Summary: Religion has been described as following a set pattern of dos and don’ts, an outward expression with no inward authenticity, or the human effort to reach God. Religion knows about God without knowing Him.
At about the end of May and the first part of June hundreds of thousands of students walk across stages and platforms to receive a diploma. This is something they have been working hard for.
During the WMU graduation on May 21, Mr. Probasko’s last statements to the class of 2006 was, “Would the WMU class of 2006 please stand and as a last gesture of meeting the requirements to receive your diploma, would you please move your tassel on your hat from the right side to the left.”
And there was a loud cheer, they had received their education and their heads were filled with knowledge.
It is often said in our society “knowledge is power.”
Most people value education because there are benefits and rewards in having knowledge. The more you know in certain areas the more earning potential a person has.
I can change the oil in my pick up, but if I were to tear the engine a part, I would never get it back together.
I know a little about medicine, I can stop a wound from bleeding and I can open a bottle of Tylenol, but I am not a brain surgeon. You don’t want me operating on you.
Doctors do make a lot of money with the medical knowledge that they have acquired over the years; I can’t make any money with my medical knowledge.
There is correlation between knowledge and income.
Charlie knows how to build bridges, Leonard and Irene know how to make pizzas, Dan knows how to work on cars and small engines.
The correlation between knowledge and income is so strong that it is a motivation for a higher education. Today most people don’t go to school to get an education; they go to school to get a better job.
How does this relate to us spiritually? Is there a correlation between knowledge and getting to heaven? Do people learn about God to earn merits in their walk with God? Have we replaced knowing God with knowing about God?
Which is more important, a relationship with God or a religion?
How would you describe religion?
Religion has been described as following a set pattern of dos and don’ts, an outward expression with no inward authenticity, or the human effort to reach God.
Religion knows about God without knowing Him.
Father we ask for Your anointing on us today. Place Your anointing on me as Your messenger today.
Open our eyes so that we may see Your Word. Open our ears so that we may hear Your Word. Open our minds so that we may understand Your Word. Open our hearts so that we may receive Your Word today. AMEN
Many years ago, a man whom we will call John graduated from Oxford Seminary and he went into the mission field.
His ministry was not very fruitful; some even say that he was a failure in his early years.
He looked like the real deal. He looked religious. He would wake up to pray every day at 4 AM and he would pray for 2 hours. He would read his Bible for an hour before he preached or taught and he would teach and pray for people and help people during any hour day or night.
He was on his way home for being a missionary when a bad storm began to sink the ship he was traveling on. The boat was sinking and John was afraid that he was going to die. He was afraid because he did not know what was going to happen to him when he died.
But he went to Bible School and he was a missionary!?!
Despite all he had done to this point in his life, he was not ready for death.
There were some men on the ship during this time and they were singing some worship songs and John asked them, “How can you sing the very night you are going to die?”
The men answered, “If the ship goes down, we will go up to be with the Lord.”
John could not believe it. He had left his home to convert the heathens and now he wondered who would convert him.
They ended up surviving the storm and they made it home. John was walking along one day and he came across a small church and he could hear the message. The sermon was describing faith as a person relationship with Jesus.
John suddenly realized that all these years he had been doing things the wrong way. He was wrong. He had been religious, he knew about God, he was well educated in spiritual matters but he did not know God personally.
The man gave his heart to Christ that day in London. Who was the man? John Wesley.