Character

“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”

2 Peter 1:3-4 NIV

Personality…nature…disposition…temperament…mentality…essence…identity…spirit.  Our character is defined by who we are, how we relate and interact with others.  This is at the core of who we are as a person.  For some, their true character is only revealed to a few other people as they have fear and a lack of trust in others due to previous wounds and painful past experiences.  The other reason fear exists in revealing our true character is our concern regarding acceptance.  With the proliferation of social media sites, judgement or what is know as ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ has inappropriately become the measuring stick of defining who someone is…talk about judging a book by its cover!

We can begin to get knowledge and a better understanding of our character by spending time with Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord and by accepting who we are according to God.  Additionally, we can encourage and help build up others by taking time to listen and discuss the things that make us different.  I pray we all examine who we are more than what we do and we lay our fears and worries at the foot of the cross.  Amen.

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“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.”

2 Peter 1:5-7 NIV

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

Fruit Of The Spirit…Goodness

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

Galatians 5:22-23 NIV

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

Psalm 34:8 NIV

Goodness Of God by Jenn Johnson

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“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

James 1:17 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2018 at a park near Bayfield, Wisconsin)

Fruit Of The Spirit…Joy

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

Galatians 5:22-23 NIV

Joy is not something that will come from our worldly circumstances or pleasures…joy and peace will come from our relationship with Jesus.  Even in the worst of times this relationship will bring you through and comfort you.

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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 May of 2020 at Palisade Head along the North Shore of Lake Superior)

Fruit Of The Spirit…Peace

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

Peace comes only from God and from spending time with God.  The human race cannot create peace without God.  We try to fill our lives with so many things that we think will bring us peace and turn to God as a last resort.  Put your relationship with Jesus Christ first in your life and allow the Holy Spirit to bear good fruit in your life…it is there you will find peace.

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“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.

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

Colossians 3:12-15 NIV

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

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)

Be Different

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father[a] is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”

1 John 2:15-17 NIV

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Romans 12:2 NIV

Wash your heart and mind with the truth in God’s word.  We all are broken and sinful in this world and we need Jesus.  The world will flood us with lies about what to believe and turn us away from God.  We need to seek the wisdom that comes from God not from the world…plant the Word deep into our hearts daily to guide our attitudes and perspectives and to live out the love He has given us in every aspect of our lives.  Amen.

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But that is not the way of life in Christ that you learned about. 21 You heard about Christ and were taught about life in him. What you learned was the truth about Jesus. 22 You were taught not to live the way you used to. You must get rid of your old way of life. That’s because it has been made impure by the desire for things that lead you astray. 23 You were taught to be made new in your thinking. 24 You were taught to start living a new life. It is created to be truly good and holy, just as God is.”

Ephesians 4:20-24 NIRV

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 at Falls Park near Sioux Falls, South Dakota)

Daily Living By Faith

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 14 Do everything in love.”

1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NIV

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

Each day is a new opportunity to live out our faith.  To surrender to the Holy Spirit that God has placed in our hearts and strive to live out our purpose.  God’s Word has told us to love God, love others and share the Good News.  He has given us the example of how He wants us to live in Jesus Christ…in the way that Jesus lived and by what He taught in His ministry.  God has prepared everything for us…and He has given us free will to choose how we want to respond…how will you choose to live your life today?

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Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Romans 12:1-2 NIV

(This photo was taken in May of 2020 during sunrise along the North Shore of Lake Superior)

Holy Living

Portions of this post were originally published in November of 2018…

“Don’t live the way this world lives. Let your way of thinking be completely changed. Then you will be able to test what God wants for you. And you will agree that what he wants is right. His plan is good and pleasing and perfect.”

Romans 12:2 NIRV

The people in our daily lives, the family and friends we interact with every day, these are the people on earth who should know the most about us.  How we treat each other, whether or not we trust each other, these are the cornerstones of our relationships.  It is too easy to take others for granted or think they will always be there because for such a long time they have always been there.  Yet things will happen in this broken and sinful world or time and age itself will catch up with every single person, and one day you may get a phone call that will change everything in an instant…they are gone.  None us really knows what life has in-store for us each day, only God knows.  He doesn’t make the bad things happen, the sins of the human race have done that…however, He will bring comfort, He will bring courage and He will bring His presence to strengthen us.  Let’s strive to not take people and relationships for granted, each day.  I pray we attempt to live our best and show others the light and love of Christ that we have so graciously received.  Amen.

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“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

Colossians 3:12-14 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2018 on the shore of Lake Superior in Ashland, Wisconsin)

Persevere…Be Transformed

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

James 1:2-4

“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

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Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Romans 12:1-2

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

Healed By His Love

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.”

1 Peter 2:24

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For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

Ephesians 3:14-19

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