A pastor, an elder I hold in high regard, said, “Our church is busy. We want to have something going on every night. This keeps people occupied with God’s things.” Even as I heard the good man make those statements I was not convinced.

Do I emphasize religious activity so much that people leave behind a most important foundation stone? If so, we have come to a dangerous point. Is it possible that some people know how to “do” church, but don’t know how to fellowship with Jesus?

Is it possible for me to write books about Him, sing songs celebrating Him, preach sermons declaring Him but never really know Him? Perhaps you have heard of the famous actor invited to a London church to recite the 23rd Psalm. He used his classical training in the art of acting to enunciate each word correctly. The actor’s voice had the proper inflection and the tone of his voice had ebb and flow to keep the listener’s attention.  When the final stanza was recited, the audience applauded the actor’s performance.

The pastor asked if there was anyone else in the audience that would like to recite a portion of scripture. An old man shuffled forward. To the audience’s surprise the old fellow started, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want . . .” He recited the 23rd Psalm, as the actor had before him. When the old man delivered the last stanza, “ . . . surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever,” there was no applause. Instead, tears ran down many a cheek as the old man shuffled back to his seat.

The famous actor was heard to say, “I know the psalm, but that old man knows the shepherd!” Do you know the psalm or the shepherd?  In personal devotion, something not accomplished in our corporate worship we come to know the shepherd.

Help someone else today. What have been your life practices that have helped you to know Jesus in a more personal way?

This is one in a series of blog posts celebrating the pre-release of the first in my Keep it Simple Saints (K.I.S.S.) series of books. K.I.S.S. – Personal Devotion will publish on July 5, 2020. During the pre-release, the book is available at a 20% discount.

To contact Carlton L. Coon Sr. as a speaker, for a guest blog post, or podcast - email carltoncoonsr@gmail.com.

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