By: Kerry Johnson
“Look here, Cole! Look at this!” Chase’s 3 year old body shook enthusiastically as he pointed at the picture on the small Lego box. Chase was certain Cole needed the picture in order to build the 100 piece white and yellow Lego airplane. Chase went so far as to shove the ripped cardboard box in Cole’s face.
His 5 1/2 year old older brother pushed it away, annoyed. Cole wasn’t interested in pictures. His eyes were focused solely on the 24-page instruction manual that showed step-by-step how to build the Sea Plane. Without those specific directions Cole had no idea how to build the plane. The haphazard pile of Legos would remain just that, a shapeless pile of small blocks – full of potential but useless on their own.
Our loving Creator gave us the best instruction manual ever written, the Bible. Its purpose is to bring life through Jesus, guide us in all wisdom and truth, and protect us from sin. “For the [W]ord 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, NKJV). God’s Word will correct us and teach us about God’s people and Jesus’ ministry on earth. The Bible will redirect our selfish human nature so that we are back in line with Jesus, who is “the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2, NKJV).
As a child, Psalm 119:105 was written across my heart: “Your [W]ord is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path” (NKJV). 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. She shared how helpful the Psalms had been during her own dark time. I began daily reading, praying over, and memorizing the powerful Scriptures found in the Psalms. The blessing and comfort provided by God’s Word was a life preserver during my rough storm.
I have learned repeatedly that I shouldn’t – and can’t – live without God’s perfect life manual. Reading the Bible shifts my eyes off of me to our loving God, which enables me to 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, NKJV). In order to be God’s vessels and be used for His purposes, we must be familiar with His Word and the experiences of His people who came before us: Moses’ anxieties, Abraham’s patience, Esther’s courage, Noah’s determination, Daniel’s faith, Peter’s insecurity, Paul’s passion, and John’s loyalty. Their relevant, imperfect examples of faith clearly show how man can be used by a perfect God.
In Ephesians 6:11, we are told to “put on the whole armor of God.” This includes “the sword of the Spirit, which is the [W]ord of God” (Ephesians 6:17, NKJV). When we’re reading and learning from Scripture, we allow the Holy Spirit to use us for the furtherance of God’s Kingdom. He can use us to help others grow in their faith, minister in love to a hurting soul, or speak – and live – the Gospel of Jesus to the world.
My day doesn’t feel right until I’ve opened that familiar leather cover and held the Bible tightly in my hands, poring over words that answer, guide, rebuke, and comfort. It’s my heart’s desire that my boys will follow the wisdom found in God’s Word. I pray for them 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, NKJV). After all, when God’s Word is written across our soul, He can build something amazing from our lives – for His glory.
Don’t stare aimlessly at pictures of what you hope your life will be or worry about the ripped open cardboard of your past. Instead, take God’s Holy Word in hand and build your life according to the best instruction manual ever written.