By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

"Is not this the fast that I have chosen? To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? When thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hidest not thyself from thine own flesh? 

Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall bring forth speedily; and thy righteousness shall go before thee: the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward. Then shalt thou call and the Lord shalt answer; thou shalt cry, and He shall say, 'Here I am.' If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity. And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul, then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones; and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. And they that shall be of Thee shall build the old waste places; thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in."
Isaiah 58:6-12

Today's Read: Isaiah 58; Matthew 25:31-46
The context of this passage asserts a separation (read vs.1-5) once again, between the souls of the religious and the souls of the redeemed.
Mechanical religious duties had fostered obligatory presentations of sacrifices and offerings void of any true soul connection with God.
Fellowship was defined by meaningless and fruitless religious formality.
Everything God loved was absent,
And nothing He desired was present.
God's desire was for depth and intimacy with man.
This is what He craved,
This is what He still craves.
Hmmm ....
It's signficant to note that the nation of Israel was rarely reprimanded for "not" offering sacrifices. They were reprimanded and temporarily rejected for performing meaningless rituals that obliterated God's presence and fostered nothing but more mechanics and  hardness of heart.
Rituals and religious traditions can violate the heart of God in an extraordinary way. Commands and rule adherence can seek to overrule and override the redemptive realities and qualities which God set forth in Christ.
When this happens:
Men who adhere to the words of men and make void the power of God and the redemptive blood of Christ will reap internal and eternal results.
The "acts" we perform are to flow out of our relationship with God and not to flow as a pretense for love of God.
There is a very great difference.
More and more, I read the Old Testament with the lens of the New Testament in mind, seeing the extraordinary parallels God is drawing between two groups of peoples:
The Religious and the Redeemed.
There is a wide chasm between the two which is growing ever wider.
The "groups" will surround themselves with "like" company.
Pay close attention and see the separation for yourself and the platform beneath the religious and the redeemed.
Never has the message of redemptive love been more needed in a dying world:
-We need lovers of God and not lovers of rules.
-We need lovers of men and not those looking to condemn them.
-We need grace permeating truth, and forcible, courageous lovers of it.
And when we love our fellow man as God loves us ...
Then I believe we are on to something very real which exceeds religion.
Something worth dying for ...
Something worth living for.
Something God sent His Son for:
Our redemption and pure relationship with the Living Savior.
May the springs run free,
And may the Redeemed truly rejoice in the wells of salvation and sanctification which are ours to freely drink from.
Break our hearts of religion;
And restore the Redeemed.
Three Study Suggestions:
1) Read the passages and record the revelations that God gives you personally.
Were there other passages He brought to mind? Were their convictions He brought you to?
2) Is your life with Christ composed of religion and mindless acts or depth and true intimacy? Repentance is the first act to realign the heart with God's redemptive purposes. Begin there.
3) Consider "one" individual who actually appears to be "LIVING OUT" redemption and consider what sets them apart. Ask that individual to pray with you and over you ... and see what happens as a result.
Until we live out the terms of redemption,
We ought to speak very little about it.
May we live to be "Repairers of the breach."