Thursday, September 29, 2011

58: Fast. Forward. The End of Poverty

58: is a Christ-centered global initiative to end extreme poverty. The name comes from Isaiah 58 where God desires that his people carry out a True Fast, one that cares for the poor and oppressed. It isn’t just another organization. It’s a Christ-centered global initiative working with the best anti-poverty organizations to achieve the greatest results. Compassion International  is one of 10 Christian organizations affiliated with 58. is a place for you to connect with others in responding to that challenge. Your friends, your church or fellowship group, your class or business…together we are forming an unprecedented alliance of Christians, churches and poverty-fighting organizations to bring an end to extreme poverty.

The strategy is to connect thousands of churches, teams of people like you, with thousands of local projects around the world. The more people involved, the greater the impact because at 58: the power is in the numbers.

Please take a moment to reflect on Isaiah 58 and pray about how God is asking you to respond.

Isaiah 58

True Fasting
 1 “Shout it aloud, do not hold back.
   Raise your voice like a trumpet.
Declare to my people their rebellion
   and to the descendants of Jacob their sins.
2 For day after day they seek me out;
   they seem eager to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that does what is right
   and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions
   and seem eager for God to come near them.
3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say,
   ‘and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
   and you have not noticed?’
   “Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
   and exploit all your workers.
4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
   and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
   and expect your voice to be heard on high.
5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
   only a day for people to humble themselves?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
   and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
   a day acceptable to the LORD?
 6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
   and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
   and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
   and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
   and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
   and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
   and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
   you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
   “If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
   with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
   and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
   and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The LORD will guide you always;
   he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
   and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
   like a spring whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
   and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
   Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
 13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
   and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
   and the LORD’s holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
   and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
14 then you will find your joy in the LORD,
   and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land
   and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”
            For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.


  1. must read minds. This is the topic I'll be talking about next week on my blog. I've been working on my posts already....

    I think this is a really exciting new movement and I'm excited that Compassion is part of it. I just finished the book (it was really good) and will memorized vs. 6-11 of Isaiah 58 earlier this year.

  2. Wow! That is a crazy coincidence! I love how God works like that through different people... just proves that we are all hearing from Him! Amen and Amen!!

  3. I stand in awe of what God is doing in me through Isaiah 58 this year.

    It cannot be random coincidence that I memorized this verse earlier this year - it was God preparing me for what was to come later in the year.

    It feels like a rededication of sorts. More than ever I am committed to speaking up and being part of God's work in ending extreme poverty. What a blessing it is to be working with God.

  4. Amen and Amen Jill! I love your posts about each area of the Isaiah challenge. I might considering doing something similar!


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