Issue #19 - Volume 13


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June 4, 2012

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Ownerís Manual: Read Before Operating

Two days before Easter 2012, my gas range broke; to repair it would cost more than it was worth, so we had to purchase a new one. Not only was this an unplanned expense, but fifteen people were coming to my house for Easter dinner! I couldnít put off this purchase.

Easter morning arrived; my family and I went to church; we had a blessed morning rejoicing in the resurrection, and then came home to get dinner started. When I turned on the oven, I realized I didnít know how to operate it! Even though I had briefly read the directions the day before, I didnít know what I was doing. Panic! I tried again. Stay calm. Fifteen people will soon be knocking on my door and I donít know how to turn on my stove! What to do? Now Iím eagerly reading the manual trying to figure out how to program it. Why does the manufacturer make this so difficult to understand? I handed the manual to some early arrivers, asking for their help. No such luck; they canít figure it out either. 

After several more attempts to turn it on, I called the 800 number, no one answered (of course not, it was Easter!). I read the Ownerís Manual some more. I was flustered and in panic mode. (Is Kentucky Fried Chicken open today?) I kept reading, and finally, the stove turned on. It heats up. Yes, itís on! An hour later, the roast was finished. We ate, and I received rave reviews from my guests. Whew, close call! 

As the days passed, I became more familiar with my new stoveís Ownerís Manual, it wasnít as difficult as it originally seemed. In fact, my new appliance is quite easy to use! I just needed to spend more time reading the Ownerís Manual before using it.

This scenario got me thinking about the believerís relationship with God. We have been given an Ownerís Manual for lifeóthe Bible. When we briefly read it, and life gets cooking, we might get flustered like I did, or call on someone who really canít help, or blame God for our circumstances, the way I blamed the manufacturer for making the stove so difficult to use. 

Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, tells us to put on the full armor of God, so when the day of evil comes (and if you have a pulse, it will come), we can stand our ground. Soldiers learn to put on their armor long before the battle begins. The lesson here, donít wait until the last minute to read the Ownerís Manual. We must be prepared, geared up, and made ready for lifeís trials by reading, studying, knowing, and memorizing Godís Word, and then weíll be able to... 

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