Humble Yourselves

“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Luke 18:10-14 NIV

Jesus taught us about humility in the bible.  We need to remember…it’s not about me first.  There is a significant difference between self-care and being self-centered.  To be humble takes courage, to admit that we make mistakes and poor choices with an attitude that seeks redemption is a path to peace.

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“…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV

(This photo was taken in April of 2016 at a lake in central Minnestoa)

Time For Reflection

“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. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 5:1-8 NIV

The truth about life is we will see troubles in this world.  Jesus tells us directly in John 16:33, that trouble will come…not maybe or they might come…you will have troubles in this life.  So, if we know life is hard, we should be more focused on how to get through our troubles and see what we can learn from them so we can share with others.  God has provided the Way through difficult times…Jesus, His Son our Savior and God’s Word will guide us and see us through.  Think about a trial in your past…looking back where do you see God in it?  Trust in the Lord and persevere through trials.  Amen.

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“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”

James 1:12 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2019 at a lake in northwestern Wisconsin)

The Way

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

Hebrews 11:1 NIV

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

Hebrews 11:6 NIV

The way to get through times of difficulty and struggle is only found with Jesus Christ.  The current times show clearly that what the world values is finite and can vanish instantly without warning…leaving us lost and our minds wandering with questions about our choices.  It is never too late to turn towards Jesus Christ your Savior and tell Him you believe in Him…confess your sins and let the Holy Spirit be your guide.  Start there and see what God has in store for you.  Amen.

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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 takne in June of 2016 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)

Lay Down Your Burdens

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

1 Peter 5:6-7 NIV

Come to Jesus…confess your sin and lay down all your worries and burdens at the foot of the Cross.  We are all sinners in need of redemption and God has sent His one and only Son to bring us back to Him.  Nothing is impossible for God and He wants to hear from you…He will carry you through anything you face in this life.  Amen.

Carry You by Amy Grant

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“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

(This photo was taken in May of 2020 along the North Shore of Lake Superior)

Come To Repentance

You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?”

Romans 2:1-4 NIV

We are so quick to judge others, yet that is not our purpose.  We were created out of God’s love to do good things…how we respond to His love will determine how we will be judged.  Come to repentance and you will find peace.  Amen.

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But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

2 Peter 3:8-9 NIV

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

Walking With God

This post was originally published in December of 2020…

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[a] with your God.”

Micah 6:8 NIV

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“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all[a] sin.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.”

1 John 1:5-10 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2018 at a park near Bayfield, Wisconsin)

The Spirit He Gave Us

Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24 The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.”

1 John 3:21-24

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“This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

1 John 4:13-18

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

Confession…Forgiveness

“Blessed is the one
    whose transgressions are forgiven,
    whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the one
    whose sin the Lord does not count against them
    and in whose spirit is no deceit.

When I kept silent,
    my bones wasted away
    through my groaning all day long.
For day and night
    your hand was heavy on me;
my strength was sapped
    as in the heat of summer.[b]

Then I acknowledged my sin to you
    and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess
    my transgressions to the Lord.”
And you forgave
    the guilt of my sin.”

Psalm 32:1-5

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“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

John 3:17

(This photo was taken in December of 2018 at a park on the island of the Bahamas)

Confess…Renew

Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
    blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
    and cleanse me from my sin.”

Psalm 51:1-2

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Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
    or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”

Psalm 51:10-12

(This photo was taken in August of 2016 in Mount Rainier National Park in Washington)

Cry Out To The Lord

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
    of whom shall I be afraid?”

Psalm 27:1

Lord, I Need You by Matt Maher

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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

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