Sunday, December 18, 2016

Let Us Make Room

"Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and have dinner with him, and he with Me." Revelations 3:20

"In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if not, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. If I go away and prepare to prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also. You know the way to where I am going." John 14:2-4

"Then she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped Him snugly in cloth and laid Him in a feeding trough-because there was no room for them at the lodging place." Luke 2:7

Mary and Joseph knew the wound of not being invited in. Our Savior as a babe was turned away before He was even out of the womb of His mother. They were turned away because there was no room in the inn. No room for the King of kings. Mary would not give birth in the warmth of an inn. Did the inn keeper know who he was turning away? Was it possible to make room for this expecting mother? All we know is that the inn was full. If there was room would the inn keeper have invited them in? 

Do we always invite others into our home? Do we make room for others? During this season this question is one for us to ponder. I mean really open our hearts to the question of making room for others in our life. Too often we exclude people. We only invite in certain people, never really giving thought to those we wound by leaving them out. 

We just want to be invited in, right? We want to be accepted by others. Not for who we are or what we do, but simply because of love. Have you felt this wound? Me too. We have a Savior who knows this wound. So, friends, we are not alone. Jesus is always waiting in hope to be accepted in the hearts of man, but is always a Gentleman, never pushing Himself into a heart that isn't willing. 

Being excluded, not included, not invited, not accepted, not wanted, however one would like to put, it cuts deep. We can find many reasons as to why we don't invite others in, but wouldn't it be nice if we really thought about those reasons and applied the same grace, mercy, and love we have received from the Savior? If only we could extend the love of Jesus. 

We see often others gathering when we have not been invited to join. This makes us feel unloved and unwanted. We begin to ask ourselves, "What's wrong with me? What did I do that makes me so unworthy to be included?" Families don't always get along. Brothers and sisters bicker. Mothers and daughters don't always see eye to eye. Fathers and sons can hold anger. But are these reasons to exclude loved ones? I don't know. I just think during this season of Christmas it seems we could make room for love, make room for forgiveness, and hope. 

This is a season where often hearts are burdened with this wound. Oh, we try to hide it, make excuses, but in the end when we see photos of others gathered while we are at home in front of the television it makes us feel so lonely. We find ourselves longing for family. No family is perfect. We are all pretty much a mess, right? But when we make the choice to come together in love there is always room for hope and restoration. 

So, when we exclude people it says more about us than it does about the one we are excluding. It says, "I'm more important than you. I'm more valuable than you. My feelings matter more than your feelings. As long as I'm in charge, there's no room for you."

Just think. Our Savior feels this pain daily as people push Him out. Our entire Christmas is because of Him and Him alone. Without Him there would be no Christmas. His very name in in Christmas. It is a celebration of His birth. But look at our world, the world created by our God, the God who sent us His Son to give us life. This world excludes Jesus from His very celebration. We gather to celebrate with gifts and desserts, only to never give Him thought. 

So, see. He knows our pain of being left out and not wanted. But what do we do about that wound? We begin by inviting in our Savior. We make room for the King of kings. We pray in asking Him to fill us with all of Him and to empty us of all this world's wounds. We forgive even when we don't find forgiveness in others. We reach out even when no one is reaching back. Oh, it hurts. There's nothing easy about it, but when we focus on Jesus and do everything in love it changes everything. 

We first seek Jesus. See, the more of Him we seek, the less of this world we need to fill an emptiness within us.  In My Savior I know that I am cherished. I am accepted. I am wanted. He becomes our joy and our hope. It is in Him we find purpose and pleasure. When we focus on Him it takes our focus off of others. He can remove the anger and bitterness. He is the Jesus who has the power to change the heart of man. Let us serve others this season. Be a part of something bigger than ourselves. 

Too often we determine our worth by how many family and friends surround us. Let us turn that around and surround ourselves with the Savior, seeking Him as never before. Not because we want to feel good, but because we know there is more than the wound we have become. 

Sadly in our world people knock on doors and no one answers. Many times people are knocking and are told they are not invited in because of this reason or that. Too often people place restrictions and conditions on whether or not we can be included. It isn't fair is it? It cuts deep as we see that others gather without us. Friends, know that Jesus will never exclude you. He will never leave you out and will never make you feel unwanted, unloved, and not good enough. His love is unconditional!

"Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. God's love was revealed to us in this way: God sent His One and Only Son into the world so that we mighty live through Him. Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another. No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God remains in us and His love is perfected in us." 1 John 4:7-12
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