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  • Jim Etherton

Following Instructions

Not many of us are good at following written instructions. When we buy something, we want to just get on and use it rather than looking through an instruction manual. Only when we can’t get it to work properly do we give up and sit down with the manual. Our attitude is often “if all else fails, read the instructions”.

Sometimes even reading the written instructions is not enough. Recently, I was trying to change the light bulbs in my elderly father’s flame effect electric fire. Having found the written instructions from the manufacturer online, I was still clueless as to where to find the two screws which I was supposed to undo to access the bulbs. Finding a video on YouTube unlocked the mystery – two black screws hidden in a recess against a black background! The whole job was then completed in a matter of minutes.

It is so much easier if someone shows us how to do something rather than just giving us a set of instructions. God has given us an instruction manual for life in the Bible. But if we read it, we find that it is so much more than a set of instructions. In Jesus Christ, God came down to Earth to show us by example how to live life in the best and most fulfilling way.

Jesus said “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” (John’s Gospel Chapter 13 verse 15 – NIV).

The examples that we read in the Bible of how Jesus and his followers lived are much more inspiring and helpful than a list of instructions.

Today, it is helpful for us to see examples of how to live well following Biblical principles in the modern world. Good role models can be really important.

The apostle Paul said “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” (Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians Chapter 11 verse 1 - NIV).

If you know someone who is a true follower of Jesus, then their example can help and inspire you to follow Jesus too. And you could discover that Jesus did so much more than just set us an example to follow!

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