Jeff Long: Some assembly required
Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 2, 2016
How often do we discard instructions that say, “Some assembly required?” For most of us we think we can figure it out on our own. Sound familiar? This scenario happens more often than you care to admit. After many, failed attempts, we break down and swallow our pride as we dig through the trash for the instructions. A warning is stated clearly in the instructions, “Read entirely before starting assembly or you may cause damage or injury may occur.” Then, it not only diagrams the assembly process; it also lists tools required. Also, somewhere is a parts list and even proper placement for the finished product. When we utilize the resources found in the instruction, the project goes a lot ‘smoother’ and comes together ‘complete’. I feel we should learn from our failures and always follow the instructions as they are intended.
Life also has an instruction manual, The Holy Bible. Like all instructions it should be read in its entirety not before being born, but rather before and during being ‘born again’. This new life begins as one accepts Jesus Christ as their personal savior. As told in John 1:12, “But as many as received Him(Jesus), to them gave He power (authority) to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” This makes the project-the ‘rebirth’ and the instructions God’s word, The Holy Bible.
The warnings of not following the Bible’s instructions comes at the end in Revelation 22:18-19, “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things written in this book.” This doesn’t mean if we fail to follow these instructions correctly we’ll suffer, but that we are not to alter these instructions so that future readers are misinformed, not receiving God’s truth (Correct instructions).
The Bible tells of some necessary tools as well. I’m going to tell you about a few. Romans 12:2 tells of having an open mind and heart, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Isaiah 1:19 tells of wanting to learn the truth, “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.” Next is the desire for a better life as stated in 1 Peter 1:4, “To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.” Finally we need lots of love not only for ourselves and God but each other in John 15:12 Jesus says, “This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you.”
Now for a few of the actual instructions: 1) Psalm 32:8, “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” 2) Proverbs 1:7-8, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:” and 3) II Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” These are just a few examples of the instructions found in the Holy Bible. I feel that the entire word of God is all a type of instruction. If we follow it we will be victorious; otherwise we most definitely fail. This is stated best in Proverbs 10:17, “He is the way of life that keepeth instruction: but He that refuseth reproof erreth.”
So now you ask, what is the ‘project’ or the anticipated final result? That is an effective minister for God. In the Old Testament this is known of as an ‘elder’, ‘bishop’, or ‘deacon’…Ones that both know and are able to teach the doctrines of God. The qualifications for these are told of in 1 Timothy 3:1-16. To summarize a few of these traits: ‘honorable, faithful, wise, good reputation, hospitable, boldness in the faith which is in Jesus Christ and many more described in these verses. Summarizing the finished project is in Ephesians 4:13, “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge (instructions) of the son of God, unto a perfect man, and unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:”…In other words the instruction’s goal is to make the one following them to be as close to like Jesus Christ as possible.
So admit to God you are a sinner, that you believe in Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection and that you are helpless without His guidance through the Holy Spirit. Now follow the instructions (The Holy Bible) and become the person you were created to be.
God Bless All!
Jeff Long lives in Salisbury.