Joy Because Of Jesus

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV

Jesus has made the Way for us to be reconciled with God.  He came to earth as a baby like one of us…He taught us how to live and then He suffered and died to take the punishment we deserve.  Yet that is not the end of His story…He lives!  We can have Joy because He lives.

DSC_0084 publish

“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.”

Romans 5:1-2 NIV

(This photo was taken in October of 2018 at a park in Winterset, Iowa)

Rise Up

The bible states things very clearly…it doesn’t say you may or might face trouble in this world, no…it is clear that we will face trouble and hardship.  Jesus gives us the bad news and then immediately gives us the Good News when He says…

“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

He tells us take heart, which means be strong, be courageous and today rise up from the ashes of trouble and suffering because He is with you.  Trust in the words of Jesus, believe and Rise Up!  Amen.

Rise Up by CAIN

DSC_1448 publish

“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
    and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth
    and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the Lord rises upon you
    and his glory appears over you.
Nations will come to your light,
    and kings to the brightness of your dawn.”

Isaiah 60:1-3

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

Peace And Hope

Our source of peace, our source of hope…only God can provide peace and hope that can endure all troubles and suffering.  The peace of Christ in your heart will hold you up through the most painful moments in your life and the hope from God will guide you on your path as events and circumstances, that you do not control, change in your everyday life.  When we are willing to be humble, to confess that we have done wrong and we turn towards God and seek Him…we will find peace we never knew existed and we will have hope we have never seen before.  May God’s peace be with you.  Amen.

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

Colossians 3:15

DSC_0361 publish

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…”

1 Peter 1:3

(This photo was taken in May of 2020 at the High Falls in Tettegouche State Park in noerthern Minnesota)

When Angels Speak

DSC06917 publish

“The angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.  Come and see the place where he lay’.”

Matthew 28:5-6

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

Because He Lives!

DSC09362 publish

The answer to any question that speaks about what is possible…can be answered in some context with this phrase…”Because he lives…all things are possible with Christ.”  The joy and peace I feel on a day like this reflecting on who Jesus is and what he has done is incomparable to anything in this world!  Christ is Risen, he has Risen indeed!  Hallelujah!

“But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.  For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.  For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.”

1 Corinthians 15:20-22

(This photo was taken in the summer of 2014 in central Minnesota)

Below are the lyrics to a song recorded by Matt Maher a great song for this day!  Check him out on Youtube:

“Because He Lives (Amen)”

I believe in the Son
I believe in the risen One
I believe I overcome
By the power of His blood

Amen, Amen
I’m alive, I’m alive
Because He lives
Amen, Amen
Let my song join the one that never ends
Because He lives

I was dead in the grave
I was covered in sin and shame
I heard mercy call my name
He rolled the stone away

Amen, Amen
I’m alive, I’m alive
Because He lives
Amen, Amen
Let my song join the one that never ends

Because He lives
I can face tomorrow
Because He lives
Every fear is gone
I know He holds my life my future in His hands

Amen, Amen
I’m alive, I’m alive
Because He lives
Amen, Amen
Let my song join the one that never ends

Amen, Amen
I’m alive, I’m alive
Because He lives
Amen, Amen
Let my song join the one that never ends
Because He lives
Because He lives

Darkness Has Been Defeated

DSC09022 publish

“On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.  They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.  While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lighting stood beside them.  In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead?  He is not here; he has risen!  Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ “

Luke 24:1-7

(This photo was taken in May of 2014 on a lake in central Minnesota)