He Makes All Things New

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!”

2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV

Anything is possible with God.  No matter what you have been through or what you are going through…God can make all things new.  Not on our timeline or when we want it…yet according to His plan.  His plan and His way is better.  God is with you and God is for you…He has shown you how much He loves you by sending His Son to the Cross to die for you and through the resurrection He has made your relationship with Him new.  Choose God’s way and His plan…He makes all things new!

All Things New by Steven Curtis Chapman

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“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

Ephesians 4:22-24 NIV

(This photo was taken in September of 2020 at sunrise by a lake in northwestern Wisconsin)

Reflecting On This Year With Gratitude

“Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
    let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
    and extol him with music and song.

For the Lord is the great God,
    the great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth,
    and the mountain peaks belong to him.
The sea is his, for he made it,
    and his hands formed the dry land.”

Psalm 95:1-5 NIV

As we approach the New Year, take time to reflect on what has transpired in your life over the last 12 months…where do you see God?  Where do you see yourself in putting your trust in Him?  What difficult challenge did you face or are you still facing that you have had unknown courage to keep going?  Have you had any moments of unexplainable joy, contentment?  What situations worked out better than you expected?  There are so many ways both big and small that God has shown you He is with you…did you notice?  Give thanks to God for the gifts and blessings in your life and pray that He continues to help you see Him.  Most importantly give thanks to Jesus Christ for what He has done and continues to do for you every day.

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“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
    Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his[a];
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations.”

Psalm 100

(This photo was taken in April of 2016 at a lake in central Minnesota)

Rest In Him

“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

This holiday season take time to rest with Jesus.  The hustle and bustle, the coming and going will always want to pull you to do more…come to Jesus.  Rest with Him and just breathe…

Breathe by Jonny Diaz

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“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”

Genesis 2:2-3 NIV

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

Hope From God

“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 NIV

When you feel discouraged and defeated…when situations and circumstances look bleak, remember the One who gave up His life for you.  He did it for love.  God is greater than any situation or circumstances in your life…God has promised to always be with you and God never breaks His promises.  Jesus Christ died to save all of us from sin and He has risen from the dead and it is because of Him that we have hope.  Amen.

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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 July of 2016 in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming)

Rest With Him

There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works,[e] just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.”

Hebrews 4:9-11 NIV

What can we do…where can we go…to get a moment of rest?  True rest and refreshment of your mind, body and spirit is found when we take time to rest with God.  It can be in prayer, reading God’s Word or even just sitting quietly in a peaceful environment.  There are these and many more ways to spend time in your relationship with God…how you do this is between you and Him…if you do this, well that is all up to you.  Take time to rest with Him.  Amen.

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“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

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 while visiting Rocky Mountain National Park)

Renew Your Perspective And Strength

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!”

2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV

Many aspects of life on earth can make us weary and tired, shaping our perspective to approach life with negativity, doubt and fear.  We often forget, daily, that we can choose our attitude and perspective for this day.  If we focus all our thoughts and energy on our problems and why me, then we may get stuck and begin to spiral downward.  We can be renewed and draw strength by turning our focus to the Lord.  No matter what you are facing remember God is in control and if you put your trust in Him, your strength will be renewed.  Amen.

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“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall;  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 40:29-31 NIV

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

He Is My Strength

It is God who arms me with strength
    and keeps my way secure.”

Psalm 18:32 NIV

Take time to sit in the presence of the Lord.  Whatever place and time works for you and your life…sit quietly and soak in His peace.  He will restore and renew you…if you will let Him.  There is no one and nothing in this world that can satisfy the deep desires of your heart…only God.  He is your strength.

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

Psalm 46:10 NIV

(This photo was taken in September of 2021 at a lake in northwestern Wisconsin)

Redeemed, Renewed And Restored

You were living in your sins and lawless ways. But in fact you were dead. You used to live as sinners when you followed the ways of this world. You served the one who rules over the spiritual forces of evil. He is the spirit who is now at work in those who don’t obey God. At one time we all lived among them. Our desires were controlled by sin. We tried to satisfy what they wanted us to do. We followed our desires and thoughts. God was angry with us like he was with everyone else. That’s because of the kind of people we all were. But God loves us deeply. He is full of mercy. So he gave us new life because of what Christ has done. He gave us life even when we were dead in sin. God’s grace has saved you. God raised us up with Christ. He has seated us with him in his heavenly kingdom. That’s because we belong to Christ Jesus. He has done it to show the riches of his grace for all time to come. His grace can’t be compared with anything else. He has shown it by being kind to us. He was kind to us because of what Christ Jesus has done. God’s grace has saved you because of your faith in Christ. Your salvation doesn’t come from anything you do. It is God’s gift. It is not based on anything you have done. No one can brag about earning it. 10 We are God’s creation. He created us to belong to Christ Jesus. Now we can do good works. Long ago God prepared these works for us to do.

Ephesians 2:1-10 NIRV

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“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.

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, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.”

2 Peter 1:3-9 NIV

(This photo was taken in August of 2016 in Mount Rainier National Park in Washington)

Saved By Grace

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Ephesians 2:1-10 NIV

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“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.

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, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.”

2 Peter 1:3-9 NIV

(This photo was taken in August of 2016 in Mount Rainier National Park in Washington)

Be Transformed

So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!”

2 Corinthians 5:16-17 NIV

Changed…renewed…remade…to make new again.  How we live, the decisions we make, our purpose and perspective are continually influenced by our life in this world.  If we fail to spend time feeding our minds and spiritual being with the Word of God and if we don’t spend time in prayer in relationship and communication with God, we will become like the world.  Only God can make us new again, with forgiveness, wisdom, courage, knowledge, trust and faith.  There are people in the world striving for the Fruits of the Spirit in their life…you may have to look for them with new eyes and a new perspective and those are available to all of us because of Jesus.  I pray we feed our faith and strive towards God and His will and away from the sinful nature.  Amen.

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“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”

Romans 12:2 NIV

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