GN vol. 20, no. 12, 1 December 1929
Peace on Earth! Good will toward Men.
THE CHRISTMAS GOSPEL.
The wise men of the East, in their quest for Him Who was born King of the Jews, did not stop until they came to the manger in which He lay. And the greatest difficulty they would have would be to get through the inn to the stable beyond. "Where is He that is born King of the Jews?" Go through the inn, and what do you find? No encouragement there! No king dwelt there! They knew nothing about Him! But they went on to the stable beyond, in spite of those in the inn. They were wise enough not to be turned back by those in the inn. And lo, in a manger, at the end of the stable, they found the King of kings, the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes.
God has said: "In the last days I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh." We are in the last days, and the people are looking for an outpouring of the Spirit. And they go to the inn. The inn is full of worshippers come up to worship, and they ask: "Where is the outpouring?" They know nothing about it. They passed by the babe. If they were told it was a babe they would not understand. Men hear the crying, the prattling, the jabbering, the unintelligible sound of the babe (Isa. 28: 11), and they cannot understand. The King of kings has hidden in the little babe of Bethlehem; and in the stammering lips and other tongues of these latter days is hidden the Spirit of the most High God. It is good to pass through the inn of modern ecclesiasticism to the place where, from out the mouths of the babes and sucklings, you can hear God-ordained praise in the Spirit.
The tender heart of the mother could interpret the crying, the cooing, the prattling of the babe, even in a stable. And the heart that is tuned of the Lord can hear the music of eternity coming through the weak babes, A few wise men have found the stable, and they have found Jesus there, but not many wise, not many mighty; only the weak, the base things, the things that are not have found out where God is now giving His Spirit: "Even so Father, for so it seemed good in Thy sight."
Those wise men said: "We have seen His star in the East!" As they looked up, their feet were guided aright. The glow of that star went right into their hearts, and they followed their hearts. Are you looking for His star? If you see the star, you will soon see the glory of God. The Daystar is arising. But if you are looking at the dazzling lights of the world you will miss the faint glow of the rising of His star. It is rising, slowly, quietly, to many unnoticed. But to those who look for Him shall He appear a second time. Jesus loves to hide Himself. "Ye shall seek Me and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart." It is a heart search for His heart.
Few there be that find this way. Do not miss the doorway because it is secluded, because it is narrow, because the gateway is unpretentious. The despised narrow way opens into the wide, glorious way of eternity. Blessed, eternally blessed, are those who not only find the way, but continue in the way. Jesus will go all the way with you, Every step that you take in this way will be in Him. It is a narrow way, because if you step to the right or the left you Etep out of Him. The way is only as wide as He is. From start to finish He is the way. —"Word and Work."
THE NEGLECTED GUEST.
I do not know the reason—false or true,
Which ruled the heart of him who kept the inn.
It was enough howe'er to shut the door,
And answer that there was no room within.
How little did the keeper realise
What privilege and honor waited there,
Brought by the strangers to his very door,
If he but open it and room prepare.
It was not that he sought to do them harm;
In turning them aside he had no plot.
His time of visitation waited him,
The tragedy was that he knew it not.
What reason rules the keeper of thy heart?
Are all the doors unbarred and opened wide?
Is room prepared for Him who waits without?
Or do you answer still—"no room inside"?
It is not that you wish to do Him harm;
It may be that you hold Him in respect.
But even so if he remain outside
You suffer fatal loss in. such neglect.
Then open wide the door and make Him room,
He comes to give thee peace and joy within,
Let open hearts be made His natal place
That He might reign as King within the inn.
—John Wright Follette.
Notes found in a Bible of 1880:
The Natural Heart is—
Evil Heb. 3: 12.
Desperately Wicked Jer. 17: 9.
Weak Ez. 16: 30.
Deceitful Jer. 17: 9.
Deceived Is, 44: 20.
Impenitent Rom. 2: 5.
Double Ps. 12: 2.
Rebellious Jer. 5: 23.
Hard Ez. 3: 7.
Stony Ez. 11: 19.
Froward Prov. 17: 20.
Despiteful Ez. 25: 15.
Stout Isa. 10: 12.
Haughty Prov. 18: 12.
Proud Prov. 21: 4.
Perverse Prov. 12: 8.
Foolish Rom. 1: 21.
God can make it—
Clean Ps. 51: 10.
Good Luke 8: 15.
Fixed Ps. 112: 7.
Faithful Ne. 9: 8.
Understanding 1 Kings 3: 9.
Honest Luke 8: 15.
Contrite Ps. 51: 17.
True Heb. 10: 22.
Soft Job 23: 16.
New Ez. 18: 31.
Sound Ps. 119: 80.
Glad Ps. 16: 9.
Established Ps. 112: 8.
Tender Eph. 4: 32.
Pure Matt. 5: 8.
Perfect 1 Chr. 29: 9.
Wise Prov. 11:29.