Poor People (Part 27)
Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
To loose the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the heavy burdens,
To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out;
When you see the naked, that you cover him,
And not hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you;
The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Isaiah 58:6-8 (NKJV)
Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
James 1:27 (NKJV)
What is pure and undefiled religion today? Is it not just as Isaiah and James described? Of this I am sure: it's not rulish religion. Through the prophet Hosea, God put it this way:
'I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings' (Hosea 6:6). Because His people became form without substance. Consider this explanation for them and us.
'Over time the Israelites began to worship other gods while continuing the ritual of the sacrifices. They 'obeyed the Law,' yet they did not display love toward God, and they did not truly know Him. Hosea's message was a response to Israel's hypocrisy. God desired their love over external practices of piety. He longed for His people to long for Him rather than simply continue a religious tradition.' *
Actors, models and talent for Christ: you stand against rulish religion. By the strange nature of your journey, your narrow path takes a higher ground. Upon the airwaves of media, riding on the back of a dragon, refusing to be caught in his net, you're lifting up the standard of God.
Here's the funniest part of the trip: your love is welcome in Hollywood. The gifts of God's Spirit aren't rulish. Instead, they're much appreciated.
To Be Continued...
* Short article: Why does God desire mercy and acknowledgement of Him instead of sacrifice (Hosea 6:6)? http://www.gotquestions.org/mercy-not-sacrifice.html
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Poor People series.