Today, we celebrate Christ coming in the flesh so that He could come into our hearts in the Spirit. Is the soil of our hearts ready?
4 Remove the dross from the silver, and a silversmith can produce a vessel; 5 remove wicked officials [anything that is tainted] from the king’s [our] presence, and his throne [our lives] will be established through righteousness.
As we discussed yesterday, Jesus’s first sermon and main theme was “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). “Repentance” means “to turn around and go a different direction.” I like to call it “a course correction.” Ship’s captains used to do it every night when they would look at the stars and check their course. They would make small course corrections. When the weather was bad and days would pass without a clear night, ships might get hundreds of miles off-course, or even shipwreck on islands.
Our lives work the same way. Jesus has always been aware that being in us is far better than us going to Jerusalem three times a year for a course correction. Yet, His Plan included reaching all of humanity and not just one group, so He arranged history–using the actions of sinful men, which is quite a feat–to be such that when the Good News of Jesus Christ came, it could go out to all the civilized world, first to Jerusalem, then to Judea, then Samaria, and then to the entire world. In fact, it’s still going out! According to the International Mission Board of the SBC, only 75% of languages have the Scriptures translated. There’s still work to do!
Can Christ come at any time? Absolutely! He is not bound to humans sharing the Gospel orally or in written form. Throughout the centuries, He has appeared to many through dreams and visions. IMetMessiah.com has many stories where Christ appeared to these Jews in dreams and visions! There are other websites that have testimonies of Muslims who have had Christ appear to them in dreams and visions. The Gospel is moving fast across our world!
How about in our lives? What is keeping us from enjoying the presence of Jesus? Have we filled our time with activities? Are our schedules so tight that we do not have time to sit at His feet? When reading about Mary and Martha, Martha’s activities were legitimate, but Christ transcended this world’s concept of necessity:
38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” 41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42
More than food, which is our greatest necessity on this earth, Jesus made sitting at His feet the greatest priority. May we do the same. He tells us in Matthew 6:25-34 to not worry about our lives, what we will eat or drink or wear (which includes where we live and our station in life). The world runs after more stuff, better stuff, social status, health, and better security. Jesus said that all of these are like the grass of the field, “which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire.” Instead, He makes our relationship with Him our highest priority, our greatest concern, and the way to complete fulfillment.
We are approaching 2021. Let’s use this week to prepare our hearts and lives for Jesus to do something radical to us, for us, AND WITH US. Satan will whisper to us, “Surely not.” When you hear these words, REBUKE THEM! DO NOT RECEIVE THEM! Take that thought captive and make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). Let’s finish this year well.
Abba, may I take into consideration my own teaching here. I want to finish this year well, so I pause and reflect on my communion with You this past year. It has been good–mainly because of COVID in that I have had extra time at home. Thank You for having me begin my day with You. It helps so much to be in tune with Your Spirit as I begin and walk through my day. I want to finish well in my life, LORD, serving You and making everything I am and have available to You to further Your kingdom. Use me; I am Yours. Amen.