Assembly Required

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I remember building a playground set for our children for the 1st time. We purchased the kit, followed the instructions, and secured the wood. Then we obtained the bolts, screws, washers, drills, and everything the instructions asked us to acquire. The children helped build this new play set with swings, bridge, slide, seesaw, rope climbing ladder, and even a two-deck style tree house. It was impressive, until I looked into my box and realized that I still had extra bolts, nuts, lock washers, and other items that I overlooked in the building stage. The final result was that I had to use nails and glue to finish the project.

Looking back, it was a great experience, however in order to properly built the play set; I needed to follow the instructions exactly. The children stained the wood, and then the adventure began. Of course as time went by, I realized where the extra bolts needed to go, and where some of the other items were supposed to go. I learned some valuable lessons. You need to be patient, you need to follow the instructions, you need to forget shortcuts, and that one person needs to be in charge of the project.

I realized that my life needs some construction and that assembly is required. However sometimes I lack the patience, and I ask God to give me patience now. Patience is difficult when the Lord is trying to reconstruct our lives. We want to see quick results, fast transformation, and rapid progress in our spiritual growth. However, like a child crawling, then walking, then running, God develops our patience and spiritual growth. The bible describes patience like this.

“Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” James 1:3,4

The second lesson I learned is that we need to follow Gods instructions, not our own. In the Bible we have the story of Cain and Abel. God made it clear how a lamb was required for the sacrifice, Cain on the other hand thought it better that he would give fruits from his land. God had made it clear. Cain thought that he could improve on God’s instructions and took the short cut. The outcome was tragic. We need to remember that we cannot improve on God’s master plan for our lives. God loves us, we are His children, and we need to follow His instructions and plans for our life. Solomon in speaking on this topic to his son provides this lesson.

“Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.” Proverbs 4:13 “When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee. For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:” Proverbs 6:22,23

The final lesson that I learned is that there can be only one person in charge of the overall project. In our spiritual walk, the hardest part of being a Christian is surrendering our lives over to Jesus. I remember seeing signs on the bumpers of many cars. “God is my co-pilot.” They had it all wrong. God needs to be our Pilot. When we take the controls, we mess things up. We take short cuts; we end up with extra bolts, nuts, and screws. However, when Jesus is the Master Planner, He rebuilds us perfectly.

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” John 10:27 “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5

Our lives need restoration. Assemble is required. Let Jesus take over the rebuilding of our lives.

Here are some addition insights “Christ’s work was to restore man to his original state, to heal him, through divine power, from the wounds and bruises made by sin. Man’s part is to lay hold by faith of the merits of Christ, and co-operate with the divine agencies in forming a righteous character; so that God may save the sinner, and yet be just and His righteous law vindicated.” Fundamentals of Christian Education p.430 “Man needs a power outside of and beyond himself, to restore him to the likeness of God, and enable him to do the work of God; but this does not make the human agency unessential. Humanity lays hold upon divine power, Christ dwells in the heart by faith; and through co-operation with the divine, the power of man becomes efficient for good.” Colporteur Ministry p.104

May God bless you this Sabbath as He recreates us into His image.

Angel J. Rodriguez, D.Min
Houston Central – Senior Pastor

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