START HERE

Today’s Truth

‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’

(Matthew 3:3b, NIV)

Friend to Friend

John the Baptist told God’s people to “prepare the way for the Lord” … to purify their hearts and get ready for Jesus to come, redeem, restore, heal, love, challenge, and change the world. (Matthew 3:3)

I read this and smile because I like preparing things. I like to cook. I love hosting gatherings, planning party details, and preparing for guests. My son recently graduated from high school and I spent countless hours prepping for the celebration we had in his honor. It was wonderful.

When presidents, dignitaries, and heads of state are going to visit a particular town they often send people ahead of them to make sure the area is made ready for their visit. This is a different type of preparation than my domestic kind. They are serious to vet out each location regarding security. They vet out the people that will be in attendance and in charge. They prepare the way for those to whom they are in service.

John the Baptist “prepared the way” for Jesus much like this. He went to Jerusalem, all of Judea, and to the whole region of the Jordan telling the people of Israel to repent and prepare the way for Jesus by “making straight paths for Him.” (Matthew 3:6)

Prepare the way. Make straight paths.

Since these are not modern things to say, it is a smidge confusing, right?

I wondered about it, so I investigated a bit further. Here’s what I found out. The Strong’s Bible Concordance tells us that the word for “paths” in this verse is the Greek word tribos, which means, “a worn way.” (Strong’s Number G5147)

Worn.

Interesting.

When I think of things that are worn I think of things that are familiar. Known. Broken in. Comfortable.

I love my worn jeans and the well-worn path I walk on in the woods by my house. I love my worn leather shoes and my worn Bible.

As I think about this phrase further, a few thoughts cross my mind about a “worn way.”

When a path is worn it is easy to follow. Natural.

When a path is worn, it leads to a specific destination.

These observations cause me to reflect. Have I worn a path for my heart, soul, and mind to welcome and prioritize Jesus today?

Do my thought patterns, spiritual disciplines, and behaviors pave a worn path to truth and grace?

Do my actions “prepare the way” for others to encounter and wonder about Jesus?

Every life points somewhere. Mine will either point others toward Jesus or away from Him. Yours will too.

I want to be a worn-path-to-Jesus woman… but how?

I make straight paths for others to see Jesus when I am kind, when I am slow to anger, when I am quick to forgive and quick to listen. When I am compassionate, faithful, and humble.

I make straight paths for others to see Jesus when I am accessible and honest. When I choose His peace over my impatience and His joy over my frustrations.

I become the worn way for my loved ones, my co-workers, and community to see Jesus when I am influenced by and responsive to the ways He loves, shows compassion, and grace freely.

What a beautiful reminder: every day is an opportunity to influence others toward Jesus.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, Please purify my heart. Lead me in Your ways and make me a worn path to You!

In Jesus’s Name I pray,
Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

What is one thing you can do today to prepare the way for your family, your work place and your community to see Jesus?

Let’s pray together today! Visit my blog to post a prayer request and pray for a few other posted prayer needs.

More from the Girlfriends

Do you want more postivity and inspiration in your days? Hang out with Gwen and friends! Listen to the GRACEOLOGIE with Gwen Smith podcast as you commute to work, go on walks, exercise, run errands, eat guacamole or travel. Podcasts are also perfect to listen to as you do household chores! (Laundry anyone?)

Each GRACEOLOGIE with Gwen Smith podcast episode is filled with fun, faith-focused, grace-filled conversations that will help you know and trust God more. These discussions encourage you in meaningful ways to live out and lean on the GRACE of Jesus in the midst of cluttered, messy days. CLICK HERE to listen on iTunes, or visit GwenSmith.net/Graceologie for more information.

4 Responses to “Your Influence Matters”

  1. Julie says:

    Another great read!
    Thank you for the positivity!
    I love it!!

    Julie

  2. Sharida says:

    I absolutely love the way you’ve broken this down. Often times some of the translations of the Bible make it hard for me to understand. Thank you ! And, I will carry this devotional with me in my daily life. I can only hope that each day I am an example of God’s love.

  3. Tammy Wilson says:

    This is so terrific, so uplifting, so positive. I just love this for myself and for my daughter. She is a sophomore in college and taking a religion class. Two classes in, the professor asked for verbal responses of what the student thoughts on a particular religion. He said “Christianity” and my daughter was so astonished and upset when various students said, “rigid”, “ unkind”, “judgemental”, “Homophobic” to name a few. When the prof said “Muslim…the responses included “prayerful”, “peaceful”, “loving”…. She did say several Christian girls spoke up in class and told them that the characterizations were untrue. My daughter nodded in agreement but, was too close to tears in class to find words. She called me right after class for support. She was amazed that she could be surrounded by 20 year old so called “open minded” students, only to hear their mindset on this. We are viewing it as an opportunity to change some hearts, by the example she sets in each interaction with the people in that class. In that way, she can make a path.

  4. Jehrica says:

    HALLELU YAH! You were created to know God in a personal way—to have a relationship with Him, through His Son, Jesus Christ! May the Lord bless you as you seek His Salvation!—

    https://harvest.org/know-god/

    https://harvest.org/know-god/questions/

Leave a Reply

"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8