A manufacturing plant was in full swing one day. The company’s massive machine was humming along, taking in the raw materials at one end and churning out the finished product at the other.
Suddenly, the machine stopped and ground to a halt. Workers climbed all over it like ants to get it started again. The plant’s manager stormed out of his office to find out why his multi-million-dollar machine wasn’t making him any money. He listened to his people saying they couldn’t figure it out, and he told them to call a technician.
Soon a tech arrived, and the manager frantically explained to him that he needed his machine back as soon as possible. The technician listened patiently, took one look at the massive hulk of motionless metal, and immediately walked over to a small panel, opening a tiny door inside to see a screw. The technician took a screwdriver and turned the screw one-quarter turn to the right, and the machine suddenly came back to life as if nothing was wrong.
The manager hurried over to thank the technician, shook his hand, and asked what he owed him for saving his company.
The technician answered, “$10,000.”
The manager looked at him and said, “You were here less than two minutes and just turned one screw. How can you charge so much? Give me an itemized bill.”
The technician calmly wrote out on a piece of paper: Turning of one screw: $1.00.
Knowing which screw to turn: $9,999.00.
Knowledge makes a difference.
It’s true in business. In medicine. In auto repair. In computer science. And in your job.
Knowledge also makes a difference spiritually.
The prophet Hosea shared the Lord’s lament about Israel, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hos 4:6). They had wandered away from God. From the law of Moses. From a knowledge of the Word and will of Jehovah. Now they were suffering the consequences.
To the Pharisees in Jesus’ day, He delivered a scorching rebuke because they were “majoring in minors.” They were putting more emphasis on their traditions than God’s Word. And their religion had become vain. Shallow. And hypocritical. Their duplicity had led others astray as well. Jesus charged, “You have taken away the key of knowledge” (Lk. 11:52).
Sadly some people spend a lot of time learning, but like those in Paul’s day “never come to the knowledge of the Truth” (2 Tim. 3:7). Their focus is misguided. And their learning doesn’t lead them into personal insight, spiritual wisdom or practical application.
The old adage “knowledge is power” is only true if we come to a knowledge of that which is truly important. Here are 7 things you need to know to really make a difference in your life.
1. You need to know God. Really know who He is. His character. His personality. His goodness. You need to know Him, not just academically, but from a personal, experiential relationship. Read the Psalms. They will help you know God.
2. You need to know Jesus. Not just as a historical figure. But as the Son of God. The Savior of the world. Our Redeemer. As the Way. The Truth. And the Life. The four gospel accounts will answer this need.
3. You need to know God’s plan for your salvation. The age-old question, “What must I do to be saved?” Is relevant to the 21st century. The answer is found in the book of Acts. Ignore what men say. What is God’s answer?
4. You need to know about the church. The church is important. Jesus built it. He is its head. God has called us not just to believe, but to belong. To belong to His spiritual family. You will learn a lot about the church from Acts and Ephesians.
5. You need to know how to live in the world. Life is tough. The challenges we face are daunting. Sometimes the answers seem imperceptible. However, as we study the New Testament letters from Romans to Revelation we can find help and hope.
6. You need to know yourself. This comes through honest examination and evaluation. But you must look to an impartial source that will help you see yourself as you really are. This leads us to the last point.
7. You need to know the Bible. It is the wellspring of knowledge that answers the challenge of the previous six points. In it, you can discover “all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue” (2 Pet 1:3). Psalm 119 reminds us of the virtue and value of God’s Word for our daily lives.
There is knowledge that makes a difference. Both in time and in eternity. Don’t miss it.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman