Monday, March 12, 2012

Read the Instructions

By Brenda Boen
August 2008

Have you ever received a set of instructions and failed to read ALL of them?  I applied for a job once and at the top of the application it said “NAME”.  So I wrote “Brenda Boen”.  Then the second line said “LAST NAME”.  Oh, I knew I was in trouble then.  “They’ll think I’m some sort of idiot,” I thought, “and won’t even consider me for this job!”

I remember way back in grade school when a teacher gave a pop quiz.  He said to read the whole thing before ever starting.  So I skimmed over the paper and decided I didn’t really need to read the whole thing.  I guess I was confident I knew enough to get by.  So I decided to go ahead and get a jump start on everyone else.  After agonizing over the questions for several minutes I got to the bottom of the page where it said, “Don’t take this test.”  I took a big gulp and dropped my pen in disbelief.  If I would have read the whole paper to the end I would have discovered the point my teacher was trying to make.  Instead I rushed through it without thought and missed it.

God gives us a set of instructions to live by.  We shouldn’t skim over them either.  They are little love notes that He gives us every time we open His word.  They are not just for information but for transformation.  If we skim over it and pick and choose parts here and there to read we will miss a tremendous blessing.  There is so much to gain from reading God’s Word that we need to spend time trying to find it. 

If reading or studying your Bible is a struggle for you, as it has been for me in the past, ask God to give you understanding and to carve out time in your day to allow you quality time needed to get into His Word.  I did and it has been a wonderful journey.  Not only has He carved out the time for me, He has given me a hunger that I never thought I’d have.  And, of course, it always helps to have a good Bible   translation that is easy to understand.  If you are in need of a new study bible I would recommend the (NIV) New International Version Life Application Study Bible.

Don’t just skim over the Word and think you know enough to get by.  I know you’ve heard the statement, “What would Jesus do?”  Well, if you’re not sure what He actually did in His life, then you’re just guessing at what He might do in yours.  Open His Word and find out!

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says.  Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a [woman] who looks at [her] face in a mirror and after looking at [herself], goes away and immediately forgets what [she] looks like.  But the [woman] who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom and continues to do this, not forgetting what [she] has heard, but doing it — [she] will be blessed in what [she] does.”  James 1:22-25 NIV

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