Today’s article is part of Brother Jerry Valenti’s series on the life of Jesus.
“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:7)
Joseph and Mary have arrived in Bethlehem. Mary is “great with child” and the time has come for her to give birth. However, the couple has a problem. There is no room in the inn, so they cannot obtain a place to spend the night. As a result, the Son of God is born in a stable with a feeding trough (manger) as a cradle.
How could this have happened? Why was there no room for them in the inn? Well, in this particular case, the innkeeper did nothing wrong. The couple didn’t have advance reservations, so it was appropriate that the rooms in his inn would be filled on a first come, first served basis.
But let’s pretend for a moment that the innkeeper knew that he would have the opportunity to give a room to Jesus. If that was the case, what reasons could he offer for there being no room in the inn for the Son of God? Here are a few possibilities:
- He would make more money renting the rooms to wealthier people.
- He thought there would be a room available when Jesus arrived, but they somehow all got filled
- He could still feel good about helping Jesus since he gave him a stable to be born in.
Next, let’s liken the inn to our own lives. Is there room in that “inn” for Jesus, or is it all filled up all the time?
What does it mean to have room — or no room — in the inn of our lives for Jesus?
There are several ways to look at it, but we’ll just consider two for this article: time and money. Both of these are something that we each have some amount of and can choose to give some portion of — or none at all — to the Lord.
If (like the pretend innkeeper) I say that I want Jesus to dwell in my life (stay at my inn) but I find that there consistently seems to be no room in the inn of my life for Him — at least in terms of time and money — what reasons can I offer why this would be the case?
The reasons may well sound similar to the innkeeper’s reasons listed above. See if these sound familiar:
|Reason for No Room||Time||Money|
|Obtain more money||I need to work as many hours as possible at my job to make more money.||If I give money to the church, I might not have enough to pay bills.|
|Thought there would be room left||I always want to do things for the Lord, but by the time I finish everything that I have to do, there is never any time left.||By the time I pay all my bills for the month, there is never anything left to give to the church.|
|Minimal room offered||I go to church on Sundays (when I’m not busy).||When there’s a bake sale, I try to buy a cookie to help out.|
If any of these do sound familiar, what can we do to change things? What can we do to make sure that the Lord has a room in the inn of our lives?
The answer is simple.
Reserve Room No. 1 for Jesus!
Start assigning guests in Room No. 2, and then there will always be room for the Lord.
If you desire to do things for the Lord — whether it’s prayer, studying the scriptures, attending church, visiting the sick, missionary work, or anything else — reserve specific blocks of time for these activities. And don’t let anything else “move in” to take over that time.
What if you’re a really busy person? Well, if you reserve time for the Lord, He will multiply your productivity in your remaining time such that everything will still get done — maybe even better than it would have otherwise.
If you want to give money to the Lord, make it your first expenditure of the month. What about your bills? Well, if your experience is similar to most people who do this, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how the rest of your money somehow still manages to pay all of your bills.
To summarize, when you make room for the Lord, He blesses every part (every room) of your life, whether it’s time, money, or anything else. There is a verse that states this well (the verse is primarily speaking about giving money, but it can easily apply to giving of your time or anything else):
“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” (Malachi 3:10)
So, when you make room for Jesus, the ironic result is that you wind up with no room. Why? Because every room is then filled with the blessings of God. And, as if that’s not enough, there are more blessings waiting in line to come in!
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.