Work In Progress

In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 1:4-6 NIV

Each day we are alive means God is still working on us.  He knows the number of our days and He is with us for each and every one of them.  It is up to us to seek Him…to acknowledge Him and His Presence…we are tasked with learning, growing and sharing as we go…it doesn’t have to be perfect and it never will be.  God tells us we are His work in progress and if we live our lives trusting, believing in and spending time with Him good things will come.  Amen.

God’s Not Done With You by Tauren Wells

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“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Ephesians 2:10 NIV

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

Growing In Faith

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit.”

Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIV

Our faith can grow and get stronger only if we feed it and exercise it just like our bodies…if we don’t eat food or exercise our muscles our bodies become frail and weak.  The same is true for our spiritual lives and our faith muscles, we need to feed on the Word of God and exercise our faith by how we live and interact with others in order for our faith to grow liek a tree planted by a stream of water.

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“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.  But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.  Whatever he does prospers.”

Psalm 1:1-3 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2016 while driving on Beartooth Pass in Montana)

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)

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)

Developing 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

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

Colossians 3:12

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I remain confident of this:
    I will see the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart
    and wait for the Lord.”

Psalm 27:13-14

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

A Foundation On The Rock

“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. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

Matthew 7:24-27

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For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.”

1 Thessalonians 4:7-8

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

A New Creation

Spiritual growth comes from change…change in attitude, change in perspective and change in our focus.  When we invite Jesus Christ into our heart and mind receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  We begin to surrender our self-serving desires and focus on the needs of others.  We will begin to view people and events with a new perspective and we start to change our behaviors from the old way of being to a new way…one that shines a light on who we are becoming…our true selves, the way God made us to be.  This transformation happens at a different pace for everybody…there is no one way to be transformed…it is between you and Jesus Christ…you just need to spend time getting guidance from Him.  May God’s peace be with you.

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“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

2 Corinthians 5:17

(This photo was taken in September of 2016 on a lake in central Minnesota)

God Wants To Hear From You…

When I first started my devotion time I had heard about and knew about God the Father, Jesus Christ his only Son and the Holy Spirit…I didn’t really know them or what a personal relationship with The Savior was all about.  I am realizing there is so much to learn and experience in growing and developing a relationship with them…God the Creator loves me unconditionally and Jesus his Son is the one person who sacrificed everything in order to save me.  And the Holy Spirit can be my guide through the ups and downs of life in a fallen world.

One of the hardest lessons is not to judge your relationship with God based on what you see in human relationships…all of us on earth are broken, even the people you think “have it all” and the sooner we can admit we need God the sooner we may find peace in our lives.  May God’s peace be with you!

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“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.  He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

2 Peter 3:9

(This photo was taken in August of 2012 while hiking on the north shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota)

Community Growth and Unity

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“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.  From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”

Ephesians 4:15-16

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 while driving through Colorado)

When we ask…Why?

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When you stop and think about events and things that occur in the world and in your own life there is always the natural tendency to ask Why?  Why did this happen?  Why did that not stop?

The questions are normal and if they are asked with positive intentions like when you are seeking to understand, it can be very fruitful to pursue answers for these questions.  Unfortunately, we live in a dark and fallen world and more often than not these questions are being asked in order to seek something else…Blame!  Once again the evil in this world has used a natural God given gift…the ability to seek to understand…and turned it into a hunt for Who is to blame for this?

We get so caught up in the Why becoming about the Who did this…that we lose all sight of the opportunity to learn from things that happen.  The world tells us the Why is all about Who is to blame and if we just punish that person or group of people then these bad things won’t happen anymore…that is just not true.  Yes people are a big part of everything that happens, however, it is important to remember that all people have the same gift in common…free will.  So you can keep focusing on Who is to blame your entire life but that is going to be a life full of negativity, bitterness and anger and that is not the life God has planned for you.

Recently, I made a decision to leave a position I had been in for several years.  It was comfortable and I knew what to expect.  I didn’t pursue the move, it came to me so I was hopeful and looking forward to something new, even though I had nerves about leaving what I knew and what I was very comfortable doing.  The change ended up having unexpected events occur shortly after I started and these were unexpected even for the people I was working with…so needless to say I began to ask Why?…Why did I make this move?  I should have just stayed where I was, doing what I was doing…you see I knew who to blame…me…so I began the negative self-talk and thoroughly began to punish myself in my mind.

Then I did something I have learned to do over the last several years…I asked a Why with positive intentions…I asked God to help me understand What he wants me to learn from this situation and he answered like this…

One of my devotional books by John C. Maxwell had an entry about “A Growing Community”…it mentions that if you’re in an environment that is doing nothing to help you grow you are going to have a hard time reaching the potential planned for your life.  The kind of place that can help you grow should look like this:

  • Others are ahead of you
  • You are still challenged
  • Your focus is forward
  • The atmosphere is affirming
  • You are out of your comfort zone
  • Others are growing
  • There is a willingness to change
  • Growth is modeled and expected

I had become to content with my surroundings…so content I had not written on this blog very much for the last few months.  My lesson is I need to keep seeking growth so that I can become everything God has planned for me to be for him in this world.  One important step in faith is to share what you have learned…I pray this post can help at least one other person who reads it.

Peace to you this day.