“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.”
Romans 5:1-4 NIV
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
Colossians 3:12 NIV
Who we are, our behaviors, our attitude…these are the things that define our character. We have been taught by the Bible and shown by Jesus how we should strive to live. Reflect on your last few days, weeks and months…what do you see in your character? Turn towards God and ask Him to help you with the fruits of the Spirit that have been lacking in your behaviors, attitude and relationships. God is with you and He is for you. Amen.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.“
Galatians 5:22-23 ESV
(This phot was taken in August of 2016 at a lake in Glacier National Park in Montana)
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Ephesians 2:10 NIV
Not for your benefit, rather for the benefit of others. We reap what we sow in this life. This does not mean we can earn our way into heaven by doing the right things…it means whatever we go out and do in the world will come back around to us at some point and none of us knows or can control how or when that will happen. This is further proof that God is in control and it is our responsibility to choose our behaviors and our actions in our daily life. We cannot control what others will think, say or do, yet we can control how we respond. Let’s choose to keep doing good things. May the Fruit of the Spirit flow through us each day. Amen.
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Galatians 6:7-9 NIV
(This photo was taken in June of 2013 in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado)
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: 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.
“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)
“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
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
and he will establish your plans.”
Proverbs 16:3 NIV
If we try to do things our own way for our own purposes all the time we will find discouragement and frustration. Our purpose comes from the Lord, our Creator. His purpose is based on love and if we are willing to follow Him we will find His way is better for us, His plan is for our good, we can put our hope in the Lord and trust His plan and purpose for our life. Amen.
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
Proverbs 19:21 NIV
(This photo was taken in May of 2020 along the North Shore of Lake Superior)
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
1 Timothy 6:6-10 NIV
Contentment is found in a relationship with God. We can search for it in the many things the world offers yet those seeking it in worldly values have and will find it unattaianble in worldly pursuits. Put your hope in God and spend time with Him every day…this is the path to finding contentment.
“Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.
7 Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.
9 For those who are evil will be destroyed,
but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.”
Psalm 37:3-9 NIV
(This photo was taken in July of 2021 in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado)
“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 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 1:7-9 NIV
At the end of the Book of Deuteronomy and the beginning of the Book of Joshua, Moses dies and Joshua is being promoted to fill his shoes. Just like Moses was apprehensive to lead the people out of Egypt when God called him, Joshua is uncertain he should be the one to lead after Moses. In both situations God reassures them to “be strong and courageous because the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9) We would do well to listen to these words when we are uncertain and have doubts about situations and events in our own lives. Amen.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?“
Psalm 27:1-2 NIV
(This photo was taken in Spetember of 2022 in Bighorn National Forest in Wyoming)
“Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
my hope comes from him.
6 Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
7 My salvation and my honor depend on God;
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
8 Trust in him at all times, you people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.”
Psalm 62:5-8 NIV
Rest with the Lord. Put your trust in the Lord. Find your hope in Him. He is our refuge, He is the source of our strength and with Him we will know peace. Do your part…do your best…and leave the rest up to God. Amen.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
Philippians 4:4-9 NIV
(This photo was taken in June of 2021 at The Northern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cementary)
“Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.”
Psalm 37:7 NIV
Don’t focus your time and attention on what others are doing, comparing yourself to worldly ways. Focus on God and His Word. Reflect and remember what He has done. He says you are valued; you are important, and you are loved…no matter what others think, say or do. Your worth is not defined by others…it is defined by your Creator and Savior…God says you are so important that He sent His Son Jesus to suffer and die in order to reconcile you with God. Trust in the Lord, not in the world. Amen.
Be Still And Know by Amy Grant
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV
(This photo was taken in August of 2016 near Dillon, Colorado)
“Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. 8 The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Deuteronomy 31:7-8 NIV
God is with you, God is for you…He will never leave you or abandon you. Believe and be courageous.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”
Ephesians 6:10-13 NIV
(This photo was taken in August of 2016 at Sapphire Point near Dillon, Colorado)
“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. 2 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
When someone is transformed, they appear new again. A transformation in the spiritual life means recognizing who and what we are and then humbly admitting that we need to be made new again. We must be willing to admit we are broken, helplessly chasing after the sinful nature…once we see and know the conviction of sin, we have the opportunity to be redeemed, renewed, and restored. A relationship with Jesus Christ is the Way to transformation. Seek Him. May God bless you with wisdom and peace. Amen.
“I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.”
Ezekiel 11:19 NIV
(This photo was taken in July of 2018 in a neighborhood near Plymouth, Minnesota)