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Attempting to obey God and follow Jesus Christ our Lord

Posts tagged “Lord

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

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Expressing Gratitude

“When Jesus came into Peter’s house, He saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on Him.” – (Matthew 8:14-15)

 

Peter’s mother-in-law’s response to the miraculous was immediate. She did not delay, but set right away, to serve the Savior, out of her heart of gratitude. She is an excellent example of how we ought to express our gratitude to God, as He too, has so often rescued and healed each one of us. Additionally, we have the promised hope of our heavenly home to hold, as our reason to give thanks. How we love and serve others, is a way that we are able to express our gratitude to God.

 

The touch of His hand,Expressing Gratitude

has made our hearts whole;

let our lives give thanks,

praise to Christ, extol.

May we serve others,

as He has served us;

let our existence,

reflect Lord Jesus.

With hope in our hearts,

and praise on our lips;

may we serve Him well,

as we’ve been equipped.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us as we are, and that Your love brings healing to our hurts – physically, emotionally and spiritually. Thank You that we can respond immediately to Your touch by stepping up to serve. Forgive us for thinking we have nothing to offer, or for being “too busy” to step out. Teach us to seek You in all things and at all times, so that we may be ever aware of what You have done, and what we have to hold in hope, so that we cannot help but long to serve out of a heart full of thanks and praise. May many come to know You, as we express our gratitude to You, our great and glorious God. Be glorified in all that we say and do. Amen.

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

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. – Psalm 23:6

 

 

 


Sufficient Grace

When trials come, it is easy to default to the “O Lord get me out of this mess,” sort of posture. It is an automatic response to want difficulty to go away. However, God does not see the struggles the same way that we do. Rather than a chance of us being pulled under, He sees struggles as an opportunity for His strength to be shown. Paul, who had some sort of ongoing affliction, asked the Lord to take it away. Three times He asked God to take it away, and alas, God did not. “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” – (2 Corinthians 12:9)

 

Though Paul’s initial request was for the Lord to take the affliction, the very struggle that hindered him away; when the Lord answered him, Paul’s perspective shifted. What he had viewed as a hindrance, he began to see as an opportunity to show the Lord’s strength. Once he recognized that it was only by God’s grace that he could do anything that the Lord was asking, he was empowered to embrace his weaknesses as opportunities for Christ’s strength to shine.

 

The challenge is how are we to do this practically? I have seen brilliant examples, as faithful warriors press on and pursue all that God has for them, despite the obstacles that life throws their way. Their resolve is deep-rooted in a firmly established relationship with the Father. Each of them fix their eyes and hearts securely on Him, and trust in His unwavering faithfulness. We are called to press in and persevere, regardless of what comes our way. As our roots run deep, His strength becomes more evident, even when we are weak.

 

We’re all in a boat,Sufficient Grace

somewhere off the shore;

some simply adrift,

while others want more.

Some paddle, pursue,

a course set afar;

and some are content,

to float where they are.

Both will endure waves,

and boats will be rocked;

one self-sufficient,

and one faith unlocked.

Both will come to know,

their own sense of need;

one calls on the Lord,

allowing Him lead.

For in our weakness,

His strength clearly shows;

may we boast in Christ,

as we daily grow.

May His power rest,

so powerfully;

that all who draw near,

will see Christ in me.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your grace is all that we need to get through our greatest challenges. Thank You that Your power is made perfect in our weakness. Thank You that You utilize every challenge as an opportunity to grow us in Your grace, and make Your presence and power known. Forgive us for somehow thinking that You are not enough to carry us when we are unable to stand. Give us wisdom to know when to ask for You to remove something and when to have Your strength come and carry us. Teach us to trust You completely, so that we are completely aware of Your will in all things and at all times. May we love as You love us, and may many come to know the power and presence that is available through the gift of Your grace. Be glorified as we go forth today, and be the strength of our lives. 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


Remember the Miracles

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

 

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

 

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

 

Look back in your life,Remember the Miracles

to struggles and pain;

who faithfully held,

your heart through the rain?

The places where love,

and light entered in;

were glimpses of God,

Redeemer, and friend.

Where your needs were met,

or hopes were fulfilled;

blessings from the Lord,

His grace was instilled.

Remember His love,

His faithfulness too;

His presence remains,

forever with you.

 

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

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

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

 

 

 

 


Promises to Purify

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Your word unto us,Promises to Purify

promise for all time;

in Christ we are Yours,

and by faith, You’re mine.

Not only as Lord,

but as Father too;

You call us Your kids,

sons and daughters, new.

May we purify,

our lives from the things;

that contaminate,

peace that Your truth brings.

Help us turn away,

from unrighteousness;

and cling unto You,

God of faithfulness.

May we stand in awe,

forever in You;

our Hope and our Help,

the God of all truth.

 

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

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

Answer me, O Lord, out of the goodness of Your love; in Your great mercy turn to me.

- Psalm 69:16

 

 


He Hears

This morning, the reading plan I follow, included Psalm 61. Each time I read one of the Psalms written by David, I find myself so encouraged, as he was readily transparent in his calling out to the Lord, be it in strength or in struggle – always knowing his ultimate need for God to intervene.

 

“Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to You, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in Your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of Your wings.” – (Psalm 61:1-4)

 

He closes out the Psalm by saying “Then will I ever sing praise to Your Name and fulfill my vows day after day.” – (Psalm 61:8)

 

David, in the midst of his struggles, cries out to the Lord and asks Him to hear his prayers. He identifies his own feelings of weakness, and knows that in his own strength, he cannot stand. With God, David understands that his feet can be secured, despite what is seen, and the Lord is a space of safety – His very refuge in the midst of the mess. At the end of the day, David identifies the portion of the promises he has made unto the Lord, include offering praise each day, no matter what. We too, are meant to have a heart after God, just as David did. When we seek Him, we will find Him; and all of our praise ought to be offered up each day, regardless of our circumstances. God is good, even when life is not.

 

He is our help,He Hears

wherever we are;

no need to fear,

we’re never too far.

For His hands reach,

the ends of the earth;

His hands protect,

our infinite worth.

A strong tower,

refuge in the storm;

strength when we’re weak,

safety from all harm.

May we honor,

the Lord all our days;

do what He asks,

and give Him all praise.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You hear our cries and listen to our prayers. Thank You that You are our strength in weakness and our shelter in all of life’s storms. Thank You that You lead us to safe spaces, and hide us in the shadow of Your wings. Forgive us for our fearfulness, as we shift our focus from You to the obstacle we need to overcome. Help us to fix our eyes securely on You, as You are our strength and our help, and the One who makes our path plain. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will more readily follow all that You ask. May we move mightily in Your love, as we are loved, and may many come to know You as their Maker and Mighty King. Lead us and guide us to honor You in all that we say and do, and may we ever sing praises unto You. Be glorified, O God. 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

 

 


Whom Will You Serve?

 

At the end of his life, when the Israelites had entered into the promise land, Joshua reminded the people of the Lord’s ongoing faithfulness. After reviewing all that God had done, Joshua told them that they had to make a choice. Choose to serve the Lord with all that they are, or walk away. “If you decide that it’s a bad thing to worship God, then choose a god you’d rather serve – and do it today. Choose one of the gods your ancestors worshiped from the country beyond The River, or one of the gods of the Amorites, on whose land you’re now living. As for me and my family, we’ll worship GOD.” – (Joshua 24:15, The Message)

 

Each one of us comes to a point in life where we must choose whom we will serve. We might not consciously make the choice, but we either choose God, or we choose the things of this world. Where our priorities lie, are excellent indicators as to where our heart is aligned. Are we serving God, or self?

 

Look all around,Whom Will You Serve

miracles made known.

Whom will you serve?

Is your heart your own?

One way brings life,

the other, sure end;

are you willing,

on Him to depend?

Great is the price,

to trust and obey;

yet far greater,

our promised one day.

Presence for now,

hope for forever;

He will not leave,

or forsake, ever.

For me, it’s clear,

there’s no turning back;

I’ll serve the Lord,

wherever I’m at.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You give us the freedom of choice. Thank You that You love us so much, that You give us a free will, and You are willing to allow us to walk our own way. Thank You that You receive us with open arms when we are ready to run to You, and that You embrace us and cover us with Your grace. Forgive us for thinking that there is any other way to live, aside from total surrender to You. Teach us to trust You completely in all things and at all times. May we love and serve with all that we are, just as You do for us. Let those who are looking, find the peace of Your presence and the hope that is held in You alone. May our every word and deed reflect Your radiance. Be exalted, Lord God. Amen.

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

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

 

 

 

 


Finding Common Ground

“…I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” – (I Corinthians 9:22b-23)

Paul is telling us a plethora of important principles in but a brief statement. First, we must find common ground with those around us. That does not mean we are to partake or indulge in sinful stuff, but rather we must take the time to invest in the lives of those around us, and love them well, where they are at, if we ever hope to have a voice in sharing what matters from our own hearts. Second, we cannot have a know-it-all attitude. Humility is the only way we will ever be heard. Another necessary element in the process is to assure those around us that they are accepted, right where they are. There are no requirements of “cleaning up” to come to Christ, but rather it is a matter of a sincere heart that is seeking Him. We must be sensitive to the needs and concerns of those around us, and do what we can, practically, to help meet their needs. When there is a relationship of trust established, opportunities to share what Christ has done for us personally, will be presented; we need only be available and willing to share.

(Italics above are paraphrased from NIV footnotes for 9:22-23)

To find common ground,Purple flower

we need open our eyes;

take time to invest,

in other people’s lives.

For if we’re not known,

why would they lend an ear?

No one will listen,

’til another draws near.

We must first listen,

hear each heart and each voice;

notice what’s needed,

sincere service our choice.

When we invest time,

and let love be our choice;

our heart will be heard,

despite chaos and noise.

Let Love lead the way,

be faithful to the Lord;

people will notice,

His light can’t be ignored.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You came and showed us the way to love others well. Thank You that You came near to all, and made everyone who came near feel accepted and loved. Thank You that You were always concerned about the needs of those who came, and touched lives as You transformed hearts. Thank You that You sent Your Spirit, so that we too, have the capacity to love, accept, help, and share in such a way, that people may see You. Forgive us for not investing time, or not being sensitive to those around us. Help make us aware of the needs around us, so that we might be Your hands and heart to those who need Your touch, or word of encouragement. May we learn to find common ground with everyone we meet, and allow You room to move as You see fit. May many come to know You as their Savior and King. Be exalted in everything we say and do. Amen.

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

They will celebrate Your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of Your righteousness.

- Psalm 145:7


The Mind of Christ

“As the Scriptures say, ‘Who can know what is on the Lord’s mind? Who is able to give Him advice?’ But we have been given Christ’s way of thinking.” – (I Corinthians 2:16 ERV)

Not one of us has the capacity to comprehend our Creator. However, by His Holy Spirit, those who commit their hearts and minds unto Him, are granted insight and understanding into some of God’s plans, thoughts and actions. In a sense, we are granted access to the mind of Christ. As we invest in an intentional intimate relationship with our Redeemer, He reveals more of Himself to us, by His Spirit. Time spent in His word, in worship, and in prayer, provide opportunities for us to grow closer to our Creator, as we learn more of who He is, and all that He has done for us.

Who can come to know,The Mind of Christ

the mind of the Lord?

Those who will invest,

choose time to afford.

Time spent with Jesus,

will not return void;

understanding comes,

when our heart’s employed.

Lean not on our strength,

but fully on Christ;

to know how He gave,

His great sacrifice.

Let our hearts receive,

all He has to give;

so by His Spirit,

we shall truly live.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us and reveal to us, more and more of Yourself. Thank You that by Your Spirit, we may come to know Your thoughts, which are far higher and greater than our own. Forgive us for not investing our whole hearts, or for turning a deaf ear to what You are speaking to our hearts. Help us to give You our whole heart, and may our ears and hearts be open to hear and obey all that You are asking. Let us live in worshipful obedience, so that our love for You and for others is evident. May many be drawn unto You as a result. Let Your light be bright in us. Be magnified through all that we say and do. Amen.

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

I thank and praise You, O God of my fathers: You have given me wisdom and power. – Daniel 2:23


The Look of His Love

“Love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” – (Mark 12:30-31)

The solution to our struggles, always seem to return to being rooted in love. When our character is assaulted with false accusations, or our integrity questioned without reason, we can grow frustrated and defensive, or we can choose to love anyway. Human nature causes our head and heart to hold out for an equally hurtful response, yet the still small voice within, whispers, “Love.” Though it may take swallowing some of our own righteous wrath to choose to love, to do so, is that which we are called to do. Often, it is through our responding in love, that the accusations are disproven and our integrity is clearly upheld. Responding in love, removes the claws, from those with ill intentions.

This is not to say that we are always meant to face the fire, as there are times when He calls us to retreat and stick to praying for those who persecute. God is gracious and kind, and grants wisdom as to when and what we are to do. If our focus is on loving Him and loving others, we will be walking in obedience to what He is asking of us.

When words are like weapons,The Look of Love 2

and they puncture the heart;

seek He who is loving,

to heal and grant fresh start.

Respond not in anger,

words can’t be taken back;

go straight to the Father,

when we’re under attack.

He alone is our peace,

our place of perfect rest;

our anchor through the storms,

the One who loves us best.

Let all of our focus,

eyes, heart, soul and our mind;

fix on loving the Lord,

and the rest of mankind.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You simplified all that You ask of us into one command: Love You, and love others. Thank You that You do not ask us to do this in our own strength, but rather if we come to You and trust You, You equip and empower us to love You and love others, as You are calling us to do. Forgive us for our pride that attempts to preserve our reputation, rather than allowing You to be our protection in all things. Please grant us wisdom and strength to hear You clearly, and to heed Your instruction in all things and at all times. Lead us to truly love as You love us, and may many come to know You as a result. Be glorified through our love for You and one another. Amen.

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

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


Resetting Our Focus

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

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

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

Let not our eyes,Resetting Our Focus

determine our view;

for what is seen,

is not always true.

God is greater,

than life’s circumstance;

when fixed on Him,

nothing’s left to chance.

All strength, all hope,

all power to be;

comes from the Lord,

Him who truly sees.

Look to the Lord,

not to the trials;

faith’s not by sight,

it’s trust in fires.

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

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

Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. – 2 Corinthians 3:5


The Power of Generosity

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

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

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

The power to change,The Power of Generosity

a heart full of pride;

sincere humbling,

grace giving resides.

A generous heart,

gathers and unites;

selfishness scatters,

makes people take flight.

Such hearts are humble,

they give God control;

releasing the reigns,

make serving their goal.

Perspective through Him,

hearts that understand;

all His ways are best,

so trust in His plan.

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

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

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


Wait for the Lord

David, the author of the 27th Psalm, encourages us to: “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” - (verse 14) He knew well, what it meant to wait for the Lord. David had been anointed king as a teen while still tending his father’s flocks, yet did not don royal robes until he was much older. As he waited, he faced giants, fled from a friend turned foe, overcame countless obstacles, and all the while, trusted the Lord to be his strength and believed that what God had spoken, would come to pass.

When we hear a promise, it is never easy to wait. At times, it can even seem as if God isn’t answering our prayers, because nothing seems to be happening toward the fulfillment. However, we are not privileged to view things through God’s lens, so what He is doing, may easily escape us. Often the series of seemingly unfortunate or unplanned events that are occurring, are a sort of preparation for our hearts and minds, to teach us to further trust, and strengthen our faith in the Father alone. God’s promises are always worth the wait. The time we have between the promise and the fulfillment, can be our time to hold hope, and allow the Lord to refresh us, renew us, and teach us. Be strong and take heart, for He is always worth the wait.

Wait for the Lord,Wait for the Lord

be strong in the wait;

in Him, take heart,

do not hesitate.

Wait for the Lord,

He is always good;

trust in the Lord,

our pain’s understood.

Wait for the Lord,

no matter what’s seen;

call on His Name,

in the time between.

Wait for the Lord,

the day soon will come;

the fulfillment,

His promises done.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our strength in the waiting, and that we can always trust in You. Thank You that You are faithful to fulfill what You say You will do, and that You have purpose when there is a time of waiting. Forgive us for our impatience, and help us to learn how to be refreshed, renewed, and to grow in our understanding of You, as we wait. May we grow in mercy and grace, as we have so lavishly been given these gifts by You. Let us love others, as You love us, and may many come to know You as a result. Be magnified through all that we say and do. Amen.

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

For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering

because he is conscious of God. - 1 Peter 2:19

*(NIV footnotes for Psalm 27:13 utilized as a resource too.)


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


Living Testimonies

Exciting news has always found way to spread quickly. In Ephesus, during the time of Paul’s ministry, there was no exception. “God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.” – (Acts 19:11-12) There were some Jews who were jealous of both the power and influence that God had given Paul, and they were going around driving out spirits, using both the name of Jesus, and Paul’s name, in attempt to make something happen. These men soon learned that it required more than the use of His Name to overcome evil spirits, as the fellas were beaten within an inch of their lives, and ran away.

As word of this occurrence spread, both Jews and Greeks gained a proper perspective of the power of the Lord, and held His Name in high esteem. Many who had come to believe, came and confessed their sins and began to rid their homes and lives of things that were in direct violation with the ways of the Lord. The depth of their commitment to Christ was further solidified, through the hearing of His awesome power.

What sort of news do we spread? How do we impact people with the power of His Name? Are we making others aware of His awesome power and great love, or are we “talking heads” without the depth of commitment? Paul’s ministry was powerful only because his priority was to love God, and to love people. His love compelled him to share of all that the Lord had done in him, and allowed the power of the Holy Spirit to move through him. God moves mightily through us when we are willing vessels.

May Your love spread,Living Testimonies

let hearts be ablaze;

as people come,

to follow Your ways.

Let willing hearts,

be Your hands and voice;

so all might know,

of redemption choice.

Yes and amen,

shall be our reply;

let others know,

You alone supply.

Be lifted high,

through our word and deed;

may we love well,

as You meet each need.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that the news of You has traveled far and wide, providing opportunity for us to come to know You as our Savior and King. Thank You that You love us so much, that You have granted examples of the faithful to show the way, and have provided miracles, to move the hearts of those who need to see to believe. Forgive us for the times that our words and actions have not aligned, or our hearts have not held fast to the truth in trust. Teach us to trust You more, and help us to be living examples for those around us. May we be people who are not just hearers of the word, but rather doers of the word. May our very lives be living testimonies of Your faithfulness and truth to all whom are within our sphere of influence. May many come to know You as their Savior, as we faithfully love and serve You and one another. May You be honored in all things. Amen.

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

You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence.

- Acts 2:28


Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.Psalm 23  1

He makes me lie down in green pastures,

He leads me beside quiet waters,

He restores my soul.

He guides me in paths of righteousness

for His name’s sake.

Even though I walk

through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil,

for You are with me;

Your rod and Your staff,

they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me

in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and love will follow me

all the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

forever. – Psalm 23

God is my guide. Psalm 23  2

WIth Him, I lack nothing.

He provides me place to rest,

and grants refreshment unto my soul.

He leads me and guides me

in the ways in which I am meant to go.

Even when things are frightening,

or death is knocking at my door.

I need not fear, for He is with me.

The Lord is my Protector and Comforter.

He prepares abundant provisions for me,

right in front of my enemies,

and claims me as His own,

pouring out His blessings upon me.

Your goodness and love will remain with me,

every day of my life,

and I hold fast to the promise

of my future forever with You in heaven.

The 23rd Psalm is a source of much comfort to many. It is a reminder of God’s presence, provision, and power. He is good, and is available to pour out His blessings upon those who faithfully seek Him. The Lord is worthy of our trust, and His love is unfailing. There has never been, nor shall ever be a mere man, to whom we can compare His capacity to love us, individually. May this day, afford you the opportunity to take some time to simply soak in the reality of His remarkable redemption, granted by His glorious grace, just for you.

You are my guide,Psalm 23  3

Provider of all;

You grant me rest,

catch me when I fall.

Lead me to peace,

to quiet my soul;

so I may hear,

Your heart that makes whole.

Show me the way,

unto righteousness;

despite shadows,

remove fearfulness.

Help me to trust,

You as Protector;

may my heart see,

all foes bow before.

You prepare much,

foes see that I’m blessed;

You call me Yours,

clothed in righteousness.

Goodness and love,

for my whole life long;

my hope secure,

my Strength and my Song.

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You that Your love is unfailing, and that You provide, protect and persist in Your pursuit of our whole heart. Thank You for the bountiful blessings that You pour out upon us, and for the promise we may hold when we give our heart to You. Forgive us for our fearfulness and lack of trust, and help us to seek You in all things. May Your grace and mercy be evident in every area of our lives, and may we extend the same to all whom we encounter. Let Your love be evident in us. Lead those who are looking unto Your loving embrace. Be glorified, our great and mighty King. Amen.

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

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; …write them on the tablet of your heart.

- Proverbs 3:3


Calling for Counsel

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

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

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

When things are unclear,Calling for Cousel

seek that which is true;

first God, then the word,

then wise counsel, too.

If disputes arise,

try first to resolve;

let not opinions,

true friendships dissolve.

For there will be times,

when it will be best;

let disagreements,

lay down, put to rest.

If we truly love,

then we’ll be okay;

if not eye to eye,

in every way.

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

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

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23


Who May Dwell?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lord, who may dwell,Who May Dwell

in Your holy house?

Those unto You,

the faithful, devout.

Speakers of truth,

who speak not the lies;

wrong not others,

vile men, despise.

Those who honor,

the ones who fear You;

who keep their word,

forever, stay true.

Those who will lend,

to others in need;

without taking,

for those who’ve been freed.

All who will choose,

to live unto You;

won’t be shaken,

for You make us new.

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

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

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


The Blessedness of Forgiveness Psalm 32

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,

Whose sin is covered.

Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity,

And in whose spirit there is no guile.

When I kept silent, my bones grew old

Through my groaning all the day long.

For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;

My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah

 I acknowledged my sin to You,

And my iniquity I have not hidden. I said,

“I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”

And You forgave the iniquity of my sin, Selah

 For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You

 In a time when You may be found,

They shall not come near him.

You are my hiding place;

You shall preserve me from trouble;

You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah

  I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;

I will guide you with My eye.

Do not be like the horse or like the mule,

Which have no understanding,

Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle,

Else they will not come near you.

 Many sorrows shall be to the wicked;

But he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him.

Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous;

And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!


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


Lift Up Our Leaders

“When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up – one on one side, one on the other – so that his hands remained steady till sunset.” – (Exodus 17:12)

This passage comes from the story in Exodus 17, when the Amalekites came to attack the Israelites. Whenever Moses’ hands were raised, the Israelites were winning, yet if he lowered his hands, the Amalekites would take the lead. Though Moses was a strong leader, called by God, he was still subject to human frailty. He grew weary, as all of us do. Fortunately, Moses had men who came along side him, and saw the need in their leader, and extended the practical help that was possible for them to supply.

We too, need to lift up our spiritual leaders. Our pastors shoulder a tremendous responsibility, and readily work around the clock. Though they may be physically present during office hours, their hours of service extend well beyond the traditional work day. Medical emergencies, family crisis, and personal problems are just a few of the after hours calls that these selfless servants readily answer. They too, grow weary, despite their being both called and equipped for the position. Praying for our pastors is a must. Offering encouragement and whatever else the Lord may ask, are practical ways in which we too, can lift up the hands of our leaders. “Let us not grow weary of doing good…” (Galatians 6:9)

For those who serve,Lift Up Our Leaders

give tirelessly;

let us lift up,

support prayerfully.

Reach out our hands,

speak words to exhort;

let gratitude,

be what we report.

Let our hearts hear,

how we might too, bless;

encouragement,

ways to offer rest.

Father, be near,

to the ones You’ve called;

protect them, Lord,

these blessings installed.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for those whom You have called and equipped to lead. Thank You for their faithfulness to listen to You, so that they may answer all that You ask, and serve You and the body whom You’ve called them to lead. Please protect them and their families, and bless and refresh them with sweet rest. Forgive us for not always lifting up our leaders, and help us to do a better job of praying for and encouraging our pastors, as You call us to do. May we come along side them and lift up their hands when they grow weary, and may we bless and encourage them as You ask us to do. May many come to know You as we love one another well, and may they recognize a place where people are loved and cared for – from pastor to each person that is present. Let Your light and love be evident in us, through all that we say and do. Be glorified, our good and gracious God. Amen.

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


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!


The Curse of Blindness

Julije Klovi? - Elymas Struck Blind by St Paul...

Julije Klovi? – Elymas Struck Blind by St Paul before the Proconsul Sergius Paulus – WGA05091 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So many times we wonder how someone can not see the reality of a situation. We wonder how they miss the obvious and twist reality into something totally different. In this world of craziness it is as if a fellow blogger said the other day, we are living in an upside down world. As if the Mad Hatter is in charge of the world and whatever we view is in their eyes something totally different.

According to wiki.answers.com In the King James version

  • the word – blind – appears 82 times
  • the word – blinded – appears 5 times
  • the word – blindeth – appears once
  • the word – blindfolded – appears once
  • the word – blindness – appears 7 times

There is a physical blindness, a mental blindness, and a spiritual blindness. We see Jesus use blindness in ways to get His message across, whether it is healing, as in:

Matthew 15:30

And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and he healed them:
Or as an allegory:

Matthew 15:14

Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.
It was used as a curse by Paul:

And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus:

Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God.

But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.

Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him.

10 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?

11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.

12 Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.

But one way that it is used is the way God uses a type of blindness in the days preceding the Day of the Lord:

2 Thessalonians 2:9-12

King James Version (KJV)

Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

God is not allowing some to see the truth and nothing we say or do will remove their blindness. At some point they made a deliberate decision to be unrighteous. To these whom the seed of faith and truth will never grow, they will only find the truth when it hits them in the face.

It is  an object lesson to all of us to choose righteousness, if we willfully choose to do wrong, we will not be able to see the truth. My friends consider your actions carefully, understand that when you see someone who will not see the truth and takes reality and turns it into something totally different, that it is sometimes God’s will that they do not see. Prophecy has to be fulfilled in order for the Lord to return. What it shows us is that God’s word is true and that His will is being done!

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