December 24

Ezekiel 33:31-32 31My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to listen to your words, but they do not put them into practice. With their mouths they express devotion, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain. 32Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice.

They were going through the motions of worship without letting them transform their hearts. It wasn't that they didn't attend. It wasn't that they deleted the Word from their worship. It was a matter of the heart's desire. They had ears, but they did not hear with their hearts. There is even more condemnation toward those who sit and hear the Word read, yet go out without letting the Word change their hearts. They know they are acting in opposition to the Word. They know what God expects and yet are refusing to have anything to do with His right to lordship over their lives.

They are likened to those watching a performance. God has a lovely voice. He plays His love song so beautifully. "What a great performance! Now let's go home and go on about our lives." We choose to forget how intensely personal His song of love is. We refuse to allow it to penetrate our hearts, for there it would create a love that demands a response. We would lose some of the control of our life. We would surrender some of our decisions to the One we love. What an honor to be loved by Him, yet how lightly we take it.

The next time you enter into a place of worship, whether it is a Bible study or a church service, consider this passage. Take a moment to bookmark it right now to remind you. Corporate worship is not a performance. It is about your Creator's intensely passionate love for you.

Consider: Will you respond by hearing the Word with your heart, so that you put His Word into practice?