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Attempting to obey God and follow Jesus Christ our Lord

Posts tagged “mercy

Approaching the Throne of Grace

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. – (Hebrews 4:16)

 

Approaching the throne of grace is a fancy way of saying that we are meant to pray, to call on Christ, in our times of need. He wants us to come before Him with confidence, trusting that He is merciful and that His grace is enough to cover all that is required to continue on. Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father, continually interceding on our behalf. He understands our weaknesses and our struggles personally, as He Himself, experienced the same – without sin. His heart is for us, so we can come confidently, trusting that His grace is more than enough.

 

Let us approach,Approaching the Throne of Grace

the throne of His grace;

with confidence,

our hope to embrace.

Mercy awaits,

His grace is enough;

to meet our needs,

when the times are tough.

Pray to the One,

Who hears our heart cries;

our Source of strength,

Love never denies.

Answers may not,

look how we had hoped;

His way is best,

let’s trust His approach.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can approach the throne of Your grace with confidence, because You sent Your Son and made the way for us to receive mercy and find grace in our times of need. Thank You that You never leave us nor forsake us, and that Your love for us is unending. Forgive us for our fearfulness when things do not align with the way we think they ought to go, and help us to trust You, in all things and at all times. Thank You that You are more than enough. Help us to live and love as You have designed us to do. May many come to know the saving grace available in You, as we walk with confidence as You have called us to do. Be glorified, O God, in every word, deed and prayer presented before You this day. 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

 

 

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Knowing the “No”

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age. – (Titus 2:11-12)

 

The grace that God has given, is the gift of His Son. Jesus died so that we might live – His life ransomed for ours. After He rose and ascended into Heaven, He sent His Holy Spirit to be our Counselor and Comforter, so that we would have help in an uncertain world. That still small voice within us that whispers “No“, to the things that we know we ought not do, is His voice, teaching and protecting us so that we might live self-controlled, upright and godly lives. May we each choose to receive what He freely offers, so that we are able to live the lives He has for us.

 

Abundant grace,Knowing the No

poured out for mankind;

to open hearts,

give sight to the blind.

His Spirit shows,

the way we’re to go;

when it’s a “Yes”,

and where it’s a “No”.

No to the things,

ungodly and wrong;

and yes to those,

that make our walk strong.

All by His grace,

His love, it abounds;

receives the lost,

His power, profound.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for loving us so much that You made way for us to brought back into a relationship with You. Thank You for the gift of Your Son, and for the power of the Holy Spirit. Thank You, Jesus, for laying Your life down for mine, so that I could truly live. Thank You for Your still small voice that teaches us to say “No” to that which we ought not do, and compels us to move forward in those things to which You are calling. Forgive us for ignoring the “No“, or for standing stuck when we were meant to move forward. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will move either forward toward that which You are calling, or flee from that which You are warning us away from. May our life of obedience be an example to those around us, and may many come to know who You are and how much You love them as a result. Let the lost be found in You. Be glorified, Lord God, as we receive Your grace and obey all that You ask of us. Amen.

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

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

 

 

 

 

 


To Fight the Good Fight

Last summer, much of my free time was spent driving back and forth to Seattle to spend time with my dear friend, Anne, and to take her to various medical appointments. Anne had been bravely battling stage four cancer for nearly nine years. Many of those years had been extremely victorious. However, the unpredictable and ugly disease had spread its corrosive cells throughout her entire body. Though Anne presented a valiant fight, the cancer was finding a foothold that nothing could seem to stop. By summer’s end, she needed a place to stay where she would not be left alone for long stretches of time, but rather where there would continually be a person present in the home. God provided the perfect place – a home with a loving Christian couple and their eldest daughter, who happened to be an in-home care medical person. Additionally, the new location was a mere fifteen minutes from my home, rather than forty.

 

One of the many things that Anne loved about their home, is that they would talk with her and spend time reading the Bible aloud to her, as she requested. There was a verse that came to be very significant to Anne as she became increasingly frail, and barring a miracle, it was apparent that her end was near. This morning as I read through the passages in my daily reading plan, there was a hitch in my heart as I came upon that particular verse. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. – (2 Timothy 4:7) Anne, although her days were far shorter than any of us would have liked, she fought the good fight, she never wavered in her faith, and she finished her race strong, even unto her final breath. It is my prayer that I would learn from her example, and that no matter what comes my way, that I would continue to fight the good fight and keep the faith. When my days are done, I want to know that I have finished the race He has set before me, with no regrets.

 

Whatever we do,To Fight the Good Fight

may it give God praise;

with all of our heart,

for all of our days.

To fight the good fight,

means stay in the game;

trust that He is good,

have faith in His Name.

We must run the race,

that He’s called us to;

for He’s qualified,

and equipped to do.

View not the struggle,

nor look to the task;

instead to the Source,

our Strength as we ask.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have given us numerous examples of those who have gone before us and have fought the good fight, have finished the race, and have kept the faith. Thank You that this is not something that we are meant to do in our own strength, but rather in Yours. Thank You that You supply all that we need to stand strong and stay in the fight for as long as we are meant to run our race. Forgive us for allowing weariness to let our hearts wander off course, and help faith to rise up as we grow in our understanding of who You are, and just how much You love us. Thank You that Your mercy is new every morning, and that Your grace is enough. May we stand strong in faith in the fight, and run our race as You call us to run. Let Your love be what people see in us, and may many come to know You as their Lord and Savior, as our path points people to You. Be glorified through how we are running our race. Amen.

© 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

 

 

 


No More Darkness

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

 

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

 

Though once steeped in sin,No More Darkness

living in the dark;

we now know the truth,

flame grew from a spark.

Called to be children,

that live as His light;

to shine in darkness,

show His path that’s right.

Gone are the shadows,

that chained us to sin;

where light is shining,

darkness cannot win.

In goodness go forth,

both righteous and true;

shine on for the Lord

let our lives bear fruit.

 

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

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

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

 

 


Where Wisdom Begins

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

 

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

 

Each morning I rise,Where Wisdom Begins

to seek and to pray;

to ask You to lead,

to show me Your way.

Lord, grant me wisdom,

knowledge of what’s true;

also sound judgment,

and Your insight too.

Help me understand,

things that are unclear;

draw me closer still,

and show me You’re near.

God I stand in awe,

may my life bring praise;

all glory to You,

for all of my days.

 

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

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

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

 

 


The Benefit of Broken Barriers

Before Jesus, a barrier had been built that kept people from entering into the most holy place of God’s presence. Sin had separated mankind from God, leaving all of humanity deserving death. Jesus made the way for us to return to relationship with the Father, as He willingly laid down His life for ours. He alone was without sin; therefore the only worthy way for mankind to be made right before Him. “And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, He gave up His spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split.” – (Matthew 27:50-51) Not only had the barrier of our sin been removed, but the barrier in the temple that kept everyone out of the most holy place, was split in two – granting tangible evidence of the spiritual truth.

 

We serve an approachable God. There is no barrier separating us from Him – for the price has been paid and the path has been laid. Our part, is to choose. Though He knocks on the door of our heart, God is gentle, and always waits for an invitation. His arms are extended and open wide, yet we must reach out our hands and heart to His. Any thought that tries to tell us that He could never forgive something that we have done, is a lie directly from the pit of hell. The price has been paid, yet we must be willing to receive what He is offering by faith. May we embrace His astounding grace, and enter into the most holy place, found in His perpetual presence within.

 

Gone is the curtain,The Benefit of Broken Barriers

that kept me from You;

barrier laid low,

for a way that’s new.

By Your sacrifice,

You took on the cross;

all our sin and shame,

so we won’t be lost.

The depth of Your love,

didn’t end on that hill;

You rose, ascended,

Spirit with us still.

Your grace makes us clean,

to You, our hearts praise;

lead us and guide us,

for all of our days.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for making the way for us to be restored unto You. Thank You Jesus for coming and willingly laying down Your life for ours. Thank You that You endured suffering and darkness that we cannot even begin to fathom, so that we would no longer be separated from You by our sinfulness. Thank You for Your forgiveness and Your grace. Thank You that we can come to You, no matter what, and You will hear our hearts and love us the same. Forgive us for not bringing our brokenness, sin and shame before You, and help us to trust You with even the ugliest of our actions. Thank You that You are loving and trustworthy, and that You receive us as we come. Help us to extend mercy and grace to all whom we encounter, so that they may see You in us. Let Your love in us lead those who are looking, into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted in everything we say and do. 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

 


He Hears Our Cry

“O Lord, I say to You, ‘You are my God.’ Hear, O Lord, My cry for mercy.” – (Psalm 140:6)

Yesterday afternoon, just prior to setting out for a gathering with dear friends, I learned that a gal whom I had grown up with, had lost her seventeen-year-old son. My heart filled with heaviness on her behalf, and all I could do was cry out to God, to cover she and her family with His peace and His presence in this horrific time of grief.
Too often, young lives end long before they seemingly should. These treasures that we are given from God, are cut short, leaving so many to grieve and wonder why. There is hope, despite the desperate tragedy. When we raise and instruct them in the ways that they are meant to go, the truth will be hidden in their hearts. Our ultimate hope is held in our eternal reunion. Though there is a seemingly agonizing season of separation on earth, imagine an eternity together…

When precious lives lost,Shan

young taken too soon;

hearts torn and broken,

with Christ, come commune.

He is the sweet space,

where healing begins;

He is the hope held,

as anguish extends.

Every cry heard,

that we offer up;

He’ll hold heart and hand,

and carry our cup.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our God, and that You hear our every cry. Thank You that You are merciful and kind, and that You are able to bring beauty from ashes and hope from despair. Forgive us for our fearfulness, and help us to place all into Your hands. Please provide Your peace and comfort to those who are in desperate spaces of despair, and move hearts and minds to surround the hurting to extend Your comfort and calm, simply by being present. May we love as You love us, and may many come to know the security and safety found in salvation in You. Be exalted in everything that we say and do. Amen.

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

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


Promises to Purify

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Your word unto us,Promises to Purify

promise for all time;

in Christ we are Yours,

and by faith, You’re mine.

Not only as Lord,

but as Father too;

You call us Your kids,

sons and daughters, new.

May we purify,

our lives from the things;

that contaminate,

peace that Your truth brings.

Help us turn away,

from unrighteousness;

and cling unto You,

God of faithfulness.

May we stand in awe,

forever in You;

our Hope and our Help,

the God of all truth.

 

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

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

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

- Psalm 69:16

 

 


Not a Matter of Talk

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

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

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

The kingdom of God,Not a Matter of Talk

is not about talk;

it is how we live,

how we walk the walk.

For by His power,

words turn to being;

our actions align,

His grace is freeing.

He fuels forgiveness,

grants mercy and grace;

empowers, equips,

helps us run our race.

We must keep moving,

with trust to pursue;

listen and follow,

what He asks, we do.

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

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

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

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


Just Faith

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

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

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

In our own strength,Just Faith

no way justified;

only by grace,

we are sanctified.

It is by faith,

not by any law;

that we’re called right,

before Father God.

It is a gift,

for us to embrace;

may each heart know,

His unending grace.

Open our eyes,

to more clearly see;

Your righteousness,

that has set us free.

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

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

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


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


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


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.


Above All – Love

In this day and age, more and more is being deemed permissible and acceptable, despite that only a decade ago, the very same, was viewed with disdain. It is a strange space to stand – to have morals and convictions that are steadfast, yet live in a society where what is seen as acceptable, is ever changing. My charge, as one who loves God and longs to serve Him well, is to love people, not judge and condemn them. I only need look to the scriptures to see how Jesus interacted with those living a life of intentional sin. He did not condemn them, rather He loved them where they were. He touched, He healed, He helped, and He showed them that there was another way – a way that would bring life and light, hope and peace, not only for now, but for eternity.

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” – (Luke 6:35-36)

In the face of criticism for touching the untouchables, dining with the “unworthy“, healing on a day that had been declared a day off, and for loving with His life, Jesus, who alone is worthy to judge and condemn, spoke the above written words. If He, who will be our final judge and jury tells us not to judge, then we ought not stand in judgment of one another. It does not mean that we are to allow ourselves to become entangled in that which we know is wrong, but we are not to point a finger, while we still have four other digits that are aimed back at us.

We are called to forgive, just as He forgives us. I cannot even begin to count the times that I have asked for His forgiveness, and yet, neither will He. The same must hold true from me toward others. I am called to forgive in the same way. Likewise, I ought to be generous and kind, not withholding goodness and grace from anyone. For He has given unto me, so I also am to give.

Judge not in the world,Above All Love

for we are not called;

to stand on the throne,

a place self-installed.

No condemnation,

is issued in love;

rather grace given,

from our God above.

When a heart repents,

and asks for His grace;

He takes sin away,

puts love in its place.

How will they know Him,

if in us they see;

our pointing fingers,

rather than mercy?

Let us love so well,

that all long to know;

what is our reason,

so they too may grow.

May goodness and grace,

and God’s love be seen;

so many may come,

to know what Love means.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to show us how to live and love the way that You want us to. Help us to not judge nor condemn those around us, and please grant us the grace to forgive and extend mercy to all. Forgive us for judging and condemning things, even if only in our hearts, and help us to approach all with Your mercy and grace, so that many may see Your love in us. May many who are stuck or are somewhere in the search, come to find the Light in You, as we are faithful to do as You ask of us. Help us to forgive and give, as if it is unto You. Be exalted in our obedience to all that You are asking. Amen.

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


Bless the Lord, O my Soul

Psalm 103

King James Version (KJV)

103 Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:

3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;

4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;

5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

6 The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.

7 He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.

8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

9 He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.

10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.

14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

15 As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.

16 For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.

17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;

18 To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.

19 The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.

20 Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.

21 Bless ye the Lord, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure.

22 Bless the Lord, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the Lord, O my soul.

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Giving Gifts

As we enter this season of gift exchanging, it is easy to allow thoughts of what we are going to give those we love most, to overwhelm us. It is a natural desire to want to bless those who bless us. That being said, what gift can we give to Him who has given us the greatest gifts of all – our very life, and breath, hope, and future?

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” – (Ephesians 2:8-9) His gift to us is one that is freely given, that we do not deserve. We cannot earn it, nor can we somehow repay the blessing He has provided. All that we can do is receive what we have been given, and respond with gratitude, praise and joy.

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – (Ephesians 2:10) Because we are created, hand-crafted works of art, His intent is that we share ourselves with the world. Not in our own efforts, but by His grace, as He presents opportunities – we ought to be open and willing to share of the great things that He has done in us. The gifts that we give best, are those that He has created in us, that we choose to use as He intended for us all along.

What gift shall I give,Giving Gifts

to my God and King?

For He has made all,

He’s everything.

A heart that is true,

and willing to give;

my time, my talents,

unto Him, I live.

The grace He’s given,

I will too, extend;

for without mercy,

our lives would all end.

I’ll give You my more,

so I become less;

may You be Who’s seen,

so many are blessed.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You gave, and continue giving, not because we have earned it or deserve it somehow, but rather because You are a gracious and merciful God, who loves us with an everlasting love. Thank You that You made the way for us to enter into an eternal relationship with You, through the life, death and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus. Thank You for sending Your Holy Spirit to dwell in the hearts of all who believe, to lead, guide and equip us to do Your will. Thank You that we are Your hand-crafted works of art, created with a purpose. Forgive us for disregarding Your power that dwells within us, when we feel that we have nothing to offer. Thank You that in You, we always have You to extend – Your grace, Your love, Your mercy, Your hope. Teach us to trust You more, and help us to hear You clearly, so that we may move confidently as we navigate this Christmas season. May many come to know the greatest gift of all this season, as they choose eternal life in You. Let our light shine brightly before all. Amen.

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


Mercy Shall Reign

This morning Cautious and I had an interesting conversation about forgiveness and a kid who is often unkind at school. Five of his six classes are shared with this young man, and daily, his heart is challenged to forgive. Cautious is a serious rule follower, and he is very disturbed by the number of disruptions caused each day by this boy’s behavior. We spoke of my favorite strategy, to pray for those who persecute (or perturb), and ask to see one another through God’s eyes. Soon, his sweet demeanor returned, as he realized that he too, has been forgiven much, and is blessed with love and support that surrounds him.

We cannot do anything to be more deserving of God’s grace than another. It is not earned by being good enough. However, when we recognize just how great the gift truly is, we cannot help but be compelled to give as we have been given. The magnitude of God’s mercy extended to all who believe, is beyond what one heart can hold. Not only does He withhold the punishment that is due – death; but He gives far beyond what we could ever hope for on our own, as He took our place on the cross so that we could spend eternity with Him.

“Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.” – (Romans 4:7-8)

Grace gives what we can never get.Mercy Shall Reign

Mercy withholds His judgment net.

Love extends His kindnesses still.

Faithfulness with hope He will fill.

Peace because His mercy shall reign.

Praise to Him who removes our stains.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that though we do not deserve it, You forgive us and love us as we are. Thank You that when we ask, You remove our sin and shame, and no longer count it against us. Lord, we need Your grace and strength to do the same to others, as on our own, we fail miserably. We know that we must forgive as we are forgiven. Please forgive us for any unforgiveness we are holding, or any bitterness that may linger. Cleanse us from our unrighteousness, and help us to see others through Your eyes, so that we may extend Your love, grace and mercy to all. May many come to know You, as they see You in our ability to forgive and extend the very same grace that has been given to us. Be glorified as we offer all that we are, unto You. Amen.

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


To Mirror Our Maker

To Mirror Our Maker
Make every effort,

to keep short account;

submit sin to God,

no matter amount.

It’s not where we’ve been,

but where we are now.

Are we submitted?

Do Christ we allow?

The last shall be first,

for patience endures;

trust in our Savior,

His Spirit assures.

Reach out to the lost,

share with those in need;

love well each other,

His word we must heed.

It’s impossible,

to please Christ the Lord;

without faith in Him,

hope we must afford.

Let Love lead the way,

to all be it done;

kindness and mercy,

reflecting the Son.

May each heart soon hear,

“My child, well done;”

as we each reflect,

the glorious One.

 

(Responding to Luke 13:22-30)
 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You show us the way unto Yourself. We need only to receive Your grace as we turn from our wicked ways, and allow Your Spirit to renew our hearts and minds. Teach us to fully submit to You, Savior; and help us to obey all that You ask. Forgive us for withholding any area of our lives from Your grace, and show us how to allow Your healing hand to touch every part. As we trust You to renew and equip us, help us to reach out and love others in such a way, that they see You in us. May many come to call You Savior and King, as we give to You our lifelong offering. Amen.

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


“Teach Me Your Way, O Lord”

English: Deuteronomy 8:18, Thou shalt remember...

English: Deuteronomy 8:18, Thou shalt remember the Lord thy God, 1901 Bible card published by the Providence Lithograph Company (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Psalm 86

King James Version (KJV)

86 Bow down thine ear, O Lord, hear me: for I am poor and needy.

2 Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee.

3 Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily.

4 Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.

5 For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.

6 Give ear, O Lord, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications.

7 In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me.

8 Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works.

9 All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name.

10 For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone.

11 Teach me thy way, O Lord; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.

12 I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore.

13 For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.

14 O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them.

15 But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.

16 O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; give thy strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thine handmaid.

17 Shew me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, Lord, hast holpen me, and comforted me.

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Bless the Lord, O My Soul

Psalm 103

King James Version (KJV)

103 Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:

3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;

4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;

5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

6 The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.

7 He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.

8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

9 He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.

10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.

14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

15 As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.

16 For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.

17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;

18 To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.

19 The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.

20 Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.

21 Bless ye the Lord, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure.

22 Bless the Lord, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless theLord, O my soul.

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The Power of Forgiveness

The Power of Forgiveness
Pilate did appeal,

to the angry Jews;

tried to squelch their zeal,

this death he did not choose.

Pilate saw something,

though he knew Him not;

tugged on his heartstrings,

this One to him they brought.

Pilate did refuse,

to see any guilt;

for this truth he knew,

His blood should not be spilt.

As he asked Him more,

Pilate grew afraid;

this act to abhor,

no blame upon him laid.

He tried to free Him,

Jews would not relent;

overwhelmed within,

unto the cross He went.

Even facing death,

He freed him from blame;

and with His last breath,

for us, He did the same.

(Responding to John 19:1-16)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your forgiveness is far greater than our sinfulness. Thank You for sending Your Son to show us the way, and for providing the path for all to be forgiven. Thank You that we cannot earn forgiveness, rather we must choose to receive what You lovingly offer. Forgive us for our silence when we should have spoken, and for standing stagnant, when we were meant to move forward in faith. Teach us to trust You more, so that we are quick to do as You ask, as You are asking. Grant us courage and strength, and help us to hear You clearly. May many come to know the power found in Your forgiveness, as we move in Your mighty love. Amen.

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

Healing Time

There are times when the most important thing that we can do is to just set back and review where we have been and where we are going. Sometimes we try to decide for our selves what the Lord wants us to do. We get in the way and make the process more and more difficult. Three things today have reminded me that we are all in His hands and no matter what our own desires are, they are not what God may want from us. A niece’s husband died having a stent put in and I hope that you will include her and her children in your prayers, she is very ill herself, reading Terry Shepherd’s blog about her brother, she is heart broken at times and needs our prayers for strength, and another friend, who lives abroad suffers with her eyesight and yet is so generous and willing to share her work for the world to see, at least the small bit that reads these blogs.

Sitting here listening to “I can only imagine” by Mercy Me brings it into even more perspective. We are just small parts of a very large plan. We may never be able to conceive of the greatness of it but we can do our part and pray for those we know are in need and for those who we don’t know. If the whole world spent ten minutes out of each day giving glory to God, can we even begin to imagine the transformation that would be possible? If you are giving thanks to Him and praying for others, getting into mischief is a little less likely don’t you think? Please do remember these in prayer and visit Terry, at:

Prayer From My Heart

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Praise for His Promises

image by Christopher Wilson

image by Christopher Wilson

Teach me Your way, O Lord,

in You, I will abide;

may I fear Your great Name,

a heart none can divide.

I will ever praise You,

O Lord with all my heart;

I’ll praise Your Name always,

the Granter of new starts.

Great is Your love for me,

delivered from the grave;

powerful, Your promise,

so plain the path You pave.

Though arrogant surround,

You are my gracious Lord;

slow to become angry,

lavish love You afford.

Turn to me, have mercy,

and grant to me Your strength;

demonstrate Your goodness,

keep me in Your arm’s length.

 

(Responding to Psalm 86:11-17)

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we abide in You, You instruct and strengthen, protect and provide grace. Thank You that You are slow to anger and abound in love. Forgive us for taking grace for granted, and help us to ever praise You. Teach us Your ways, and make plain the path You have set before us. Strengthen us so that we may have undivided hearts, and forever abide in You. As we walk in faithful obedience, may many come to know of Your great love, so that they too, will abide in You. Great are You, our gracious and loving God! Amen.

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


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