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And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32

The Operator's Manual

By H. A. (Buster) Dobbs

There is just something about the smell of a new car. (Old cars have an odor, too, but it is just not the same.) That new car is just waiting for someone to take it home. Surely, somehow the new car is much the same as any other car, yet it may look radically different from our last vehicle. It seems every new car has more buttons and gadgets than the last one. A glance at the specifications page in the operator's manual tells the story of dissimilarities between this car and perhaps another car we once had.

Driving down the street, we reach for a familiar knob or button, now in an unfamilar place. Bump! The hand ignorantly crumples against the dashboard, reaching for the lights or windshield wipers. Where is the dimmer switch? How much gas does this thing hold anyway? There is a light on the dash that will not go off, I wonder what it is for?

Whether it is driving a new car or assembling a bicycle, man typically tries to accomplish the task according to his own ingenuity. Often mankind only consults an operator's manual or assembly instructions when he cannot figure things out for himself, and then he is driven to them, reluctantly.

Unfortunately, man also uses the same approach concerning himself, God's creation. While we were not made on an assembly line in some plant, we nevertheless have a Creator. As new cars have operator's manuals and nearly every manufactured item comes with instructions, God has also given us an operator's manual, the Bible.

Like any good operator's manual, it tells us where we came from and identifies our purpose. The divine purpose of our existence is summarized in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14.

"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil."

The Bible tells how we can please God and be happy ourselves, on earth and eternally. "Assembly instructions" for making the family as God would have it are also contained upon the pages of inspiration, the Bible.

Though the Bible is not an encyclopedia, history book, psychology course, medical notebook, etc., the Bible is trustworthy on every subject that it addresses. Special consideration should be given to the way in which the things about which the Bible speaks interact with mankind. Man really does not have all the answers regardless of how well educated he may be. "O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps," (Jeremiah 10:23).

However, God has provided sufficient instructions by which mankind can function correctly on earth, and cross the threshold of eternity properly prepared. It behooves every accountable soul to pick up God's Word and make use of the operator's manual provided each of us by a benevolent God.

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works," (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

"According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue," (2 Peter 1:3).

H. A. "Buster" Dobbs, email:
P. O. Box 690192
Houston, Texas 77269-0192
(281) 469-3540

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