Wisdom

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
    but fools[a] despise wisdom and instruction.”

Proverbs 1:7 NIV

If you want to start reading the Bible but are unsure where to begin…try starting with Proverbs.  Guess how many chapters God has in Proverbs…the answer is 31, you can read one chapter a day and you would complete the Book of Proverbs in one month.  Not only that you will be reading the words of one of the wisest people that ever lived.  There is so much good to learn in Proverbs, it will help you in your daily life and grow your relationship with God.  God’s Word is a gift to us…pick it up and read.

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“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.”

James 3:13-18 NIV

(This photo was taken in August of 2016 in Mount Rainier National Park in Washington)

Seek First His Kingdom

“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

Living a life with faith first…it sounds so simple, yet living in this fallen world it is often hard to do.  The bible is a great guide for life…the world will tell you it is not…there are those who believe it is an outdated book filled with stories that are more like fairy tales…that the world is so different now than when it was written that it is not applicable to life today.  That is exactly what Satan wants us to think.  The fact is the bible is the truth, based on actual events and it is the Word of God…take time to read it every day and it will change your life.

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So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 6:31-34 NIV

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

Do Not Be Overcome

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

1 John 4:4 NIV

The bible tells us that we will have trouble in this world…and it states clearly that we can persevere through trials and temptations.  The bible also gives us examples of others who lived and suffered and how they interacted with God and lived their lives with faith.  At times it wasn’t pretty, they didn’t live lives that were sweet and easy all the time.  Read about Abraham and Sarah, read about Joseph in Genesis.  Look through the pages of David’s life in 1 Samuel.  Take time to read about the life of Jesus.  Yes, there are struggles, trials and suffering and living a life of faith and in God’s love doesn’t mean these will disappear…what it does mean is you will receive the courage and the hope to get through the difficult times.  Do not be overcome by darkness and evil look to God, pray and you will see hope.  Amen.

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“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Romans 12:21 NIV

(This photo was taken in August of 2016 in Mount Rainier National Park in Washington)

Build My Life

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

Colossians 3:16 ESV

The Word of God is a source of comfort…it renews us…it purifies us…it teaches us…it guides us.  If we plant the seeds of the Word in our hearts and minds it will come to us at times when we don’t have our bible with us.  It can calm our fears…it can relieve our stress and it can provide unexplainable peace.  Read God’s Word every day, build your faith, seek His wisdom for your life.  Amen.

Build My Life by Housefires feat. Pat Barrett

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Your word is a lamp for my feet,
    a light on my path.”

Psalm 119:105 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2018 at a park near Bayfield, Wisconsin)

God’s Word

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV

When we have questions or when we need guidance or when we seek comfort, the Word of God can provide for us in all these situations…as well as in every other situation we may encounter.  There is a sense of peace not found in the world that can come over you when you make time to read God’s Word and let it soak into your heart and mind.  There is guidance in there that we will not find anywhere else.  Spend time reading God’s Word.  May the peace of the Lord be with you on your journey.  Amen.

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“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”

Psalm 119:105 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2018 on the shore of Lake Superior near Ashland, Wisconsin)

A Strong Foundation

“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature[a] God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.”

Philippians 2:5-11 NIV

The best things are built by starting out with the development of a strong foundation.  A solid foundation helps to support missteps, mistakes and accidents along the way.  If we try to build something without developing the foundation the endeavor will eventually fail and end up as a pile of rubble.  The foundation of our faith is our relationship and daily interaction with Jesus Christ and the Word of God.  These are the elements that will help us build and grow our spiritual life and sustain us through the most difficult things the world will throw at us.  May the peace of the Lord be with you.  Amen.

Build My Life by Pat Barrett (ft. Cory Asbury)

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“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.  My command is this:  Love each other as I have loved you.”

John 15:11-12 NIV

(This photo was taken in August of 2016 in Glacier National Park in Montana)

A Solid Foundation Of Faith

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
    my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
    my shield[a] and the horn[b] of my salvation, my stronghold.”

Psalm 18:2 NIV

Even though the world knocks you down, your faith will see you through.

What Faith Can Do by Kutless

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“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.  Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Psalms 37:3-4 NIV

(This photo was taken in June of 2016 in a neighborhood near Plymouth, Minnesota)

Jesus

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

1 Peter 5:7 NIV

He is all we need.  He is the way to God for us.  He took the punishment we deserve.  The words He spoke when He was here are written in red in the bible.  If you want to learn more about Him, pick up a bible and read the Gospel of John.  Believe in Him, He is the Son of God, our Savior and our Lord.  No matter what you are going through, no matter where you are and no matter what you have done, turn towards Jesus…He is waiting to hear from you.  Amen.

Give Me Jesus by Danny Gokey

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“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 NIV

(This photo was taken in June of 2016 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)

Power In The Name Of Jesus

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.”

Philippians 2:9-11 NIV

When life is difficult and frustrating, where do we get the ability to move forward?  What could possibly renew us?  What makes some people so resilient?  It has been my experience that there is only one thing powerful enough to lift us up out of any tragedy or trial…and His name is Jesus.  A relationship with Jesus Christ in the way to strength in the battle and rest when we are weary.  To experience His presence, we must do our part and be willing to spend time in devotions and prayer building our relationship with Him.  God made a promise, He will never leave you nor forsake you and He always keeps His promises.  Invite Jesus into your heart and into your life daily and you will be renewed each day.  May God’s peace be with you.  Amen.

There Is Power by Lincoln Brewster

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“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.”

Proverbs 18:10 NIV

(This photo was taken in August of 2016 in Mount Rainier National Park in Washington)

Sacrifice…Savior…Salvation

Portions of this post were originally published in March of 2019…

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform 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

But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.”

Isaiah 53:5 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.

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“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 July of 2018 on the shore of Lake Superior near Ashland, Wisconsin)