"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he ays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"
December 25, 2019
Luke chapter two has one of the most amazing stories in history; the birth of Jesus. Prophecy being fulfilled, the Savior of all mankind coming to earth in human form so that He could die for our sins, had finally come to pass. His birth was herald as no other, for angels came and declared it to shepherds with praises. These same shepherds went and saw the child, then shared what they had seen and heard to others. Wisemen traveled from the east to come and worship Him, bringing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Yet prior to the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem only to discover that there were no rooms available for them to stay in. The town was full, due a census where everyone was required to register. Had the innkeeper or others known that Mary was carrying the promised Messiah, would they have made room for her or someone given up their room so that she would have had a comfortable place to rest and give birth? Did Joseph feel a sense of desperation, knowing that this woman that he was responsible for, was going into labor and about to give birth to the Son of God..... yet, he couldn't find a room for them to lodge? Did he feel like he was beginning as a failure as an earthly father to this holy child; wondering what God must be thinking of him, or if perhaps God was thinking that perhaps he had chosen the wrong man for the job?
No room! So Jesus was born in a stable. This was no surprise to God, for He knew ahead of time all details surrounding His Son's days and moments on earth.
This past Sunday evening I went with my sister to watch her grandkids in a Christmas program at their church. It was one of the best I've ever seen, and the message was so touching.
The storyline was there was a young boy who really wanted to participate in the Christmas program at his church, so he tried out for every part possible. He was a really bad actor and had no skills. When the parts were posted, he was left out. He finally convinced the director to give him a part, which was as an understudy as the innkeeper. All through the rehearsals, he would say the lines over and over again, "No room... no room... no room..." The night of the program arrived and the innkeeper was sick, so the boy was going to get to be in the performance. When it came his time to perform, Mary and Joseph knocked on the door to the inn and he opened the door and told them, "No room... no room...." As they turned to walk away, the little boy ran after them and hollered at them to stop. He told them, "Wait! You can have my room!!" He thought the other kids would be angry at him for ruining the show, but they all told him, "Good job!" It ended with him going over and kneeling at the manger and praying. It was incredibly touching!
Even though Jesus left earth to return to His Father in heaven over two thousand years ago, He is still knocking on the door of every heart, asking each individual to make room for Him to live within them.
Revelations 3:20 says, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me."
Sadly, many people fail to open the door and allow Jesus to enter in. Many others may open the door and ask Him in, but then they fill their lives with so many distractions that they crowd Him out and leave no room for Him to live. Some allow bitterness, unforgiveness, or other negative emotions invade their hearts and minds, and they shove Jesus out. Whatever the case, each person is saying, "No room!" They designate the stable as a comfortable place for Jesus; wanting Him nearby, in case they ever come to a place of desperation where they need Him, but not wanting Him to consistently dwell within them.
There are times when believers can even allow busyness and issues and "stuff" to fill up their hearts to the point that they leave very little room or time for Jesus. They say they have room, want to have room, intend on leaving room.. yet they fill their lives with everything, except Jesus.
This Christmas, are you making room for Jesus? Not just a tiny little corner of your heart, but allowing Jesus to invade ever part of your life? If not, take a moment and take down the "no room" sign, and ask Jesus to take up residence in your heart, mind, body, soul, and spirit! You'll never regret it and it will change your life!!
Imagine a married couple. The husband loves his bride, and falls more deeply and more passionately in love with her as the years pass. The bride shows passion for her husband at first, but her passion fades away quickly. It fades so quickly that the husband has doubts whether she was ever truly in love with him, or ever felt real passion for him at all.
They are still bound in a contract. He still provides for his bride and still repairs the house as needed. She still does her part to raise their kids and take care of them. But they lost the true meaning of a marriage.
We are the bride of Christ. All too often, we jump at the chance to be saved. We accept Jesus's invitation to become His. But we lose that passion so quickly it's as if we never truly felt it. We are still saved. But we miss out on the true meaning of our relationship.
It is much like having a stable out back for Jesus, but not inviting Him in to the supper table to dine and visit with Him.
3 cups sugar
2/3 cup cocoa
Dash of salt
1-1/2 cups milk
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine sugar, cocoa, salt, and milk in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Boil until mixture forms a soft ball when put in cold water. Add butter and cool to lukewarm. Add vanilla. Beat until it loses creamy look. Pour into buttered dishes.
I love seeing people's heart for giving! This year our church came up with a great idea for giving to our neighborhood. There are many homeless and a lot of poverty located in the neighborhood surrounding our church. We filled 29 Christmas stockings with various things such as socks, gloves, hats, chapstick, oranges, candy canes, hand sanitizer, etc... and a Christmas card. There is a chain link fence in front of our church property, and we hung the stockings on the fence with a sign that said, "Merry Christmas! Take a stocking." We prayed for the individuals who would take each of the stockings. Someone from our church drove by early that evening and all of the stockings had been taken. I pray that it made Christmas more joyful for a few people, and that they will be reminded of the love of Jesus and know that there is a church who cares about them.
Each of us is an innkeeper who decides if there is room for Jesus! - Neal A. Maxwell
We love you!
Loretta & Jon