Around the Thanksgiving Holidays we give thanks, eat a meal that we can’t seem to get off and then by Christmas it’s doubled. WOW! In Isaiah 58:10 in the Message Bible says, "If you are generous with the hungry and start giving your-selves to the down-and-out, Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, your shad-owed lives will be bathed in sunlight." You can’t give without some compassion or love within. God gives us that love to express to others.
Well, you’re probably saying, nobody has ever given me anything! Well, I’ll take you to that 9th verse. This is God’s answer: "Then when you pray, God will answer. You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am.’ If you get rid of unfair practices, quit blaming victims, quit gossiping about other people’s sins…" Wow, that Word can bite you in the rear! When you make the problem more than the answer, you tend to get stuck on the problem. When you make selfish statements, God hears them and you defeat yourself without knowing it. Repent and turn from the devil’s tactics. I’m not saying that everything is from the devil, but instead allow God to search your heart so He can reveal to you this misunderstanding. Really, the 58th chapter of Isaiah is dealing with fasting. And if it takes you to that route, so be it. This is a conditional answer to a promise. If you will do this, He will do that! There is a fullness in God that He is looking for, which will deal with your integrity. In the process, you will give to get or you just give because it pleases God! Verses 6-7 explains it this way:
“This is the kind of fast day I’m after: (v.6)
•to break the chains of in-justice, (v.6)
•get rid of exploitation in the workplace, (v.6)
•free the oppressed, (v.6) •cancel debts. (v.6) •What I’m interested in seeing you do is: (v.7) •sharing your food with the hungry, (v.7) •inviting the homeless poor into your homes, (v.7) •putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, (v.7) •being available to your own families. (v.7)
After God explains what we are to do in this type of fast, then He says: "Do this and the lights will turn on, and your lives will turn around at once. Your righteousness will pave your way. The God of glory will secure your passage. Then when you pray, God will answer" Vv. 8-9a. So, if we’re looking for ways to give, it’s right there in the Word of God. When you give God a place in your heart, you position yourself to let the light shine; meaning light breaks forth; your understanding is clearer, and your prayers are no longer unanswered; the healing of a wounded heart (or body) is purged; spiritually and physically. You come alive as the morning light. But in verse 10 the darkness is overshadowed by the noonday light. This is the time of day that the sun is blazing and blinding. So it says that "Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight" v.10. My husband and I were driving home from church the other Sunday and encountered this blazing sun in front of us on the freeway. And it was huge! It was almost blinding where we could hardly see, and I said "Just think what Jesus would look like when we see Him. I don’t think we would be able to see Him in His brightness. We would have to cover our faces as well as our eyes. We couldn’t look upon Him in all of his glory." To us that was a marvelous sight to behold! And when we see Jesus….Amen! Praise God! God is ex-tending both light and life because of His promises and because of what we do in the verse that says "If". It seems we determine this fate, "If"…
Position yourself to always make right decisions. Be willing to give to whomever God tells you to give, even giving of yourself.
•If you’re too tired, give. •If you’re too bogged down, give. •If you’re too overwhelmed, give.
I found out that it’s not about how I feel, but it’s that we are here to give Him glory. And when you think you can’t do it; you can’t give anymore, pray and ask God for His help; for His way. He’ll always come through even when we think it seems to us that it’s at the very last minute. I’m writing this at the very last minute. He came through! We can never out-give God! If you hold on to ‘nobody has ever given me anything’, then you lose!
•When you hold on to your money it slips away. •When you hold on to your love, it fades away. •When you hold on to time, it flies away. •When you hold on to life, it dies away.
"Cast every care upon Him for He cares for you" 1Pt.5:7.
•Everytime you take a meal to someone, they’re saying "thanks for remembering me." •Everytime you visit the jail or prison, they’re saying "thanks for remembering me." •Everytime you go to a homeless shelter or a nursing home, they’re saying "thanks for re-membering me." •Everytime you give clothes away that you can’t wear, they’re saying "thanks for remembering me." •Everytime you give money away, they’re saying "thanks for remembering me." •Everytime you are taking care of a loved one (relative), they’re saying "thanks for remembering me."
You are expressing that love that Jesus has expressed to us so many times. We need to know where our help comes from, and it comes from the Lord who made the heavens and the earth. Looking for ways to give to others, it’s in the Book, the Word of God! God Bless!