God Chose You by Larry Refsland
When kids decide to play ball, the first thing they have to do is choose sides. For many kids, this is one of life’s most dreaded moments. No one wants to be picked last, as kind of a leftover that neither team wants but one is going to get stuck with by default. Everyone wants to be chosen. Everyone wants to be noticed and accepted. We all want to make a contribution, not a liability.
The Bible assures us that we have been chosen by God to be on his team. It says, “We have not chosen Him, but He chose us and appointed us to bear fruit—fruit that will last.” God doesn’t play favorites. He doesn’t pick us based on how good we are, but on how good he is! In fact, the more a person thinks he has to offer God; the less God can use that person. He likes to pick the smallest, the weakest person through whom he can do something great. He knows that kind of person will not rely on his own strength, but will depend totally on God to accomplish what he is called upon to do.
God chose Gideon to lead the Israelites to victory, even though Gideon was from the smallest tribe, the least significant family in the tribe, and he was the least in his family. God chose David, a little shepherd boy, to defeat Goliath, a strong and experienced warrior. So it is no surprise that God would choose you and me to follow Him and serve Him. There is no limit to what God can do through a man, woman or child who is on God’s team. Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Why not make that your battle cry as you face the day? “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!”
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Under Construction by Larry Refsland
It’s exciting to watch a building under construction as it takes shape. I can’t wait to see how it turns out! It’s impossible to tell from a pile of lumber what the finished product will look like or what the structure will be used for. The further along the building is, the more evident the purpose and design becomes.
Each of us is like a pile of raw building material. Jesus Christ is the master builder. He has a plan—a blueprint for our lives. The Bible teaches us that if we want the finished product to stand against the storms of life, we must build our lives on a sure foundation. That foundation is the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus told a story of a foolish man who built his house upon the sand and a wise man who built his house on the rock. He said, “When the storms came, the foolish man’s house was destroyed but the wise man’s house stood firm.”
No one escapes the storms of life. Bad things happen to all people. The question is, will your house stand? Does it have a firm foundation? As we make Christ the foundation, he puts us together as a master builder and makes us into a building he can use.
“He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it until He comes” (Philippians 1:6). In other words, once he’s started building you, he keeps perfecting the work throughout our entire lives. One song-writer put it like this: “He’s still working on me, to make me what I ought to be; It took Him just a week to make the moon and stars, the sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars. How loving and patient he must be, He’s still working on me.”
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Have you ever watched a skilled potter form a hunk of clay into a pot or a jar? Fascinating to watch, the potter uses his or her hands to shape and mold the clay until it becomes something useful and attractive. Around and around goes the wheel, every turn giving the potter an opportunity to make another unique feature in the raw material. It’s important for the clay to be flexible. Once it hardens, its shape can’t be changed.
Just as the clay forms in the hands of the potter, the Lord is shaping us. He is the potter; we are the clay. He is forming us into a vessel with a special purpose. Just as a potter has an end product in mind as he starts to work the clay, so God has an end product in his mind for each of us. He’s making us into something he can use. The key is to stay flexible!
I used to have a sign in my office that said, “Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.” Remembering that we are the clay means we don’t resist the shaping process God is taking us through. The clay doesn’t ask the potter, “Why did you make me like this?” We, as human clay, simply trust God, the Potter, to lovingly shape our lives. When we resist him, we are hardened and inflexible. We are saying, “We know better than the Potter.”
I encourage you to yield to the Potter’s hand today. Everyday is like a turn of the Potter’s wheel. He has a plan and purpose for you. It is a better plan than we could possibly attain on our own. Without him, you are just a lump of clay. With him, you become a one-of-a-kind vessel with purpose and strength.
Tune Up Your Life!
Our hope is that you will find encouragement from the brief but thoughtful (and sometimes humorous) musings of Pastor Larry.
Take East of Backus on Hwy 87 to Cass County 49. Take 49 to Shortcut Rd and then left on 8th St NE to church.
You can also type in 812 8th St NE in Pine River, MN into your GPS, but if your GPS steers you differently, we recommend following the directions above.
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Interactive Bible Course – 2:00 pm
Fellowship and the Good News – 3:00 pm
For immediate requests, please contact Pastor Larry or Patti Refsland at 218-348-2202.