Saturday, March 5, 2016

Making a Straight Path

Last weekend we went to Gatesville to spend time with Chad and his family.  After a full day of playing, coloring, reading, and eating, it was time for the nightly routine.  Baths had been taken, the kids were in their pajamas, teeth had been brushed, toys had been picked up, and it was time to read.  Larry was reading first, but we noticed that David was not in the room.  He was in the bedroom clearing the stuffed animals and anything else in the pathway so I would be able to get through with the walker and be able to pat his back when he went to bed.  That was something we started when David was little and I’m grateful that he still wants it to be part of the routine.

John the Baptist spent his days and life preparing a straight path to point people to the Messiah.  He preached a clear message and baptized so people could see and know that Jesus had come to be their Savior.  From the beginning, John knew that his purpose and role was to point others to the One who could offer salvation, forgiveness of sins, a relationship, and eternity with Him in heaven.

This past year, our Bible study group has been blessed with two ladies who are new believers and followers of Jesus.  One was formerly an atheist and the other was part of another religion.  It has been refreshing to see their excitement, joy and the ways they are eager to know God, study the Bible, and begin their journey as Christians.  I have been reminded, like John, that my purpose is to make the path clear so that my words, actions, and deeds point them to Jesus and are not stumbling blocks. 

And God has promised to make our paths straight when we trust Him with our whole heart, don’t lean on our own understanding, and in all our ways submit to Him.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6 

The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:
“I will send my messenger ahead of you,
    who will prepare your way”
“a voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
    make straight paths for him.’”
And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.  John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.
And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
Mark 1:1-8

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