We walked out of a meeting to find one of our vehicles had a flat tire. All three of us knew how to change a tire. We were good with our hands. This would be done in no time. The only problem was ... we could not get the spare tire off. At different times, all three of us tried and failed. A fourth friend walked out and offered to help. You could tell he was amused that we were stymied by a spare tire. You could tell he had no doubt whatsoever that he would do what we could not. Until he couldn't.

It was then that another friend joined us. "Did you check the owner's manual?" Three of us ignored him and continued our futile efforts, but one did get out the instruction manual. Problem solved. Ten minutes later the tire was changed. Why did we not look at the manual sooner? It was because we did not realize we needed it. We had all changed many tires in the past. We were confident we were doing the right thing. It took someone else to point out what we needed.

This is the same thing that happens to followers of Jesus. We believe we know exactly how to handle every situation in life. Because we think things are going well, we may not even realize when we are in trouble. We need someone to remind us to check out the owner's manual, the Bible. God created us and He gave us a blueprint for life. It helps when we are in trouble, and it helps prevent trouble and it helps us live the life God desires for us.

So I have now read my vehicle's owner manual. I have learned things I did not know about how to maintain my vehicle. And, more importantly, I will read the owner's manual written for my life. After all, my vehicle will not last forever no matter what I do. But I will.

If I can help you know more about God's manual for your life, write me at steve@hopeforlife.org. Or visit our blog at www.hopeforlife.org.

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