Saved to serve
No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help. “Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind. Then when you call, the Lord will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply. Isaiah 58:6-9 NLT
Isaiah has been calling the people to return to God and to repent of their sins. Salvation is humbling oneself before God and to rely only in God’s grace. “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it” (Ephesians 2:8-9). Isaiah admonished the Israelites for they have relied to their religious activities as their means to salvation rather than depending on the grace of God. From the text, Isaiah provided examples of the actions taken by those that responded to the grace of God. They care for the poor and the destitute. They share food to the needy. They respond with compassion and love to the need of others not because of their human insight but because of the authority God has over their life. It is part of godly living manifesting the righteousness of God. They are not seeking their own glory but the glory of the Lord. Christianity is not a private religion. Having God in our life will transform us from inward focus and self-absorption to helping us care more meaningfully for others. Let your life be God’s answer to someone’s prayers. God saved us so we can serve Him by serving others. “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Ephesians 2:10). Let us follow God’s example through our Lord Jesus Christ who is a cheerful Giver, a persistent Lover, and a relevant Helper.