“He has shown 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
Do good things every day. Do good in the everyday things in life right where you are…not for others to see, rather because it is what God has asked us to do. Hold a door open for others, give a word of encouragement to someone, be willing to sit and listen to what someone is going through without trying to ‘fix it’ for them. Be present right where you are with whoever you are near. Don’t always be looking for the miraculous…for it is in combining the good work of the little things together that create the greatest moments in our lives.
“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
(This photo was taken in September of 2022 at Big Sky Resort in Montana)
“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”
James 4:1-3 NIV
When we pursue goals to satisfy the self, we will become frustrated and disappointed…wondering why things don’t go our way. We must learn to surrender our desires for what God has planned. He can see everything; we can only see a small part of our lives. This doesn’t mean do nothing…our job is to learn from God’s Word and keep doing good things as best we can with what we have been given. Submit whatever you do to the Lord and you will find peace. Amen.
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
James 4:7-10 NIV
(This photo was taken in July of 2019 at a lake in northwestern Wisconsin)
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”
1 Peter 4:10-11 NIV
As God’s creation, each of us has been blessed and have God-given gifts and abilities. Our purpose in our lives is to love the Lord, love others and to learn about and use the gifts He has given us to serve in our communities. What gifts has God given you? What can you do or provide to others in your family, your neighborhood or your faith community? If you are unsure, turn towards God in prayer and seek His will for you. Amen.
“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”
Romans 12:6-8 NIV
(This photo was taken in July of 2021 on a lake in northwestern Wisconsin)
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”
1 Peter 4:8-11 NIV
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.”
Galatians 5:13 NIV
We each get to choose each day the attitude we will embrace and how we will act when interacting with others. God has given us instructions in His Word and He has followed up His Word with actions that show His love, His grace. Our job, our purpose is to seek Him and live out His will in our life every day. Put your trust in Lord and choose to live as He has taught us.
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
Galatians 6:2 NIV
(This photo was taken in July of 2021 at Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado)
“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
Our faith journey is a process without an end point on earth. As we learn about Jesus and we read God’s Word the process begins by helping us transform on the inside…we open our hearts and minds to Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit becomes our guide. This is not the end of the process…as we continue to learn and grow the intention is for us to have this Spirit of peace and goodness flow through us to our neighbors and others. We are not saved just to be saved alone…we are to become a channel of God’s peace every day. The Light of Christ should shine through us so that others can see God in who we are and what we do. Think about it…in what other person in your life have you seen God shining through? May we be comforted by God’s peace. Amen.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
Matthew 5:9 NIV
(This photo was taken in June of 2016 at a lake place in northwestern Wisconsin)
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”
Galatians 6:7-10 NIV
“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 May of 2020 at the High Falls in Tettegouche State Park in northern Minnesota)
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Galatians 6:9 NIV
“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.”
– John Wesley
“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
2 Corinthians 9:6-7 NIV
(This photo was taken in March of 2013 at the Botanical Garden at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, Nevada)
“Don’t do anything only to get ahead. Don’t do it because you are proud. Instead, be humble. Value others more than yourselves. 4 None of you should look out just for your own good. Each of you should also look out for the good of others.“
Philippians 2:3-4 NIRV
“So make yourselves humble. Put yourselves under God’s mighty hand. Then he will honor you at the right time. 7 Turn all your worries over to him. He cares about you.“
1 Peter 5:6-7 NIRV
We are saved by God’s grace and we have a choice…we can accept that we are broken and sinful in need of our Savior and then seek Him in how we live. Or we can reject God by focusing only on ourselves and following the desires of the world and our sinful hearts and minds. We can see the choice made by others so easily…yet it is up each of us in our own lives…no matter what our circumstances are in this world we have a choice on how we will respond to God every 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
(This photo was taken in July of 2016 along Beartooth Pass near the Montana and Wyoming border)
This post was originally published in May of 2019…
Freedom requires humility, sacrifice and a willingness to put the needs of many before one. Freedom is the result of human beings working together for a common cause…not by shouting and trying to tear others down. Freedom is earned through courage and a belief in something greater than self. Jesus Christ is the one who provided the example of sacrifice and the willingness to forgive…we all would do well to read about Him and His example of love. Time to put down the flaming arrows of hate and to serve one another in love.
Thank you God, for all the people who serve and have served in the military services of this country…thank you for their willingness to put themselves in the line of fire so others can prosper. I give thanks for them and their families that sacrifice so much in the name of freedom for all of us. Amen.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
Philippians 2:3-4 NIV
(This photo was taken in June of 2013 at Mount Rushmore National Memorial)
“Being humble comes from having respect for the Lord.
This will bring you wealth and honor and life.”
Proverbs 22:4 NIRV
“All those who lift themselves up will be made humble. And those who make themselves humble will be lifted up.”
Luke 14:11 NIRV
“You are God’s chosen people. You are holy and dearly loved. So put on tender mercy and kindness as if they were your clothes. Don’t be proud. Be gentle and patient. 13 Put up with one another. Forgive one another if you are holding something against someone. Forgive, just as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these good things put on love. Love holds them all together perfectly as if they were one.”
Colossians 3:12-14 NIRV
(This photo was taken in September of 2016 at a lake in central Minnesota)