The Instruction Manual


Reading Time: 2 minutes

Bible Reading: Psalm 119:9-16

I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11

You keep dreaming about the day when you will be sixteen years old. You already feel the breeze blowing through your hair. You picture you and your friends cruising the town in your brand-new SUV as you sit proudly behind the wheel.

You enter your local DMV-that’s the Department of Motor Vehicles-and get in line, eager to walk out with a driver’s license. Ms. Gearshift, the cheery clerk, hands you a sheet of paper. “Take a seat at the table, answer the questions, and return the sheet to me when you’re done.” Sounds simple, you think. They just need my name and address and phone number.

So you sit down and glance at the paper. Wait a minute! This isn’t an applica­tion. It’s a test! You start to sweat. Question after question asks about speed limits, signaling, and traffic laws. You recall hearing something about a driver’s test, but you never gave it much thought. You get in the car, start the engine, and work the pedals. What’s so hard?

You push your way back to Ms. Gearshift. “I’ve been watching my parents drive all my life. I’ve taken rides in cars, and once I even sat behind the wheel. I know that green means go and red means stop. I’m sure I can drive, so I don’t need a test. Just take my picture and give me my license.”

Friendly Ms. Gearshift suddenly glares at you with beady eyes. “If you can’t pass the test, you don’t know the rules. And if you don’t know the rules, you can’t drive. Drivers who don’t know the rules are dangerous.” Then she shoves a driver’s instruc­tion booklet at you. “It’s your choice, kid. Learn the rules and pass the test, or when you get to be my age you’ll be begging your mommy to drive you to work.”

You swallow hard. “But these questions are pretty hard,” you whine.

“That’s the point. There’s a lot to know. But the answers are right here.” Ms. Gearshift taps the booklet. “Get this stuff down pat, and you won’t have a problem with the test—either here or on the road.”

Know what? God has given us the Bible as our instruction manual for life. If we don’t study the book, we’ll likely fail the test-and hurt people because of our care­lessness. But if we ponder God’s Word, stick it in our memory, and live by its direc­tions, we will know how to safely move through life.

TALK: God is a lot more friendly than Ms. Gearshift when he says, “Learn this stuff and it will help you pass every test.” How are you using God’s manual to direct your life?

PRAY: Thanks, God, for giving rules meant to steer us toward good things.

ACT: If you have never read the Bible on your own, start today by getting your nose into God’s instruction manual for life!


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