Friday, December 24, 2010

the best room in the inn

The Word for today:
Psalm 146

Most of us pay way too much attention to other people:
We don't "dance like David did" because of what people might think.

We catch ourselves looking for man's commendation before seeking commendation from God. We can even find ourselves tailoring the truth to fall softly, inoffensively on our hearer's ears.

Today's Psalm talks about looking to man for the things of God. I often do, until I catch myself at it and remember that there is no salvation in the hand of man:

I will praise the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
Do not put your trust in princes,
in mortal men, who cannot save.
When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
on that very day their plans come to nothing.
Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD his God, the Maker of heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them--
the LORD, who remains faithful forever. (Psalms 146:2-6)
This is probably the last thing I should be writing as we are wrapping presents and opening cards. But let's remember that Christmas is precisely about this: God had to come down into the pit with us because we could not lift ourselves, or others, up or out:
The LORD sets prisoners free,
the LORD gives sight to the blind,
the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down. (Psalms 146:7-8)
As we look with resolve to the new year, may we be wary of misplaced priorities--not just self-centered priorities, but even "other-centered" priorities, when we sense that others are being given the place that the heart must reserve for God.

"Joy to the world," we sing. A long time ago, I heard what joy was made of. So did you:
J-O-Y, J-O-Y,
This is what it means:
Jesus first,
Yourself last,
And others in between.

On the first Christmas, there was no room for him in the inn. This Christmas, let every heart prepare him the best room a heart can afford.


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