This devotional first appeared in https://www.revivalandreformation.org
Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity: and if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday. Isaiah 58:9, 10.
Let all who claim to keep the commandments of God, look well to this matter, and see if there are not reasons why they do not have more of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. How many have lifted up their souls unto vanity! They think themselves exalted in the favor of God, but they neglect the needy, they turn a deaf ear to the calls of the oppressed, and speak sharp, cutting words to those who need altogether different treatment. Thus they offend God daily by their hardness of heart. These afflicted ones have claims upon the sympathies and the interest of their fellow men. They have a right to expect help, comfort, and Christlike love. But this is not what they receive.
Every neglect of God’s suffering ones is written in the books of heaven as if shown to Christ Himself. Let every member of the church closely examine his heart, and investigate his course of action, to see if these are in harmony with the Spirit and work of Jesus; for if not, what can he say when he stands before the Judge of all the earth? Can the Lord say to him, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world”? (Matthew 25:34)?
Christ has identified His interest with that of suffering humanity; and while He is neglected in the person of His afflicted ones, all our assemblies, all our appointed meetings, all the machinery that is set in operation to advance the cause of God, will be of little avail. “These ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone” (Luke 11:42). “Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting” (Daniel 5:27).
All who are to be saints in heaven will first be saints upon the earth. They will not follow the sparks of their own kindling, they will not work for praise, nor speak words of vanity, nor put forth the finger in condemnation and oppression; but they will follow the Light of life, diffuse light, comfort, hope, and courage to the very ones who need help, and not censure and reproach.—The Review and Herald, August 4, 1891.