Tag Archives: instructions

FEBRUARY 28 – Close is not Good Enough

FEBRUARY 28 – Close is not Good Enough

1Samuel 15:3  Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. 

How close do you follow instructions? My dad had a saying that he used often. “Go back and lick your calf over.” I don’t know where that saying came from but my mind tells me it is probably a reference to a calf that has been birthed. Dad used this expression when he felt that one of us kids had not done the best job on something we were told to do. I hated that I had to “lick my calf over.” It meant doing something I would prefer not to be doing, to begin with.

That was the problem with Saul. He explicit instructions as to what He should do. Whatever the reason, he did not follow instruction. He came back to Samuel and lied to Samuel. The reply of Samuel, “What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear.” Notice: Close is not good enough. God lays out His instructions for us. Saul did not get an opportunity to “lick his calf over.” Did you see that? He did not get another chance.

Let us pay attention to what God has to say. Let us follow every instruction He gives us. People go astray when they look for a more convenient way. Jesus says bury them under the water and convenience says sprinkling is good enough. The Bible says that salvation is “by grace through faith,” a man says good works will get you there. May pursue the study of God’s Word so we get it right the first time.

Follow the instructions.

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Parson to Person

“Hey, dad! I just bought this. It is all in the box. Will you put it together for me?” Well, of course dad would be happy to do that. After all, he has a tendency to love construction and mechanics of various sorts. Whether it is a book case, desk, what-not, or other “do-it-yourself” item, dad is fully confident. After all it is fairly simple, and what could go wrong? Oh, brother! How many readers have been in these shoes!
So, in full confidence the work begins. As the project nears an end, the last few pieces just do not seem to fit. Perhaps the manufacturer forgot to drill holes in the right place. Perhaps they made a mistake in their quality control and boxed the wrong pieces. It is then that someone suggests that it might be helpful if the instructions were consulted. “Instructions? There are instructions?” Sure enough the wrong pieces were used early on. Now, there is just one thing to do. Take it apart so it can be put together correctly. In the country, that was called “licking your calf all over again!” So much for the zealous confidence!
It occurs to this writer that multitudes of people approach religion in the very same way. They are confident that God will be pleased with whatever they do, believe, and teach because they are sincere, and, humanly speaking, mean well. After all, parents did this, friends do this, “churches” and “Pastors” do this, so it must be right. In every case mentioned, the wrong people are consulted and followed. Each of us are responsible to consult God through His Word. The Bible term for this sort of failing “Christianity” is “Iniquity.”
What is worse, many will not find out just how great their wasted life cost them until they stand before the Judge of all men. How much better it is to consult the instructions! God did not leave mankind without instructions. It is called the Holy Bible. It does not agree with the sinful nature of unrepentant men, many churches, and many pastors, but it brings unparalleled joy and peace to the repentant who look to it as the final authority and take its instructions to heart.
Say! What kind of life are you building? Is it full speed ahead in full confidence in the flesh; in self; in some religious leader? The wisest thing you will do in life is consult God’s instruction book of life in detail, and often. The life it builds for you will be right, rewarded, and accepted by the Creator/Savior/Judge! When the short span of life is over on earth, it is all finished no matter how wrong, and there is no taking it apart to start over again. . . and . . . Eternity . . . is a very long time!

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Instructions for the Ark


Numbers 4:15-20; 7:6-9


But unto the sons of Kohath he gave none: because the service of the sanctuary belonging unto them was that they should bear upon their shoulders,” Numbers 7:9.


I would love to have a front yard with all grass and no weeds. There are multiple ways I can prevent people from seeing the weeds in my yard. One way would be to get down on my hands and knees and dig up the weeds, then spray a herbicide to kill the remnants. Another way to prevent people from seeing the weeds would be to simply mow the yard so that all the grass and weeds are the same height. Which way do you think would be best? Mowing the weeds and grass to the same height would be the easiest way to hide the weeds, but would that really take care of the problem? No, it would just be a matter of time before the weeds crept up again. The best way to take care of it is also the most cumbersome way. That is usually the case in most jobs.


God gave specific handling instructions for the most holy things of the Tabernacle, including the ark of the covenant. For these things to be moved, they had to be wrapped up and carried on men’s shoulders. That was the best way to transport the objects because that was God’s way.


When it comes to displaying God’s glory in this world, there are no shortcuts. You may be able to trick others into thinking that you are holy by conforming to an appearance of holiness, but you will never trick God. We either do things God’s way or our way. Today, choose God’s way.





Will you choose God’s way today?


Mark Clements



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