His Sacrifice, Our Salvation

“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

Romans 8:31 NIV

Nobody loves us as much as God loves us…Jesus gave up heaven with the Father to come down to earth as one of us…from the glory of the angels singing to a manger as a baby on earth, to save us, yet there was no room for Him.  Make room for Him in your heart, seek Him and trust in God.  He loves you and wants good things for you.  Amen.

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“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 1:14 NIV

(This photo was taken in April of 2020 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)

Peace From God

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 14:6 NIV

If you are wondering about having peace from God in your life there is only one Way to receive it…Jesus Christ.  He sacrificed Himself to death on the Cross to reconcile us with God.  This was God’s plan to save us from our sin and from separation from Him.  If you are looking for peace from God, be still, have faith in Jesus, seek Him and you will find peace.

Peace Be Still by Hope Darst

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You will keep in perfect peace
    those whose minds are steadfast,
    because they trust in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
    for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.”

Isaiah 26:3-4 NIV

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

It Takes Courage…

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9 NIV

Courage is not the absence of fear…Courage is the willingness to move forward without knowing the outcome…to admit we don’t know the answers…to be patient…to share and be vulnerable with another person.  Having courage is placing your trust in God ahead of fear…it is about not allowing fear to stop you or defeat you.  It takes courage to seek the Light…to surrender your plans for God’s plan…it takes courage to live the life that God has intended for you…and where can you find strength for courage?  In a relationship with Jesus Christ.  There you will find joy, peace, patience, and strength for courage. Seek Him and His will and live with hope from God.  Amen.

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

1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2018 on Lake Superior near the Apostle Islands)

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.  Jesus can do everything, anything.  We are not meant to be alone…we are made for relationship and God sent His promised One to earth to save us and be with us.  We have a Savior who sacrificed Himself for us and He is wating to hear from you…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)

Friendship

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”

John 15:12-15 NIV

Jesus tells us in the Gospel of John that we are His friends.  Friends take care of each other, they are loyal, respectful, trustworthy and they support each other through difficult times.  Friendship is a two-way street…sometimes you are giving in your friendship and sometimes you are receiving.  Take time to reflect upon your friendships…especially your relationship with Jesus Christ.  Amen.

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“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.”

Romans 8:28 NIV

(This photo was taken yesterday in Temperance State Park on the north shore of Lake Superior)

What Do You Believe?

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”[e] 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”[f]

Romans 10:9-13 NIV

Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God?  That He came down from heaven and sacrificed Himself to take the punishment you deserve?  Do you believe that He has risen and lives in you today?  What do you believe?  Believe in Jesus…confess your sins…be certain about what you believe and trust in the Lord in the New Year.

We Believe by Newsboys

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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.”

John 3:16-18 NIV

(This photo was taken in September of 2022 at Big Sky Resort in Montana)

Joy In God’s Promises

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

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.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
    there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
    and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
    with justice and righteousness
    from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
    will accomplish this.”

Isaiah 9:6-7 NIV

The promises of God are throughout the Bible.  God has kept every promise He made…the last promise that will be fulfilled is when Jesus returns.  One of the greatest promises God made and fulfilled is the promise of Jesus.  The Book of Isaiah spoke about the coming Savior 700 years before it was fulfilled…700 years.  Think about that…in the world today that is over 7 generations of a family.  That strikes me with awe and wonder about how our lives are only a moment in God’s amazing story.  It helps me reset my perspective…God is in control not me…His will, not mine.  He is the Creator and what is so incredible about that is He loves us and wants a relationship with us so much that He sent and sacrificed His Son to reconcile us to Him.  During this Christmas season, make time to think about the birth of Christ and the Joy we can have because of God’s promises. Amen.

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“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”

Luke 2:8-11 NIV

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

Joy Because Of Jesus

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV

Jesus has made the Way for us to be reconciled with God.  He came to earth as a baby like one of us…He taught us how to live and then He suffered and died to take the punishment we deserve.  Yet that is not the end of His story…He lives!  We can have Joy because He lives.

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“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.”

Romans 5:1-2 NIV

(This photo was taken in October of 2018 at a park in Winterset, Iowa)

The Good News Will Cause Great Joy

“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.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
    there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
    and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
    with justice and righteousness
    from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
    will accomplish this.”

Isaiah 9:6-7 NIV

O Holy Night by Point Of Grace

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“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”

Luke 2:10-11 NIV

(This photo was taken in December of 2018 on Paradise Island in the Bahamas)

Peace Through Jesus

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.”

Colossians 1:15-18 NIV

Do you know Him or do you only know about Him?  Jesus Christ and a personal relationship with Him is the only Way to peace with God and the peace of God.  Spend time with Jesus…there is no better time than now to reflect of His birth, why He came and how He is your source of peace.

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For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”

Colossians 1:19-20 NIV

(This photo was taken in December of 2013 while on a walk in northwestern Wisconsin)