Follow the Manual!
Deuteronomy 5:33 "Live the way the Lord your God has commanded you so that you may live and have what is good and have a long life in the land you will take."
Do you like making your own decisions? Of course, you do, who doesn't? Being able to decide what we want to do, when we want to do things and so forth are part of our human nature. It's a freedom we have been given not only as Americans but by our Creator. Now, let me ask you this? Do you always make the best decisions? Are your decisions always the right ones for you?
If I were to come up to you and say, “Listen, I know you would do better in life if you do things my way” or “Just follow things differently.” You would most likely laugh at me and tell me to go away. After all, how can I know you better than you know yourself. It's your life and you are responsible for it. So, what am I even saying?
I'm going to share a story with you that was shared with me that helped make this blog complete.
“Let's say you bought an expensive new car and as you were getting ready to leave someone comes up to you with a book. They tell you that they designed this new car of yours. They know all the ins and outs, every detail of every working part. They poured their love into this creation and now have this book to give you. This owner’s manual will tell you everything you need to know, not only the details about the car but what to do and how to use it to get the optimal amount of life out of it. If you follow it exactly, your car will last forever.
Sounds good right? Well maybe, but this is now your car and you paid good money for it. It belongs to you and the choices you make on how to drive it and everything should be your choice, right? You don't need a silly book to tell you what to do, so you toss it aside. Well, you're right it's your car and you don't have to listen to the creator of the car, you have free will. But if you decide to fill your gas tank with milk and the oil with juice go ahead, it's your choice but you're not going to get very far. You can drive it into the lake, it's your choice but it won't help take care of your new car.”
The owner’s manual isn't stopping you from waxing your car, maybe putting some decorative stickers on it or some cool logos. It doesn't restrict you from driving anywhere, it's simply a set of guidelines to help you keep the car in top condition so it will last a long time. The designer isn't forcing you to follow his way, he's just giving you helpful tips he knows will keep the car running great because he designed it and really does know how it runs best.
I've heard many people say, “I don't want to join a faith or become a "Christian” because I want to live my life my way. I don't want to be told what to wear, how to eat or how many rules faiths have out there. After all, it's my body, my life and no one knows it better than I do.
But there is someone who does. Our creator put so much time and thought into creating you and me. He went as far as to make us in His image, and He does know what works best for us to live the best life we can. He has gone as far as giving us a manual to help guide our choices as to what is best. God can't and will not force you to follow the Bible or His law, but He knows when you do, you will greatly benefit from it.
You could say, “Yeah but this still is my body, I should be able to do what I want.” Listen to Paul's words in first Corinthians 6:12 “I am allowed to do all things,” but not all things are good for me to do. “I am allowed to do all things,” but I will not let anything make me its slave.”
Yes, it's your body but the Bible also tells us in first Corinthians 6:19-20 “You should know that your body is a temple for the Holy Spirit who is in you. You have received the Holy Spirit from God. So, you do not belong to yourselves, because you were bought by God for a price. So, honor God with your bodies.” Let's briefly look at this. When we choose to follow Jesus as a Christian, we are claiming Jesus lives in our hearts. Jesus is sinless and holy and by inviting Him in we should want our bodies to be His temple, a holy place for God's holy presence, Hebrews 10:10. Remember, when we accept Jesus and invite Him into our lives, He gives us a new heart, a new life -2 Corinthians 5:17. When we do our “own” thing and live recklessly it’s like putting milk in the gas tank, we are destroying that new creation.
Bought with a price doesn't mean silver or gold, it means Jesus, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God shed His blood on Calvary so you and I could have a life that leads to Salvation. Jesus died to save us from an empty life inherited by our ancestors.
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” God is our Creator; we are His masterpiece an all He longs for is the connection with us and looks forward to the day He can reconnect with us. But that came at a very high price. The death of his own son at Calvary. That one sacrifice made us free from the evil of this world.
Even though God has given us the freedom to choose to live our life our way he has shown us a way that leads to Salvation versus a way that leads to death. Like Adam and Eve had a choice we have a choice. We can follow God's manual and learn to navigate through this world of sin, or we can toss it away and fall into this world of sin. But remember what Jesus did for you, to save you, with each choice you make. For you, is God's sacrifice of His Son more important or is choosing the momentary pleasures of this world what you want.
God will never ask you to change to some ridiculous rules to follow Him. He simply asks you to make choices that are holy and acceptable so that His light will shine through you to others. He promises that when you do, your life will be far greater blessed than if you just toss Him aside and do your own thing. Today, will you listen to God and follow the Bible, or will you still fall into what the world has to offer and be your own person doing whatever you want. God is here and wants to be part of your life, but He won’t force His way in, He just offers Himself and the His Word, the Bible, and will wait patiently for you to recognize that His way is the best way.
Let's continue our study through our Blue Jean Faith of James. Today we will read
James 3:1-12 - https://bible.org/seriespage/6-faith-ties-tongue-james-31-12
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