Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows. (Isaiah 1:17)

Thought:

Our salvation is a very personal experience at the start. We all need a little time to absorb all that it means in our new lives in Christ. But then it is time to act in faith and love as the Lord would have us act. What good is our personal salvation if we do not share the love of God by doing the good that has been revealed to us, or helping the oppressed whenever we can. (also see James 2:14-17) Clearly, as modern christians, actual animal sacrifice or burnt offerings as a part of worship or any devotional activities is no longer applicable. It is also my understanding of church history, that since the Protestant Reformation, Protestants of all types have favoured religious meetings or services with reduced use of ceremony, costume and incense etc. However, despite these attempts, over time and tradition, to honour the Lord more as he has told us to in scripture, we are still guilty today of a tendency to piety for show, and an over demonstration of religion, in place of genuine obedience in our daily lives.

Word:

Isaiah 1:11-20 NLT

“What makes you think I want all your sacrifices?” says the Lord. “I am sick of your burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fattened cattle. I get no pleasure from the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. When you come to worship me, who asked you to parade through my courts with all your ceremony? Stop bringing me your meaningless gifts; the incense of your offerings disgusts me! As for your celebrations of the new moon and the Sabbath and your special days for fasting— they are all sinful and false. I want no more of your pious meetings. I hate your new moon celebrations and your annual festivals. They are a burden to me. I cannot stand them! When you lift up your hands in prayer, I will not look. Though you offer many prayers, I will not listen, for your hands are covered with the blood of innocent victims. Wash yourselves and be clean! Get your sins out of my sight. Give up your evil ways. Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows. “Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool. If you will only obey me, you will have plenty to eat. But if you turn away and refuse to listen, you will be devoured by the sword of your enemies. I, the Lord, have spoken!”

Goal:

I feel the Lord has called me to live a full life of faith and obedience to his will. Therefore my goal must be to show my thanks the the Lord for my salvation, by redoubling my efforts to live in obedience to his command and teaching. My prayer is that he will fill me with the desire to achieve this goal and give me the strength to over come the inevitable opposition all believers face when they turn from the ways of the world and try to shine God’s love into their frightened and faithless communities.

Today’s readings:

Isaiah 1:1-2:22, 2 Corinthians 10:1-18, Psalms 52:1-9, Proverbs 22:26-27

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