This week, a small group I lead is preparing for an oyster roast. We first decided when and where and then made plans as to what other foods to bring. The couple hosting the party is getting the oysters and preparing everything for the arrival of the group.
You and I have made preparations many times for people or events. A work project, guests, a new baby arriving, out of town company, vacations are all examples of how we prepare for daily tasks as well as significant life events.
In our Small Groups this week, our focus is on the preparation for the Savior made by John the Baptist. Matthew 3 gives the account of this New Testament prophet proclaiming to the people that a Messiah was coming and to be prepared.
John the Baptist, dressed like the prophet Elijah and quoting the prophet Isaiah got the attention of all strata of people with his message of preparation by repenting. His message to the non-religious and the religious was to have a complete heart change and to live it out externally in the culture. He wanted people to place their hope in the coming Messiah. We place our trust in the fact that the Messiah has come and offers salvation through his sacrificial death on the cross.
How can you prepare for Jesus?
- Primarily open your life/heart to Him,recognizing and affirming that Jesus is the One who came to save humanity from the penalty of death. When we place our faith in Him, our sin is paid for and our lives can be transformed.
- Recognize that the Christian path is a daily walk.Each day we must be prepared to live for him. Talking with him through prayer and Bible study is a daily habit that has an eternal impact.
- Share with others.We are the His hands and feet, meaning that living our lives with a humble attitude, servant actions, and conversation that points to Jesus can impact others as we leverage our lives for Him.
- Prepare the way.Like John the Baptist, we too can help make the path straight. For example, be a person of clarity, not confusion, be consistent, not random, and be authentic and not counterfeit.
As we approach the Christmas season let’s remember that we are ones in wilderness shouting out with our lives that Jesus is the Messiah.