Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room By Liz Curtis Higgs
I know, I know. This should be my 12th post of 2016 and it’s only my 5th. Deepest apologies, friend. What can I say? Life happened. A lot of life happened. Some things were wonderful, others were not, but even through the hard times —no, especially through the hard times—God overwhelmed us with His love and faithfulness. Thank you, Jesus.
Now at Christmastime I come bearing gifts for you, along with the best news of all: He is coming.
We stand on tiptoe. Waiting. Anticipating. Counting the days of Advent with our calendars and our candles.
The Bible tells us there was no room for Him in the inn, but there’s more than enough room for Him in our hearts and in our homes. This year, let’s clear away the clutter and make His Word the centerpiece of our celebration.
You can do this, beloved.
- Place a Bible, open to Luke 2, on your dining table.
- Surround it with the lovely colors of the season.
- Read a verse from the Christmas story each night.
- Talk about what Mary and Joseph experienced.
- Think about what the truth of His birth means.
- Commit one (or two or four) verses to memory.
- Pray for the chance to share His story with others.
When God laid out the Ten Commandments, this is how He taught people to honor His Word.
“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.” Deuteronomy 6:6
We can have God’s Word on our laptops, our smart phones, our tablets—but this method is hands-free. When you write His Word “on your heart and mind” (AMP), it’s truly mobile and lasts forever.
And think about this: If you memorized just one verse a week, that would be 50 verses a year, with a little vacation time thrown in. Good plan for 2017, yes? (You’ll find more ideas in 31 Verses to Write on Your Heart.)
You don’t have to memorize the whole Bible. Pick a verse. Begin.
“Impress them on your children.” Deuteronomy 6:7
When you say your favorite verses aloud and “rehearse them continually” (GNV), they’ll land on the fertile ground of your children’s hearts. You say your kids are grown and gone? Put Christ-centered books in their hands and point them to Scripture when they come to you for advice (and they will, eventually).
If you’ve been blessed with grandchildren, “teach them carefully” (CJB). Moms never stop being moms, right? And no one is ever too old to learn. Even if they roll their eyes, they’re still listening. Even if they shrug their shoulders, their ears are open.
Keep pouring out His truths. They will not return empty (Isaiah 55:10-11).
“Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:7
Gotta love this 24/7 approach to sharing God’s truths. “Talk about them all the time” (CEV), especially “at bedtime and the first thing in the morning” (TLB). More than three thousand years later, that’s still how it works at our house. Maybe yours too.
Driving down the road is a great time to talk to your kids about spiritual things. Since you have a captive audience, captivate them with God’s Word. Your passion will become their passion. Enthusiasm is positively contagious.
“Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.” Deuteronomy 6:8
Walking the streets of Jerusalem I marveled at Orthodox Jews with small boxes, called Tefillin, strapped to their arms and foreheads—a literal response to Deuteronomy 6:8, with verses from the Hebrew Bible tucked inside.
Even if you don’t “write down copies” (CEV) and “fix them as an emblem on your forehead” (NRSV), you might wear jewelry engraved with your favorite verses. When you “bind them around your neck” (Proverbs 3:3), you can be certain your faith will be showing.
“Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:9
The idea is to put His words where our families and friends will see them coming and going—“on the lintels, and on the door-posts” (WYC). Or maybe on framed prints and decorative pillows and serving trays. The idea is to see His truth everywhere we turn. Even a single word can prompt us to think about Him.
Though it may not be on their wish list, this is what people really want for Christmas: To know the One who came with salvation in His hands, offering His gift of love to a world in need. Thank you, Jesus.