Do you want to make a difference for Christ? Do you want your life to count, to see souls in Heaven someday because of your faithfulness?  But at the same time, do you find yourself simply going through the motions of church and Bible study, only to see little evidence of lives being changed around you?  Do you lack direction on how to make your faith go from your heart to your hands? 

If so, you’re not alone.  It’s so easy to get stuck in our “cozy Christian comfort” that we find ourselves zooming on a racetrack, always busy, always exhausted, but never getting anywhere. 

Through this in-depth study of Isaiah 58, we can find out how to exit the racetrack and get on our way to following Christ, making a difference, and seeing change:  change in ourselves and change in those around us.  We will see what this chapter and many other passages show us in the areas of:

·       Personal introspection and repentance

·       Meeting the needs of others the way God has called us to

·       The restoration, blessing, and promises of God

Prepare to be stretched.  Prepare to think outside your normal way of thinking.  Prepare to live the exciting, rewarding life you were called to live as a follower of Christ. Prepare to love in a new way.

Are you up for the challenge?

Beginning January 27, 2014 we will take this journey together as you join us in taking “the Isaiah 58 Challenge” written and taught by Jill McSheehy.  Lesson Discussion will be on Facebook.  Chat will be done in a private group and you must be a member to read and post comments.  if you would like to be included in this group send an email message to:      

Course content outline is posted below:


I.   Call to Repentance

a.     The sin of the people and God’s response (v. 1)

b.     The appearance of seeking God (v. 2)

                                               i.     Outer acts of righteousness do not please God

                                             ii.     The difference between seeking to know God’s ways and knowing God

                                            iii.     Knowing God will equal participating in His mission of reaching the lost

                                            iv.     Seeking God’s answers when he has already told us

                                              v.     The trap of loosening ourselves from the responsibility of the mission

                                            vi.     Everything we do should be for the purpose of God’s mission

c.     Christian connection to the Day of Atonement Fast (v. 3-5)

                                               i.     God’s instructions for the Day of Atonement Fast

                                             ii.     What the people were doing instead:

1.     Seeking their own pleasure

2.     Oppressing workers

3.     Quarreling and fighting

4.     Hitting with a wicked fist

5.     Outward humility

                                            iii.     Application:

1.     We pursue our own version of holiness by our outward acts

2.     We enjoy a salvation by grace but hold others to a different standard

3.     Examples of how Jesus handled those whose sins were blatant

4.     Fighting comes most often by not seeing our own sins

but instead the sins of others

5.     “Cure” for unforgiveness

6.     Outward humility vs. inward reality and the role of pride

II.  Commands of the Lord (v. 6-7)

a.     Loose the bonds of wickedness

                                               i.     The shackles on our own feet

                                             ii.     The shackles we place on others

                                            iii.     How shackles hinder us from our mission

                                            iv.     Helping others remove their shackles

b.     Undo straps of yoke

                                               i.     Why undo the yoke bands before breaking the yoke

c.     Letting oppressed go free

                                               i.     Guarding against going from one yoke to another

d.     Break every yoke

e.     Share bread with hungry

                                               i.     Meaning of share

                                             ii.     The purpose of meeting physical needs: meeting spiritual needs

1.     Jesus examples

                                            iii.     The trap of meeting only physical needs without spiritual

f.      Bring homeless poor into your home

                                               i.     Inviting people into our lives

                                             ii.     Barriers in doing so

                                            iii.     Why this is important

g.     When you see the naked

                                               i.     What keeps us from seeing those with physical needs

                                             ii.     What keeps us from seeing those with spiritual needs

                                            iii.     Opening our eyes

h.     To cover him

                                               i.     Literal nakedness (in need of clothing)

                                             ii.     Figurative nakedness (the vulnerable and humiliated)

                                            iii.     Spiritual nakedness (unsaved)

i.      Not hide yourself from your own flesh

                                               i.     Remember from where we came

                                             ii.     Not turning away from the needs around us

III. Restoration and Blessing (v. 8-9a)

a.     Functions of light

b.     Healing

                                               i.     Purpose of healing (to serve)

                                             ii.     Source of healing (God)

                                            iii.     Finding purpose in pain

c.     Righteousness going before you

                                               i.     Who is righteous; who is our righteousness

                                             ii.     When our mission is reaching others for Christ, there is no doubting

d.     Glory of the Lord our Rear Guard

                                               i.     What is glory

                                             ii.     Rear guard

1.     A look at when the glory of the Lord was the

Israelites’ rear guard before they crossed the Red Sea

2.     God moved

3.     Sometimes he moves so we can take a step of faith

e.     Crying out to God – NOW,  He answers

IV. Additional Commands and Promises (v. 9b-10)

a.     Take away the yoke – Difference between this command and the prior yoke commands

b.     Draw out your soul for the hungry – endless supply

c.     Satisfy the desire of the afflicted

                                               i.     Examples of Jesus

                                             ii.     He never condemned

                                            iii.     Importance of following his example

d.     Light:Rise:Darkness –

                                               i.     it goes beyond my circle

                                             ii.     dreams for reaching the lost around us

V.  Glorious Blessings (v. 11-12)

a.     The promise of guidance

b.     Our longings satisfied as we work to satisfy others’ longings

c.     How we become a watered garden and what purpose that is for

d.     Watching the ancient ruins being rebuilt, repairing the breach,

restoring the streets, and what that means