It was a dirty job

“And while they were there, the time came for the baby to be born. And she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. And she wrapped him in cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”

(Luke 2:6-7)

As we get closer to Christmas, we began to hear the Christmas story of the birth of Jesus.. As a amazing story it is, sometimes I think we forget, to show that it wasn’t this clean nice smelling barn, but that it was a messy place.. This is my favorite way of telling the Christmas story..

God had this messy plan…a plan to save the world, and to do that he was going to send his son. Where does the God of the universe send his son? Where does the King of Kings and Lord of Lords come? To a barn…a stable…a manger of all places! Certainly no place fit for a king. But then again, this wasn’t any ordinary king.

When I say it was messy, I mean it was messy. It was a barn, a stable. So you’ve got animals and animal…stuff, manure and mud. A pitiful place  for people, much less the King of Kings, to be born. Why would God do that? Well, I can’t tell you for sure, because the prophet Isaiah tells us that his thoughts are not our thoughts and his ways are not our ways. But that same prophet, 400 years before, said “All we like sheep have gone astray, each of us to our own way and that the Lord has laid our  iniquities on him.” (Isaiah 53:6) You see, Jesus came to a messy place. A barn, well, yes that’s messy. But he came to a messy world. Why? Because the shepherd was coming to take care of his sheep and to prepare a way for his sheep to go home. That’s what a shepherd does. He lives where the sheep are, he sleeps where they sleep and he eats where they eat… That got Jesus in trouble… Why did Jesus eat with the sinners? That’s what a shepherd does…

A angel appeared to the shepherds in the field and said “This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:12). A sign.. Have you ever wondered what that sign was?.. A sign for what?.. Maybe a sign that Jesus, is assailable to everyone.. A sign that the God who owns a cattle on a thousand hills can relate to a homeless person.. because Jesus never had a home, never had a place to rest his head.. Maybe it was a sign it was a sign that God would have nothing to do with the social status of man kind, a sign he detest the splendor of humans because it’s not worthy of him, but it was a sign for us, that we should follow suit. In fact the apostle Paul would later on write that we should have the same attitude as Christ Jesus although he was the very nature God did not consider equality with God something to be grasped but made himself a servant being made in human likeness..

A servant.. you see being a servant is messy and Jesus set this incredible example for us, he got down on his knees and he washed feet.. The God of the universe, the God who deserved the best of everything, got on his knees, he is the God who came to the world, he was laid in a manger.. a feed trough of all places.. Why such a messy place.. because he was following a messy plan

So needless to say that very first Christmas was dirty…it was grimy…it was filthy. But thank God it was, because without it what a mess we’d be in!

Advertisements

Never Give Up

“Whatever you do, do it wholeheartedly as though you were working for your real master and not merely for humans. Col 3:23

There are times we all face giants in our lives… and like the football video above, they knew the were going against a giant in their case a football team and before they even faced them they already had the attitude of defeat. So many times we have that same attitude we face a giant in our life ad we just give up! Before we even face our opponent we are already waving the white flag, we don’t even try. Because we let satan put thoughts in our head  we aren’t good enough. 

I think about a time someone faced a giant, and when I begin just to read on David facing Golith, God begin to open my eyes about another giant, a Giant that I didnt look at as a giant before, and its the story of Joshua and the children of Isreal. Heres The parphrased story…

 ~Joshua 3~

Now Jericho was tightly shut up Because of the children of Israel None went out And none came in And the Lord said unto Joshua, See, I have given unto thine hand Jericho And the king thereof and the mighty men of valor And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war And go round about the city once

Thus shalt thou do six days And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams horns And the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times and the priests shall blow the trumpets and it shall come to pass that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet all the people shall shout with a great shout and the wall of the city shall fall down flat and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him For the Lord hath said unto Joshua SHOUT for I have given you the city

The inhabitants of Jericho were perverted by sin and corrupt Surrounded by walls so thick that chariots raced on top With ladders, catapults and spearheads readied and blazing in the sun The armies of Israel stood ready for commands of war to come For 39 years Joshua was trained under Moses’ righteous hand And it was Joshua who led nearly three million Israelites Into the promised land Now Moses was dead and the real test came Could he simply follow God’s word And do something that to the natural mind Would be utterly absurd Without Moses to ask advice of Or an advisory committee God said the walls will fall Just tell them SHOUT for I have given you the city

Now God was putting in operation a principle of war Setting at our disposal weaponry that drops demons to the floor Something with tremendous power that assassinates fear and doubt Its the high praises of victory unleashed by a shout When David played his songs of praise, demons fled from Saul As Paul and Silas worshiped God, the chains began to fall it lifts us above the circumstance and lets God’s power flow

The shout of victory binds the devil with chains that won’t let go So with the confidence of warring angels Israel stood stone ready To obey Joshua, speak to their mountain And SHOUT for God was giving them the city

Six days they marched around Jericho and the last day they marched seven While the Canaanites jeered from their evil walls Israels faith reached Heaven Before any manifestation, with every brick still in place
Eyeball to eyeball they looked fear dead in its face They didn’t wait to feel some earthquake or to see a lightning flash They didn’t need to hear a theatric rumble or a mind-blowing crash They prepared their souls for victory Now its God’s turn to come thru They’d scream their lungs out Simply because… they believed…
God’s word was true.

So, with the high praises of God in their mouths, Came a massive… there came a volcanic sound And Israel shouted in victory And they shouted in faith And the walls came tumbling down

Now Joshua Could have looked at this giant of a wall which chariot raced on top.. it was huge!.. he could have said God I cant do this.. and he had all these people who he was in charge over can youu imagine walking around a wall seven times and knowing thousands of people were going to be quiet as they walk around this wall? and having to walk around 9-10 hours a day! and these people being so tired and not giving up?… but Joshua trusted God, he wasnt walking around this wall for himself he was doing it for God he was believing and trusting God that the walls were going to fall!… and after seven times when they shouted the walls came down!… so what would happened if we just looked at our giant and shouted a shout of victory and watch him fall…

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” Joshua 1:9

What ever you’re facing today don’t give up because you think you cant do it anymore that your tired that it’s too much.. because like the coach was beside his player yelling DONT GIVE UP!!.. God is besides you yelling DONT GIVE UP! IM RIGHT HERE BESIDE U! YOU WILL MAKE IT!… sometimes we are so close to victory and we give up because the giants to big.. but my GOD is bigger.. he will strengthen you.. So whatever your facing keep going to don’t give up. and trust GOD and shout with a SHOUT OF VICTORY!.. and watch the walls fall…..

Luke 10:19 (The Message)

18-20Jesus said, “I know. I saw Satan fall, a bolt of lightning out of the sky. See what I’ve given you? Safe passage as you walk on snakes and scorpions, and protection from every assault of the Enemy. No one can put a hand on you. All the same, the great triumph is not in your authority over evil, but in God’s authority over you and presence with you. Not what you do for God but what God does for you—that’s the agenda for rejoicing.”