Ok, so don’t answer this out loud… but have you ever left a worship service, having really enjoyed it, but you couldn’t remember a word the preacher said? Once again, you don’t have to anwer that out loud!!!
I thought of that today as I read these words from the Bible…
“So they all come and listen to you, but they refuse to do what you tell them. They claim to be faithful, but they are forever trying to cheat others out of their money. They treat you as though you were merely singing love songs or playing music. They listen, but don’t do anything you say.” Ezekiel 33:31-32 CEV
Just so you know, this prophet Ezekiel acted out most of his messages. He was probably more entertaining than most spoken sermons. We get the impression that he may have even played an instrument to deliver his messages. But, inspite of all his attempts, the people around him never heard a word he said.
Take a look at this group of people during Ezekiel’s time and compare them with today, and see if there’s any resemblance…
They came for the music more than the message.
They came for entertainment rather than real heartfelt worship.
They were distracted by other concerns, motivations, and priorities, rather than God’s.
They listened to God’s word, but didn’t do it.
God’s word is meant to be life-changing. Always has been – always will. Jesus saw the lack of life-change in His audiences as well. He told the parable of the wise man who built his house on a rock, and the foolish man who built his house on the sandy beach. Hard rain fell on both parties, but only the house built on the rock prevailed against the storm. The difference? The wise man not only heard God’s word but obeyed it. His work of building was harder, to begin with, but he laid an indestructible foundation.
In the book of James, we read the same situation. James knew the problem people had who didn’t live according to God’s word. He compared them to people who look in a mirror and then walk away and forget what they look like. In other words… the Word of God revealed the truth to them, but as soon as they heard it, they forgot it. James went on to say that the person who disregards God’s Word is really deceiving themselves, while the person who keeps God’s Word is blessed.
Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Some people go to worship for tradition, some because of habit, some for socializing, and some others for the emotional lift it gives them. When you go to worship this weekend, make sure you go prepared to worship, learn, go and do. Make sure you let God’s Word change your life. Don’t just listen to the sermon – be the sermon. Think about it, talk about it, remember it, and apply it.
Let You Word change my life. Holy Spirit, help me not only hear the Word, but be a doer of the Word. Jesus in Your name I ask this, Amen.
Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen