“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Colossians 3:15-17 NIV
Jesus Christ suffered and died for you because He loves you. He has risen…He is alive and wants to help you in this life and spend eternity with you. Give thanks to Jesus, not only with words but with how you choose to live your life every day. Amen.
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.”
1 Timothy 6:6-8 NIV
(This photo was taken in July of 2018 on the shore of Lake Superior near Ashland, Wisconsin)
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Romans 12:1-2 NIV
Every one of us has a choice, every day…how will you choose to live this day?
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”
Romans 12:9-13 NIV
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
Galatians 5:22-23 ESV
(This photo was taken in August of 2016 in Glacier National Park in Montana)
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3 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.
5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.“
Psalm 100:1-5 NIV
Take time to reflect on your life and remember what God has done for you. Think about the storms you have already come through…how He protected you or guided you safely. Remember that no matter what God loves you…He is with you and within you. Jesus left the comfort of heaven to come down and live as one of us…He sacrificed Himself to be beaten and crucified and to pay the penalty for our sin so that we could have a relationship with God. God will do for you that which you can’t do for yourself…put your trust in the Lord and give thanks to Him.
Forever by Michael W Smith
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Colossians 3:12-17 NIV
(This photo was taken in June of 2013 while traveling in northern Colorado)
“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.“
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
When you feel discouraged and defeated…when situations and circumstances look bleak, remember the One who gave up His life for you. He did it for love. God is greater than any situation or circumstances in your life…God has promised to always be with you and God never breaks His promises. Jesus Christ died to save all of us from sin and He has risen from the dead and it is because of Him that we have hope. Amen.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.“
Romans 15:13 NIV
(This photo was taken in July of 2016 in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming)
“And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?”
Luke 9:23-25 ESV
This is it…this is what we are told by Jesus in God’s Word. “Follow me” He says to the tax collector and the individual promptly gets up and begins to follow. We do have a choice in our lives…free will is very important to God. He wants us to choose to follow Him. In Matthew 19, a rich man is invited by Jesus to ‘follow me’ and rich man is sad because he has great financial wealth and does not want to give that up. There is nothing in this world worth more than a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Look for yourself…read God’s Word…chose one of the Gospels. I recommend the Gospel according to John, learn about Him and then choose. May peace be with you. Amen.
Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”
John 12:23-26 NIV
(This photo was taken in September of 2020 at a lake in northwestern Wisconsin)
“Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the duty of all mankind.“
Ecclesiastes 12:13 NIV
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
Romans 8:28 ESV
So why are we here? Is it to seek money, possessions, comfort and happiness according to what the world values? Solomon was the wisest and wealthiest person who has ever lived and he did try everything the world values. Pickup God’s Word and read about it in the Book of Ecclesiastes…you will hear about all he pursued. He declared worldly values as meaningless and a chasing after the wind. His final thoughts about the point of life is listed above. Throughout the Bible you will find many examples that clearly tell us what we are here to do, as well as what not to do…we are here to Love God, to Love Others and to Share the Good News of Jesus Christ.
“So you must go and make disciples of all nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And you can be sure that I am always with you, to the very end.”
Matthew 28:19-20 NIRV
(This photo was taken in July of 2018 on the shore of Lake Superior near Ashland, Wisconsin)
“God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.”
Psalm 46:1 NIV
Remember God is not distant…He will never leave you. If God feels far off it is because we have wandered away from Him. He is with you, He is for you. No matter what happens, give thanks to God and strive to focus on an attitude of gratitude.
“Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV
(This photo was taken in August of 2016 in Mount Rainier National Park in Washington)
“For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
Ephesians 3:14-19 NIV
There is nothing greater in this world than the love of Jesus Christ. We can spend our whole lives seeking to find happiness and contentment in the things of this world…yet this world is not our home. In the Book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon, who was the wisest and wealthiest person to ever live, documented his efforts to try everything under the sun and found that the things of this world are not worth chasing…meaningless! However, the things of God are the things we should spend our life pursuing. Think about what Jesus Christ did for you…nobody and nothing in this world will love you like that.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV
(This photo was taken in September of 2022 in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming)
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”
1 John 4:7-12 NIV
Jesus came down from heaven and sacrificed Himself on the Cross…He did it for you…He did it because that’s how much He loves you!
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
Colossians 3:12-14 NIV
(This photo was taken in October of 2014 at the Nakalele Blowhole on the island of Maui, Hawaii)
“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”
Luke 2:8-11 NIV
The world tells us to pursue money, comfort and the easy life. To look out for ourselves and satisfy ourselves first and most often, this is the sinful nature and it has taken hold in many people. There is a way to be different and to live with purpose and it is based on your personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He loves you, He gave His life to save you and His way is the only way to God the Father. Spend time reading God’s Word and learn about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. May the peace of the Lord be with you. Amen.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Romans 5:8 NIV
“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
John 14:6 NIV
(This photo was taken in June of 2013 in Mitchell, South Dakota)