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Read the manual (24/08/20)

Psalms 119:1-4 (NIV)
Blessed are those whose ways are blameless,
    who walk according to the law of the Lord.
Blessed are those who keep his statutes
    and seek him with all their heart—
they do no wrong
    but follow his ways.
You have laid down precepts
    that are to be fully obeyed.

When you buy a product, the first thing we see upon opening the box is usually a little white booklet. A manual. Have any of us ever completely read through a product manual? I know I for one usually place it straight aside and get straight on with the product. We buy a TV, we plug it in, flick the remote… no need for a manual. We buy a car, we turn the key… no need for a manual.

But have you ever considered that you are paying for things that you never get the full benefit of because you never read the manual?

Many of us today will have a smartphone. If you have a smartphone you pay for 200-300 functions. How many do we actually use? Text, call and take a picture? For the more high-tech of us we may also bank, use the calendar, order a takeaway. I doubt many of us use more than 10-15 functions. Why? Because we didn’t read the manual.

In all areas of our lives we are living below the benefit unless we read the manual from our manufacturer – God. Could our relationships be better if we read God’s principles about them? Our finances? Our churches? Our marriages? Our careers?

One reason people find themselves so confused about what they should do in life and how they should live it, is because they refuse to ask their Creator. Imagine if your TV decided it wanted to be a boat. Or if your shoes decided to become gloves. Things are made for a purpose. Its no wonder that when humans decide to ignore their Maker and find their own meaning and purpose, it doesn’t work out as well as they hoped.

If we’re going to put Jesus first, we need to reject the idea that ‘personal freedom brings happiness’. It may be convenient and it may sound appealing but it is an enslaving lie that promises much and delivers little. Isn’t it ironic that the US is the country that prides itself on being the ‘land of the free’ but has the highest rate of depression in the world.

American pastor, Michael Todd shares a powerful analogy:

“A football, in my hands, it’s worth about $12, in the hands of Peyton Manning, it is worth over 80 million dollars over a career. For me, a golf club in my hands is worth about $50, but in the hands of Tiger Woods, it’s the first billion-dollar athlete. A stick in my hands may just stop an animal trying to attack my wife, but in the hands of Moses, it split seas; a slingshot in my hands is a child’s toy, but in the hands of King David, it can take down giants. Two nails in my hands, can maybe hang a couple of pictures, but two nails in the hands of our Saviour, can save humanity, provide salvation, and give eternal life”.

Our lives in our hands will continue to produce the same broken result over, and over, a life lived below the benefit. But when we put our lives in God’s hands, we get the manufacturer’s guarantee!

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