Ezekiel 33:30-33 (NIV)

30 “As for you, son of man, your countrymen are talking together about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses, saying to each other, ‘Come and hear the message that has come from the LORD.’ 31 My 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.  32 Indeed, 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.  33 “When all this comes true–and it surely will–then they will know that a prophet has been among them.”   

James 1:22 (NIV)

22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

DEVOTION -Andy Baker (Tennessee)

In the midst of busy lives, even when we make daily Bible reading a priority we sometimes find ourselves merely scanning the pages and not reading the scripture in ways that can help us apply its truths.  When we read the Bible as if hearing that story or that event for the first time, we can discover something new in its pages.  And it can inexhaustible source of truth and encouragement.

The prophet Ezekiel spoke to the people of his day about applying the word of God to their lives.  They loved to listen to the word but did not do well in practicing what they heard.  So God spoke to Ezekiel, saying, “To them you are like a singer of love songs, one who has a beautiful voice and plays well on an instrument; they hear what you say, but they will not do it” (33:32, NRSV).  Jesus expanded on this theme:  “Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock” (Matt. 7:24, NIV).

Scripture takes on tremendous power when we apply it every day.  It addresses our problems, displaying God’s concern for us and God’s wisdom to help solve these problems.  Putting the word of God into practice can improve our relationships and give us direction for our lives.  Instead of resolving only to read the Bible, we can resolve to live it!

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: What is God’s word showing me today?

PRAYER: Dear God, as we read your word, help us to discern your message for our hearts and lives each day.  Amen.