Rod and Staff Publishers Inc.

"When everything else fails, read the instructions." This statement has become quite commonplace, and indeed it truly reflects a trait of human nature.

Most of us, I suppose, have been guilty of actions which would warrant this quote being directed to us. We purchase a new item and, casting aside the Operator's Manual, we proceed to assemble and operate it as we think best. However, to our dismay, we eventually discover it does not function as we supposed it should. Then possibly, due to our presumption and negligence, we have damaged or even ruined it.

That is typically human, is it not? Unfortunately this very pattern of action is followed in the operating of' our most valued possession ourselves. God has entrusted each one of us with our own being, and He expects us to operate in a manner which is pleasing to Him. He has given us the "Operator's Manual," and therein we find the instructions for successful operation. To neglect or disregard these instructions is certain to bring damage and eternal ruin.

Have you been reading and following the God-given "Operator's Manual" the Bible?

The Bible Contains

I'he Bible contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are unchangeable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler's map, the pilgrim's staff, the pilot's compass, the soldier's sword, and the Christian's charter. Here paradise is restored, heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed. Christ is its grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it -,lowly, frequently, and prayerfully. It is a mine of' wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. It is given you in life, will be opened in the Judgment, and will be remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, rewards the greatest labor, and condemns all who trifle with its holy contents.

How Readest Thou?
It is one thing to read the Bible through,
Another thing to read to learn and do.
Some read it as their duty once a week,
But no instruction from the Bible seek;

Some read to bring themselves into repute
By showing others how they can dispute;
While others read because their neighbors do,
To see how long 'twill take to read it through,

Some read it for the wonders that are there-
How David killed a lion and a bear;
While others read it with uncommon care,
Hoping to find some contradictions there.

One reads with father's specs upon his head,
And seep the things just as his father said.
Some read to prove a preadopted creed;
Hence understand but little that they read,

For every passage in the Book they bend
To make it suit that all-important end,
Some people read, as I have often thought,
To teach the Book instead of being taught;

And some there are who read it out of spite-
I fear there are but few who read it right.
So many people in these latter days
Have read the Bible in so many ways

That few can tell which system is the best,
For every party contradicts the rest.
But read it prayerfully and you will see,
Although men contradict, God's words agree;

For what the early Bible prophets wrote,
We find that Christ and His apostles quote-,
So trust no creed that trembles to recall
What has been penned by one and verified by all.

- Selected

Condensed from a tract by
Rod and Staff Publishers, Inc.,
PO Box 3, Hwy. 172
Crockett, KY 41413.
606 / 522-4348.