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)

Ask, Seek, Knock…

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Matthew 7:7-8 NIV

Prayer and communication with God on a daily basis are key elements on your faith journey.  Prayer includes confessing our sins, expressing gratitude, listening and asking.  Keeping in mind that God is not a wishing well…rather He is your friend, your guide, your confidant.  He knows about every aspect of your life and He still loves you…so much that He sacrificed His one and only Son in order to reconcile you with Him.  God loves you…He is with you…He is wating to hear from you.

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“Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”

John 16:24 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2019 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)

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)

Keep Your Eyes Focused On Jesus

“Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

Matthew 14:29-31 NIV

Don’t get distracted…do your best not to lose focus.  When we keep our eyes on Jesus, we can find our way through anything.  It’s when we look away or focus our thoughts on the things of this world that causes us to sink.  Don’t give up, don’t quit…just focus on Jesus, He can lead you.

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“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

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

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)

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)

Allow Christ to Change Your Life

“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

Jesus Christ is born…the promised Savior has come!  Now what?  What difference is He making in your life?  Are you aware of God’s presence in your daily life?  Believe…seek Him…pray…read God’s Word…pay attention to how God is at work in your life.  Choose to live different…allow Jesus Christ to impact every area of your life.

Different by Micah Tyler

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I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”

Ezekiel 36:26-27 NIV

(This photo was take in September of 2022 in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming)