Summary: A manual details what is given and what is required, explains how to put the presented information into practice, and instructs how to solve problems as they occur. God has given His disciples a manual called the Holy Bible, a guide for life.
The Disciple's Manual
A manual as a comprehensive and step-by-step guide on a particular topic for both beginners and experienced practitioners that also serves as a reference book. A manual details what is given and what is required, explains how to put the presented information into practice, and instructs how to solve problems as they occur. Another word often used for a manual is a handbook. God has given His disciples a manual, the Bible. It is our instruction manual. It is our handbook, our guide for life. Things in our lives, our families, our churches go wrong when we fail to follow the manual. James tells us in James 1:21 that we to receive or welcome into our hearts the Bible for it is able to save our souls.
I. The Neglect of the Bible
A. The best-selling book of all time is the Bible. Ninety-two percent of American households claim to own at least one Bible. When Americans reach for their Bibles, more than half of them pick up a King James Version (KJV), according to a new study advised by respected historian Mark Noll. The 55 percent who read the KJV easily outnumber the 19 percent who read the New International Version (NIV). And the percentages drop into the single digits for competitors such as the New Revised Standard Version, New America Bible, and the Living Bible.
B. While 92% may own a Bible, only 9% of Americans read the Bible daily. Among professed Christians that number rises only slightly.
C. Matthew 22:29 " Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God."
D. Neglecting the Bible results in an lack of knowledge of God's precepts.
E. It results in an ignorance of Bible Characters and their stories as given in the Bible. Someone said many don't know Hosea from Hezekiah. There is a susceptibility to erroneous characterizations of biblical people and accounts - e.g. the Hollywood film Noah where "artistic license" deviates from the core Biblical message and replaces it with a modernistic, humanistic and false portrayal of a historical event.
F. Neglect of the Word results in people being ignorant of God's Power. Dr Phillip Paschal, Pastor of Mt Olive Baptist Church, has said, " out of all the words known to man, there is nothing more powerful than the Word of God. Philosophy, with it unending questions, fails in its comparison to the Word of God. Science, with its concepts and fundamental beliefs, does not measure up to the Word of God. If you take all of the prominent speakers from all ages, and compare what they have said to what God has said, their words will be as a sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. There has never been an individual or group whose words carry more authority than God’s." - Paschal, The Power of God's Word
G. Hebrews 4:12 "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
H. Neglect of the Word results in people being ignorant to God's Program. Those neglecting God's Word fail to have a clear understanding of what the Great Commission and discipleship is all about. They become targets of erroneous teachings like the prosperity gospel and the emergent church.