Learning to Follow the Instructions
The problem was, I didn't have time for the instructions. I wanted to play. So I assembled the playset as quickly as I could. A couple stickers here, a little knot there, and well, it's looks the picture on the box, so it must be right. Well, that what I thought.
Turns out, I wasn't so right. While most of the Ewok village "looked" like the picture on the box, it wasn't right. I had put some of the stickers in the wrongs spots. I couldn't get the net to work properly. And I actually broke one of the pieces trying to assemble it incorrectly. For as much as I was excited to have the Ewok playset, every time I played with it I was reminded of how I didn't take the time to follow the instructions.
Have you ever felt that way?
If only I had followed the instruction,
maybe some of this could have been avoided.
You see, in Genesis 2, God gives the man, Adam, the instructions. Having placed Adam inthe Garden, God says, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die." ( Genesis 2:16&17 NIV) Adam was given the opportunity to eat freely from all that the Garden had to offer. Every plant, bush and tree, if it was edible or grew something edible, he could eat it. All of it was his. All of it, except for this one unique tree; the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. This tree was off limits.
Unfortunately it was simply a matter of time. The evil one came along and tricked the man and he ate the fruit from the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. And from that moment on, we have been living in regret because we have chosen to not follow the instructions.
Our hope is found in Jesus!
We celebrate Christmas because of what Christmas means for us; HOPE! Our hope is found in Jesus! Why? Because he does for us what we can't do for ourselves! He follows the instructions, that we can't follow on our own. Jesus was perfectly obedient to his Father, right up to the end. And because he did, our mistakes that come because we have failed to follow the instruction are set right.
The Apostle Paul said it this way, "For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous." Romans 5:19 NIV)
So now when we say, I believe that Jesus died for our my sins, and I accept him into my life as my Lord and Savior, his perfect obedience makes us right in the sight of God and brings us into eternal life.
On that first Christmas morn, God gave us a gift. That gift grew up to died to give us life. Not just life for the here and now, but life that goes on for ever and ever and ever. And now, when we find ourselves rushing into circumstances without slowing down to follow the instructions, it's not death, but forgiveness and grace we meet on the other side.
As you prepare your heart this Christmas, slow down and remember. Look for times when following the instructions seemed like a waste of time and you ventured out on your own only to find that you put the stickers in the wrong spot. Remind yourself, God's grace is big enough for even that! Because that kind of grace leaves me in awe and wonder. How about you?
Jay Higham is a veteran youth worker of over 25 years; having worked with students in the local church and Christian camping settings. Jay is currently the Student Ministry Director at Hickory Church, located in Western PA. Jay has been married to Amy for 20 years. Together, they are raising 5 kids, (4 boys and 1 girl). Jay is an aspiring author, blogger, speaker, a YouTuber/vlogger, and social media junkie. He is passionate about student ministry, family ministry, and training youth workers to love and serve their students with passion and excellence.