Transforming Faith

Isaiah 1:13-17:

Stop bringing meaningless offerings!

Your incense is detestable to me.

New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations—

I cannot bear your worthless assemblies.

14 Your New Moon feasts and your appointed festivals

I hate with all my being.

They have become a burden to me;

I am weary of bearing them.

15 When you spread out your hands in prayer,

I hide my eyes from you;

even when you offer many prayers,

I am not listening.

Your hands are full of blood!

16 Wash and make yourselves clean.

Take your evil deeds out of my sight;

stop doing wrong.

17 Learn to do right; seek justice.

Defend the oppressed.[a]

Take up the cause of the fatherless;

plead the case of the widow.

Such strong words!

“I am weary of bearing [your worthless assemblies].”

“I hide my eyes from you [when you spread your hands in prayer].”

“I hate with all my being [your feasts and festivals].”

Religious observance without heart change is detestable to God. This is not to say that we must “do” something to have fellowship with God; Christ has already done everything necessary for life and godliness on our behalf.

But when we recognize the magnitude of that sacrifice, it changes our heart as surely as a seed exposed to light and water will be transformed into a plant that provides food for many.

John 8:12 tell us, “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”

And just before this in John 7:38, he said, “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”

When our lives are exposed to the Light and Living Water that Jesus offers, they are transformed into something through which God blesses others – not because of our great efforts. This is the power of God and it is a law we see at work in those who have embraced the Light and the Living Water as surely as the natural laws transform a seed into a crop!

It is not something that we can do. No amount of effort, desire, or work on our part can multiply in this way.

And yet, when we bring what we have to the Lord with earnest prayers for Him to use our meager offerings, like the young boy’s lunch or the widow’s mite…

He listens with delight to our prayers.

He gazes on our hearts with joy.

He accepts our worship with satisfaction.

And he transforms our worthless crumbs into a feast!

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