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Deadwood

Shortly before Mark and I left on our trip across America, I was taking a morning walk through my neighborhood. The night before a big wind storm had roared through our area, and as I walked I noticed little branches from the trees scattered across the street and lawns.

I realized it was deadwood, branches that have died and are contributing nothing to the life of a tree. The wind made short work of them.

What Deadwood Is God Knocking Out of Your Life?

The storms in our life can serve the same purpose. There are things I am dragging around with me that are weighing me down while contributing nothing to my overall health and life. I’ve noticed that when I’m going through a hard time, God usually prunes the deadwood from my life.

It could be a bad habit I need to be rid of, a relationship that is toxic, a commitment that is no longer God’s will, a job that is passed its prime, or something else. During this process it may feel to me that my life is littered with the remnants of things I once (or still do) value. But if I cooperate with God, I’ll soon feel lighter, more energetic, and ready for something new to replace the deadwood.

Don’t despair! Make room for what is next.

 




Christmas To Do-ers List, Day 2: Make Room for Him

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Christmas To Do-ers List

Day 2: Make Room for Him

She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7

No Room

Can you imagine being Mary perched on a donkey, already in the pangs of labor, as they entered the city of Bethlehem? I am sure she was hoping for a quiet place, a haven to give birth to her son. But that’s not what greeted her. A city teeming with people and noise, with nary a haven in sight.

Or perhaps you identify more with Joseph, with the full responsibility of Mary and the imminent birth on his shoulders. Every inn was packed; every door he desperately knocked on slammed in his face. No room.

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As we consider Mary and Joseph’s plight that night, one of the most important lessons we can take from this story is to make room for the Savior in our lives.  In the whole city, one innkeeper took pity on their plight and offered what he had for their use.

What about us? Do we make room for the Word Made Flesh in our lives? John 8:37 tells the sad story of those who have no room for the word. But when we make room for Jesus, when we give Him what we have, He changes everything. The more room we give Him in our lives, the more changes He makes. And the more He uses what we give Him.

While it’s a good start, Jesus is asking for more than just Sunday morning. We need to make room in our schedules, in our homes, in our leisure time, in our work, in our hearts.  

Rather than being a once-a-week commitment, Jesus wants to be our everyday priority.

When we pray about our schedules, Jesus can multiply our time, help us to make the right connections and opportunities. When we invite Him into our families, He can soften and quicken the hearts of ourselves and our loved ones to bring about necessary change. When we pray about our leisure time activities and hobbies, He can spark creativity and opportunities we may not  have had otherwise. When we give Him our work, He can help us weather difficulties and inspire us with new ideas. When we step out in ministry, he can bless our five loaves and two fish into much more than we imagine. Making room for Him is the key to change in our own lives.

Action Points:

Determine how you will make room for Jesus this Advent.

  1. What does your devotion time look like? Are you meeting with Jesus in the morning or evening? If not, when can you make time for Him?
  2. Is there an area of your life that you have put up the “no vacancy” sign at, that you haven’t yet yielded control of to Jesus?
  3. Can you make room for an extended time of prayer once during Advent? Perhaps as a mini-retreat in your own home or somewhere else?
  4. Is there a step of ministry God is asking you to take for Him?

Please share any ideas of how you will make room for Jesus this season in the comment section below and enjoy the music selection for today: Do You Have Room?, by Shawna Edwards.

Let’s be To Do-ers of His word this Christmas season by making room!

Previous Posts:

Day 1: Believe Him