When All Else Fails

One of the standard jokes about men is that they only read instructions (when assembling something) when all else fails. Sort of like how they read maps – or don’t! Not totally fair, but sometimes true. Men often look at directions as a necessary evil.

On one end of the spectrum ignoring instructions can be dangerous and simply dumb at the other end.

Directions are given to us for a reason, which is to make the job and therefore life easier. Following directions can save you time and frustration, not to mention peace of mind for your wife.

As Christians we have been given directions for life, which we often ignore. To our peril. Of course, I’m referring to the Word of God.

Too often, even Christians look at the Bible as something that cramps their style. A book of do’s but mostly don’ts. That’s not entirely accurate. Yes, there are a lot of things in the Bible that God says we shouldn’t do, but there are a lot more do’s – things God wants us to do.

Remember that the don’ts were given to us for our benefit (2 Timothy 3:16). Think of it like this – you’re driving on a dark, winding road in the rain. On the side of the road is a sign advising you to slow down because a sharp curve is up ahead. You’d be thankful for the warning.

God’s don’ts are often warnings given to us for our protection and they are ignored at our peril. Accept them as blessings from a loving heavenly father who has your best interests in mind and you will find that there is value in those don’ts.

Which brings me back to reading the instructions.

Maybe if we read the instruction manual (Bible) more, we would complain about it less. Becoming familiar with the Bible is the first step to understanding it. Once you begin to understand it, you become more in tune with it. As you get in tune with it, you begin to see the value in it. Once you see it’s value, you’ll begin to follow it’s instructions. All to your benefit.

So when all else fails in life – when you have tried everything you can think of to solve your problems and nothing has worked, read the instructions. I think that you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the information and value you find there.

Stay in the Word,
Pastor Steve

Finish Well

Today is a special day for one member of our church – today a dear lady named Ruth celebrated her 90th birthday!

Several years ago I decided that anyone in our church who reached their 90th birthday deserved a party, so we have a celebration after the church service complete with balloons, streamers and cake. Unfortunately, we couldn’t do that for Ruth. For several years she has been in an assisted care facility and while she can move around independently, she’s not strong enough to attend church. So, we took a bundle of birthday cards to her from people in our church. She was so appreciative.

We all have special days – birthdays, anniversaries, graduations etc. Days that mark special events or that remind us of specific times of life.

When you visit with Ruth, she will often remark that she is ready to move on. She knows there are more days behind her than she has in front of her. I really believe that she is longing for and looking forward to heaven.

As I visited with Ruth today the thought came to me, she’s finishing well! Ruth is just a simple lady from a Pennsylvania Dutch background. Most people, unless they are part of her small group of friends, don’t know Ruth. They’ve never heard of her. But God isn’t going to evaluate Ruth’s life by how many people knew her – he’s going to weigh her life by her faithfulness to Him. And by that standard I think Ruth will rank high.

Life isn’t about the fame or the accolades, it’s about faithfulness. And faithfulness is about finishing well. Ruth, even with her physical problems is finishing well.

The Apostle Paul was concerned about finishing life well. As the end of his life loomed before him he wrote to Timothy, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith (2 Tim 4:7). Paul was faithful to the end.

That’s really all that God wants from any of us. Simply to complete the race. To finish life well.

Life hasn’t been easy for Ruth. It’s not easy for most people. But you can still finish well. Don’t let the problems of life determine how you live your life or how you finish life.

Be faithful. Keep the faith. Finish well. Be like Ruth.

Stay in the Word

Pastor Steve