There are two messengers that caught my eye this morning. In reading in Mark, I read about Isaiah and John the Baptist. Two messengers bringing hope in their words and actions. Listen to these words. "This is the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God. It began just as the prophet Isaiah had written: 'Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, and he will prepare your way. He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, Prepare the way for the Lord's coming! Clear the road for Him.' This messenger was John the Baptist. He was in the wilderness and preached that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven." Mark 1:1-4
Here we have Isaiah proclaiming the Messiah would come and one would come to prepare the way for Him. Before John ever preached a word of the Gospel, Isaiah was proclaiming he too would come and prepare the way. I find that Isaiah too was a messenger. He was inviting others to believe. Listen to His words. "Listen! It's the voice of someone shouting, 'Clear the way through the wilderness for the Lord! Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God!" Isaiah 40:3 John would come in the wilderness and walk among his people leading them to the One who would come after him. Think it was a coincidence he was in the desert? A desert, a place where people are constantly searching for refreshing water. A place that is dry and barren. A place where Jesus would come loving those around Him. He too prepared the way. All the way to the cross so that we could have freedom. A life that is abundant.
God wants to rescue His people. He doesn't want us lost in the desert. He wants to refresh our souls and give us a drink that will quench our thirst forever more. "Jesus replied, 'Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.'" John 14:13-14
As I read the notes in my bible, it says that the verses in Mark 1 are primarily about Jesus Christ. As I read I see the importance of the words of Isaiah. He was a prophet, a messenger, bringing hope that a Messiah would come. That one would come before Him leading the way, opening up pathways for Jesus to enter. As John the Baptist comes he opens up the dessert for all to see Jesus. A Savior for all. Listen as John the Baptist announces His coming. "John announced: 'Someone is coming soon who is greater than I am, so much greater that I'm not even worthy to stoop down like a slave and untie the straps of His sandals. I baptize you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.'" Mark 1:7-8
Friends, Jesus is coming again and we are His messengers to get the word out. We are to invite others to know Jesus. We are to pave the way for His return. We are to step out of our box and reach others through our life. One day when He does return what if a film played in front of our eyes showing all those that did not make it into heaven that we could have reached? Maybe we had the chance to be the messenger and turned the other way. Maybe in fear of rejection ourselves we were afraid to open our mouth. Just maybe we thought we might mess it up and not say the right words. When God opens a door to share the Gospel He will give us the words and prepare the heart of the one we are reaching. They may not come to know Him right then as we speak, but in our words and actions we have planted a seed. Friends, how many seeds have we been carrying in our pockets and have never planted them for the growth of the Kingdom of Christ? Sadly, I know I have let opportunities pass me by. When I get to heaven it isn't going to matter if some rejected me. They are rejecting Christ, not me. I believe He knows all to well about rejection. My words don't have to be perfect. I just have to open my heart and obey the Lord. In following Him I must have the desire to have others seek Him. When others look at my life they should see Christ above all.
Today, be the messenger we are called to be. Step out. Reach out and make a difference in someones life that will impact them forever!
"Jesus came and told His disciples, 'I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.'" Matthew 28:18-20