And the word of the Lord came to Zechariah saying, Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Render true judgements, show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.”
Just before these verses the people were asking if they should fast like they had been doing for the last 70 years and God’s response was to ask them if they were fasting for Him or for themselves because they were neglecting the things He had told them to do. Fasting is often more for us, to grow our faith, but if we are neglecting the important things of God then all the fasting in the world isn’t going to move God on our behalf.
God was frustrated with the people of Israel because they were very much into all of their rituals and feasts and fasts and were good at maintaining their “spiritual schedule” but they weren’t concerned about the matters of the heart – how were they treating others! It is time to live out our testimony not just talk it!
The Bible says in James 4:17, “Therefore to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” We need to be careful to not get so caught up in legalistic man given rules and rituals that we neglect other people, people are the heart of God and we serve Him best when we are looking at the needs of others and not trying to figure out how to get revenge on that person who did us wrong or trying to maintain an outward appearance to impress others with how “spiritual” we are. God has made it clear both in the Old Testament and the New that we are to Love our God and to Love others as we do ourselves, that is how we get God’s attention and serve Him and that is how we show others the love of Christ.
I would encourage you today to look beyond your problems at hand and ask God to show you someone He would like you to show His kindness and mercy to today. As I heard Anthony Robbins say the other day, “Our problems are our biggest addictions” We focus too much on our problems and that is how they become overwhelming! We need to do what we can about our problems, pray about them and then as God works on solving our problems we need to look to the problems of others and see how we might be part of God’s solution in other peoples lives. Now, don’t get yourself involved beyond what God would have you do, be sure to be in prayer so you have God’s leading and direction in helping others as well. You will be amazed at how much easier it is to face your situation when you begin to focus on others and their needs.
If what you believe doesn’t affect how you live, then it isn’t very important.” Dick Nogleberg