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Today’s Devotional: “The Goodness Quotient”
The Bible continually talks about God being tired of our meaningless sacrifices if we ignore those in need, whatever those needs may be. We often think of these people as those who are in need of the basic necessities, food, water, clothing, and housing. But these also include those who are emotionally, physically (illness and disease), and spiritually.
Through the prophet Isaiah, God questions the people’s sacrifices and how He’s had enough of their hypocrisy.
“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 1:16-17)
If our faith is only found in religious trappings and not in meeting and caring for the needs of others, then it’s meaningless to God, and He’ll hide His eyes and no longer hear our prayers.
The reason is because God takes on the role of father and protector for those in need. God is “A father to the fatherless, (and) a defender of widows.” (Psalm 68:5)
The Apostle James gets right down to the nitty-gritty of goodness and how it is a test of our faith.
“What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (James 2:14-17)
Our meeting people’s needs, however, must go beyond the physical and into the spiritual. Jesus not only met people’s physical needs, but He also gave them eternal life by dying on the cross.
Spurgeon said it the best saying, “If you want to give a hungry man a tract, wrap it up in a sandwich.”
This quality of goodness has brought more people repentance than all the teachings, doctrines, and evangelical messages combined. People really don’t care about how much we know; rather they want to know how much we care.
Wednesday Evening Bible Study