Following Instructions

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Products come with assembly instructions for a reason. The manufacturer creates those products to look and perform in a certain way and provides instructions for us to follow to ensure that. By following the instructions provided by the manufacturer, we can be fairly certain that the products we purchase will look and perform as expected. But when it comes to actually assembling those products, there are two kinds of people. The first are those who read the instructions carefully and then follow them to the letter. And then there are those who give the instructions a cursory look, or no look at all, and determine that they can assemble the product without following those instructions carefully.

God is our manufacturer, the Creator of life. He created us to live in the way that He intended, a way that would give Him glory and would allow us to have peace and happiness in life. For that reason, He has provided us with a set of instructions, things that we should follow as we go through life, to ensure that we will live in the way that He intended. Those instructions are what we call the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17). But just as with assembly instructions, when it comes to following God’s instructions, there are two kinds of people. There are those who read God’s instructions carefully, then strive to go through life living each day in accordance with God’s instructions. And then there are those who give them a cursory look, or choose not to look at them at all, but decide that they don’t need God’s instructions. They can figure out how to live life on their own, thank you very much!

When we choose to follow a manufacturer’s instructions for assembling a product, we can be reasonably sure that the product will turn out as it should and we will be happy with it. But when we ignore those instructions and try to assemble the product on our own without following the instructions, chances are that the product will not turn out the way it should. It may not work properly, or it could even fall apart. When it comes to life, when we choose to embrace God’s instructions and live strive to follow them, we can be sure that life will be filled with the peace of God. But if we choose to ignore those instructions, life will not go as well. We will stumble and fall and not experience the peace of God. This is a truth that is validated in God’s Word: “Those who love your instructions have great peace and do not stumble.” (Psalm 119:165, NLT)

God has given us His instructions, His commandments, not to make life difficult for us, but to help us live in peace with Him and with each other. God wants us to be willing and able to follow His instructions. Perhaps that is why Jesus stressed that God’s instructions for life can be summed up in two easy-to-follow commands: love God with all your heart, mind, and soul, and love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-39). If we embrace these instructions, we will have great peace and will not stumble as we go through life.

Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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