In your automobile "glove compartment" (as we called it in days of old) is probably a comprehensive owners manual, dealing with every mechanical working, every electronic gadget and all information about what fluids and filters to change — what tire pressure to maintain, and, well, just everything you need to know about the upkeep of the car.
Owner's manuals come with every appliance, electronic apparatus, toy and other items. We often hear parents jokingly quip, "These children didn't come with an owner's manual."
But did you know, there is an owner's manual for life — an operational guide to life, which gives you all the necessary information and inspiration about how to do it? How to respond to every situation; how to raise kids; how to have a joyful, abundant life; how to overcome difficulties; and how to wade through sorrows, misgivings, and trials — even what to do about sin is included.
This owner's manual instructs us how to be a friend, how to serve mankind, how to care for our bodies, souls, minds and spirits. It explains to us how the Holy Spirit convicts us when we sin against Him, offend others, become lax and indifferent and become guilty of all those things we humans do to rebel against the will of God and offend and grieve Him.
Most importantly, this owner's manual has all the necessary information concerning how to obtain eternal life — how to become born again and how to be assured that when we die, we will go immediately into the presence of God in Heaven.
When we have received that gift, which has been provided by the incredible sacrifice Christ made on the cross when He died for our sin, then we have the God-given ability to show others how they, too, can obtain this wonderful eternal life. We even have the privilege and resources to help and instruct others as to how to live a holy, righteous, joyful life in Jesus Christ.
This owner's manual tells us, in pretty easy to understand language, where we all came from, what experiences God's people had throughout history during Old Testament times, as God spoke through the prophets, and as we see the recordings of the struggles, victories, blessings and rebellions of God's chosen people, the Israelites (the Jews).
Then comes the New Testament era, with the establishment of the church. You can find a comprehensive history of the church in the book of Acts. The Spirit of God continued to move upon the Apostles in New Testament times, to pen words which were totally inspired by the Spirit of God, as to how to live, how to glorify God in our individual lives, and steps necessary to grow as children of God. We see the detailed information about the grace of God, which is defined as "God's unmerited favor."
As you are steadfast and faithful to read, study and apply all the truths and instructions of life's operating manual, the Bible — God's Holy Word, you will discover, everyday, new aspects to living the abundant life God intended for you to live. You will discover that life in Christ is a series of events and experiences which includes your taking three steps forward and two steps back. The Christian life is a struggle — but, oh, so glorious and wonderful — and fulfilling.
Hebrews 4:12 tells us "For the word of God is quick (alive) and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
A sword can pierce and render destruction to the physical body — but the "Sword of the Lord" goes far deeper — it pierces the soul and spirit of a person and discerns every thought and intent of one's heart. Jesus Christ is the Living Word and is manifested through this wonderful written Word — the Bible.
It is a book, which was written over approximately 1,500 years, by at least 40 different writers, living in different time eras, coming from different backgrounds — having different levels of education, but were all moved by the Spirit of God to pen the words — which are perfect, powerful, non-contradictory and life-giving. It's the Word of God — it is LIFE'S OPERATOR'S MANUAL. Read it, study it, listen to its' teachings by attending a good, solid, New Testament Church — and you will gradually understand better how our perfect, wonderful God in Heaven wants you to live.