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January 17, 2011 / joelmalm

The Joys of Reading the Manual

My brother gave me a HUGE manual containing bazillions of tips and secrets for navigating the intricate system that is my MAC computer.  I rarely read it; I usually just ask my brother how to do the stuff.  When I really get into a pinch I might crack it open and try to figure out how to get what I need out of the book.

It got me thinking about another manual that’s available. It has answers for navigating the intricate systems of life: marriage, finances, and relationships.  The Bible.

It’s amazing how often we ignore the Manual until we get into a problem.  The debt load becomes unbearable.  Relationships become strained.  Kids are out of control.

Our response?  We decide it’s time to go back to church.  The pastor has read the Book, he’ll have answers. We decide we need to read our Bible.

I think it’s human nature.  I do it all the time.  But here are a few things I’ve noticed about the power of the Bible:

  1. There’s an inherent value in just showing up to church to hear preaching from the Manual.  If you go to a church where they teach the Bible then you get to experience Ephesians 5:26 and find yourself being cleansed, “by the washing of water with the word.”  It’s amazing how stuff sinks into our minds when we hear it enough.  God’s word is powerful. (Hebrews 4:12)
  2. Christianity (as taught in the Bible) is a system that has to be taken as a whole.  If you are just picking and choosing what you want it will rarely work out well for you.  You have to get in line with the system that the writer of the Manual laid out and you’ll find that life has some amazing things to offer.
  3. It’s one thing to read the manual – putting it into practice is a whole other ball game.  When the Author tells you things like, “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21), you have to trust that the Creator of this system we call Life really knows what He’s talking about.

Don’t wait until you get into trouble to make sure you are reading the Manual and having it taught to you.  You need both.  Sure, it may seem boring or irrelevant at times, but I promise you – when you do, valuable information is being uploaded to your hard drive. J

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