“And now it’s time for today’s Top Ten List!” I used to stay up after the news just to hear David Letterman’s Top Ten List. Many writers and news outlets use them, but actually God had the first Top Ten List. They’re called the Ten Commandments!
These 10 commands were given by God to his people—not as cold, rigid restrictions, but actually as liberating laws of life. When viewed from a proper perspective, we learn that the commandments were given as guidelines to enjoy life, not keep us from having fun. They could be called “Top 10 Ways to Have a Successful Life”.
The most important function of God’s Top Ten List is to help us understand our need of forgiveness and mercy. No one has been able to perfectly keep every command throughout his or her entire life. The Bible says if we have broken one item on the list, we’ve broken them all and therefore need forgiveness. Jesus came to set us free from the accusation of the commandments. He changed the commandments from being a taskmaster to Laws of Liberty! In fact, Jesus summed it up in Matthew 22:37-40 simply by saying, “Look, just do these two things:
If I am living a life of love towards God and my neighbor, I’ll be enjoying God’s promises for those who keep his commands. Practice these secrets for a successful life and have an awesome day!
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“Trust me.” “Take my word for it.” Have you ever heard these statements? You had a legitimate question, but the answer you got was, “Just trust me.” A lot of people rely only on what other people tell them to be true. Some people depend upon their pastor or priest to tell them what the Bible says. Even though I have a lot of confidence that a clergy person can help us get truth from the Bible and understand it, no one should ever use them as their only source of Biblical truth. I can’t stress enough the value of personal time spent reading the Word of God, the Bible.
The scriptures challenge each of us as individuals to “study to show yourselves approved, a workmen that correctly handles the word of truth.” I encourage you: don’t take my word for it! Check it out for yourselves. Otherwise you will be apt to believe something that may not be true.
II Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” The Bible is a gift from God to us, a gift to be used and applied.
Of course you’re not going to understand everything you read. I know I don’t. But God will give you wisdom to understand what you need for the circumstances of your life. Certainly, ask questions of your pastor. He or she will be thrilled to know you’ve been reading the Word.
Be a man or woman of the Word. It will change your life because it is the power of God unto salvation.
Just when you thought the campfire was out, along came a gust of wind that brought the flames to life again. Anyone who has spent time in the great outdoors has learned a thing or two from a campfire. First, there’s the trick of getting the fire started in the first place, especially if you don’t have lighter fluid, gasoline or most importantly, a match. Assuming you have the good fortune of successfully starting a fire, that doesn’t mean you can sit back and relax. Next you have to feed this fledgling fire carefully, first with small, dry kindling and gradually working up to a log or two. Once you’ve built it up, the fire will burn nicely on it’s own for quite a while. It’s during this time that the fire can be used for cooking or heating up water or just to enjoy its warmth. However, it will eventually die down if no new fuel is added.
The correlations between a campfire and our spiritual lives are numerous. When the flame of God’s love is ignited in us, it usually starts out hot but in danger of quickly dying out if no one is there to add solid teaching and an occasional prod to keep us turned towards God’s presence. From time to time we are allowed an opportunity to relax and enjoy the warmth, to taste the benefits of sustaining this fire. But to keep it going, we need to allow God to add new truth and inspiration on a regular basis. Even if we do allow the flame to die down, thankfully it only takes a fresh gust of the Holy Spirit to blow through us to cause us to once again be burning enough to be built up again. Our responsibility is to tend the fire. Keep feeding it with God’s Word and worship. You’ll not only be revived, but the fire in you will bring warmth, joy and sustenance to the world around you.
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.
Join Us Every Sunday
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.