When Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem to register for the census decreed by Caesar Augustus, many other people had arrived there too. That being the case, Joseph could find no room for them in the inn. If that weren’t bad enough, she was about to give birth. I imagine Joseph was getting rather anxious at that point, so he accepted a spot in the stable. Soon thereafter Mary gave birth to Jesus Christ, the Son of God, wrapped Him in cloths and laid Him in a manger, a feeding trough for the animals. (Luke 2:1-7)
Years later, this same Jesus, who was God in human form, was finishing up His ministry preparing to return to the Father. Just before the Feast of the Passover He met with His disciples for their last supper together. After Judas left to betray Jesus to the Jewish leaders, Jesus told those who remained, the eleven, that His time had come to suffer and die. After this, He would be returning to the Father. He mentions specifically, “Do not let your heart be troubled: believe in God, believe also in Me. In my Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:1-3)
Obviously these two instances provide a great deal for us to think about. The Scriptures referenced are packed with ‘food for thought’ that our Lord would have us dwell upon. For now though, I would like to consider one thought, and that is, “Is there room in our heart for Him?”
When Jesus came down from Heaven to be among us, we told Him “we have no room for you, but you can stay in the stable if you like and sleep in the feeding trough.” He is telling us that if we will open the door of our heart (Revelation 4:20) and truly believe in Him, He has many dwelling places, not just rooms, that He has prepared for us.
Jesus came the first time to be our sacrifice, and by that, to pay for all our sins. All who come to Him by faith will have all their sins permanently washed away and will be provided a wonderful dwelling place to live with Him for eternity.
Our world today has very little need for Jesus; at least that’s what it thinks. More and more of mankind openly defame His name and have not a smidgen of room for Him in their heart. Others say they are His followers, but their heart is full of everything but Him.
The things of the world have taken over the hearts of most and turned their hearts away from God. The Scripture says, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15)
Only God knows those who are really His. Therefore, we need to, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2 Corinthians 13:5)
Jesus also said in John 13:34-35, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Could it be that if there is room in our heart to love others, the love of Christ is working through us because He has our hearts? To the contrary, if our heart is full of worldly desires, can Christ be part of that?
Our salvation is determined by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the Lord, through the Apostle Paul, makes the Gospel very clear in 1 Corinthians 15:1-19. Ephesians 2:8-9 goes even further by saying, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
So it isn’t our love that saves us. It is His love and our belief that saves us. But if we are His disciple, our love should be growing. Our heart should be opening up as the love of Christ works in us.
If we are a disciple of Jesus, He will have planted the seed of love in our heart when we were saved. If we are His, that seed will germinate and grow as we grow in fellowship with Him. What stage is the love of Christ in your heart? Does it even exist? Do we actually belong to Christ or are we a reprobate, as Jesus said?
Only we can know what is in our own heart. I can’t answer for you, and you can’t answer for me, so let us all take seriously 2 Corinthians 13:5 (quoted above). Are we really saved by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, or are we just pretending, putting on an act that may fool others but not God?
We are living in a day when Satan is working overtime at drawing man away from anything to do with Almighty God. He doesn’t want us to think about Jesus. He doesn’t want us to read the Scriptures (because in them we will know the Truth).
His greatest ploy is to tell us we have plenty of time to think about spiritual matters. We don’t need to be in a hurry. There are more important things we need to do first, and then we can take care of any spiritual matters.
With others, he comes right out and convinces them that Christianity (TRUE Christianity) is from an old book that is outdated and we are much smarter than that.
However, Jesus says that Satan is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44). So who is telling the truth? We have no problem listening to all that Satan has to say, so why can’t we open our hearts and give God a listen?
When Jesus came to us, we had no room in the inn. We gave Him a stable and feeding trough for the animals. When we come to Him, He not only provides a room, but a dwelling place in Heaven to live with Him eternally. He wants to give us all the glories of Heaven, but first we must open our heart to Him through belief.
If you are not His, open your heart and “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.” (Acts 16:31).
If you are His, open your heart and confess your sins. “He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
“Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)