Practical Love

Week 5, Day 4

Sharing the Practical Love of God

By: Samuel Bretz

Isaiah 58:7

Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?

“What must I do to inherit eternal life?”

“What is written in the Law?  How do you read it?”

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all you soul and with all you strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”

“You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”

We are wired to ask how we can be a good enough person.  We work really hard to justify ourselves in our own sight, often using a passage here and there to make ourselves live up to the standard.  But what standard, and whose standard counts?

In Isaiah 58 we are presented with a version of a standard that we are very good at following.  A religion that “seeks [our] own pleasure, and oppresses [those who don’t do it like we do].” But God replies by telling us that his religion requires that we share our food with the hungry and bring the poor homeless people into our house.  That we clothe naked people.

If we’re honest we should read these words and feel a twinge.  We see this around us everyday, and yet how often do we do these things?  Speaking for myself; some, but not much and not enough.

So where do we find hope in this religion?  We find hope in Jesus. Because when we are hungry, He is the bread of life.  When we are naked, he clothes us in his robes of righteousness. When we are poor and homeless, He goes to prepare a place for us.  

This is a religion that we can do, because of what He has done, and will do through us.  Let us love our neighbor because He first loved us.

Reflection Questions

Who is your neighbor who needs your food, shelter, and clothing, and how can you serve him or her this week?