Savior…Sacrifice…Salvation

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 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

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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 June of 2013 in Mitchell, South Dakota)

Growing In Faith

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit.”

Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIV

Our faith can grow and get stronger only if we feed it and exercise it just like our bodies…if we don’t eat food or exercise our muscles our bodies become frail and weak.  The same is true for our spiritual lives and our faith muscles, we need to feed on the Word of God and exercise our faith by how we live and interact with others in order for our faith to grow liek a tree planted by a stream of water.

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“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.  But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.  Whatever he does prospers.”

Psalm 1:1-3 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2016 while driving on Beartooth Pass in Montana)

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 September of 2022 at Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming)

God’s Word…Our Path

You make known to me the path of life;
    you will fill me with joy in your presence,
    with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”

Psalm 16:11 NIV

The first original navigtion guide is God’s Word.  Which way should I go? What should I do next?  How should I handle this situation?  How do I respond to that?  And so many more questions can be answered by spending time in God’s Word…reading, listening and putting into the action the things He is teaching us.  It is the ultimate guide for your path.  Pick it up and seek Him.  Amen.

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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 2016 in Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota)

Attitude

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.”

Philippians 2:3-5 NLT

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 pray about your attitude towards God.  Amen.

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“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.”

Micah 6:8 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2012 on a walk in northwestern Wisconsin)

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)