For while we were yet weak, in due season Christ died for the ungodly. Rom. 5,6



Isaiah 58:5-9a

   5 "Is it a fast like this which I choose, a day for a man to humble himself? Is it for bowing one's head like a reedAnd for spreading out sackcloth and ashes as a bed?Will you call this a fast, even an acceptable day to the LORD? 6 "Is this not the fast which I choose, To loosen the bonds of wickedness, To undo the bands of the yoke, And to let the oppressed go free And break every yoke? 7 "Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry And bring the homeless poor into the house; When you see the naked, to cover him; And not to hide yourself from your own flesh? 8 "Then your light will break out like the dawn, And your recovery will speedily spring forth; And your righteousness will go before you; The glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. 9 "Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; You will cry, and He will say, 'Here I am!"

   “Is it a fast like this which I choose?” the Lord asks. If you walk around and afflict yourself with a lot of religious exercises, what kind of profit will there be?
   It is so easy for us and it lays deep down in our hearts to think in our walk with God, that we have to act in a certain way. That we for example act in a serious way.
   How serious were you and how serious did you respond, when God in His council decided to save you in His son, Jesus Christ?

   When will the grace – the grace in God’s heart – dawn for us!
   He has come in advance for us, for everything we can ever imagine.
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly! (Rom. 5:6).

   You probably know the question Paul asked the Galatians, when they had started to walk the way of the religious: “You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?” (Gal. 3:1-2).
   He calls them foolish. God is after all the same today as He was yesterday, and His Salvation is not something that changes from day to day, like one for yesterday and something else today and a different one tomorrow! For this He did once, when he offered up Himself! (Hebr.7:27; 9:12; 10:10).   
   This and only this is for you till you are home in eternity! When you one day will put your foot on the shore of eternity, it will be in Jesus name and for Jesus sake only, and never in eternity for something else!

   Maybe you will put your trust in this, to go away for yourself - into your inner room (Mat. 6:6) – where you read and pray to God?
   A spiritual and wise man will do this and especially in our time, where we are exposed to strong influences from everywhere. But you will never get anything there for your actions! Because you do this
deed, but because you go to the source which is already opened for you! Do you see the difference?
Your water its furrows abundantly” (Ps. 65:10).

   But what would God want you to do then? He would like you to do something. “Use me where I wander,” the singer sings.    First and foremost, let us point at for each other what God does not want you to do: Especially deeds to achieve something extra with Him; because things are only given by mercy, and nothing can be bought.

   But then again: What does He want you to do?
   Now you are going to hear something nice! The answer is: The same that He has done for you, He wants you to do to others.
   And what has He done for you? – Yes, He has loosed you and set you free! “
Paul, an apostle (not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead),” (Gal. 5:1). Do not put your light under a bushel, but let it shine for all who is in the house.
   This is what you are called to do; to set your fellow-beings free from the bondage, by the testimony of the freedom that is purchased for you in Jesus Christ!
   When you get to look into the freedom that is purchased for you in Him, then by that you
are a servant of God! And He has no others among man, than those who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it! (James 1:25).
   That is how long He uses you!
   Then you will also see what is crucial to do? That is why Paul writes to the Corinthians: “
For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” (1 Cor. 2:2).
Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith. (Hebr. 12:2).

   You know the history when Jesus was riding into Jerusalem on the Palm Sunday, and He sends two of His disciples ahead to get the little donkey foal which no one has ever ridden on before; then He says: “Untie it and bring it here!” (Luk.19:30).
   What the Lord will use needs to be
untied! In the book of Hebrew it talks about the blood of Christ: “how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebr.9:14).
   In Isaiah it says: “
He who said to them, "Here is rest, give rest to the weary,"And, "Here is repose," but they would not listen.” (Is. 28:12).
   In the early translation it says: “Allow the
fatigued rest!”
Listen: Allow! God
allows you rest!
   It is the same who stands up in Israel about 700 years later in His own person and teaches: “
Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” (Mat. 11:28).

   But then it says something serious: “But they would not listen.” Can you imagine! Think about turning your back to such a message from the Lord Himself! But that is exactly what is happening today.
   And then the word of the Lord confirms what Paul is teaching; that works by the law – self righteousness – invokes God’s curse. But listen: “
So the word of the LORD to them will be,  "Order on order, order on order,  Line on line, line on line, A little here, a little there," That they may go and stumble backward, be broken, snared and taken captive.” (Is. 28.13).
   Not because they were great sinners, but because they did not receive the rest, neither allowed the fatigued rest! They took offence against the Cornerstone, Christ. They despised Him for the benefit of their own religiosity.

   Allow the fatigued rest. Lose your fellow-beings, by the ransom that you have taken part in. That is what God wants with you.

   This Gospel does something to mind of a human being. You do not stand there as a cold Pharisee and say: Every man has to make it as best as he can. I had to make it myself!
   No, it is as we read it in the word: “
Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry And bring the homeless poor into the house; When you see the naked, to cover him; And not to hide yourself from your own flesh?” (v.7).
   But this has something to do with the mind – a mind a man not capable of receiving himself, but is born
by the Gospel
Without this mind you can build a home for the homeless and poor around the whole world, yes, and though I give my body to be burned, in another man’s place (1 Cor. 13), it profits you nothing.
   “God rewards His own work in the believer,” Augustine expressed.

    “Is this not the fast which I choose, To loosen the bonds of wickedness, To undo the bands of the yoke, And to let the oppressed go free And break every yoke?” (v.6).
   Did you notice what was said? He breaks
every yoke! Every! It is exactly what Jesus is preaching: “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36). Free from every yoke! And then you get Jesus yoke instead, which is easy. (Mat. 11:30). This means that you, like an incapacitated, shall let the Lord take care of everything. “Lord, I admit that I myself have no control on this, you are my only hope. If I shall reach heaven and beatitude, than you must be A to Z.”
   Jesus was Himself kind of made incapacitated here on earth. This means that as a human being, he had completely submitted Himself to the will of the Father, and did not do anything of His own, but only what he saw the Father do. As He says: “
Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.” (John 5:19).
   This means that He completely did the Fathers will as a human being. That was what “saved“ Him in the situation He was in. He had let Himself be born under the
law. (Gal. 4:4). And it is this; - His perfect act for us - that also saves us!

   Listen to what He won the right to heaven and the beatitude by, as a human: “who has become such not on the basis of a law of physical requirement, but according to the power of an indestructible life.” (Heb. 7:16).
   And who’s victory He has given us! You can swim in the ocean of mercy in heaven and beatitude that He has opened!

   At the end the prophet Zachariah: “In that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for impurity.” (Zach.13:1).
open fountain! Listen to that!


Holy Bible New American Standard Version
Translator: Benedicte Holtan Smart