This Christmas message is by guest writer Geoff Wiklund. He’s a popular PK speaker and itinerant preacher who brings a message of hope, love and encouragement.
My habit is to read the Bible through each year, and I try to use a different translation each time. It seems that as I pray this every morning from Psalms 119:18, “Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law”, the Holy Spirit does show me wondrous things. I would like to share one of these as we come into this Christmas season.
I was reading Acts chapter 7. As a preacher you recognise that there is so much in this account you could preach from. It even has the alliteration built in! It starts with Promise of Possession, followed by Covenant of Circumcision. However, it then goes on to build to the point where Stephen accuses his murderers.
Every year I have read this account, but only this year did I notice something very important. Stephen lays out foundational background in order to make one point. He makes it plain that throughout their history the Jewish people had resisted God even though He lived amongst them firstly in the form of the Ark. Then Stephen makes the comment in Acts 7:48, "However, the Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands, as the prophet says.”
This is his point – they have continued to serve God outwardly, but now they have Jesus in the flesh and then the Holy Spirit to dwell in them, but still they make no room for Him in their hearts. When they realise the truth of this, they take him out and stone him instead of repenting and inviting God to dwell inside them.
When Jesus was born it seems there was no room either. But someone gave Him room in a stable for animals. Not salubrious, but I am sure He was happy. I want to ask you this Christmas if you can make some room for Jesus in your life? I can guarantee it will change things. If you only open up a recess in your life somewhere for the Lord then people will come to see that Jesus in you, just as there was a flow of people who came to see Jesus – the shepherds, the Eastern Maji.
We don’t want to resist His presence like those who have gone before us. Let’s take to heart the point Stephen was trying to get across and who gave his life for this message.
I know in my life I gave Jesus ‘room’ and got baptised. People could see the change and wanted to know what had happened. Some did not want to make room in their lives and walked away and are in the same sad state they were all those years ago. Others wanted Jesus in their lives and opened up to invite Him in and were changed as well.
It may be as simple of giving Him five minutes more in a day. I am blessed in that as I work from home I have more time to spend with Him. People working a job or bringing up children when they are young could not be expected to spend the same amount of time. So I asked the Lord for a solution. He gave me this. Ask people that every time they look at their phone that they would spare a moment to connect with the Lord. Just an ‘arrow prayer’ or a quick thank you, or just an acknowledgement of Him.
As I write this, I don’t just want it to just be a challenge for you and to think that’s my job done to write this for PK. I am asking myself the same question. I think I already have my answer. Mary got on her knees and wiped Jesus’ feet with her hair. She surrendered her dignity and pride. I think that is where I need to invite Jesus into my life. He is the Potter and I am the clay. My job is to surrender and His job is to place me in the centre of His will and make me the vessel that is best suited to His purpose and plans. This may be where you are at as well.
I wish you a very Happy Christmas. May many come to see the Jesus in you where you have made room for Him.