This Christmas I want to tell you about a man who was so caught up in his own problems that he missed the opportunity to be part of one of the greatest events of all times. This man actually missed Christmas altogether.
The Bible doesn’t tell us the name of this man, but we can read his story in the Gospel According to Luke, in the second chapter and the seventh verse. That verse tells us enough, and more than enough, about the innkeeper, the man who missed Christmas: “[Mary] 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.”(1)
The One who brought Christmas, the One who gave us Christmas and who is Christmas, could not find a room to be born in: “There was no room for them in the inn.”(1)
How sad and how searching are those familiar words from the Bible.
“Do you have room for Jesus Christ?”
What was the cause of this tragedy? Why was there no room for Mary and Joseph and their expected Baby, except in a stable? Bethlehem was a small town, and in those days most small towns perhaps had only one inn. The inn in Bethlehem was already filled. No other accommodation was available.
I have some sympathy for the innkeeper, except in the matter of his preoccupation. He was too busy to notice a woman about to give birth to a Baby, to a Child who would grow up to become the most famous Man in all of history, and more than a Man, the Son of God, the Messiah, the Prince of Peace.
And today too the world has been slow to react, and is apathetic, to thousands who have perished or who have been slaughtered. The world has been either ignorant or indifferent.
That’s the most startling thing about our world at this hour—its indifference to what is happening all around the world. I believe that we are standing on the edge of Armageddon. Judgment is about to fall. And we are preoccupied with politics, or the price of gold, or the stock market, or who will win the Super Bowl. We have so much that we are preoccupied with, our own comforts and our own desires.
“Are you so busy and so occupied with the trimmings of Christmas that you miss its triumph?”
People say that the next few years will be the most critical not only in our history but also in the history of the entire human race. We’d better wake up, and wake up fast.
I have to ask you: Are you going to make the same kind of mistake that the innkeeper did? Are you going to show Jesus to the stable compartment in your life?
I am asking you now, at this Christmastime, to let Jesus be born in the central place of your heart and life. I am asking you to let His presence flood your heart and fill your home this Christmas season.
Many of you have homes that are filled with tension. Homes are broken. Children are living with only one parent. During this past year, many hearts have been broken and many tears have been shed. If you will let Jesus, He will come in to your heart right now and flood your heart and life with Himself.
Do you have room for Jesus Christ? Or are you so busy and so occupied with the trimmings of Christmas that you miss its triumph, as the innkeeper did long ago? Have you crowded Jesus out so that there is no room for Him in the inn of your heart?
“Have you crowded Jesus out so that there is no room for Him in the inn of your heart?”
Jesus can come into your life and change it from top to bottom. He can transform your home. He can give you a new love for your spouse and for your children. He can help settle those tensions in your home and those problems in your work and business.
Best of all, He offers you forgiveness of your sins and the gift of eternal life.
It is impossible to think of Christmas without also thinking of Good Friday and Easter when He died on the cross for our sins and rose again. From the cross Jesus is saying to us, “I love you. You’re not alone. You are not forgotten. I died to save you.” He asks only that you open the door and invite Him in as Savior and Lord.
Does He have first place in your heart? If He doesn’t, then you have shut the door on Him. You have no room for Him in the inn of your heart.
But if you open the door of your heart and let Jesus in, I guarantee you on the authority of the Word of God that you will have the most wonderful Christmas you have ever known.
More than that, you will have forgiveness of your sins. You will have eternal life. You will have the assurance that when you die, you will go to heaven.
If you lose your health, you can recover. If you lose your money, you can recover. If you lose your family, you can recover. But without Christ you are lost.
“Christmas represents a hope, a unique joy, felt only at Christmastime, because Christ the Savior is born”
Are you lost today? What better time for you to be found than at this Christmas season?
Don’t be like the man who missed Christmas. Let the Christ of Christmas come in to your heart today. You ask me how. Open your heart by simple childlike faith and let Jesus in.
There are three important things that you need to do:
First, repent of your sins. Tell God that you are sorry you have sinned and that you are willing to change your way of living.
Second, by simple faith, receive Jesus as your Savior and Lord.
Third, be His disciple. Be willing to deny self and to take up the cross and follow Jesus. Will you do that today? You can say “yes” to Christ right now. Pray the following prayer:
“O God, I am a sinner. I am sorry for my sin. I am willing to turn from my sin. I receive Jesus as my Savior; I confess Him as my Lord. From now on I want to follow Him in the fellowship of His Church. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
For many of you now a new relationship with Jesus Christ has been born into your life. This is the beginning of an enduring relationship with Christ. This relationship will transform and shape your future, if you allow Christ to be the Lord of each day ahead.
Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”(2) God wants you to enjoy a full life, and He has made every provision for this.
To enjoy that full life, there are four things that you need to do:
First, read your Bible. The Bible is food for your spiritual life, and it needs nourishment just as your body does. Through His Word, God speaks to you and reveals His plan for your new life.
Second, pray. Prayer is your lifeline to God. Start each day with prayer, and then pray throughout the day as needs arise. Take all of your problems and burdens to God because He is interested in everything you do: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”(3) God is with you and will answer your prayers.
Third, be Christ’s witness. Wherever you go, you are His ambassador. Start living a life that is different, and look for opportunities to tell someone about salvation in Christ.
Fourth, attend a church where the Word of God is faithfully proclaimed. You can’t be an effective Christian on your own, and fellowship with other believers can help you grow as a Christian.
Christmas represents a hope, a unique joy, felt only at Christmastime, because Christ the Savior is born. It is my sincere prayer that you are experiencing the joy of Christmas.
(1) Luke 2:7, KJV. (2) John 10:10, NIV. (3) 1 Peter 5:7, NIV. Bible verses marked NIV are taken by permission from The Holy Bible, New International Version, copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, Colorado Springs, Colorado