ARE YOU READY?(Sunday, December 20, 2020) by Steve Brightwell
Then he (John) said to the multitudes that came out to be baptized by him, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.” Luke 3:7-8 Anticipating the coming of Jesus ignites joyful anticipation in his followers. “He is coming! All will be made right Haleluia!.” The message of repentance is for the believer also. “He is coming, and I’m still in need of cleansing! I’M NOT READY! Lord, have mercy!” The call to repentance is uncomfortable. So much so for the stranger to God that he responds with ridicule and mocking. It’s only the believer that knows the goodness of God; and it is the goodness of God that leads to repentance. We trust in His mercy to overcome judgement for us. In spite of the vast gulf between the righteousness of Holy Jesus and unholy sinner, the repentant sinner runs to Jesus for mercy. The proud sinner stays in the chains of self because he does not believe that grace is for him - he is without God, without hope. Until the last day, we believers will have cause to repent. God’s holy light increasingly illuminates the residual dark places in us that hinder our witness of the indwelling Christ. He shines on these to draw us ever closer. We run to him for his aid in our transformation. We agree with the light and in Him find power to put the darkness away. When His word shines light on us it is not for our condemnation. That is the work of the devil. We trust God. God’s revealing light is for our healing and spiritual maturing. It is certainly uncomfortable when we are shown that we are not as wonderful as we would like to believe. However, it is a glorious thing when God reveals a particular form of self will so that together we put it away and grow closer. He came as the Lamb. He will come again as the Lion. He is coming even now to more fully manifest His resurrection life in you and me. He is coming! Haleluia! Let us repent in joyful anticipation of the coming Kingdom of God!