3 A voice of one calling in the wilderness prepare
the way for the Lord;
make straight in the desert
a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be raised up,
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
the rugged places a plain.
5 And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
and all people will see it together.For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” (Isaiah 40:3-5)
We've been exploring what these verses have to say to us. . . .
We've discussed that the voice cries out in the wilderness -- in our wilderness, in the desert places and times of our lives.
Why does the voice cry out?
First, the voice tells us to prepare:
In ancient times, when a king was planning to travel to another land, or through an unfamiliar territory, he would send heralds, or "criers" to announce that he would be coming that way. Some rulers even sent out what we might consider construction crews. They would fill ravines and level precipices, and remove obstacles to a smooth, pleasant journey for the potentate.
Our application could be that if the Lord is going to come our way, and take up residence in our hearts, that we must remove any obstacles that would stand in the way.
Secondly, the voice tells us to repent:
In the New Testament, John the Baptist assumed the role of the crier, and in Matthew 3:2 he said, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” We've said before that to repent is to change -- to turn away from our sin, because we are sad. We are sad because it separates us from God.
Unless we are saddened by our sinful ways, our sinful habits and sinful practices, and turn away from them, we are not ready for the Lord to come. When we know that we have guests arriving soon in our homes, what do we usually do? We straighten things up, we mop, we dust, we scrub and clean. We put fresh towels in the bathroom and clean sheets on the beds. Then we go and prepare a wonderful meal.
We do all of this so that our guests will feel warmly welcomed, right?
Jesus our Lord is waiting -- first to be welcomed as a guest, and then to take up residence in our lives. He was born as a baby in humble surroundings, but now is exalted and standing at the right hand of the Father. He is waiting for us to invite Him into our hearts as Savior and Lord.
If you have never asked Him --- won't you ask Him today?
Let this be the Christmas that you celebrate a new life in Christ!