james ray johnson

Do you prefer to learn by reading the instructions or by having someone demonstrate? 

Well it’s that dreaded time of year when naïve men and a few daring women will spend a frantic Christmas eve assembling toys for their kids.   

Diary of a dad: “Kids are down, time to get the Barbie and Friends Deep Space Probe and Spa from the closet.  But wait!  There’s no instruction manual!  What?  I have to download it?  Where are the instructions on how to do that?  2 hours and 1.5 gigabytes later- finally got the digital how to.

But it was written by the Chinese manufacturer in Chinglish.  It says, “The product design is used is succinct and the technique that the line is easy and smooth and possess the beautiful to look at and fine elegant featute.  Prodruct is completely as a result of 2,000 volts of highhanded shocks, no leakage of electricity, and ensure safety.”  Seriously? 

Oh wait, I just found some instructions in the box. They were stuffed into the warp drive hot tub (NOTE: instructions needed on where to find the instructions.) 

This English is better, but just can’t seem to get a hold of the Barbie-sized assembly tools that were included.   

Done!  But there’s a pile of parts left over and a pedal whomper that won’t whomp.   Hours wasted over a failure.    

Fortunately, found a youtube done by an attention starved man, who demonstrated with excruciating detail how to assemble it.”  

Putting a toy together is tough but putting a life together is even tougher. 

How do we deal with an angry person or live a moral life in a cesspool world, or persevere when under fire?  Not many step-by-step videos for these.

We have a manual for sure.  The Bible is replete with sound wisdom that speaks to such things.  But sometimes it almost reads like Chinglish to our dull senses. Oh, for a youtube.

God did better.  He sent Jesus to show us how to do life.

When God took on flesh in the person of Jesus, He had to live as a human being according to the same conditions and rules that we are subject to.  He did it successfully and He has left countless examples for us.

Are you proud of your humility?  Maybe you need help.  Watch Jesus!   He took a towel and a wash basin and stooped to wash the filthy dusty feet of at least a dozen disciples.  Then He said, “For I have given you an example—you should do just as I have done for you.”  (John 13:15)

Are you mired in immorality?  Watch Jesus.  “The one who says he resides in God ought himself to walk just as Jesus walked.” (1 John 2:6).  Read the Gospels and learn from the master.   (Note: Walking refers to His manner of life.   Don’t try this on water.)

This is a third (in this series) and surely a significant reason why Jesus became God Incarnate.  It was God’s kind way of showing us how to do life. 

There was a time when I suffered unjustly (at least from my perspective.)   My humanity wanted to lash out and accuse and gather sympathizers who would come to my rescue. 

But I was arrested by the words I found in 1 Peter 2:21-23, “For to this you were called, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving an example for you to follow in his steps. He committed no sin nor was deceit found in his mouth. When he was maligned, he did not answer back; when he suffered, he threatened no retaliation, but committed himself to God who judges justly.”

I let the example of Christ seep into my broken soul and I found a path forward.  Jesus gave me company and His example kept me from destroying my reputation and the well-being of others.

Better than a You tube.

May your Christmas Eve be painless!

Enjoy the guitar Carol below: One of my favorites: What Child Is This?

What Child Is This: Guitar arrangement by Jim Johnson

All Scripture references are from the NET Bible ®