Isaiah 58:10

Verse of the Day Devotion: Isaiah 58:10

“And if you give yourself to the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, Then your light will rise in darkness and your gloom will become like midday.” – Isaiah 58:10 

This verse compels us to show compassion on those who are hungry and has nothing to eat.  This is the example expressed in this verse however, I would say that any of the three needs found in Matthew 6 are to be included.  “For this reason, I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?”  Matthew 6:25.  In this verse, Jesus is telling His followers not to worry about food, drink and clothing.  He will supply them for us.  However, He often uses us to make it happen.

The idea here of giving yourself to the hungry is not simply to hand them food and then walk off. It is showing them compassion and letting them know you care.  Often, this will be accepted more heartily than the food.  Too many feels no one cares about them.  We, as Christians, should show how much we care with both our words and our deeds.  Take the time to comfort them while meeting their physical needs.  And when we provide for those who have needs, our light will shine into their darkness.  We can show the light of Christ into their darkness, and even their darkness will be as bright as the midday sun.

It is important to remember that mere words are not enough.  James said that faith without works is dead.  Look here at what he says, “What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith, but he has no works? Can that faith save him?  If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled, and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?” James 2:14-16 How does this meet their need?  How does this show the love of Christ?  It does not.

And when we do give to the needy, look what the writer of proverbs says, “One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the LORD, And He will repay him for his good deed.”  Proverbs 19:17. You will be repaid in this life, or the life to come.  Of course, this should not be the reason we do it, it should be totally out of love for God and people.  God never asks anything of us that He is not willing to give us more for our willingness to sacrifice.

And one more thing.  Remember the parable of the sheep and the goats.  Here is how Jesus put it.  “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?  When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?  The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.  Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.  Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?  Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.  These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” Matthew 25:34-46.

For all He has done for us, should we not meet the needs of those we come across?  He says if we do, it will be as if doing it for Him.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.

Isaiah 61:1

Verse of the Day Devotion.  Isaiah 61:1

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives, And freedom to prisoners.” – Isaiah 61:1   

In Chapter 60, Isaiah speaks of the blessings that will come to the city of God that it’s people will enjoy. Now in Chapter 61 he will speak of the one who will bring these blessings. Putting it another way, after having described the city with the light reflecting from it, he now speaks of the light itself. There is a part of this focus verse that helps us understand who the light is. Note the words in our focus verse, ‘The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me’.  Specifically the word, ‘me’.

Now, in the Luke’s gospel, Jesus speaks these words in the synagogue. He had arrived in Nazareth where He grew up and because it was the Sabbath, He went to the synagogue. “And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him.” Luke 4:17-20. There was probably more that was said by Him, but these are the words Luke chose to write in his gospel due to its importance. But the main point is what He was promising.

Now, there is no indication in Isaiah 61 regarding who the ‘me’ was referring to, but the key factor to be noted is that it is God who empowers and directs this person through the Spirit. Thus the Anointed One is doing tasks assigned by God (for he was sent by God), and the power of the Spirit will guarantee that he will successfully accomplish the will of God. And this list given by God is detailed. And what is this list? In our focus verse, the prophet announced the good news of God’s restoration for the people of Israel: “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor, bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.

We may not see here in our focus verse who the ‘me’ is but seven centuries later, Jesus Christ began His public ministry in the synagogue of Nazareth by opening up the scroll of Isaiah and applying this passage to Himself. And how does He do this? After reading Isaiah 61:1-2, He rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and began His message by saying, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 4:21b.  In essence He was saying, I am the person here spoken of; and at this present time the Spirit of God is upon me; I am anointed with the Holy Ghost, and now preach glad tidings to you as well as and all the good things here mentioned. Also, all the endings proposed in this Scripture has its full accomplishment which has been read unto you; that you have heard this day. And the Jews themselves acknowledge, that these words are spoken of the Messiah.

Jesus Christ, our Messiah, brought the good news of salvation to the poor, the needy, and the spiritually barren, that is, all who were corrupted by sin. Before salvation, sin separated us from God. Without Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, we would all be eternally lost. But Jesus came to set us free from the fear and power of death. The corruption of sin that had left us spiritually crushed was overcome by the work of Christ on Calvary. Christ’s redeeming sacrifice opens the way for us to experience His glorious resurrection life. Accepting His salvation is our greatest spiritual need, and that is why it is such good news: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:3-5. We were all brokenhearted, helpless, and separated from God before we received Christ’s gift of salvation. But now we have peace with God because of the Messiah who came to provide us with the peace that God offered to us. And as a final point, we know He is the light for Jesus says He is. “Again therefore Jesus spoke to them, saying, I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.

Psalm 149:4

Verse of the Day Devotion: Psalm 149:4 

“For the LORD takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation.” – Psalm 149:4         

This is a psalm that should bring us great encouragement and rejoicing.  We read here that God takes pleasure in His people.  As Christians, we are His people and therefore we can infer that God takes great pleasure in us 

This is a beautiful thought because this tells us that not only do we take pleasure in Him, but He takes pleasure in us.  He enjoys fellowship with us as we with Him.  We sometimes forget this concept thinking only of how we enjoy His presence.  However, this verse tells us that He also enjoys being with us as well.  He loves us. He showers on us His blessings and favor.  And in Him doing this, our hearts are filled with gladness.  He delights in us doing well.  “Let them shout for joy and rejoice, who favor my vindication; And let them say continually, “The LORD be magnified, Who delights in the prosperity of His servant.” Psalm 35:22.  He delights to make us prosperous and happy.  He wants to make us content, and He does this by meeting our needs.  “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19  God loves doing good to is.

However, my greatest thing God has done to show His delight in us is the salvation He provided through His Son.  Look at the second part of this verse.  “He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation.”  Psalm 149:4b. The word rendered beautify means to adorn, to honor.  It basically means the salvation He provides would be like an ornament, as if we are clothed with splendid and costly clothing, beyond anything we could ever imagine.  The ‘afflicted ones’ refer to the humble in means and/or in heart. Those who humble themselves in God’s presence and does the work He has called them to do.  These will be afflicted either by men or the enemy, however, the affliction will end at the time of His coming.

However, those whom He adorns will be with Him forever without end.  He loves us and delights in us so much that He will make it such that He will always be with us.  We need to see this idea both ways.  We will be with Him for eternity, and He will be with us for eternity.  He loves us and takes great pleasure in creating a new home for us.  “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.”  Revelation 21:1. 

Next is a verse I find intriguing.  “And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them,” Revelation 21:3.  Note the wording used twice in this verse, He will be among us and He will Dwell among us.  Again, just as Christ came down to us and saved us, He will come to us in the new heaven and earth and dwell with us.  He delights in being with us and fellowshipping with us that He comes to be with us in our new dwelling place for all eternity.  He creates our new home and then abides with us there.  This is how much He loves us.    

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.