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Attempting to obey God and follow Jesus Christ our Lord

Posts tagged “God

Grow Your Gifts

In 1 Timothy, Paul is writing to Timothy to encourage him as a young leader in the early church. “Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you.” – (1 Timothy 4:14) In Timothy’s case, he was gifted with the ability to lead. He was granted wisdom and understanding beyond his years, and was called and commissioned to be a leader in a church that was struggling with some strife.

 

The same words that were spoken to Timothy, still apply to us today. “Do not neglect your gift…” In the ERV, it says “Remember to use the gift you have…” Our talents are improved through use, yet lost by neglect. What we have been given has been done for our Father’s glory, and we ought to treat them accordingly. What gifts and abilities has God given you? How can you use them to serve the Lord for His glory? May we utilize the talents that Christ has birthed in each of us, to give glory to our great God.

 

Let each of us use,Gifts Given to Glorify2

gifts given in grace;

meant to encourage,

the whole human race.

If you prophesy,

then in faith, speak out;

if you love to serve,

then do so devout.

If you’re called to teach,

then teach well His word;

if you encourage,

let great words be heard.

If you’re called to give,

do so graciously;

if you’re meant to lead,

do so unto Thee.

If your gift’s mercy,

then let kindness reign;

with great cheerfulness,

let Christ be made plain.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You place in each of us, gifts that are meant to be used for Your glory. Thank You for the numerous examples throughout the Bible and history, of those who have faithfully utilized the gifts that You have placed within them to serve and honor You. Forgive us for neglecting to nourish and utilize that which You have place within us, and teach us how to grow and develop in the gifts that You have given. Show us how we are meant to use our time and talents for Your glory, Lord God. Lead us to love others as You so generously love each of us. May many come into a saving relationship with You as we exercise the gifts that You have given. Be glorified O God, as we go forth, growing in the gifts that You have given for Your glory. Amen.

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

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

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A Pattern for Prayer

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. – (Colossians 1:9-12)

 

In this passage, Paul provides a marvelous model of how we can pray for leaders and missionaries. Even if we do not know the individuals for which we are praying, the basic needs to serve well are the same. Each of us needs to: understand God’s will, gain spiritual wisdom, please and honor God, bear good fruit, grow in the knowledge of God, be filled with His strength, have great endurance and patience, remain full of Christ’s joy, and give thanks always. (NIV footnotes) May our hearts be prompted to pray for those in positions of power and influence, both in the church and out on the mission field.

 

Help me remember,A Pattern for Prayer

to constantly pray;

for all those serving,

faithful in Your way.

May each know Your will,

gain wisdom in You;

to You, be pleasing,

as they bear good fruit.

Let their knowledge grow,

fill them with Your strength;

grant them endurance,

to go the whole length.

Fill them with Your joy,

and deep gratitude;

so many may see,

Your love they exude.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of godly leaders. Thank You for Your word and the wisdom You provide. Thank You that even when we do not know how we ought to pray, You provide parameters to guide us. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit, who will speak to our hearts, if we simply will be still and listen. Forgive us for our lack of faithfulness in supporting those You have called to lead and to go out to the ends of the earth, both prayerfully and financially. Show us what we are meant to do, individually, and grant us the courage and the faithfulness to do as You ask. Lead us to love others as You so practically and readily love each of us. May many come into a saving knowledge of You this season. Be glorified Lord God, as we pray for those whom You have called to lead. 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


Hope is What We Hold

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. – (Romans 15:4)

 

Knowing the word of God impacts our perspective on both today and the future. As we grow in understanding of who He is and what He has done in the past, the more confident we become in who God is for us both now and forevermore. Spending time studying His word increases our understanding, which in turn helps us gain a greater trust in Him. With trust, we are able to anticipate the future with hope (looking forward with confidence), for all that He has promised. May we study His word and allow every encouragement to take root in our hearts, so that hope is what we hold.

 

All that was written,The Bread of Life

the words of the past;

recorded to teach,

us lessons that last.

People who endured,

despite trying odds;

they put all their faith,

in Almighty God.

Through hardships and pain,

and journeys so long;

they trusted in Christ,

and He made them strong.

The very same God,

Who supplied the needs;

His Spirit with us,

while Christ intercedes.

Let hope now take hold,

and fill up our hearts;

His promises last,

as grace He imparts.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of Your word. Thank You that we have more access in this generation, than any generation before us. Thank You that Your word is full of examples of people who persevered in faith, endured trials, and ultimately overcame in Your strength. Thank You for the encouragement that You provide, and the promises that are packed throughout each passage. Thank You that You are faithful and unchanging. Forgive us for neglecting the easy access we have available to study Your word, and help us to have a passion to pursue knowing You and Your word more each day. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may listen to Your leading, and allow Your Spirit to instruct our hearts as we dig deeper in Your word. Help us to be transformed into Your likeness as we invest in our relationship with You. May we love others well, just as You so willingly and tenderly love each of us. Let those who are looking, be found in You. Be exalted O God, as we invest our hearts, minds, time and energy into knowing You more. Amen.

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

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


Embracing The Cloak of Victimization

The easy way to approach our future when we have been victims is to embrace that very victimology as if it was our shield. Unfortunately when we do that we cloak ourselves so very well that it becomes harder and harder for us to see past it and allow anyone or anything past it. Including God. We eventually get to the point where all we we see is our victimization. It becomes our life, our very reason for existence.
Like forgiveness,it is something that is very hard for us to let go of, after all letting go leaves us bare and naked before the whole world. This is where faith comes in! If we can only let go of our weak homemade armor, we can be gifted with something much stronger. The armor of God!!
When we give up all our old burdens, we find that in doing so we have removed the many weights that held us down. Then we also find that it is much easier to reach God. And that is a wonderful feeling.
I watch and listen to so many people today who seem to be able to see nothing more than how everyone is against them. They justify their actions on that same victimology as if striking out at others, even if those they attack did nothing to them. How wonderful it would be if they realized that life on this earth is only temporary and God has better plans for them.
“You can’t understand” and “injustice is all around me”, is just a few of the excuses they make. And yes, they are excuses. Whenever you justify your actions on the actions of others,you are making an excuse. But they are also right, I do not understand what they are going through, but God does!
I pray that all those who want something more will tear off those old burdens and open their hearts! That they will accept Jesus as their savior! That God’s love will flow through them and that they embrace His love and His armor! In accepting Him, they leave all the old behind and the new is something much,much better!


The Splendor of His Glory

And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of His mouth and destroy by the splendor of His coming. – (2 Thessalonians 2:8)

 

The lawless one is every force of darkness that would try to come against us.  The imagery in this one verse is both powerful and promising.  Imagine with but a breath from our Savior, every knee bowing, and every foe, falling from power?  More than that, the structures that are set in place that seem so certain, destroyed, the moment He comes in His glory.  What a wonderful and powerful God we serve!  It is easy to forget that Christ, who cleared the temple, is also Christ our coming King.  At His Name, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He alone, is Lord.  May we rise up in faith, and embrace the strength of our Savior, as He is our Warrior and the Defender of our souls.

 

The powers that rise,Choose to Follow

and seek to destroy;

have no place to stand,

no strength to employ.

For greater is He,

who dwells within us;

our Savior and Lord,

soon coming Jesus.

It takes but a breath,

from our Savior’s mouth;

and lawlessness ends,

all evil flees south.

When Jesus returns,

in splendor and might;

dark forces destroyed,

there won’t be a fight.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your power is far greater than we realize.  Thank You that though there are forces working against us, You, who are for us, are far greater!  Thank You that Jesus will overthrow with the breath of His mouth, and that the splendor of His coming will destroy that which fights against us.  Forgive us for making You too small in our own eyes, and help us to see You as the All-Powerful, Almighty, Creator of All, that You truly are.  Teach us to trust You more, so that we may go forth in faith, depending on You in all things and at all times.  Lead us to love as You love us, and may many come into a saving relationship with You.  Be glorified O God, as we embrace the greatness of who You are.  Amen.

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

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

 

 


Seek to Sow

He replied, “… I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” – (Matthew 17:20-21)

 

Jesus was responding to the disciples’ questions as to why they could not heal a boy who had been suffering from seizures caused by demon possession. They were not being condemned for their lack of faith, but rather He was showing them how essential faith would be in all that they would be called to do in the future. The seeming mountains that stand in our way cannot be moved in our own strength. However, in Christ, the mountains are mere molehills, and He can accomplish all that He calls us to do, if we choose to allow Him room to be Lord. May we seek the Lord with all that we are, and allow Him access to our whole heart so that our small seeds of faith may flourish and grow great in Him.

 

Let not our eyes,Seek to Sow

fix on our trial;

look to the Lord,

all hope to beguile.

The smallest seed,

can grow, multiply;

tended by Christ,

bear fruit, fortify.

All things can be,

established in Christ;

mountains made plain,

needs become sufficed.

He is enough,

for our hearts to trust;

small seeds of faith,

He’ll grow and raise up.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not expect us to do things in our own strength, nor do You call us to somehow muster mountains of faith on our own. Thank You that You take our small seeds of genuine faith, and You grow them in Your grace. Thank You that You move in spite of us, and that all things are possible in You. Forgive us for fixing our eyes on the mountains, rather than on You, the Maker of mountains. Teach us to trust You more, so that we might see all things as opportunities for You to move, rather than road blocks in our path. May we live and love in the faith You are growing in us, so that many may come to know the saving grace that is available in You alone. Be glorified, Lord God, as we seek to sow the seeds that You are growing in us. 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


The Comfort of Christ

He comforts us every time we have trouble so that when others have trouble, we can comfort them with the same comfort God gives us. – (2 Corinthians 1:4, ERV)

 

Not all pain and suffering are bad. Often our pain has a purpose. The very comfort that we receive from Christ, grows in us a compassion and empathy for others who suffer in a similar way. God can use our experiences to express His goodness through us, as we are able to listen and understand others in a way that those who have not experienced similar suffering could not. May we embrace His goodness and grace in our times of trial and trouble, so that we may be equipped to offer comfort and compassion to those who experience similar trials one day.

 

God is our comfort,The Comfort of Christ

through trial and pain;

when troubles do come,

His presence is plain.

Look for His goodness,

despite suffering;

kindness extended,

Love’s true offering.

Just past our trials,

Christ often brings due;

a chance to extend,

how He loved us through.

Embrace His goodness,

regardless of pain;

trust in His purpose,

allow Him to reign.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are always good, and that You comfort us when troubles come so that we too, can comfort others as we have been comforted by You. Forgive us for thinking that there could not possibly be a purpose in our pain or trials, and help us to keep our eyes fixed securely on You. Thank You that even in the midst of our suffering, You provide Your peace, Your presence, and tangible evidence of Your love for us. Help us to trust You more, so that we may go forth in faith, allowing You to speak through our places of pain to touch lives for Your glory. May many come to know of Your loving kindness, and come into a saving relationship with You. Be exalted, O God, as we trust You to be our comfort, so we too, can comfort others. Amen.

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

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



Staying Salty

“Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other.” – (Mark 9:50)

 

Jesus used salt to illustrate three qualities that should be found in His people: (1) We should remember God’s faithfulness, just as salt when used with a sacrifice recalled God’s covenant with His people. (2) We should make a difference in the “flavor” of the world we live in, just as salt changes the flavor of food. (3) We should counteract the moral decay in society, just a salt preserves food from decay. If we lose the desire to “salt” the earth with the love and message of God, how can we possible be effective in all that we are called to do? - (NIV footnotes for Mark 9:50)

 

How can we have salt in ourselves, and be at peace with each other? The best way to remember God’s faithfulness, is to spend time in His word. As we read story after story of how God has been faithful throughout the ages, our own faith is built up, and we cannot help but recall God’s faithfulness in our own lives as well. When His word and our own testimony are fresh in our minds, they come out in the words that we speak. People notice the flavor of our words, and desire to taste and see for themselves. As peace permeates in places where chaos reigns, the desire for the difference is discernable. Opportunities for His hope to be heard abound. May we go forth as salt, being at peace with one another today.

 

Holy faithfulness,To Season the Earth

like salt of the earth;

covenant promise,

through Jesus’ birth.

Because Jesus came,

and made way for us;

we now can go forth,

with truth to discuss.

May each of our words,

bring salt and bring life;

Christ’s message of love,

peace where there was strife.

Let us each go forth,

as salt of the earth;

extending His hope,

so all find new birth.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are salt and light, and that when we come to You, You equip us to be as salt unto those around us. Thank You that You help us remember Your faithfulness, because You are indeed faithful, and You use us to make a difference in the “flavor” of the world that we live in. Thank You that in You, we are able to counteract the moral decay that is happening around us. Forgive us for not seeking to stay “salty”, and help us to never lose our desire to “salt” the earth with love and Your message. Grow our faith, God, so that we may season those around us in such a way, that they too, seek You with their whole hearts. May many come to know You as their Savior and King as we love others as You so lavishly love each of us. Be glorified, O God, as we allow our salt to spread around us while we remain at peace with each other. Amen.

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

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


Exaltation in Everything

Acts 16 unearths yet another story of perseverance in the face of adversity. Paul and Silas had just had an encounter with a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. Through their time with her, Paul commanded the spirit leave her, and thus ended her ability to make money for her owner. The slave owner was so enraged at the two disciples, that he had them dragged to the marketplace to face authorities, then brought them before the magistrates, which resulted in the public stripping and beating of the faithful followers of Christ. After they had been flogged, Paul and Silas were thrown in maximum security prison, despite being peaceful men. Considering the agony they had likely endured, most would have been whimpering in a corner of the cell. However, not the case with these two. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. – (Acts 16:25) Their choice to persevere, even in the face of difficulty, opposition and discouragement, ultimately led to the salvation of the jailer and his entire household.

 

As we act in obedience to the Lord, people take notice. Some may take offense. Others may even oppose us, creating difficulty and becoming a discouragement. However, there are others still, who observe what we do in spite of difficulty. They are acutely aware of our faithfulness in the face of adversity, and begin to ask questions. Those very questions are the same sort that lead the jailer and his household into the eternal Kingdom of Christ. Regardless of what obstacles or challenges come our way, may we maintain an attitude as Paul and Silas did – hearts that pray and sing praise, in spite of what we face.

 

May we choose to pray,Exaltation in Everything

and sing songs of praise;

no matter what comes,

for all of our days.

The choice that we choose,

is noticed and seen;

we are a witness,

to our God unseen.

In opposition,

challenge and trial;

let us still seek Him,

His peace is worthwhile.

May our place of hope,

be clearly displayed;

for in Christ alone,

there shall be a way.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the countless examples of the faithful who have gone before us. Thank You that You have so clearly demonstrated time and time again, how You love and encourage and remain present, even in the face of difficulties. Thank You that though You do not remove all trials and obstacles, You remain present, and You use our experiences to strengthen us and to demonstrate Your faithfulness to those around us. Forgive us for our shortsightedness, and help us to recognize that You will use all things for Your ultimate good, in due time, if only we trust in You. Teach us to trust You more, especially in the throes of adversity. Grant us strength to persevere, so that we may praise You in spite of what we are going through. May many come to know the glorious gift that You are, as we trust You in the trials. Help us to love as You so lavishly love each of us. Be glorified, O God, as we persevere with praise. Amen.

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

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


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