Ezekiel 33:30-32 NIV
 “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.’  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.  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.
After reading this passage, I want to confess that I have been inspired by sermons and teachings in a church environment, felt “blessed” and as I left, unconsciously switched thought modes as if I had never heard the message a few moments later. If I make no decision to put what I learn from God into practice (or to obey) I waste an opportunity to grow in righteousness. Remember this on Sunday, and take notes of ideas for how we can apply what we learn as soon as possible in some way. This can be a way to “remember the sabbath day and keep it holy”.
Exodus 20:8 NIV
 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
We can keep the day holy by setting it apart to rest, and to make the day’s activities sacred, finding something to do that might make God smile. Remind yourself what you learned and pray for God to lead you in understanding His specific will for you. What does God want you to say yes to? What does God want you to say no to? Who does God want you to tell your story to? Who does God want you to be more available to?
Romans 10:8-13 NIV
 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming:  That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.  As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”  For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him,  for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
The steps into the process of salvation are so very simple, and can be really hard too. Believing and trusting in new things gets harder for me to do as I have more life experiences that cause me at times to be skeptical. God is patient and is pursuing those He has chosen to redeem (I think that is all of us). Once we accept this and believe it, we just have to confess this out loud so others can hear.
But what about my continued propensity to sin? When I say, do, or even think things that I know God is not happy about, I feel awful, I feel like a fraud, or a hypocrite. I feel like God must be embarrassed for me to be associated with his name. When my mind is clear, I quickly pray for forgiveness, and turn my focus back to Him.
Ezekiel 33:10-11 NIV
 “Son of man, say to the house of Israel, ‘This is what you are saying: “Our offenses and sins weigh us down, and we are wasting away because of them. How then can we live? ” ‘  Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?’
God wants us to turn from evil and live. How can we do that? “We are not perfect”, as many people like to remind those of us who are taking steps to aim for holiness and pursuing purity in certain ways.
Hebrews 12:2 NIV
 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Notice the first two roles of Jesus stated in this verse: He is the author and perfecter of our faith. Does that seem to put a lot of pressure on us as individuals? Jesus is the author, not us. Jesus is the perfecter, not me! That is good news. Let Jesus be your perfecter. Lean on Jesus’ power and believe. Trust Him and share your faith with everyone who will listen, and some who won’t (but do this in love).
There are some brothers who used to be with us, sharing the table with us and worshipping together with us and are not walking together for some reason. Maybe they became distracted, disillusioned or jaded by politics, an argument or seed of bitterness. Maybe they feel like God didn’t answer a prayer the way they wanted. This next verse encourages me to be empowered to lovingly approach people who have left fellowship with God and His local church and welcome them back with prayer and sincere encouragement from the Lord.
James 5:19-20 NIV
 My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back,  remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
My Prayer for you:
When you approach those who have wandered from God, treat them as you would want to be treated. As brothers, may your faith strengthen my own, and also strengthen and encourage the faith of my children and may your faith inspire new faith in my friends and coworkers who will come in the future, once the Holy Spirit moves them and I also invite them. Amen
Thanks for listening to the holy word of God, and also to the particular message and thoughts given to me as I prepared this message. I hope you thoughtfully will remember the sabbath day and keep it holy, remembering that Jesus is the only perfecter of my faith and yours. He is also the author of our faith, and His story is not yet complete. Let us pray and cooperate in the story having a great ending!