…if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. -Isaiah 58:10 (ESV)
When Jesus said, “I did not come to destroy the law, but to fulfill the law,” He was referring to the written body of work with which the Pharisees, Sadducees and other learned individuals of His day were well familiar. Part of that written body was the words of Isaiah, which includes today’s Scripture verse. Jesus often based His comments on the words of early Jewish writers. He may have been alluding to today’s verse when He said in the fifth chapter of Matthew, “…ye are the salt of the earth and the light of the world.”
This verse clearly says that we are called to spend ourselves on behalf of others to ensure that we will, in fact, be the light of the world. Today, as in the days of Christ, there are countless individuals with countless needs. Our world is hurting and, as the salt of the earth, it is your opportunity to serve as the balm of Gilead and relieve the hurt as much as you can.
As you go about your daily routine today, make a special effort to find someone who is hurting – physically, emotionally or spiritually – and dedicate yourself to helping meet that need.
Last night, I visited a church to attend a men’s Bible study. This was my first visit, so I didn’t know exactly how it would go. At the end, the pastor handed out a sheet of 8 questions. One of the questions struck me to the core. Many days, I have little contact with people outside my normal circle of influence. I interact with those I work with, my family, or the people in the office next door. I might wave to a neighbor, or see the same friendly cashier at the grocery store. As I reflected and answered the question about what I am doing to help further God’s kingdom and help people, my thoughts went to how many days have come and went without me making a marked progress towards those goals. I love the opportunity working at FH to impact different communities around the world, but how am I doing this in my own life? Am I making an impact?
I’m not achieving this partly due to the busy-ness of life, but mostly due to not being deliberate at it.
My wife asked me the other day if I think I’m going to return a changed man after my trip to Guatemala. My response was, “well, I don’t think so, I mean I am who I am.” After studying today’s devotional, I hope I do come back changed. I hope my heart is softened to hear the people around me, in my community, and that I can see the pain and suffering of neighbors and friends. I hope I can use this compassion to help people in Guatemala, or Haiti, or the DRC.
Will you come back changed with me? Will you help meet the needs of your neighbors – here and abroad?