Thursday, April 04, 2013

Try Something New. CARE.



"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."
Edmund Burke 



Our church is fasting together as a congregation for 40 days, until May 10. Last night I preached a message from Isaiah 58 entitled, “The Fasting Compassion Connection". Did you know fasting and compassion are directly connected? There will be no breakthrough as a result of fasting unless we have God's heart  of compassion for other people. This means addressing injustice, specifically. 

The people in Isaiah's day learned that all of their fasting produced absolutely nothing since they lacked genuine compassion for others. This isn't my word, it's THE word. (Read all about it in Isaiah 58:1-12.) The people wanted blessings from God but did not care deeply enough about the needs of others. The wounds and injustices around them were not on their radar. And so, God did NOTHING in response to all their sacrifice. All they ended up doing was giving up food, with no results. 

When our heart is in the right place, we will seek justice for those who face unfair treatment.
True righteous living is acting compassionately toward those who are hurting.  

Here’s a hard truth I've come to realize: most people don’t care about something unless it’s happened to them or is happening to them.


Why does it often take a person going through a tragedy themselves to have compassion for other people who have experienced the tragedy?

Why can’t we get past ourselves to reach out to people who have different hurts than we do? 

Selfishness says, “That really doesn’t apply to me…” 
Apathy says, "I don't want to take time to hear about this..."   

True fasting will give you compassion for things that don’t affect you AT ALL.

Fasting for the right reasons results in compassion for other people who are affected by wounds and pain and hurt that you know not of. 

Scripture speaks of fasting so that God would free the oppressed.  Do you care about the oppressed? 

Did you know there are more slaves right now in this time period than any other?
There are an estimated 27 million slaves across the globe. 

I know about this because of people who are passionate and have shared relentlessly about it. 
There are modern day prophets bringing awareness of things that must be righted in the world. They cry out about it every time you turn around. In fact, you don't hear them preach a sermon or go very far in any conversation without mentioning it. They are people like Christine Caine with The A21 Campaign, Lisa Bevere with Pearl Alliance, and Brian and Season Russo with Eye Heart World.

Other people take up the call to address different injustices...wrongs that beg to be righted, and you say...

"But, they are like a broken record...It's all they talk about." 

Well.............there's a good reason for that. They caught God's heart on something and won't let it go!! 

May they never tone down.
May they never be quiet.
   
Maybe you should try something new.
Try caring. 

Fasting brings about a greater compassion.
When you are fasting for the right reasons, you catch God's heart.
You will not be silenced.
You will not shut up.
You will care.
You will listen. 
You will act. 

You will care more about helping hurting people than racing off to Smoothie King.

 

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