Saturday, January 16, 2010

Isaiah 1:17

Scroll to the bottom of this page and you'll see the daily Bible verse. This morning, when I saw that it was Isaiah 1:17, I was reminded of a powerful lesson I learned in Guatemala.
In Guatemala, one of our amazing team leaders was Paul. I'll never forget the devotions Paul gave. He had the biggest heart for missions that I've ever seen. He was passionate about "the lost and the least"; the people in third world countries that no one seems to think about - the kids being sold into sex trafficking that we seem to ignore. When he thought of these people, his heart would really, seriously hurt for them.
Many people will look at a guy like Paul and think, "Wow, it's great that he cares so much about all that. God must have really put missions on his heart."
But Paul wouldn't necessarily agree with that sentiment. He doesn't believe that missions are just for the select few. He believes that God has put missions on everybody's heart. And I'm inclined to agree.
When we're just walking in the flesh - doing our own thing - then of course, our heart may not feel like going on a mission trip, or even be concerned with the starving people half way across the globe. But when we give our life to God, He will replace our old heart with a new heart.
Have you ever heard the verse, "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart"? When you really take time to delight yourself in the Lord, you'll become more like Him. You'll have His heart. You'll want to be about what God's about.
If you want to know what's on God's heart, just look in His word. You can't miss it.
"The Lord has told you what is do what is right to other people, love being kind to others...." Micah 6:8
"This is what the Lord says: Do what is fair and right. Save the one who has been robbed from the power of his attacker. Don't mistreat or hurt the foreigners, orphans, or widows...." Jeremiah 22:3
"Religion that God accepts as pure and without fault is this: caring for orphans or widows who need help, and keeping yourself free from the world's evil influence." James 1:2
Jesus explains this best. Matthew 25:35-40, 46 says:
'I was hungry, and you gave me food. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was alone and away from home, and you invited me into your house. I was without clothes, and you gave me something to wear. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.'
Then the good people will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and give you food, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you alone and away from home and invite you into our house? When did we see you without clothes and give you something to wear? When did we see you sick or in prison and care for you?'
Then the King will answer, 'I tell you the truth, anything you did for even the least of my people here, you also did for me.....
'Anything you refused to do for the least of my people here, you refused to do for me.'
God has told all of us how to live and what to care for. God's heart bleeds for those spiritually lost, and those that the world would deem the least of society. It's our obligation as Christians to care for those people; whether they live in another country, or in our own town.
One morning, as we sat in the conference room of the Guatemalan hotel, Paul read Isaiah 1:17 to us.
"Learn to do good. Seek justice. Punish those who hurt others. Help the orphans. Stand up for the rights of widows."
He told us to never forget it. "Write it on your arm," he said.
God wants to give us the desires of our hearts. But first, He wants to mold our heart to His. Be about what God's about.
To know practical ways that you can help the lost and the least - for instance, the 25,000 children who died from hunger and malnutrition today, and the 25,000 children who will probably die tomorrow, visit this website:


Anonymous said...

Wow, that is a very powerful post.
Anyone who read it would feel ready to help anybody.
So what is your opinion on the Haiti disaster?

Liberty said...

This morning in church, our pastor remarked that Haiti was already the poorest country in our hemisphere. Now, they're even worse off.
I can't imagine the devastation they must be feeling in Haiti. I honestly can't even imagine what it would be like to experience an earthquake. Living in Texas, that's not something we have to worry about. But I know it must be really hard for them.
We have Christian brothers and sisters over there, along with those that are lost. While this is a major trial for them, it's an opportunity for the Christians to grow in their faith. It can also be an amazing way for people to come to Christ. That is what we should pray for.
The best thing we can do for the people in Haiti is to pray for them. What if we all dedicated a certian amount of time each day to praying just for Haiti? Let's pray that God will use this trial for His glory! Let's pray that the Christians in Haiti and all over the world will reach out to those who need God.
I know there are also practical things we can do to help. I would suggest getting involved with a Christian organization you trust, like Samaritan's Purse( They are doing a lot to help the Haiti victims right now. Check out their website and see what you can do.
But I still say the best thing we can do for these people is to pray for them.
"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." - Genesis 50:20