This is the forth of seven devotions And music videos
with the theme from Galatians 5:22
"The Fruit of the Spirit is Faithfulness"
(Adapted from Isaiah 58; Galatians 5:22; Luke 12:42, 16:10-12, 19:17)
The Israelites inquired of the Lord during a fast that they felt should move the hand of God but, in fact, was only a religious form.
“We have fasted before you!
Why aren’t you impressed?
We have been very hard on ourselves
and you don’t even notice it!”
Part of God’s respond through the prophet Isaiah was,
“It is because you are fasting to please yourselves.
Even while you fast, you keep oppressing your workers,
you overwork them and you underpay them.”
The Israelites believed God would bless them if they only performed the right rituals. Their fasting was a mere external piety without repentance and right living. I must guard against the same wrong thinking lest I become committed to a religious form instead of focusing on walking in love and pleasing God.
I might not have a payroll to meet but occasionally I ‘employ’ a server in a restaurant to meet my need of a meal. If the restaurant only pays the server $3.00 an hour, then I undercut their income that hour of their day when I leave a small tip. If I hold back what is due that server, I will be in violation of love as described in Isaiah 58, and it will render my fasting & prayer useless
If an employer pays his workers as little as he can get by with, he is administering poverty to his employees and he sows to his own poverty.
If I fast but do not walk in love, my soul is not prospering and therefore I am not prospering. My fasting becomes a ritualistic pomp when it should be a time of self-deprivation in order to focus on God and please Him. Simply stated, I am blessed because I bless others.
“My child, If you are faithful over money,
I will give you true riches.
Be wise concerning your finances.
Trust me with the first fruits of your increase.
Owe no man anything except to love them.
Be a blessing and you will prosper even as your soul prospers.”
LIVE A LIFE OF LOVE
(Adapted from Galatians 5:22; Luke 12:42, 16:10-12, 19:17)
Why have we fasted they say,
And You do not see it
Why have we afflicted ourselves
And You take no knowledge of it
You oppress your workers,
You overwork them, you under-pay them
Don’t just be religious but live a life of love,
A life of love
Cry aloud and spare not
Lift up your voice like a trumpet
Declare to your people, their transgression,
And to the house of Jacob, their sin
You can turn it around,
Be a blessing to everyone you meet,
Then your light shall break forth
And your healing shall spring forth speedily
WordsAndMusic by KentCliffordCooley