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)

Our Strength Comes From God

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

Our faith becomes most real when we experience something that is difficult to explain with words…when a need is met in an unexplained way, when courage came at an unexpected time, when peace overwhelms us during a difficult time, when we are able to do something that we normally would not consider attempting if we had time to think about it and analyze it…when we get out of the way and God is guiding us. Only later do we consider and realize that God came near to us.  These are not once in a lifetime experiences, as God is with us in life every step of the way every day…we just need to be in communication with Him and trust in Him.  May God’s peace be with you.  Amen.

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“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9 NIV

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

Courage

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9 NIV

God has promised to be with you wherever you go…still when we look around at the world or our own worries, fears and frustrations…it’s easier to shrink back than to be bold and courageous, to go forward trusting in God.  That is how living by faith is different than living the way the world promotes life.  We are inundated with messages of self-center living and behaviors and it takes courage to strive to be different.  Put your hope and your trust in God and His promises…follow the example of Jesus Christ.  Be courageous.

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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 July of 2016 along Beartooth Pass near the Montana-Wyoming border)

Don’t Quit

Let us not become tired of doing good. At the right time we will gather a crop if we don’t give up. 10 So when we can do good to everyone, let us do it. Let’s try even harder to do good to the family of believers.”

Galatians 6:9-10 NIRV

Our lives are filled with moments and memories…some are good times and some are difficult.  We all tend to embellish a bit in our memories, the memory of good times seems to be really good and the memory of bad times seem to be really bad.  Sometimes our bad memories start to take a person down a road where even the present moments are seen through their eyes with a negative perspective.  This is a quick spiral downward and we can get stuck in the swirl of negativity.  We have to have the courage to choose a new perspective, a more balanced view things and we are fed that perspective when we read the Word of God.  When times are hard and it feels like you are making no progress on anything…don’t give up, keep pressing on, keep believing…that is your faith at work.  Goodness will come to those who believe in the hope that God provides through Jesus Christ.  May God’s peace be with you.  Amen.

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

Colossians 3:12 NIV

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 in Badlands National Park in South Dakota)

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)

Stay Committed In Faith

Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
    and he will establish your plans.”

Proverbs 16:3 NIV

Success in life is most often tied to commitment…when you learn the details of a success story there is always a moment or moments along the way that a person had to make a choice to stay committed to a vision or mission in order to see it through.  It is a willingness to commit that leads to success in relationships and our everyday life.  When we reflect on our lives, we all are committed to something right now…what is it for you?  Then ask the question how does that commitment tie into my faith and my relationship with God?

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“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be people of courage; be strong.  Do everything in love.”

1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NIV

(This photo was taken in August of 2016 near Arches National Park in Utah)

Stay Close To The Word Of God

God has breathed life into all Scripture. It is useful for teaching us what is true. It is useful for correcting our mistakes. It is useful for making our lives whole again. It is useful for training us to do what is right. 17 By using Scripture, the servant of God can be completely prepared to do every good thing.”

2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIRV

We are often easily distracted…taking our eyes off of Jesus and focusing on things we can’t control.  Much like Peter who stepped out of the boat to walk on the water by faith (Matthew 14:22-33)…we learn that as soon as he took his focus off of Jesus, Peter began to sink.  The first step of putting our faith in Jesus is extremely important that is how we get started on our faith journey…yet the next steps are just as important, keeping our eyes on Him, even when, especially when the winds of evil and darkness blow strongly against us.  Keep God’s Word close to you and within your heart.

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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 May of 2014 at a lake in central Minnesota)

Fruit Of The Spirit…Love

“One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Matthew 22:35-40 NIV

The laws of God are the only laws that will can save us from our own destruction.  The rejection of God and His way is what has led us to this place.  It is not too late to turn towards Jesus and offer our love to God and to others.  That is the only way we will find peace.

Love God Love People by Danny Gokey

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“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”

Deuteronomy 6:5 NIV

“For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[a]

Galatians 5:14 NIV

(This photo was taken in October of 2014 on the island of Maui, Hawaii)

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

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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)