Faith – Character

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.”

Romans 5:1-4 NIV

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

Colossians 3:12 NIV

Who we are, our behaviors, our attitude…these are the things that define our character.  We have been taught by the bible how we should strive to live.  Reflect on your last few days, weeks and months…turn towards God and ask Him to help you with any of the fruits of the Spirit that have been lacking in your relationships with others.  God is with you and He is for 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 ESV

(This phot was taken in August of 2016 at a lake in Glacier National Park in Montana)

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?

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“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)

The Hope Of The World

“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

“…the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace.”

Colossians 1:5-6 NIV

God is greater than anything in this world.  It is in Him that we can find hope.

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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 April of 2020 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)

The Voice of Truth

“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

In this world that is fallen and filled with sin and lies we have many thoughts and opinions speaking to us through many forms of communication.  Yet while Jesus walked on earth he taught using the phrase “I tell you the truth…”  He spoke this phrase more than 75 times as recorded in the New Testament.  With so much input coming at us in the world from so many sources it is important to seek the one voice of truth.

This is not always easy…in fact when Jesus spoke he knew not everybody would openly accept the truth.  In our lives, the hardest things to do are often really the right thing to do.  Truth takes courage, truth takes trusting that no matter what happens God has got you in the palm of his hand.  He knows what you are facing, He knows your fears and the temptations pressuring you…open your heart, mind and soul to Him.  He has the truth and His Son delivered the message of truth personally to us.

Voice Of Truth by Casting Crowns

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“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’.

John 8:31-32 NIV

(This photo was taken in the summer of 2013 at Falls Park on the Big Sioux River in South Dakota)

God’s Faithfulness

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.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
    therefore I will wait for him.”

Lamentations 3:22-24 NIV

God is bigger than any circumstances or situation you are facing.  He is the only way to bring real change into your life.  The more we keep doing the same things and reacting the same way to difficulties the more we will get frustrated and angry, wondering why this doesn’t change or get better?  Trying to control things is not what we were made to do…we were created out of love and made for relationship with God and others.  God is faithful, He will never leave you or abandon you…if God feels far away it is most likely because we have wandered off.  Turn back towards Jesus Christ and trust God’s faithfulness.

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“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

(This photo was taken in September of 2022 in Bighorn National Forest in Wyoming)

Remember What God Can Do

The Lord is righteous in all his ways
    and faithful in all he does.
18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
    to all who call on him in truth.
19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
    he hears their cry and saves them.”

Psalm 145:17-19 NIV

Don’t give up…keep going.  God is with you.  We may not understand everything right now…yet we must continue on in faith.  Remember in previous times and old struggles how God showed up even though you thought the situation was hopeless or impossible?  Keep praying and be courageous even when though you are unsure of the outcome.  May God’s comfort and peace be with you.

Haven’t Seen It Yet by Danny Gokey

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“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

Romans 12:12 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2016 while traveling along Beartooth Pass)

Freedom According To God’s Word

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a]; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[b] 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”

Galatians 5:13-15 NIV

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

2 Corinthians 3:17 NIV

There Is Freedom by Josh Baldwin

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“Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants[a] of God.”

1 Peter 2:16 NIV

(This photo was taken in March of 2018 while traveling through southern New Mexico)

Walking With God

“Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.”

Isaiah 40:28-31

When we are in step with God and His plan we will not feel weary, we will not feel weak.  Weariness is a warning sign that something we are doing or are spending time on is not part of God’s will for us.  When we are walking with Him there is no weariness or exhausted feelings as He provides energy and strength that we never knew existed.  Take time to assess where and how you are spending your time and pray to God to guide you to His will.  Amen.

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So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10 NIV

(This photo was taken in March of 2018 while traveling in southern New Mexico)

Turn Towards God

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

Psalm 34:8 NIV

Trust in the Lord and do good;
    dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Psalms 37:3-4 NIV

Don’t go your own way…come near to God.  Trust His way and most importantly His timing.  The world pushes us to be impatient and to seek immediate gratification…this is the work of evil.  Set aside self-serving desires and learn about God’s promises.  Turn towards God and put your hope in Him and you will know peace.

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Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”

James 4:7-10 NIV

(This photo was taken in August of 2016 in Glacier National Park in Montana)

Love One Another

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.”

1 John 4:7-10 NIV

Think about it…God sacrificed His one and only Son for other people just as much as He did it for you.  He created all of us…yes even the person on your mind right now that chooses to reject God and shows it in their daily life.  We are not here to be the judge of each other, we can’t because we are all sinful and we all need the Savior.  Trust me I struggle with this in my faith as much as anyone else does…maybe that other person has never had anyone show them kindness, compassion or taken time to listen to them because society has decided they are not worth it.  In the end it is not up to us…our purpose is to love God, love others and share the Gospel, that is how we can make a difference in our lifetime.

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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 4:11-12 NIV

(This photo was taken in September of 2022 in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming)