A. “Let earth receive her King”
This is our critical prayer. It’s us praying, “Let the people on earth receive Jesus as their king.”
This is us, praying for the conversion of the world – starting with our families – that everyone would receive Jesus as Lord, Savior, King.
God revealed his plan to us when the angels said, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests” (Luke 2:14). The Lord’s Prayer similarly says, “Let God’s will be done.” Let what is lived in heaven be lived on earth.” In essence, the glory of God’s world wants to have an effect on our world – on us and on everyone – and it does.
Heaven is God’s will, being lived out without any human sinful distortion. Earth is God’s will, being lived out. But earth has a certain amount of distortion. Too much distortion cuts us completely off from God. For us, we all have some distortion. But, the more we seek God w/ all of our hearts the more heaven influences us and the more the distortion is limited.
This is initial conversion and it is ongoing conversion. This is us, by the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, influencing our minds to give ourselves over to Jesus initially. And, over time, giving over our all as we win the ongoing battle for our minds. (See Ephesians 4). This is how we receive our King, Jesus.
Does the Scripture say that, “we on earth can influence heaven?” (Hint – Luke 15)
B. Let every heart prepare him room
Making room for Jesus is the first step in God’s plan. Ironically the Innkeeper did not have any room. Making room is us opening our heart to God. It is the key foundation of our faith. God’s plan is hampered by a negligent or divided heart that has no room. His plan flourishes when we realize that our lives can be influenced by heaven – as we make room for him. It’s not just prayer, it’s the entire way we think, act, and live.
We all know how heaven has influenced our lives. We all know God’s love, his mercy, and his guidance. We all sense the way he wants us to live – overall, and as situations arise each day that are more grey than black and white. And, even when we are not clear, we are at least learning how to discern his will.
C. Access to ever-increasing joy.
We sing, “Joy to the world.” We sing, “Let earth receive this joy.” The Holy Spirit wants to teach us how to increase our joy. It’s by growing our the talents AND by our “joy for the Lord.”
We all have talents. Let’s use them to build the kingdom of God. Tw servants gained more talents for the master. Scripture says they were told, “Well done, good and faithful servant! . . . . Come and share your master’s happiness! (Matt 25:21).
How did the master reward his servants:
I _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ R _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Y
I _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ J _ Y
On our talents, may we all set our hearts on giving “All of my life for the rest of my life.” May we all say, “We are a community of Disciples on Mission. May we all do whatever we do each day at work, at home, and with others “for the Glory of Jesus” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
About Jesus, Scripture says, “You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy” (Hebrews 1:9)
What is applied to Jesus is said to us. Joy, in this verse is “gladness or exuberant joy.” The oil of joy, which God pours over us, tells that our father is not distant and uncaring. It’s the opposite. Our Father wants us to embrace a lifestyle of joy and be models of joy – just like Jesus. And, Psalm 133 says, he wants us to live this joyful lifestyle together.
Scripture says, Living In “the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:9). Our peace and our joy – lived out – will touch our family members and friends as we display the kingdom of God to them. In fact, nothing else in creation can model God’s joy in us like you and me.
The Wise Men were full of joy. When they saw the star, “they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy” (Matt 2:10). “Exceedingly” means excessively – like we do when we worship at prayer meeting.
When the woman poured out the bottle of expensive ointment on Jesus, every one thought it was excessive (Matthew 26:6-13). But the woman came to worship Jesus, and the fragrance of that oil filled the house. She displayed excessive worship, love, and she received excessive joy. The leper who returned to thank Jesus displayed the same excessive worship, love, and gratefulness (Luke 17:11-19).
Evil power and the ways of the world want to take our focus away from Jesus – away from giving him excessive praise. The enemy loves to turn us on ourselves—searching for answers apart from God. But, we were designed to recognize him and to know his love. And, we were asked to be God’s instruments of joy and peace – to give him away.
In the world, we rejoice when something makes us joyful. In God’s kingdom we rejoice as we understand revelation. As I said last week, Faith explores what revelation provides. We are not paupers. We are children of God. We have talents and gifts.
Let’s pray tonite for a fresh release of the Baptism of the Spirit – a new and refreshing outpouring. The more we understand who God is, the more the divine nature grows in us and the more we are filled with the joy of the Lord. And, joy is what Jesus wants to fill us with as we “receive our King” and celebrate Christmas.