December 20, 2022 — Don’t be like the Innkeeper

“As we get closer to celebrating Christmas,” Stan commented one morning, “I’m always drawn to what happened in Bethlehem and how thankful I am that I didn’t follow the example of the innkeeper.”

“Didn’t follow the example of the innkeeper?” I replied. “What’s that mean?”

“You know the story,” Stan said. “How there was no room in the inn for Jesus to be born.”

“Yeah,” I replied, “so He was born in the stable next door or out back.”

“That’s right,” Stan said, “and it seems to me that when it comes time for Jesus to be born into our lives, we are to make room in our ‘inn’ so He can be born there.”

“Oh,” I replied, “the ‘inn’ of our lives. Don’t tell God that we don’t have any room for Him.”

“Exactly,” Stan said, “and my walk of faith after I have welcomed Him into the ‘inn’ of my life is to continue for the rest of the time I have on this side of eternity. I am to continually choose to make room for Him, whatever that takes.”

“Whatever that takes?” I replied, “You mean like discipleship?”

“Right again,” Stan said with a smile. “After initially coming to faith by accepting His birth into my life, I am to continually make room for Him in my life by getting me out of His way so He can grow as fully as He wants.”

“So,” I said, “initially make room for Jesus by inviting Him into your life, and then continually make room for Him so He can grow just like He wants. That sounds kind of like what Christianity and discipleship are all about. You think so?”

“Sure seems like it to me.” Stan replied. “I’m to make room for Jesus by giving up whatever room I want to occupy apart from Him, and then take up what He has for me to take up by giving Him all the room He wants, and then, of course, the third step is to follow Him.”

“Wherever,” I added, “along with however and whenever He wants, remembering that the ‘whenever’ is always!”

“Amen, my friend,” Stan said with a smile. “Don’t be like the innkeeper, saying that there’s no room!”

_______________________________

Bible verses to consider:

And she gave birth to her first-born son, and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7.

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3.

Work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:12-13.

And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for giving your only begotten Son so all who believe can have life eternally with you when it is time, along with the eternal life of knowing you and Jesus on this side of eternity. Thank you for those who brought me to the truth of making room for Jesus in my life. I confess that too often I don’t make room in my life for you and Jesus and I don’t make room for all you want to do in and through me. Please forgive the foolish self-centeredness that leads to that. And please help me follow every step of your lead so I do, in fact, make room for all you have for me for as long as you keep me on this side of eternity. Thank you that I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this: Have you made room for Jesus in your life so you know you will spend eternity in God’s presence when it’s time? If no, why have you not accepted His free and gracious provision? If you are a Christian with the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing with making room in you life for all God wants to do in and through you? If you sense the need for change in how you make room for God, how is that change going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?

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