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Attempting to obey God and follow Jesus Christ our Lord

Posts tagged “jesus

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

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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

 

 

 

 


Do Everything in Love

As Paul was coming to the close of his letter to the people of Corinth, he gave some basic instructions. One small verse spoke volumes, both at the time, and still today. “Do everything in love.” – (I Corinthians 16:14)

 

What would that actually look like? If EVERYTHING we said and did was motivated by love, imagine the peace in our households, our neighborhoods, our churches and beyond… We need not look too far to find evidence of how a life lived this way, practically played out. Jesus was our perfect example of doing everything in love. When He approached people, He loved them where they were. They felt His acceptance, and found His love brought life, healing and opportunity that they had never known. Christ’s ability to love through all that He said and did, brought life where it had not previously been found.

 

The very same power that equipped Jesus to “do everything in love”, dwells in the hearts of all who believe. We too have the capacity, through Christ, to “do everything in love”. It is merely a matter of surrender and ongoing dependence. Have we surrendered all that we are unto Him? Do we depend on Him daily, in all things and at all times, to be our help and our hope? Each of us are a work in progress; moving toward our heavenly home. The more we invest in our relationship with Christ, the more readily we will respond in love. All that we do is a reflection of Him who dwells in us. May we be a radiant reflection, as we love well.

When early we rise,Do Everything in Love

may our eyes fix above;

as we work and play,

may all be done in love.

When we interact,

let our deeds point above;

and grace guide each word,

as we speak too, in love.

When trials do come,

let our hearts get rid of;

all doubt and all fear,

and hold fast to His love.

As day draws to close,

may all praise point above;

for another day,

He’s granted by His love.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are LOVE. Thank You that because You sent Your Son, You made the way for us to draw near and know Your perfect love, personally. Thank You that You equip and empower us to move in love in all that we say and do, if only we are willing. Forgive us for attempting to rely on our own strength rather than Yours, and help us to trust You more so that we may do all things in Your love. Lead us and guide us to love as You love. May many come to know You as the Lover of their soul, and know the hope that is held forever in You. Be exalted through our love. Amen.

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

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

 


A God of Peace

“For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.” – (I Corinthians 14:33)

 

Though this verse is given as instruction in the context for holding worship services in the church, if we are living our lives as an ongoing act of worship before Him, I imagine that the same principles are meant to be applied throughout our daily walk with Him. When we exercise the gifts that the Holy Spirit has given, we are meant to do so in harmony with one another. Chaos should not reign, for God is not given the opportunity to work among us as He intended, when the world we operate in is a constant whirlwind. When we slow down enough to allow His peace to reign, it permeates our perimeters and is passed on to those around us.

 

After one of my busiest weeks of the year so far, this is a timely reminder. Though I have protected my precious early mornings all week, the succeeding hours each day, were swamped. I know there will be weeks where the constant chaos is nearly unavoidable, but as much as I can help it, I need to be intentional to schedule down time – time where life is slowed down and order is restored, and time to intentionally connect and foster growth in those around me, particularly my progeny. They too have gifts that God is growing in them, and need safe and supportive opportunities to operate in utilizing what they have been given. God is full of grace, and He readily provided places of peace, even in the chaotic spaces. During the most important gymnastics meet of our season, a sweet friend showed up with her son, and sat smiling in the stands for quite some time. Throughout the craziness of our final JV meet yesterday, my fantastic team of coaches rallied together and lightened the load that I so often try to carry on my own. His peace provides order, and He showed me yet again, that He is a God of peace.

 

May we go through each day,A God of Peace

in pursuit of the Lord;

as we seek after Him,

His sweet peace He’ll afford.

As we focus on God,

together or alone;

steer clear of disorder,

honor Him on the throne.

In worship, speak only,

if the meaning’s made known;

we’re meant to encourage,

point to the Lord alone.

Let our lives model peace,

even when chaos reigns;

for His grace is with us,

let our whole life proclaim.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us so much, that You sent Your Son, so that we could have peace and order in Your holy presence. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit that dwells within the hearts of all who believe, and grants us peace. Forgive us for allowing chaos to reign in our lives and in our hearts, and help us to protect Your place as the God of ALL. Teach us to trust You in all things and at all times, so that we may surrender ALL unto You. Lead us to love as we are loved, and may Your peace in us, pass on to all those around us. May many come to know You as their Savior and King, as we operate in obedience to all that You ask of us. May the words of our mouth and the meditations of our heart be pleasing unto You. Amen.

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

And the Lord said, “I will cause all of my goodness to pass in front of you.” – Exodus 33:19

 


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


He Suffered for Our Sake

At first read, it is easy to feel angered at the chief priests and teachers of the law who mocked Jesus and sentenced Him to death. However, when one stops to reflect for a moment, there is a realization that all of us are equally responsible for His suffering on the cross. It was for all of our sins that He willingly chose to die, so that we would have a way to live.

“Jesus could have saved Himself, but He endured the suffering because of His love for us. He could have chosen not to take the pain and humiliation; He could have killed those who mocked him – but He suffered through it all because He loved even His enemies. We had a significant part in the drama that afternoon because our sins were on the cross too. Jesus died on that cross for us, and the penalty for our sins was paid by His death. The only adequate response we can make is to confess our sin and freely accept the fact that Jesus paid for it so we wouldn’t have to. Don’t insult God with indifference toward the greatest act of genuine love in history.” – (NIV footnotes for Mark 15:31)

In light of His great love for us, may we respond passionately to the plans and purposes He has prepared for each of our lives. Our greatest expression of gratitude is a life that is lived well, loving God and loving people. As we seek to love as we are loved, we are honoring Him, and demonstrating our appreciation for all that He has done for us. The more I know Him, the more I long to know. When I love, I feel His love poured out upon me. It is amazing how He works, as He blesses each heart with His presence and His peace, as He is earnestly sought.

How great is the grace,He Suffered for Our Sake

that forgives our sin?

How great is the love,

grants new life again?

To choose to endure,

He suffered for me;

the weight of my sin,

He bore on that tree.

Done not just for friends,

but also for foe;

such great love for all,

that daily, He shows.

The sun keeps rising,

the stars shine at night;

beauty surrounds us,

our Father’s delight.

May we give Him thanks,

by choosing love well;

show others His grace,

so they too may tell.

Dear Jesus, thank You for willing enduring such horrendous suffering on the cross, so that we could come to know You. Thank You that though You could have claimed Your position and authority in that very moment, You chose to suffer for our sake instead. Thank You does not even begin to scratch the surface for the gratitude our hearts should hold. Forgive us for forgetting just how significant Your sacrifice was for us, and help us to live accordingly. May our life be lived in love as an ongoing offering of thanks and praise. Though we cannot earn nor repay even a fraction of what You have done, we can respond in gratitude everyday by loving You and loving those around us, just as You love us. Be glorified, O God, in all that we say and do. 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


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


Protecting Our Priorities

Priorities and values matter. Despite what society would like us to believe, it is not all about us. Jesus told His disciples, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.” – (Mark 8:35) This does not mean He wants us to set out to die, but rather to set aside our own selfish ambitions and allow His heart to be heard.

The NIV footnotes for the same verse, explain it this way: “We should be willing to lose our lives for the sake of the gospel, not because our lives are useless, but because nothing – not even life itself – can compare to what we gain with Christ. Jesus wants us to choose to follow Him, rather than to lead a life of sin and self-satisfaction. He wants us to stop trying to control our own destiny and to let Him direct us. This makes good sense because, as the Creator, Christ knows better than we do what real life is about. He asks for submission, not self-hatred; He asks us only to lose our self-centered determination to be in charge.”

When our priorities are in place, we realize that we need Christ to be in charge. Without Him, we have nothing. In Him, light and love, wisdom and strength, and all that we need to navigate this life according to His will, are provided. Our choice and our charge is to protect our priority in Him. Is He first in our lives, or is He simply a go-to God when we feel that we need Him?

A hope secure,Protecting Our Priorities

invested in Christ;

chooses to make,

Him first place in life.

Seeks not to save,

temporary things;

gladly gives all,

to honor the King.

Releases reigns,

submits all control;

to One worthy,

our God to extol.

All that is lost,

consider a gain;

eternity -

the promise is plain.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we freely give our life to You, You give us something far greater in return – a future that is secure forever with You! Thank You that You loved us so much that You sent Your Son to lay down His life on our behalf, so that we would have a way to come to You. Thank You that You want us to spend time with You. Thank You that You consider us worthy, because of what Jesus has already done on our behalf. Forgive us for not protecting our priorities, for allowing anything or anyone to come before You. Teach us to keep our priorities in order, and help us to depend on You to be our wisdom and strength. Guide us in how we are meant to navigate the hectic lives we lead, so that we may be effective for You, and refreshed and renewed in You. May we live and love as we are loved by You. May many come to know the provision of Your grace and mercy as they understand who You are and how to make You their priority. Direct our days, dear Lord. Amen.

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

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. – Job 8:21


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


Bless You

To bless another, is a way of requesting that God’s divine favor rest upon them. Finding oneself in the favor of God, is a space of peace and protection, abounding in love. Who doesn’t long to be in that space of feeling loved and protected in His peace?

The Lord told Moses how Aaron and his sons were to bless the people. The following are the words He gave:

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.” – (Numbers 6:24-26)

Five different components are contained in this beautiful blessing. First, it conveys the hope that God will bless you and keep you, which is the Lord Himself, providing His favor and protection. Next, to make His face shine upon you, is to have God Himself, be pleased with us. To be gracious, is our great God demonstrating His mercy and compassion toward us. Turn His face toward you, is an expression that means giving His approval. Finally, give peace, is the peace that passes all understanding in our hearts and minds, as only God can give.

May the God of all hope,Bless You

be near you today;

may you know His favor,

as you go on your way.

May He be your safety,

wherever you go;

may His face shine on you,

so you reflect His glow.

May the God of all grace,

show mercy to you;

may compassion be near,

in whatever you do.

May you find approval,

from the Lord, Himself;

may His peace be present,

great God, above all else.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You bless us and keep us and make Your face shine upon us as You are gracious to us and You grant us Your peace. Thank You that You look upon us with loving kindness, and see us as blameless before You, because of the sacrifice of Your Son. Forgive us for our unkindness toward others, or for any attitude that is not full of gratitude toward You. You have given far more than we can even grasp, yet we so easily take it all for granted. Help us become more aware of the magnitude of the blessing that we have before us to behold. May we embrace the goodness and grace that You have given, and go forth as You are calling, so that many more might come to know the abundant blessings found through faith in You. Let those who are looking, find their hope in You. Be glorified in all that we say and do, and may we be a blessing to all who are around us. Amen.

*(NIV footnotes for 6:24-26 summarized within text above)

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

For the Lord your God will bless you, … and your joy will be complete. – Deuteronomy 16:15


Show Me Your Ways

“Show me Your ways, O Lord,

teach me Your paths;

guide me in Your truth and teach me,

for You are God my Savior,

and my hope is in You all day long.”

- (Psalm 25:4-5)

These words, penned by David as part of a prayer for defense, guidance and pardon, demonstrate the complete necessity to turn to God for guidance in all things and at all times. Despite some desperately shaky seasons in David’s life, he knew that the solution to each challenge, was to call on the Lord, and trust in Him to provide wisdom and guidance in the way in which he was meant to go.

When we ask the Lord to show us His ways, what are we meant to do? He has provided a primary guidance system for us through His Word, and when we spend time reading it and asking Him to show us new things, He answers – unlocking new understanding and insight that we did not have before. The more we know Him, the more deeply we trust and place our hope in Him. As we become aware of the magnitude of His majesty, we cannot help but turn to trust. Hope begins to hold fast to our hearts as we hear His beat for us, individually.

Show me Your ways,Show Me Your Ways

as I seek to know;

all of my days,

O Lord, help me grow.

Let wisdom come,

understanding too;

from rising sun,

’til the day is through.

May my heart seek,

earnestly each day;

Strength when we’re weak,

our purpose to pray.

You are my hope,

God, Savior of all;

courage to cope,

as You hear each call.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are willing to show us Your ways, and teach us Your truth. Thank You that You have provided Your Word and the way to be in constant communion with You, through the gift of Your Holy Spirit, granted through the mercy and grace given as Jesus sacrificed Himself on our behalf. Thank You that our hope is held in You alone, and that You will guide us and teach us if we choose to trust You. Forgive us for our lack of faith, or for our failure to fully invest ourselves into our relationship with You. Thank You that You withheld nothing from us. Please help us to do the same. Teach us to trust You in such a way, that we are willing to allow You into every area of our lives, granting You the reigns. May we walk in truth, and love as we are loved by You. May many come to know the heavenly hope that is found in You alone, as we allow You to lead. Let our lives speak volumes of Your mercy and grace, to those who do not yet know You. Be glorified, Lord God. Amen.

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

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

Who, O God, is like You?

- Psalm 71:19


An Attitude Adjustment

Though the story of Peter being called to go and share the good news in the home of Cornelius has an overarching theme that the gospel is for everyone, the thing that struck me as I read the account in Acts this morning, was Peter’s attitude adjustment, in such a short time.

Back in Matthew 18:1-6, as the disciples were traveling with Jesus, and learning and growing beside Him as He led them, they were arguing one day, about which among them would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Somehow, in all of the attention, their priorities had become askew. Jesus quickly set the record straight, “And He said: ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child will be greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” -(Matthew 18:3-4)

Fast forward past Christ’s crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, and the impartation of the Holy Spirit. While in Joppa, Peter had been assured in a vision that he was to go to the home of Cornelius, to share the good news of Christ. He willingly went with the men Cornelius had sent, when they had arrived to lead him. “As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence. But Peter made him get up. ‘Stand up,’ he said, ‘I am only a man myself.” – (Acts 10:25-26) Peter was quick to humble himself and point Cornelius to Christ. Despite the potential draw of being adored by such a powerful person, Peter prioritized the presentation of truth, and maintained his position of humility as a servant of Christ. Because of Peter’s willing submission to God’s call, Cornelius and his entire household came to Christ. Being a man of high position, I imagine Cornelius had a tremendous impact on many people.

Be humble and kind,An Attitude Adjustment

allow the Lord lead;

be willing to give,

as we see a need.

Trust Him to show us,

what we’re meant to do;

listen to His voice,

faithfully pursue.

Seek not position,

of honor, nor fame;

and if it’s given,

point straight to His Name.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our Source and Supply, and the reason we are able to do anything good in this life. Thank You for such great examples of change, as You show us how to be more like Christ in what we say and do. Forgive us for not walking in humility, or for not giving credit where credit is due. Thank You that all good that we do, is done in Your strength, and that the life You are calling us to, is only possible in You. May we be invested in You, so that Your light shines through us. May many come to see Your light through our love, and ultimately, come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted, our great and mighty God. 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


The Desert Road

As I continue in my study of Acts, I so appreciate the sensitivity of Philip to the Lord’s leading. He was told to “Go south to the road – the desert road – that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” – (Acts 8:26) Despite Philip’s successful ministry in Samaria, he was quick to obey what was asked of him, without even asking why. He simply got up and went.

Philip’s obedience led to an extraordinary encounter with an Ethiopian eunuch. (an important official in charge of the queen of Ethiopia’s treasury) This man had traveled to Jerusalem to worship, yet had not yet heard the great news of Jesus. While Philip was walking on his way, he came upon the man as he was reading Isaiah, seated in his chariot, on the side of the road. Again, Philip followed the Father’s prompting, and went to the man, as he had been told, and ultimately explained how the passage the Ethiopian was reading was speaking of Jesus. Philip was able to tell him of all that Jesus had done, and all the good new that was available to him. The eunuch responded right away, and wanted to be baptized. Right after his baptism, the Spirit of the Lord took Philip away. The eunuch went on his way rejoicing, and was now equipped to share his experience with others.

In my own experience, I know this to be true. As a teacher, I thoroughly enjoyed teaching Social Studies, U.S. History, Art, and Language Arts. I had been stuck in a cycle of teach Mathematics for several years, and was burned out. Finally, I had returned to Language Arts and U.S. History, and was thrilled. At year’s end, my principal asked me if I would be willing to teach Reading Intervention the following year. My first question was, “How am I qualified to teach that?” His reply encouraged me to go ahead and wander into the desert, despite my inexperience with teaching struggling readers. (As did the still small voice in my spirit) One step of willing obedience, has led to a position that I would not trade for anything. I am now in my third year as the Reading Intervention teacher, and I LOVE teaching struggling readers. I get to see the “a-ha’s” and the successes, regularly. I get to know and love kids, that typically are difficult to know and love, in the tradition classroom setting.

Often, what we are called to do, does not make sense. Calls can seem to be a demotion of sorts, or a send-off into the desert. However, each time the call is answered and obeyed, the result is nothing short of remarkable. At times, it takes a great deal of walking before we seem to hear the next step, yet the obedient walking is somehow always a preparation for the next leg of the journey. May we be sensitive to His voice, and quick to make the choice to do as we are asked.

Ready to go,The Desert Road

leaving all behind;

willing to trust,

know we’re on His mind.

Steps to obey,

by faith we shall walk;

let momentum,

be our faith-filled talk.

See not the sand,

but trust in Him more;

He paves the path,

and leads us to shore.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us so much, that You call us to partner with You on this journey. Thank You that You use us and work in us and through us, when we are willing to answer Your call. Thank You that You are faithful, always. Forgive us for questioning Your call, or for fearing that we are not qualified. Thank You that none of us are ever qualified on our own, but rather You in us, is what qualifies us to be obedient and do as You ask. May we be tender to trust You more, and may many come to hear Your call, as we live and love as You call us to. May lives be changed and hearts be moved. All glory and honor to You, Lord. Amen.

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

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


But where shall wisdom be found

Job 28:1Surely there is a vein for the silver,
and a place for gold where they fine it.
2 Iron is taken out of the earth,
and brass is molten out of the stone.
3 He setteth an end to darkness,
and searcheth out all perfection:
the stones of darkness, and the shadow of death.
4 The flood breaketh out from the inhabitant;
even the waters forgotten of the foot:
they are dried up, they are gone away from men.
5 As for the earth, out of it cometh bread:
and under it is turned up as it were fire.
6 The stones of it are the place of sapphires:
and it hath dust of gold.
7 There is a path which no fowl knoweth,
and which the vulture’s eye hath not seen:
8 The lion’s whelps have not trodden it,
nor the fierce lion passed by it.
9 He putteth forth his hand upon the rock;
he overturneth the mountains by the roots.
10 He cutteth out rivers among the rocks;
and his eye seeth every precious thing.
11 He bindeth the floods from overflowing;
and the thing that is hid bringeth he forth to light.
12 But where shall wisdom be found?
and where is the place of understanding?
13 Man knoweth not the price thereof;
neither is it found in the land of the living.
14 The depth saith, It is not in me:
and the sea saith, It is not with me.
15 It cannot be gotten for gold,
neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof.
16 It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir,
with the precious onyx, or the sapphire.
17 The gold and the crystal cannot equal it:
and the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold.
18 No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls:
for the price of wisdom is above rubies.
19 The topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it,
neither shall it be valued with pure gold.
20 Whence then cometh wisdom?
and where is the place of understanding?
21 Seeing it is hid from the eyes of all living,
and kept close from the fowls of the air.
22 Destruction and death say,
We have heard the fame thereof with our ears.
23 God understandeth the way thereof,
and he knoweth the place thereof.
24 For he looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven;
25 To make weight for the winds; and he weighteth the waters by measure.
26 When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder:
27 Then did he see it, and declare it; he prepared it, yea, and searched it out.
28 And to man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.


Nineveh needs the warning

Jonah Chapter 3
1 And the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying, 2 Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee. 3 So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days ‘journey. 4 And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.
5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. 6 For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. 7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing:let them not feed, nor drink water:8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God:yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. 9 Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?
10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not. (KJV)


In the belly of the fish

Jonah 1:17 Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
Jonah2:1 Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish’s belly, 2 And said,
I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me;
out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.
3 For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas;
and the floods compassed me about:
all thy billows and thy waves passed over me.
4 Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight;
yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.
5 The waters compassed me about, even to the soul:
the depth closed me round about,
the weeds were wrapped about my head.
6 I went down to the bottoms of the mountains;
the earth with her bars was about me for ever:
yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God.
7 When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord:
and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.
8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.
9 But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving;
I will pay that that I have vowed.
Salvation is of the Lord.
10 And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land. (KJV)


What if Ninevah had not listened to Jonah?

Source: tumblr.com via Ashley on Pinterest

The story of Jonah and the whale is often dismissed by most as a Children’s story, but it really is not. It is one of the most important stories of redemption in the Bible. When God wanted Jonah to go to Ninevah and warn them to turn back from their ways, Jonah did not want to go.

Jonah 1

King James Version (KJV)

1 Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,314428_189607997781575_188738997868475_422680_285128613_n

Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.

But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.

What we see in Jonah is a man who thought that his way was the best and didn’t not trust in God when He had a plan for the future of Ninevah. Jonah did not believe that Ninevah deserved redemption, and did not want to be the messenger that gave them the opportunity. But one of the most important things that we learn from the story of Jonah is that God is in control!

But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken.

Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep.

So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not.

And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah.

Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; What is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou?

And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land.

10 Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him. Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them.

11 Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous.

12 And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you.

13 Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them.

14 Wherefore they cried unto the Lord, and said, We beseech thee, O Lord, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, OLord, hast done as it pleased thee.

15 So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging.

16 Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the Lord, and made vows.

17 Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

We all know this part of the story, this is what we learned as children. But for so many the story stops here. Yet when Jonah gets to Ninevah is more important to the world of Jonah’s day. God warns them through Jonah that if they do not pray for forgiveness and turn from their ways that they will be destroyed.

So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days’ journey.

And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.

So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.

For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.

And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water:

But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.

Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?

10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

Jonah was one of God’s messengers that rebelled from doing what God wanted him to do, and yet God used that very rebellion  to convince Ninevah of His message. If Jonah had been a willing messenger, Ninevah probably would not have taken him seriously. And yet Ninevah still might have gone the other way. They might have refused to listen. If they had not listened God would have kept His promise to destroy them. We see from this story that no matter how bad things are that there are hopes for redemption, that God always keeps His promise, that He is in control no matter what we think, and that no matter how faulty we are as humans, He can use us to save others. We see an example of resurrection and redemption, a forerunner of Jesus Christ Himself.

No matter what we think about this world, we need to remember that things are not always what they seem, and that God is still in control and His plan is in place. We are not aware of what He is doing at any given time, and what we think is a failure, may just be another step in the process to the final goal that He wants. We have read the Book and we know the end. God’s time is His own and our time on earth is only important in fulfilling the objectives that He has given us and that is to “go forth and make disciples.”

God bless you all, have faith and trust in God no matter what you think should be the right path!


Persist in Prayer

“Then Jesus told His disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” – (Luke 18:1)

“To persist in prayer and not give up does not mean endless repetition or painfully long prayer sessions. Always praying means keeping our requests constantly before God as we live for Him day by day, believing He will answer. When we live by faith, we are not to give up. God may delay answering, but His delays always have good reasons. As we persist in prayer we grow in character, faith and hope.” (NIV footnotes for Luke 18:1)

According to dictionary.com, persist means to continue firmly in purpose, especially in spite of opposition. In my experience, this is how faith is further formed, and hope is given way to rise up. As we face opposition or difficulty, what we choose to do in response, determines the development of our character. If Jesus instructs us to pray and not give up, then regardless of how things appear, that is what we are meant to do. Faith requires action. First and foremost, our petitions ought to be presented before Him. However, that is rarely the end, but instead, just the beginning. As we seek Him earnestly, He often gives instruction as to how we are to move further in faith; the what we are meant to do as we wait.

Never give up,Persist in Prayer

persistently pray;

trusting He hears,

despite seen delay.

He is faithful,

and always, He’s good;

let faith rise up,

our hope, understood.

When He says move,

do all that He asks;

answers await,

we grow in new tasks.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are good and faithful, always. Thank You that regardless of what is going on around us, You have our heart in Your hands, and You remain present. Thank You that You hear our every prayer, and that You instruct us to be persistent as we pray. Forgive us for our lack of fortitude in the fight, and grant us Your strength and endurance in all things and at all times. Teach us how to be persistent in prayer, without endless repetition or whining. Thank You that You are a patient and loving Father, Who loves us, and continues to help us grow in character, faith and hope as we seek You. May we honor You in all that we say and do, and may many come to know You through our love and persistent petitions before You. Be exalted, Lord. Amen.

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


“The heart of many will grow cold” – or has it already begun? Matthew 24. HWC- the global current sweeping through the world (Heart Waxing Cold)

Has your heart waxed cold? Has your mind strayed away from God’s principles? False teaching, worldly influences, and a spirit of wickedness have slowly manipulated people. This wickedness is waiting to rule over you.

Ask yourself, who comes first?

  1. you?
  2. God?
  3. mayyyyyybee other people (but only if you like them, and they’re nice)
  4. animals? (not that animals aren’t important, but let’s get real here – most people love their dog more than their neighbor)

Don’t you see what is about to come upon us? Jesus warned us in Matthew “the love of many shall wax cold”

In Matthew’s verse “Love of many shall wax cold”, the Greek translation is: the agape love of many people shall turn “physco”. The meaning in bible dictionaries for this term is cold/ breath, blowing. Physcros and physco are both translated in scripture as cold.  Further research for a Greek definition of physco revealed the following: related to the soul, mind, also a study related to the body, nature, medicine or the physical world.

The word cold in this verse from revelation: “So then because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth”  is psychros meaning : cold, sluggish, inert, in mind. This version of word is used 3x. It seems, in this verse, to be a metaphor for cold personality- a cold mind.

“the love of many shall wax cold”

Here are the options that this verse may mean:  In the last days, the love of many will grow:  uncaring, unloving, worldly, selfish, making our own ways, worshipping nature, following worldly ideas, medicated, worshiping things of the world….worldwide just as a current of wind blows through an area so this wickedness will try to consume all.

2 Timothy 3 goes into greater detail: “In the last days perilous times will come:  For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”

Put others first!

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,  who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,  but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Phil 2

This week I was studying the story in Matthew about how Jesus fed the 5000.  Jesus went away to get rest after John the Baptist had died, but the crowd followed Him. I noticed how Jesus put the crowd before His needs. He needed rest, He was probably deeply saddened by John’s death and maybe consumed with what was ahead for Him.  He wanted to have quiet rest time and prayer with the Father, but He put his needs aside for all the people. This is the true shepherd, He laid down his life and all He had for us. –don’t get me wrong- we all need time to rest and pray- But Christ put the people’s needs first and trusted God to give Him the rest He needed. It makes me consider myself and times I have pushed my kids aside because I wanted my own time, or times I have ignored someone who needed my help because of my own selfishness. Often we need to remind ourselves – it’s not all about us. Me, me, me!

Consider your ways

Stop for a moment and imagine today was your last day. You are before the Lord God, would He say this to you ?

My child, I gave you much time and had a plan for you, what have you done with the time I’ve given you? Do you know how much of your day you gave to your own selfish wants – the computer? The television?  ………….. So much needed to get done, so many harvesters were needed. Why don’t your children know Who I AM? Why didn’t you come when I called you? Why did you choose the world over Me? Where is your gold and what can you buy with your money now? I was hungry and you ignored me, I was thirsty, but you turned your head. I was lonely but you didn’t care. I wanted to be your friend, I reached out for you, but you scoffed and turned away.  I kept knocking, but you didn’t open  the door. You honored me with your lips, but you knew your heart was far from Me.

The Sweeping Current of cold self centeredness aka  HWC (heart waxing cold) the new earthly phenomenon.

I sense it, do you?  It’s as if this selfish cold hearted spirit is knocking at my door waiting to rule over me. I have to remind myself to love others. In fact, I’m finding these last few weeks a real test and a struggle to be caring and loving to others.  If I wasn’t grounded in the word and prayer I know I would not have noticed itMaybe there is an intense war for God’s people going on right now that we don’t see. A verse to come to mind as I write this  from Revelation 12 “ Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time

7 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them[a] in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. 1Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”

Heart waxed cold HWC headlines: from propheyupdatenews.com on 1-7-14

HWC: Boy, 13, Kills Cousin Over Xbox…
HWC: Man fatally stabs wife in argument over cable bill…
HWC: Stockton Couple Accused Of Dismembering Roommate, Burning Torso In Campfire
HWC: California priest beaten to death with wooden stake, metal gutter pipe

How does our enemy work?

First, he tries to steal the Word of God from our hearts. Once that is done, we soon begin to make our own ways and our own man made laws. Second, he tries to distract you from God’s word and promises. He sends arrows of doubt, fear and worry into your thoughts trying to destroy your faith. Thirdly, he gains a choke hold over you and blocks out God’s word through deceit, riches and all the world has to offer.

Matthew 13:19-Therefore hear the parable of the sower:  When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.  But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;  yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.  Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.  But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

What can we do?

We can begin by putting on the warfare we have been given in Ephesians 6 and living by the Beatitudes in Matthew 5. Revelation tells us we can overcome the wicked one by “the blood of the lamb and by their testimony”. 2 Timothy gives us more insight: follow right doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance,  persecutions and afflictions.

“ But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.

Who comes first in your life?

Your pet? Your neighbor? Yourself? God? Your club? The poor? The rich?

Let’s talk: Recently a dog in my neighborhood needed to be put to sleep. He was paralyzed, couldn’t see or hear but a sweet lady tried to help him. A local organization raised $15,000 to help the animal get wheels for his back legs,  physical therapy in a pool, and weekly pyschology visits – I’m not kidding you. He lived about 7 months before he died. It’s amazing to see this outpouring for a dog- surely it was a kind gesture, but I don’t see the same kind of love outpouring for people. It doesn’t take a lot of searching to find someone in need. How few reach out to help the people around us who are struggling.

Here’s something else that bothers me – SeaWorld’s Blackfish episode. The outpouring for the whale and mother has been astonishing. Singers have cancelled events at the theme park and it’s made a mess for them. Now I don’t know much of SeaWorlds reply, and certainly the situation bothers me, but let’s get real. If we really want to close down SeaWorld, let’s close down pet shops, fishing fleets, zoos and hey! Wait a minute- do we get the same outpouring of concern for the 60 million aborted babies?  Today is January 17th, since the new year began, 1.8 million babies have had their skull crushed and brains vacuumed out ( A hollow tube with a knife-edged tip is inserted into the womb.  The vacuum suction, 29 times more powerful than a household vacuum cleaner, tears the fetus and placenta into small pieces which are sucked through the tube into a bottle and discarded or a pair of forceps is inserted into the womb to grasp part of the fetus. The teeth of the forceps twist and tear the bones of the unborn child. from  Lifesitenews.com )  or had chemicals/salt poured over their bodies until they die. Where’s the nation’s uproar for that? No – somehow in our “psycho/physcros” minds we seem to care more for an animal than we do for a struggling mother with children or a small infant in a mother’s womb. This certainly is the generation of phychros – those of a cold mind towards people.

As Christians- we should ask ourselves if we have in anyway become cold. Keep your eyes open to your ways and thoughts; be careful not to become coldhearted and uncaring for others. I believe there is a strong current, like a mighty force, sweeping through the land that we all would become uncaring and unloving to others. Another definition used for this word is breath- putting it all together – it’s as if a strong current is sweeping over people turning their hearts cold towards others.

Besides selfishness, I think sometimes we can become cold hearted by the cold heartedness of people around us, but we can’t let that influence us.  Jesus is our example of how we should treat others. He didn’t fight or shout, not did he break the weakest reed (which means he didn’t crush those already brokenhearted and weak). He asked forgiveness for those who crucified Him, can we find that same forgiveness and mercy for others within ourselves?

Hear the Word of the Lord:

 But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.  But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,  and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.2 Timothy 3 1-17

Revelation 3:15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth

Matthew 24 : Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age? And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.  For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.  And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.  For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.

 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.  And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.  Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

 Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand),  “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.  Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house.  And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes.  But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.  And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.  Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it.  For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand.  “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.

29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.32 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it[d] is near—at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven,[e] but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour[f] your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.45 “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. 47 Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. 48 But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’[g]49 and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, 50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, 51 and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Dear Lord,

What has happened to us? Has the current of filth and worldliness caused us to drift so far we don’t realize our ways anymore? Lord, open our eyes, our ears and our hearts to your call. Set our feet back on the right path and give us discernment when we start to slip. I know you are always there for us, but keep us from honoring you with only our lips and not our hearts. Give us a love for others as Christ has. Teach us to consider others above ourselves. Forgive for our cold self-centeredness. Let us be a light in this world that would lead others to your kingdom. Give us a love for others, give us a heart of mercy , a heart of grace and forgiveness as you have showered upon us all through Christ your Son, In Jesus name, Amen.


The Parable of the Lost Son

In The Parable of the Lost Son, found in Luke 15:11-32, Jesus tells a tale of a selfish son who arrogantly asks for his share of his inheritance while his father is still living, and then goes off and squanders every last cent with wild living. After his spending frenzy, the foolish son was in desperate need in the midst of a severe famine. He finally found a job feeding pigs in the fields. As a Jewish male, he had hit rock bottom. Not only was he interacting – touching swine – which were considered completely unclean, but he was so hungry that he found himself envious of the food that he was feeding to those very pigs. In a moment of clarity, the son came to his senses and realized that his father’s hired men had food to spare, and that perhaps if he went back to him with a repentant heart, his dad might be so kind as to hire him on as one of his laborers. So, off he went to face his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” – (vs20b) After the son’s confession and plea for forgiveness, the father abundantly gave. He restored the son to his position in the family, despite the contemptuous behavior he had previously displayed through his departure and wild living. Not only did the father embrace the son, but he called for a feast to celebrate his son’s return.

Our God in heaven celebrates us in the same way. No matter how horrible we have been, He waits. When He sees our hearts turn toward Him, He runs to meet us while we are still far from Him. As we repent, He restores us to right relationship with Him, and recognizes us as His heirs – His sons and daughters. Though we too, have stooped so low as to be muddied and hungry and hurting, He has always been watching and waiting – and when we at last recognize our need for cleansing and His care, He is right there. May we both embrace the grace that we have been given and extend the same to those who are still stuck in a muddy space.

Stuck in the mud,The Parable of the Lost Son

our own sinful mess;

seems no escape,

until we confess.

Our God forgives,

fresh start He shall bring;

draws hearts to Him,

our Savior and King.

He wipes away,

our mud and our mess;

grants us His grace,

His great faithfulness.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are the Father, and we are Your lost sons and daughters, whom You are ready and able to save. Thank You that You waited and watched for us, even when we were still far off. Thank You that You are willing to woo us unto You, and show us how great Your love truly is. Forgive us for wallowing in our own filth, or for somehow thinking that You would not receive us in our wretched condition. Thank You that You accept us and love us far beyond what we can even begin to understand. Teach us to receive all that You offer, and in turn, to extend the same love and grace to all whom we encounter. May Your love in us, draw others unto You as well. Let the lost be found, and those who are searching, find the security that is held in the safety of Your loving embrace. Be glorified in all that we say and do. Amen.

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


Un-Approved By The Age

Christ and His gospel will always be spoken against. If you know a gospel that is approved of by the age and patronized by the learned, that gospel is a lie. Sermon 2396, C.H. Spurgeon 1895

People are always looking for the easy way, but that is not the path that a follower of Christ can expect. There is truly not much difference between the snake-oil salesmen in the days of old and preachers of today who promise eternity while lining their wallets with your money. If they had faith and truly believed in the word of God, they would follow His instruction and build up their treasures in heaven and not on earth!

But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break in and steal. Matthew 6:20

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Love Over Law

Often, it seems, Jesus spent the Sabbath teaching in synagogues. Word of His teaching, must have been spreading like wildfire, for everywhere He went, there were both those in need, and those who hoped to trap Him in some sort of violation of the law. In Luke chapter thirteen, verses ten through seventeen, there is an account of Jesus healing a woman who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen long years. “When Jesus saw her, He called her forward and said to her, ‘Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.’ Then He put His hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.” – (vs. 12-13)

The synagogue ruler had his undergarments in a bunch, and was outraged that Jesus would dare to heal on the Sabbath. “The Lord answered him, ‘You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?” – (vs. 15-16) His opponents were left without words to respond, for there was no arguing with such profound truth. All who had seen the miraculous, marveled at the wonderful things that He was doing.

When we see someone in need, do we respond immediately, or do we rationalize reason to not respond?

Though there are times and places that genuinely prevent us from physically getting out of the car and moving in the direction of the need, can’t we at the very least, lift up a prayer on their behalf? We cannot always do something tangible to be of help, but we can always pray. God knows each need far better than we do, and when we pause to pray, we give Him opportunity to speak to us as well. Perhaps there is something specific that we are meant to do, but unless we stop to listen, we miss the miraculous that He had intended. Sometimes the miracle is meant for another, yet, at times, it may be something new, moving within our hearts.

When we see a need,Love Over Law

let us stop and pray;

show us what to do,

Lord, You lead the way.

A touch or a gift,

a smile, or prayer;

every need known,

God, You are aware.

Please make known to us,

what we’re meant to do;

to show Your great love,

so we honor You.

Let hearts found in need,

know their needs are met;

by You alone, God,

not one You’d forget.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to show us the way to prioritize people. Thank You Jesus, that touching lives trumped man-made rules and regulations every time. Thank You that above all – You loved, and continue to love. Forgive us for having hearts that resemble the synagogue ruler, who set limits as to when and what could be done. Help us to recognize that with You, there is no limit – for You are our Source and Supply. Whatever You call us to do, You will also equip and empower us to complete. Our part, is to step forward in faith. Teach us to trust You more. May we live and move and do all things out of our love for You, and may many come to see Your heart for them as a result. Let lives be changed and hearts turned toward You. Be glorified God. Amen.

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


Give Us Each Day

“Give us each day our daily bread.” – (Luke 11:3) Though a familiar portion of the Lord’s Prayer, I imagine the depth of the meaning is rarely considered. Jesus was not simply speaking of physical bread, but He was referring to the daily supplication of all that we need – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Also, He does not say give us this year, a fortune; but rather He tells us to seek Him daily, asking for the provision of what is needed for this day – not tomorrow nor beyond. He wants us in constant communion with Him, not to store up treasures, become self-satisfied and then cut off our communication with God. Our Heavenly Father cares for us, and will hear our every prayer. It is up to us to press in and continue to keep the lines of communication open at our end. He is always listening; are we?

A bit further in the same chapter, Jesus says, “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” – (Luke 11:9-10) These verses reiterate that He wants us to be in relationship with Him. He is generous and kind, ever ready to hear our requests, if only we are willing to come to Him and ask. God does not care if we are eloquent in speech as we pray, but rather wants sincere hearts that seek Him. Conditions are not placed upon us in order to come before Him; He tells us that EVERYONE who asks, seeks and knocks, shall receive, find and have the door opened unto them. What a comforting reminder to recognize that He daily, wants us to come before Him. He longs for us to desire to be aware of His nearness. This happens, the more that we get to know Him through intentional seeking, knocking, asking in prayer, worship, and the study of His word.

Give us today,Give Us Each Day

all that we need;

strength and supply,

to You, may we heed.

Daily, let’s seek,

our Savior, King;

bringing Him praise,

of faithfulness sing.

Knock on the door,

He’ll be right there;

always ready,

to hear our prayer.

Ask of the Lord,

make your request;

He is faithful,

and loves us the best.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our Source and Supply, and that You are always present and prepared to hear our prayer and answer what we ask. Thank You for Your unending faithfulness as our Father and King. Forgive us for not asking, seeking, or knocking when we need to come to You first in all things. Teach us to prioritize our time so that we may daily invest in our relationship with You. Teach us how we are to ask, seek and knock for that which You would have be our daily bread. May we be ever grateful for the good gifts that You provide us each day, and for the life and breath that we have in this very moment. May our attitude of gratitude lead those who are looking to ask, seek and knock – so that they too, may come to be in a lasting relationship with You. All praise and glory to You, our great and mighty God! Amen.

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


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