart that serves;

quick to forgive,

give praise that’s deserved.

Not in our strength,

but clearly in His;

faith, hope and love,

great blessings He gives.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the treasures that children are to us. Thank You that You consider us Your children, regardless of our age or upbringing. Thank You that You are loving and full of grace, and that You provide all that we need to parent and love children well. Forgive us for our own selfish desires for our kids, and help us to submit our children wholly unto You. May Your purposes and plans for their lives come to pass. Teach us how to love and raise them in the way that they are meant to go, and help us to cover them in prayer, always. May many come to know the gift of Your goodness and grace through our precious progenies. Be glorified through the faithfulness of our families. 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

 


Efficacy Through Faith in the Eternal

After watching Jesus successfully do what they had not been able to do, the disciples asked Him why they had been unable to take on the task at hand. He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” – (Matthew 17:20)

 

Jesus was not condemning the disciples, but rather pointing out how powerful faith can be. He was guiding them to fix their eyes on the solution, rather than the source of the problem. We too, have access to the very same power. If we take our eyes off of the mountain before us, and instead, focus on the Maker, we shall see mountains moved, obstacles overcome, and needs met in ways we could never have imagined.

Efficacy Through Faith in the Eternal

We cannot by will,

make our mountains move;

if we stare them down,

our plight shan’t improve.

Yet, if we will look,

to the Lord of all;

He will make the way,

and answer our call.

Impossible things,

are not so, to Him;

He can make a way,

if we’ll let Him in.

Trust that He is good,

place all in His hands;

all is possible,

with faith in God’s plans.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are good and You are for us, even when the mountains before us seem overwhelming. Thank You that You who made the mountains, can handle whatever comes our way. Thank You that You love us, even when our faith is so small. Forgive us Father, for our fears and lack of focus on You, the solution, and help us to fix our eyes on You, rather than the obstacles before us. Grow our faith God, so we may be quick to come before You, trusting that You are the solution. May we love faithfully, as You so faithfully love us, and may many come to know You, as our love guides them to Your grace. Be glorified as we move in faith today. 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


Infinite Worth

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” – (Matthew 10:29-31)

 

Because God so loved, He created. He intimately knows His creation, and loves each of us, individually. If God is aware of all of the birds of the air and the beasts of the field, how much more so, is He aware of us, personally? The Father’s love is so great that He sent His only Son to die for us, (John 3:16), so that we could have life abundantly in Him forever.

 

This does not mean that our troubles will all fade away. However, we need not fear in times of trouble, for our help and our hope is present with us, and He will never leave us nor forsake us. The One who knows the number of hairs on our head, knows what we need in all things and at all times, far better than we do. He values us more that we do, as He willingly gave up His life for ours. How can we help but trust the One who truly knows and loves us?

 

We are known and loved,Sparrow2

from before our birth;

to the Lord above,

hold infinite worth.

He knows us by name,

and our hidden parts;

He still chooses love,

and mends broken hearts.

There’s nothing that He,

does not clearly see;

yet He still picks love,

despite the ugly.

Our God’s perfect love,

shall cast out all fear;

for it cannot stay,

when we know He’s near.

Allow His great love,

to grant hope, rebirth;

for we are each His,

of infinite worth.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You know us intimately, and love us anyway. Thank You that we are of infinite worth unto You, as You loved us so much that You willingly sent Your Son to die in our place, so that we could have eternal life with You. Thank You that Your perfect love casts out fear, and that You remain present no matter what we face or endure. Forgive us for our fearfulness and lack of trust, and grow in us an unwavering faith that trusts in all things and at all times, that You are with us and You are good. Help us to love others as You love us, and may many come to know You and Your great love as a result. Be magnified as we move forward faithfully in You. Amen.

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

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


Worry Versus Concern

Though my daily reading plan does not coincide with the events surrounding our celebration of Easter, I cannot help but recognize within each reading, how the words must have moved the hearts of the various men and women who were present at the events leading up to the cross, and beyond. This morning is no exception.

 

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” – (Matthew 6:27)

 

The NIV footnotes explain that “worry immobilizes, but concern moves you to action.” Clearly Christ was concerned for our well-being, as He moved forward to suffer for our sake. Additionally, I think of the disciples who deserted Him in His hour of need. Clearly they worried about their well-being, as each of them scattered in the face of adversity. However, there were those who were clearly concerned, rather than worried. Concern compelled Joseph of Arimathea to risk his reputation and ask to take Jesus’ body to the tomb. Likewise, concern moved Mary Magdalene and many other faithful women to be present at the foot of the cross.

 

Worry kept Pilate from standing strong in his convictions that Christ was indeed innocent. Though he knew Jesus had done nothing deserving of death, Pilate allowed the worry of his reputation to dictate death for One undeserving, simply because the crowd was calling for it. Can you imagine what the remainder of Pilate’s days must have been like, after the events that occurred from the cross to the empty tomb? Surely Pilate heard the news…

 

Let not worry,Worry Versus Concern

seize your heart with fear;

for no good comes,

when panic is near.

Concern compels,

wills us to action;

trusts Christ to lead,

faithful transaction.

Don’t let worry,

come immobilize;

instead, let faith,

sink in, globalize.

Rise up, dear ones,

release pending doom;

on that third day,

stood the empty tomb.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we need not worry when our trust is in You. Thank You that You who provide for the grass of the fields and the birds of the air, even more abundantly provide for Your people. Thank You that You alone are worthy of all of our trust. Forgive us for allowing fear to seep in and freeze us up from moving forward. Grow in us an unshakable faith, that is compelled to action by concerns, and that carries out Your will rather than our own. May we love others as You love us, and honor You in all that we say and do. May many come to know the help and hope available in You, because of what You did for us during this Easter season. All glory and honor unto You, our perfect Prince of Peace. 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

 


Prepare the Way

Preparations in advance make the way anywhere more easy to navigate. John the Baptist fulfilled his calling, as he faithfully went out into the Desert of Judea and preached repentance to prepare the hearts and minds of all who would hear him for the message that Jesus would soon deliver. “This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: ‘A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him.” – (Matthew 3:3)

 

John helped prepare the way for Jesus. With Easter mere days away, how can we “prepare the way for the Lord” and “make straight paths for Him“? Our charge as followers of Christ is to do just that. Our lives ought to speak volumes, without a single word. Do people see a difference in how we live? If our conduct demonstrates kindness and grace, opportunities are opened to share what He has done for us, personally, and “paths may be made straight” as we can correct misconceptions that people may be holding in their hearts about their own capacity to come to Christ. May His good news be made known as grace is lovingly shown.

 

Prepare the way,Prepare the Way

for our loving Lord;

make His heart known,

live in one accord.

Make straight the paths,

that lead unto Him;

offer His hope,

so His light shines in.

Give others grace,

as we have received;

Love drew us in,

when we first believed.

May that same love,

given lavishly;

draw others in,

so they too believe.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to make the way for us to come to know You. Thank You that He prepared the way and made the path straight for our minds and hearts to hold all hope in You. Thank You that we too, can be a part of preparing the way for others to come to know You. Forgive us for neglecting to do what You call us to, and for doing that which You ask us to not do. Thank You for Your forgiveness and grace, and may it compel us to depend on You more in all times and in each place. Help us to love and extend grace as You do unto us, and may many come to understand the eternal significance of Your death and resurrection this Easter. Let those who are looking, find a forever faith in You. Be glorified, Lord God. 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


Acts of Obedience

We are in the middle of a series called Surprised by Hope at the church I call home. Yesterday’s message was centered around “The Death of Jesus”, as we remember what went on during this sacred week so many years ago. The consequence of sin is death, and we are powerless to escape the hold of sin, unless God breaks in and rescues us from ourselves. In order for Him to do so, He requires a faith response on our part.

 

Jesus made His entry during the Passover celebration. This celebration is ultimately a remembrance of God’s faithfulness to the people’s obedience. God told the people that He would bring judgment on every household, unless a lamb was sacrificed and the blood marked on the doorposts. Though it likely made little sense, the people chose obedience to protect their precious families. As a result of their obedience, the angel of death passed over their homes, and they were all safe, while those who had not obeyed, were in the midst of great mourning. God delivered them because He loved them.

 

Christ’s sacrifice was an act of obedience. Because Jesus knew no sin, He could take on our sin and bear all of our burdens so that we could come to know redemption. Jesus knew what He would have to endure on our behalf, yet He was willing anyway.

 

What God asks of us does not always make sense, but He wants our heart, our will, our faith to trust Him, even if what He asks is not what we would expect. “…To obey is better than sacrifice…” (I Samuel 15:22b)

 

The consequence,Acts of Obedience

of sin is death;

without the Lord,

we’re powerless.

As we seek Him,

surrender all;

He’ll hear our heart,

and heed our call.

Prepare to do,

all that He asks;

regardless of,

the bizarre tasks.

For what He wants,

is our whole heart;

obedient,

each precious part.

So seek the Lord,

follow His ways;

redemption ours,

now and always.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son and making the way for us to be considered righteous before You. Thank You Jesus, for enduring the weight and suffering that should have been mine to bear. Thank You for redeeming us from our former ways, and granting us new life in You. Forgive us for thinking that we have to sacrifice enough or do enough to earn Your favor, and help us to receive that which You freely give. May we embrace the grace that You grant us, and respond in faith to whatever You ask. Lead us to live confidently as Your redeemed children. Let us love others as You love us, and may many come to know the blessed deliverance that comes from You alone. Be glorified, Lord God. Amen.

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

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

 

 

 


Pouring of Plenty

“God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you’re ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done.” – (2 Corinthians 9:8, The Message)

 

Paul was speaking to the people of Corinth about being generous with what God had given them. He asked them not to give out of obligation, but cheerfully, from a heart that had determined to give, because God had so graciously given unto them. We are meant to give what we determine in our hearts, cheerfully. This is not just of our wealth, but of our time and our talents – the very gifts of God that He has placed in us for His purposes, to bless others for His glory. What is such a divine mystery to me, is that each time we step out in faith and offer our time, talents and/or resources, we seem to be the recipients of His blessing. The joy in knowing His pleasure, is beyond a reward one could measure. Additionally, I find that when I give anyway, my own needs somehow are met, regardless of the seeming lack of time, energy or resources. God has a way of multiplying the miniscule, when we are faithful with what we do have.

 

God pours out His grace,Pouring of Plenty

abundant to us;

when we call on Him,

our Savior, Jesus.

As we choose to give,

from all that is ours;

God uses our gifts,

to reach near and far.

When others are blessed,

we become blessed too;

for we see Him work,

as lives are made new.

Generously give,

as He’s given us;

all unto the Lord,

our Savior, Jesus.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have given us the ultimate gift – Your Son, so that we may have eternal life with You. Thank You that You are generous and kind, never withholding anything from us, as You supply our every need. Forgive us for our reluctance to give – be it of our time, talents or resources. Please show us how we are meant to give unto You, and help us to do so with cheerful hearts. May many be moved toward a relationship with You, as a result of the giving unto which we are called. Help us to love others as You so generously love us. Be glorified through our generosity today. Amen.

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

The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. – Psalm 145:8

 

 

 

 


Remember the Miracles

“I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember Your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all Your works and consider all Your mighty deeds.” – (Psalm 77:11-12)

 

Israel learned over time, that as they encountered obstacles, hardships and struggles, if they focused their attention on the Lord and remembered all that the Lord had done for them already in difficult times before, their focus and faith would fix where it belonged, granting God room to be God. Time and time again, as Israel turned to the Lord and recognized all that He had done, they would see His mighty hand move once more.

 

The same practice ought to prevail in our lives today. When challenges come, do we stare at the struggle standing before us, or do we remember God’s faithfulness the countless times prior, and hold onto HIm as we move forward in faith? So often our “success” in the struggle is simply a matter of to whom we turn. Do we meditate on the Lord and all of His loving kindness, or do we look to the mountains before us that we cannot ever move in our own strength? May we meditate on our Maker, as we remember the miraculous He has done in and through our lives.

 

Look back in your life,Remember the Miracles

to struggles and pain;

who faithfully held,

your heart through the rain?

The places where love,

and light entered in;

were glimpses of God,

Redeemer, and friend.

Where your needs were met,

or hopes were fulfilled;

blessings from the Lord,

His grace was instilled.

Remember His love,

His faithfulness too;

His presence remains,

forever with you.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You give us Your word that shows us countless examples of Your faithfulness throughout the ages. Thank You that You are the same God – yesterday, today and forever. Thank You that we can look back in our own lives and see Your faithfulness. Forgive us for not remembering the miraculous in times of trial, and help us to fix our eyes on You, and Your ability to do far beyond what we could even begin to imagine. Help us to hear You clearly, so that we may move in obedience as You call us. Lead us to love as we are loved by You, and may many come to know You and Your faithfulness as a result. Be glorified through the grace and goodness we extend to others today. Amen.

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

Show me Your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths; …my hope is in You all day long. – Psalm 25:4-5

 

 

 

 


Promises to Purify

“Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” – (2 Corinthians 7:1)

 

The promises that Paul was referring to, were mentioned only a few verses earlier in the previous chapter. “…I will be their God, and they will be my people.” – (6:16b) “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” – (6:18) Reminders that we are His, not only as His people, but as His own children, both promises to which we can cling.

 

To purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, is a two-part process. It requires us to both turn away from the sin that entangles us, and turn to God, who is our help and our hope.

 

Perfecting holiness is not something that we can do, but rather is what the Lord does in us, as we operate our very lives out of reverence for God. To live in reverence for God, is to be in ongoing awe of Him. The more we seek to know Him, the more we come to realize just how worthy He is of our deep respect and awe. May we turn from all that would ensnare our souls, and cling to Christ, who is our help and our hope, forever.

 

Your word unto us,Promises to Purify

promise for all time;

in Christ we are Yours,

and by faith, You’re mine.

Not only as Lord,

but as Father too;

You call us Your kids,

sons and daughters, new.

May we purify,

our lives from the things;

that contaminate,

peace that Your truth brings.

Help us turn away,

from unrighteousness;

and cling unto You,

God of faithfulness.

May we stand in awe,

forever in You;

our Hope and our Help,

the God of all truth.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your promises. Thank You that if we come to You and place our trust in You, that You will be our God, and that You call us Your people. Thank You that You go beyond that – that You call us sons and daughters. Thank You that You help us turn from the sin that entangles us, and draw us unto Yourself. Forgive us for trying to do things on our own, thinking that we somehow are strong enough to stand. Teach us to turn to You, and to trust completely, as You alone are our Source. Help us to love as You love us, and lead many to come to know You as not only their God, but as a loving Father too. Be exalted in our every word and deed. 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

 

 


Not a Matter of Talk

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” – (I Corinthians 4:20) Talking about faith is good, but only if it can be backed up with action. Speaking the “right” words without reflecting God’s redemption, holds no value. If our words and our actions do not align, neither will hold any weight with those whom we might hope to influence.

In my own life, the people who have best modeled a life of faith, are not always just those who are regular speakers and teachers, but they may also be those who have faithfully and consistently served. Often, it is those who serve on the sidelines and have spoken countless words of encouragement and wisdom, that have found favor as their gentle approach has given them access to even the most guarded of hearts.

Words matter, but they are not truly given weight until they are fueled by faith. Faith is made evident by our actions. When the two align, our life becomes a reflection of our Redeemer. May His light shine through us, before all.

The kingdom of God,Not a Matter of Talk

is not about talk;

it is how we live,

how we walk the walk.

For by His power,

words turn to being;

our actions align,

His grace is freeing.

He fuels forgiveness,

grants mercy and grace;

empowers, equips,

helps us run our race.

We must keep moving,

with trust to pursue;

listen and follow,

what He asks, we do.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that more than just words matter to You. Thank You that our actions and words are meant to align. Thank You that without You, this is an impossible task, but with You, all things are possible. Thank You that You fuel our faith and equip us to live the lives to which we are called. Forgive us for our fears and doubts, and help us to trust completely in You. Thank You that You are faithful, even when our faith is fickle. Teach us how to “Preach the gospel always, and when necessary, use words.” (St. Francis Assisi) Let our very lives speak volumes for You, as we honor You in everything. May many come to know You as their Savior and King as we love like You love us. Be exalted, Lord God. Amen.

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

Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, You have done great things.

Who, O God, is like You? – Psalm 71:19


Just Faith

Attempting to be right before God in our own strength, does not work. Our very best intentions will never lead to justification, regardless of how hard we try on our own. However, when we choose to live by faith, and place our trust in Him, we are counted righteous as He covers us with the mercy of His sacrifice made, and we are seen as spotless, shameless, and set free from sin.

“Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, ‘The righteous will live by faith.” – (Galatians 3:11)

Even our faith is a gift that God gives. We have the freedom to choose whether or not we are to embrace God and the glorious gifts that He has given; or not. When we choose Him, He meets us where we are, grows our faith within us, and opens the eyes of our hearts to more clearly see who He is and what He has done for us. As our understanding deepens, we cannot help but long to love more deeply, and serve more selflessly. By His grace, we embrace our faith, and He deems us righteous before Him.

In our own strength,Just Faith

no way justified;

only by grace,

we are sanctified.

It is by faith,

not by any law;

that we’re called right,

before Father God.

It is a gift,

for us to embrace;

may each heart know,

His unending grace.

Open our eyes,

to more clearly see;

Your righteousness,

that has set us free.

Dear Jesus, thank You for coming and taking our place on the cross, so that we can be called clean, justified before God, because of what You willingly did on our behalf. Thank You that despite our best efforts, on our own we would never measure up – yet with You, by faith, we are considered righteous before God. Forgive us for trying to justify ourselves with our “I’ll do better next time” or “I’ll never do that again“, and help us instead to confess to You, and rely on You to be our help and our hope, so that we will do better the next time we face a similar scenario – not because we are better, but because we are trusting You more. Teach us how to rely on You completely in all things and at all times, and be our hope and our help, even when we can’t seem to see or hear You in the midst of the mess. Thank You that You are always present, and always good. Help us to love others as You love us, and may many come to know You through our loving kindness. Be exalted 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


The Armor of God; Ephesians 6 – Be Strong in the Lord

 

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Stand firm then, with the

  1. belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the
  2. breastplate of righteousness in place,  and with your
  3. feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the
  4. shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the
  5. helmet of salvation and the
  6. sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

 Piecing together the study of our armor, I have found that certain pieces of this armor must be paired with another in order for it to have the full effect.  It’s truly amazing! The shoes must be worn along with the breastplate, the shield must be used with the sword and the helmet must be worn with the belt. You can’t just put on one piece.

 
Peace (shoes) and Righteousness (breastplate)

I previously did a study on Peace and Righteousness and found that they truly do protect us and they work together- in protecting us. Peace and Right living , together, are our spiritual armor that protects us. It was truly amazing to see the two paired together so often in scripture. You absolutely cannot have one without the other, you can’t have righteousness without peace and you can’t have peace without righteousness.  Check out a few scriptures and see:

  •  Mercy and truth are met together ; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Psalm 85:10
  • And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. Isaiah 32:17
  • O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea: Isaiah 48:18
  • To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; Hebrews 7:2
  • And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace James 3:18


Faith (Shield) and God’s Word (Sword)

   Another interesting discovery! Just as Righteousness and peace work together and cannot work without each other, so I have found the same with the shield and sword. You cannot have faith without the Word, impossible! For faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of the Lord. I cannot protect myself against the wiles of the devil and his tactics without the help of God and His word. Faith in our Holy Father and His word protects me. God’s word crushes and destroys the enemy’s plan of attack – that’s my sword. The bible says that our enemy throws fiery darts at us- those darts are thoughts, doubts, fears- we hold up the shield of faith knowing we can trust in God. All those darts fall and will not touch you BUT if you get lazy and forget the Word, all those wrong thoughts will settle in your mind, fall deep in your heart and it will become part of you- we can’t let this happen.

  •   Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord, The shield of your help And the sword of your majesty! Your enemies shall submit to you, And you shall tread down their high places. Deut 33:29

Keeping scripture close at hand is key. When you trust in God, you trust in His word. When the enemy throws fears, discouragement, depression, wrong thoughts, and hopelessness your way you must hold up the shield of Faith- No weapon formed against you shall prosper! For this is the heritage of the saints of the Lord.

Speak it out- How interesting it is, I have found, the power of the spoken word. Notice that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Why doesn’t is say faith comes by reading and reading by the word of God? Maybe, or wait- not maybe- when we speak God’s Word and hear it – our faith grows and is strengthened. So I wonder, if we would begin speaking out in faith, we could really shake this wicked world up. If I can overthrow a mountain with faith just the size of a small mustard seed – whoa! Can you imagine what we can do in this world? I’m not talking about naming your Bentley, come on – I’m talking about making our world a Holy Nation. Instead of complaining about the wicked songs, lyrics, movies, shows, books – I will speak out in faith and prayer.

“God will protect my children, In Jesus Name, crush this wicked agenda that seeks to destroy our youth. Let every wrong and wicked movie crash to nothing and be destroyed before it touches the precious hearts of our children and….. here I go- May the new movie Divergent that is targeted at the youth be cast out and thrown into the sea”

Sidetrack:    My daughter and I had a conversation yesterday about the movie ‘catching fire’. My husband and kids watched it while I fumed up a furnace.  I prayed that God would take care of it so I didn’t act like an angry monkey on crack. The next day I was reading Imitation of Christ by Thomas Kemper with my daughter (part of her literary reading for high school) and it sparked a conversation

 “Not every desire is from the Holy Spirit, even though it may seem right and good…. And Whatever the mind sees as good, ask and desire in fear of God and humility of heart”

Me:“Look, just because you want to watch a movie and it seems good and right- doesn’t make it good and right before God”
She replies “there’s nothing wrong with it”
I say,” really? Killing? Sexuality? Kids slicing each others throats? Would you watch that movie if Jesus walked in here?
Silence…..
Then we kept reading the book:

“Not every desire is from the Holy Spirit, even though it may seem right and good”

I said,” You see, not everything you desire and think is okay, is okay with God.”
She replied “but mom, what if I watch it and it doesn’t affect me”
I said ”The bible says everything you see, hear, think, and do goes in your heart. Of course it affects you- and everyone else who watches it. Everything in that movie went into your heart and the only way you can clean it out is through the Word of God”
Silence
Yea mom, your right…. and we continued reading. I thought this was interesting because #1God answered my prayer, took care of this for me and gave my kids understanding #2 I had faith God would take care of it when I prayed and tried my best to keep peace – and true enough, my prayer of faith went out and God took care of this better than I could have (and btw…. I’m quite well aware that I am one of the last standing Christians who oppose this movie and all the other stuff out there- I don’t have to agree with the world and I’m not going to – even if I’m the last person on earth who stands up to disagree, so if you like the movie, fine – I’m not judging you and you’re not judging me – I’m just saying it how it is, I know there is more to this movie -and I’ll tell you what else- I know without a doubt these movies (and books on child mutilation) that have become the new obsession and required reading in schools absolutely have an underlying agenda of molding, shaping and desensitizing our children)

Moving Onnnn….

Now where was I…. the reason I wanted write you today is about faith- can you believe this? 4 pages into this post and finally I’m getting around to the subject. I’ve got so much to tell you! Ugh, maybe I should rename this or start a new post…..I’ll have to put it in another post because now I have something new…..

If peace and righteousness must be paired together and now I have found that faith and the Word must be paired together ( or shoes + breastplate = protection, sword+shield destroys and kills your enemy and their attacks) Well then! Let’s see if we can find a link between the belt of truth and the helmet of salvation………

Truth (belt) and Salvation (helmet)

Yes! It’s true! You cannot have salvation without the truth- this is so cool! Salvation comes through the Spirit through our belief in the truth.- ( a tie in with faith). The truth and your salvation in Jesus keep you grounded, unshaken and standing firm!!!  Wow, it’s all piecing together like a puzzle. Salvation comes through the truth and it helps you stand firm. Jesus is the truth of our salvation. The word of truth is the gospel of salvation. It’s Jesus! He is the truth and our salvation. Okay, here’s an overview of all our armor- Jesus , God’s Word and right living- those three together are the foundation of all this armor. I can see it! I’m jumping up and down- piecing a super cool puzzle together.

  • Believers Should Stand Firm]As for us, we can’t help but thank God for you, dear brothers and sisters loved by the Lord. We are always thankful that God chose you to be among the first to experience salvation—a salvation that came through the Spirit who makes you holy and through your belief in the truth. 2 Thessalonians 2:13
  •  Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. Psalm 25:5
  • I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation. Psalm 40:10
  • But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O Lord, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation. Psalm 69:13
  • In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Ephesians 1:13

You see, God has given you 6 items for you to use in this war. (devil’s schemes, For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms)    Did you notice that complaining about the annoying tactics of the enemy is not a weapon or a shielding  piece of armor? If it was, I’d be quite a warrior, but it doesn’t work this way ( I’m preaching to myself here) Are you just fending off the enemy or are you destroying the enemy with the Sword of God? We can march around with our helmet of salvation on and still get side swiped and crushed if we don’t stand firm on the Word of God. Get your sword out, remember who you are in Christ and don’t take any more garbage from the enemy because the name of Jesus is higher and more powerful than anything that may come against you.

For He put on righteousness as a breastplate,
And a helmet of salvation on His head;
He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing,
And was clad with zeal as a cloak.
18 According to their deeds, accordingly He will repay,
Fury to His adversaries,
Recompense to His enemies;
The coastlands He will fully repay.
19 So shall they fear
The name of the Lord from the west,
And His glory from the rising of the sun;
When the enemy comes in like a flood,
The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.
20 “The Redeemer will come to Zion,
And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,”
Says the Lord. Isaiah 59:18-20

 

What’s the point? Why the armor and the sword?
(from Jeremiah 17:7-8)

Listen up!  Blessed are you mighty and strong man of valor because you have put your trust and hope in the Lord. You have found your confidence and security in the Most High God.  You shall be like a tree transplanted along the refreshing waters of the river that sendeth out its roots by the river.  Because you have put all your trust in the Lord and not put your trust in your own strength or wealth, you stand unshakable, for the Lord is with you.

           When heat or drought comes, you shall not be concerned or worried because you are always bearing fruit and your leaves will always be green. Attacks and storms may come your way, but not a branch shall be moved. You will prosper and flourish through all your storms, in drought, in valleys and through all the troubles that try to come against you. Even in times of drought or destitution, though the rain not fall for a period of time, you shall be unshakable, you will not be anxious or worried. You will prosper in perfect peace without fear. You trust fully in the Lord. You will not be sorrowful when troubles arise for you know that the Lord protects you. He is your rock and your fortress. Though these times come and go, you will never stop yielding fruit, you will accomplish all the Lord has planned for your life. You will always be provided for and your life will produce much fruit.

     You count it all joy when troubles come and you know that we are destined for such troubles. You can rejoice in your problems and trials for we know they help us and strengthen us. We can remind ourselves as David did “ I see that the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for He is right beside me.”

related articles:
catching fire cult programming
Put on the shoes of peace


Promises to Pass On

Mark 10:17-31, reveals the story of an exchange between a rich young man and Jesus. The young man, who had amassed great wealth, came to Jesus and asked what he could do to inherit eternal life. Jesus, despite how the man had appropriately addressed Him, saw past the list of laws he claimed to have upheld, and recognized the root of pride held in his heart. “Jesus looked at him and loved him.” – (Mark 10:21a) In His great love, Jesus told him truthfully, what it would cost for the young man to follow Him.

Jesus does not ask all of us to sell everything we own, nor are we often expected to give it all away. However, He does ask that we place Him above all else. He saw that wealth was in the highest position of honor in the young man’s life, so He directly exposed its root. Our eternal security is not something that we can earn, but rather a gift that is freely given, if only we are willing to believe and receive in faith. As we trust Him, He directs our heart in the ways we are meant to go, and keeps our path straight. When we are submitted to our Savior, we will hear what He is asking of us along the way. We are not promised wealth, nor security, nor a cushy bank account; but we are promised hope, faith, love, and a peace that surpasses all understanding, as we have His Spirit with us to navigate this adventure of a life.

‘Tis not to be earned,Promises to Pass On

this glorious gift;

our treasure to hold,

all praises we lift.

Forever our hope,

is founded in Christ;

not temporal things,

though they can be nice.

For Jesus alone,

is our only Source;

redeeming Savior,

our holy true course.

As we fix our eyes,

our hearts and our minds;

true treasure is found,

the eternal kind.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You look upon us with love, regardless of where we are in the process of moving closer to You. Thank You that You lovingly show us the way we are meant to go, and that You redirect us when we get off course. Forgive us for not fully submitting all that we are and all that we have, unto You. Teach us to trust You completely, as You alone are our true Source. May we recognize all that we have and all that we are is a gift from You that is meant to be shared. Help us to hear You well, so that we love as You call us to love. May many come to know the eternal hope that is held in You alone, as we live in the love You have so generously poured upon us. Be glorified, our great and mighty God. Amen.

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

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


Resetting Our Focus

In Mark 5, the story of Jairus, the synagogue ruler whose daughter was dying, is told. There are numerous things about this story that stand out, yet the one that is in the forefront of my mind this morning, is how when all that was seen, was directing Jairus to despair, Jesus had another plan in mind. Members of Jairus’s household had just come and told him that his daughter was dead, and to not bother Jesus anymore. “Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, ‘Don’t be afraid, just believe.” – (Mark 5:36)

Life’s circumstance told Jairus to despair, yet Jesus told him to hope. Jairus, in that moment had a choice to make. He could choose to focus on the news that had just been delivered, or he could hold onto the hope that was standing before him. As the story further unfolds, Jairus clearly opted to believe, as Jesus joined him on his journey home, and ultimately healed his daughter from death. In order for the healing to happen, Jairus had to be willing to allow his focus to be reset from what was, to Whom was standing before him.

The same holds true for each of us. We can fix our eyes on the struggle, challenge or obstacle that we are facing, or we can allow our focus to fix securely on our solution. We have hope, despite how things appear. Our strength in the struggle and our light in the dark, is available; we must let go of fear, and just believe.

Let not our eyes,Resetting Our Focus

determine our view;

for what is seen,

is not always true.

God is greater,

than life’s circumstance;

when fixed on Him,

nothing’s left to chance.

All strength, all hope,

all power to be;

comes from the Lord,

Him who truly sees.

Look to the Lord,

not to the trials;

faith’s not by sight,

it’s trust in fires.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You alone are where our gaze should rest, as in You and through You, we find our hope and our help. Thank You that You are the solution before we can even formulate the question, and that You love us so much that You sent Your Son to make the way for us to come to know You, individually; personally. Forgive us for fixing our eyes on the struggles and trials that are before us, and help us to reset our focus on You. Teach us to trust You in all things and at all times, as You are the One on whom we can depend. May we walk by faith and not by sight, and may we live out our lives in love as You love us. Let those who are looking, come to find the fullness of a lasting relationship with You. Be magnified in all that we say and do. 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


The Power of Generosity

Yesterday, my pastor continued the series, Into the Wild, with a message titled, The Power of Generosity. The text for the message was taken from Genesis 13:1-18, and continued with the story of Abram on his adventure Into the Wild, as he walked in obedience to the Lord’s calling. In Abram’s obedience, the Lord had greatly blessed him, so much in fact, that his herdsmen, and Lot’s herdsmen, had begun to argue about having enough pastureland to graze all of their livestock. Rather than focus on He who had blessed them, the herdsmen had begun to fixate on the blessing.

Instead of allowing disputes to ensue, Abram moved in faith, and acted in abundant generosity. Though he was the patriarch of the family, and had every right to claim all that had been given unto him, he treated Lot as his equal, and gave him first choice of the land before them as they were to part company so that the land could better support all of their livestock. Lot chose what appeared to be the better of the two directions, yet Abram seemed unfazed by his decision. He recognized that the God who had so abundantly blessed he and his family, was not limited in how He might bring forth the promised blessings.

Abram’s generosity models how we ought to live. Generosity is one of the ways that we are most able to live freely before God. When we are generous, we are choosing to live our life unrestrained, for Him. As we release things to God, we make room for the miraculous.

The power to change,The Power of Generosity

a heart full of pride;

sincere humbling,

grace giving resides.

A generous heart,

gathers and unites;

selfishness scatters,

makes people take flight.

Such hearts are humble,

they give God control;

releasing the reigns,

make serving their goal.

Perspective through Him,

hearts that understand;

all His ways are best,

so trust in His plan.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have given us numerous examples of how to live generously, so that we may fully understand and know the freedom that comes when we give all unto You. Thank You that generosity is not just about our finances, but it is about who we are, being all in for You – our time, our trust, our encouragement, our willingness to do whatever You ask. Forgive us for withholding any part of ourselves or our resources from You, and help us to understand how to release all unto You. May we make room for the miraculous in our lives. Let us live our lives in love, as You love us, and may many come to know the generous and loving God You are, as a result. May hearts be turned and lives be changed. Be glorified, O God. Amen.

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

He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. – Proverbs 11:25


Conquering Fear

Into the Wild, is the title of the series my pastor is currently presenting. The premise of the teachings is that God is calling us to join Him on an adventure. This adventure, this journey Into the Wild, requires trust and movement on our part. Yesterday, Pastor Jon spoke about conquering fear. In order for us to move, we must overcome the fear that would try to hold us back.

Fear is one of the most commonly used tools of the enemy, to prevent us from moving forward in faith. Fear tells us we can’t, when God is calling us forward, offering His strength and His supply, as we are being asked to step out where we cannot complete the journey all on our own.

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

God has not called us to be fearful nor afraid, but He grants us power by His great love, and leads us in the ways in which we are meant to go, so that we may do that which He has called us to do. Our struggle is a matter of which voice we choose to hear. Will we listen to the still small voice of truth, that tells us to keep moving, even if we seem to be standing in the desert when we were promised a place of lush and fertile land, or do we listen to the lies that tell us to turn back, to stay in the safety of what is known, and never step out beyond the borders of where we currently dwell?

Abram would have never become Abraham, the father of a great nation, had he not continued to move further out Into the Wild as God called Him. Often, the time between the promise spoken and the promise realized, is determined by when we actually take obedient steps of faith. May we each choose to listen to the still small voice, and then boldly step out Into the Wild, wherever He is calling us to move.

May we listen,Conquering Fear

let us each give ear;

the still small voice,

that conquers all fear.

Let not the lies,

take hold in our heart;

they tend to stop,

what we’re meant to start.

Be courageous,

let His power reign;

God is with us,

that will never change.

Into the wild,

may we boldly go;

sharing His truth,

so others may know.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that no weapon formed against us will prevail when we place our trust in You. Thank You that in You, there is not fear, for You have defeated all darkness that could come against us. Thank You that You love us and grant us grace that is far beyond what we can fathom, and that You continue to lead us forward, even when we fail miserably. Forgive us for our failures, our fearfulness, and our lack of faith, and grow in us an unwavering faith that always trusts in You. May we live in love as You love us, and may many come to know Your mercy and grace, so they too may choose Your still small voice of truth. Be glorified in all that we say and do. Amen.

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

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. – Psalm 34:8


Have Mercy Upon Me, O Lord

Psalm 6:1 O Lord, rebuke me not in thine anger,
neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.
2 Have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak:
O Lord, heal me; for my bones are vexed.
3 My soul is also sore vexed:
but thou, O Lord, how long?
4 Return, O Lord, deliver my soul:
oh save me for thy mercies ‘sake.
5 For in death there is no remembrance of thee:
in the grave who shall give thee thanks?
6 I am weary with my groaning;
all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears.
7 Mine eye is consumed because of grief;
it waxeth old because of all mine enemies.
8 Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity;
for the Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping.
9 The Lord hath heard my supplication;
the Lord will receive my prayer.
10 Let all mine enemies be ashamed and sore vexed:
let them return and be ashamed suddenly. (KJV)


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


Prayer Request for my Granddaughter Mackenzie

Mackenzie is in the ER and they think she may have appendicitis, please keep her in your prayers! She is 10 years old! Thank you and God bless! I will update when I can!

Update: It is not appendicitis!!! She is on her way home! They are not sure what is wrong so please continue to pray, but thank you so much, God is still on the throne!!!


Who May Dwell?

“Lord, who may dwell in Your sanctuary? Who may live on Your holy hill? He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellow man, who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the Lord, who keeps his oath even when it hurts, who lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.” – (Psalm 15)

My initial reaction is, “I am hosed.” Then I remember that I am not expected to be blameless in my own strength. My source and supply, my hope and my help, are all firmly established in the Lord. On my own, I would never measure up. However, in Christ, He sees me as blameless before Him, as I earnestly seek Him, and do my best to walk upright before Him. By faith, I become a bit more equipped each day, to do as He calls me to do.

To do what is righteous, is to do the right thing, even when no one is looking. God sees, and He honors the heart that longs to do His will.

Speaking the truth from the heart is not always easy, but it is what we are called to do. It does not mean speaking unkindly, nor casting judgment upon others, but it is a call to speak the truth in love, always.

Slander is the poison that pricks the hearts of both the speaker and the hearer. Unkind words about another passed on, perpetuate problems rather than solve them.

If the greatest command is to love God and love others, then how could we do wrong to our neighbors or slur our fellow man?

To despise a vile man and honor those who fear the Lord, seems to mean honor those worthy of recognition in God’s eyes, not in the sight of what’s popular. Certainly a paradigm shift from what is popular in much of the media today.

Keeping an oath even when it hurts, is keeping our promises, no matter what. If we give our word, we must be men and women of integrity in order to represent well, our Redeemer.

Lending money without usury, is a matter of choosing to be generous with our resources. If we have the means to lend money, we should do so with open hands, without looking for an exorbitant return. The purpose of lending is to assist, not devastate our fellow man.

Accepting a bribe against the innocent, seems to explain itself. Bribes are bad. The innocent are meant to be protected. End of story.

Lord, who may dwell,Who May Dwell

in Your holy house?

Those unto You,

the faithful, devout.

Speakers of truth,

who speak not the lies;

wrong not others,

vile men, despise.

Those who honor,

the ones who fear You;

who keep their word,

forever, stay true.

Those who will lend,

to others in need;

without taking,

for those who’ve been freed.

All who will choose,

to live unto You;

won’t be shaken,

for You make us new.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in You, we are able to live upright before You. Thank You that our righteousness is not dependent on our ability or strength, but rather on our trust in Yours. Forgive us for failing to trust You completely in the times where we have failed and fallen short, and help us to be quick to repent and return to You. Thank You that You receive us each time that we call on Your Name, and that You are patient and loving as You instruct us in the ways we are meant to go. Teach us to trust You more, so that we might more clearly reflect Your character in all that we say and do. May many come to know You as their Savior and Redeemer, as we live in the light of Your love. Be glorified, our loving and gracious Father. Amen.

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

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


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