The Joy Of The Lord

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”

John 15:9-12 NIV

When you feel lost, discouraged and unsure of what to do or where to turn.  Put you hope in God.  Turn towards Jesus Christ and offer up your situation to God in prayer.  Pray to the God of the universe who is with you and for you…no matter what.  Priase Him and trust His way.  The joy of the Lord is your strength.

Joy Of The Lord by Rend Collective

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“Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Nehemiah 8:10 NIV

(This photo was taken in October of 2014 on the island of Maui, Hawaii)

Plans

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV

Whose plans are you working on?  What is the purpose of what you are doing?  When you have questions like this and others about your life the best place to turn is to Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.  He knows what is best for you and He loves you.  Ask the Lord to guide and direct you and then pay attention and listen for His reply.  Amen.

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Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
    and he will establish your plans.”

Proverbs 16:3 NIV

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

Rest With Him

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

Philippians 4:12-13 NIV

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

We need to have balance in our lives…we need to be engaged, learning and growing and yet we also need time to rest, recharge and be renewed.  It is not easy in this world in this life to live in balance.  The first step to finding balance and peace is found in your relationship with Jesus Christ.  Where does that stand?  Start by meeting with Him every day and ask Him to guide you…remember he is present every aspect of your life and you can talk to Him about anything.

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“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4: 19 NIV

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

Search Me

The Lord’s light penetrates the human spirit,[a]
    exposing every hidden motive.”

Proverbs 20:27

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Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Psalm 139:23-24

(This photo was taken in July of 2016 in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming)

He Has Set An Example

Throughout history the phrase “What would Jesus do?” has shown up in popularity and faded and shown up again.  Taken at its most basic level the question is valid to reflect upon.  His behaviors, His kindness, His generosity, His goodness, His mercy, His forgiveness, how He treated others and especially, His love.  We would do well to learn more about what He would do according to the Scriptures.  May the peace of Christ be with you.  Amen.

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“I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”

John 13:15

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

An Invitation

Jesus invites us to follow Him.  God’s love gives us the opportunity to choose to follow Christ and to live eternally in heaven and God’s gift of free will means we have a responsibility to own our choices.  God wants a relationship with each one of us and a relationship is a two-way connection.  He wants to be in relationship so much that He sacrificed His one and only Son to provide The Way.  Take a look at Luke 5:27-28, Mark 10:17-31 as examples of Jesus extending an invitation to follow Him.  No matter where you are or what your life circumstances are, you are invited to follow Jesus Christ.  How will you choose to respond to His invitation?  Amen.

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Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

Matthew 7:13-14

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 in Badlands National Park in South Dakota)

Trust His Plans

We have so many thoughts and ideas about ‘how things should go’ or ‘ the way things should be done’…we put our own expectations on situations and interactions and how many times have we heard or thought, ‘well that is not how I thought that would go’ or ‘wow that was unexpected.’  Yet we still struggle to learn that we are not in control of anything other than our own actions, reactions, attitude and behaviors.  Take your worries, your burdens, your fears and your frustrations to the Cross…lay them down at the feet of Jesus and surrender your life to God’s will.  Amen.

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“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11

(This photo was taken in October of 2018 at Clark Tower in Winterset City Park in Iowa)

Work In Progress…

We do not have all the answers…we do not know all the reasons why…whatever is happening, whatever is going on, we need to remember God is with us and as long as we are here He is not done with us yet.  God’s Word does not change but there is always more for us to learn from it.  Turn to God in prayer and ask Him to give you eyes to see His will for your life, this day and every day.  Amen.

Diamonds by Hawk Nelson

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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

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

Spiritual Battle

The goal of the prince of darkness is to turn us away from God and keep us focused on other things.  He will use everything and anything available in this effort.  The more we choose the distractions and the less time and effort we spend on our relationship with Jesus and reading God’s Word the easier his job becomes.  God knows all about this battle and He provides us weapons of faith to fend off these attacks.  Take a look at Ephesians 6:10-18 and you will learn about the Armor of God.  Turn toward God in prayer and through the Holy Spirit, He will guide you during all the events in your life.  Amen.

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“Be self-controlled and alert.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

1 Peter 5:8

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