The Love Of Christ

“For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] 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.

20 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 3:14-21 NIV

Jesus Christ loves you…He cares about you…He knows what is happening in your life…and He is with you.  Put your Hope in Him, find your Peace with Him, live in Joy because of Him and know His Love for you.  I hope you have enjoyed the last four weeks of Advent devotions and I wish you a very Merry Christmas!

Silent Night by Chris Tomlin ft. Kristyn Getty

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“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?…No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 8:35,37-39 NIV

(This photo was taken in February of 2013 in a neighborhood near Plymouth, Minnesota)

Advent – Love

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV

Jesus stated the most important commandments are to love God and love one another (Matthew 22:37-40).  So, what is love?  Love is action…it is not what the world defines as a feeling…the apostle Paul describes it for us in 1 Corinthians 13.  It is about our character and what we do when it comes to relationships.  So, when Jesus states it is the most important commandment…we should think about how to do we love God?  How do we love one another?  Love is God’s to define and to give and He makes it available to all of us by how He has acted towards us.  It is up to us to accept His love and to share it with Him and others.

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Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 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

(This photo was taken in October of 2014 at the Nakalele Blowhole on the island of Maui, Hawaii)

Advent – Peace

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

Colossians 3:15 NIV

In the world peace is defined as the absence of conflict.  The biblical definition of peace is more expansive and is speaking about having completeness or wholeness.  It is referred to as the taking of something that is broken and making it complete once again.  Jesus gives us peace by taking our broken relationship with God because of sin and restores it to completeness by His sacrifice on the Cross.  You can learn about this and other bible studies on a web site I hghily recommend…it is called the BibleProject

This is a great resource to spend time studying and learning about the bible through video.  May the peace of God be with you and flow through you each day.  Amen.

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“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

John 14:27 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2021 in the Black Hills in western South Dakota)

The Truth Brings Hope

“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

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 8:31-32 NIV

Jesus Christ is the Truth…His birth, His life, His death and His resurrection.  He came to save us from our sins.  All of us are broken and need a Savior.  We all have an opportunity for Hope if we choose to believe and follow Him.

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Show me your ways, 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 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2019 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)

Advent – Hope

“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

Hope is being certian of good things to come even when circumstances show no sign of things changing or getting better.  Hope is to believe what God can do because you know what God has done.

We Believe by Newsboys

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“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

Hebrews 11:1 NIV

(This photo was taken in October of 2018 at a park in Winterset, Iowa)

Prepare The Way For The Lord

“…as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:

“I will send my messenger ahead of you,
    who will prepare your way”[a]
“a voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
    make straight paths for him.’”[b]

Mark 1:2-3 NIV

God’s story and God’s plan is greater than our self-centered desires…we are a part of His story, not the other way around.  We all have been given certain gifts to use while we are here…our job is to recognize the gifts we have been given and to use them to help others.  We are to do our part to Prepare the Way for the coming of the Lord.  Amen.

Prepare Ye The Way by Michael W Smith

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In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it.

John 1:1-5 NIV

(This photo was taken in October of 2014 at sunrise on the island of Maui, Hawaii)

A Savior Is Born

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

John 1:14

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 8:12

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“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”

Luke 2:11

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota)

Advent Season

Today is the beginning of Advent.  The season of preparation and expectant waiting to celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas and His return at the Second Coming.  We have many resources to help us observe this season, with calendars, candles, special devotionals, etc.  Observing the rituals is one part of the process, actually preparing our hearts and minds with the meaning behind these symbols will help us to grow in our faith.  For me the Advent wreath and candles are the symbols I choose to learn more about, there are four candles one for each week.  Some traditions include a fifth candle called the Christ candle.  As with many things different religions have different ways to celebrate these weeks.  My preferred 4 themes are:

Hope–Peace–Joy–Love.

Hope is confidence in God’s faithfulness…even when everything going on around us is telling us something different, we can have hope because we know that God is working for our good in all things.  Spend time this week reflecting on where you have seen God at work in your life or in the lives of others and renew your hope by remembering these things.  Remember with God all things are possible.  Amen.

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“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

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 in northern Colorado)

Advent

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“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

John 3:16

(This photo was taken in December of 2013 while on a walk in northwestern Wisconsin)

Peace

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The words of the angel speaking to the shepherds in the fields nearby in the Gospel of Luke…

“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord’.”

Luke 2:10-11

(This photo was taken in July of 2016 near New Salem, North Dakota)