Choose Reach Out

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter – when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.” – (Isaiah 58:6-8, NIV)

“I will tell you the kind of day I want – a day to set people free. I want a day that you take the burdens off others. I want a day when you set troubled people free and you take the burdens from their shoulders. I want you to share your food with the hungry. I want you to find the poor who don’t have homes and bring them into your own homes. When you see people who have no clothes, give them your clothes! Don’t hide from your relatives when they need help. If you do these things, your light will begin to shine like the light of dawn. Then your wounds will heal. Your “Goodness” will walk in front of you, and the Glory of the Lord will come following behind you.” – (Isaiah 58:6-8, ERV)

 

The foundation of what God asks of us has always been the same – Love God and love people. If we are fasting, let it be for the purpose of actively pursuing God and loving people. If we are praying, may it be out of faith in our Father and our desire to do good for others. As we live, may our lives clearly demonstrate our love for God and for ALL whom He has created. There are no qualifiers on loving people; He calls us to love all people tangibly and practically. If they are burdened; help carry the weight and set them free. If people are hungry; feed them. If people are in need of the basic requirements for existence; start with clothing and shelter. Furthermore, we are meant to be aware of and care for the needs of our family as well. Incredibly, as we do these things, we begin to reflect the heart of God to those around us. Our obedience leads to blessings in our own lives too. He heals and surrounds each soul that chooses to surrender and serve others as He asks. May we look to the Lord for wisdom and strength, so that we go forth and tangibly love people as an extension of our love for Him.

 

May our focus be,

H182

Typography poster lettering love and ethnic patterns. Vector illustration hand drawn.

Intent on the Lord;

On what He’s asking,

As strength He affords.

The priority,

In all that we do;

Love God and people,

It’s what we’re called to.

Some practical ways,

His love can be shown;

Help meet other’s needs,

Leads to God’s heart known.

As we choose reach out,

God’s present within;

Healing and helping,

Makes hope rise again.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that a reason for fasting and praying is ultimately to love God and love people better. Thank You that You are faithful to meet us as we come and seek You. Thank You that Your word tells us practically how to love people well, and in turn, honor and love You. Forgive us for the times that we have neglected to love people well. Teach us to have eyes to see, ears to hear and hearts to understand what You would have us do practically in every circumstance. Thank You that You are far greater than our time, talent or resources, and that You take what we offer and multiply what we bring. Show us how to love the people around us tangibly, for You know every need in existence. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we choose to be intentional as we love You and love the people around us, every seeking You for ways to love practically and tangibly to meet needs. Amen.

 

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

 

Human, the Lord has told you what goodness is. This is what He wants from you: Be fair to other people. Love kindness and loyalty, and humbly obey your God. – Micah 6:8

A Pleasing Sacrifice

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that confess His Name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. – (Hebrews 13:15-16)

 

The word sacrifice took on new meaning when Christ went to the cross. No longer was it a way of offering something in exchange for a temporary cleansing from one’s unrighteousness, but rather Jesus exchanged His life for ours, so that no more would such offerings be required. To sacrifice now, means to willingly give of oneself; to surrender all that we are, for who we are called to become. When we offer praise and extend kindness to others, especially those who deserve it not, we are offering a sacrifice of self unto the Lord. This is the very sort of sacrifice that is pleasing before God. Both actions, actively demonstrate love for God and love for others, which is exactly what He calls us to do. May we seek the Lord anew each day, with a sweet sacrifice of praise on our lips and hands that are ready to serve and share with others, all that He has given us to offer.

 

Let us each awake,Presenting Our Praise

and offer God praise;

for all that He is,

both now and always.

Let our lips confess,

the truth of His Name;

as we go in faith,

and in love proclaim.

May we choose to share,

all that we’re given;

for without the Lord,

there’d be no living.

With hands set to serve,

feet ready to go;

wherever He calls,

may His love be shown.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that because of what Jesus did on the cross, we are able to come before You, continually, offering our sacrifice of praise. Thank You that as we choose to worship You and to love others, our giving of ourselves is an acceptable and pleasing sacrifice before You. Forgive us for neglecting the needs of those around us, or for not giving You proper praise for Who You are and all that You do. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will recognize quickly, Your hand and heart in all things, and that we would see others through Your eyes. Lead us to love others as You so generously love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we continually offer a sacrifice of praise to You, and do good and share with others. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. – Job 8:21