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Matthew 3:3

Leveling and Smoothing

3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.


Jewish minds could not fail to notice how many times Matthew has referred to the fulfillment of their scriptures in the first two chapters of his gospel. Chapter three begins with another prophetic fulfillment. A good preacher will never stand on his own words and opinions, but on the word of God. This quote is from Isaiah 40:3, but Luke adds the rest of the quote from Isaiah: "Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways [shall be] made smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God." (Luke 3:5-6)

The way must be prepared by leveling it and smoothing it. Every obstruction should be removed from the path of the Messiah and His message. This process of leveling and smoothing must begin in our own hearts. "But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:" (1 Pet 1:25-2:2)

First, we cannot be desirous of Godly things, if we harbor hatred, bitterness and backbiting gossip in our hearts. These things turn us against God and His word. They serve as obstacles to good Christian living, making us feel guilty and wanting to hide from God. A breach is formed in our fellowship with God and His people, and there is a need for us to be filled with a spirit of repentance.

Secondly, we have to desire God's word; We have to want it to be planted in our hearts; we have to crave a deeper understanding of it; and we must be determined to live by it. There is no greater obstacle in our churches today than the lack of desire to study and to learn the word of God. To prepare the way of the Lord, we must level this obstacle to the renewing of our minds and desire the sincere milk of God's word.

The musical leaders of Christ's churches around the world also have the responsibility to prepare the way. Choir members, praise team members, instrumentalists, and worship leaders alike should all take their role in leveling and smoothing very seriously. Our music should lead people to focus on God and to lay aside their worldly concerns while they worship. To do this we must select music that is easy for the worshipper to sing, but filled with praises and accurate doctrine about our Lord. Our singing must admonish, teach, inspire and worship. Too often it seems like the music itself becomes the mountain that hinders our worship instead of facilitating it.

We must also remember our rightful places. Like John we are only the voices that carry the call to repentance and salvation. The voice is of little importance. Any voice will do. Any voice can convey the message that the kingdom of heaven is at hand. The word that the voice proclaims is the important thing. Jesus is the Word of God, and we must decrease so that He may increase. Only when we become invisible, in order to make others see Him, will we have the way cleared for the whole world to see the salvation of God. Our words, our manners, our dress and our music must all become the tools for leveling and smoothing the way to salvation through the worship of Jesus Christ.

Before The Throne:

Pray that God will help you prepare the way in your own heart first. Ask Him to examine you and to remove those obstacles of envy, greed and worldly lusts so that you can draw closer to your Savior. Pray that He will prevent you from becoming an obstacle or stumbling block for others. Thank Christ for calling you to follow Him.

For Further Study:

(v.3)
** by. Isa 40:3; Mark 1:3; Luke 3:3-6; John 1:23; ** Prepare. Isa 57:14-15; Mal 3:1; Luke 1:17, 76;

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