We are currently living under a shadow of death. We need a light to provide the knowledge of salvation. Who can prepare the way for us? Who can turn the crooked routes into a straight-albeit narrow way (called unity)?
John the Baptist was chosen before birth to make straight the way for Jesus’ coming. How did he do this? He prepared the way for salvation by bringing knowledge of what it meant to be saved =the forgiveness of sin. When John preached, people were changed and their hearts were soft to God’s message. They received the baptism of repentance.
Even now, as we humble ourselves before God, he will lift us up. His mercy and forgiveness are what pursues us. King David (in Psalm 23) spoke about his experience with God. Even more than the terror of being hunted by a jealous king and his army, David was being “hunted” by God’s goodness. Do you recognize God’s goodness in the midst of the terror?
When we realize the gift in this moment: to slow down, repent of our wayward, self-focused lives and bask in the knowledge of God’s goodness, then we will be saved from a “viral spiral” of fear. More importantly, He is able to save our Spirit and soul from eternal death (separation from God because of sin) through redemption – or forgiveness of sin. What was sold to pay our sin debt (our relationship with God) has been bought back or redeemed through Jesus, His Son.
Powerfully, Jesus brought us more than John’s water baptism of repentance by baptizing with fire (the promised Holy Spirit). In John 17, Jesus prays for all of us who would believe in Him through the apostle’s ministry. His prayer was for unity. Just as God the Father was in Jesus the Son, so is Jesus our Saviour in every believer through the promised Holy Spirit. The unity of the Godhead (or trinity- one being with three persons) invites us to also live in unity through the precious blood of Jesus Christ our LORD and Savior. Jesus prayed,”I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. – John 17:23”.
We may not have all the answers yet for the CoVID-19 pandemic, but we do have more important answers to our underlying “sin-sickness”. If we pursued Jesus in the way we are pursuing viral answers, I am convinced that our love for one another would bring deeper healing than has ever been known.- Teresa #Istillbelieve #inspirationalmovieabout JeremyCamp
Luke 1:67-80 (ESV)
67 And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying, 68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has visited and redeemed his people
69 and has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David,
70 as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
71 that we should be saved from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us;
72 to show the mercy promised to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant,
73 the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
74 that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
might serve him without fear,
75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people
in the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
whereby the sunrise shall visit us[a] from on high
79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.
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Luke 1:78 Or when the sunrise shall dawn upon us; some manuscripts since the sunrise has visited us