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God’s Christmas gift to us

24 Dec

As we move closer to Christmas, our hearts ache for a season of true peace and goodwill toward men.  But as we know too well, the short days and long nights bring no peace. 

World leaders meet to try and make peace.  United Nations peacekeeping forces try to enforce the peace.  Yet peace and goodwill remain elusive.  If our leaders cannot bring peace, what hope do we have?

In the Old Testament, the prophet Isaiah proclaimed that peace would be brought by a child.  He would be the one to establish a permanent ceasefire.  As Isaiah explained, this child, whose birth we celebrate at Christmas, was God’s gift to us.

In Isaiah 9:6-7, we read, “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.”

Isaiah used four descriptive names or two-word titles which revealed the character of this child.  The child who was born, this son who was given would be both God and man. 

When we are discouraged and ready to give up, we need a counselor who will come alongside and encourage us.    

God’s gift to us is more than just one who dispenses good ideas.  As Isaiah explained, he is the Wonderful Counselor.  He is a supernatural counselor who will implement supernatural wisdom in discharging his office.  He has the wisdom to rule justly.

Where do you need wisdom?  Do you face difficult decisions about your children or parents?  Do you face problems at work for which you don’t have answers?

The promise of Christmas is that we can go to the Wonderful Counselor and know that he will give us wisdom. 

Do you ever feel like David, facing a Goliath with only a sling and a few stones?  Can you identify with Gideon, being heavily outnumbered and short on resources?  Do you face a situation like Mary, having to trust God for seemingly impossible promises? 

Take comfort in the assurance that our Savior is a powerful warrior.  He is the irresistible battle champion who will obtain the final victory in the arena of history.  He is the Mighty God.

Where do you need God to intervene on your behalf?  Do you need him to change the heart of your employer? 

God hears those prayers and it is in just such situations of hopelessness and helplessness that his almighty power is born.  It is there that God leaves his treasure.

The promise of Christmas is that the Mighty God he has the strength that we lack. 

What does a good father do?  A good father protects his children from those who want to harm them.  He provides for their needs and many of their wants.  A good father cares, counsels, accepts, loves, challenges, and encourages his children. 

Yet with all of their good intentions, earthly fathers come and go.  Earthly fathers grow old.  Some become ill and die.  Others serve in the military and are killed in battle.  Still others abandon their children.

In contrast, our Savior is an Eternal Father.  He will never leave or abandon us.  There is no end to his protection and provision.    

Where do you need a father’s touch in your life?  Do you need to crawl up into your father’s lap and pour out your heart to him?  Where do you need your father to step in and tell you that it will be all right?

The promise of Christmas is that the Eternal Father will love and care for his children forever. 

As much as we desire peace, we cannot achieve it through our own efforts.  Fortunately for us, our Savior is the one who brings in and maintains peace.  Not only is he a peacemaker, he is the Prince of Peace.

Where do you need to experience God’s peace?  Are there problems and concerns that are troubling you?  Are there broken relationships that you would like God to heal and restore?

The promise of Christmas is that the Prince of Peace both makes peace and gives us peace. 

More than 2,500 years ago, the prophet Isaiah told of one who would be the hope of mankind, the long awaited Messiah who would establish an eternal kingdom based on justice and righteousness.  Isaiah’s important pronouncement told that this one would be a God-man: a child born, referring to his humanity, and a son given, referring to his deity. The four names ascribed to this one give further insight into His character and ministry:

He is the Wonderful Counselor.  He is our guide through life, and our advocate before the heavenly Father.  He is the one who freely gives wisdom when we ask.

He is the Mighty God.  He is the God before whom every knee shall one day bow.  He is the one who intervenes and works on our behalf.

He is the Everlasting Father.  He is the God of eternity.  He is the Father who cares for and meets the needs of his children.

He is the Prince of Peace.  He is the one who will bring a true tranquility among all nations.  He is the one who brings peace to our troubled hearts.  He is the one who heals broken relationships.

As you long for joy and peace during this Christmas season, remember that Jesus Christ is God’s Christmas gift to us.  The more intimately we know the “child-Son,” the deeper grows our love and devotion for Him.  Worship Him even now and throughout this season as you sing of the joys of Christmas.

 
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Posted by on December 24, 2008 in Christmas, Scripture, Theology

 

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