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Daily Devotionals

Day 77 – Issue 37

todayMay 1, 2015 8

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Be Still Know

READ: Isaiah 58.6-7 NLT

“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.”

It is incredibly sad that Isaiah’s words written more than 2,500 years ago still apply today. There continue to be people who are wrongly imprisoned, hungry and homeless. God’s word to us today is, therefore, unchanged from Isaiah’s day. He declares that the reality of our worship will be revealed by our willingness to care for those who are denied justice and as we reach out to feed the hungry and give shelter to the homeless.

I am thrilled that Christians are busily engaged in fighting for justice and in providing practical relief for the hungry and homeless. The need is still enormous. There are more than 300,000 homeless people in the UK. I have often spoken with homeless people and have been struck by the terrible ease with which people can slip into homelessness. An ugly row with parents or a partner; the loss of a job; a time of depression; or simply the inability to find affordable housing in a new town. Homeless people are just like us, apart from the fact that they no longer have the security of a home.

Before the 2008 recession the term “food bank” was rarely heard. There are now more than 2,000 food banks in these islands and during the pandemic they have played an even more crucial role in ensuring that people are adequately fed. Christians do not have a monopoly in caring for the hungry, nor do we seek it, but it is wonderful to see that so many of these food banks are based in churches and supported by Christian volunteers. This is exactly what God wants to see. Fasting is a wonderful form of worship but if it doesn’t find expression in practical gritty action to support people in need, then God doesn’t want to know. He would rather we kept quiet until the time we sorted ourselves out.

QUESTIONS: In what ways are you supporting vulnerable people in your community?

PRAYER: Lord God, I ask you to open my eyes to the needs of people around me, and to open my heart and pocket to respond to them. Amen

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Written by: Matt Weet

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