To redeem is to recover…reclaim…retrieve…return to…to get back…rescue. A price has been paid to return us to God. The way to find true peace is by inviting Jesus Christ into your heart. We all will encounter hardships in this world and in our lives, they may be different hardships for different reasons, yet we all have to endure something…even if it doesn’t look that way on social media. Through it all there is one who has suffered and endured the worst things in this world and He did it for you and for me…Jesus Christ is our Redeemer. Amen.
“What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
(This photo was taken in October of 2018 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)
Gratefulness…appreciation…recognition…acknowledgment…thankfulness. Expressing gratitude is one sure way of changing your perspective. It focuses your attention on that which has been given to you rather than what you think you are missing. If you are looking for a way to make a change in your life, start with gratitude and give thanks to God and His Son Jesus Christ for all that has been done for you. Amen.
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”
(This photo was taken in September of 2016 on a lake in central Minnesota)
How do we grow in faith? How can our faith become the cornerstone of who we are? It depends on your perspective…if your faith is more about religion and performing for the approval and acceptance of others, you will find it a poor foundation that will easily crumble. Faith is a living part of who we are, we must feed our faith as often as we feed our physical body…faith is fed by reading the Word of God everyday, praying and seeking the will of God for our lives…we build and grow our faith by establishing and building our personal relationship with Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. That is the foundation that has stood the test of time and that is the foundation that God promises will sustain us. Turn towards Jesus and begin building a foundation of faith that will last. Amen.
“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give you a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”
2 Timothy 1:6-7
(This photo was taken in August of 2016 near Dillon, Colorado)
We see it on display in His actions…He sent His Son Jesus Christ into the world to save us…He gives us an opportunity to learn from Him through His Word…even while we are still sinners He forgives us…He gives us the Holy Spirit as a guide through our daily life…He will never leave us or abandon us no matter what. That is truly amazing grace. Amen.
This Is Amazing Grace by Phil Wickham
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is a gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”
(This photo was taken in March of 2018 while traveling through southern New Mexico)
We have so many thoughts and ideas about ‘how things should go’ or ‘ the way things should be done’…we put our own expectations on situations and interactions and how many times have we heard or thought, ‘well that is not how I thought that would go’ or ‘wow that was unexpected.’ Yet we still struggle to learn that we are not in control of anything other than our own actions, reactions, attitude and behaviors. Take your worries, your burdens, your fears and your frustrations to the Cross…lay them down at the feet of Jesus and surrender your life to God’s will. Amen.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
(This photo was taken in October of 2018 at Clark Tower in Winterset City Park in Iowa)
Modesty…humbleness…meekness. Let go of pride and trust the Lord to lead you. It may be uncomfortable, it will be difficult…God never promised life would be easy but He has provided the Way, the Truth and the Life through His Son. Invite the Lord Jesus into your heart and life circumstances, no matter what you have done or what you have not done, He wants to hear from you. May the grace and peace of the Lord be with you. Amen.
Who Am I by Casting Crowns
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you…”
(This photo was taken in June of 2013 in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado)
A way of thinking…a point of view…outlook…perspective…belief. How would you define your attitude toward God? What is His role? How much time during a typical week are we thinking about God? The Bible has many of examples of different people and their attitude towards God, it describes their beliefs and actions. There is a lot for us to learn from those people. From Genesis to Revelation, we read about those who put God at the center of their lives and those who did not. The best example of an appropriate attitude towards God is that of Jesus Christ…He took time daily to walk with God and this is what He seeks from us as well. Spend time with Jesus every day and define your attitude towards God. Amen.
“He has showed you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
(This photo was taken in July of 2012 on a walk in northwestern Wisconsin)
God has given us the gift of free will. We are allowed to choose how we will respond to everything. When you think about it after everything that God has experienced with the human race…why did He do this? After all the things humans have chosen to do wrong starting with Adam and Eve, why allow us to choose? I believe it is because real love, joy and goodness offered voluntarily is the only kind worth having…the risk, of course, is we are filled with sinful hearts and minds and we often choose poorly and that is why bad things happen in the world. Use your free will to offer goodness, kindness, love and joy to others. Amen.
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
(This photo was taken in August of 2016 near Arches National Park in Utah)
The joy of the resurrection is more than a one day event or church service. It is the fulfillment of God’s promise to never leave us or abandon us. We can continue and grow our relationship with the Lord each day through prayer. Prayer that is from the heart, that involves raw emotion, not a list of wants or a moment that we recite words before a meal with no feeling or emotion other than let’s finish praying so we can eat. Our connection with God the Father exists through our personal relationship with Jesus Christ our risen Lord…start today…thank Jesus for what He did for you on the cross and ask Him to guide you and teach you through your prayers. Amen.
“May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.”
2 Thessalonians 3:5
(This photo was taken in October of 2014 on the island of Maui, Hawaii)
He is risen, indeed! Alleluia! Hope has been restored and renewed, Jesus Christ has defeated death. Life is a gift, an experience to live and to share with one another, and with God in control all things are possible. Put the risen Lord first in your life and you will find the Fruits of the Spirit. Christ Is Risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…”
1 Peter 1:3
(This photo was taken in March of 2013 at the Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in the Bellagio in Las Vegas, Nevada)