December is already here: the last month of the year! It is a time of festivity, shopping, music, and lights, but the true meaning of the Christmas season is much deeper. This month's weekly verses will focus on the birth of Christ and the events surrounding it. This week I want to study Isaiah 40:3 with you.
"The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness..."
This prophecy of Isaiah was given hundreds of years before Christ's birth, but its fulfillment was set in motion only months before his birth. The person "crying in the wilderness" was John the Baptist. The story of his birth is found in Luke 1. He was the son of the cousin of Mary, the mother of Jesus. His birth was announced by the angel Gabriel, just as Jesus' was. In John 1:23 John the Baptist, now a man, claimed the prophecy given by Isaiah: "He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias." John the Baptist unashamedly preached repentance and fulfilled his mission to prepare the way for the Lord, Jesus Christ.
"Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God."
John the Baptist had the task of preaching the message that Jesus, the Messiah, was coming and that the people needed to repent, to prepare their hearts for Him. It was not an easy task, and John's passionate preaching ended up being the reason for his death, but He obeyed God, and that was what mattered.
John's mission and our mission
When I think of John's mission, I inevitably think of our own. John prepared for Christ's first coming, and we have been given the mission to prepare for his second coming. The method is the same: preach repentance and the grace of God--the gospel.
John 1:6-9 says: "There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world."
We are also to "bear witness of the Light," Jesus Christ, who told his disciples "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:8).
This week, take part in the mission of all believers to prepare for Christ's coming by sharing the gospel with those around you and being a "witness of the Light."
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