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PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD!

With Christmas approaching we are looking forward once again to the coming of the Lord with the celebration of His birth.  As we look forward again to His coming it is so important to realize that God Almighty sought to – Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming!

Part of that preparation was the sending forth of the angel Gabriel in the temple to Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, and to Mary, the mother of Jesus.  And, John the Baptist himself coming and crying in the wilderness – “Prepare ye the way of the Lord!”  These were direct interventions by God to prepare the way for the coming of the Son of God to this earth.

This preparation was very, very important to announce and to pave the way for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  In the Old Testament it was also very important as we read in Isaiah 40:3 – “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God” and Micah 3:1 – “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.”

Now, as we approach another Christmas it is all important for each one of us, as well, to prepare the way for the Lord in each one of our own hearts. In this little babe in a manger was to be all the fullness of God for we read in Colossians 1:19 – “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell” and in Colossians 2:9 – “For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.”  In the little gift of faith that the Lord has placed within each  of us lies the great potential for all the fullness of God to be in us in Christ, all the blessings of God, all the possibilities of God, for “we are complete in Him” as it goes on to say in Colossians 2:10.  We, who are Christians, are complete in God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

We are to make a highway for the Lord in each one of our hearts to prepare the way for “all things that are possible with God” that are promised in the scriptures.  Romans 8:32 – “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things.”  This is for each one of us!  No one is excluded-Jesus was delivered up for us all!...for all of us!  The potential for each one of us in this Christmas season is unlimited – are you ready to receive?  Are you ready to lay hold of what is available to you and for you?  There is so much more for each one of us. 

We are complete in Him but we have not arrived!  The great Apostle Paul in Philippians 3:13 says – “Brethren, I  count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”  Can you join with the Apostle Paul and set this one thing before you today? Can you realize with him that you have not arrived nor apprehended and that there is so, so much more, available, and laid up for you! It is now only for to you to “Prepare ye the way of the Lord” in your heart.

How do you do this?  In one sense it has already been done for you!  Jesus Christ died on that old rugged Cross to make a way for you to heaven, to redeem you, to restore you, and to bring you into an inseparable oneness with your God.  That is why He came down from heaven to this earth – to die for you!  1 John 3:8 – “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”  “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses.  He has blotted  out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way; nailing it to the cross - Colossians 2:13-14.  Our sins, all of our sins, past, present, and future have all been nailed to the Cross!

We are clean, we are pure, we are forgiven, and we are free!

So, where are our hearts this morning?  It is the condition of our heart that is important to God.  It is the attitude of our heart – are we preparing a way in our hearts for the coming of the Lord in great power and glory in each one of our lives at this Christmas time, looking to the coming of our Lord?  II Chronicles 16:9 says – “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him”.  God Almighty wants to show Himself strong, not show you strong, but to show himself strong through you!  How does He do that – by seeing whose heart is perfect toward Him!  The heart of the matter is our own heart!

When Gabriel came to Zacharias with his great announcement and to tell him that his wife Elizabeth, who was barren and well on in years, would bear a son, how did Zacharias respond?    We read it in Luke 1:19 – “And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.”  He questioned and doubted the word of the angel Gabriel.  How shall I really know this, he asked?  How shall I know that you are telling me the truth?  He questioned, he doubted.  And, in fact, because of that he was made dumb and unable to speak because as Gabriel said -  “you believed not my words.”  God can shut us up and He can put us down in a twinkling of an eye, when we don’t believe his Word!  “For the word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”  “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” – Hebrews 4:12-13.  Do you really believe with all of your heart this morning?  Have you cast yourself in complete surrender upon Christ?  Is your heart perfect toward him this day as you look forward to His coming at Christmas?

Now, look at Mary’s response to Gabriel after his announcement to her – “And Mary said in Luke 1:38 – “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.  And the angel departed from her.”  “Be it unto me according to thy word” – is that what you are saying to the Lord this morning?  Lord – I haven’t arrived yet and I haven’t apprehended all that you have for me, but I press on, believing with all of my heart that you will do those things that you want to do with me in this new season.  Be it unto me, by thy mercy and grace, according to thy word, I pray thee!  So, I pray, keep my heart right before thee.

These are very simple but profound responses from Zacharias and Mary.  What is the response of your heart in this Christmas season?

Recently I was sitting on a teeter totter.  The fulcrum of the teeter totter is in the middle and we go up and down, up and down.  The center of our being, the fulcrum of our lives seems to lie between heaven and hell, between good and evil, between God and the devil, between right and wrong, and between light and darkness.  And the natural man and even Christians go up and down between the two.  In fact the Apostle Paul, addressing himself to Christians in Romans 7, said – “For I know that in me that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good, I find not.  For the good that I would, I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.  O wretched man that I am!  Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”  Up and down, up and down!  Jeremiah 17:9 – “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?  I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.”  But, we cannot even trust our own hearts.

Are you in a battle this morning?  Are you fighting forces seemingly beyond your control.  You cannot fight them on your own.  You, in your own self, are no match for the devil.  He knows how to attack you, and he attacks you in your weakness.  He will hit you when you’re down, because he wants to wipe you out and render you useless in the Kingdom of God.

But Jesus came down to ground you and establish you in the faith.  And He said in John 10:10 – “I have come that ye might have life and that life more abundantly.”  Prepare ye the way of the Lord!  Move the fulcrum of your being toward God.  Surrender yourself all to God through Jesus Christ our Lord and become one with all of the power that created the heavens and the earth and that raised Jesus Christ from the dead – resurrection life and power and glory!   Take your rightful position, move toward God, and hop on the end of that teeter totter with God and there will be the devil dangling and flailing up in the air on the other end with no substance, no footing, and no grounding.  You don’t give in an inch to the devil.  You are grounded in God.  You make no opening for the accuser of the brethren and the seducer of mankind.  “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless, I live, yet no longer I, but Christ liveth in me.”  The devil is the loser.  He was defeated by Jesus on the Cross and you have no connection, no association, no relationship, no sitting, no accompanying, and no joining with that ol’ deceiver of the brethren.  “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, (a new creation); old things are passed away, behold all things are become new.”  You are rooted and grounded in God, with your feet firmly planted on the ground and your eyes of faith looking unto the hills from whence cometh your help, and there is nothing that can separate you from the love of God which is in Jesus Christ our Lord!

Colossians 1:13 – “Giving thanks unto the Father who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.”  That word translated is a war like term in the original Greek.  It describes a conquering army going into a foreign territory, defeating the enemy, and bringing back the former captives into a liberating new kingdom.  That is what our Commander in Chief, Jesus Christ, did when He came down from heaven into this earth and set the captives free.  He is our Liberator and we are in a whole new country, a whole new territory, a whole new kingdom, and a whole new domain and way of living!  We are eternal beings living now in an eternal Kingdom.

We prepare the way for the Lord by preparing our hearts, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, week by week, month by month, and year by year.  And, doing that, we build momentum in the Spirit.  The Bible says – “the haves have more and the have nots have less.”  Are you going forward or backward or just sitting in the middle going nowhere.

We are in a battle, in a war, and each one of our lives are so important to God!

How do you “PREPARE the way of the Lord” in your heart?  Look at these 12 “P’s”:

  1. PROSTRATE yourself before Him – surrender all, submit unto Him.
  2. PRAISE Him – God inhabits the praises of his people.
  3. Lay hold of his PROMISES – repeat them over and over again daily.
  4. Give POWER to him – Give unto the Lord glory and strength.  Give from where your hurt is.  If you’re lacking faith – speak faith.  If you’re hurting for love – give out love.  Whatever you need, give that to God and He will be empowered to bless you!
  5. PROCEED from your weakness to His strength.  Confess over and over again that in our own strength we can do nothing.
  6. PROCESS the Word through your being. 5 Psalms and 1 Proverb each day will read all of them through in one month.  Saturate yourself with the Word of God.
  7. PURIFY yourself – feed the Lord in you.  Starve the flesh.
  8. Affirm that you are PERFECT in God’s eyes.  Lord, I am the apple of your eye.  I am perfect in your eyesight.  I am complete and whole because of Jesus Christ in me and what He has done for me on the Cross.
  9. The PRECEPTS of God must be obeyed – obey the laws, statutes, and commandments.  Make it a point to read Psalm 119 every week.  Jesus fulfills the law and commandments.  In fact His standards are even higher.  If you even look upon a woman with lust, you have committed adultery with her.  This is a Kingdom of the Spirit that we live in and we don’t mess with God.
  10.  PERSUADE yourself that you are more than a conqueror in Jesus Christ.  “Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world”.  I am a child of God.  I am victorious and I am on the winning side.
  11. PROTECT yourself by applying the shed blood of Jesus to your being daily.
  12.  PRAYER – pray without ceasing.  Align yourself with God through prayer.  God hasn’t moved – we are the ones who have moved.  Let us move toward God through prayer and pour out our hearts to Him.  He sees in secret and rewards us openly.

 

The great Apostle Paul is challenging the devil in Romans Chapter 8 – “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?  It is God that justifieth.  Who is he that condemneth?  It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?”  There is nothing….for he goes on to say…. “for I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  The devil is a defeated foe.

Jesus loves us today – He sweat, as it were, great drops of blood in Gethsemane – “Lord take this cup from me; but nevertheless, not my will but thine be done.”  And He set his face as a flint toward Calvary – He suffered a cruel death, He shed his blood for the sins of the whole world.  He went to that Cross and died for you and for me.  He went to that Cross trusting and believing by faith that we would take up our own Cross and follow Him – die to self, surrender all, give our all to Jesus as He gave His all for us.

Are you pouring out your heart to Jesus today and preparing the way for His great blessings in your life?  He is a merciful God and He loves us with His loving kindness and tender mercies. Jesus didn’t hold back anything as He went to die and prepare a place for us in heaven.  But we can have His abundant life now, today, as He shows himself strong in our behalf.  Let us give our whole heart and our all to Jesus in surrender this day.  Let us join in the words said by John the Baptist in John 3:30 – “He must increase, but I must decrease”.

What is the heart of the matter?  Our own heart!
Prepare ye the way of the Lord!  Jesus – Lover of my soul!  Amen and Amen!

MERRY CHRISTMAS! - 2018

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Stanton R. Herpick
President and CEO


World Christian Outreach, Inc. (WCO) was founded in 1976 by Mr. Stanton R. Herpick to support and help Christian organizations in foreign countries in the promotion and spread of the Gospel (GOOD NEWS) of Jesus Christ the Son of God, mankind's only means of salvation from sin and reconciliation to God.

It is our belief that to help local indigenous Christian workers at the grassroots level is the best way to maximize usage of dollars spent.

Stan and Damaris Herpick

Stan and Damaris Herpick

 

Friends to the poor.