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Attempting to obey God and follow Jesus Christ our Lord

Posts tagged “encouragement

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

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Prepare for His Presence

May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May He strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all His holy ones. – (I Thessalonians 3:12-13)

 

Paul’s exhortation to the Thessalonians, is an encouragement for us still today, as well. As we invest our hearts in Him, He increases the love that we have for one another, and strengthens our hearts. If we come to Him and keep short accounts, we remain blameless and holy before Him, ever prepared for the day when we meet our Maker – be it when our days are done, or when Christ returns with all those who have trusted in Him before us. May our love increase and our hearts find peace, as we pursue Him even more…

 

Pursue the Lord,Prepare for His Presence

passionately;

love will increase,

and sin shall flee.

Our hearts made strong,

in God’s power;

the Protector,

from what devours.

Remain in Him,

blameless, holy;

to be prepared,

for when we meet.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You grow Your love in us to overflowing, as we increase our dependence on You. Thank You that You strengthen our hearts and make us blameless and holy in Your sight, not by being “good enough”, but by our repentant hearts that are ready to receive what You freely give, and love You, who gives all unto us. Forgive us for thinking any of it can be done in our own strength, and help us to be completely reliant upon You. Be our Strength and our Source, our Hope and our Peace. Let Your love be what is most evident in us. May many come to know the holy hope that is held in You alone, as we live and love as You call us to do. Be glorified in all that we say and do. 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


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


Treasures to Hold

Just over three months ago, a very dear friend of mine breathed her last breath. She had fought long and hard, a battle that would have caused many to quit, yet never in the nine years of the invasion of that devastating disease, did Anne even once, allow cancer to define her. She knew with all certainty that she was above all, a child of God. Her faith in our Heavenly Father did not waiver, regardless of what the doctors had told her.

Her perseverance and unwavering faith, are two of the things that I most admired about Anne. So often, she would extend encouragement to those who were providing her medical care. Laughter and light-hearted banter were common during many of her appointments. The verse that brought her great comfort in her final days was 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” For she had indeed fought and finished in firm faith.

A dear friend asked me how I might remember Anne this Christmas. I was a bit taken aback, as avoidance has been my coping mechanism of choice. However, it is nearly impossible to navigate this season without reminders of my dear friend, as we have had many outings in this most blessed of seasons gone by. As we spoke, I realized that perhaps part of me had avoided actual shopping in stores for gifts this year, as that is something that Anne and I have done together many times over the past few years.

I do not yet know if I am meant to do anything in particular to remember Anne, but I do know that I am to embrace her memory – the gift of friendship that I was given in her – and to be grateful for the example she set in perseverance and faith, and for the assurance that I have, knowing that she fought the good fight and is home, where I will one day see her again.

My heart will now hold,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

memories so dear;

treasures of friendship,

hope that is secure.

The faithful fighter,

no more needs to fight;

now in heaven’s hold,

our Savior’s delight.

I will remember,

the blessings I’ve known;

modeled endurance,

such steadfast faith shown.

Thank You, Lord Jesus,

for Your gifts of grace;

may we be steadfast,

secure in our faith.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the gifts that You give us in friends. Thank You for the blessings that they bring, be it for a season or for a lifetime. Thank You for the lessons that we learn from one another, when we are securely rooted in You. Forgive us for not facing painful or sorrowful things, and help us to embrace each of the experiences that You bring, trusting that You have a purpose and a plan to use each experience for our ultimate good. Teach us to persevere when things are difficult, and to have a faith that is unwavering, even when all seems to be shaking around us. May our confidence and security in You, be a living testimony to all who are around us. May many come to call You King this Christmas. Be our hope and our help, Lord God. Amen.

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


All I Need for Christmas is Jesus

Photo Credit: outreach.com

Photo Credit: outreach.com

I simply cannot explain these feelings that have been welling up in my soul lately as we approach Christmas. While Jesus is the reason for the season, like a flower blooming petal after petal, a swarming of love and adoration for Christ has covered me like an abundance of sweet honey reserved just for the best. Jesus Christ is our best. He is the greatest gift we could ever receive. Not just for Christmas, but for all time.

All I need for Christmas is Jesus.

Teaching my children why we celebrate Christmas is very important. While decorating for the holidays, giving and receiving gifts comes with tradition, the main focus is on Christ and His coming to earth in the form of man. (starting off as a baby of course). Lately I have being drawing closer to Him asking that my eyes be opened like never before and that my ears be tentative to my surroundings. Having a little talk with Jesus is like chicken noodle soup for the soul. That’s just my opinion.

I remember some years ago that I would become overwhelmed with the Christmas season approaching. It was more emotional than physical. I would become saddened and somewhat lethargic. I say this because my eyes were set on the wrong things and I was always “thirsty”.

I’m not one to do the Christmas shopping in my house for the most part. Thankfully it has always been my husband because no one would get anything most likely had it been left up to me to go out in the chaos and mass of people rushing, shoving, cursing and just flat-out been mean-spirited. Plus, I don’t have that kind of patience. Having 5 babies back to back kept me busy so it just became easier for my dear husband to do. I digress but for a moment!

My thoughts always went back to my childhood. While I had a pretty decent life growing up, I always felt something missing.

Jesus wasn’t there. 

Feeling confused and happy at the same time was just weird. Plain old strange and yet I managed to get through another holiday season. I could not wait for the holidays to pass.

Recently, my heart was on a couple of senior citizens who were in need of some items that they needed. It was an article I caught in the newspaper that came from the aid of the Salvation Army. I told my husband about it and that I wanted to sponsor the people’s needs. While my eyes glazed over the many people young and old with a wish list, I wondered even more about those lost. The lost who needed Jesus; the very One who is our ever-present help, comfort and aid.

I began to cry. Not just because some cannot afford material needs and wants, but that many go lacking without a Savior.How often we walk daily without Him. As Christians and sinners alike ,but first as human beings, we find ourselves at times trying to do things on our own. We try to make things happen within our own power and might. We fix our eyes on higher prizes and treasures beyond our means. Some are just desires to want, want,want. Fleshly things. Things that will pass. Treasures that will not go with us on a U-Haul when we leave this old world.

Getting caught up over-shopping and over-spending will give anyone a headache and then possible regret for debt than may take a while to pay off when we “rob Peter to pay Paul”. That’s a saying I got from my Mom. Maybe you’ve heard of it before.

Nevertheless, we need peace and true joy. It can only be found in Christ Jesus. He will make us whole. He can satisfy our deepest needs. Will you invite Him into your life? Will you  allow God to direct your life, your finances, your will, wants and your plans that they will align with His?

While I am not attempting to take away your joy of shopping for your friends and loved ones, I just want to provide you with the opportunity to receive the greatest gift of all this year as we bring 2013 to a close. Health may have fallen, bills may be behind and loved ones may have turned their backs on you but know that there is a risen Savior who is waiting to receive you today.

I want to share with you a song I heard on the radio yesterday. I don’t drive much if I can help it but when I do, I tend to listen to uplifting music to carry me throughout my day. This song about had me in tears. No matter what we are going through, we must know that we cannot do anything in this life without the Lord no matter how hard we try. I know for myself that I cannot walk without Him holding my hand. This song has become one of my favorite and it lingers within me to the point of praise.

All we NEED for Christmas is Jesus Christ. If we trust God, He will provide all that we need and bless us with our wants. By His grace we have what we have. May we be thankful for the little and great. Be blessed one and all. You are loved, cherished and prayed for.

“Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you  not of more value than they?” But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6: 26, 33 NKJV

To God be the glory now and forevermore,

Terra


Final Destination: My Letter to You About Meeting Love Along the Way

Enter the Narrow Gate

photo credit: Pinterest

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go by in it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matthew 7: 13-14 NKJV)

For the last few days my mind and my heart has been thinking about you.

“Who? Me?!!”, you may be asking yourself. My answer is “Yes, it’s you that I’m talking to.”

As I sat and thought about life, the people in it and where we are all headed for our final destination, I could not feel anything but love and compassion for those without Love. This Love goes by the name of Jesus the Messiah, Lord and Savior, Prince of Peace, Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the Lamb of God and the Truth. He has many other names but I am just naming a few.

Oh how I wish that I could tell you this in person so that you could hear and see my face when I talk about Jesus! I want to hug you, hold your hand and tell you about the Love who changed my life a long time ago because I know He can do it for you. This is how much I care about where you will be when your time expires on this earth; this temporary dwelling place until we reach our eternal home.

Heaven or hell. One of the two is where we will be sent depending on what we choose to do in this life. It will be too late afterward. I’m just being honest.

This Love came to earth in the form of man to teach us many things and to ultimately take our sins upon His shoulders and die for us so that we could be reconciled back to God. I say that because sin separates us from the Father. We cannot go before God or even make it to heaven without Jesus. His love and sacrifice is unlike any other.

What person is willing to take on the sins of humanity and die a humiliating, horrific and painful death just to save a people who did not love or care about Him and what He came to do? Many of us may lay our lives on the line to protect our loved ones but that kind of love will not get us into eternity gracing the presence of God the Holy One.

Good deeds will not get us into heaven.

Believing, repenting, and receiving salvation in to your life will get you on the right path. Faith can do exceedingly great things beyond your understanding. Believe in Jesus the Christ who died yet was resurrected from the dead 3 days later. Death could not hold Him! Repent of your sins. Let me stop right here for a second.

Do you know that no matter what sins you have committed, Jesus already paid the price? Well He did! So whether it’s lying, murder, adultery, stealing, rape or serving false gods He already paid for your sins on the cross. All you have to do is confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that your sins have been washed away. Remembered no more.

Receive salvation and know that the angels are rejoicing in the heavens! Every time a life changes for the better, the devil has no reign over you. You have been set free from sin bondage by Satan.

Jesus came to give life and to set you free that you would have it in abundance. Being a child of God is truly rewarding. We are received unto Him. He will not look upon us and see our past sins but see us with love.

Had it not been for the shedding of pure and sinless blood, Jesus’ blood, we would all be hell bound.

We may not know each other, speak the same native tongue, live in the same country or even believe in the same things but I love you. God loves you more.

I don’t want you to live this life in vain. I care about where you will end up one day. I want to rejoice knowing that I will be with a host of fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord up in heaven than to not see you knowing that your eternity will be spent in pain and agony with the evil one.

Remember that the devil means you no good. His goal is to steal, kill and destroy. The things of this world is temporary. People, money, sex, desires and treasures of this life will soon fade. Lies and deception is Satan’s craft.

Tomorrow may be too late. You don’t know the day, hour or exact time that you will exist no more.

Will you receive Jesus into your life today? Will there be one? Even if you’ve accepted Christ a long time ago and are in a backslidden state, it’s not too late to come back. Come on back home. Come back to the true Love that can change your life forever. I wrote a post last year about the Blood. Read for yourself what The Blood Transfusion (link) can do for you and I.

Be blessed, be encouraged and know that I am praying for you no matter where you are in this big world. God understands every tongue and knows what’s in your heart. He is our Creator.

Just call on Him.

Dear reader,
I’m trusting the Lord to work everything out. I am only one person but I believe in God and his power. My faith trusts that a seed has been planted in your life. I will leave it up to Him to water it however He sees fit that a work may be done in you that will bring an everlasting change.

To God be the glory now and forevermore…. Amen. ❤️

~Terra

Scriptures to meditate on


For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:16-18 NKJV)

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. (Matthew 7:7, 8 NKJV)


Restore Me Dear Lord in Your Presence

20130917-073211.jpgHe must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30 ESV)

In His presence is where I want to be. It’s where I need to be. I pray this for you as well dear brothers and sisters in Christ. I speak this word out to the nations. I speak this word out to those seeking truth and comfort for you will find it all in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior.

“Heavenly Father let us come before you with an open heart and mind ready to receive all that You have for us. May we triumph any obstacles we face this day. Your Word is our anchor and foundation for life. Let us become still and quiet as we are before You. Strengthen us this new day. Guide our lips to speak edifying things for truly this is something this world needs. As Your humble vessels, may we DECREASE so that You may INCREASE in our lives. Renew, restore and revive us in the mighty name of Jesus Christ. Amen”

❤ I encourage you this day to spend some time with The Lord. You never know what He has to share with you. I may be life changing. Someone needs a word of encouragement, someone needs some wise counsel, there’s a broken heart, an angry soul ready to throw in the towel. But God has a word! He has a word that is meant to raise up and transform! Praise Him, Hallelujah!!

If its not for you, it’s meant to be shared with another! Let us not grow weary in well doing. Let us not just become comfortable in the blessings that the Father has given us. Let us look to the needs of others.

In His presence, we are gifted beyond measure. His words are priceless. Nothing can compare. How mighty is He! Sow the seeds that will reap bountifully in due time Allow The Gardener to water the soil and then wait for the harvest. Be blessed one and all!

Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all. (II Thessalonians 3:16 NKJV)