Read the manual

 
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I remember my first formal job—where I had to pay tax. I worked as a burger flipper at a fifties-themed McDonald’s in Apopka, Florida, USA. Frankly, I thought it was going to be a simple job to learn and perform . . . but I was wrong!

On my first day, I was told there would be an entire week of training that would consist mostly of my sitting in the back room and reading through multiple binders that were each 15 to 20 centimetres thick!

I was told that this was “the McDonald’s way” and that taking my job seriously directly impacted my immediate supervisor, her general manager, the store owner and the McDonald’s brand. A lot of pressure for a pimply-faced teenager!

Well, I ended up reading every page in every one of those binders. Then, to make sure that I had actually read the information, I was required to take—and pass—a written exam on each binder. And I wasn’t told about this in advance! I guess McDonald’s was serious about me knowing my job.

Basic instructions

In his book BIBLE: Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth, author James Rossetti describes the importance of interacting with the Bible in order to live an effective and happy life. Following the principles of the Bible will indeed make your life better (and make you better at life), but that isn’t the only reason to read it daily. The apostle Paul (who, before becoming a Christian himself had participated in persecuting, imprisoning and killing Christians) wrote, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realise what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16,17).*

Many inspirational books of many different faiths will help make your life better. But only the Bible will give you the key to eternal life. Correction: only the Bible will introduce you to Jesus, the key to eternal life. “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:16,17).

Jesus, through His Word, the Bible, shows the path to salvation. “But to all who believed him and accepted him [Jesus], he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God” (John 1:12,13).

Jesus, not long before His arrest and execution, prayed to God for His followers: “Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word [the Bible], which is truth” (John 17:17).

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Best-seller of all time

The Bible is ancient and timeless, a masterpiece of literature. It reveals God’s role in human history, our place in God’s plan and the truth we need to guide us through life and shield us from deception. Here’s one clear expression of confidence—the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s official statement on the Bible:

“The Holy Scriptures, Old and New Testaments, are the written Word of God, given by divine inspiration. The inspired authors spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. In this Word, God has committed to humanity the knowledge necessary for salvation. The Holy Scriptures are the supreme, authoritative and the infallible revelation of His will. They are the standard of character, the test of experience, the definitive revealer of doctrines and the trustworthy record of God’s acts in history.”

Is that a statement you can agree with? Billions of earth’s inhabitants, both currently and throughout history, have certainly done so.

A book like no other

What if I told you that the best-selling book of all time was written over 1500 years by 40 authors, including many who didn’t know each other? Furthermore, it’s the only book you not only read, but it reads you. One New Testament writer put it like this: “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires” (Hebrews 4:12).

God’s Word, the Bible, is not like any other book. It is not full of human ideas; it is full of God’s ideas. It is God’s love letter to us. “Therefore, we never stop thanking God that when you received his message from us, you didn’t think of our words as mere human ideas. You accepted what we said as the very word of God—which, of course, it is. And this word continues to work in you who believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13). In effect, the Bible is God’s training manual for each of us as we discover how to develop a successful, effective and blessed life—both now and for eternity!

God, through His Holy Spirit, inspired Peter, one of Jesus’ 12 disciples, to write, “Above all, you must realise that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God” (2 Peter 1:20,21).

And God promises that daily interacting with His Word will guide you: “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path” (Psalm 119:105).

God’s Word, the Bible, lets us know His will for our lives: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope’” (Jeremiah 29:11).

God assures us that, through His Word, the Bible, we can know, without a doubt, His will for us. “Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12:2).

The golden spatula

I ended up working at McDonald’s for six summer holidays in a row and into my first year of tertiary study. I learned some valuable skills about working—and, don’t laugh—I even earned a 24-carat golden spatula! This recognition is reserved for only those cooks who achieve “expert” status at their job!

You can achieve expert status at life and salvation as well. Sure, you won’t get a golden spatula. You’ll receive something even more precious and priceless: an eternal relationship with Jesus, and His peace, power and purpose in your life. God promises that, through His Holy Spirit and His Word, the Bible, He will save you! “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns” (Philippians 1:6).

Peter put it like this: “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvellous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires” (2 Peter 1:3,4). Don’t wait any longer. Connect with Jesus today through His Word, the Bible! I promise it will change your life for eternity!

 

Omar Miranda is a dad, writer and healthcare professional. He lives with his family in Plainville, Georgia, USA.

* Bible verses in this article are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used with permission.