10.12.12

Living Worthy of the Manger


As I think over what could be termed my “mission” experience one prevalent theme seems to continue popping up whether it was in the long term, the short term, or the barely there folks; an overriding lesson that from all apperances is a hard one for us humans to grasp.

As a child I watched without (or at least with the beginning of) understanding as my parents and other missionaries strove to live it out. And as a (though perhaps young) missionary in Asia, I also tried to emulate Christ’s ministry in my life.

You see, His birth. His ministry. His death. Are all wrapped up in one mind boggling and very hard to put into practice truth.

Self-sacrifice. The actual act of giving up what we like, what we want, what comforts us, and etc for the sake of the Gospel.

Missions is something that can be agreed upon at least by most people as being a sacrifice.

But let us think about modern day missions. The trend I am seeing is to go out and buy big fancy bags, fill them with expensive objects that bring about a feeling of invincibility to the owner, years worth of can't live without goodies, throw in some quick drying underwear and people are ready to go.

Thanks to Skype and Facebook there is little disturbance to (the now long distance) friendships.

Now, do not get me wrong. I have nothing against big fancy bags, expensive doohickies, or fast drying undies. And I in no way do I mean to downplay the great distance between point A and point B; but I have learned that it is much better to approach the things of God with hands wide open than with fist tightly clenched.

Sacrifice will be involved. And you do not get to play eeny-meany-miney-moe with what you get to offer up and give to the Lord.

Are you willing to go and give up your diet? (And by that I mean actually eat any food offered you.)
Willing to go and give up bits and pieces of your freedom? Are you willing to give up your immodesty? Willing to give up your preferences of the non important? Willing to get dirty and stink? (And suds up in a bucket bath to get clean?) Are you willing to do what is needed to get the job done for the glory of God? To go and sin no more? (To be an example like Paul was to the truth of the Gospel?) To live differently? Holy? Righteous? To stand out, even when that puts you in danger?

Are you ready to unclench your hands of those things that make you feel invincible and humbly serve the Lord with gladness?

Truthfully, it is a bit overwhelming to me how important sacrificial living is to our testimonies. I recently (okay a week ago) had to have a surgery my mom and husband stayed the two nights in the hospital with me. (A little odd maybe but greatly blessed.)


They each had to help me out with things like going to the bathroom, showering, and even feeding me. I could not help but lay there and think about what a humbling year this has been. How many times I have felt like a baby and had rely on others.

And of course baby talk at this time of year always leads me to the manger. Wondering what on earth made God humble Himself so far as to become nothing, to be found in the image of man, to be obedient to death even death on the cross.

But then, I have to recognize it was my sin, my filthy self that brought Jesus here.


I recognize that if salvation and redemption of man was so important to Him to make that great of a sacrifice that I need to be willing to sacrifice so that others might know. (I mean we are not talking about sending in a full grown man into the enemy’s camp- we are talking about a brand spanking new baby that had to live on this earth just like you and me, get dirty, and sweat before He began His ministry.)

 I find it a huge tragedy just how many people do not know how to even let go of small comforts; when Jesus gave up the glorious luxuries of heaven to walk amongst us and offer salvation.

Now, I am farmer’s wife. I have no need for fancy backpacks. Expensive doohickies (unless they will make me invincible in the kitchen). Or (thankful for it too) quick drying undies.

I, however, am still expected to sacrifice, to humble myself, and walk with God.


The question is really not what are you trying to take with you, but what are you unwilling to let go of and how is that stubbornness hindering your testimony to God’s goodness? (Or smothering as in-Hide it under a bushel, NO!)

The calling is not just to live worthy of the grandeur of heaven but also to live worthy of the humilty  of the manager.

This Christmas let's try to live worthy of the manager and find a way to sacrifice for the sake of the Gospel and for the hope of new brothers and sisters in Christ!



2 comments:

  1. Thank you, Lizzie! So very true, and so hard to do. What would it be for me? Probably easy access to books. Electricity. I don't know.
    Keeping that awareness of Him in our hearts (what I consider "abiding") helps. With that sense of His presence, letting go of "stuff" becomes a little easier.
    So glad our prayers for you were answered! You're a blessing!

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    Replies
    1. Love you Marion! Thanks!

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