Advent Week 3
"And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn."
When recalling the story of the birth of Jesus, we often remember that there was nowhere for Mary and Joseph to stay. We often see this play out in children's stories where they are knocking on multiple doors and are being denied every place they go. Looking at the story from our perspective, we know that He is the Savior, we think this is absurd! If only the people knew who Mary was carrying.
Although this is a significant part of the story, I want to take some time today and shift our focus. Have you ever stopped to think that God chose to have the story of Jesus' birth this way? Here you have the Son of God coming down from heaven to live as a human and he could have chosen to be born in the most luxurious castle with people waiting on him. He could have placed himself in a position where he could have everything of this world, but instead, Christ was born with nothing. There wasn't even a place for him in the inn.
This was not an accident. The coming of Jesus didn't simply fall through the cracks and God forgot to find a place for him. Christ was born with nothing for a reason. He was born with no earthly possessions because they had no value to him.
"For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?"
We see in Mark the clear depiction that material possessions are not what we are to live for. They do not matter. We are in fact called to live lives that are not self-centered or focused on the present world but to seek eternal life with God. Whoever gives up his self-centered life of rebellion against God for the sake of Christ and the gospel will find everlasting communion with God.
Christ was born into the world with nothing because it has no eternal value. He is the ultimate example for us and showed us what it truly looks like to live for eternity and not the present.
Are you living for eternity or are you living for the present? This is a daily battle that we must all choose to deny ourselves and seek Christ through every hour of every day.
Take some time and thank God for giving Christ as the perfect example for us to follow. Thank Him for being the living example of what it looks like to deny ourselves and live for eternity. Also take some time and confess to God the areas where you need to stop living for the present and even ask Him to reveal areas of your life where you are holding fast to the present instead of giving it up to Him. Ask God to work in your heart and help you daily live for eternity.