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 was a prophecy concerning John the Baptist who was to prepare the people’s hearts to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. As part of his preparation of the people’s hearts to receive Christ he baptized the people with a baptism of repentance and he taught repentance. And repentance is like making a spiritual U-turn in a road. We were going in the direction of living in sin and for self and now we turn and we go the opposite direction, which is the way of holiness and righteousness by the Spirit.
This is the straight way, the way of the cross of Christ, the way of dying with Christ to sin and living to him and to his righteousness. It is the way of holiness and uprightness, of integrity and honesty, and of moral purity. By faith in Jesus Christ our lives are transformed of the Spirit of God away from living in sin to now walking in obedience to our Lord and to his commands. We must be humbled before the Lord so that he can save us from our sins. We must agree with God about our sin so we will desire to be delivered.
And now our lives are to be lived for the glory of God and not for ourselves. Now we are to honor God with our lives, and our hearts are to be surrendered to him, and we are to be his servants and witnesses. Now we belong to him, we are his possession, and he is our Lord and Master. He is our commanding officer and we are his soldiers in his spiritual army, and so we are to obey our Lord in going where he sends us and in doing and saying what he commands us to do and to say for his glory and honor.
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.”
As followers of Jesus Christ, we are his servants and witnesses, and we are to proclaim the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light. We are to take the good news of the gospel to the ends of the earth and to make disciples of Christ of people of all nations, teaching them to obey whatever our Lord commands. And we are to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth by how we live our lives and by the words that we speak, for we are to speak the words of life to the people.
We are to tell the people that Jesus Christ, God the Son, died on a cross for our sins so that we can die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. We should tell them how he left his throne in heaven, and how he humbled himself by taking on human form, and how he lived on this earth as fully God and as fully man, and how he did not sin, although he was tempted to sin in like manner as we are also tempted.
And we should let them know that the purpose of his death on that cross was to put our sins to death with him so that by faith in him we can be crucified with Christ in death to sin and be raised with Christ (for he rose from the dead) to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. And we should tell them that Jesus put our sins to death on that cross so that we will no longer be enslaved to sin but to God and to his righteousness, in his power and strength.
But we should let them know that we don’t do this in our flesh. This is not about behavioral modification, per se, but this is about transformed lives of the Spirit of God away from living in sin and for self to now living in holiness and righteousness and for the glory and praise of God. Jesus is our shepherd, and we are the sheep of his pasture, and he will lead us in the way that we should go. And he will give us all that we need to live godly and holy lives pleasing to him and for us to be able to say ‘No’ to sin daily.
[1 Pet 2:9; Matt 5:13-16; Matt 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; Acts 26:18; 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 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Ac 26:18; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
His Tender Mercies
An Original Work / January 26, 2014
Fear not! I’m with you.
Be not dismayed!
God watches o’er you.
Trust Him today.
He’ll lead and guide you;
Give you His aid.
He’ll love and keep you
With Him always.
Walk in His footsteps.
He’ll lead the way.
Trust in His love;
Believe that He cares.
He will not leave you.
Faithful He’ll be.
His tender mercies
Now you will see.
Fellowship with Him
Throughout the day.
Tell Him your heartaches.
He’ll heal always.
Rest in His comfort.
He is your friend.
Your faith He’ll strengthen,
True to the end.