Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Familiar verses, Part III
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 seen that the voice crying in the wilderness calls to us in our desert places, and tells us to prepare for His coming . . .
The voice also promises us something!
We will see God's glory revealed God has promised that the power and glory of His presence will be seen again on the earth. The prophet also says that all mankind will see it. This will not be hidden or secret -- everyone will know.
As we make our Christmas preparations, have we readied our hearts? Or are we like the Pharisees in Matthew chapter 23? Our houses may be decorated beautifully, the presents wrapped in lovely papers, the lights twinkling . . . but if we have neglected to clean up the sin that is in our hearts, then we're not much better than the Pharisees. We look great on the outside, but pretty bad on the inside.
The point of the story is, we're not just preparing to welcome the baby Jesus at Christmas. We have just as many prophecies that tell us Christ is coming again. Nobody predicted it correctly the first time, and nobody will be able to predict it correctly this time either. In fact, the Bible says "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. (Matthew 24:36)
But Jesus Christ is coming again – as the risen and victorious Lord who will take us home to live with Him forever!
You see, we shouldn't repent and clean out our hearts only so we can celebrate Christmas in a more religious or spiritual way -- we also want to welcome Christ on the day of His appearing. That way we know Him, and He knows us!
We prepare the guest room of our hearts so that nothing stands in the way of His taking up residence there. We make our hearts open wide to His will and His ways – living every day as though He might return at any moment. Because He might! I Thessalonians chapter 5 tells us that the day "might come like a thief in the night" --- it may sneak up on us.
Is the guest room of your heart ready for Him this Christmas?
I hope that you will all forgive a personal appeal here . . . I would appreciate your prayers for our family. Some issues have surfaced recently that are troubling and we need His wisdom to handle things. Please bear us up in prayer. Thank you so much.