Isaiah 58Posted: May 2, 2011 Filed under: Thinking about Ministry 1 Comment
Haven’t had much time to blog in the last while … But day off today, Margie at work and my chores done quickly. And I found the WordPress app for iPad!
At church last night we watched the DVD from Foundations for Farming in which Brian Oldreive speaks about the vision to rebuild Zimbabwe using Isaiah 58 as a guideline. It’s a big and practical vision which is already making a difference in that desperate country. Brian was recently in Australia and it was good to chat to him about his vision.
But I digress … What really sparked my attention in his presentation (which was a just teensy bit slow and wandering) was the five point plan for nation-building which he identified in Isaiah 58. I see a great relevance also for building up the church.
Here are the five points:
1. Let God be first. (Do not be rebellious. Is 58:1-3a)
2. Do not be selfish. (Is 58:3a-6)
3. Serve the poor. (Is 58:6-11)
4. Prepare for the harvest. (Is 58:11)
5. Let the people build on the old-age foundations (of God) (Is 58:12)
Fairly obvious, you say. You’re right, it is always pretty obvious actually.
But think about it .. How often do we head for the fourth point (evangelism) without doing the first three things.
1. We have to start with God, we must seek His face, we must not be rebellious (seek our own way).
2. We must do away with selfishness. Brian said that selfishness is the cause of every sin – thinking about that sweeping statement, I guess it’s true. We do seem to be driven by a self before others syndrome. Thinking about others before ourselves and having a generous spirit in foregiveness as well as ‘things’ will be a radical change for many Christians.
3. Jesus’ concern was always first for the poor. We build churches for the middle class and hope that we’ll get some rich people too. We don’t know how to minister to the poor except by giving handouts. How about being a friend?
4. With these points in place we can begin to grow the crop. We will have a mission and a purpose which concurs with that of God. We are ready be be a well watered garden.
5. Let the people build on the age-old foundations. Teach Godly principles from the Word of God.
Right, now let’s see if this app works ….