Skip to main content

If you really want results....

I have to say, this is one of the most exciting passages I have ever seen. God answers people who have confronted Him because their prayers and fasts haven't impressed Him, and haven't yielded the kinds of results they have been looking for. He responds by saying that the problem is that they have been fasting according to their criteria, not His. Their idea of serving God kept them in their comfort zone. In contrast, here's what will please Him:

Isaiah 58
v.6 "Is not this the fast that I have chosen? To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed ones go free, and that you break every yoke?
v.7 Is it not to break your bread to the hungry, and that you should bring home the wandering poor? When will you see the naked and cover him; and you will not hide yourself from your own flesh?"

And check out the results!

v.8 "Then shall your light break out as the dawn, and your health shall spring out quickly; and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of Jehovah shall gather you.
v.9 Then you shall call, and Yahweh shall answer; you shall cry, and He shall say, Here I am. If you take the yoke away from among you, the pointing of the finger, and speaking vanity;
v.10 and if you draw out your soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall your light rise in darkness, and your darkness shall be as the noonday.
v.11 And Yahweh shall always guide you and satisfy your soul in dry places, and make your bones fat; and you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters fail not.
v.12 And those who come of you shall build the old ruins; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in."

I want to let God do the speaking, so my only comment will be that the above passage doesn't just apply to helping the poor financially, although that certainly is included. It's broader than that. The afflicted and the oppressed mentioned above are people caught up in sin, or some sort of hurts resulting from sin that is present in this world. We are to be ready to bear the burdens of others who are going through something tough, and the list of possibilities is a long one.

Be ready, listen for His voice, in order to be there for someone; to allow God to use you as His relief agent.

2 Corinthians 1:4 "[God is] comforting us in all our trouble, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in every trouble, through the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."

Comments

Ron Hagan said…
James,

This is LIFE! Thank you for taking the saints to Father's heart.

I love that this passage is fulfilled in Jesus Christ: "Matthew 11:28-30 (New King James Version)
28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

See also from The Message (my personal favorite): "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

Bless you!

Ron

Popular posts from this blog

Beyond the door greeter: The most important contribution of Tim Wright

My sons Jacob and Zachary have baseball cards. Hundreds of them. They like to spend time with them, because the cards feed two of their passions: baseball and numbers. They organize and re-organize the cards. They play fictional baseball games, complete with playoffs, with them. Most important, they show the cards off to their friends. Even adults who come over to the house are likely to be introduced to the baseball cards collection by my sons.
I have a friend named Frank. He's retired, and is an expert woodworker. Visitors to his house will be treated to the tour: he loves to show you the gorgeous cherrywood rocking horse, the grandfather clock, and countless other items he has made out of wood. They're all quite beautiful; very impressive. It's Frank's passion, and he loves to share what he has done with others.


For the last 15 years, I have had a friend named Tim Wright. His title was Pastor of Small Groups and Assimilation. We all know what a small group is, but &…

Them Dents is Valuable

I guess I am spoiled, but for a Pixar film, "Cars 2" falls a little short, if only because the bar has been set insanely high by the quality of recent masterpieces such as "Toy Story 3" and "Up".  Any comparison of "Cars 2" with other recent Pixar output just isn't fair.

Quality aside, "Cars 2" hardly seemed like a sequel. The tone, the look, and the feel are very different from "Cars". Additionally, the plot was hard to follow and a little convoluted.

Despite the flaws, this film had one shining moment; one profound line in a decidedly non-profound movie, and it was delivered by Tow Mater.

Mater, you may recall, is a tow truck who's in dire need of mechanical attention. He has a missing hood, several dents, and rust issues. He's also a lovable doofus, lacking anything that resembles sophistication.

At one point in the movie, British secret agents decide to bring Mater into their plans to catch the bad guys and sa…

Why Bethke Gets it Wrong

If you know any Christians, or are one yourself, you may have seen Jefferson Bethke's 4-minute poem titled "Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus".  It's become quite popular in just a few days. Bethke is sincere, passionate, and mostly off-track.  


The bulk of his message is that old standby "It's not about religion, it's about a relationship", which has been around at least since I  came back to the Lord in 1987. It was refreshing and eye-opening at the time, but here we are a quarter-century later, and it's still being said as if it were a brand new concept.And that would be fine if it were in line with Scripture, but in fact, it's in opposition to what God's word says.

I have searched the Bible to see where it says anything negative about Religion, and it isn't in there. It's fairly easy to find a passage where the writer denounces those following a false religion, or not following their religion well. But the concept of …