Lift up Your Voice with Strength

Isaiah 40:3-5 ESV

“A voice cries:
‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken’.”

Make Straight the Way for the Lord

This was the call of John the Baptist who made straight the way of the Lord and who prepared the people’s hearts to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. His main message to the people was to repent of their sins for the kingdom of heaven was at hand (near). And to repent means to change one’s mind, and in this context it had to do with the people turning from their sins to following Jesus Christ (God) in obedience.

To repent of our sins is to have not just a change of mind but a change in our inner person with a resulting change of direction of one’s life and a change of attitudes, thinking, believing, and behaviors. It is like a spiritual U-turn. We were living in sin and for self, and now we turn away from that to follow Jesus Christ in his ways and in his truth. This is true repentance, not just admitting sin and then keeping on in the sin.

And to make straight a highway for our God is to teach what is truth, and to teach what is righteous, holy, and pure. And especially in our day and age this is critical that we are teaching truth and righteousness and that we are not altering and diluting the gospel message to make it more appealing and acceptable to human flesh and to the people of the world. We need to teach that Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to his righteousness.

But we also need to expose the fruitless deeds of darkness for what they are. We are to be calling out the lies and then proclaiming the truth of God’s word in contradiction to the lies which many are teaching today in the name of Jesus and in the name of his gospel. For many people are following the lies which are promising them heaven as their eternal destiny while they continue living in sin which is sending them straight to hell.

But Jesus said that if anyone would come after him that he must deny self, take up his cross daily (daily die to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. For if we hold on to our old lives of living in sin and for self, we will lose our lives for eternity and heaven will not be our eternal destiny. But if we lose our lives (die with Christ to sin) then we will live for eternity with God. And he said that not everyone saying to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the ones DOING the will of God who is in heaven.

Isaiah 40:9 ESV

“Go on up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good news;
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good news;
lift it up, fear not;
say to the cities of Judah,
‘Behold your God!’”

Herald the Good News

We are to all herald the Good News of the gospel of our salvation. We are to proclaim the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light. We are to be the Lord’s witnesses. We are the light of the world and the salt of the earth. We are to make disciples of Christ of people of all nations. And a disciple is a follower and a follower is one who obeys the one he is following. So we are to teach people to obey the Lord.

And we are not to be afraid of the people. We should never compromise truth and righteousness out of fear of what others will say about us or do to us. We should never acquiesce to accepting something less than the truth so that people will still like us and so that they will not reject us and persecute us. But we are to stand on the truth of the gospel and not waver, and we are to speak the truth even if people are wanting to hear the lies.

So, even if we are rejected and persecuted for standing on the truth of the gospel and for teaching on repentance, obedience, and submission to Christ as Lord, we need to keep speaking the truth, and we need to keep exposing the lies, for many people are believing and following after the lies and they need to hear the truth that will set them free. They need to hear that Jesus died on that cross to deliver us from our bondage (addiction) to sin.

So, even if we get accused of being hyper-religious or of being self-righteous, or of being legalistic and/or judgmental, because we teach the truth and not the lies, we are not to bend. We are not to compromise with the lies and with the world. But we are to stay strong in the Lord and in his strength and power, we are to keep heralding the good news, and we are to call the people to forsake their sins and to follow Jesus Christ in obedience.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-11; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Ac 26:18; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Eph 2:8-10]

Servant of the Lord

An Original Work / July 26, 2012
Based off Romans 1:1-17

Servant of the Lord;
For the gospel you’re set apart.
Promised through the prophets of old:
Jesus, Son of God.
Through Him, and for His name alone,
We receive His grace
To call people, Him to obey;
Coming from their faith.
Servant of the Lord,
For the gospel you’re set apart.
Promised through the prophets of old:
Jesus, Son of God.

You belong to Christ;
Loved by God, and called to be saints;
Serving God with whole heart and mind;
Preaching Jesus Christ;
Always praying for others’ needs;
Helping hand to lend;
Giving courage to others’ faith,
For the praise of God.
You belong to Christ;
Loved by God, and called to be saints;
Serving God with whole heart and mind;
Preaching Jesus Christ.

Servant of the Lord;
Of the gospel, I’m not ashamed;
For salvation, power of God
To those who have faith.
In the gospel find righteousness:
Being right with God.
Turn from sin, and trust Jesus Christ.
By faith, live in Him.
Servant of the Lord;
Of the gospel, I’m not ashamed;
For salvation, power of God
To those who have faith.

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