Contentment…Gratitude

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,

“Never will I leave you;
    never will I forsake you.”[a]

So we say with confidence,

“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
    What can mere mortals do to me?”[b]

Hebrews 13:5-6 NIV

God is always with us…if God feels distant, it is because we have wandered off and away from Him.  Believe in Jesus, confess your sin and invite Him into your life daily.  He will be with you and He will lead and guide you forever.  Thanks be to God.

Forever by Michael W. Smith

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Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.”

Psalm 136:1 NIV

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

His Sacrifice For You

But he was pierced for our rebellion,
    crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
    He was whipped so we could be healed.
All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
    We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on him
    the sins of us all.”

Isaiah 53:5-6 NLT

“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”

Romans 5:8 NLT

He came down from heaven and was born as a baby.  He lived and taught…He was beaten, spit on and made to carry the cross He would die on.  He comitted no sin and took the punishment for all of our sins.  He suffered, He was crucified, died and was buried and He did it all for you.  Thanks be to God for the sacrifice Jesus made for you and me.  Amen.

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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. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”

John 3:16-21 NIV

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

Love Is Action

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

1 Peter 4:8 NIV

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.”

1 John 4:10-11 NIV

Love is not a feeling…it is action.  Love is grounded in behavior not emotions.  The description of love in the bible tells us how to live when we love.  It is not about approving or accepting others, rather it is about how we choose to live in our daily life and interactions.  How can each of us demostrate love today?

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

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

Do Good Things

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”

Galatians 5:24-26 NIV

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

Galatians 6:1-2 NIV

Don’t give up…keep doing good things…be persistent in sharing God’s Word as opportunities present themselves.  You never know the impact a verse or a word of encouragement may have on another person.  Be led by the Holy Spirit and do good things.  Amen.

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Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

Galatians 6:7-10 NIV

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

Be Still

“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;”

Psalm 46:10 NIV

It is so easy to get caught up in the busyness, the quick to respond without thinking speed of the world.  Yet our God does not operate according to our worldly ways…it may be better to be still and wait for God.  How can we know what He is doing or where He wants us to be?  By staying in close contact and communication with Him, every day.  The more we can take time to be with Him the better we can understand what He is saying to us through His Word and through others.  Be still…be patient…trust His way.  Amen.

“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 14:27 NIV

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Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:6-7 NIV

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

The Promised One

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you[a] a sign: The virgin[b] will conceive and give birth to a son, and[c] will call him Immanuel.”[d]

Isaiah 7:14 NIV

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Isaiah 9:6 NIV

God promised to send us a Savior, He kept that promise when He sent His one and only Son.  We have a Savior who sacrificed Himself for us…and His name is Jesus.

What A Beautiful Name by Hillsong Worship

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“The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

14 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 1:9-14 NIV

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

Run To The Lord

The name of the Lord is a fortified tower;
    the righteous run to it and are safe.”

Proverbs 18:10 NIV

Life will be filled with times of joy and peace and times of struggle, frustration and sadness.  This is true for everyone in every season of life.  The one steady and stable thing we can cling to is Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.  There is nothing He can’t handle, no circumstances or loss or celebration He is not aware of or walking us through.  We were never promised life would be easy, however, we were promised that God will be with us through it all.  Run to the Lord…He is right there waiting for you.  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 August of 2016 in Glacier National Park in Montana)

Peace

“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 14:27 NIV

Lord, you will give perfect peace
    to those who commit themselves to be faithful to you.
    That’s because they trust in you.”

Isaiah 26:3 NIRV

Peace Be Still by Hope Darst

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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)

Come To The Lord

The name of the Lord is a fortified tower;
    the righteous run to it and are safe.”

Proverbs 18:10 NIV

There is only one place to find the answers we seek and that is with the Lord.  He is good, His love endures forever.  He wants a relationship with us.  Nothing is impossible for Him.  He is greater than any issue or circumstances in our lives…no matter what it is you are facing come to the Lord.

Come, Now Is The Time To Worship by Phillips, Craig and Dean

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“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

Hebrews 4:16 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2021 in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado)

God’s Love And 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 where we go or what we do God’s love and faithfulness are always more powerful than anything in this world.  We spend our days searching for something…happiness, justice, peace of mind and we believe we will find it somewhere on earth.  Yet the whole time God offers a path to find these pursuits.  It begins with a belief in God and His goodness.  Every promise He made He has kept and the last promise has yet to come, and Jesus Christ will come again.  I pray we have the courage to stop putting our faith in things created by mankind and put our trust and faith right where it belongs…In God We Trust.  May you see God’s love and faithfulness at work in your life.  Amen.

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“Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.”

Psalm 115:1 NIV

(This photo was taken in June of 2015 on the side of the road while driving through South Dakota)