SCRIPTURE READING: Isa. 40:3-5 & Prov. 3:5-6, ESV
NOTE: For those new to The Mission Church: when you read the Old Testament and see “LORD,” it is the translation of the Hebrew YHWH – Pronounced Yahweh, which is God’s covenant name. It’s the name that describes WHO and WHAT He is, and distinguishes Him from all other beings, real or perceived, that would seek to make a claim to be of the same nature and character as He. The bottom line is this: God has a NAME, He revealed it, and so when it appears in Scripture, I like to use it.
A VOICE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS
In his gospel, Luke identifies “the voice crying in the wilderness” as John The Baptist, cousin to The Lord Jesus. He was called of God to prepare Israel for the ministry of The Messiah. Luke 3:1-6
PREPARE THE WAY OF THE LORD
Isaiah makes mention of one He calls The LORD… Yahweh. He will bring salvation to the earth, the place that suffers under the fall of man and curse of sin. A place filled with…
…a place where the wreak and ruin of humanity is displayed on the wall of history for all to see.
In the midst of this spiritual chaos, “The LORD” will be ONE who will:
This is what Jesus has done! Through His cross and resurrection, Jesus made a straight and level path for sinful humanity to become sons and daughters of God.
THE STRAIGHT PATH IN OLD TESTAMENT TERMS
Whenever we think or talk about the gospel, we generally do so from the a New Testament perspective. However, we would be mistaken if we thought that the Old Testament does not point us to the gospel as well.
First… what is the gospel?
In brief it is the message of what God has done for man to make it possible for sin to be forgiven and new, eternal life, to be received.
Adam, the first man, chose to rebel, to take his own path. Subsequently, all who come from Adam have shown that they are his offspring by doing the very same thing. Romans 3:23
From there an almost endless number of “religions” have been created attempting to reverse the curse, but they cannot. ALL of the religions of the world are based on this one basic premise: they emphasize the path of what man needs to do..
It’s the message of Man’s Good Works, but the message of man’s good works is just another version of…
…that path takes you nowhere but destruction!
The Gospel does not emphasize what mankind does to get or to maintain God’s favor, but of what God has done to make a straight path from sin to salvation for all who will by FAITH take the path.
I direct your attention then to Proverbs 3:5-6… a gospel passage?? – Let’s see.
5 Trust in the LORD [Yahweh] with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.
It’s true that we do not find the cross or resurrection of The Messiah in this passage, you don’t find it in Isaiah 40 either. Luke, by revelation of The Holy Spirit, took what was vailed in Isaiah 40 and brought more clarity to its meaning and application in his gospel. Any way you slice the pie of Isaiah 40, the “straight path” it refers to is one from sin to God through The Messiah, who has been shown to be Jesus Christ.
I content that the “straight path” of Proverbs 3:6 is no less a path from sin to the Savior for the sinner, and for those who have received the Savior, a path that carries us more and more toward His image, which is what redemption is all about.
How does one turn to Jesus? By FAITH!
Trust in the LORD with all your heart… the call of Christ on your life is to TRUST HIM. To TRUST IN HIM is to place the full weight of your life in His hands.
Not only are we told to turn TO SOMONE, (The Lord) we are also told to turn FROM SOMETHING… (our own understanding).
…and lean not on your own understanding… turning from the natural ways of man to the truth of God is the heart of repentance, and repentance is at the heart of the gospel.
The ways of sin and the message of religion says we must make our own way, we must prove ourselves, we must earn God’s favor. The gospel says Jesus did that! Stop striving in your own power and trust in Him. That requires a turning, a repentance from the ways of man to the way of God.
The gospel has 3 aspects it addresses:
...in all your ways acknowledge Him…
Having turned from self-reliance to full reliance in Christ, our lives as disciples of Jesus are to be filled with acknowledging His ways above our own and resting in the ongoing work of The Holy Spirit to conform our lives to the image of Jesus’ life.
I encourage you TODAY (present) to take your PAST to the cross. By FAITH look to Jesus, trust His work on your behalf to wipe the slate clean and give you new life.
To those who have taken their PAST to the cross and found new life in Jesus, I encourage you to daily commit your way to God’s good plan for you.
Just because you are “saved” does not mean that you can’t get off the straight path of God to traverse the crooked paths of sin. I challenge to you to join me in daily examination of life, asking; which pathway am I traveling? The straight path of holiness, or the crooked path of the flesh.
The former will keep you in the process of the transformation toward the image of Christ.
The latter will keep you in the way of frustration, aggravation and futility.
5 Trust in the LORD [Yahweh] with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
The Mission Church is committed to serving God by making disciples in the Des Moines area.
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