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2 - The Way Paver

“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.”

Preaching is an interesting field to study, in my opinion. I’ve devoted my time in research to the difference that is made in the lives of those we serve in ministry because of biblical teaching. The impact is not only positive, but measurable – in every single case, those who take in biblical teaching with intentionality grow in both their alignment with the essentials of the Christian faith and in meaningful areas which define a relationship with Christ. That’s the core discovery of my D.Min. dissertation research, and I just spared you 140 pages of reading. You’re welcome.

Part of the reason preaching interests me is that we as preachers participate in the work of proclaiming God which has been key to faith since the very first interactions God had with human beings. The writer of Hebrews makes it clear that the prophets who preceded Christ pointed forward toward His arrival, proclaiming that which they only knew in part; yet we proclaim the Christ who has made Himself known to us. We no longer proclaim a mystery, as the prophets did; we proclaim Jesus Christ in His fullness, the crucified and resurrected One.

John the Baptist, like the other prophets before him, spoke only of what was yet to come. He and others held out hope that their eyes would behold the fulfillment of God’s promises. Perhaps, therefore, we are not so different from the prophets of old after all. We proclaim Christ today with the recognition that there are still more promises to be fulfilled. There is a day of judgment which is yet to come and preachers today are charged with the proclamation of the Messiah’s work to prepare the people of the world for the day when they will meet God face-to-face. In this way, we stand in the tradition of John the Baptist as way pavers, readying hearts to meet with the Lord.

But Scripture is open in declaring that this task of proclaiming the gospel is not limited to those whose profession is preaching – it is the task of all who have tasted and seen that the Lord is good, all who have received the blessing of salvation in Jesus Christ. We are “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” Hopefully you caught that, since I went to the trouble of underlining and italicizing it – your new identity in Christ comes with a purpose and a calling, and it is to tell those around you about the wonders of the work of God. We bear witness. We proclaim. We pave the way for the return of the King.

The true light, which gives light to everyone, is coming into the world.

King of kings, Lord of lords – You are my light and my life. Thank You for those who have been faithful witnesses of the gospel in my own life, those who have paved the way for You to enter into my heart. As You work within me to grow me in maturity and love, make me a faithful messenger of the gospel to those around me. Help me to shine brightly with the light of Christ in a dark world.


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