Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Prepare A Place For Him

Luke 2

1And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed….

3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Over the last couple weeks I’ve been doing something that is definitely in my top ten most hated things to do: Moving.

But as I’ve been moving I’ve discovered two very important things. First, I have entirely too much junk. Over the course of moving I’ve thrown away literally 15 bags of trash or things I just don’t care about anymore, given away 8 bags of clothes I’ll never wear again that were just taking up space, and cleaned out stuff I’ve been carrying around with me from when I was in grade school!

And second, I need to prepare a place for the one that I love. I’m about to get married, and the biggest thing about getting married is that it means you’re going to share your life with someone. But how do you share your life with someone when it’s already full of junk? You have to dig it out and throw it away. You have to prepare a space for them to be in your life. And really, everything else in your life needs to fit around them – if something is going to conflict with your marriage relationship, then it needs to go, that’s how important marriage should be!

And here’s how this all ties into the birth of Jesus. That last little line of Luke 2:7 – she “laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”

Back in the 1300’s there was a guy named Thomas a Kempis, and he said Christ will come to you, and impart his consolations to you, if you prepare a worthy dwelling for Him in your heart.” He was pointing out that we let so much junk into our hearts that it crowds out Jesus. We need to clean house so to speak.

Jesus wants to make his dwelling in our hearts, he wants to be with us, and he wants to be in a relationship with us that is deeper than any marriage. But we walk around with entirely too much junk in our hearts and we don’t take the time to prepare a place for him. Like the people of Bethlehem, there’s often just no room for Jesus in our hearts.

So this Christmas, take the time and energy to prepare a place for Jesus in your heart, and get rid of some of the junk that’s crowding him out!


  1. Well timed and well said.
    The only caveat I have is that some people have this idea that they need to get cleaned up before they can get saved. A local mega-church pastor once said: Jesus loves and accepts you just the way you are, but He also loves you too much to leave you that way. I agree that the Christian crowds out what is most important in life most of the time - namely relationships in all their manifestations. The irony is that we seek what WE want, all the time deluding ourselves into thinking its whats good for us and will make us happy, when in reality - if it's in conflict with God's word - it's the very thing that harms us.

  2. I don't have time to type much of a response right now, but I just want to say that I greatly enjoy the posts and responses on this blog. By and large, they are better than my daily devotionals!

  3. Wow, that's encouraging Steve. Most of the time I write things because they're on my mind and I like to get them out in print whether or not anybody else wants to talk about it or not. Just the act of writing them down helps me think about them better. But I see that there are page hits with few responses (yourself and Micah excluded) which leads to thinking that the topics just don't really resonate with anyone. If you know anybody else that would be interested in authoring, let me know and I'll send a request to their email.

  4. I realize that we're hijacking Micah's great post here, but yeah...the devotionals I've been doing lately are not getting it done. They feel like little spiritual appetizers. Yesterday, for example, the "action item" of the devotional was (paraphrasing) "find a gospel-preaching church and meet regularly with a smaller group of believers to pray and study God's word together." While I think that's fine advice, it doesn't really "do" much for me since I already do those things. It doesn't make me think about things and want to dig into the Word for answers.

    When I read posts and replies on this blog, it makes me think, dig, seek, question, and just engages me in a way that I enjoy and profit from.

  5. Yeah, this is a great way - as the header says - to have a 'forum' for discussion. You can read it when you want to, respond when you want to and, also similar to email, put your thoughts down in a thought-out, cohesive way, rather than just off-the-cuff like most conversations are. Also, anybody can jump in months later, like Micah did, and comment on the topics.

  6. Unfortunately, many don't comment. Will thought people would rather just view than comment. I'm certainly not that way, and I didn't think many of the people I invited to be a part of this blog were either.

  7. Haha, I don't mind the hijack, that's what this place is for, discussion, even when the discussion goes on to a different topic than the specific post it's on :)

  8. Speaking of going on to different topics...why don't you enlighten us on the 'openness' Greg Boyd type stuff Micah? I don't think most people are familiar with it. We should say up front that it's a bit controversial. But then that's the kind of stuff we like to tackle, right?

    That makes me think about the reason we met. You, Mason, occasionally Will, and I were getting together to discuss The Shack. It was a very controversial book, yet I found the book made me think about God in new and good ways - especially relationally. I would be interested in exploring some of those topics as well.