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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

 

 

 


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