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Isaiah 58

The Right Heart

Think back. What sticks out?

Key Scripture

"CRY ALOUD, spare not. Lift up your voice like a trumpet and declare to My people their transgression and to the house of Jacob their sins! 2Yet they seek, inquire for, and require Me daily and delight [externally] to know My ways, as [if they were in reality] a nation that did righteousness and forsook not the ordinance of their God. They ask of Me righteous judgments, they delight to draw near to God [in visible ways]. 3Why have we fasted, they say, and You do not see it? Why have we afflicted ourselves, and You take no knowledge [of it]? Behold [O Israel], on the day of your fast [when you should be grieving for your sins], you find profit in your business, and [instead of stopping all work, as the law implies you and your workmen should do] you extort from your hired servants a full amount of labor. [Lev. 16:29.] 4[The facts are that] you fast only for strife and debate and to smite with the fist of wickedness. Fasting as you do today will not cause your voice to be heard on high. 5 Is such a fast as yours what I have chosen, a day for a man to humble himself with sorrow in his soul? [Is true fasting merely mechanical?] Is it only to bow down his head like a bulrush and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him [to indicate a condition of heart that he does not have]? Will you call this a fast and an acceptable day to the Lord? 6[Rather] is not this the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every [enslaving] yoke? [Acts 8:23.] 7Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house–when you see the naked, that you cover him, and that you hide not yourself from [the needs of] your own flesh and blood? 8Then shall your light break forth like the morning, and your healing (your restoration and the power of a new life) shall spring forth speedily; your righteousness (your rightness, your justice, and your right relationship with God) shall go before you [conducting you to peace and prosperity], and the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. [Exod. 14:19, 20; Isa. 52:12.] 9Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, Here I am..."
Isaiah 58:1-9 AMP

Discussion Questions

Start talking. Find a conversation starter for your group.

  • What three things are you most tempted to do for the wrong reasons?
  • What do you do because you feel like you’re “supposed to”?

Start thinking. Ask questions to get your group thinking.

  • Is it easier to do something with the wrong heart or just not do it all? Is one always better? Why or why not?
  • Why do you think God, through Isaiah, took specific aim at people who practiced fasting?
  • Read Isaiah 58:5-6 AMP. Compare both kinds of fasting. What is God really getting at?

Start sharing. Choose questions that create openness.

  • Have you ever been on the receiving end of something good that came with bad motives? What was that like?
  • Read Isaiah 58:1-5. Is there anything you’re doing for God just to get something from Him? How do you want to change?
  • Be introspective for a minute. Why do you go to church? Come to LifeGroup? Serve? Give?
  • Read Isaiah 58:6-14. What part of this passage stirs your heart? How will you respond?

Start digging. Read Scripture about motives.

1 Corinthians 3:10-14 James 4:1-3 Proverbs 21:2 Matthew 6:1-18

Start praying. Be bold, and pray specifically.

God, thank You for sending this message to us through Isaiah. We desire to not only serve You, but to serve You with good intentions. We invite Your Holy Spirit to check our spirit as we help others, make commitments, and follow You. Amen.

Live It Out

Start doing. Commit to a step and live it out this week.

  • Open up to each other about any wrong motives in your heart. Then, pray for the Holy Spirit to keep your heart in check.
  • Pick one thing you’ve been doing for the wrong reasons and either stop doing it, or ask the Holy Spirit to begin changing why you do it.
  • Grow closer to God’s heart in this two-week Bible Plan with Joyce Meyer.

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Isaiah 58

The Right Heart

Love isn’t about following the right rules—it’s about having The Right Heart.

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