Scripture Reference: Luke 2:1-21
In today’s message we talk about one of the few people in the Bible that really doesn’t get a lot of mention until this time of year. The person would be the innkeeper. Usually much is said about making sure that we have room for Jesus in our hearts, but today’s message takes a different turn and looks at his story from a different angle that I believe will be a blessing and encouragement to us all. So, without any further delay…let’s get into the second message of this Rhythm of Christmas Series.
Today’s Message: “Give It Your All”
As I mentioned in the introduction much of the messages about the innkeeper deal with us and how we need to be sure there’s room in our hearts for Jesus. That’s true. The Bible says in Revelation 3:20 that Jesus is standing at the door of our hearts knocking, and how many of you know that if Jesus is knocking that means you’ve yet to let Him in!?! If you need to let Jesus into your heart we will make sure you can do that at the end of this message.
Today, however we talk about the innkeeper from a different perspective, and as I kind of glanced at what we were going to talk about I just felt like this message is going to not only be a blessing…but I feel like it’s going to encourage many of you…and hopefully it will encourage me too.
While there may not be anything directly written about the innkeeper in scripture, he played one of the most important roles in the birth of Christ. If it had not been for his willingness to give Mary and Joseph all he had, there likely would not have been a place for Mary to give birth to Jesus.
You know, there’s something to be said here for what the innkeeper did. As I said most look at what he didn’t do, but let’s look at what he did do…all he had was the manger…and that’s really the best he could do…and that was all Mary and Joseph needed…was a place to give birth to the Savior of the world.
I talked a lot yesterday about my journey into this ministry, and how it took God eleven years to get me to embrace and walk in this ministry He called me to. Part of the reason it took that long is I never felt like I had anything to offer God or anyone…and the blunt truth is that in and of myself…I was right. I don’t have anything to offer, but what I did have was an ability to write. Sure, when I was told by word of knowledge that one day I was going to use my ability to write for God’s glory…naturally I looked at devotional articles and magazines…and again I thought that nothing I wrote looked anything like these professionally written and edited articles. I again looked at it from the perspective of what I had to offer instead of what God could do with what I had to offer.
It took eleven years for me to do this because it finally dawned on me that taking a step of faith and obedience to do what God was calling me to do was the key to being able to get better at what I was doing for Him. As I noted a lot of what I wrote in the beginning aren’t very easily read messages, but today they’re much better. Why? Because I finally gave God all I had, and He took it…and turned it into what you’re reading today.
Because the innkeeper gave what he had…Jesus had a place to enter the world. That’s not a small thing. I mean when my wife and I had our daughter I can’t imagine what it would be like to not have any idea where we could go, and the pressure they must’ve been under to find a place and the fear they had because of what was going on with Herod. I can’t imagine what they were going through, and how relieved they must’ve been that even though it wasn’t what they were looking for…they still had some place to go.
Sure, a stable was not the most ideal of places, but it was all the innkeeper had to give. We should model the innkeeper’s response in the way we respond to Christ. When Christ knocks on our heart, our first response should be to invite Him in and give Him all we have. Even if our hearts are not perfect rooms for Him to live in, Christ does not care. He loves us and desires us no matter what.
Just as a stable wasn’t really an ideal place for the parents of Jesus to give birth…our lives aren’t always the ideal things for God to use…are they? I know that mine sure wasn’t. As I mentioned yesterday…when I knew God was calling me to serve Him my first thought and response was: “Are You sure? Don’t You know what a mess my life is?” Yes, friends, I knew about the scriptures that talk about dead bones coming to life. I knew about the scriptures that talk about how God could take a life from the miry clay, and make something beautiful. I knew about the scriptures that talk about God taking the foolish things of the world. However, what I didn’t believe (and this is why it took God eleven years to get me here) that He could do those things in, with, and through MY life.
Friends, the truth is that I kick myself for not starting this sooner, and that’s because these last two years have been the best two years of my life. Serving God really is rewarding, and it really starts by doing just what I did nearly two years ago…obey God, trust Him, and give Him everything I have.
Can I tell you that my heart still isn’t always a perfect room for Jesus to live in, but as you can tell He hasn’t given up on me. He’s never given up on me. Even when I gave up on myself…He still didn’t give up on me. All He wanted from me was to take the ability to write that He had given me, and give it back to Him. Once I did that…He began to help me, teach me, and develop me into the writer you’re reading from right now. I didn’t get here overnight…it’s taken me every bit of the last two years to get here…but I never would’ve gotten here if I wouldn’t have gotten out of the boat.
When Christ knocks on our heart, our first response should be to invite Him in and give Him all we have. Even if our hearts are not perfect rooms for Him to live in, Christ does not care. He loves us and desires us no matter what.
The religious world cares more about what they see then what is in our hearts. The religious world looks at me because I still do things that may not be God’s best, but don’t cause Him to be mad at me. I just want to say this. God isn’t mad at you. He loves you. He’s not concerned with what you do…He’s concerned with what is in your heart.
You see, God can change what you do because He can change the motives of your heart. Even if our hearts aren’t perfect (and the truth is they won’t ever be)…that doesn’t give us an excuse to quit doing whatever it is God has for us to do.
Friends, if I were to quit doing this because of some of the things that I’ve done since I started doing this…I would not only have quit long ago, but I wouldn’t have ever come back to it. That’s the beauty of the grace, mercy, and love of God. He doesn’t change His mind about us because we do…He loves us no matter what we do or where we are at…because Love is Who God is…and Love is what God does.
My heart’s desire is to do the best I can to serve God, and use the ability to write He has given me to do the best I can to bring Him glory and honor. I do my best, like this innkeeper, to give God all I have. I am not perfect. I’ve said many times that if you’re looking to follow a ministry that has a perfect pastor that never misses God or messes up…then you may as well un-follow me now because I’m not that perfect pastor.
There’s only been One Perfect Pastor…and that One is Jesus Christ.
Don’t ever feel like you don’t have anything to offer Christ because of your past. Just give Him whatever you have just as the innkeeper did. Listen to the words of the innkeeper today as he shares about the small, but pivotal role he played in bringing Christ into the world and changing the rhythm of our hearts for all eternity.
Maybe you’re like me, and you look at your life thinking that you don’t have anything to offer because of your past. I am proof that God can take whatever it was that you’ve done, and turn it into something that can and will bring Him glory.
One of my favorite scriptures is The Amplified Version of Romans 8:28 and it reads:
We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.
Everything that we’ve been through life whether it’s good, bad, ugly or horrific can be turned around by God for good. What that verse doesn’t promise is that everything in our lives would be good…but it promises that God will take all that we’ve gone through and turn it around for good.
It tells us that no matter how we may feel about who we are and what we’ve done…it doesn’t change how God feels about us or what He has called us to do. All we are asked to do is give Him everything, and then leave the results up to Him. Once I did that…I was finally able to stop seeing myself the way I saw me, and see how He looks at me.
Friends. If you’re a new creation in Christ the fact is that when God looks at us…He no longer sees us for who we are or for what we have done. He sees the shed blood of His Son, and we all know how God feels about His only begotten Son.
I know that we’ve all seen posts like this, but in light of this message I think the best way to close this message is with these few quotes that we often see.
I sense there’s some of you who may have been touched by these words right here…
Don’t ever feel like you don’t have anything to offer Christ because of your past. Just give Him whatever you have just as the innkeeper did.
The devil, friends is a liar. He will do everything he can to discourage you from becoming all that God has destined for you and I to become. Make no mistake that the devil isn’t going to be happy with you deciding to give your all to God for Him to use to do damage to the devil’s camp.
I know that part of my problem for the eleven years between the calling and the beginning of my ministry was that I was guilty like maybe some of you are of listening to the devil’s lies.
So, I think what I need to do is close this message here…and just take a moment to pray. I know I said earlier that I was going to post something so that if you want to let Jesus into your heart you can…and I still am going to post that…but I just really feel like there are some of you who have been hindered from serving or even giving God your heart because you’ve bought the lie that you’re not worthy and that God not only doesn’t want you but can’t use you.
Heavenly Father, I thank You for placing this series and message upon my heart. I also thank You for helping me to sense that there may be readers who have bought the devil’s lies, as I did, and it’s hindering them from not only serving You, but from even having the relationship with You they desire.
Father, in the name of Jesus, I ask that You would expose these lies of the devil to Your children. I ask that You would speak to their hearts of Your love for them. I also ask, in the name of Jesus, that You would silence the mouth of those who are helping the devil to hinder Your children from embracing not only Your call to serve, but to come to You as they are to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
Lord, heal the hearts of Your people. Help them to see that they’ve been lied to, and that You do love them and can use them. Allow Romans 8:28 to come alive and to be made manifest in their lives.
I ask this of You, Father, in Jesus name. Amen & Amen.
Now, for those of you who may feel or know that the Lord is knocking on the door of your heart. The first thing you need to do is know that the devil is a liar. God is ready and willing to accept you just as you are. Why not silence the devil’s voice by believing in your heart and confessing with your mouth Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
If you’d like to know how to do that…it’s simple. Just take a moment to speak this prayer out loud so that the devil can hear you too…and just like me…you will be a child of God…and on your way to having Him turn around all you’ve been through…and use it for good.
That prayer is this one right here…
“Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I believe You died for my sins. Right now, I turn from my sins and open the door of my heart and life. I confess You as my personal Lord and Savior. Thank You for saving me. Amen.”
Friend. If you just said that prayer…you have opened the door of your heart to Jesus, and He is now residing within you in the person of the Holy Ghost. You’re a born-again Christian.
The next step is to get yourself into a good, solid Bible believing, preaching, teaching, and living church. Let them know that you have recently accepted Jesus as your Savior, and that you need help getting started on your journey.
Thank you for taking the time to read all the way through this message today. For those of you who have just made a decision to accept Jesus into your heart…if you could drop me a line or comment to let me know…I would greatly appreciate that. I ask that for a couple of reasons…
- One, I may be able to help get you some Bible devotional material.
- Two, I can pray for you.
- Three, it encourages me to know that I helped you come to a place to make a decision to follow Jesus.
Blessings & Grace to you!
Bryan J. Kizer
Pastor/Founder Christlike Ministries NWA