Work In Progress

In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 1:4-6 NIV

Each day we are alive means God is still working on us.  He knows the number of our days and He is with us for each and every one of them.  It is up to us to seek Him…to acknowledge Him and His Presence…we are tasked with learning, growing and sharing as we go…it doesn’t have to be perfect and it never will be.  God tells us we are His work in progress and if we live our lives trusting, believing in and spending time with Him good things will come.  Amen.

God’s Not Done With You by Tauren Wells

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“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Ephesians 2:10 NIV

(This photo was taken in August of 2016 at Sapphire Point near Dillon, Colorado)

The Goodness Of God

“Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
    his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation commends your works to another;
    they tell of your mighty acts.
They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—
    and I will meditate on your wonderful works.[b]
They tell of the power of your awesome works—
    and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They celebrate your abundant goodness
    and joyfully sing of your righteousness.

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 145:3-9 NIV

God is good.  The reason sin and evil are in the world is because of us.  We have pain and suffering and we ask God why…yet we are the ones who have drifted away from Him.  No matter what God is patient with us and is always ready for us to turn towards Him and come near to Him.  He knows us, He knows everything about us and yet He still sent He Son to die on the Cross to save us.  God is good and He is with you and He is for you, every day, all the time.  Thanks be to God for His Goodness!

Goodness Of God by Jenn Johnson

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“I remain confident of this:
    I will see the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart
    and wait for the Lord.”

Psalm 27:13-14 NIV

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 while traveling in northern Colorado)

Living Hope Perspective

“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 NIV

Hope in this world mostly gets aligned with wishful thinking in general conversations.  This hope is not sure, not firm and is not based on belief.  The hope talked about in the Bible is hope that believes and knows God’s promises for good things.  This hope is supported by actions and behaviors.  The hope we receive from Christ is a hope that knows and believes that Christ lives and that God is for us and working for our good, even when, especially when the visible evidence is against it. The hope from God’s Word tells us to not give up or surrender to sin and doubt, rather know that God is with you and you can trust in Him…not for the things you believe you should have but for the things God knows that you need.  May the God of all hope be present in your daily life. Amen.

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“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Romans 15:13 NIV

(This photo was taken in September of 2016 on a lake in central Minnesota)

Contentment And Generosity

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.

1 Timothy 6:6-9 NIV

Give of yourself and be content when your needs are fulfilled.  The world will tell you to want more and to get more.  God has provided more than enough for everyone.  Contentment and Generosity are topics that are about much more than money.  They are about all aspects of life…our time, our talents, our emotions, our faith.  The more we are able to be content the more we can share when we have received an abundance.  Take time to assess where you stand…where do you have more than enough on your hands and how can you share to help those who are in need?  May the grace and peace of the Lord be with you.  Amen.

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Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 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. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

2 Corinthians 9:6-8 NIV

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

Trust…Refuge…Rest

Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
    my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
    he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God[c];
    he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, you people;
    pour out your hearts to him,
    for God is our refuge.”

Psalm 62:5-8 NIV

Put your trust in the Lord.  Find your hope in Him.  He is our refuge, He is the source of our strength and with Him we will find peace.  Do your part…do your best…and leave the rest up to God.

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“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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 4:4-9 NIV

(This photo was taken in June of 2021 at The Northern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cementary)

Do What It Says

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”

Matthew 7:24 NIV

It is one thing to read or listen to the Word of God…it is the next step in your faith journey to do what it says.  We can go our whole lives reading the bible and listening to God’s word in church and if we never put it into practice in our lives…what have we accomplished?  The bible is filled with Action words and many of them came directly out of the mouth of Jesus Christ.  We are to go and do what He commands us to do.  May His peace go with you.  Amen.

“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

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Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”

James 1:22-25 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2016 on Beartooth Pass in Montana)

Do Good Things

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”

Galatians 5:24-26 NIV

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

Galatians 6:1-2 NIV

Don’t give up…keep doing good things…be persistent in sharing God’s Word as opportunities present themselves.  You never know the impact a verse or a word of encouragement may have on another person.  Be led by the Holy Spirit and do good things.  Amen.

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Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 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. 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

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

Do Good Things

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

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.

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“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)

Fruit Of The Spirit…Goodness

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

Galatians 5:22-23 NIV

Taste and see that the Lord is good;
    blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”

Psalm 34:8 NIV

Goodness Of God by Jenn Johnson

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“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

James 1:17 NIV

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

Keep Doing Good Things

 “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Ephesians 2:10 NIV

Not for your benefit, rather for the benefit of others.  We reap what we sow in this life.  This does not mean we can earn our way into heaven by doing the right things…it means whatever we go out and do in the world will come back around to us at some point and none of us knows or can control how or when that will happen.  This is further proof that God is in control and it is our responsibility to choose our behaviors and our actions in our daily life.  We cannot control what others will think, say or do, yet we can control how we respond.  Let’s choose to keep doing good things.  May the Fruit of the Spirit flow through us each day.  Amen.

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Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.  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.  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 6:7-9 NIV

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado)