Today’s reading is Isaiah 58.
“Don’t judge a book by its cover” is a very recognizable saying we hear said often, yet it is hard to do. We may think someone is rude because they don’t go out of the way to engage with us, and we may think someone who goes out of their way to talk to us is a great person who really cares about others. I’ve been around a lot of leaders and there have been those who said all the right things and made you feel like the world to them, but their actions may not have followed through. As where others were maybe a little socially awkward and didn’t say all the right things, but their actions later showed they really cared. Someone being introverted or extroverted does not tell us their true heart. You will know their true heart when you spend enough time with them.
God knows our true heart. In this chapter He is calling out His people for fasting for show. He tells them in Isaiah 58:3 you “seek your own pleasure” and “oppress all your workers.” He goes on to talk about when we truly fast in the right way the “glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard” in Isaiah 58:8 and Isaiah 58:9 He will answer our call. He goes on in Isaiah 58:10 to say if you help the poor “your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom shall be as the noonday.” He continues on throughout verses 11-14 about the good favor that will come to those who do good and who’s heart and motives are in the right place. God knows and God notices. Will we be rewarded in this life? Unfortunately…maybe not…but no doubt we will in Heaven based on what the Word tells us and eternity is much longer than our life here on Earth.
Will doing good get us to Heaven? Our son Deklin who is 10 has an amazing heart for others, but he and I were just discussing how as good of heart as he has it will not get him to Heaven. Romans 3:23 tells us all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory, and Romans 6:23 goes on to tell us the wages of sin (singular..even one) is death. Romans 6:23 also tells us though “the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
You’ve heard the saying, “Check your ego at the door.” While we really need to “check our heart at the door” to make sure we are doing things for the right reasons like Isaiah 58 speaks of, the most important thing we must check our heart for is Jesus. Is He in yours?
There is only one door that leads the way to Heaven.
Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”