What God Really Wants From Us

Sermon from CCM:Kingsway


This sermon was preached by Tom O’Toole at the CCM Kingsway site of Christ Church Manchester on Sunday 15th November 2020.



This message was part of the ‘SERIES NAME’ series, preached at Christ Church Manchester’s church in Burnage in EARLY/MID/LATE YEAR. The full series included the following sermons:


This sermon was based on Isaiah 58:1-12

True and False Fasting

1 “Cry aloud; do not hold back; lift up your voice like a trumpet; declare to my people their transgression, to the house of Jacob their sins. 2 Yet they seek me daily and delight to know my ways, as if they were a nation that did righteousness and did not forsake the judgment of their God; they ask of me righteous judgments; they delight to draw near to God. 3 ‘Why have we fasted, and you see it not? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’
Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers.

4 Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to hit with a wicked fist. Fasting like yours this day will not make your voice to be heard on high. 5 Is such the fast that I choose, a day for a person to humble himself? Is it to bow down his head like a reed, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and a day acceptable to the Lord?

6 “Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?

8 Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily;your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. 9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’ If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, 10 if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. 11 And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. 12 And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in.


False Religion

  • In Isaiah’s day lots of people were doing very well with their outward religious observance – they sought the Lord, prayed and fasted..
  • Yet their fasting was not acceptable to God.
  • Whilst they were going about their religious observances, they were allowing the poor to go oppressed – and this invalidated everything.
  • Remembering the poor is a foundation of the Christian faith.

True Religion

  • Isaiah then instructs the people about what would be acceptable to God.
  • It is spending themselves for the needy, feeding the hungry, bringing the homeless into their house and not ignoring those in need.
  • It is very easy to ignore the needy around us, but part of following Jesus means that we must not do this.

Healing Religion

  • There is a promise that as we do this our gloom will rise as the noonday sun.
  • Putting things right externally often has a knock-on effect for things being put right internally.
  • There may be many reasons for our gloom- physical, spiritual, lifestyle, etc. But this could also be a factor.



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