Knowledge Is Not Enough
Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it. – James 4:17 (NLT)
The story is told of a young pastor who was called to serve a prominent church. After the new pastor’s first sermon, the congregation was overjoyed. “We have an outstanding preacher!” everyone exclaimed.
The next Sunday the young preacher stood to preach, he read the same Scripture and delivered the same sermon he’d preached the previous Sunday. The reception of the congregation was rather cool this time. Congregants said that he’d probably gotten a bit confused, given all the excitement of his new pastorate.
The following Sunday the young pastor stood to preach, he read the same Scripture and preached the same sermon he’d preached the previous two Sundays. At that, the members urged a few of the church officers to meet with the new pastor immediately.
“We like the sermon you’ve been preaching Reverend, but we’ve heard it three Sundays in a row now. When are we going to hear a new sermon?”
The young pastor responded: “I’m glad you like the sermon I’ve been preaching. When our church starts living that sermon, I’ll move on to a new one.”
It’s often said that when people know better, they do better. But we all know better than that. People know a lot of important things that never get applied to their everyday lives. Our heads are filled with amazing principles that many of us hardly ever put into practice.
The demand for more knowledge, new information and novel sermons may actually do more to message our vanity than it does to improve our character.
Lord, in seeking your face, help me to face the truth of what you’ve already revealed. Amen.
Kenneth L. Samuel is Pastor of Victory for the World Church, Stone Mountain, Georgia.