Just fasting is nice, but what are you DOING? Who are you LOVING? How are you SERVING? 

No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people.


If you’ve been around the church for a while, you’ve heard of agape love. If you haven’t, here’s a quick rundown: The Bible uses four different Greek words for love, each describing a different type of relationship. Agape is the “God is love” kind, the kind that we are called to love God with and love people with. But what does it mean? How do we do it?

I love this definition: Agape love means we seek the other’s highest good for the Glory of God. In other words, the only reason we need to care for people is that God asked us to. That’s all there is to it. Each person on this planet—every one of us—no matter our status, ideas, religion, or how recently we took a shower, has immense value to Jesus. And if my heart and will are aligned with His, then they have immense value to me, too.

So as we enjoy coming to the feet of Jesus in fasting and prayer for this special season, we must remember that He has called us to GO, not just to come. We need to get up, leave our house, look at people in the face, and love them. Show people the agape love of God.

If you missed Pastor Steve’s message on “Coming and Going” (Jan. 30), you can check it out here:

Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind. Then when you call, the Lord will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply.


Read Isaiah 58 and James 2 as a family. Then, put Isaiah 58:7 into action together. Brainstorm how you can share your food and clothes with the hungry and needy or give shelter to the homeless. Think of a few ideas, making sure each family member has a chance to contribute. Pick something as a family, set a day and time if necessary, then go do it together.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Blessing bags for homeless people or panhandlers – pack bags with a few essentials (water bottle, shelf-stable food, hand/body wipes, a pair of gloves and/or socks, etc.) and keep them in the car to hand through the window as the Lord leads.
  • Plan a short-term fundraiser to benefit a local non-profit serving people in need locally or globally.
  • Reach out to our local shelters/organizations serving the homeless to see how your family can help: The Coffee Oasis ShelterKitsap Rescue MissionSalvation Army


Pray through the entire chapter of Isaiah 58 slowly, verse by verse, thought by thought. What is the Lord speaking to you about each idea? Allow yourself to feel any and all of your emotions as you read and listen. Is there any area the Lord is bringing conviction? Is there an area that He’s inviting you to grow in? What verses bring peace and joy?

  • What is God prompting you to be YOUR FOCUS for this short season of fasting?
  • Chew on one or two verses as you go about your day.
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