Even the most average days can become extraordinary lessons in life if we just keep our eyes open. This morning while baking a cake for a friend, I was reminded how important it is to read and follow all the directions if I wanted the desirable outcome—something beautiful and fit for a celebration. For this to happen, I needed to look farther than just the basic directions listed on the back of the cake mix: add water, oil and eggs. I needed to also read the fine print.
Since I live at an altitude above 3500 feet, for ‘BEST results’ I needed to add a 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour plus increase the water to 1 1/4 cups otherwise I would end up with a crumbly, less than pleasing result. Not exactly a satisfactory outcome and something I did not want to present to my friend for her celebration. So I deferred to the experts in order to be successful.
When it comes to life, who doesn’t want a desirable outcome in life’s everyday situations. But what guarantee do we have? Life seems so ‘iffy’ at best. But listen to what the Old Testament writer Isaiah has to say:
“This is what the LORD says—your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go…”Is 48:17 That tiny word best found in the passage seems too small to convey its true meaning:
- of highest quality
- excellence, or standing
- most advantageous
- suitable, or desirable
- with the most advantage for success
- most fully
What God is saying in Isaiah 48:17 is He knows the best way to live that will result in the highest quality, most desirable and full life that doesn’t ‘crumble’ under hardship but has the most advantage for success. What’s more, He’s willing to teach us how to do it. So why then would we ever to settle for anything less? Yet, time-after-time we do settle for a ‘crumbly’ life.
In the same way I found the solution for crumbly cake, we can find the information we need if we just read the fine print and put it to practice in our lives. This fine print in our case is the Bible. It is a collection of the best quality, finest grade, most excellent and admirable, divinely inspired words printed out for us. The instructions found on its pages are meant to be put into practice so we can have the best life possible.
Paul, a New Testament writer, wrote in a letter to his friend Timothy, that “all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” [2 Timothy 3:16-17] The message to us is: the Word of God provides us with the information needed to create a successful outcome in our everyday lives.
Check out the following fine print found in Proverbs 4. It is full of instructions along with the promised ‘best’ results we can expect when we read and follow God’s Wise Instructions–
Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding. I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching…
- Lay hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands and you will live.
- Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
- love her, and she will watch over you.
- Esteem her, and she will exalt you;
- embrace her, and she will honor you. She will set a garland of grace on your head and present you with a crown of splendor
Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many. I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.
- When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
- when you run, you will not stumble.
- Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.
My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words.
- Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body.
- Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
It is only by God’s ways that we will ever find real fullness of life. God desires the best for us. When we follow the instructions found in the fine print—the Bible, we can expect the results He promises it every time. And who doesn’t want a life that is beautiful and fit for celebration?
“Sing to him a new song… shout for joy.
For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does… –the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him…”
Psalm 33:3-4; Romans 10:12
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