Make Room for the King
“Joy to the World”
Joy to the world, the Lord is come
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart prepare Him room
OUR HEART NATURALLY DOESN’T WANT TO PREPARE ROOM
WE ARE ALL SINNERS… WE ARE ALL IN NEED OF JESUS
Ezekiel 11:19 English Standard Version (ESV)
19 And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh.
WHEN JESUS WAS BORN, THERE WASN’T ANY ROOM
Luke 2:7 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)
7 She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger because there wasn’t any room for them in the inn.
THE SHUNAMMITE WHO MADE ROOM
2 Kings 4:8-9 English Standard Version (ESV)
8 One day Elisha went on to Shunem, where a wealthy woman lived, who urged him to eat some food. So whenever he passed that way, he would turn in there to eat food. 9 And she said to her husband, “Behold now, I know that this is a holy man of God who is continually passing our way. 10 Let us make a small room on the roof with walls and put there for him a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp, so that whenever he comes to us, he can go in there.”
THE GREAT PROMISE OF GOD
Jeremiah 24:7 English Standard Version (ESV)
7 I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart.
How can we prepare Him room?
#1 Accept the love God offers
John 3:16 English Standard Version (ESV)
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Romans 5:8 English Standard Version (ESV)
8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
#2 Draw near to Jesus through prayer and reading of God’s Word
James 4:8 English Standard Version (ESV)
8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
#3 Honor Jesus with obedience
2 John 6 English Standard Version (ESV)
6 And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it.
2 John 6 The Message (MSG)
4-6 I can’t tell you how happy I am to learn that many members of your congregation are diligent in living out the Truth, exactly as commanded by the Father. But permit me a reminder, friends, and this is not a new commandment but simply a repetition of our original and basic charter: that we love each other. Love means following his commandments, and his unifying commandment is that you conduct your lives in love. This is the first thing you heard, and nothing has changed.
Joy to the world, the Lord is come
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart prepare Him room
I went to the local Walmart Supercenter today to pick up some medicine. As I was walking to find an available cashier, I found that the closest cash register that was open was the tobacco aisle. I thought that perhaps I should progress further to another line which was at the far end of the store. I would not want someone I minister to thinking that I smoke; I thought of my moral authority. Truth be told, there was a time span of a few years where I actually did smoke. I was very addicted and very much struggled with attempt after attempt to quit. Patches, prescriptions, gum and lozenges could not help me. When I put it in the hands of God, it was the Holy Spirit who helped me to overcome this addiction without any other aid. Nonetheless, I was feeling this great burden to take my medication to the tobacco aisle checkout.
There was a lady in front of me in line, and there was a gentleman checking out his purchases. He was giving the cashier a lot of grief. The cashier was talking with a pleasant voice and just oozing kindness. The man on the receiving end responded with bitterness and anger. Nothing was right for him. The cashier was getting flustered. After much time, the gentleman was finished and the cashier said, “Merry Christmas” as he was leaving. Then the lady that stood in line in front of me was ready to be served. This customer was demonstrating a lack of interest in the cashier. She just wanted to get out of the store by the look of things. The lady never responded to the cashier; she didn’t seem to want to be bothered. After a negative comment whispered under her breath, the lady began walking off. Once again, the cashier chimed, “Merry Christmas.“ Finally, it was my turn. I noted her name is Dottie. She was smiling despite being on the receiving end of so much grief. She provided excellent customer service. We spoke a little, and before I departed, the cashier, Dottie, was so grateful that she grabbed my hand and said, “Merry Christmas.”
Kindness and love can be shared in the simplest of ways. It is so sad that during the Christmas season, we see so many people out and about being miserable to others. We fight and bump our shopping carts simply trying to get the best deal on gifts to give to celebrate Christmas. We rush around driving and cut people off because we have a list of stores we want to visit to get the best bargains for these Christmas gifts. It seems as if we gather up as much stress as possible during the holiday season, rather than simply celebrate the birth of our Saviour. As we get closer to the big day, Christmas Day, I pray that you are able to feel the joy, the true joy of Christmas— and to spread that joy to others. There are too many bah-humbugs running about. Lets show people Jesus!
“If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.”
– 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 [NLT]
Some people may ask, why Mary? Why was Mary chosen to be the mother of Jesus? There is honestly not much written about Mary or Joseph in the Bible. I believe Luke 1:28 from the Message translation helps to answer this question. This verse is part of a passage where the angel Gabriel visits Mary to foretell of the birth of Jesus. Mary was selected by God to be used for this great plan He had designed since the beginning. The angel says, “You’re beautiful with God’s beauty.” This is very different from other translations that say she is favored. Beautiful with God’s beauty. God’s beauty.
I began to think about the choosing of King David. The Israelites wanted a king so they could be like all of the other nations. Though God created His people to be set apart from others, He allowed them to have a king, King Saul. In time, King Saul showed that he lacked the characteristics that we see in God. In other words, King Saul was not representing God very well. It was soon thereafter that Samuel gathered the sons of Jesse so that God could show him the king that would replace Saul. David was chosen because God could see into his heart, and He saw what He liked. King David, just a shepherd boy at the time, found favor with God. He was beautiful with God’s beauty even before Mary was called beautiful with God’s beauty.
The next question is are YOU beautiful with God’s beauty? That is something we must all ask ourselves. If we have accepted Christ, one would hope that people would see this beauty in us– that a person would claim you had God’s beauty simply by being around you. When I think of us having God’s beauty I think of the fruit of the spirit– love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). I think of Christ and the qualities He demonstrated to us all. I am reminded of God’s forgiving nature as well as His promise to never forsake us. I am reminded of the importance of the condition of our hearts. This is something to think about as we get closer to Christmas day. Are you beautiful with God’s beauty? We are to love others, to forgive, to be generous, to have compassion, to be an example, to show grace. If we truly are, then I believe we are beautiful with God’s beauty.
The weather has been very peculiar lately, but I am not going to complain. At a time when we typically are feeling the below freezing chill, we are able to enjoy temperatures that near the fifties. Today the warm weather combined with some precipitation, which brought some fog into my area. Since I was a little girl, I always loved fog. It was definitely fun to look at what was “not there” and try to imagine it as it was the day prior, when everything was in clear view.
Just as fog distorts and covers up what is always there, so do we have periods when we cannot see God. We know He is there, but He is silent. Or perhaps we have so many outside noises around us that we are unable to hear Him or see Him at work. Maybe we are not looking at the big picture because we have our focus elsewhere at the moment. Either way, the truth is that God is always here. Sometimes we need to simply take the time to look, and to continue pressing forward with our walk of faith, knowing that God is with us.
Certainly we are to live by faith, as 2 Corinthians 5:7 asserts we should, “live by faith, not by sight.” When Jesus appeared on the road to Emmaus, he was there. The men did not know it until it was revealed later, but it doesn’t change the fact that He was present. When Mary Magdalene was crying at the tomb with Jesus there watching, He was there despite her not knowing that He was the One present. She thought He was the gardener until she heard Him speak. It doesn’t change the fact that He was there with her.
Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29). John 1 makes it clear that if we believe, we are children of God. With Christmas day coming in the week ahead, it is important to not let the hustle and bustle of the holiday season create a fog around the true meaning of Christmas. As children of God, it is important to follow Christ as we celebrate His birth and the hope we have in Him. Christmas is not a time for fruit cake, but a time for really showing the fruit of the Spirit as we celebrate God and His love for us, and hope breathing.
“Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” – 1 Peter 1:8-9 [NIV]
The most precious Christmas gift!