Borrowed from Shane & Kim Jones (via FB)
What do you think of billboards as you pass them on the roadside?
This might change your outlook on billboards forever. And, it may deliver an important message we all need to receive in this Information Age.
Please take a brief 2-3 minutes to read this and ponder what you should do with it. It could provide for your most important emergency exit ever…
Written by: Matt Vohwinkel
I don’t know about you, but when I am on a road trip, one of my favorite ways of passing the time is reading the billboards that line the interstate. In an age where everything we need to know about anything is just a click or tap away, there is something fascinating about a gargantuan sign with the sole purpose of alerting oncoming traffic to a singular message. Now, most of the time these massive advertisements are meaningless to me, informing me of a great place to buy candles or a lawyer I can call if I am ever bitten by my neighbor’s dog. However, there are those rare occasions where the message depicted speaks to the very thing I need most in that moment; when the approaching sign is a beacon of hope, promising me that I am just a few short miles away from fixing the problem of an empty belly or a soon to be empty gas tank.
The course for the life of John the Baptist had been established by God, long before he had ever taken life’s first breath. While being formed in the womb of Elizabeth, the Holy Spirit led Zechariah to prophesy the following words surrounding the calling that awaited his soon to be born son, a calling like no other. John was called by God to become a human billboard, a prophet whose sole purpose was to alert all who would listen of the coming of the long-awaited Messiah. An entire ministry dedicated to ensuring that the world around him would not miss the Promised One who would become the source of reconciliation between a fallen world and their Holy Creator. Now you would think that this would be the greatest billboard gig ever: To be the one, who points to the One, that everyone has been waiting for, to be the one who prepares the world to receive the One who provides eternal hope, tender mercy, and the forgiveness of sins, a message that would meet the deepest need of any person passing by. Nevertheless, many drove right past John and his message, and eventually passed by the Christ as well, as though they were nothing more than white noise on the side of the road. As a result, they missed their “exit” for the Bread of Life and Living Water that would have provided for them all they would ever need for the road ahead.
In a few short days, we will celebrate the birth of the One who John the Baptist exclaimed is “The Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Have you believed upon the name of Jesus as the payment for your sin, or has the true message of why we celebrate alluded you? We celebrate the birth of Christ because with it comes the birth of a living hope, both in this life and the next (1 Peter 1:3-4). If you have never placed your faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sin, my prayer is that you will do so now right, where you sit, by confessing your sin to God and believing in what Christ did for you on the cross as the payment for that sin (Romans 10:9-10). To the one who has believed, my prayer is that this reminder of the message John proclaimed would cause you to rise above the business of this Christmas season, and allow you to praise the name of the One who gives us reason to celebrate, because of what He did for us.
“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God…” Luke 1:76-78