Summary: A sermon about God's pursuit of humankind.
Christ is Christmas
“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)
And everyone went to his own town to register.”
So Joseph and Mary traveled to Bethlehem for this census registration.
They had to obey the rules of Rome, even as a new Kingdom was about to be born.
It was about 80 miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem, and it was a tough journey—especially for a pregnant woman.
It’s interesting how God’s plans and work in the world continue despite life’s other responsibilities.
When they got to Bethlehem, they looked for a room but there wasn’t any.
All the folks who had swarmed back for the census earlier than they did had taken the rooms already.
Who would have ever imagined that God would be born into a world that had no room for Him?
But I suppose that is how it had to be.
Sadly, we have never had much room for God.
I was having a conversation with a friend this past week about how difficult it is to make time to work out.
We both have gym memberships, but neither of us use them on a consistent basis.
I said to my buddy, “I haven’t worked out regularly since Owen was born.
I can’t seem to find the time.
If I were to go right after work, then I would miss dinner time with my family.
If I were to go after Owen is in bed, I would miss time with my wife.
I can’t do it in the morning because I have to walk the dog, help the kids get ready for the day and so forth.
The only way I could maybe pull it off is if I were to wake up at like 4 in the morning, go work out and then come back home—and I’m not going to do that!!!”
So, I work out on my day off.
It can be hard to make room for the things that are good for us.
It can be hard to make room for God.
We get distracted.
But even if we don’t do a good job of making room for God, God makes lots of room for us.
Remember what Jesus said to His disciples before His crucifixion in the Gospel of John?
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me.
In my Father’s house are many rooms…I am going there to prepare a place for you.”
There was no room in the inn for Jesus, Mary and Joseph, but there is room in the Kingdom of God for those who will trust in Jesus.
Jesus came into this world to save us from our sins.
I don’t know about you—but there is no better news in the world than that!!!
I want to be made clean, don’t you?
I do too many things wrong.
My world is too bent and twisted.
I want to learn to love more.
I want to be more like Jesus.
I want to make more room for Him in my life.
I want Him to completely take over.
Why is it so hard, then, for me to let go?
The Apostle Paul tells us that there is a struggle going on, and this struggle is between our flesh and blood and the Spirit of God Who lives in those who will believe.
Paul writes in Galatians Chapter 5: “live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature.
They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.”
Paul calls that “being in slavery to sin.”
I don’t want to be a slave.
Paul goes on to say that the fruit or the result in our life of walking with God is: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
Do you have room for that in your life?
The first people to be told about the birth of God into this world were some shepherds “living out in the fields nearby.”
They were just some regular guys working their difficult jobs and living in the rough and tumble world.
More than likely, they didn’t think a whole lot about God.
They were mainly just trying to survive the elements.
They were thinking about their next meal.
Perhaps they missed their families.
Maybe they didn’t have any family.
In any event, God came unexpected—at night.
They hadn’t gone looking for Him.
But that’s how it works, isn’t it?