Prepare the Way of the Lord
Isaiah 40:3-5 ESV
“A voice cries:
‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’”
This prophecy of Scripture was fulfilled in John the Baptist. He was the voice of one calling in the wilderness, “Make straight the way of the Lord.” He was sent of God before Jesus’ ministry on the earth to prepare the people’s hearts to receive Jesus Christ as their Messiah and Lord.
But, in a sense, this is the calling of every follower of Jesus Christ. We are to be the voice of God out in the world preparing the hearts of the people to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. We are the light of the world and the salt of the earth, and we are to share the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light (Matt 5:13-16; 1 Pet 2:29).
But the way in which we prepare the hearts of the people to receive Jesus as their Messiah (Savior) and Lord is the same way John did, by calling the people to repent of (turn away from) their sins, and to make straight (honest, unadulterated, and upright) the path of the Lord.
And that path is the gospel of Jesus Christ. For, it teaches us not only that Jesus, the only begotten Son of God (and God), left his throne in heaven, humbled himself, became a man, suffered as we suffer, and was tempted as we are tempted, yet without sin, but that he died on a cross to take away the sins of the world. He died to deliver us from our slavery to sin.
For, in his death, Jesus Christ became sin for us so that when he died our sins died with him. And when the Father resurrected him from the dead, he rose victorious over sin, the grave, death, hell, and Satan. So, through God-given faith in Jesus Christ, sin and Satan have no more dominion over us.
Because Jesus died and rose again, we can die with him to our sins and be resurrected with him to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Now, no longer enslaved to sin, we can become slaves of God and of his righteousness, in the power of God and for his glory. We can now walk (in conduct) according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh, because of what Jesus did for us on that cross.
For, God’s grace, which brings salvation, trains us to say ‘No!’ to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s soon return. But if we continue living in sin, still under the control of sin, making sin our habit, we will not inherit eternal life with God. We will die in our sins no matter what faith we profess with our lips.
And this is giving it to you straight – the unadulterated truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ which teaches that Jesus died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us.
It is the truth that is in Christ Jesus that we should no longer live like the ungodly who put no faith in Jesus Christ. We are not to be given over to sensuality and to impurity of any kind. But we are to forsake our former lives of living for sin and for self, we are to be reborn of the Spirit of God, and we are now to apply to our lives the grace of God which delivers us out of our slavery to sin and which conforms us to the likeness of Jesus Christ.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rom 12:1-8; 1 Co 12:1-31; Eph 4:1-16; Jn 6:44; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2]
All Flesh is Grass
Isaiah 40:6-8 ESV
“A voice says, ‘Cry!’
And I said, ‘What shall I cry?’
All flesh is grass,
and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades
when the breath of the Lord blows on it;
surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever.”
Life on this earth is temporary. Not one of us knows if he has tomorrow. Whatever we own or we have accomplished in our flesh will perish. These bodies will die, and they will decay.
Nothing of this world is everlasting. All our possessions will go away. All our money will disappear. All the time we have wasted on the things of the flesh and of this world, all vanity, worthless in God’s sight. All entertainment will cease, too.
So, what are we investing our lives in? For what purpose? What will be the end result of it all? These are questions we should all ask ourselves. What do you want to be said about you in your obituary notice? What do you want to be remembered for? Is it something eternal? Or something that will die?
Herald of Good News
Isaiah 40:9-11 ESV
“Go on up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good news;
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good news;
lift it up, fear not;
say to the cities of Judah,
‘Behold your God!’
Behold, the Lord God comes with might,
and his arm rules for him;
behold, his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.
He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms;
he will carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead those that are with young.”
We should be living our lives for the Lord and for what is eternal and of God and not of this world. And we should be spending our time on what will have lasting affects in people’s lives to bring them to walks of obedience to Christ as their Lord.
And I am not saying that every waking moment of every minute should be spent on spreading the gospel or on talking with people about Jesus. But our lives should be given over to the Lord to do his will, and for his glory, and we should be following the Lord wherever he leads us, and we should be sharing the gospel and talking about Jesus with other people.
We should live our lives with eternity’s values in view, with our minds set on Jesus, and on the truth of his word, and on his holiness. We should be walking in obedience to his commands, and he should be ruler of our lives. And we should do whatever it is he has called us to do – all for his glory and praise and for the salvation of human lives.
Great is The Lord
Michael W. Smith
Great is the Lord, He is holy and just,
By His power we trust in His love.
Great is the Lord, He is faithful and true,
By His mercy He proves He is love.
Great is the Lord, and worthy of glory.
Great is the Lord, and worthy of praise.
Great is the Lord, now lift up your voice,
Now lift up your voice.
Great is the Lord.
Great are You, Lord.
*Caution: This link may contain ads