In April and May, we are reading through the book of the prophet Isaiah. Its major themes are judgment, comfort, and hope, applicable to Jerusalem then in the 8th century B.C. and to us now. Join our study by reading today’s scripture below and journaling about it using SOAP (click on the “What’s SOAP?” link above to learn more). Below today’s scripture is an example SOAP from our team. We love hearing from you! Please use the comment section of our website to share your SOAP, thoughts or questions on the reading, or prayer requests. Join us as we build unity and community through God’s Word!
“Shout it aloud, do not hold back.
Well-Watered Garden | Becky Newman
Isaiah 58 shows the difference of heart between seeking God by just going through the motions of religious ritual vs. seeking heart change through Him. It’s not the act of fasting or obeying the Sabbath that changes our hearts and grows fruit; it is letting God work in us, to see what He sees and do what He wills in loving others that brings the garden into bloom and makes fruit. It’s letting the Living Water flow through us that brings satisfaction and good things.
You moved mountains to make me see verses 10-11 this week. First, it was part of a Proverbs 31 Ministry devotion I was reading on trusting this promise of God. Then, about the same time, my neighbor sent me a text with these verses highlighted from a speaker at her church who just happened to be my fellow friend who does garden work for the poor and oppressed with Keipos. Then there was a funny object lesson that occurred between these two (that I won’t share more about here to protect all involved from embarrassment). Plus, I’ve spent each day this week watering my veggie garden and hoping for lots of fruit and good stuff to grow this summer. Now today, it’s my scheduled reading. You are so good to me! Now on to the business of why. You list the works You want of us as a how-to on loving and serving others: help the oppressed into freedom, share food with the hungry and poor, provide shelter and clothes to those who have none, maintain the needs of your family (vs. 6-7). If we do these good works, You promise healing, light, and a well-watered garden that will produce fruit. Living a life pleasing to You is not just praying and reading my Bible. As I seek You through these things, and if I’m truly seeking You with all my heart, You will change my heart; You will plow up the ground and make it ready for an abundant garden and harvest; You will make me want to do these good works, to please You and serve You and fulfill Your plan of growing fruit. It’s not so much me doing as it is You doing Your work through a willing vessel. Doing this Your way provides divine satisfaction and strengthening my back and Living Water flowing through. Doing it my way makes me weary and tired and grumpy.
Lord, make me like a well-watered garden! I want to do Your works Your way. Please bless the work of Keipos and sharing our food with the hungry and poor, but Your way, not my way. Thank You for the volunteers who’ve been helping me this season, and thank You for strengthening my back and giving me this encouragement this week.
The Discover One Thing main website follows a reading plan that goes through the entire Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.