I had this great theological book in my collection. It was a whole lot of facts on the life of Jesus. But while it teaches us ABOUT Jesus, don’t confuse that with knowing Jesus personally. It amazes me how many churches teach ABOUT God! They memorize scripture. Do intense studies. They can beat you down with their vast knowledge of theology, but do they know God? I mean really know him.
First of all, are we just going through religious cogs, saying the right things, doing what is required because we want to look good or because we are serving out of genuine love for Jesus and his people?
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” Mat 7:21-23
“There is nothing more irreligious than self-absorbed religion.”
― J.I. Packer, Knowing God
Actions vs words
If I tell my son how to clean his room. I don’t want him to repeat back to me a list of what he has to do. I don’t want to hear, “mom I memorized what you told me.” I want him to just go and clean his room. Words and actions need to meet up. You can tell a person by their fruit. Do they say one thing to your face and do the complete opposite? Actions really do speak louder than words. Words can be empty while action shows love. We can sit around discussing theology, who is right, our version or interpretation of the bible or we can just read the bible and put the words into action.
For example, take this scripture. “Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” Mat 18:4-6
We can discuss the Hebrew and Greek meanings. We can have Wednesday night bible studies on this topic. We can debate if it’s literal or figurative. Or we can just hear the message, which is to love and include and then put that into action. How? by inviting that special needs child to your child’s party. Or by calling that person who left your church instead of shunning them. That would be the action required here. This is why God says so often in the word… “He who has an ear let him hear” Not everyone is actually hearing.
If you love me feed my sheep
“A third time Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter became sad because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” and so he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you!” Jesus said to him, “Take care of my sheep” John21:17
I saw this quote the other day “ How we walk with the broken, speaks louder than how we sit with the great.” Sadly my husband and I have been through a lot recently and we have received more love and care from those outside of the church. It shouldn’t be this way. The church should be the catalyst of love. We need to show love and grace to those who have messed up instead of pouring out judgement on them. We have things backwards.
There are a few that have given me a glimmer of hope for the church, who are genuine. They truly carry the heart of God instead of their own agenda. People who value God’s opinion over man’s! Its a rare thing and it shouldn’t be.
God wants our hearts
Finally, The same is with God. He just wants our hearts. ❤He is not interested in our knowledge. Don’t get me wrong, I love bible studies and I LOVE the word of God but let’s not get so focused on the wrong thing. Allow the word to do what it is intended to do, to wash over you. Let the Rhema word of God move you into action!
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Heb 4:12
“Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.” Joel2:13