Stop Playin’ – Church, Start Prayin’ – Church, Isaiah 58:1-12
Sermon Summary. The main point of Sunday’s sermon was that we have too many negative things going on in our lives, the lives of our families and our community to be “playin” church the way we sometimes do. The stakes are too high – lives and souls are being lost every day. God has placed us here to be a light in the darkness – not to continue the darkness. If you pay close attention you’ll see God is particularly concerned about how treat one another and how do we treat those in need. We’re the church – the body of Christ. Church, it’s time to stop playin’. And, it’s time to start praying.
An Unpleasant Truth (v1). The prophet of God is not one who magically tells the future. The prophet speaks to the people about their sin and the consequences of their sin – an unpleasant truth. God is talking to us in this chapter.
- In Verse 1 God is directing Isaiah to speak to the people. What is he directing Isaiah to say?
- How do you think the people responded to the prophetic word of Isaiah?
- How do people respond today? How many people do we think felt like they were “preached on” in Sunday’s sermon? How about you?
Smiling in God’s face (v2-3). People sometimes put on a good face and even get indignant, when they’re doing wrong. God is knows how we can be. Israel acted like they honored God but really dishonored him with how they lived.
- Why does God talk about people who “seem eager” to follow Him? (v2)
- Do you remember being a child or watching children who act like they had done the right thing even when they knew they had done something wrong? Do we ever approach God like that?
- In Verse 3 the people are petitioning God as if he had done them unjustly. Do we ever do this or see people do this?
- What are some of the things that we think make us “holy” or justified in our moments of self-righteousness? What good works do we do that make us feel that we are worthy “in being indignant with God or others”?
The Real You(v3-5). God calls us out on our behavior. Yes we’re involved in doing some of the things that God wants us to do but at other times we treat one another in ungodly ways.
- Here God focuses on fasting as the righteous act. But, what’s really going on? What are the people doing when they come out of their fast?
- Do you see how important it is to God how we treat one another? Pay attention to that through this entire study and lesson.
- Can we expect to hear from God when we treat each other poorly? What do we see in Verse 4?
- Are these folks “playin’ church?” Do you ever find yourself “playin’ church”? How so?
Praying Church(v6-7) When the church and the body of Christ is serious about serving God, it’s concern will turn to God and God’s people. God has deep concern for people in need and an expectation that a praying church will help people in need.
- I see at least six types of help that God exhorts us to do for others. What are the examples that God provides? How well do we do at helping others?
- What about our family? Do we turn away from our biological or our church family as described inverse 7? Is it hard to serve the family?
Hearing from God (v8-9) God is pleased when we sincerely work to love one another.
- What will God do for us as we continue to love one another and reach out one another?
- What does he despise . . . what does he say we need to stop doing?
Praying Church(v10-12) You cannot miss God’s concern for those in need. We have great needs in our city. God desires the church to not play but to pray and help others.
- Who does God express concern for in verse 10? How do we respond to this concern? (FYI this is mission work)
- Again, God articulates some wonderful promises. What does he promise us in verses 11-12? What does he want us to do?