Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – December 18, 2017
She gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. Luke 2:7
Busyness can build walls around our hearts—where joy is uninvited into a crowded life. Before we realize what has happened, we are sucked into a crazy cycle of fatigue, frustration and faithless living. Culture can keep us on a carousel of dizzying activities, for what seems in the beginning harmless, even exhilarating—but over time becomes distracting to the Lord’s best. Unmet expectations nurture anger in ungrateful hearts, condensing room for joyful praise to Jesus.
The circumstances surrounding the first Christmas were strikingly similar to our modern day celebration of Christ’s birthday. A bustling season of census taking turned Bethlehem into temporary mayhem, like rabid fans descending into a city for a championship game. Traffic snarls, tempers flare, restaurants with two-hour waits and no vacancy lights flash orange with hopeless repetition to all looking for a place to stay the night. Experiencing real-time rejection, Joseph finds a way to care for his young wife and new baby. The room he found was not suitable for human royalty, but the humble manger became a joyful birthday party for baby King Jesus.
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
As faithful followers of Jesus we can expect joy filled hearts, because the heart of our Savior has radical happiness. Expectation of God’s grace excites our emotions over what we can expect in the acquisition of His good gifts. The Lord’s blessings prompt pleasurable feelings with worship and thanks, which cause us to shout out joyful praise and gratitude to our great Jehovah-Jireh! Our heavenly Father provided the birth of His Son, who with joyful obedience, gave His all for us.
You make room for the joy of Jesus when you invite Jesus into your heart for healing and peace. By faith and through God’s grace, invite Jesus Christ to come into your life so you will experience the new birth of salvation, and begin to grow into a life of joyful obedience. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what needs to change in your schedule, so you can make room for what matters most to Christ. A life with margin is able to experience life to the fullest—framed by joy.
“Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).
PrayerHeavenly Father, help me make room for Jesus and the joy He gives, in His name, amen.
ApplicationWhat in my schedule needs to change, so I have margin to make the best decisions?
Related ReadingJohn 3:1-16; Galatians 4:4; Philippians 2:8; 1 Timothy 3:16
Post/Tweet todayA life with margin is able to experience life to the fullest---framed by joy. #WisdomHunters #roomforjoy
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