“Read the Instructions”

March 5, 2021 Mike Bradley 1 Comments

“This Ezra went up from Babylonia. He was a scribe skilled in the law of Moses that the LORD, the God of Israel, had given, for the hand of the LORD his God was on him…For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the LORD, and to do it and to teach His statutes and rules in Israel.” – Ezra 7:6, 10

“And all the people gathered as one man into the square…and they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses that the LORD had commanded Israel…and he read from it…from early morning to midday, in the presence of the men and women and those who could understand.” – Nehemiah 8:1, 3

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” – Psalm 119:106

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:16,17

A common problem when it comes to assembling things or performing certain tasks is that we seldom take time to read the instructions or listen to the directions. This will often lead us to a point of frustration with left over pieces or completely lost while driving in circles. Then someone asks from over our shoulder, “Have you read the directions?”

Sometimes it’s that simple. When it comes to living the life of a follower of Jesus we need to constantly be reminded to “Read the Instructions!” God knew when He gave us free will that we would struggle regularly with the choices that were before us. He knew there would always be temptations enticing us to follow our own path and stray from His design. So, even in the garden of Eden God gave very clear instructions so that there could be no mistake about His expectations. Once everything was created one can almost hear Him ask, “Any questions?”

After His initial instructions God continued to guide His people and reveal more of Himself to them through the words of prophets and priests and the written Word, the Bible. It is said, “Our problem in living the Christian life today isn’t a lack of clear instruction, it is a lack of willingness to read it and follow it.”

In the days of Ezra and Nehemiah there had been a neglect in the reading of God’s word. This resulted in people coming up with their own ideas on how to navigate their lives. They were frustrated and had lost a clear sense of identity. They had lost track of the instructions and were trying to get their lives together without them. Enter God. The Books of Ezra and Nehemiah reveal another truth about our loving Creator…He will provide for us clear direction for abundant living. He does not want us to be confused or fall victim to the sinful deceptions of this world. God has provided us clear guidance through the written Word and given us leaders that faithfully teach it. The Apostle Paul said,

“And He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain the unity of faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure and the stature of the fulness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness and deceitful schemes.” – Ephesians 4:11-14

The world is more than ready to offer their great “How to” books for right living and the “Do-it-Yourself” culture is loud and clear, but God’s blueprint is the only one that leads to life. Yes, the life of a follower of Jesus is difficult and sometimes challenging, but that is why we need to continually refer to the instructions that God has given us. Have you read the instructions recently?

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