The Name Of Jesus

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.”

Philippians 2:9-11 NIV

The one who took our punishment…we are guilty of sin, of doing things we should not do.  He was without sin and yet He came down from heaven to sacrifice Himself for us.  We didn’t earn it and we don’t deserve it…So why did He do it?  Because that is how much He loves you and wants a relationship with you.  His name is Jesus.  No matter where you are of what you have done, call out to Jesus.  He is waiting to hear from you.  Amen.

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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

(This photo was taken in September of 2022 in Bighorn National Forest in Wyoming)

The Hope Of The World

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…”

1 Peter 1:3 NIV

“…the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace.”

Colossians 1:5-6 NIV

God is greater than anything in this world.  It is in Him that we can find hope.

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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 April of 2020 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)

Come Near To God

The Lord is near to all who call on him,
    to all who call on him in truth.”

Psalm 145:18 NIV

Jesus Christ came down from heaven to live as one of us…throughout the Old Testament there is a back and forth between God and humans as they would come close to Him and then wander off into sin.  God would save them and they would come close again and then wander off again…and on and on it went.  Then God changed everything by sending His one and only Son into the world.  Jesus Christ is our Savior, our Redeemer, He has paid the price for our sins and reconciled us back to God, forever.  Come near to God and stay close to Him…no matter what comes your way.  Amen.

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“Come near to God and he will come near to you.”

James 4:8 NIV

(This photo was taken in May of 2020 at Temperance State Park on Lake Superior)

The Source Of Hope

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

Romans 8:28 NIV

“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

Where does hope come from?  It comes from the Creator of everything and everyone…only God who can take on all our sins and overcome this world.  Only God can defeat death and evil that is so prevalent in this world.  Put your hope in God for He is the only true source of Hope each day.

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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. Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

Romans 5:1-5 NIV

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

He Lives In You

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Galatians 2:20 NIV

Jesus Christ is the foundation of our faith.  Not only because of what He did when He was human on earth and not only because He sacrificed Himself for us and died on a cross or because He rose…He is the foundation of our faith today because of all these things and the fact that He Lives in us.  Before He ascended, He promised the Holy Spirit would come to those who love Him and do as He commands.  In the Gospel of John 14, Jesus promises the Holy Spirit and explains our connection to Him through the Spirit.  The love of God can be found in the hearts of people and can be shared with others…it is up to each of us to seek Him and trust in His way rather than our own.  May you be encouraged by knowing that He is with you and He is within you today and always.  Amen.

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On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.  Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

John 14:20-21 NIV

(This photo was taken last weekend at a lake place in northwestern Wisconsin)

Jesus

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

John 3:17 NIV

We are saved because of Him.  We are forgiven.  We can find joy, peace and contentment in life because of Him.  Even when we have turned away from God, maybe for a long period of time because we are frustrated or mad or we have been overcome with doubt and fear.  He calls to us, He cares for us and He is The Way back to a relationship with God.  The things of this world will come and go…time, money, people and friendships.  The one constant for us, the one thing we know we can rely upon no matter what is happening or where we are in life…we can always rely on the love of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Give Me Jesus by Jeremy Camp

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“…I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

John 10:10 NIV

(This photo was taken in August of 2012 while hiking on the North Shore of Lake Superior)

Be A Light In The Darkness

“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

One of the most difficult things for many of us is being different from our surroundings.  When our foundation for being different is rooted in God and the Fruits of the Spirit we can be sure we are standing on solid ground.  None of us is equipped to judge the actions and behaviors of others.  When we are confused or lack understanding that is a time to pray, listen and learn.  It is hard to be different yet God created each of us to be unique so that together we could build community and use our gifts to strengthen the body of Christ.  I pray we all seek to learn how God wants us to use our gifts each day.  Amen.

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“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”

2 Corinthians 4:6 NIV

(This photo was taken in October of 2018 at one of the Covered Bridges of Madison County near Winterset, Iowa)

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)

God’s Love Changes Lives

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

1 John 4:7-11 NIV

God’s love is the most powerful thing in the world.  Nothing can compare to it…no matter where you are, no matter what has happened or is happening…God’s love can change what you believe is impossible.  Trust Him, seek His Word, believe, confess your sins and surrender your ways for His way.  Amen.

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“We love because he first loved us.”

1 John 4:19 NIV

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

Living Hope

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

1 Peter 1:3-9 NIV

Praise the Lord…He is always with you even when you don’t think about it.  God has provided a well-spring of hope through the death and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ to save us.  Even though we do not deserve it God has forgiven us by His grace and we may have peace that surpasses all understanding.  Praise the Lord.

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“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

John 8:36 NIV

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