Advent is right around the corner. Advent is a time of year when Christians all around the world prepare for Jesus. Over the years, I have had a hard time remembering Christmas is about Christ. So, this year I want to prepare Him room. Meaning that I want to make room in my life to have a relationship with Jesus.
While she was there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.Luke 2:6-7 (NIV) “
These verses are familiar to us, yet I wonder how often we consider what this passage says to us.
The Story of Mary
Mary and Joseph were travelling while Mary was 9 months pregnant. Since Mary probably knew that she was due soon, she must have packed some supplies, just in case. As Mary and Joseph came closer to the city of David, Mary knew her time had come and that the baby was coming.
They didn’t have much time to find a safe place for her to deliver the baby.
They went from inn to inn to see if there was room for her. When I was younger, I thought an inn was a hotel or something similar. But I have learned an inn is actually more like a hospital, or a clinic.
So, these clinics were so full they had no room for one more patient. Mary and Joseph were so desperate that they found the closest place they could and delivered that baby in a barn. Some believe that it might have been a cave.
Whatever the place was, it certainly wasn’t part of Mary’s birth plan.
This birth is a New Testament version of delivering a baby on the side of the road. Inconvenient, uncomfortable, and not sanitary.
But that is where Jesus was born.
The son of God, the King of Kings, was born in a barn and laid in a manger.
Prepare Him Room
The simple birth of Jesus teaches us so much about God. One day I might write more about that.
But for now, I want to focus on one area of this story.
Luke 2:6-7 (NIV) “While she was there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
There was no room for them in the inn.
As stated above, Inns were like hospitals or clinics. They were made to take people in and care for them. That was their primary aim. But they were too full and turned Mary away. In turning Mary away, they were also turning Jesus away.
Just like those innkeepers, we too sometimes turn Jesus away.
We know Jesus and can claim Him as King, but when you look closely at how we live our lives, the evidence shows we don’t have room for Him in our lives.
I have a strong desire to have a close relationship with God, but over the years barriers kept popping up to prevent my efforts.
As Advent draws near, I want to spend this week thinking about what I can change in my life to prepare Him room.
4 simple steps to prepare Him room
The first step to having a relationship with Christ is to repent of our sins.
- Romans 3:23 ESV For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Every single person on this earth is sinful.
- Isaiah 59:2 ESV But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.
Before salvation, our sin separates us from God. There is a barrier between us and God.
But thankfully, we have a God who loves us.
- Romans 5:8 ESV But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Jesus’ death on the cross enables us to enter into the presence of God. Jesus died for ALL people.
If we have never asked God for forgiveness, then we are separated from Him.
So if you wonder why you feel distant from God, then the first thing to ask yourself is whether you have admitted your sinfulness and asked God to forgive those sins.
2. Seek Forgiveness
The bible is full of verses that talk about having unity with each other. Unity with other Christians is so important that Jesus tells us to leave our gifts at the altar and seek the forgiveness of others.
- Matthew 5: 23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First, be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
Too often, when we sin against others, we let that sin keep us from coming to Jesus. We feel guilty for doing something wrong and feel like maybe we can’t come to God.
But that is so far from the truth. As a christian, our sins are already forgiven.
Some may think this verse proves we must be sinless before offering God a sacrifice, but that’s not true.
In Christ, Jesus has already made us perfect.
If you are anything like me, then any arguments distract me. So, when I come to church and plan to worship God, I think about the sins I have committed. God wants our full hearts to worship Him. We can’t do that if we are focused on what we did wrong.
So Jesus tells us to seek forgiveness and then come. Not because we need to be perfect, but because He wants our full hearts.
Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’Matthew 22:37
3. Rethink priorities
2020 was a long and very hard year for many of us. But I think COVID has forced people to think about their lives and their priorities.
When everything is taken away, what is left?
Jesus calls us to have our focus and our priorities on Him.
Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
When we focus on God and make Him a priority, then everything else falls into place. God gives us the energy we need to accomplish His will for our life. Everything else is just extra.
Let’s spend some time and really examine what our priorities are and how we live them out.
Related Blog Posts
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- Stress, More Joy: Embracing the 3 Gift Tradition at Christmas
4. Get support
The Christian life is hard to do alone. So much so that God sent us His Holy Spirit so we would have help. But it doesn’t end there. The New Testament calls us to community and support. God doesn’t expect us to do this alone.
I just talked about rethinking our priorities. One of our priorities should be the Christian community.
What are you doing today to take part in a Christian community? There are many ways to come together as Christians. But it is up to us to take that step and join in a community.
I believe that the best way to prepare Him room is by taking part in the Christian community.
Since Community is so important, I recently created a Facebook group called Christian Women’s Growth Group.
I created this group for Christian women who are interested in growing their faith in Jesus Christ. In this group, you will find posts for prayer requests, questions about the bible, links to relevant posts, links to resources, and much more. Anything posted is for growing in our faith in Jesus Christ. You can Join by clicking here.
In the comments below, share what you are doing to prepare Him room.