“Look here, Cole! Look at this!”
Chase’s three-year old body shook enthusiastically as he jabbed at the picture on the small Lego box. He went so far as to shove the square, ripped cardboard box in Cole’s face.
His 5 year old brother shook his head and pushed it away. Cole wasn’t interested in pictures. His eyes were focused on the 24-page instruction manual that showed step-by-step how to build the Sea Plane. Without those specific directions Cole wouldn’t be able to build the set. The haphazard pile of Legos would most likely remain just that, a shapeless pile of small blocks…full of potential but useless on their own.
Our loving Creator has given us the best instruction manual ever written – the Bible. Its purpose is to bring new life through Jesus, guide us in all wisdom and truth, and protect us from sin. “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). God’s Word is truth, and it’s the most important tool He uses to sanctify those whose hearts belong to Jesus.
God’s Word will convict unhealthy thoughts, rebuke selfishness and pride, and redirect wrong actions so that we are back in line with Jesus, who is “the author and finisher of our faith…” (Hebrews 12:2). Our Creator’s heart is in the pages of His inerrant Word; in order to know Him better – and His desires for our life – we must be in the Bible daily, seeking His face and learning His Word.
Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” God knew we would need His word to guide our steps in this world, whether through the dark wilderness of our fears, over the rickety bridges of uncertainty and unbelief, or across lonely fields of pain and sorrow. During a difficult time in my life, God sent a lifeline – an older, wiser sister in Christ – who shared how helpful the Psalms had been for her during her own dark time. I began pouring over the book of Psalms, reciting them in my memory and grafting them to my soul. The blessing and comfort provided by this book was a life preserver during my own rough storm.
I have learned repeatedly that I should not – and cannot – live without God’s perfect life manual. Reading and praying over God’s word helps me take my eyes off myself and look to Him for everything. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3: 16-17, emphasis mine). God can accomplish the impossible through us if we’re ready and equipped for the works He will bring to us.
God’s Word has come to mind when sharp words are falling out of my mouth and when anger toward another builds to a thundering cresendo in my heart. Two applicable warnings in Proverbs offer wisdom to guard against sin. “The heart of the righteous studies how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours forth evil” (15:28), and “An angry man stirs up strife, and a furious man abounds in transgression” (29:22). God’s Word leads me to the truth that I must hold my words back and study how to answer, rather than react instantly. And though I don’t consciously try to stir up strife, my unchecked anger will do just that if I allow it to.
I don’t feel right in the seat of my day unless I’ve split open the familiar leather cover and held the Bible tightly in my hands, poring over words that answer, reassure, convict, guide, uplift, rebuke, and comfort. And it’s my prayer that my children will follow the wisdom from Timothy’s words. “…and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15). Our children need to see us in God’s word so they’ll connect the love from our lives to our love for Jesus and the Bible.
Don’t stare aimlessly at pictures of what you hope your life will be or worry the ripped open cardboard of your past. Instead grab the best instruction manual ever written and build your life based on that. Let the directions found in the Bible guide you.