Over the last couple of months, we have seen human weaknesses exposed. Lives have been lost, and as we sit back and wonder what is going on. Our need for God becomes increasingly evident. The book of Isaiah chapter 58 speaks about human acts of righteousness versus God's righteousness. It paints a clear picture of today's world events. Verses 2- 3 state, "Yet they act so pious! They come to the temple every day and seem delighted to learn all about me. They act like a righteous nation that would never abandon the laws of its God. They ask me to take action on their behalf, pretending they want to be near me. We have fasted before you! They say, why aren't you impressed? We have been very hard on ourselves, and you don't even notice it! I will tell you why! I respond it's because you are fasting to please yourselves. Even while you fast, you keep oppressing your workers." At some point, we must choose to take the blinders off. True change comes one heart change at a time, which can only be achieved by recognition and acceptance. Going through the motions of change without repentance and God is a fallacy.
Verses 6 & 7 speak to this point as they state, "No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burdens of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free and remove the chains that bind people. Share your food with the hungry and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help." In others, don't just focus on yourself and what makes you happy or comfortable think about others. Open your heart to reach out to the ones we find hard to love and choose to love them. Find ways to celebrate our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by living according to the word of God and not contrary to it. God's word never tells us to forget about the people that do not like us and only focus on the ones that do. It states in Mathew 5:43-48, "You have heard the law that says, love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven, for he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect." The word of God is clear; love is not extended to only people you agree with or get along with; it is a mandate for all believers to die to the flesh and love all human beings, despite their beliefs. God's love extends to all, and as His Children, we should do the same; this is what makes us different and sets us apart from the world. We choose to love because our Heavenly Father is love, and it is by His grace and mercy we are forgiven.
Remember, God loves you, and so do I. It is our duty as believers to share His love and the good news of Jesus Christ with others.