Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room

"While they were there, the days were completed
for her to give birth to her firstborn son;
and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger,
because there was no room for them in the inn" (Luke 2:6-7).
The unnamed innkeeper must have been a can do kind of person. He figured out a way to put up a couple in desperate need of shelter, even though his business had a "no vacancy" sign outside the door. His simple act of kindness set the stage for the most wonderful reality of Christmas--that the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world would be born in a manger. A mysterious foreshadow of his purpose for coming to earth. In 33 short years he would again be laid in a box made of rock and wrapped in strips of cloth.
How can we follow the innkeepers lead and make room in our hearts for the king of the universe? While reading 1 Timothy 1 I found two simple ways to help us open our hearts and allow God to work through us in verse 19:
1. Cling tightly to your faith in Christ. When we cling to faith in Christ we cling to truth. We can refute Satan's lies. These are just a few of the lies our enemy tells us:
  • If you obey God, you'll be miserable.
  • The abundant life is trouble-free.
  • Unbelievers don't want to hear the gospel.
  • You couldn't help yourself . . . the temptation was too great.
  • If you fail, you're a failure.
  • You are what others think of you.
  • God can't use you.
  • You can't obey God.
  • If you do certain things, God will be pleased with you, and you will earn his affection.*

Faith in Christ will release you from the lies Satan constantly spews out to bind us. The sad reality is that these untruths are often delivered through those most important to us. When the lies are cleared away, we leave room for Jesus to teach us how to live in freedom. For Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:31-32).

2. Always keep your conscience clear. Too many times, a regular time of confession is forgotten. I know because it happens to me. When I feel an uneasiness in my spirit, I then realize I had not taken the time to pray and ask God to cleanse me of my mistakes and fill me with his Holy Spirit.
Two of the most effective cleansing Scriptures I know of are found in Psalm 139:23-24 and 1 John 1:9-10
"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalm 139:23-24).
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives" (1 John 1:9-10).
Let us make room in our hearts for Jesus every day by clinging to him and keeping our consciences clean. Have a very Merry Christmas!!
*list taken from The Search for Significance: Seeing Your True Worth Through God's Eyes, by Robert S. McGee.

1 comment:

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