Day 25

Born Thy People to Deliver Day 25

from the reading plan

Isaiah 40:3-5, Luke 1:57-80, John 1:6-9, John 1:15, Matthew 11:1-10

Several years before entering into ministry I worked as a personal trainer. I would talk to clients about their goals, and they would list a wide range like losing weight, gaining muscle mass, and wanting to lift heavy weights. Yet no matter where the client saw him or herself physically, we would always start the first few training sessions with basic movements. Why? Because we had to prepare their bodies to achieve the desired results . A person does not walk in and squat 300 pounds safely on the first try. There have to be foundational muscles built in the body to withstand the weight and support the person. 

God chose to use foundational means to prepare the way for His rescue of humanity. He first sent the angel Gabriel to Zechariah announcing John’s coming birth, declaring that he would serve to turn the hearts of Israel to the Lord (Luke 1:16). When John was born, Zechariah prophesied over him, affirming what Gabriel had told him, “And you, child, will be called a prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways” (v.76).

Luke tells us, “The child grew up and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel” (v.80). God was preparing John, even at birth, for the days of preaching and teaching that would anticipate Jesus’s arrival. Preparation is rarely the fun part, but it is always the necessary part. John’s preparation set people up for the coming Messiah. 

John’s message drew people in to listen and cling to the very words he spoke. “He [John] came as a witness to testify about the light, so that all might believe through him” (John 1:7). The prophecy spoken over him when he was born was an assignment to be lived out. John prepared a way for the truth of the coming Messiah—before people saw or heard of Jesus, John pointed toward what was to come. 

As we journey through this Advent season, let’s ask God what He is preparing in us so that we can face what is to come. Every season brings challenges, and I believe God wants to use what we are currently walking through, good or not, to prepare us for what is next. 

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