One of my favorite ways of torturing myself is to lament the fact that I never went to college or received a degree. Although I do have an Associate of Theology degree from a now defunct college, it never was worth the paper it was printed on. Over the years various people have either flat out told me I messed up my life by not going to a university and getting a degree, or implied strongly the same.
To my credit, I did finish high school and graduated in the top third of my class. My failure to attend a university was not due to my lack of intelligence or money but rather the decisions I made as a teenager to devote my life to God and service to Him. Although this prohibited me from making my fortune in the world, it did allow me to fulfill what I believe is my calling in this life.
The apostle Peter (along with many of the original disciples) was a fisherman by trade. Peter never attended college. No one knows for sure how well educated he was, but it made little difference on the Day of Pentecost. It was on that day that Peter stood up and preached to the multitude gathered at Jerusalem the first "Â€Âœsermon"Â€ of the Christian church.
In the days and years following that fateful day, Peter and John were constantly being hauled before the Sanhedrin for teaching the heresy that Jesus was the Christ. Take note of what Acts 4:13 says:
"Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus."
It has always been a goal of mine to follow in the footsteps of Peter and John and cause Christ's enemies to marvel at my boldness despite being an unlearned and ignorant man. See, boldness is not something earned through degrees from universities. Boldness is a God given ability that stems from the confidence residing from the Christ within. This is what allowed Peter to be so bold on the Day of Pentecost.
Only a few weeks before Peter's presentation on Pentecost he was standing outside while Jesus was being questioned and beaten by the High Priest's security detail. When someone announced that Peter was a follower of Jesus, he proceeded to deny this three different times. That is why it is so significant that Peter was able to stand up on the Day of Pentecost and boldly proclaim the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, fearing no one.
What changed Peter? The only thing that happened to him between his denial of Jesus and his sermon on Pentecost which could account for this change was him receiving the Holy Spirit earlier on Pentecost. Once filled with the power of "Christ in him" (the Holy Spirit), Peter was able to stand up and preach like he had attended years of seminary, had numerous Doctorate degrees and with all the authority and boldness his Master had spoken with during His ministry.
Peter had Christ dwelling within and that is what enabled him to do what he did and say what he said. The bolder Peter, John and the other disciples got; the more those in authority marveled at why and how they could do it with only a "Jesus education". I certainly don't mind having a degree from the "Master", just like Peter had.
The Apostle Paul, unlike Peter, was a very learned man who had sat at the very feet of the wisest and most intellectual men of the time. Paul, being a Roman citizen, had no doubt studied at the best of the universities available within the Empire. Paul was, in many respects, the opposite of Peter as far as education, training and pedigree.
Did Paul flaunt his credentials? Did Paul use what he had obtained in this life as reason for being able to do what he did? To the contrary, Paul states in Philippians 3 that he counted all he had learned and obtained from the world to be as dung compared to knowing Christ. Yes, Paul's education allowed him to reason with the Jews and enabled him to write all his epistles with great style and authority. But, he never used his credentials or his pedigree to promote himself as being better than anyone else.
It makes little difference to God whether a person has a first grade or a 21st grade education. God does not look upon the degrees hanging on the wall but rather what is within a man or woman's heart. All the degrees and commendations one accumulates in this life mean absolutely nothing when we stand before our Lord and Savior. When we see Him face to face, He will not be judging us by how many years of education we received but rather by how much we loved Him and did His will in this life.
Brother Kirk, if only Christians would realise what Jesus is looking for in our life and in our hearts, it would cause us to stop pursuing useless passions of our hobbies, unfruitful and bad friendships and even unfulfulling and demanding careers that bring us further from Him rather than nearer.
If only Christians would spend just as much time with Jesus and in prayer as they would spent in their worldly pursuits of degrees after degrees, how different would this world be impacted by the immense anointing and deep compassion of Christians who spent such quality intimate time with our Lord. May the Lord help us including me to do likewise.[img]http://www.tiptopglobe.com/skin/smile/s8101.gif[/img]
Thanks for sharing
From Hwa [img]http://www.thesmilies.com/smilies/office/fountainpen.gif[/img] Silverpen
I will never forget a statement made by a professor my senior year when I was working toward my degree in Elementary Education. He told us that over the past few years we had obtained a lot of book-knowledge but when we stepped into our classrooms we would find we would need to throw most of it out the window for we would be stepping into our real institution of higher learning and it would take a lifetime to complete. I found this to be true.
There is nothing like obtaining your degree from THE Master Teacher!
I tend to believe that the reason why I was not nudged to attend a Christian Bible college is because THE Master through the Holy Spirit wanted to be my teacher. He most certainly is. The Holy Spirit loves to guide you into the truth of God's Word. I certainly agree with and recommend your blog. :-p
As my wife and I try to settle on if we are both going to go back to school, If it's God's will that i go then so be it.I share "my life lessons and experiences as God moves my heart to blog and others around me.you can't hang that on a wall..be blessed
Bible -Basic Instructions Before Living Eternally- I agree- what more do we need? Nice heads up Brother! And will continue to pray for you! Dave