Living the Good Life – by Rachel Antoine
I am inspired and cut to the heart by Isaiah 58—every time I read it, inspired and cut to the heart. This chapter specifically speaks to people who are seeking God and seeking God through fasting. There are three main points to this chapter. It tells us to: 1) stop mistreating and taking advantage of people, 2) start caring for others and standing up for what is right, 3) look for the promises you will get from God as you do what is right. As we take a closer look at Isaiah 58, we can see that God has a way for us to live that brings purpose to our lives and shows His love to others. Sponsorship is one way to live that out.
If we are going to get serious about seeking God, especially enough to go some time without food, we need to take a moment where we stop and examine what we are doing in our lives. Isaiah 58 starts out with, “Shout! A full-throated shout!…Tell my people what’s wrong with their lives,” (Isaiah 58:1 The Message). We should start out by getting rid of the things we do that we know are not God-like. It’s time to stop arguing just to be right, putting ourselves first, and plain old selfishness that we practice day after day. It’s not our job to blame others for how things are happening or complain about problems. Instead of being selfish, God says we are to put others’ needs before our own.
Isaiah 7 lists a few ways we can start practicing putting others before ourselves. We are to share our food with those who are hungry, bring people into our homes who are lonely and poor, and give clothes to those who don’t have any. This is where I’m beginning to get cut to the heart. How about you? When was the last time you did some of these things? It is our responsibility to help people be set free from addictions, bring healing into people’s lives, and speak out for those who don’t have a voice.
Here is the beautiful part. When we take action and do the right thing for others in need, God has all these promises of goodness for us and purpose for our lives. He says that we will shine wherever we go, we will bring healing to people, and that He will protect us. Even more, God promises that when we take care of others, if we cry out to Him, he will answer us. We will be known as those who can fix anything (Isaiah 58:9-12 The Message).When you live like this and people start coming to you for help, don’t be surprised or bothered. It is because you know and have access to the God of the universe and can look to Him for the answers.
This is the way we are meant to live as we seek and follow God. If you are looking for a way to start caring for others and living out Isaiah 58 today, sponsoring a child does that. Sponsoring gives clothes to someone who has only one or two outfits. Sponsoring feeds s child who is hungry. Sponsoring empowers and sets the oppressed free by providing love, education and discipleship. Sponsoring is a beautiful, simple step to living out the life God has purposed us to live found in Isaiah 58.
If you would like to sponsor a child click HERE to learn more and see all of the children who are waiting for a special friend to sponsor them.