Sunday, April 27, 2008

A Worship that's Sincere (church bulletin cover)

They sought God. I seek God. They were eager to know God’s ways. I am too. They asked God for just decisions and delighted in His nearness, and I hope the same could be said of me. But God strongly rebukes the people who are described in this way in Isaiah 58:2. Why?

What was so wrong that God would be that upset with a people who seemed so passionate for Him? Isaiah 58 goes on to point out what God knew was missing in the lives of these seemingly devout people. In this passage, God is graciously providing us the clues we so desperately need for knowing if our delight in God and our desire to seek Him are sincere. And the main issue? How God’s people responded to the needs of people around them.

I’m extremely challenged by how Isaiah 58 helps me to know if my devotion to the Lord is truly from my heart. Verse 7 asks if we “share [our] food with the hungry and provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, [do you] clothe him…?” I know I can’t help everyone in that kind of need, but am I consistently doing anything to help with such needs? The way for me to ensure that my relationship with God is sincere is to be sure that my love for God is revealed in my love for my neighbour—and particularly the poor. 1 John 3:17-19 agrees as John declares that it is by putting our love for the needy into action that we can assure our hearts before God and know that we are of the truth.

For this to be the case requires some careful intentionality. I need to be on the lookout regarding needs that God exposes me to in my everyday life. God help each of us to see the needs around us and to respond appropriately! And I trust that Love Winnipeg and Caring for the Core will be valuable incentives for those of us who could use a little help growing in this area of regularly responding to the needs of people living right here in the city of Winnipeg!

© 2008 by Ken Peters

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