Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Preparation for Christmas

Christmas is only one day but it is one day that calls for many more days of preparation. Shopping, decorating, partying all consume time. And on the quiet side, or inside, we prepare by reflecting on the meaning of that original Christmas Day.....when all of history was changed upon the entrance of a baby. But, the arrival of the baby caught many by surprise. Later, when that baby had become a young man and was about to launch into life changing ministry there came a great time of preparation. Jesus' cousin, John, became known as John the Baptist. His role was to prepare people for salvation by helping them see their need. People don't come to Jesus unless they see their need for Him. That was true then and it is true now. John the Baptist was God's instrument to convince hearts that they were unclean and broken and they needed to acknowledge their brokenness before they'd be ready for a remedy. The Holy Spirit does that work in our hearts today. John the Baptist and the Holy Spirit force us to ask tough questions about ourselves and admit that we need the help that only God can provide. We are broken and in need of repair and restoration...really we need transformation!
Matthew 3:
3 In those days John the Baptist came to the Judean wilderness and began preaching. His message was, 2 "Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near." 3 The prophet Isaiah was speaking about John when he said,
"He is a voice shouting in the wilderness,
'Prepare the way for the Lord's coming!
Clear the road for him!'"
4 John's clothes were woven from coarse camel hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist. For food he ate locusts and wild honey. 5 People from Jerusalem and from all of Judea and all over the Jordan Valley went out to see and hear John. 6 And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River.
Rob Smith

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