Satan Entered

dark skyThen Satan entered into Judas.

It began with a suggestion. Betray Jesus. Go to the leading priests. Tell them you’ll hand Jesus over to them.

During that time, Accuser (Satan) wrapped himself around the heart of speaks Well Of (Judas), also called Village Man (Iscariot), who was one of the twelve followers of Creator Sets Free (Jesus). He went to the head holy men and the lodge guards and told them of his plan to turn against Creator Sets Free (Jesus). Luke 22:3-4 (First Nations Version)

The plot becomes action.

While Jesus and his disciples ate the Passover meal together, Satan entered Judas again. Up to this point, no action or follow-through was taken. That would soon change. Judas left the others. He went to the chief religious leaders. Details for accomplishing the betrayal of Christ were ironed out.

When Speaks Well Of (Judas), took the frybread, the evil snake took hold of his heart. “Go now,” Creator Sets Free (Jesus) said to him, “and do what you have planned.” John 13:26-27 (First Nations Version)

Satan entered Judas with a suggestion. The suggestion became a plot. The plot became action sealed with the kiss of a betrayer.

While Creator Sets Free (Jesus) was speaking, suddenly a crowd stormed in led by Speaks Well Of (Judas), one of the twelve. He walked up to Creator Sets Free (Jesus) to greet him. “Will you betray the True Human Being with a kiss?” he said to him.

“Why do you come at me with clubs and long knives as if I were a thief?” he asked them. “Did I not sit with you every day in the sacred lodge? Why did you not take me then? This is your time, and you have given the powers of darkness their day.” Luke 22:47-48, 52b-53 (First Nations Version)

At any time and at any point, Judas could have resisted Satan. He could have walked away. When Satan enters and whispers in our ear, we have the same choice. When he tries to wrap himself around our heart, we can resist. When we do, he will flee, because the One who is Greater is in us if we claim Christ as our Savior. We can take every thought captive and throw away everything the evil one sends our way.

Maybe we’ve allowed the deceiver’s words to make it through the initial suggestion phase, and we’ve started planning and plotting how to accomplish his design. Maybe we’ve even enlisted others to help us. There is still time to turn back. There is still time to tell Satan to get out of our life. 

Unfortunately, if like Judas, we don’t turn back before we follow through with the plan to betray Jesus, we place a kiss of betrayal on the cheek of the One who calls us friend.

But all isn’t lost. When we follow through with Satan’s suggestions and sin, there is still hope if we acknowledge our sin, turn to Jesus, and ask for his forgiveness. Then we must determine to shut our ears to the deceiver’s lies.

We aren’t strong enough to stand on our own against the enemy, and we don’t have to. When Satan enters, we aren’t defenseless. Far from it. We have an ally in God’s own son.

We have the Savior who stands before his Father, the Righteous Judge, pleading our case as our Mediator, Advocate, Intercessor, and High Priest on our side. We have the Spirit living inside us to strengthen us in our struggles.

We have a loving Father who allowed his beloved Son in whom he is well pleased, to be betrayed with a kiss, suffer excruciating torture, and die a sinner’s death. All so our sins could be forgiven and we could have a relationship with him as his  beloved child.

Satan is defeated by the power of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. Don’t ever forget that. You can be sure Satan won’t. That’s why Satan continues to look for ways to devour and destroy God’s people.

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Then Satan entered into Judas, called Iscariot, who was one of the twelve disciples. So Judas went off and spoke with the chief priests and the officers of the Temple guard about how he could betray Jesus to them. They were pleased and offered to pay him money. Judas agreed to it and started looking for a good chance to hand Jesus over to them without the people knowing about it. Luke 22:3-6 (GNT)

You can find my April Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Photo by Chris Barbalis on Unsplash

The Day After Christ’s Triumphant Entry

JerusalemJesus and his disciples entered Jerusalem the day before in a triumphant parade surrounded by shouts of “Hosanna!”, “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

When the religious leaders told Jesus to make the people hush, the Son of God replied that even if the people stopped their praise, the rocks and stones themselves would rise up and sing. I absolutely love that image and truth.

After a night in Bethany, Christ and his disciples returned to Jerusalem. There they found money changers in the temple. These men charged exorbitant fees. In doing so, they took advantage of the poor who came to offer their sacrifice at the temple. Merchants sold inferior animals at inflated costs. The commonness of a market replaced the holiness of the temple.

And Jesus was not pleased.

At the beginning of Christ’s ministry he encountered the same thing (John 2:13-16). During that incident, Jesus took the time to braid strands into a whip before he cleared the temple. Possibly he was counting to ten?

This time, however, there doesn’t seem to be the pause between anger and action. Jesus knew his time on earth was coming to a close. He knew by the end of the week Judas would betray him and Jesus would be handed over to the religious leaders.

He would be beaten beyond recognition. Suffer unimaginable pain. Be crucified even though no fault or crime was found. He would pay the penalty for our sins. Christ would drink the cup of his Father’s wrath.

My question for each of us is this. Are we like those money changers who defiled God’s holy temple?

How do we treat the things of God? Of Jesus?

Do we revere the Holy Scriptures, read them, take them into our heart, and apply them to our lives?

Are we regularly in worship services with other believers, praising our Lord’s name? Not only during significant seasons such as Easter and Christmas, but all year long?

Or do we treat God’s house as nothing more than a social gathering? A place to network to further our careers? A common market place to buy and sell commodities?

Each of us will be held accountable for how we treat the holy things of God. The next time Jesus clears the temple, I do not think he’ll pause to braid a whip.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

When they arrived in Jerusalem, Jesus went to the Temple and began to drive out all those who were buying and selling. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the stools of those who sold pigeons, and he would not let anyone carry anything through the Temple courtyards. He then taught the people: “It is written in the Scriptures that God said, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer for the people of all nations.’ But you have turned it into a hideout for thieves!”

The chief priests and the teachers of the Law heard of this, so they began looking for some way to kill Jesus. They were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching. Mark 11:15-18 (GNT)

You can find my April Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Purim and Gluten-free Hamantaschen Cookies Recipe

 Hamantaschen cookiesSo, just what is Purim and how is it celebrated? If those are questions you would like a brief answer to, read on.

The word Purim means lots, and refers to the lottery Haman used to choose the date for the massacre of Jews in the book of Esther. The primary commandment related to Purim is to hear the reading of the book of Esther. 

It is customary to boo, hiss, stamp feet, and rattle noisemakers whenever the name of Haman is mentioned in the service. The purpose of this custom is to “blot out the name of Haman.”

The story of Esther and her for such a time as this is a story of God’s sovereignty and protection. Purim reflects that story. Purim is one of the most joyous and fun holidays on the Jewish calendar. It commemorates a time when the Jewish people living in Persia were saved from extermination.

The heroes of the story are Esther, a beautiful young Jewish woman living in Persia, and her cousin Mordecai, who raised her as if she were his daughter after her parents died. Esther was taken to the house of Ahasuerus, King of Persia, to become part of his harem. King Ahasuerus loved Esther more than the other women in his harem and made her queen. However, the king did not know Esther was a Jew. Mordecai told her not to reveal her Jewish identity.

The villain of the story is Haman, an arrogant, egotistical advisor to the king. Haman hated Mordecai because Mordecai refused to bow down to Haman. Haman plotted to destroy the Jews in all of Persia because of that.

Haman told the king, “There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your realm. Their laws are different from those of every other peoples’ and they do not observe the king’s laws; therefore, it is not befitting the king to tolerate them.” Esther 3:8.

The king gave Haman permission to do as he pleased to the Jewish people. With that permission, Haman planned to exterminate all of the Jews.

When Mordecai learned of the plot, he persuaded Esther to speak to the king on behalf of her people. This was a dangerous thing for Esther to do. Anyone who came into the king’s presence without being summoned, could be put to death.

Esther was not summoned. To prepare herself to go uninvited before the king, she prayed and fasted. She told Mordecai to have the people do the same.

When Esther went before the king, he welcomed her. She told him of Haman’s plot against her people. The Jewish people were saved. Haman and his ten sons were hanged on the gallows that Haman prepared for Mordecai.

One important message from the story of Esther and Purim is that in God’s sovereignty, he often works in ways which are not apparent. In ways that appear to be chance, coincidence, or ordinary good luck.

But make no mistake. Purim is not a story of chance, coincidence, or luck.

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In the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, on its thirteenth day … on the day that the enemies of the Jews were expected to prevail over them, it was turned about: the Jews prevailed over their adversaries. Esther 9:1

And they gained relief on the fourteenth, making it a day of feasting and gladness. Esther 9:17

[Mordecai instructed them] to observe them as days of feasting and gladness, and sending delicacies to one another, and gifts to the poor. Esther 9:22

You can find my March Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Added bonus.

Gluten-free Hamantaschen Cookie Recipe

The triangular shape of the cookies represents Haman’s (Boo! Hiss!) hat.

This recipe for Hamantaschen is adapted from https://littleferrarokitchen.com/gluten-free-hamantaschen-for-purim/

  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter softened
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 1/4 cups gluten-free flour
  • preserves or jam for filling
  1. In a large stand mixer cream the butter until light and soft. Add sugar and cream together.
  2. Add 1 egg, vanilla and zest and mix well.
  3. In another bowl, sift together the flour and salt.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture. Mix until just combined.
  5. Once mixed, take dough out and knead on a lightly floured surface until a smooth ball forms. Form the dough into a round, flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for about 1 hour.
  6. Remove dough from refrigerator and flour surface very well. Roll out the dough.
  7. Roll out dough to about 1/4 thick and use a 3-inch round cookie cutter to cut out circles.
  8. Take one circle and place a teaspoon of filling in the center. Take one side of circle and fold in. Take other side and fold in, bringing the top corners together.
  9. Now here’s the tricky part. Take the bottom part and fold up while making it overlap the 2-sides. So essentially, you want the left side-corner to be OVER the bottom flap and the right-side corner under the flap. Overlapping, creating a secure triangle.
  10. Pinch the corners and place the hamantaschen on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  11. Bake cookies at 350 degrees F for about 20-25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. (Watch closely so the cookies don’t burn.)
  12. Let cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack and serving.

Enjoy!

 

It’s Almost Christmas

Christmas decorated streetIt’s almost Christmas. Only two more days to go. In nine more days we enter into a new year. How did it get to be the end of 2021 so soon? I’m still trying to figure out what happened to 2020.

With those thoughts in mind, I would like to give you a few quotes to remind us why we celebrate the birth of our Savior, in the hope we remember the reason for the holiday every day throughout 2022.

“Who can add to Christmas? The perfect motive is that God so loved the world. The perfect gift is that He gave His only Son. The only requirement is to believe in Him. The reward of faith is that you shall have everlasting life.” ~ Corrie Ten Boom

“Christmas is that moment in time when God, in His unconditional love, stepped out of heaven onto earth, in order that we might one day step out of earth into heaven.” ~ Charles F. Stanley

“The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God.” ~ C.S. Lewis

“How many observe Christ’s birthday! How few, his precepts! O! ’tis easier to keep holidays than commandments.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

“We tend to focus our attention at Christmas on the infancy of Christ. The greater truth of the holiday is His deity. More astonishing than a baby in the manger is the truth that this promised baby is the omnipotent Creator of the heavens and the earth!” ~ John F. MacArthur, Jr.

“The very purpose of Christ’s coming into the world was that he might offer up his life as a sacrifice for the sins of men. He came to die. This is the heart of Christmas.” ~ Rev. Billy Graham

“The Almighty appeared on earth as a helpless human baby, needing to be fed and changed and taught to talk like any other child. The more you think about it, the more staggering it gets. Nothing in fiction is so fantastic as this truth of the Incarnation.” ~ J.I. Packer

Which of these quotes is your favorite?

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He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God. So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. John 1:10-14 (NLT)

You can find my December Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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The Baby In The Manger

manger sceneDuring this season of Christmas, it is easy for us to think only of Jesus as the babe in the manger, and not think of him as God the Son who stood beside God the Father, and God the Holy Spirit when the world was formed out of nothing.

In Genesis 1:26 when God said, “Let us … ” he included both Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

During this season of Christmas, it is easy for us to think only of Jesus as the babe in the manger, and not think of him as the Suffering Savior who took the penalty for our sins on his perfect sinless self so we wouldn’t have to pay the debt we owed.

In Psalm 22:1 David spoke of Christ’s suffering on the cross when he said, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” These were the very words Jesus spoke as he hung from the cross of Calvary.

During this season of Christmas, it is easy for us to think only of Jesus as the babe in the manger, and not think of him as the Victor who won the battle over hell, sin, Satan, and death. BOOM! Jesus is the Mighty Warrior who will return and establish his kingdom.

In Revelation 21:6 Jesus says he is “the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.”

As we look at the babe in the manger, let’s remember he is also the one who was and is and is to come. He is Jesus Christ, Messiah, the King of kings and Lord of lords now and forever. Emanuel. The one who is here with us.

Amen?

In all of the festivities of Christmas, do you ever find it difficult to think of the babe in the manger as Jesus Christ the Savior who died for you?

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Christ is the Word of Life. He was from the beginning. We have heard Him and have seen Him with our own eyes. We have looked at Him and put our hands on Him. Christ Who is Life was shown to us. We saw Him. We tell you and preach about the Life that lasts forever. He was with the Father and He has come down to us. 1 John 1:1-2 (NLV)

You can find my December Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Joseph Was A Noble Man

Mary, Joseph, and Jesus

At this time of year when we focus our attention on the birth of Jesus, something I’ve found to be true is that Joseph, the noble man who became Christ’s earthly father, doesn’t get much recognition. I find that sad.

The Bible doesn’t give many details about Joseph. We are told he was a righteous man, descended from Abraham and David. He was engaged to be married to Mary. When he learned Mary was pregnant, he decided to break the engagement, which was his right.

According to the religious law at the time, he could have publicly humiliated Mary. He could have even gone so far as to have her stoned for her perceived sin, and the embarrassment her pregnancy caused him.

But Joseph was a noble man. He would have none of that. He would divorce Mary quietly. His silence would cover her without any condemnation. I’m sure he understood hurtful, vicious, mean-spirited words and actions would probably be hurled Mary’s way. He loved her. He refused to add to her pain.

Here’s something I hadn’t thought about until recently. Perhaps it’s something you haven’t considered as well. Joseph was just as chosen by God to raise God’s Son as Mary was. Think about that.

God trusted Joseph. He knew Joseph’s character. God knew Joseph was a noble man who would take care, not only of the woman God chose to birth his Son, but also of his Son.

It takes a lot to raise a child who isn’t yours. When Joseph accepted God’s plan for his life, Joseph proved he was up to the challenge right from the start.

Joseph was a noble man who, from what we can tell, wasn’t upset about fading into the background of the Greatest Story ever told.

How do you view Joseph’s role in Jesus’ story?

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This was how the birth of Jesus Christ took place. His mother Mary was engaged to Joseph, but before they were married, she found out that she was going to have a baby by the Holy Spirit. Joseph was a man who always did what was right, but he did not want to disgrace Mary publicly; so he made plans to break the engagement privately. While he was thinking about this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary to be your wife. For it is by the Holy Spirit that she has conceived. She will have a son, and you will name him Jesus—because he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:18-21 (GNT)

You can find my December Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Remembering Our Veterans

Navy buglerHappy Veteran’s Day to all those who are serving, and who have served in our military. Thank you very much for your sacrifices. Thanks also for the sacrifices of your families. This post originally appeared here on November 7, 2013. I thought it worth repeating. I hope you agree. This post gives a little background of the origins of Veteran’s Day if you’re interested.

My dad didn’t talk much about his experiences in World War II. Although I wish he had, I understand why he didn’t. Although being on a Naval vessel during the attack on Pearl Harbor is something he never forgot, it was not something he cared to share.

There were a few things my dad did tell me, though.

He told me how difficult it was to watch the buddy he fought next to get killed while Dad remained physically unscathed.

He told me how he walked into a restaurant and someone he knew was shocked. They’d heard Dad’s ship was destroyed. It was, but Dad had been tendered to another ship to take over for their deceased gunner before Dad’s ship was hit.

My father told me how much it hurt to come back to the States, the country he’d proudly fought and sacrificed for in the Pacific Fleet, to see a sign in front of a business that said, Sailors and dogs keep off the grass. He put his life on the line for this?

In researching the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II, I spoke with Dr. Bickham, Col. Harold H. Brown, and Mr. Harold Alston, Sr. In talking with these men, they told me of the sacrifices they made to help defeat Hitler overseas and Jim Crow at home. These men faced much worse than signs telling them to keep off the grass.

And here’s where Jesus comes in. Jesus left his throne in glory to come to this earth as a man to fight for us. To win the victory over sin for us. He endured all things we humans endure, to pay the price for our freedom from Satan’s claws of death.

Jesus knew the joys. The pains. The prejudices. The humiliation. The betrayal. The love. The loss.

While I can sympathize and get upset about the unfair treatment others face, unless I’ve walked a mile in their moccasins I cannot truly comprehend the raw emotions and pain events in their lives cause.

But Jesus can.

He won the victory. He is the conqueror. His death and resurrection bought our freedom. Praise God.

Know a veteran? Tell them thanks.

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It’s obvious, of course, that he (Jesus) didn’t go to all this trouble for angels. It was for people like us, children of Abraham. That’s why he had to enter into every detail of human life. Then, when he came before God as high priest to get rid of the people’s sins, he would have already experienced it all himself—all the pain, all the testing—and would be able to help where help was needed. Hebrews 2:16-18 (MSG)

You can find my November Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Seasonal Scripture Verses

For today’s post I am sharing several seasonal Scripture verses. Some verses we associate with the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. Some verses we associate with our celebration of Christ’s sacrificial death.

As we read these Scripture verses, let’s not forget we cannot celebrate Christmas without celebrating Christ Jesus’ Resurrection.

A child is born to us!
    A son is given to us!
    And he will be our ruler.
He will be called, “Wonderful Counselor,”
    “Mighty God,” “Eternal Father,”
    “Prince of Peace.”
His royal power will continue to grow;
    his kingdom will always be at peace.
He will rule as King David’s successor,
    basing his power on right and justice,
    from now until the end of time.
The Lord Almighty is determined to do all this. Isaiah 9:6-7 (GNT)

That night, in a field near Bethlehem, there were shepherds watching over their flocks. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared in radiant splendor before them, lighting up the field with the blazing glory of God, and the shepherds were terrified! But the angel reassured them, saying, “Don’t be afraid. For I have come to bring you good news, the most joyous news the world has ever heard! And it is for everyone everywhere! For today in Bethlehem a rescuer was born for you. He is the Lord Yahweh, the Messiah. You will recognize him by this miracle sign: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a feeding trough.

Then all at once, a vast number of glorious angels appeared, the very armies of heaven! And they all praised God, singing:

“Glory to God in the highest realms of heaven! For there is peace and a good hope given to the sons of men.” Luke 2:8-14 (TPT))

Who has believed our message? To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm?
 My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.

All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all. He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. Unjustly condemned, he was led away. No one cared that he died without descendants, that his life was cut short in midstream.
But he was struck down for the rebellion of my people. He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave.

 But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands. When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied.

And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins. I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier, because he exposed himself to death. He was counted among the rebels. He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels. Isaiah 53 (NLT)

He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 1 Peter 2:24 (NIV)

Today and always may we never forget the baby in the manger, whose birth we celebrate each December 25th, is also the Sacrificial Lamb who was slain for the sins of the world, that all may have life and have it abundantly. Jesus is Christ the Messiah. King of kings and LORD of lords. To him be glory, honor, and praise now and forever. Amen.

Do you have a favorite Scripture verse you read at Christmas?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

You can find my December Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Do You Have Room?

Have you ever wondered how the innkeeper felt when he told Mary and Joseph there was no room for them in his inn?

When I was young I thought the innkeeper rather mean to turn them away. I wondered why he couldn’t squeeze them in somehow. Move things around. Make room amidst his crowded inn, and crowded life, for them to stay until Mary gave birth and recovered.

Maybe he was mean. Or maybe he was just preoccupied with all the busyness that surrounded him as he ran his overflowing inn and accommodated his patrons. Perhaps he just could not handle two more people and a soon-to-be-born infant.

Do you think the innkeeper regretted his decision once the multitude of angels’ voices filled the night air above his stable? Do you think he wondered what all the hub-bub was about? Do you think the innkeeper searched back in his memory to the scriptures he learned as a child about the Promised Messiah being born in the city of David?

Maybe. Then again, maybe not.

My intention is not to paint the man in a poor light. Nope. Not at all. My intention is for each of us to look at ourselves and see how much like the innkeeper we might be.

Have we told Jesus there is no room in our lives for him right now because of our busy schedules? We’re full up and consumed by other things at the moment. Maybe later.

Are we preoccupied with keeping the things in our lives running smoothly and do not need to add studying the Bible to our ever growing to-do list?

Does our busyness leave Jesus out in the cold of night until a more convenient time?

I don’t know. I only know the innkeeper couldn’t find room for Jesus.

Maybe his story is a lesson for us not to leave the Messiah out of our lives either. If our lives have become as crowded and filled with the things of this world as the innkeeper’s house, perhaps it is time we moved things out of the way so Jesus has a place to stay.

Do you have room for the Savior?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

So Joseph left Nazareth, a town in Galilee, and went to the town of Bethlehem in Judea, known as the town of David. Joseph went there because he was from the family of David. Joseph registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was now pregnant.  While they were in Bethlehem, the time came for Mary to have the baby, and she gave birth to her first son. Because there were no rooms left in the inn, she wrapped the baby with pieces of cloth and laid him in a feeding trough. Luke 2:4-7 (NCV)

You can find my December Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Mary Said Yes

The Annunciation painting at Señora de Loreto de la Bahía chapel Goliad, Texas. Notice the rattlesnake, Satan, in the lower right corner.

When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her she was highly favored by God, Mary said yes. Not only did the mother of Christ say yes to delivering the Son of the LORD Most High, Mary said yes to a whole lot more.

Have you ever considered that? Have you ever considered what saying yes cost Mary?

Considering the laws of the day, Mary knew saying yes might cost her the future she planned with Joseph. It might cost her his love, his devotion, his protection. Saying yes could very easily cost Mary her life once news of her un-wed pregnancy got out in the public.

For certain it cost her reputation and countless wagging fingers and tongues. Don’t you think?

Nevertheless, Mary the mother of Christ willingly laid down her hopes and dreams to be the vessel The Almighty Father could use to fulfill his plan of salvation to a lost and dying world. 

By saying yes to God’s plan, Mary said yes to traveling to Bethlehem on the back of a donkey at a very pregnant nine months. She said yes to giving birth to God’s son in a cold, dank, stable away from the care of her mother and other family members.

She said yes to having strangers see her child before those close to her saw him. She said yes to the bewilderment and awe Jesus’ birth created. She said yes when Joseph told her God said they should leave and flee to Egypt. Egypt? Hadn’t God warned his people not to go down to Egypt?

Mary said yes when her son left home to become an itinerant preacher.

She continued to say yes to God even when her yes led to the foot of the cross where her precious dearly loved son was brutally murdered by the very ones he died to save.

I imagine some of Mary’s yeses weren’t easy. Still. The one highly favored, highly blessed, by the Lord trusted him enough to say yes when Gabriel appeared to her in Nazareth. And she kept right on saying yes.

Oh that we would have such faith and trust to lay down our own hopes and dreams to answer yes to each of God’s opportunities to be part of his plans and purposes.

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The angel came to her and said, “Peace be with you! The Lord is with you and has greatly blessed you!”

 Mary was deeply troubled by the angel’s message, and she wondered what his words meant. The angel said to her, “Don’t be afraid, Mary; God has been gracious to you. You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High God. The Lord God will make him a king, as his ancestor David was, and he will be the king of the descendants of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end!”

“I am the Lord’s servant,” said Mary; “may it happen to me as you have said.” And the angel left her. Luke 1:28-33, 38 (GNT)

You can find my December Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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