Sweet Saturday–July 12
I have just finished reading my daily Bible chapters. For those who don’t know, my man and I are reading the Bible through this year chronologically. It’s been interesting to read the same account of a particular happening in several different books. I am definitely enjoying this style of reading.
Today I began Isaiah. This is a book written by the prophet Isaiah, and there are lots of references to various things that will come to pass in the future. I have read this book before, but a few verses stood out for me today. Take a look at the graphic:
The verses come from Isaiah 1:17. So I’m going to ask you today–how well do you do these things? You see, God was tired of the Israelite people bringing various offerings to Him. He actually referred to them as “meaningless” (Isaiah 1:13). God wanted more–He wanted His people to put their faith into actions–actions that could benefit others. I think today we as Christians sometimes do things that, though we have good intention, aren’t exactly what God wants us to do.
Take a look at what yourself. Do you feel that you live out any of the things shown in this graphic? This is the same question I have asked myself sister.
“Learn to do good.” I certainly try to, but I know I have lots of room to grow in the “doing good” department.
“Seek justice.” God has done a great work in me with this–He has changed my perspective on what is “right,” and has given me more spiritually focused eyes to see His idea of justice.
“Help the oppressed.” This gives me pause, because I’m not sure how to do that. Oppression can take many forms; of course I immediately think of the human trafficking travesty, but I also think of children who are living in situations that are less than ideal. These kids are oppressed because they are not given many opportunities to learn, thrive and experience. While I’m not on the frontlines fighting these things, I do believe that, through my job I am helping those students who live in some sort of oppressed environment.
“Defend the cause of orphans.” Hmmm… Again, not sure. My man and I have supported ministries that are involved in the plight of orphans around the world. Not necessarily a personal involvement, but an investment in those who are.
“Fight for the rights of widows.” I suppose this is a way for God’s people to come along beside those who are hurting, support them, and find ways to meet both the physical and emotional needs of those who have lost. This is probably one of the harder ones for some. A lot of times, people don’t know what to do to help, so they end up doing nothing. I can speak from experience, and you can to I would think–just a simple card that lets the family know you are thinking of them does a world of good. Yes, there are certain things that need to be done–and you should keep the possibility of doing those things in your brain–but support doesn’t have to be hard. It just needs to be given in whatever form you feel God encouraging you to supply.
So today, think about these verses. How can you stop giving God “meaningless” offerings, and start truly being His hands and feet in your world? Maybe you have someone who is going through a difficult time–find a way to serve her. Perhaps you know a young family that is struggling financially–if it is possible, buy them some groceries. You may even know of a situation where someone feels wronged by you–oh sister if that’s the case, make amends now. All of us have ways to live out these verses–pray for God’s guidance as you seek to live out Isaiah 1:17.
As you are seeking wisdom, you may be prompted to take delicious food to someone. Might I offer up these yummy options?
Easy Enchiladas, Spicy Black Bean Salad, and for dessert? Triple Layer Lemon Pie. You won’t be disappointed, and the people who receive it will definitely appreciate it! I pray you will find lots of ways to live out God’s word today and everyday!