Making Room: A Place

by Katlyn Heck

 

A Place
Why do I seek to build a palace
When Christ would despise it for His home?
Why seek the favor of mankind
And in the conflict feel alone?
Because Christ came to mean estate
He proved fit to dwell in my heart.
Because mankind scorned and cast out
How precious to be set apart.
Why trim the constructs of my life
With bright tinsel, lights and baubles?
Why hide the tarnished messy bits
In lieu of chancing to be humble?
Because Christ Child was unshielded
It allowed sinners eyes to gaze.
Because our Savior was unguarded
Unworthy fingers had a chance to graze.
Why not afford him what He’s asking,
Empty hearts, weak minds, little strength.
He will fill up where we are lacking.
And make Himself a place.

Advertisements

No Room for Jesus – Part 2

by Nick Laninga

 

Think what is missed by the unsaved with “no room for Jesus”-  That inn-keeper missed a tremendous, one time only blessing. But think of the blessings missed by people today who refuse to make room for Jesus in their lives. Those who fail to repent and by faith receive him as Savior miss being forgiven of their sins; they miss giving glory to God and having a sense of purpose and fulfillment ; they miss his grace, and they miss heaven when they die, and go instead to an eternal hell. What about those who believe and are saved but are distracted being so busy here and there that they don’t make room for Jesus in their daily lives, they also miss out on great blessings. They miss out on a sense of His presence, and an inward peace which is only present in the lives of those who live by His standards, and who unashamedly take a firm stand and make “room for Jesus.”

In a 1966 Guideposts magazine, Dina Donahue, tells the following story. She said whenever Christmas pageants are talked about in a certain little Midwestern town, someone is sure to mention the name of Wally Purling. She said Wally’s performance in that little town’s annual performance of the Nativity play has become legend, and that the old-timers who had been in the audience that night never tired of recalling exactly what happened. Wally was nine that year and in the second grade, though he should have been in the fourth—but Wally was slow and had difficulty keeping up. He was big and rather clumsy, too, but he was well liked by the other children in his class, all of whom were smaller than he. Even though they liked him, it irritated them when Wally wanted to play ball with them they would usually find a way to keep him out. Wally would hang around anyway, though—not sulking just hoping, always with a smile. Wally had his heart on being a shepherd with a flute in the Christmas pageant that year. However, the play’s director, felt that she needed to give Wally a part with not too many lines to learn, so she told him that she was giving him an important role—that of the innkeeper. She felt his size would lend forcefulness to his refusal of a room to Joseph. A huge crowd gathered that night to see all of the children in their costumes and the props. No one was more caught up in the moment of that night than Wally. When the time came for Joseph to appear tenderly guiding Mary to the door of the inn. He knocked on the door and Wally the innkeeper responded as told and said brusquely “What do you want? Joseph answered “we seek lodging”. Looking straight ahead Wally spoke awkwardly and said “seek it elsewhere. The inn is filled.” Joseph said but “sir we have traveled far and are weary and my wife is heavy with child and is so tired.”

At that point, for the first time the innkeeper, Wally, relaxed his stiff stance and looked down at Mary. There was a long pause—long enough to make the audience tense with embarrassment. The prompter whispered from the wings, “No! Begone!” Stiffly Wally repeated “Begone.”

Joseph sadly placed his arms around Mary, she placed her head on his shoulder and the two started to move away. But Wally the innkeeper didn’t follow the script at that point. He didn’t go back inside his inn. Rather he stood in the doorway watching the forlorn couple. His mouth open, his brow furrowed with concern, and there were TEARS in his eyes. And suddenly that Christmas pageant became different from all the others. Wally called out, “Don’t go, Joseph! Bring Mary back!” And as a big smile creased his face, Wally said, “YOU CAN HAVE MY ROOM.”

The question for all of us is “Have you made ROOM FOR JESUS in your heart. There is room at the cross for you.

Please listen to “Thou didst leave Thy Throne” make this your song!      Credits from. E.S. Elliot, D.Donahue , Paul E. Brown, Major Daniel Wittle & Molly Ijames.

Blessings the Laninga’s

No Room

by Steve Joostens

 

“NO ROOM!”

Luke 5 & Matthew 27, Luke 2:7b

We are approaching the birth of Christ in Christmas. We can read about it from the decree of Caesar and trace it all the way to the fullness of time, moving to the little town of Bethlehem and to the circumstances leading up to the birth of Christ. The very situations and circumstances that were DESIGNED by God Himself! We must see this very fact as there is NO room for Him in the earth.

We are so often picturing the birth of Christ in our minds with many curiosities and questions that we have. We see many manger scenes carefully decorated this time of year…yet scripture steers us away from our carnalities to the spiritual! Bethlehem was “bursting at the seams” with many converging in on the little town and there was no room. And though there are many embellishments with the story they are not scripture! There was NO room! We learn about the guest chamber but the point is that God in the Son made Himself of no account…humbled Himself in His birth, and was made of no reputation, even as there was no room and place for the Lord of Lords to be found…even in the lineage of David mind you!

Why is there no place for Him? Who was being born? It was God who was coming to Bethlehem in His beloved Son and there is no place. The heir of ALL things comes and yet finds no place among the world HE made and created and not even among His very own….NO place for Him! How many times do you not read of those who reject Christ? Those who thrust Him out of the city and those who sought to kill Him?! They see the King yet say “we have no king but Caesar.” God visits in Christ and there is still no room for Him and it is still the same today even in your and my heart! There is no place for Him today! Even the church world today tries to make room for the world in the holiday. Man does not want Christ! They like the little baby in the manger, but start to talk about that baby being the Son of God and very God himself and see what happens. And if Christ came today it would be no different than before. Yes, even in a church world that no longer wants to talk about sin today. We aren’t that crazy about talking about it ourselves either as it is easier to talk about just a “loving God!” When we understand there was and is no room for the Son of God who comes for a world that doesn’t want Him then we begin to understand.

He conceives Himself to be born for a people who don’t want Him. For those who make no room for Him. He makes Himself room in our hearts where He was not wanted. He came where He was not appreciated. He gives a place to Himself in our hearts, giving us at the same time a grand place in glory and giving us His grace even though we reject and do not want Him either!

Why?

That we may have glory and the inheritance with Him forevermore.

Blessed be the Lord!

Have You Room for Him? Chapel Advent Series

decemberrose2

 

Tomorrow begins the season of Advent: the anticipation of the incarnation of our Lord and Savior as Man.

The men, women and children of Wiser Lake Chapel will be sharing writing daily on a new theme:

“There was no room for them in the inn, but how can I make room for Him?” 

Join us over the next 25 days in thinking about how we too might open the door to the coming of Christ into our lives.  Please feel free to share these meditations with your friends and family.

 

 

The manger and the cross standing at the two extremities of the Saviour’s earthly life seem most fit and congruous the one to the other, lie is to wear through life a peasant’s garb; he is to associate with fishermen; the lowly are to be his disciples; the cold mountains are often to be his only bed; he is to say, “Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man hath not where to lay his head;” nothing, therefore, could be more fitting than that in his season of humiliation, when he laid aside all his glory, and took upon himself the form of a servant, and condescended even to the meanest estate, he should be laid in a manger.
~Charles Spurgeon from his sermon: “No Room for Christ in the Inn”

Names of God: Master and Servant

Jesus: Master & Servant
by Pastor Bert Hitchcock

One has only to look in a thesaurus to realize these titles are opposites. “Master” is listed as an antonym for “servant”; and “servant” is an antonym for “master”. But both of those titles are attributed to Jesus – indeed he uses both to refer to himself. This is surely one of the great paradoxes of God’s Word; but it also unfolds the greatness of the gospel.

In Biblical Greek, there are at least seven words that could be translated “master”; and all but one of them is used in the New Testament to refer to Jesus. But most impressive is the fact that Jesus was called kurios or Lord. That is the word used as a title for the One who exercises supernatural authority over everything. Jesus is not just a master; he is The Master!

But according to Philippians 2,
Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges,
and took the humble position of a slave,
being born as a human being.

And throughout his life on earth, Jesus lived-out that servant attitude. He publicly declared that he had not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for us. And serve he did: ministering hope and healing to the sick, the unclean, public sinners, and social outcasts.

Most notably, in the evening before he was betrayed, he washed his disciples feet – a task only a slave would ever be asked to do. But that foot-washing was a token of the ultimate washing he came to accomplish: The next day he was hung on a cross where he was punished for sins he never committed – our sins – in order that we might be made clean, without sin before the Father.

Because of his faithful service, God raised Jesus from the dead and exalted him to his throne, and gave him the name above every name: Jesus Christ the Lord. He is the one we now worship; and he is the pattern of our discipleship – our Servant King.

The Servant King

 

Names of God: Jesus the Righteousness

JEHOVAH TSIDKENU “The Lord our Righteousness “[yah-way- tzid-kay- noo]
from Nick and Diana Laninga

 

God from the very beginning saw our desperate need when our parents Adam and Eve sinned and tried to cover their nakedness with self-effort, they covered themselves with leaves.

How inadequate; yet God in His mercy provided for them by killing an animal and covering Adam & Eve. His doing, His provision. Like Adam & Eve we can never do enough to cover our sins and be right before a Holy God.. We need the robe of Christ’s righteousness.

Let us look to Scripture.

Jeremiah 23: 5-6. “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “that I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth, In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell safely; now this is His name[ not an attribute] by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Isaiah 61:10 tells us of our new condition in Christ.

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness.” {Put off the old man of self & put on Christ. Eph. 4: 25-42.]

Zechariah 3 gives us a great picture of this.

“Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him. And the Lord said to Satan. “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?” Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the Angel. Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him saying, “Take away the filthy garments from him.” And to him He said, “See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes.” — — So they put a clean turban on his head, and they put clothes on him.
8 “Hear, O Joshua, the high priest, You and your companions who sit before you, For they are a wondrous sign; For behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the branch. 9b. and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.

{God will take away His people’s sin through the Branch. The priestly system could not do this it pointed to Christ who would truly deal with man’s sin.]

In one day, Christ, on a single day [Good Friday ] once for all made atonement for the sins of God’s people.

II Corinthians 5:21- For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.The question must be asked, am I, are you, in Him. We need to be dressed in the righteousness of Christ alone.

Matthew 22: 11-12 tells the parable of the wedding feast and how one of the guests was found without a wedding garment and was thrown into hell. Not good!

Horatius Bonar wrote these words in verse 4 of “THY WORKS, NOT MINE, O CHRIST.”

Thy righteousness, O Christ, alone can cover me;
no righteousness avails save that which is of thee.
[ Chorus]
To whom, save thee,
who alone for sin atones,
Lord, shall I flee?

A close friend of Horatius Bonar was Robert Murray M’Cheyne. who wrote the following poem:

I once was a stranger to grace and to God,
I knew not my danger, and felt not my load;
Though friends spoke in rapture of Christ on the tree,
JEHOVAH TSIDKENU was nothing to me.

I oft read with pleasure, to soothe or engage,
Isaiah’s wild measure and John’s simple page;
But e’en when they pictured the blood-sprinkled tree J
EHOVAH TSIDKENU seemed nothing to me.

Like tears from the daughters of Zion that roll,
I wept when the waters went over His soul;
Yet thought not my sins had nailed to the tree
JEHOVAH TSIDKENU—‘twas nothing to me.

When free grace awoke me, by light from on high,
Then legal fears shook me, I trembled to die;
No refuge, no safety in self could I see—
JEHOVAH TSIDKENU my Saviour must be.

My terrors all vanished before the sweet name;
My guilty fears banished, with boldness I came
To drink at the fountain, life-giving and free—
JEHOVAH TSIDKENU is all things to me.

JEHOVAH TSIDKENU ! my treasure and boast,
JEHOVAH TSIDKENU ! I ne’er can be lost.
In Thee I shall conquer by flood and by field—
My cable my anchor, my breastplate and shield. !

Even treading the valley, the shadow of death,
This” WATCHWORD” shall rally my faltering breath;
For while from life’s fever my God sets me free,
JEHOVAH TSIDKENU my death-song shall be.

AND THOSE WHO KNOW YOUR NAME WILL PUT THEIR TRUST IN YOU;
FOR YOU, LORD, HAVE NOT FORSAKEN THOSE WHO SEEK YOU. Psalm 9:10

 

Blessings from the Laninga’s.

 

Names of God: Jesus

Names of God: Jesus
by Emily Gibson

 

You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.
Luke 1:31

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.
Matthew 1:21

hebrew350

What did Jesus’ name actually sound like when pronounced?  The name Jesus is an English translation of the Greek  Iesous (pronounced ee-ay-sus). Yet Jesus grew up Hebrew, not Greek, so his Hebrew name would  have been pronounced differently and certainly not with a J sound as there is no J in the Hebrew alphabet.  His Hebrew name before translation to Greek was written as above:  Yeshua,  roughly translated: “God is a saving cry” or more precisely “shout to God when in need of help.”     It simply means “he saves”.

I’m not too troubled that we pray a name that is pronounced differently than what his original name may have sounded like.  I’m reassured that his name, however it sounded,  was provided by the Father for the Son, with both earthly parents clearly instructed on what to name the baby.

It was God’s message to them, it was God’s message to His Son, and most of all, it was His message to us:  “Shout to me when you need help–I will come to save you.”
~Emily Gibson