A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” (Isaiah 40:3)
Today is the second installment in our series of Advent messages: PREPARING. And it makes sense, does it not? While we are waiting, we should be preparing for what we are waiting for. No one just plants seeds in the garden and sits back to wait for the harvest to come in. They plant, water, nurture, and prepare in every way in order to maximize the harvest that will come in the fall.
So how should we prepare for all we are waiting on from our Lord?
Life is full of distractions and countless voices vying for our attention. Those voices amp up during the Christmas season, with one advertisement after another hawking the latest products to enhance our lives. It’s easy to forget the reason for the season when we are so busy being busy!
So how do we simplify as we are preparing in our waiting for Christmas? We emulate the way of our Lord in two vital areas of our lives.
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. (Mark 1:35)
No one lived a busier life than our Lord Jesus Christ, yet He made sure that His life was saturated in communion with His Father in heaven. Jesus continually retreated to pray; we read that there were times when He would spend an entire night in fervent prayer. Notice that Jesus went to prayer early, before the demands of the day encompassed Him, and He went off to a solitary place to minimize distractions. Is this the confession of your life?
“It is written . . .” “It is also written . . .” “For it is written . . .” (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10)
When Jesus was battling against the temptations of the devil during His wilderness experience, He fought back and conquered the tempter with the Old Testament Scriptures, which was all men had at that time. In order for Jesus to continually quote the Scriptures, He had to know the Scriptures, and to know the Scriptures, He had to be meditating on and marinating in them. Is this the confession of your life?
One of the best ways to prepare for Christmas is to simplify our lives, and the very best way to simplify is to go regularly to our Lord in prayer with the Bible in hand. Our God has promised us, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).
Let us commit to prepare our hearts for Him.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!