“‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.'” Matthew 15:8-9
Some Pharisees and teachers of the law complained to Jesus about the disciples not washing their hands. Jesus called them hypocrites and then quoted Isaiah. He pointed out that the people only honored Him with their lips and not with their heart. They only come up with human rules to worship God.
Going to church and singing a worship song is an easy thing to do. Claiming to believe in Jesus is also an easy thing for a person to do. Doing these things can appear on the outside to be honoring God. It can appear the person is a good Christian follower of Jesus.
The reality of it is that doing these things are only outward things and may not always be a part of the heart. For some people, they go to church only because they are forced to (such as children), it is the thing to do (because parents brought them up to do it), or to look good to others. Some have been brought up in a church and so they do not want to leave the church and look bad, but they really don’t want to be there either.
People will come up with all kinds of rules about being a Christian, just to look good. However their heart is not really in it. They mouth the words of worship songs, rather than sing them from the heart. They are quick to point out faults in others, but are slow to compassion and mercy. This is missing who Jesus really is and what He was about.
Living like this is honoring God only with the lips and words. The heart is not a part of it. God is seeking to have your heart, not just your words.
As you say and do things each day, you need to ensure that it measures up to what Jesus said and did. Jesus said and did everything from the heart. His heart was to please His Father–God, not just to look good on this earth.
Everything said and done must honor God from the heart, not just the outward actions. Don’t just go through the routine of looking like a believer in Jesus. Be a believer and follower of Jesus from the heart. Keep your heart close to Jesus.
I pray today that you will focus your heart on Jesus; that you will worship God with all of your heart and life; that you will honor God from your heart; and that you will live true to God in all you say and do.