Turn on the Lights

The following passage from Isaiah is one of my favorites. Throughout my life as a Christian I have often turned the pages of my Bible to read once again these powerful words.

It is a straightforward statement expressing what God wants from us who claim to be His. It clearly defines how He wants us to spend ourselves and what the results should be.

Yesterday our pastor challenged us to consider our lives and ask ourselves two questions. What am I doing that I shouldn’t? What am I not doing that I should be? I’d like to pass that challenge along. Read the passage below without rushing through it. Savor the flavor of what God is saying, what He expects, what He wants your life to taste like. Then, make changes and choices accordingly.

The results will be phenomenal. “The lights will turn on and your lives will turn around.” There is really very little I could say that would add anything to these life-changing Words. If you’ve been wondering how to proceed, what to do with your life, how to order your steps, where to start or how to make a difference. Here it is.

I’ll close with this thought. When you manage to turn on the light for another, you’ve managed to turn on the light for yourself as well. “Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.”

“This is the kind of fast day I’m after: to break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts. What I’m interested in seeing you do is: sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families. Do this and the lights will turn on, and your lives will turn around at once. Your righteousness will pave your way. The GOD of glory will secure your passage. Then when you pray, GOD will answer. You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am.’ “If you get rid of unfair practices, quit blaming victims, quit gossiping about other people’s sins, If you are generous with the hungry and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out, Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight. I will always show you where to go. I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places— firm muscles, strong bones. You’ll be like a well-watered garden, a gurgling spring that never runs dry. You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew, rebuild the foundations from out of your past. You’ll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, make the community livable again. “If you get rid of unfair practices, quit blaming victims, quit gossiping about other people’s sins, If you are generous with the hungry and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out, Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight. I will always show you where to go. I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places— firm muscles, strong bones. You’ll be like a well-watered garden, a gurgling spring that never runs dry. You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew, rebuild the foundations from out of your past. You’ll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, make the community livable again.
‭Isaiah‬ ‭58‬:‭9-12‬ (The Message)

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