A Foundation Of Faith

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

Ephesians 2:19-22 NIV

What is the foundation of your life?  What do you stand on?  Worldly beliefs and values that reject God or Jesus Christ and the Word of God?  We are all free to choose what we believe and our decision has a direct impact on our life in this world and in the life to come.  What is the foundation of your life?

DSC_1523 publish

“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

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

Spirit of Truth

“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.”

John 16:13 NIV

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth.  Put your trust in the Lord and His will for your life…it may not be what you have always thought about your life yet God is the Creator and knows what is best for you.  Stay close to the Lord and spend time with Him, be in His Word and the Spirit of Truth will wash over you.  Amen.

DSC_0769 publish

Jesus speaking to his disciples regarding the Holy Spirit in the Gospel of John…

“If you love me, you will obey what I command.  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth.  The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him.  But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.”

John 14:15-17

(This photo was taken last weekend at Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming)

Plans

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV

Whose plans are you working on?  What is the purpose of what you are doing?  When you have questions like this and others about your life the best place to turn is to Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.  He knows what is best for you and He loves you.  Ask the Lord to guide and direct you and then pay attention and listen for His reply.  Amen.

DSC_0022 publish

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

Proverbs 16:3 NIV

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

Believe…Pray

“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “Truly[a] I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

Mark 11:22-24 NIV

Prayer offered as a routine ritual is more about the ritual than meeting with God or crying out to Him.  Prayer that is sincere, honest and vulnerable is offered with belief and faith is the kind of prayer Jesus is talking about above in Mark 11.  Reflect on your prayer life and ask God to help and guide you.  Amen.

IMG_20200528_162726 publish

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”

John 15:7-8 NIV

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

He Lives In You

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Galatians 2:20 NIV

Jesus Christ is the foundation of our faith.  Not only because of what He did when He was human on earth and not only because He sacrificed Himself for us and died on a cross or because He rose…He is the foundation of our faith today because of all these things and the fact that He Lives in us.  Before He ascended, He promised the Holy Spirit would come to those who love Him and do as He commands.  In the Gospel of John 14, Jesus promises the Holy Spirit and explains our connection to Him through the Spirit.  The love of God can be found in the hearts of people and can be shared with others…it is up to each of us to seek Him and trust in His way rather than our own.  May you be encouraged by knowing that He is with you and He is within you today and always.  Amen.

DSC_0019-1 publish

On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.  Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

John 14:20-21 NIV

(This photo was taken last weekend at a lake place in northwestern Wisconsin)

The Truth Will Set You Free

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 8:31-32 NIV

The word ‘truth’ appears over 200 times in the bible.  Jesus often taught using the phrase ‘I tell you the truth’ or ‘Truly I say to you.’  On our faith journey we have to be willing to be honest with God, ourselves and with others regarding what we believe and what we say.  When we are ready to be truthful about who we are and who God is we are ready to walk in the light to the best of our ability in a fallen world.  It won’t be easy but we have been assured it will be worth it.  Amen.

DSC_0203 (2) publish

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

1 John 1:8-9 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2018 on Lake Superior near the Apostle Islands)

Redeemed, Renewed And Restored

You were living in your sins and lawless ways. But in fact you were dead. You used to live as sinners when you followed the ways of this world. You served the one who rules over the spiritual forces of evil. He is the spirit who is now at work in those who don’t obey God. At one time we all lived among them. Our desires were controlled by sin. We tried to satisfy what they wanted us to do. We followed our desires and thoughts. God was angry with us like he was with everyone else. That’s because of the kind of people we all were. But God loves us deeply. He is full of mercy. So he gave us new life because of what Christ has done. He gave us life even when we were dead in sin. God’s grace has saved you. God raised us up with Christ. He has seated us with him in his heavenly kingdom. That’s because we belong to Christ Jesus. He has done it to show the riches of his grace for all time to come. His grace can’t be compared with anything else. He has shown it by being kind to us. He was kind to us because of what Christ Jesus has done. God’s grace has saved you because of your faith in Christ. Your salvation doesn’t come from anything you do. It is God’s gift. It is not based on anything you have done. No one can brag about earning it. 10 We are God’s creation. He created us to belong to Christ Jesus. Now we can do good works. Long ago God prepared these works for us to do.

Ephesians 2:1-10 NIRV

DSC_1292 publish

“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.”

2 Peter 1:3-9 NIV

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

A Different Attitude

So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!

2 Corinthians 5:16-17 NIV

A change in perspective…focusing on eternal values rather than worldly values…living with the Fruit of the Spirit in mind at all times…getting rid of pride, selfishness and worldly ambitions and being filled with the Holy Spirit.  Lord, help us to be different from the ways of the world.  Amen.

Different by Micah Tyler

DSC_0105 publish

“Do not conform 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 12:2 NIV

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

Saved By Grace

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Ephesians 2:1-10 NIV

DSC_1292 publish

“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.”

2 Peter 1:3-9 NIV

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

The Greatest Story Ever Told…

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it.”

John 1:1-5 NIV

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

John 1:14 NIV

From Genesis to Revelation the over-arching theme of the Bible is God’s love…this love is not a guarantee that life will be easy and always pleasant…yet it is a love that is consistent, based on facts and comes to us directly in the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Open your heart and mind to Jesus every day…everything He does is for you.  Amen.

End Of The Beginning by David Phelps

DSC01214 publish

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

John 3:16-17 NIV

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