The User’s Guide

As believers, I think we can all agree that God’s top two greatest gifts were our lives and the unfathomable Grace of His sacrificing His only Son in payment for our sin debt.  But right at the top of the blessings pile is a third – The Holy Bible.  Consider what an incredible blessing from our Father!  He gave us our lives along with a manual; a user’s guide as to how He wants us to live the lives He’s given us.

Inside this manual He even outlines the rules by which we shall be governed – The Ten Commandments.  Then He comes to us in the form of Jesus, God personified, and instructs us to continue living by these rules adding one more very specific rule – the Law of the new covenant. (John 13:34)  How gracious our Heavenly Father is!

The Lord has instructed us to read His law, keep it close to us and that we should “…meditate on it day and night“. (Josh 1:8)  In this first chapter of Joshua, God makes clear the importance of His laws: “Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest.”. (Josh 1:7)

We should all read these words carefully and remember them always.  This is a command from our Lord.  I believe the passage “turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest” is again referenced by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 7:13-14).  The repetition of this command shows how important it is to stringently follow God’s rules.

We would be foolish to intently stray from the path which God has for our lives, but as imperfect humans, and possessing the gift of Freedom of Choice, we all too often do walk toward the “wide gate”.  And then, our Lord’s miraculous Grace touches us making us clean again.  And He does this for us over and over!  How great His Love for us must be!

As followers of Christ, I ask you, brothers and sisters, knowing how great God’s love is for us, knowing the extent of His Grace to give us a user’s guide for our lives, knowing we should carry God’s Word in our hearts and in our minds and constantly consider it in our every action of every day, and finally, knowing the consequences of sin (Rom 6:23), should we not strive to do better every day, upon awakening, with every fiber of our being?

If you don’t own a Bible, you may not know God’s rules and you certainly cannot carry out God’s instructions for them.   I would recommend that you get a Holy Bible.  Then you can consult your manual when your life becomes broken.  Your life will be much more fulfilling if you live by God’s law: “turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest“.

Men Are Pigs???

In most of my blog posts I try to answer questions we face in life.  In this post I cannot say I have definitively found the answer to the question at hand in the Word.  I have heard it suggested both in television comedy and stand-up comedy: “Men are pigs! All they ever think about is sex! All they care about is their own primeval instincts!”  Is there any validity to this hypothesis?  Is there any Biblical reference to this?  Let us pursue the answers.

Charles Darwin hypothesized that the male of every species has a natural predisposition to mate with every available female in order to perpetuate his genetic line.  He also surmized that the dominant male would earn the right to mate via some sort of competition, proving his worthiness (Natural selection1). But is this true in humans?

At the very beginning of the earth’s creation, God commanded man: “Be fruitful, and multiply” (Gen 1:28), so I think that it may be natural that men would have this urge.  Cultures throughout history have embraced the idea of having more than one wife, but Christianity commands us to have only one and to be loyal to that one wife.

The sixth commandment states “Thou shalt not commit adultery“. (Gen 20:14).  Dictionary.com defines adultery as: “voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than his or her lawful spouse“.  Christ warned us about adultery in the heart. (Matt 5:27-28)  So if it is wrong for a man to even look at a woman with the least little lust in his heart, why did God make us, like the other animals, with this inner urge to procreate?

The answer may be in the rest of Genesis 1:28.  We all remember “Be fruitful and multiply“, but the rest of the passage says: “and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth“.  This indicates to me that man, Homo sapien, is above all other animals in some way.

I believe that God gave man “dominion …over every living thing” and also gave us the intelligence to make it so.  With this intelligence comes responsibility and conscience.  I believe man has the same natural instinct as other fauna to mate and proliferate his genetic line, but how he manages those feelings defines his character.  And THAT is what Jesus cares about most in us.

So, are men pigs because we have inner feelings of wanting to extend our genetic line?  I don’t believe so.  Are we pigs if we act on those feelings?  You decide.

1 In 1859, Charles Darwin set out his theory of evolution by natural selection as an explanation for adaptation and speciation. He defined natural selection as the “principle by which each slight variation [of a trait], if useful, is preserved”.

Forgiveness

Christ gave His life so that our sins might be forgiven. But forgiveness was an important part of a godly life even in the Old Testament. It was important for the prophets to teach forgiveness from God as an example of how we were to have lived. (Dan 9:9) (Eph 5:1) The Pharisees were against Jesus because they were stiff-necked and wouldn’t believe He was the Messiah. (John 10:31-33) But Christ knew what had to be done to fulfill the prophesy, and even while hanging on the cross asked the Father forgiveness for them. (Luke 23:34)

God wants us to be righteous, and to be righteous we must be willing to forgive, unconditionally so that we might be sanctified to Him. There is no “but” involved in this. We mustn’t judge others in our course until we, ourselves, can be called righteous. (John 7:24) (Matt 7:3-5)  An unforgiving spirit is an angry, bitter spirit. (Eph 4:31-32) Jesus, as a part of His many teachings, focused heavily on forgiveness. (Matt 5:43-48) He taught if a dispute arises between us, we should be quick to resolve the matter and then “forgive and forget” it before we can be reconciled to God. (Matt 5:23-26)

What will happen when you leave this life? Will you take with you, damaged, the ONLY thing you can take with you – an unforgiving spirit? Christ loved us so that He gave His life for us so that we may be forgiven. (1 John 3:16) We should certainly follow His lead!