Illustrated messages

TITLE: Instruction Manual

OBJECT: Instruction Manual

DOCTRINE: Substitution


Not long ago I had to assemble some furniture from Ikea. I didn’t think it would be very complicated, but when I finished, there were some extra pieces and screws. I checked out the furniture to see where they belonged, but I couldn’t figure it out. In the end I did what I neglected to do before, and looked at the instruction manual.


Thinking about this, I asked myself this question: how many times do we do what we consider right and we follow our own criteria without looking at the instruction manual for our lives? Many times we mess things up or have extra pieces left and we wonder why. When God created us, he gave us an instruction manual so we could live well. He knows better than anyone how we can best develop the potential he gave us.


The problem is that we have decided that we know more than he does and that our way of guiding our lives is better than his. He says, “Do not lie,” but instead we decide that we can obtain things by lying and so we do it. God says, “Do not kill,” but in the name of our own freedom and comfort, we kill thousands of babies before they are born. And that is how we live, believing we are the lords of our own destiny, without paying any attention to God’s instruction manual. Many times during our lives we pay the price for our actions with broken trust and broken relationships.


But the worst part comes after we die. One day God will judge us for our actions. It doesn’t make any sense that you live your life however you please and expect God to forgive and accept you into his home. That is not going to happen. Instead, for making yourself your own god, he will send you away to a terrible place of eternal suffering. Believe me, on that day, you will not be able to save yourself.


But in spite of all, you have done, God loves you and there is still time for you to change. God knew you would assemble your life incorrectly, and that is why he sent his son, Jesus Christ. Jesus lived a perfect life and followed God’s instruction manual perfectly. When he was dying on the cross, he received all of God’s wrath and punishment that you and I deserved.Å


Now Jesus offers you forgiveness and a second chance. Ask him for forgiveness for all the times you have been your own god, for all the times you haven’t paid any attention to him. Call on Jesus to change your life and help you to live according to his perfect instruction manual.

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