Monday, December 20, 2010

Is There Room in Your Heart for Jesus?

Room in Your Heart is More Important than Room at the Inn
by Barbara Henderson

His name was Finbar. He was called Finny by his friends; Finn by his father; and always Finbar by his mother. Finny was a doctor. One day Finny volunteered for a dangerous mission to take and administer a vaccine to a plague ridden country. The country was also barbaric in their treatment of strangers, and without all modern conveniences.

Finbar’s mother carefully studied the maps of the country and located the most affluent area. She suggested that Finbar go directly to that area. There he would be able to find the finest accommodations available and the most civilized people in that country.

Finn’s father studied the maps of the country as well. He suggested that Finn go directly to an area where he would have the best chance at a hasty retreat should he not be received well by the locals.

Finny told his parents that personal comfort and safety were not his priority. He was going to take the desperately needed vaccine. Besides, the country was so poor and primitive that it really didn’t make a nickel’s worth of difference where he went in regards to personal safety and comfort. Finn chose to go to an area that had been hit the hardest by the plague. He said at least the people there knew they were sick, or in immediate danger of becoming sick. The people in other areas were still deciding if there even was a plague at all. They definitely would not be interested in a vaccine if they weren’t even sure there was an epidemic. Besides, he wasn’t going to live there permanently. He was just going to be there long enough to get his job done.

Do you sometimes wonder why Jesus chose to be born in to such a poor family? A few reasons are:
He went where the people were going to be most receptive to the way of salvation He brought. At least the poor knew they were poor. They knew they were looking for a way to make their lives better. Jesus went where it would do the most good.
And, what difference would have made to Him to have been born in a palace? He gave up heaven to dwell among men. Compared to His home in heaven, it didn’t make a nickel’s worth of difference if He were born into a very poor family or a very wealthy family. On a scale of one to a million, the poorest earthly families were a one, and the richest earthly families were a two.
Also, Jesus was not interested in securing a place in this world. He didn’t care if there was no room for them in the inn. His interest was/is in the heart of the individual. He doesn’t want room in any earthly establishment. He is interested in room in your heart. Every individual has the same choice. Is there room in your heart for Jesus? That is the room He wants, and you have the opportunity to give Him that room. He said, ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.’ Revelation 3:20

Do you sometimes wonder why Mary laid Him in a manger?
Think about it. She was a very young mother. She was really pregnant, and she had just made a really long trip riding on a donkey. The Bible doesn’t tell us of anyone other than Joseph there to assist at the birth. Joseph was there, but he had just completed the same exhausting journey that Mary had. I think the precious baby was laid in a manger because His parents were simply too tired to hold onto Him. They probably laid Him in the manger and fell asleep from sheer exhaustion. Also, there was the worship factor. When the shepherds came to worship Him, they didn’t worship the mother and Child. They worshiped Jesus alone. The Shepherds had just heard a message from an angel. They had just seen and heard a multitude of heavenly host singing praises to God. It is highly likely that they hardly noticed the mother at all.

Do you wonder why the magi brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh?
I have heard sermons on this many times.
Most agree that Gold was because He was a king. It also stands for purity
Frankincense was because He was a priest.
Myrrh was used as for embalming the dead. It was telling them He would die.
The Bible doesn’t tell us what Mary and Joseph did with the gifts. Possibly they sold them items because they needed the money to live. My guess would be that Mary sold the Myrrh first.
By the way, we think of three magi because of the three gifts, but there could have been more or less. In fact, I think there were more than three. Magi were important people. They probably traveled with all sorts of servants and body guards. Think about it. The magi were ‘kingmakers’. They predicted who would be a king. They were both religious and political in nature. It is much harder to imagine they traveled alone than to suppose they traveled with all the people and things that go along when dignitaries travel. The magi were very powerful to say the least, but they did not let their personal power or influence stop them from humbling themselves before the Lord. They made room in their hearts for Jesus. Wise men still do the same thing today.

It would be a good idea for all Christians to take a look at their hearts today. A Christian has made room in their heart for the Lord. Their eternal destiny is sealed. However, the heart may still be filled with garbage that needs to be swept out. Sins and hurts from the old life still have to be dealt with. As the Christian sweeps out sin, he has to take time to fill up the empty space with the things of Christ, or the evil will come back even worse than before. Look at this fictional example.

Charity is a nice young lady from a nice family. She works in the church with a sincere heart. She loves to sing, and may be a bit prideful about her lovely singing voice. One year she doesn’t get the parts she wants in the Christmas program. She thinks the solos were given to someone with an inferior voice just because of who that person was related to in the church. Charity decides to forgive the matter and just do a good job with the parts she has. That was a good choice on her part, but Charity didn’t go far enough in her forgiveness of the matter. She swept out her hurt and anger at the perceived wrong, but she didn’t fill up the empty space with the things of Christ. The little hurt gradually became a bigger hurt. By the next year Charity was seven times angrier about the matter than she had been the year before. She forgave it again, but still didn’t follow through. She swept the anger out of her heart, which was much more anger than the previous year; but she still didn’t fill up the empty space with the things of Christ. So it went on for several years until Charity’s entire attitude was changed from one of cheerful helpfulness to one of angry bitterness. That is how the devil works. He doesn’t need a big deal in anyone’s life to change their lives from a joyful life to a bitter life.

Are you brave enough to look in your heart and see just how much room you have for Jesus? Yes, He is in the heart of the believer, but is He living in very cramped conditions? Is your heart junked up with hurt feelings, bitterness, and secret sins? Today is the day to sweep these things out of your heart. And today is the day to begin filling the empty space with the good things of Christ.

That brings us to ‘charitable love’. That is the beginning of the good things of Christ with which we should fill our hearts. God’s love for us is charitable love. It is undeserved and unearned. I find it is much easier to accept charitable love than to give it. Thankfully, God’s charitable love for us is without end. We can never use it up. In fact, God enables us to love others like He loves us. I am positive that God will enable you to have charitable love for others because He tells us to do just that in John 13:34-35 which says, ‘A new commandment I give unto you That ye love one another; as I have loved you that ye also love one another. (35) By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.’

So, we are commanded to love others as Christ loved us. Although that may seem impossible when you think of some people in particular, it is possible through Jesus Christ. He would not command us to do something we cannot do. We are capable of such charitable love through Jesus Christ. The more room in your heart you make for Jesus, the more you will be able to carry out this commandment.

Make room in your heart for Jesus – be saved.
Make more room in your heart for Jesus – sweep out the old sins and the old ways and fill the clean space with charitable love.
The one who will be blessed the most will be you.

God bless you each one.