Carols Part 3: Away in a Manger
Away in Manger was published in 1885 in a Lutheran Sunday School curriculum. No one is sure who wrote the lyrics to this song, but one thing is sure–it has touched the hearts of many people.
“The little Lord Jesus.”
There is something special about the fact that God loves us so much He was willing to humble Himself to our position and come as a baby to save us. God came in a lowly position, the “little” Lord, so we would realize no one is too low to receive His grace.
Luke 2:10-11 (ESV) There were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night . . . . And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
From the moment of Jesus’s birth, it is established that He is Lord!
JESUS IS LORD
The word “Lord” in the Greek is kurios (koo’-ree-os) meaning supreme in authority, controller, Lord.
We don’t have a problem with Jesus being the supreme in authority. We don’t mind calling Jesus, “Lord.” But we like the idea of control. Yet, while we think we have control, our lives spiral out of control. It’s only as we yield control to God that life starts working out.
- God has made Jesus Lord.
- We don’t make Jesus Lord.
- We simply surrender to His Lordship.
Luke 6:46 (NIV) Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?
THE PARTIALLY SURRENDERED LIFE
When we are partially surrendered, we give God some things—but not the areas we still want to hold onto.
- God says, “Honor the Sabbath and keep it holy.” But there is a football game on. Or, but I’m on vacation.
- God says, “Forgive those who sin against you.” But do you know what they did? There is no way I’m forgiving them.
- God says, “Don’t date someone who is not following me.” But she is really cute. There is no way. I’m gonna date her.
- God is my provider. But there is no way I’m giving 10% to Him.
The partially surrendered Christian does the same with gossip, lies, greed, sex—God will understand. We think we’re in control, but our lives are spiraling out of control.
Jesus is NOT a part time Lord and
He’s really not looking for part time followers.
The little Lord Jesus fully surrendered His life.
Matthew 10:39 (AMP) Whoever finds his [lower] life will lose it [the higher life], and whoever loses his [lower] life on My account will find it [the higher life].
This is repeated in Matthew 16:25, Mark 8:35, Luke 9:24, and John 12:25. The lower life is a selfish life. It’s a “me first, I want control, I don’t trust God” kinda life.
Proverbs 14:12 (NKJV) There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.
THE FULLY SURRENDERED LIFE
God has my best interest at heart. He’s smarter than me. He is Lord
Romans 14:7-8 (ISV) For none of us lives for himself, and no one dies for himself. If we live, we live to honor the Lord; and if we die, we die to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.
My wife belongs to me. Likewise, I belong to her. I am her husband. Our lives are way better because we belong to each other. This is the type of relationship God wants with us. I belong to You, Lord. You belong to me. And my life is way better because You are the Lord of it.
Matthew 7:21-23 (NLT) “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’ Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise . . . . 26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand.”