Be A Preparer
Mark 1:1-4 (ERV/NLT)
1 The Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, begins
2 with what the prophet Isaiah said would happen. He wrote: “Listen! I will send my messenger ahead of you. He will prepare the way for you.
3 He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming! Make the road straight for Him.’”
4 This messenger was John the Baptist. He was in the wilderness and preached that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven.
Where does the Gospel actually begin? Where does the Good News of Jesus Christ originate?
The opening passage in the Book of Mark tells us that the Good News begins with someone being a messenger of God, to prepare the way for Jesus to come and for the Word of God to be heard. This messenger is John the Baptist.
But what does it mean to “prepare the way for the Lord’s coming”?
The birth of Jesus was certain, as God had planned it since the beginning. All the works of Jesus on earth, His death on the Cross, His resurrection on the third day and His ascension to heaven – all these have been part of God’s plan for the salvation of all men since the beginning of time.
What then was John the Baptist doing as God’s messenger preparing the way for the Lord’s coming?
He was preaching to the multitudes the need for them to repent, to turn away from their sins, and turn to God for His forgiveness. John the Baptist was preparing the hearts of the people to receive the coming of Jesus. He was preparing their hearts to be ready for Jesus to enter into and work in their lives, so that they would never be the same again.
What do I learn from this? Any unconfessed sin or unwillingness to turn away from my wrongdoings will hinder my relationship with God. The only way I can receive the full measure of God’s blessings and works in my life, is to have a heart that is right with Him. Yes, I have a part to prepare myself.
Let us prepare our heart for the coming of Christmas where we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the loving Savior of the world. Bring all our unconfessed sins and wrongdoings before God, repent of them, ask for God’s forgiveness, and commit not to repeat those acts. When we do this, we are clearing out the clutter and barriers that hinder our walk with Jesus. When we confess and repent, we receive God’s forgiveness and are washed clean by His precious blood, as God promises in 1 John 1:7 & 9. Let this Christmas be one where we receive afresh from Jesus His love and salvation.
At the same time, another equally important principle I learn from John the Baptist is that I must prepare the hearts of others to receive the salvation of Jesus. It is not enough that I prepare my own heart. I ought to be sharing the Good News of Jesus, the Son of our Living God, to as many people as I possibly can. Of what good is the Good News to people if their hearts are not prepared to receive it because they have not heard of it?
Indeed, the Good News of Jesus Christ begins with a messenger of God who is willing to prepare the way for the Lord’s coming. This brings to my mind what God tells us in Romans 10:17, “…faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.”
I am not going to let this Christmas pass me by without preaching the Gospel and sharing the love of God. I am not going to let hearts of the people around me go unprepared for Jesus this Christmas.
My friends, be with me to be a preparer this Christmas season. Prepare our own hearts. And, prepare the way for the Good News of Jesus to be heard by our friends, family as well as acquaintances. God is using you and me as messengers to prepare the way for Him, so that “all people will see God’s salvation” (Luke 3:6).
Let us prepare our hearts to pray.
“Dear God, I thank You that You have sent someone in my path to share Your Good News with me. It is because of this messenger You have placed in my life that I now have Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Today, I come before You to confess and repent of all my sins and wrongdoings. Thank You, Lord, that You are always faithful to forgive and cleanse me. I offer up my life to You once again, O Lord. This Christmas season, I am not going to let any opportunity pass me by without sharing the Good News of Your love, hope and salvation. I am going to prepare the hearts of many people to come to know You. I thank You that as I bless others with the Gospel, You are blessing me in an even greater measure. I praise You, O God. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.”