As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all people will see God’s salvation.’” – Luke 3:4-6 (NIV)
On the third week of Advent we continue the theme of John the Baptist coming to prepare for the coming of Jesus. If you recall from last week, we spoke how the church will need to rise up to prepare the way for Jesus second coming.
Crooked roads shall become straight.
It seems like we work really hard making the gospel hard. It has to be some big project. However, we should find simple ways live a life of ministry every day. A life that always makes a straight path to a chance to share the good news of Jesus Christ.
In Luke 3:7 John goes from making straight paths to calling the people broods of vipers, what? Needless to say John got their attention. John was calling them first to repentance and a reminder to God’s coming judgement. He then turns back to how we make the roads straight in vs. 10
Fruit of Repentance
“What should we do then?” the crowd asked. John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.” Even tax collectors came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?” Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them. Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?” He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.” – Luke 3:10 – 14 (NIV)
It would take more than just one blog post to really dive into the fullness of these few verses. However, I think that we can summarize it like this:
- First we reflect on our own sin that leads us to repentance.
- Next we turn our attention to others. We now live a life bearing the fruit of our repentance as we live our lives for others. As we give our lives away (and some times our possessions) to others we make the crooked paths straight.
Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. – Luke 3:8a (NIV)
Let us continue to prepare the way for Christ’s return.
Come Lord Jesus; Come quickly.
Over the next few days before Christmas how will you bear fruit of repentance?