Tag Archives: the book of Isaiah

“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?”  (Isaiah 38:6-7, NIV) 

We often think of fasting as something from which we refrain or abstain — and that is a true definition.  However, according to our reading from Isaiah, God’s chosen fast can be as much a time of engagement as it is a time of denial or retreat.

During this Lenten season, disciples will often give-up something.  This is a good thing if only as a reminder that “man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”  (Matthew 4:4)

Yet, we also need to remember that God is as interested in what we have chosen to take-up as He is in what we’ve chosen to give-up.  There is as much for us in the “taking up our cross” as in the “denying one’s self.” (Please see Matthew 16:24.)

Let us strive to maintain balance in our discipleship!  – Luther

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“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.”  (Isaiah 55:6, NIV)

God is omnipresent, yet, there are times when we feel closer to Him, and He seems more accessible than at other times.

When we are not pressed by circumstances, or stressed by the sense that things are out of control; it is in such mundane moments that we need to draw near to God.

Use the “boring” level stretches of time to cement your relationship to your heavenly Father.  Hunting for divine companionship while descending into the dark valley of trial, or while climbing the mountains of adversity are not the best conditions.  – Luther

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“The path of the righteous is level; you, the Upright One, make the way of the righteous smooth.”  (Isaiah 26:7, NIV)

While it is true that — externally — the path of the righteous is full of “ups and downs”; internally, at the seat of our heart and spirit, the path is bubble-center level for the person who faithfully follows the leading of the Spirit.

If we allow it, the external, visible, tangible, temporal, physical pressures of living will dictate our internal, invisible, intangible, eternal, spiritual perspective.  Don’t allow it.  In fact, turn it around so that your view of things visible is always informed, guided, and determined by things invisible.

It is the serenity that the “Upright One” alone provides that allows you to, as poet Rudyard Kipling wrote, “keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you.”  – Luther

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