The farmer in the grain truck was not being honked at because people loved Jesus. Even though the bumper sticker on the back instructed people to “honk if you love Jesus,” irate motorists were not displaying affection for either him or Jesus by laying on the horn as they shot around him. He was driving 35 m.p.h. on a road will double yellow stripes and no one could pass. He must have thought at least a dozen people that passed him were going to heaven the way they were honking. And I confess I have never honked at someone because I loved Jesus.
While I’m not a big bumper stick fan – especially religious ones- I do like well-turned succinct phrases that pare down a philosophy. Like: My teen-age delinquent can beat up your honor student. That made me laugh the first time I read it. We all know people like that.
But I digress. I’ve been toying with trying to succinctly state an amazing concept I discovered in Isaiah 58 last week I had never seen before. To set the stage, the Israelites were arguing over ways in which a person should “fast.” I honestly cannot recall that ever being an argument in all my years as a pastor, but moving the picture of Jesus or changing a few words in the constitution could sure fire people up so I understand God being a little frustrated with their silly arguments. So He finally steps in and, basically, tells them they’ve missed the point and the real issue is they should take care of the poor. Duh.
So here’s the principle I learned I had never seen before and the one I’m trying to come up with well turned phrase for: If you feed the hungry and take care of the poor, God will heal your heart and make you shine. Seriously. Read verses 7-8 especially. See, I was right.
So here’s the equation: Take care of the poor and God will heal you. Cool! What an amazing promise! And all these years you just thought God was trying to make you feel guilty for having more than someone else. Nope, He just really likes it when we share and builds in a promise to help heal our hearts if we take care of the poor.
Help me turn a good phrase. How about this one? Feed the hungry- heal your heart. Or how about this one? Heal your heart- help the poor. Or maybe this one? Helping the poor=Helping your heart.
Got any submissions?
We might just run Dr. Phil out of business yet.