The Way for the New Year
The voice crying in the wilderness demanded a way for the Lord, a way prepared, and a way prepared in the wilderness. I would be attentive to the Master's proclamation and give Him a road into my heart, cast up by gracious operations, through the desert of my nature. The four directions in the text1 must have my serious attention.
Every valley must be exalted. Low and groveling thoughts of God must be given up; doubting and despairing must be removed; and self-seeking and carnal delights must be forsaken. Across these deep valleys a glorious causeway of grace must be raised.
Every mountain and hill shall be laid low. Proud creature-sufficiency, and boastful self-righteousness, must be leveled, to make a highway for the King of kings. Divine fellowship is never promised to haughty, high-minded sinners. The Lord has respect to the lowly and visits the contrite in heart, but the lofty are an abomination unto Him. My soul, beseech the Holy Spirit to set you right in this respect.
The crooked shall be made straight. The wavering heart must have a straight path of decision for God and holiness marked out for it. Double-minded men are strangers to the God of truth. My soul, take heed that in everything you are honest and true, as in the sight of the heart-searching God.
The rough places shall be made smooth. Stumbling-blocks of sin must be removed, and thorns and briers of rebellion must be uprooted. So great a visitor must not find miry ways and stony places when He comes to honor His favored ones with His company. Oh, that this evening the Lord may find in my heart a highway made ready by His grace, that He may make a triumphal progress through the utmost bounds of my soul, from the beginning of this year even to the end of it.
1) Isaiah 40
Family Bible reading plan
verse 1 Genesis 3
verse 2 Matthew 3
ESV Daily Devotional New Testament
The ESV Daily Devotional New Testament will help readers become familiar with the central message of the Gospel by guiding them through the entire New Testament over the course of one year.
Featuring 365 devotions, each day includes two readings – one from the first half of the New Testament (Matthew through Acts) and one from the second half (Romans through Revelation). After each reading, a short reflection helps readers consider the meaning of the passage and understand how it relates to Jesus Christ and the Gospel. Each devotion concludes with a short passage from the Psalms that ties thematically into the day’s Bible reading, as well as a “Thoughts for Prayer” section to guide personal prayer and meditation.
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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.