Summary: Preparing our hearts for the true Advent of life; the second coming of Jesus Christ.
We do so much to prepare for Christmas.
We prepare for Christmas by decorating our houses…shopping…and so on.
We prepare for guests to come: clean and straighten the house, prepare a meal.
We try not to wait ‘til the last minute to prepare, for it may be too late.
Malachi is preparing our hearts and gives us a very succinct message: The Messiah, the promised Savior, is coming soon.
John the Baptist was the messenger sent to prepare the people for the coming of the Messiah.
He challenged the people to prepare themselves for the Messiah’s arrival.
Jesus did come and in John 14, He tells his disciples – and us – about His leaving.
He told how He was going to make preparations for our future in eternity.
Jesus did leave this earth, but not before promising to return to claim His children.
This promise is what gives us hope and the assurance of eternal life through Him.
The question for us today is, “How do we prepare ourselves for His return?”
In today’s scripture, we are given the steps to follow in preparing for Christ’s return.
1. Repent. verse 3
Repentance simply means to turn from sin and move toward God.
Sin is a reality every human deals with and the first step is to acknowledge sin in your life.
You can’t turn from something if we don’t acknowledge what that something is.
To fully rid ourselves of sin, we must confront it, acknowledge it and turn from it.
Sin can be very subtle and occasionally can lead us astray from the path of righteousness.
>Failing to repent can be like a sheep with his head down nibbling on grass only to wander off and get lost.
The same can happen with us…We can nibble away at sin until we wander from God.
We must daily confess our sins and repent so we can stay close to God and not get lost.
2. Receive forgiveness. verse 3
We all want to know forgiveness for our sins & failures…it’s a natural desire and need.
Forgiveness is available to us only through the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ. Grace – It’s free!
When we fully receive God’s forgiveness we can experience the peace only God can provide.
The question remains like in the old hymn, “Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?”
When we repent of our sin and accept His forgiveness, we have begun our journey in a life of grace.
3. Live a holy life. Verses 10-14
Being a Christian begins with a committed relationship with Jesus Christ.
Out of our relationship with God comes the desire to show His love to others.
God calls us to do what is right and to share the good news of the gospel with everyone.
We are to live holy lives and prepare ourselves with the expectation of the Lord’s return.
4. Expect the Lord to come anytime. verse 15
Advent is the time we begin preparing to celebrate Christmas...it’s a season of expectation.
We are in preparation for the triumphant return of Jesus Christ. Revelation 22:7 & 12
Being prepared means to remain faithful in our daily walk with God and be His witnesses.
We are called to be witnesses to Jesus Christ and to share His love & grace with the world.
We have the mission to share the gospel of Jesus Christ and prepare hearts for His return.
We must constantly prepare our own hearts so we can go out and prepare the hearts of others.
Advent is a time of expectation, anticipation and longing – Advent is a time to celebrate Hope. Romans 15:12-13
During this Advent season, let’s share our hope in preparation for the coming of Jesus Christ.