Summary: This is a New Year’s Sermon and deals with preparing the way for the Lord to come into our lives. Preached by my wife and me together.


9:30 1/3/94 Text Luke 3:1-19 Isaiah 40:1-8 Matthew




Today is the first Sunday in which we get to prepare the way

for God to do something new in our lives and in our church for

1993. What the New Year brings us will depend a great deal on

what we bring to the New Year. Are we interested in preparing

the way in our lives in order that God might do a great work both

in us and through us?


This morning we are going to look at a person’s life who was

interested in preparing himself and others for the coming of

Jesus Christ into their lives. God had promised in the Old

Testament that He would send a forerunner ahead in the Spirit of

Elijah to prepare the people for the coming of the Messiah. Now

that Christmas is behind us, we must prepare the adult Jesus to

revolutionize our lives in 1993. The power and salvation of God

is ready to be poured out upon on God’s people, but only those

who are preparing the way for Him will receive the maximum bene



Our text this morning begins in Luke 3:1. Verse one and the

first part of verse two says, "In the fifteenth year of the reign

of Tiberius Caesar--when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea,

Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea

and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene-- {2} during the

high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas,"

Notice that Christianity has a historical time and place.

secular historical records testify to what’s recorded in the

Scriptures. There’s more historical records outside of the bible

on Jesus Christ than there is Julius Caeser.


Now Luke is not simply giving us a history lesson to pin

point the historical accuracy and place of the mission of Jesus

Christ. This lists of names informs that John the Baptist and

Jesus began their ministries during a period of dark times. The

administration of Tiberious Ceasar was characterized by severity

and cruelty. It was a period of moral degeneration and political

chaos in the Roman Empire. The other names reveal that the Holy

Land was under the domination of a pagan power that arbitrarily

divided up the land and placed it under different rulers. Often

times these rulers were evil administrators and lacked honesty

and integrity.


Even the sacred religious life was contaminated by people

who didn’t serve or know God, yet they were the ones who chose

who would be the next high priest. God’s people had little to say

about who would be their spiritual leaders. The government decid

ed that behind close doors. Luke wants us to see that it was

during a period when conditions were dark and desperate in the

world, that God called John to "Prepare The Way"


It does not matter what the agenda of the world is, when God

gets ready to move, God sends a word. Look at the second part of

verse 2 " the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the

desert." Notice first of all the faithfulness of God. John’s

life had begun with great promises to his elderly parents Eliza

beth and Zechariah. It’s been 30 years since they were told their

son would prepare the way for the Messiah. No doubt both of them

are dead at this point, and they died wondering if they had heard

God correctly. But God has been true and faithful to his word.

We may not see all of God’s promises come to past concerning us,

our family, our church, but God is faithful to keep His word.


God’s word comes to John in the desert, and the good thing

is that John is prepared to receive it. Verse 3 says "He went

into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of

repentance for the forgiveness of sins." For all practical

purposes, John is a nobody out in the middle of nowhere, until He

receives a word from God. It does not matter what the world

thinks of us or where we are, when God chooses to use us, God

knows where we are. John does not just up and start preaching on

his own. No, the word of God came to him in manner that left no

room for doubt that God was calling him to prepare the way. God

did not require John to have several degrees to reach the people.

Just a willing heart and a mouth that would speak would get the

job done


When God calls us, God provides us with the necessary equip

ment. Now God does expect us to do that which we are capable of

doing. Laziness on our part is not going to be a reason, for us

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