Because Life Is More than Money              

In Guaranty’s Beloit building is a framed cartoon. The caption reads, “It was just a suggestion, Sir, you don’t have to have a nice day, if you don’t want to”. The picture is a man standing at the teller’s window with a scowl on his face as the teller is smilingly wishing him to have a nice day. With this monthly “Because Life Is More than Money” I echo the teller in the cartoon. You can take this stuff into your heart and mind. Or, you can read this stuff and immediately forget it. Or, you can skip reading it at all. Only God can force us to take anything into our hearts and minds in a way that changes us. But, even God usually doesn’t force us. He lovingly provides us with transforming truths, but leaves it up to us to take it in or ignore it. God’s ways are best. So, here is another bunch of typed words respectfully intended for your and my improvement. Take it in or reject it or ignore it. Your choice.

“A Bridge too Far” as many of you probably know, is the title of a popular 1970’s movie about WW II. The title comes from a comment purportedly by one of the allied commanders, “we (allies) may be going a bridge too far”, in response to orders from his superiors. Maybe he was right as the allies’ operation to capture bridges essential for the axis supplies lines failed. Since this movie became popular the phrase “a bridge too far” has come to mean an unreachable goal or an assignment that is beyond attaining.

In a recent Bible study the leader spoke the phrase, “a bridge too far”. He said the Gospel, the Ten Commandments, the way Jesus calls us to live all seem to be “a bridge too far”. I agree, perfect compliance with God’s commands and laws IS “a bridge too far”!

Psalm 139:35, reads, “Make me walk along the path of Your (God’s) commands for that is where my happiness is found.” I pray that verse almost every day. But, this recent Bible study I mentioned above helped me realize my intent was to have God just make me, even force me, to obey Him. God could do that, but He doesn’t. He doesn’t want forced obedience. He wants our love! And, He calls us to love others!

Here’s a hike through some of the New Testament that can be good spiritual exercise to strengthen our understanding of God’s expectations of us.

“Owe nothing to anyone – except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law.” - Romans 13:8

“Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.” - Romans 13:10

“For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” - Galatians 5:14

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” - Galatians 6:2

The Bible study leader summarized it this way. “That’s why it (LOVE) fully satisfies God’s commands and laws. It is the only law you need.”

Today you and I will sin by violating one or more of God’s commands. Jesus has paid God for our sin. Our part is to live today loving God with our heart, soul, mind and strength and to love others the same as we love our self.

Happy fulfilling God’s law – we can do it!

Doug Johnson, President