Ask, Seek, Knock…

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Matthew 7:7-8 NIV

Prayer and communication with God on a daily basis are key elements on your faith journey.  Prayer includes confessing our sins, expressing gratitude, listening and asking.  Keeping in mind that God is not a wishing well…rather He is your friend, your guide, your confidant.  He knows about every aspect of your life and He still loves you…so much that He sacrificed His one and only Son in order to reconcile you with Him.  God loves you…He is with you…He is wating to hear from you.

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“Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”

John 16:24 NIV

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

Teach Me Your Ways

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

God invites us into a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ.  It is up to us to respond to that invitation.  If we ignore God’s call and go our own way we will bring about more pain and suffering without God’s presence and guidance.  We need to be willing to open ourselves up to God’s way and His plan that happens on His timing.  It is a willingness and an ability to surrender our self-centered ways to Him…God is faithful and will guide you and lead you if you are willing to put your faith and trust in Him.

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I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
    I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.

Psalm 32:8 NIV

(This photo was taken in May of 2020 along the North Shore of Lake Superior in northern Minnesota)

Work In Progress

In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 1:4-6 NIV

Each day we are alive means God is still working on us.  He knows the number of our days and He is with us for each and every one of them.  It is up to us to seek Him…to acknowledge Him and His Presence…we are tasked with learning, growing and sharing as we go…it doesn’t have to be perfect and it never will be.  God tells us we are His work in progress and if we live our lives trusting, believing in and spending time with Him good things will come.  Amen.

God’s Not Done With You by Tauren Wells

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“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Ephesians 2:10 NIV

(This photo was taken in August of 2016 at Sapphire Point near Dillon, Colorado)

Faith Over Fear

So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10 NIV

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”

2 Timothy 1:7 NIV

God is greater than anything we face in life.  No challenge or difficulty, no pain and suffering is too much for God to handle.  He is the Creator of the universe…He knows you…He loves you and He is with you every day, all the time.  Put your faith in God and let your faith be greater than your fear.

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Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 14 Do everything in love.”

1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NIV

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado)

Keep Your Eyes Focused On Jesus

“Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

Matthew 14:29-31 NIV

Don’t get distracted…do your best not to lose focus.  When we keep our eyes on Jesus, we can find our way through anything.  It’s when we look away or focus our thoughts on the things of this world that causes us to sink.  Don’t give up, don’t quit…just focus on Jesus, He can lead you.

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“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV

(This photo was taken in April of 2020 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)

Spiritual Growth

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

2 Peter 1:5-8 NIV

Stay committed, stay focused, stay patient and trust God’s way.  Spiritual growth is not about immediate gratification…it is a process of daily meeting with Jesus Christ in prayer and reading God’s Word.  Learning, asking questions of trusted advisors or mentors and spending time with God in whatever way works best for your spiritual growth.  Not sure how to begin?  Start by praying to God to help you focus on your spiritual growth.

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Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[b] boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

Romans 5:1-5 NIV

(This photo was taken in June of 2015 while driving through South Dakota)

God’s Promises

“Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”

2 Peter 1:2-4 NIV

God’s promises are many and they are throughout the Bible.  He promises salvation, to give you rest, to strengthen you, to provide for your needs, to protect you, to never leave you and so many more.  The key is do you believe Him and do you trust Him?  Consider what God has done, what He is doing and what He has promised will come.

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“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
    Cush[a] and Seba in your stead.
Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
    and because I love you,…”

Isaiah 43:1-4 NIV

(This photo was taken in August of 2016 at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming)

What Do You Believe?

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”[e] 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”[f]

Romans 10:9-13 NIV

Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God?  That He came down from heaven and sacrificed Himself to take the punishment you deserve?  Do you believe that He has risen and lives in you today?  What do you believe?  Believe in Jesus…confess your sins…be certain about what you believe and trust in the Lord in the New Year.

We Believe by Newsboys

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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. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”

John 3:16-18 NIV

(This photo was taken in September of 2022 at Big Sky Resort in Montana)

Sharing God’s Love

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

John 13:34-35 NIV

Everything we do should come from love for God and love for one another…we can trust in Him; He will provide for our needs.  For some of us the hardest part about faith is believing that God wants good things for us.  Either because of shame or guilt we know we don’t measure up to God’s standard…yet God knows all of this and that is why He sent Jesus Christ to save us.  Don’t wait until you’ve turned your life around to say you are ready to come to God.  Go now…go to your Savior and Lord and confess your sins and He will lead you and guide you so that you can share His love with others.

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“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

(This photo was taken in July of 2021 at Bear Lake in Yellowstone National Park)

Happiness – Joy

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.”

Genesis 3:1-7 NIV

Happiness and Joy…what is the difference?  Happiness is a worldly pursuit for temporary pleasure…Joy is spiritual and the benefits are eternal.  Happiness relies on worldly circumstances and Joy is built on belief, faith and trust in God, no matter what your circumstances.  When you achieve happiness you don’t necessarily get joy…yet when you seek Joy…happiness gets added to you.  Seek Joy…not happiness.

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The law of the Lord is perfect,
    refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
    making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
    giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
    giving light to the eyes.”

Psalm 19:7-8 NIV

(This photo was taken in August of 2021 at a field near Kimball, Minnesota)