I was kindly treated to a meal on Fathers Day at a very nice restaurant, and afterwards I went to my son’s home to help him construct a flat pack desk. I volunteered willingly and was fine with helping until I saw the instructions. Goodness me! Instructions used to be bad in the past but it seems they’re getting worse. I couldn’t read the small print or make sense of the diagrams. Without instructions this was a desk that was not going to be built quickly and a half hour job took a good while longer. Thankfully, we finally got there.

Instructions are very important. In my teaching days, on many occasions I read to exam students the instructions on the front page of their GCSE exam papers. Sadly, some students didn’t listen and ended up doing more questions than they needed to. Others failed to hand in their mobile phones which would have led to a paper being cancelled and an exam failed. Thankfully no phone ever went off in my school, but in another a phone went off after an exam was finished but before the student had left the exam room. The student had all his exams cancelled, not just the one where the phone rang. Why did it ring? His mum was asking how he got on! It seems grossly unfair but he didn’t follow the instructions.

How often have you read the phrase ‘follow the manufacturer’s instructions’? The manufacturer, or the maker, has produced instructions to show you how to operate something that may otherwise not work. Instructions may be simple or complex, depending on what you have to operate. This world has a maker. Some don’t believe that and say our world is the product of chance, but how can a world so perfectly balanced and filled with so much wonder be an accident? It has never made any sense to me to think that the world just happened; nothing ever just happens. Everything needs a creator, planner, designer, someone who originates a product and knows exactly how it works. This world is no different. It has a maker and that maker is God.

God’s instructions for living are recorded in the Bible and many people have lived good lives by following them, but they’ve been missing out on something. I have a favourite painting which adorns my bedroom wall above the bed. I’ve always liked it but it took on greater significance the day I met the artist. I discovered that I liked him an awful lot, we had much in common, and the painting became more significant when I told him I had it and he gave me the background to its creation and what it means to him. I now look at the painting with fresh eyes. I see it through his eyes as well as my own.

The Bible is the word of God and you will always gain by seeking to live according to what it teaches, its instructions. However, the Bible will mean far more to you if you can meet the author, the same person who is the creator, planner, designer of this world. You will then be able to see God’s word through his eyes. My meeting with the artist was brief. Your meeting with the author of the Bible, if it happens, will be a lifelong meeting, stretching into eternity.

The author of the Bible we can know as Jesus. Just as the Bible is called the word of God so he also is called the Word. John’s gospel begins by saying, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.” (1) Continuing through John’s gospel you can clearly see that he is referring to Jesus, who, although being God himself he took on human form and came to live among us where sadly he was rejected and crucified. John once again says, “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God — children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” (2) You meet the author when you become a child of God, when you believe in Jesus. Our instruction manual for life, the Bible, tells us that Jesus died for us and we are to put our trust in him. I encourage you to do it right now. Follow the maker’s instructions.

 

Bible References:

  • John 1:1-3
  • John 1:11-13