Monday, April 11, 2011

Preparing the Way - April 11, 2011

Malachi 3:1-2 (New International Version, ©2011)
1 “I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the LORD Almighty.

2 But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap.

Isaiah 40:1-5 (New International Reader's Version)
1 "Comfort my people," says your God. "Comfort them. 2 Speak tenderly to the people of Jerusalem. Announce to them that their hard service has been completed. Tell them that their sin has been paid for. Tell them I have punished them enough for all of their sins."

3 A messenger is calling out,"In the desert prepare the way for the Lord. Make a straight road through it for our God.

4 Every valley will be filled in. Every mountain and hill will be made level. The rough ground will be smoothed out. The rocky places will be made flat. 5 Then the glory of the Lord will appear. And everyone will see it. The Lord has spoken."

Much is written these days trying to dispute the historical Jesus in an effort to diminish the effect of Christianity and to minimize its influence in our world today. This is especially true in the Western world, where "anything but Christianity" seems to be in vogue these days.

You don't have to go very far to see the effects on our own culture, where I heard today that in order to preserve "the separation of church and state" a number of communities are changing the name of the traditional "Easter Egg Hunt" to something else, because it contains the word "Easter". (This is not in the Constitution, but taken from a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802, that contained the phrase "wall of separation between church and state," which led to the short-hand for the Establishment Clause that we use today).

If anyone that is curious about Jesus Christ would do a little research, which is relatively easy thanks to the internet, they would easily find enormous support for what the Bible says about Jesus Christ. Unlike many other religious texts, the Bible contains many prophecies that were written about Jesus that were written hundreds of years before he walked on the scene.

As we approach the commeration of the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ, all of us need to search our hearts about what we believe about Jesus. We need to be sure who we believe he is, because it will make a difference in our lives, both now and into eternity. If we already believe, then it is important that we are armed with the facts to share with others. If you are one who doesn't yet believe, but are interested in knowing if Jesus is who he said he was, it is important to find out the answers to your questions.

The verses above are a case in point. The Book of Isaiah was written between 701 and 681 B.C. and the Book of Malachi was written between 440 and 400 B.C., and both of these texts speak of preparing the Way of the coming of the Lord, meaning preparation for the coming of Jesus Christ to the planet. How many predictions or prophecies have been written about in modern history that have come true? It is hard to even get an accurate weather forecast.

Today is the day that you need to discover Jesus Christ for yourself, and prepare the way for allowing him the rightful place in your heart. A good place to start is by reading the propechies above in your Bible( or from an online Bible) and then read how they were fulfilled in the Book of Matthew written below. Once you have weighed the overwhelming evidence, you will easily see why the world doesn't want you to believe.

Matthew 3:1-3;11-12 (New Century Version)
1 About that time John the Baptist began preaching in the desert area of Judea.2 John said, "Change your hearts and lives because the kingdom of heaven is near." 3 John the Baptist is the one Isaiah the prophet was talking about when he said: "This is a voice of one who calls out in the desert: 'Prepare the way for the Lord. Make the road straight for him.' " — Isaiah 40:3
11 "I baptize you with water to show that your hearts and lives have changed. But there is one coming after me who is greater than I am, whose sandals I am not good enough to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.12 He will come ready to clean the grain, separating the good grain from the chaff. He will put the good part of the grain into his barn, but he will burn the chaff with a fire that cannot be put out."
[This means that Jesus will come to separate good people from bad people, saving the good and punishing the bad.]

Photo "Kalahari Desert gravel road" by roospieter, 2-22-2008, from stock.xchng
We are all wandering in the desert of life until we find Jesus along the Way!

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