The Past…Redeemed

I know that my redeemer[c] lives,
    and that in the end he will stand on the earth.”[d]

Job 19:25 NIV

What has happened in the past is done and can’t be changed…we can learn from it…we can change today.  Don’t let what has happened be chains around you that you drag with you everywhere you go…Jesus Christ has paid the price for our sins and He is our Redeemer…bring your past, your shame and your guilt to the Lord and He will set you free.  Amen.

Redeemed by Big Daddy Weave

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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 October of 2018 at a park near Winterset, Iowa)

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)

Nothing Can Separate Us

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”

1 John 4:7-12 NIV

There is nothing on earth in your life that is more powerful than the love of God…nothing.  Trust in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior…He sacrificed His life to reconcile us with God…this is the greatest gift you will ever receive.  Nothing can separate us from Him, trust in Him and you will know peace.  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,[b] 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 October of 2018 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)

Comfort

May your unfailing love be my comfort,
    according to your promise to your servant.”

Psalm 119:76 NIV

There is only one source of true comfort…it is with the Lord.  Everyone is struggling with something, everyone.  No matter what you can see or what they say, there is a battle within each one of us.  God provided the way to have a relationship with Him through the death and resurrection of His Son…it is up to us to trust Him in order to be comforted by Him.  Amen.

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Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV

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

Redeemed

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

1 John 1:9 NIV

We must be willing to give forgiveness, to let go of bitterness, anger and pain just as our Father in heaven forgives us.  Forgive, be forgiven and you will find peace.  Amen.

Redeemed by Big Daddy Weave

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For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Matthew 6:14-15 NIV

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

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)

Our God Who Saves Us

The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
    slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
    nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
    or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

Psalm 103:8-12 NIV

Though we can’t earn it God offers us grace and gives us the opportunity to be free from sin.  He loves you so much that He willingly went to the Cross to pay to price for your sin.  Think of it this way you were charged with a crime and were brought to court…you are found guilty and convicted…then as you are about to be led away…the judge comes down from the bench and says He will take the punishment you deserve and you are set free.  That is what Jesus Christ has done for you and me…He has made a way for us to be reconciled with God.  Thanks be to God for His mercy and grace.

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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.”

Ephesians 2:4-5 NIV

(This photo was taken in October of 2018 near Winterset, Iowa)

Humility…Perspective

Don’t do anything only to get ahead. Don’t do it because you are proud. Instead, be humble. Value others more than yourselves. None of you should look out just for your own good. Each of you should also look out for the good of others.

Philippians 2:3-4 NIRV

“So make yourselves humble. Put yourselves under God’s mighty hand. Then he will honor you at the right time. Turn all your worries over to him. He cares about you.

1 Peter 5:6-7 NIRV

We are saved by God’s grace and we have a choice…we can accept that we are broken and sinful in need of our Savior and then seek Him in how we live.  Or we can reject God by focusing only on ourselves and following the desires of the world and our sinful hearts and minds.  We can see the choice made by others so easily…yet it is up each of us in our own lives…no matter what our circumstances are in this world we have a choice on how we will respond to God every day.

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“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”

Romans 12:9-13 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2016 along Beartooth Pass near the Montana and Wyoming border)

Seek Him

Turn to the Lord before it’s too late.
    Call out to him while he’s still ready to help you.
Let those who are evil stop doing evil things.
    And let them quit thinking evil thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord.
    The Lord will show them his tender love.
Let them turn to our God.
    He is always ready to forgive.”

Isaiah 55:6-7 NIRV

Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself to save you.  No matter what has happened in your life, no matter what you have done or left undone…He is waiting for you with open arms, to pick you up, to forgive you and restore you.  He is ready to do that for you and for others in your life because He loves you and He loves them too.  Jesus Christ is the way…He is the only way to fellowship with God.  Amen.

The Way by Housefires

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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 taken in August of 2016 near Glacier National Park in Montana)

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)