Summary: Are we ready for Jesus to come?

A way made ready

Mark 1:1-8 (NIV)

1 The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

2 It is written in Isaiah the prophet: "I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way"--

3 "a voice of one calling in the desert, ’Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’"

4 And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

5 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.

6 John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.

7 And this was his message: "After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.

8 I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."

How are you preparing for Christmas?

Its Christmas time…Its advent... It when we prepare for Christmas… It’s the time we prepare to celebrate the fact that we have a savior and redeemer who has come and is coming again.

This time is celebrated in different ways

1. We put our decorations

2. We go shopping

3. We buy presents

4. We have many traditions

a. My family we watch Christmas Vacation

b. We eat cheese and crackers

5. It takes a lot of preparations

Slide: Question: How are you preparing for Christmas?

6. Remember Christmas is about celebrating the time God came to us as a baby but we must not forget why he came to us.

a. To fix a problem we have.

b. Sin and rebellion.

Question: With that in mind how are you preparing for Christmas?

This scripture tells us that we should be preparing

7. Make straight the way of the Lord

3 "a voice of one calling in the desert, ’Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’"

1. John the Baptist

a. He is a big part of Christmas

i. But he is often left out of Christmas

ii. He is not in the nativity scene

b. He was the one telling the world how to be ready for Jesus.

c. How to receive Him

4 And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

We prepare through repentance

2. Without repentance we receive no forgiveness

a. It is of utmost importance to repent

i. Jesus doesn’t count for us without repentance

1. You can believe in who He is

a. Expound: You can know the doctrine

2. You can agree with His teachings

a. Expound: you can believe what he says morally: Love your neighbor

3. But none of that counts unless you repent.

Luke 13:3 (NIV) 3I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.

b. Its important to understand what repentance is

Greek Word: Transliteration: metanoe? Met-a-na-e oh

Definition: to change one’s mind or purpose—NASB Greek-Hebrew Dictionary

Repentance is one of those exalted religious words that has a simple meaning. Repentance means we do an “about-face.” We turn away and turn toward. We make a 180-degree change in direction.

There are two parts to repenting

3. Turning away from

a. Turn away from what?

b. Our sin and wickedness

c. Our rebellion from God

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV) 14if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

d. Repentance is more then just saying your sorry

i. This is an emotion

1. Although the emotion is important.

a. Can be influenced by what you eat or how much sleep you have had

2. It must produce results

Matthew 3:8 (NIV) 8Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.

Illustration: walking towards a cliff

It’s an acknowledgement that there is a problem with our behavior. It an acknowledgement and a mind set that says I need God. But one that produces response.

Just knowing walking in a direction might kill you doesn’t do any good unless you turn.

4. Turning towards

a. It also results in a turning towards God

Acts 26:20 (NIV)

20 First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.

i. Turning towards God

ii. Prove it by how we respond

iii. It is only then that we truly begin to live

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