Away in a Manger (Friday)


I love Thee, Lord Jesus

Look down from the sky

And stay by my cradle

‘Til morning is nigh

 

Be near me, Lord Jesus

I ask Thee to stay

Close by me forever

And love me, I pray

 

I love that verse so much.  Despite being a touch too tone deaf to sing it prettily, I’ve always found the music and the words to be calming and really put me in the Christmas mood.  The way it asks Jesus to stay with us until morning always brings to my mind the verse that says “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”  While it’s so sweet to ask Jesus to stay close to us, this verse is providing details on exactly how to make that happen.  You see it starts with the ask. Like in the song, our actions invite Jesus into our hearts in lives.  We must willingly draw near to Him to recognize that He is always close by and loving us.  The verse I mentioned before is James 4:8 and the passage around it provides a little more insight into how exactly we can draw near to Jesus.  The message version of James 4: 7- 10 says,

“So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.”

As we celebrate Advent on Sunday and the coming time when Jesus came to be literally near us, I felt really challenged by this passage.  Where in my life do I need to yell no to Satan? In what ways can I adjust my routine and habits to get serious about drawing close to Jesus? How can I say a quiet yes to God in more ways than just seeing this song?

 

p.s. If you’re feeling like being convicted today, the rest of James 4 also has some more specific tips and wisdom regarding this issue.  You can check it out here 🙂