by Rebecca Livermore
Bring no more futile sacrifices; incense is an abomination to Me. The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies – I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting. Your New Moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates; They are a trouble to Me, I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; Even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood. Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil. Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow (Isaiah 1:11-17 NKJV).
Christianity in general and church life in particular is often filled with doing “good things.” As Christians, we are called to do good things, but unless the things we are doing are ordained by God, they are not good, and in fact may be displeasing to God.
Your journal is a great place to process the truth found in Isaiah 1:11-17. Use your journal to explore the following:
- Have you ever considered the possibility that the religious things you do could be an abomination to the Lord? Grapple with that possibility in your journal.
- Make a list of everything that happens on a typical Sunday in your church. Which of the things are biblical and which ones are simply traditions? Do you think that any of the things that are merely traditions are displeasing to God? Write about the conclusion you came to in your journal.
- According to the passage of Scripture above, what types of behavior will keep God from hearing you? Do you feel any of these behaviors have hindered your prayer life?
- Verse 17 exhorts us to learn to do good. Write about how you can learn to do good.
- Do you know of people who are oppressed or suffering injustice? Make a list of things you can do to help alleviate their suffering.
NOTE: These are journal prompts, so there are no right or wrong answers. The prompts are simply intended to help you grapple with various issues in your heart and life in the privacy of your journal. Don't worry about being "right" as you respond to these -- just write honestly, from your heart.
Click here to read more of Rebecca's articles.
"'Christ in You...'" from
The Power Of EncouragementRead Article »
Receive the newest devotional each week in your inbox by joining the "Relevant Reflections" subscription list. Enter your email address below, click "Go!" and we will send you a confirmation email. Follow the instructions in the email to confirm your addition to this list.