Character

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

Colossians 3:12-14 NIV

Living life by faith is about who we are more than what we do.  Our behaviors, how we treat others and our interactions with others say more about us than our job or career path.  The world honors worldly things like wealth, awards, job titles and other self-oriented pursuits…these things are not considered to be wrong or bad…the issue is these things have become more important than God.  When self-satisfaction is more important than our relationship with God, we are going off course…to be clear we are all guilty of this sin, it is human nature in a fallen world.  The first step in repentance is awareness of the behavior and the next step is confessing to God and seeking to turn away from our sins, with God’s help.  As humans we all suffer from the same types of trouble…how we choose to respond is up to us.  May the peace of the Lord be with you. Amen.

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Not only so, but we 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.”

Romans 5:3-5 NIV

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

The Holy 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

Pay attention today and everyday…to your attitude, your thoughts, actions and your interactions with others.  Let the Holy Spirit be your guide…He is God as much as the Father and the Son are God.  Give thanks for the all that God is and what He has done and is doing in your life.  May the peace of God that surpasses all understanding be with you.  Amen.

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“If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 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[a] in you.”

John 14:15-17 NIV

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

Humility

One message in the bible is clear…we need to learn how to be humble.  Selfishness and self-serving behaviors are running wild in the world.  God knows it is a problem for the human race and He made sure it is talked about often in His Word…

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.”

Romans 12:9-10 NIV

“In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,

“God opposes the proud
    but shows favor to the humble.”[a]

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 5:5-7 NIV

If you want to know more pick up a bible and dig into God’s Word about humility.  Turn towards Jesus our Savior and the one who set the example of how to be humble by caring for others.  Amen.

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Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

Philippians 2:3-4 NIV

(This photo was taken in August of 2016 near Arches National Park in Utah)

The Spirit Of God

“God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

John 4:24 NIV

“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

John 14:26-27 NIV

Holy Spirit By Francesca Battistelli

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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 July of 2018 while on a walk in a neighborhood near Plymouth, Minnesota)

The Fruit Of The Spirit

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Matthew 5:14-16 NIV

When we believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died and was resurrected to save us from our sins and we confess our sins to God…the Holy Spirit will come into us.  It is not a feeling and not an emotional state of mind it is the presence of God living in us and working through us.  When we surrender our old way of thinking and we live with the Holy Spirit pouring through our hearts and minds the results will be the Fruit of the Spirit flowing through us in our thoughts, words and our actions.  May the peace of the Lord be with you.  Amen.

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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 July of 2016 while in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming)

Holy Living

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

Colossians 3:12-14 NIV

It is simple yet very different from worldly values.  It is about living a balanced life with Christ at the center.  It is not about judgement or comparing yourself to others…it is about the Fruits of the Spirit shining through your thoughts, words and actions because in your heart you truly believe.  You confess your sins and have an on-going personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  It is not perfect and we never will be…it means you will still face difficulties and suffering in life but you will be better prepared to go through them with God as your guide.  It is the only way to find true peace.  Amen.

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Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Colossians 3:15-17 NIV

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

Wisdom

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

James 1:5 NIV

“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”

James 3:17 NIV

Seek the wisdom of God in all things.  All good things come from God and the Kingdom of God is upside down from the world’s perspective.  Take time to learn from Jesus and spend time reading God’s Word.  Gather with others who are encouraging…for we will not find what we are looking for in worldly wisdom.

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“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

John 14:26 NIV

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

Living By The Spirit

But the fruit the Holy Spirit produces is love, joy and peace. It is being patient, kind and good. It is being faithful 23 and gentle and having control of oneself. There is no law against things of that kind.”

Galatians 5:22-23 NIRV

Life by the Spirit is a life that is conscious of our impact on others.  It is not always looking inward and seeking to satisfy the self.  It is a balanced life, living present and not dwelling more on the regrets of the past or trying to control the future.  It is a life that strives to put Christ in the center of everything…this is not easy to achieve in a dark and broken world full of distractions nor are we able to do this alone.  We need to remember God’s grace and receive the Holy Spirit in our hearts…so that His love can flow through us into every aspect of our lives.  Seek a balanced life that is led by the Spirit.  Amen.

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“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Matthew 22:36-40 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2018 while hiking in Wisconsin near Lake Superior)

Be The Light

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

Jesus has won victory over sin and death.  He has reconciled us to God by His death…He took the punishment we deserve.  His resurrection gives us hope of eternal life.  Because of Jesus we can be transformed in our hearts and minds…not living for worldly values and possessions.  When we confess our sins and put our faith in Christ the Holy Spirit shines the Light of Christ into our hearts and minds and we in turn can be a Light shining in the darkness of this world.

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For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”[a] made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”

2 Corinthians 4:5-6 NIV

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

Love Conquers All

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV

Jesus Christ is God’s love sent down to do for us what we can’t do for ourselves…to save us from our sinful ways.  There is no person, place or thing in this world that loves you and cares for you the way that God does…put your trust in Him and you will see and understand that love, God’s love conquers all in life.  Amen.

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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 July of 2021 in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado)