The Lord Be With You Today!

Isaiah 58:1-3a
“Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet.
Declare to My people their rebellion and to the descendants of Jacob their sins.
(The Lord is challenging His faithful ones to be a voice of truth to His people
to shout out loudly and forcefully to those
who have continued in rebellion against God and His commands.
He wants those who are disobedient to hear His truth
and that He always sees sin in our lives.)
For day after day they seek Me out; they seem eager to know My ways,
as if they were a nation that does what is right
and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
They ask Me for just decisions and seem eager for God to come near them.
(In only external shows of devotion, God’s people had hypocritically acted
as if they cared about Him and His ways.
In reality, their hearts were far from Him, and their religious attendance
was in form only and without true conviction.
They were willfully bent on reinterpreting the Lord’s demands
through their own skewed and distorted construct.
How often do we also find ourselves just going through the motions,
lacking true and heartfelt commitment and piety,
diluting the Lord’s commands with our own rationalizations,
and acting as if the Lord cannot discern the difference.)
‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and You have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves, and You have not noticed?’"
(In hypocritical and arrogant protest, they put the blame on God
for not responding to their outward show of devotion.
We, too, often accuse the Lord of being inadequate and insufficient,
of being too little too late, and of not caring.
We often try to live only a partial life of obedience to Him,
with each foot on both sides of the fence
that marks the boundary of selfless devotion and self-centered willfulness.
The Lord reveals to us here that He sees the motives behind our actions,
He knows our hidden and unspoken thoughts, and detects falsehood.
The beauty of His rebuke here, though, is that He still calls us His people
and He still wants us to hear His message clear and unmistakable
that He desires for us to repent and come to Him wholeheartedly
and without any reservation.)

May the Lord richly bless you this day!

In Christ’s love,

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