DAY FOUR—ISAIAH 1:16–20
16Wash and make yourselves clean.
Take your evil deeds out of my sight;
stop doing wrong.
17Learn to do right; seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
plead the case of the widow.
18“Come now, let us settle the matter,”
says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.
19If you are willing and obedient,
you will eat the good things of the land;
20but if you resist and rebel,
you will be devoured by the sword.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
“Works of mercy, or charity, are acts we do that care for and meet the needs of our neighbors. They included, for Wesley, feeding the hungry, providing clothing, and shelter for those in need, visiting the sick and those who are in prison, welcoming the stranger, comforting the afflicted and offering counsel, advice, and encouragement to those who need to know God or desire to grow in their relationship with God. Works of mercy thus address physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Wesley was clear that, at their best, works of mercy involve us not only in assisting others but also in drawing us into relationship with them. Works of mercy are not only concrete expressions of our love for our neighbor; they are means of grace. As we assist others, and especially as we get to know others through relationships with them, the Holy Spirit enables us to grow in understanding, compassion, and other fruits of the Spirit.”
—Excerpt from the Wesley Study Bible