Summary: Our lives are to become a type of "path" that people can come to Jesus through.
Prepare Ye The Way Of The Lord
INTRODUCTION: Jesus spoke of the “Strait gate” that led to Him and His ways. The word strait: (stenos) implies that there are obstacles that clutter the path. We have the responsibility and privilege to prepare the path to God so that others don’t stumble on their way.
Each of us are either stumbling stones or paving stones for someone else’s spiritual journey.
1. THE CHALLENGE "Prepare ye the way of the Lord"
A. WE ARE TO BE A MEANS THROUGH WHICH OTHERS CAN COME TO THE LORD.
1) Some are more obstructions than ways.
2) The early believers were called “Followers of the way”
Ge 18:19 “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him,and they shall keep the way of the LORD.”
3) The road is often obscured so we need to stay close to Our Guide and our guide book.
> Ps 32:8 “I will instruct thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.”
> Ps 119:1 “Blessed [are] the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
> Mt 7:14 “Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, “
B. THE “WAY” OF THE LORD IS:
1) THE WAY OF SALVATION Jn. 14:6; Acts 4:12
Acts 16:17 “These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.”
2) THE WAY OF SINCERITY (TRUTH) Ps 119:30 I have chosen the way of truth:
3) THE WAY OF SUPERIORITY (WISDOM) “a more excellent way.” 1 Cor. 12:31
Pr 4:11 I have taught thee in the way of wisdom;
Pr 8:11 "For wisdom is better than rubies; …"
4) THE WAY OF SUPPLICATION (PRAYER) Phil. 4:6
5) THE WAY OF SANCTIFICATION (HOLINESS)
1 Pe 1:15 “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy…”
1 Thes 4:3 "For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:"
6) THE WAY OF SACRIFICIAL LOVE
Eph. 5:2 "And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us "
2. THE CONDITIONS (How we can prepare the way of the LORD)
NOTE: Clearing and preparing a way for the LORD is hard work. There’s usually debris.
A. CHEER UP: "every valley shall be filled" (1 Sam. 30:6; Neh. 8:10)
1) Valleys are depressions into which things accumulate.(The Dead Sea)
2) These may represent defeats or past sin in our lives.
3) These are to be filled with the Spirit of God. Eph 5:18
B. CLEAR UP: "every mountain and hill shall be brought low" (2 Cor. 10:3-5) Mountains are elevated areas in our lives and may represent:
1) PRIDE James 4:6 “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.”
2) PRESUPOSITIONS (FALSE REASONINGS) 2 Cor 4:4; 10:3-5; 11:3
"Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings,
crying, Grace, grace unto it." (Zec 4:6,7)
C. STRAITEN UP: "the crooked shall be made straight"
"And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed." (Heb 12:13)
1) This may represent SIN in our lives. (SOMEONE IS FOLLOWING YOU!)
(Lying, cheating, hypocrisy, Robbing God of Time, Talent, Treasures.)
2) These are made strait by confession. (honesty) 1 Jn 1:9
2 Cor 4:2 “But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.”
D. YOKE UP. "the rough ways shall be made smooth" (Mt 11:28,29)
1) Rough places imply things out of place or order.
2) Perhaps representing mis-aligned priorities. Mt 6:33 (God-Family-ministry-job-pleasure)
3) Corrected by repentance and renewal Ro 12:1,2
Rev. 2:4,5 "I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do thy first works."
3. THE CONSEQUENCES (NOTICE THE CAUSE AND EFFECT.)
A. When we “Prepare the way of the LORD”, then He is able to move among us and reveal himself. "All Flesh shall see the Salvation of God" vs 6
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works,
and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Mat 5:16)
* Our world is dying in the midst of our Christianity for lack of seeing a real God.
* Jesus said: “if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." (John 12:32)