Our priest this past Sunday started off reading appliance and furniture instruction manuals. Most manuals today come with a huge amount of warnings, cautions, and preparation steps before they actually discuss how to assemble or how to get the product functioning.
These instruction manuals often say phrases such as:
“To ensure the packaging machine lives up to all expectations, it is important to read and comply with this instruction manual. Please store this manual near the machine for easy access, as it is an important resource for all personnel involved”,
“Only trained professionals should handle this”,
“It is important that all personnel read and understand the safety concerns BEFORE operating the machine”,
“Check that all parts are included before proceeding”,
“Failure to properly use this increases risk of serious injury or death”.
And words such as “never”, “don’t”, “be careful”, “always”.
If we want to assemble something to work properly, we first read it’s instruction manual to familiarize ourselves with all possible preparation steps, cautions, and directions. And, to keep the item functioning and to get a good lasting life out of it, we then have to strive to keep it working in good order the whole time.
Likewise, God instructs us carefully. When we want to live a full life, we must read God’s instruction manual, the Bible, and follow His teachings. We must continually reference God’s word in order to stay on track with our own life.
“Now, Israel, hear the decrees and laws I am about to teach you. Follow them so that you may live and may go in and take possession of the land the Lord, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you.” -Deuteronomy 4:1-2
“‘Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules. You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.’…Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, ‘Listen to me, everyone, and understand this.‘” -Mark 7:6-8, 14
God uses words such as “follow”, “listen”, “understand”, and “watch yourselves carefully”. We are told clearly to stick to His laws, and to not add or subtract from them.
When we observe God’s laws, wisdom, understanding, and blessings will follow. God’s words are our safety net.
Remember to turn to God in every decision, in every aspect of your life. He carries the ultimate instruction manual on how to fully live.
Lord, thank you for guiding us each day and providing us with the Bible to reference as an instruction manual. May we continue to learn more about your teachings and do Your will. Amen.