Living Hope Perspective

“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

Hope in this world mostly gets aligned with wishful thinking in general conversations.  This hope is not sure, not firm and is not based on belief.  The hope talked about in the Bible is hope that believes and knows God’s promises for good things.  This hope is supported by actions and behaviors.  The hope we receive from Christ is a hope that knows and believes that Christ lives and that God is for us and working for our good, even when, especially when the visible evidence is against it. The hope from God’s Word tells us to not give up or surrender to sin and doubt, rather know that God is with you and you can trust in Him…not for the things you believe you should have but for the things God knows that you need.  May the God of all hope be present in your daily life. Amen.

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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 September of 2016 on a lake in central Minnesota)

Growing In Faith

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit.”

Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIV

Our faith can grow and get stronger only if we feed it and exercise it just like our bodies…if we don’t eat food or exercise our muscles our bodies become frail and weak.  The same is true for our spiritual lives and our faith muscles, we need to feed on the Word of God and exercise our faith by how we live and interact with others in order for our faith to grow liek a tree planted by a stream of water.

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“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.  But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.  Whatever he does prospers.”

Psalm 1:1-3 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2016 while driving on Beartooth Pass in Montana)

The Word Of God

Your word is a lamp for my feet,
    a light on my path.”

Psalm 119:105 NIV

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

Colossians 3:16 NIV

Let God’s Word be your guide in life.  The world is filled with brokenness and suffering and none of us is immune.  God knows what is happening in the world and in your life…His Word is a gift to us…pick it up, read it, memorize it and let it be a light for your path.  Amen.

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All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2021 in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado)

Listening

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”

James 1:19-22 NIV

Listening is a skill we all need to use more often and a way of communicating that could get us much closer to peace in our life.  If we were better at listening there would be less divorce and broken families…if we were better at listening there would be less violence and crime as hate and anger would not be stirred up so quickly.  Listening involves taking time to understand what the other person is saying, it involves empathy.  It means not being so quick to respond with your own will and desires as first priority…it takes humility to really listen…it takes a willingness to admit we don’t have all the answers.  Think about recent interactions in your life…when are you hearing and when are you listening?  I know I can do better.  Lastly, communicating with God takes more than just talking, if we are doing all the talking in prayer when do we take the time to listen to Him?  May we all be blessed with courage and humility to listen better.  Amen.

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“Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”

Psalm 25:4-5 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2016 along Beartooth Pass in Montana)

The Word Of God

Your word is a lamp for my feet,
    a light on my path.”

Psalm 119:105

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

Colossians 3:16

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All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

2 Timothy 3:16-17

(This photo was taken in July of 2021 in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado)

Love

God loves you.  His love means more and is more powerful than anything in this world.  Live at peace and share His love with others…how?  Start by picking up God’s Word and read His messages of love to you…His love runs throughout the bible.  Love is described in terms we can understand in 1 Corinthians 13…it explains you could have all the money and knowledge and power the world offers and if you don’t have love you are nothing…then it explains how to live out love…

“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

1 Corinthians 13

Happy New Year and may God’s love be with you and shine through you each day of your life.  Amen.

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“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 5:8

(This photo was taken in October of 2014 at the Nakalele Blow Hole on the island of Maui, Hawaii)

 

What Matters Most

Belief.  In the Apostles’ Creed there are three statements that begin with ‘I believe…’  Those statements refer to God the Father, Jesus Christ His only Son and the Holy Spirit.  Faith is a journey and one of the first and most important steps on this journey is to face the question…What do you believe?  Your beliefs guide your values and your perspective and those will drive your words and your actions.  Every day is a new opportunity to feed your mind information about what you believe…no matter what your past has been…start or continue today to read the Word of God and what Jesus Christ said about life, love, faith and hope.  What matters most is what you believe.  May the peace of the Lord be with you.  Amen.

We Believe by The Newsboys

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“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.”

Romans 10:9

(This photo was taken in June of 2018 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)

Living Hope

Hope in this world mostly gets aligned with wishful thinking in general conversations.  This hope is not sure, not firm and is not based on belief.  The hope talked about in the Bible is hope that believes and knows God’s promises for good things.  This hope is supported by our actions and behaviors.  The hope we receive from Christ is a hope that knows that God is for us and working for our good, even when, especially when the visible evidence is against it. The hope from God’s Word tells us to not give up or surrender to sin and doubt, rather know that God is with you and you can trust in Him…not for the things you believe you should have but for the things God knows that you need.  May the God of all hope be present in your daily walk. Amen.

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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

(This photo was taken in September of 2016 on a lake in central Minnesota)

Wisdom That Comes From Heaven

Spend time in worship…pray and give thanks to God for His mercy and grace.  Pick some bible verses that speak to you and put them in your heart…use them to fight off evil and darkness.  Seek the Lord and the wisdom that comes from heaven…and you will find peace.  Amen.

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“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”

James 3:17

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