Waiting…

 “I believe that I shall look[a] upon the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living!
14 Wait for the Lord;
    be strong, and let your heart take courage;
    wait for the Lord!

Psalm 27:13-14 ESV

Oh, the waiting…our world is always sending out messages to hurry up…save time and literally “don’t wait” act now before…you get the point.  Once again, the world pursues the exact opposite of what we hear from God’s Word.  God wants us to walk with Him…not ahead of Him or on our own without Him.  His timing is perfect because it is His plan.  In Luke 2 we meet Simeon, who had been waiting his whole life to see God’s promise fulfilled in the Messiah…as he expected the promise was fulfilled just like every other promise God has made.  The last promise to be fulfilled is when Christ returns…and so we are waiting for that day and while we wait let’s be like Simeon and be good, do-good things, be godly and be faithful to God’s Word.  How are you doing while you wait?

While I’m Waiting by John Waller

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Dear friends, here is one thing you must not forget. With the Lord a day is like a thousand years. And a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow to keep his promise. He is not slow in the way some people understand it. Instead, he is patient with you. He doesn’t want anyone to be destroyed. Instead, he wants all people to turn away from their sins.”

2 Peter 3:8-9 NIRV

(This photo was taken in October of 2018 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)

Always With Us…Always

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV

God the Creator, the Maker of heaven and earth wants a relationship with you.  Not only that…He has promised to be with you and never leave you.  If God feels distant look around at what you are doing or decisions you have made…it is most likely you that moved away from Him.  God is with you and He is within you…believe and proceed to live life guided by Him.  May the peace of God be with you and flow through you.  Amen.

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No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 8:37-39 NIV

(This photo was taken in June of 2018 while traveling through South Dakota)

Faithfulness

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”

Hebrews 10:23 NIV

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.”

Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV

God is with you…He cares for you…He is faithful in everything…nothing can separate you from His love.

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Your faithfulness continues through all generations;
    you established the earth, and it endures.”

Psalm 119:90 NIV

(This photo was taken in September of 2020 at a lake in northwestern Wisconsin)

Developing Who We Are

But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.[b] And we are confident in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we commanded you. May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.”

2 Thessalonians 3:3-5 NLT

The faith journey takes us on a road of self-awareness and growth.  As we read God’s Word and the teachings of Jesus, we hear messages about our attitudes, our behaviors, our words and our actions.  These are all things that we can control in our everyday life.  Instead of wasting our time worrying and wringing our hands about what other people are doing, thinking or saying we would do well to focus that effort on developing the Fruit of the Spirit in our own lives and relationships.  After all, we have the most control over one thing more than any other…how we choose to respond.  May we strive to grow the Fruit of the Spirit in who we are in the world.  Amen.

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

Galatians 5:22-23 NIV

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

Fruit Of The Spirit…Faithfulness

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

Galatians 5:22-23 NIV

“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations…”

Deuteronomy 7:9 NIV

God keeps His promises.  We are responsible for how we live our lives and how we treat each other…God gave us free will.  If we do our part and put our trust in Him and walk in the Light of Christ, He is faithful and will forgive us our sins and restore us.

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This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice 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 cleanses us from all sin. 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 1:5-9 NIV

(This photo was taken in June of 2020 at sunset at a lake in northwestern Wisconsin)

God’s Faithfulness

“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.”

Deuteronomy 7:9 NIV

No matter what we have done or left undone…God is with us and God is for us.  Even when we don’t see Him or the work He is doing in our lives…He is near.  Every promise God made has been kept…He is faithful and His only promise yet to be fulfilled is when Christ returns.  Trust in the Lord and His Word…He is trustworthy and faithful in everything.  Amen.

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“The Lord himself will go ahead of you. He will be with you. He will never leave you. He’ll never desert you. So don’t be afraid. Don’t lose hope.”

Deuteronomy 31:8 NIRV

(This photo was taken in August of 2021 at a field near Kimball, Minnesota)

Be Filled With The Spirit

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Ephesians 5:15-20 NIV

“The Holy Spirit is already in every Christian heart, and He intends to produce His fruit.  However, there must be a displacement.  A boat does not sink when it is in the water, but it does sink when the water comes into the boat.  We do not fail to enjoy the fruit of the Spirit because we live in a sea of corruption; we fail to do so because the sea of corruption is in us.”

– Billy Graham, Author of Unto The Hills

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But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23 NIV

(This photo was taken in June of 2016 in a neighborhood near Plymouth, Minnesota)

Gratitude

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
    Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his[a];
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.”

Psalm 100:1-3 NIV

There is no one who loves you more than God…He sacrificed His Son in order to give you a way to be with Him.  He is near, He is working out His way in your life.  Surrender your ways and give thanks to Lord for all that He has done and is doing in your life.  He is faithful and His love endures forever.  Amen.

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Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations.”

Psalm 100:4-5 NIV

(This photo was taken in June of 2018 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)

God’s Faithfulness

“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 3:9 NIV

“God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

1 Corinthians 1:9 NIV

God is always with us…even when we don’t feel His presence or think He isn’t doing enough for us.  We must remember His ways are better than our ways.  We are sinful and distracted by the world, our flesh and Satan.  He has made a way for salvation, for everyone.  Put your faith in God, trust in Him for great is His faithfulness.  Amen.

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Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.”

Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV

(This photo was taken in June of 2021 at a lake in northwestern Wisconsin)

Follow Jesus

“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

Commitment…dedication…devotion…faithfulness.  The faith journey is more than a one time decision to invite Jesus Christ into your heart and life…that is absolutely the right first step.  The journey continues and spiritual growth occurs with a daily giving of ourselves to the will of God for our lives.  It is prayer about everything, it is learning to let go of those things we cannot control.  It is about learning to accept the love and forgiveness of God in your heart and mind and then turning outward toward others to share that truth in service and kindness.  My prayer is for all of us to follow Jesus each day.  After all, He gave all He had of His life in this world to save us.  Amen.

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“Then he said to them all:  If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

Luke 9:23 NIV

(This photo was taken in October of 2018 at City Park in Winterset, Iowa)