Teaching Series

Carols: A Christmas Devotional – Away In A Manger

Today’s Scripture:  Luke 2:6-7

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7 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.


The story of Mary and Joseph seeking a place to give birth to Jesus is one of those stories that a good preacher can talk about for a long time.  There’s a couple of different sermons that can come from this story.  The one I feel the Holy Spirit zeroing in on is the part about there being no room for Jesus in the inn.

You see, Jesus said to His disciples as He sent them out that the people who rejected them…rejected the One who sent them.  So, when they went to someone’s house, knocked on the door, and the owner of the house slammed the door in Peter’s face…it wasn’t Peter’s face they slammed the door on…it was Jesus’ face.

I wonder if that innkeeper ever found out that the parents that he turned away were the parents of the King of kings and Lord of lords.  I wonder if that innkeeper ever figured out that he wasn’t rejecting Mary and Joseph…he was rejecting Jesus.

I sense the Holy Ghost, once again ready to let loose…so without any further delay…let’s get into the message.

Today’s Message:  “Away In A Manger

How many of you know that when you reject the gospel you’re not rejecting the preacher?  I wonder if people would grasp the understanding that when they say no to people going door to door with the gospel they’re not rejecting the person who is standing their being obedient to Jesus…they’re rejecting Jesus.

Do you know that’s what gives me the boldness to write what I write?  You can accept or reject what I write, but that doesn’t change the fact that what I write I’m writing by inspiration and unction and utterance of the Holy Ghost.  So…accept what I write or not…it’s not me that’s being rejected…it’s the Holy Ghost.

Whenever I share the gospel with someone, and ask them if they would like to receive Jesus as their Savior…while I might be sad because they said no…I don’t take it personal because I know that as an ambassador for Christ…they’re not rejecting me…they’re rejecting the one that I’m sent by.

Can I tell you that when you say that you don’t have time to read the Bible, go to church, or pray…you’re saying that you don’t have time for God?  Listen.  If you refuse to take time to read your Bible…it’s not going to harm me at all…because I’m going to read and study my Bible.  I’m not going to refuse God…if you choose to not take time for God…then that’s on you…but let me add that if you choose to reject God…don’t point your finger at Him and blame Him for all the chaos in your life.  Perhaps the reason all the chaos is in your life is because you’re rejecting God, and the whole reason He’s allowing the chaos is for you to realize you can’t handle the chaos on your own…and it’s time to accept that you need a Savior…you need God…and the longer you refuse to allow Jesus room in YOUR inn…the longer your life is going to remain in turmoil.

I don’t know who I am writing this to, but I know there are many of you who are running around with chaotic lives…pointing your fingers at God…when you should be pointing the finger at yourself.  You can’t reject God…and expect it to not impact your life.  You can’t tell God you don’t have any time or room for Him, and expect Him to shelter and shield you from the chaos in your life.  You also can’t reject God, and then blame Him for life being so hard…it’s your fault.

I think that some of you need to understand that just because you’re a Christian that doesn’t mean you stop there.  Confessing Christ as Savior isn’t enough.  Yes, it does settle the Heaven or hell issue…but it’s not going to change your life.  If you want God to come in and change your life…then that’s where the works on your part comes in.  You need to learn to spend time reading God’s Word, you need to spend time in prayer, you need to spend time praising and worshiping Him, and you need to spend time assembling yourselves together with other believers.  We need to spend time being taught the Word of God, and being fed.

I really don’t know who this is all for…maybe it’s for me…I just know that if you’re rejecting the Gospel…you’re rejecting God…and when you reject God you have no right to blame Him for the things that are happening in your life.  If that’s not you…then I would just like to encourage you to remember to make sure there’s always time and room for Jesus in your life…Amen!?!

The King of Kings and Lord of Lords is born in a manger with not so much as a bed to lie on. The humble beginnings of our Lord’s life remind us that we are to be humble and thankful for what we have been blessed with. The true meaning of Christmas is reflected so poetically in the story of Jesus’ birth that we cannot help but find ourselves grateful for all that was given to us on that day.

How many of you, like me, have heard the descriptions of what Heaven is like?  Think of the most beautiful of mansions in the world.  Think of the Taj Mahal, Wells Cathedral, Cathedral Notre-Dame de Reims, The White House in Washington D.C, and the like.  The most beautiful places in the world are nothing compared to where God is.  He left that for a manger…in a barn because there wasn’t any place more fitting for the birth of the King of kings.

He left that for a human body (as a baby), and He had to walk through this world.  He didn’t even have a bed.  During His ministry He spoke of how He didn’t even have a place to lay His head.  In all reality, Jesus was born in a place of poverty…when He should’ve been born in a place of royalty…but God humbled Himself to leave all that He had because He wanted to reconcile us to Himself.

Do you still feel like you don’t have time or room for God in your life?

The song describes how even when Jesus wakes, he does not cry out or make a sound. This day was a day of rejoicing, and the baby lying awake on the hay was no ordinary child, He was the Savior of men! The last verse of the song asks the Lord to stay beside us, to lead us, and to eventually take us to Heaven to live with Him. How often is that our prayer? Stay beside me Lord as I make my way through this earthly life.

Oh, how many times I can think of where I find myself simply saying:  “I need You, Lord.” I have said those words hundreds if not thousands of times, and in many different situations and circumstances.  How many of you know that you need to tell the Lord you need Him in the good times, the bad times, the indifferent times, and the ugly times?  So many of us, myself included, wind up saying that only in the ugly times.  We need to be reminded constantly that we need the Lord…at all times…not just the good ones…Amen?

How glorious and beautiful is the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. We celebrate His birth and the life that was given to us by Him through His life, death, and resurrection.

The greatest Gift ever given was wrapped in swaddling clothes in this manger.  It’s this Gift that was given so that you and I could be saved and reconciled to God.  The Gift of Jesus was given out of a love that we can’t comprehend.

What an amazing God…I can’t think of a better place to draw this message to a close than right here.  In fact, I like what was written so much…I’m going to use it to close.

How glorious and beautiful is the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. We celebrate His birth and the life that was given to us by Him through His life, death, and resurrection.

Do you have time and room for Jesus now?

Be A Doer…Not Just A Reader:

In your opinion, how does this carol reflect the love of Christ? What does this carol show you about our Lord at the beginning of His life here on earth? Why do you think God chose for his son to be born in a manger instead of a birth fitting of royalty?

Today’s Video:

Away In A Manger–Casting Crowns

In Closing:

I am really enjoying this series.  We have gotten some awesome teaching from Christmas Carols, and that’s exactly what I was so excited about doing this series for.  I had a sense that God was going to take this series, and not just teach us about these Carols…but that He would speak to us through them…and He hasn’t disappointed.

As always, whenever I write things that seem to be harsh, I feel the need to remind you that I would love to write nothing but sweet stuff.  However, when God feels the need to bring rebuke or correction to us…I need to be willing and submitted enough to be willing to write what He wants me to write.  I know there was some serious stuff said in this message, and that’s because we really need to be mindful that when we say we don’t have time for church, the Bible, prayer, worship, or anything else…we are saying we don’t have time for God.

I always want to be sure I have time for God…because I don’t know about you…but I need Him.  I need Him in all the times in my life, and I don’t want to get to a place where I ever say that I don’t have time for God.  If I ever find myself saying I don’t have time for God…then it’s up to me to look within…and see what’s more important to me…and cut it out of my life…Amen!?!

Is there anything more important to you than time with God?  Do you have room for God or do you maybe need to weed some things out of your life…and make time for the God who left so much behind…so that He could reconcile you to Himself.

Let’s pray:

Oh, Lord, forgive us for being so selfish with our time, and our lives.  Help us to make sure that if there are things in our lives that are more important to us than You…that we get those things out of our lives…so that more of You can fill them.  We love You, Lord, and give You all glory, honor, and praise.  You’re so worthy of any time You want in our lives, and there’s room in our hearts for You.  In Jesus’ name…Amen & Amen

“Be strong & take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.” Psalm. 31:24
Blessings & Grace to you
Bryan J. Kizer
Christlike Ministries NWA