Living Sacrifices

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.

Do not conform any longer 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

Every one of us has a choice, every day…how will you choose to live this 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

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But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

Galatians 5:22-23 ESV

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

Anything Is Possible With God

The Lord is gracious and compassionate,

slow to anger and rich in love.

The Lord is good to all;
    he has compassion on all he has made.

Psalm 145:8-9 NIV

No matter what, anything is possible with God.  If you are discouraged or defeated and thinking this is never going to change or get better…turn towards God, put your trust in Him.  If you are frustrated and at your wits end with another person don’t give up…pray for them and be encouraged by story of Saul who became Paul…Saul was filled with anger and hate and he was leading the charge to kill believers in Jesus and yet this was the person God chose to change to help lead the charge to spread the Good News about Jesus.  You can read more about him in the book of Acts.  If God can change Saul to Paul, He can change you or someone you are praying for as well.  Anything is possible with God!  Amen.

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“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

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

Run To The Lord

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

Proverbs 18:10 NIV

Life will be filled with times of joy and peace and times of struggle, frustration and sadness.  This is true for everyone in every season of life.  The one steady and stable thing we can cling to is Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.  There is nothing He can’t handle, no circumstances or loss or celebration He is not aware of or walking us through.  We were never promised life would be easy, however, we were promised that God will be with us through it all.  Run to the Lord…He is right there waiting for you.  Amen.

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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

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

God’s Love And Faithfulness

“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.”

Deuteronomy 7:9 NIV

No matter where we go or what we do God’s love and faithfulness are always more powerful than anything in this world.  We spend our days searching for something…happiness, justice, peace of mind and we believe we will find it somewhere on earth.  Yet the whole time God offers a path to find these pursuits.  It begins with a belief in God and His goodness.  Every promise He made He has kept and the last promise has yet to come, and Jesus Christ will come again.  I pray we have the courage to stop putting our faith in things created by mankind and put our trust and faith right where it belongs…In God We Trust.  May you see God’s love and faithfulness at work in your life.  Amen.

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“Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.”

Psalm 115:1 NIV

(This photo was taken in June of 2015 on the side of the road while driving through South Dakota)

Believe And Overcome

“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.”

Romans 10:9-10 NIV

“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.”

1 John 5:1-4 NIV

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“Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”

1 John 5:5 NIV

(This photo was taken in October of 2018 near Winterset, Iowa)

Faith – Character

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.”

Romans 5:1-4 NIV

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

Colossians 3:12 NIV

Who we are, our behaviors, our attitude…these are the things that define our character.  We have been taught by the bible how we should strive to live.  Reflect on your last few days, weeks and months…turn towards God and ask Him to help you with any of the fruits of the Spirit that have been lacking in your relationships with others.  God is with you and He is for you.  Amen.

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But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23 ESV

(This phot was taken in August of 2016 at a lake in Glacier National Park in Montana)

Greater Than…

“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

No matter what you are facing, no matter what the circumstances are, no matter how bad the tragedy or trauma that has occurred…God is bigger than that…God is greater than anything you will encounter in this life.  Believe it and put your hope and your trust in God.

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“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
    therefore I will wait for him.”

25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
    to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
    for the salvation of the Lord.”

Lamentations 3:22-26 NIV

(This photo was taken in September of 2022 in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming)

He Will Carry Our Burdens

Cast your burden on the Lord,
    and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
    the righteous to be moved.”

Psalm 55:22 ESV

How often do you feel like you have to carry something all by yourself?  That it all depends on you and what you do?  We all have moments and seasons of life like this and God knows we will face them…in fact, He is the one that told us about them in Scripture…

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33 NIV

And He is the One who has given us the Way through these times in life…turn towards Jesus…tell Him about the things that you are carrying.  He wants to hear from you and He wants you to know He is  walking right along side you…you just have to acknowledge Him and seek Him.  He is with you and He is willing to carry your burdens for you.  May we find peace with the Savior.  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 August of 2016 at Sapphire Point near Dillon, Colorado)

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)

Gratitude

Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV

What are you thankful for?  This is not something to consider only once a year in late November…it is an everyday prayer and worship attitude.  What do you find yourself focusing your thoughts on each day…negativity?  What is wrong or could be better?  Why isn’t this working?  When did this break or stop happening?  Problems? Frustrations? Disappointments?  It can easily become overwhelming…the Good News is we have the opportunity to change our perspective and our attitude without any of the external factors being different!  How?  Through a relationship with Jesus Christ.  Spending time daily with God’s Word, taking time to sit quietly and pray…these are the keys to building our daily life on a foundation of positivity and living your best with whatever happens.  Seek the Lord and shift your attitude to be one of gratitude.

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Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

Philippians 4:8-9 NIV

(This photo was taken in September of 2022 at Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming)