By Tim Frank
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Carthage
Focal Passage: Isaiah 58:3-11
The life of Jesus gives the perfect example of One who was used to help others in their suffering. He is our model in all things, especially in care and concern for the hurting. In Matthew 20:28, Jesus explains that He did not come to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many. As followers of Jesus, we are called to be concerned and give our lives in serving others, especially those in need.
The Old Testament prophet Isaiah shares God’s direct word to a religious yet disobedient nation. There was no lack of sacrifices, rituals, and religious acts among the people. In the minds of the people, one of the most valued of the righteous acts was the discipline of fasting. There was a sense of pride in their denial of food to the body and an anticipation of the applause and blessing of God for their devotion. [Read more…]