The Truth Will Set You Free

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 8:31-32 NIV

Faith in God means believing the truth.  The truth that God sent His only Son to save us from our sins.  If we allow temptation and sin to rule our lives…it will keep us away from God we will be inviting trouble into everything we do.  If we follow the truth and put Jesus in the center of our lives, we will know peace.

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“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33 NIV

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

A Foundation Of Faith

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

Ephesians 2:19-22 NIV

What is the foundation of your life?  What do you stand on?  Worldly beliefs and values that reject God or Jesus Christ and the Word of God?  We are all free to choose what we believe and our decision has a direct impact on our life in this world and in the life to come.  What is the foundation of your life?

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“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.

Matthew 7:24 NIV

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

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)

Surrender

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”

James 4:1-3 NIV

When we pursue goals to satisfy the self, we will become frustrated and disappointed…wondering why things don’t go our way.  We must learn to surrender our desires for what God has planned.  He can see everything; we can only see a small part of our lives.  This doesn’t mean do nothing…our job is to learn from God’s Word and keep doing good things as best we can with what we have been given.  Submit whatever you do to the Lord and you will find peace.  Amen.

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Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”

James 4:7-10 NIV

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

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)

Trust In The Lord…Praise Him

Trust in the Lord and do good;
    dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Psalm 37:3-4 NIV

Only God can do the things we wish we could control…only He can transform the way people think and change their hearts.  Faith is about trusting His way and His timing…be still and wait patiently for Him.  Keep doing good things according to His Word.  Amen.

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I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
    I will glorify your name forever.”

Psalm 86:12 NIV

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

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)