Summary: We are called to not just read the Bible, but to follow the directions it gives us. Sermons, audio, and communion message at www.sermonlist.com
When I was about four-years old, we lived in Tucson, Arizona. My dad was in the Air Force there. The story goes that we didn’t have a lot of money, and my dad and mom did not have a car.
But some person they knew gave them on old Ford and said if my dad could get it running, they could have it. My dad was not a mechanic at that point, so he pushed the car to where just the front end was in the garage. And then he went about the task of taking the engine completely apart.
As he dismantled the engine, he would take a part and put it at the back of the garage on the floor, writing instructions on the floor as to where the part came from so he would know how to reassemble it. He did this with every part in the engine, and he did it so that when it came time to put it together, the parts he needed first were nearest the car.
I don’t know what he did once he got it all apart, but he said when he got it all back together again, he had three small parts left over and never did figure out where they went, but the car ran fine for years after that.
I think most of us are like that to a certain degree; at least about just jumping right in and trying to figure things out. Most of us seem to want to do it that way rather than sit back and have somebody else, especially someone we know, give us instructions, and we surely don’t like taking the time to read directions, do we?
I know that when Diana and I are driving somewhere and are not totally sure where we are going, I just hate to stop and ask somebody for directions. It is like I just know in my heart that in a few blocks it will dawn on me where we are or how to get where we are going.
I think we are all like that to an extent in parts of our lives, but if we would just seek direction we wouldn’t end up with mysterious pieces left over, or driving down some road not knowing where we are headed.
And we do the same thing with our spiritual lives. We have a book of very explicit directions, a book that that takes us step-by-step through the process, yet we don’t like to read it and we don’t like anyone else telling us what it says.
When you get a program for your computer, you can either read the entire manual, which is written to where only people like Bill Gates can understand it, or you can put that disc in that is labeled; “Quick Start.” Myself, I have to be honest and tell you I will always reach for the thing that gets me there the fastest.
Today, I want to talk to you about the Apostle Paul’s Quick Start Guide to Christian Living. It is found in Romans 12. The first eleven chapters of Romans deals with a lot of theological discussion, but in chapter 12, Paul gets away from that and gets into some pretty basic stuff …. all designed to help those of us who do not like getting bogged down with technical stuff.
This information will cover three areas in our lives: Our relationship with our heavenly Father, our relationship with ourselves, and our relationship with other people – those in the church and those outside the church.
And all of this information is found in just two verses. I want to read those two verses to you from two different versions of the Bible.
From the NIV –
1 - ‘Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.
2 – ‘Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.’
From the New Life Version –
1 - ‘Christian brothers, I ask you from my heart to give your bodies to God because of His loving-kindness to us. Let your bodies be a living and holy gift given to God. He is pleased with this kind of gift. This is the true worship that you should give Him.
2 – ‘Do not act like the sinful people of this world. Let God change your life. First of all, let Him give you a new mind. Then you will know what God wants you to do. And the things you do then will be good and pleasing and perfect.’