June 26, 2018
Whose Instruction Book Do You Use?
God loves us tremendously, so much so, that instead of making you a pre-programmed robot, He gives you the freedom to make your own choices. Some choices, like which socks to wear, are of little consequence. However, other decisions are life-changing. This freedom of choice dates back to Adam and Eve. They, unfortunately, made one choice that went against God’s instruction book. And sin has dramatically affected the lives and events of mankind ever since.
The freedom to make choices is great for us. But, and this is a big “but,” this freedom brings grave responsibility. We have all made poor choices at times and suffered the consequences. The good news is that no matter what choices we have made in the past, there is always opportunity for a better future. God knew that we would make many bad choices. But He loves us so much that He sent Jesus. And Jesus made a free-will choice to pay the price for our sin to provide a way to restore our relationship with God, even when we periodically choose to walk away.
Some people go through life carrying the load of wrong choices they’ve made. They believe they’ve messed up so badly that nothing good can ever come from their lives. Do you ever feel this way? Well, good news! If you want to be set free from the past, Jesus is the answer. He has already paid the price for your sin—for every wrong choice you’ve ever made.
Make a good decision right now by accepting His payment for your sin. This could be the first time (we call it becoming saved) or part of the regular practice of confession. Confession is an incredibly powerful coping skill drastically underappreciated and underused by most people. God has always wanted to forgive you and help you make better choices. That is why He sent His Son and gave us the Holy Spirit to guide and empower us. It is all spelled out in His instruction book, The Holy Bible, to show us how to transform our flesh-driven mind into the Mind of Christ!
Many decisions are tough, and it’s a great benefit to have a guidebook for our journey. Now it’s up to you. What decision will you make? Follow the greatest instruction book of all time, or continually write and follow your own very flawed instruction book. I know where “Life According to the Book of Karl” got me. Although it seemed cool when I was writing it, it truly was hell to live many times. Thank You, God, for Your amazing grace!
Today, when you make a mistake, stop and look at whose instruction book are you using—yours or God’s. The next time you are in a tough situation, choose to use God’s instruction book instead of the knee-jerk response from your own or society’s instruction book. Document the results as you develop the spiritual radar that’s tuned into God’s frequency. Remember, you are very special to God and He loves you no matter what you’ve done. He desperately wants you to put the past behind so that you can become all He has designed you to be. It’s never too late to make good decisions. Learn from your mistakes, and look forward to a future filled with hope. Whether you use God’s instruction manual or you use the one you make up on the fly, it’s your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father God, thank You for forgiving my sins. I’ve made so many wrong choices. Help me to put them behind and to look forward to the future You have planned for me—one filled with hope. Show me how to use Your instructions from The Holy Bible. Thanks for creating me and for giving me this instruction book so I can function well and glorify You. I pray this and all prayers in the name of the One who perfectly lived out Your instruction manual, Jesus Christ. And all God’s children say AMEN!
“No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Philippians 3:13-14
“For the word of God is living and full of power, and is sharper than any two-edged sword, cutting through and making a division even of the soul and the spirit, the bones and the muscles, and quick to see the thoughts and purposes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12