Monthly Archives: December 2011

Everlasting Father

“ . . . And He will be called . . . Everlasting Father . . .” Isaiah 9:6
We have spent the last couple of weeks peeling away the outer wrappings of some of the gifts God gave us in Jesus. I pray that as you discover the value of the contents, your heart will be drawn to dig even deeper! We are barely scratching the surface, but as you pursue an intimate relationship with the Son of God, His gift of the Wonderful Counselor “will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I [Jesus] have said to you” (John 14:26).
One of the Holy Spirit’s jobs as our Counselor is to teach and reveal the deep things of God to each of us. Remember,
“We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.” 1 Corinthians 2:12
He desires you to KNOW, dear one. Our ignorance only keeps us from receiving His blessing.
Today we peer at the third name of God associated with Jesus’ birth in Isaiah 9:6. Christ opened the way for us to know and experience God as Everlasting Father. Recall the familiar words of John 14:6:
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Jesus is our only way to know God as Father. To belong to the Father, we must know and belong to the Son. John 14:7 adds these words, “If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well.”
God desires for you to know Him intimately as Father. Perhaps that thought doesn’t offer you much comfort. The stamp of sin […]

Mighty God

“ . . . And he will be called . . . Mighty God  . . . “ Isaiah 9:6
The birthday of our Lord is quickly approaching! I pray this Christmas will open for you a new revelation of who Jesus really is. He is so much more than I ever thought He was. I hope you will also discover that Jesus is full of delightful surprises. He won’t just meet your expectations. He exceeds them!
Last week, we saw that Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection paved the way for the Wonderful Counselor to come, the third person of the Divine Trinity. Adam’s choice to step outside of God’s will withdrew the Spirit’s presence from mankind and left us disconnected from God, but Christ’s atoning sacrifice for our sin released Him to dwell in man once more. The fellowship of the Garden has been restored! God now resides within all who believe in Jesus by His Spirit, sealing us as His own, and guiding us along the path of His will. Our obedience keeps us from quenching the Spirit and allows Him to do His job!
God’s perfect counsel in our lives isn’t the only gift Jesus gave us. The outpouring of God’s Spirit on mankind also opened up another new way we can know and experience God. Acts 1:8 teaches,
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Dear one, the manifestation of God’s power accompanies the advent of the Holy Spirit! The might of God comes to rest within us, enabling us to become something entirely new. The ordinary becomes extraordinary […]

Wonderful Counselor

“. . . And He will be called Wonderful Counselor . . . “ Isaiah 9:6
Have you ever wished you could have your own, personal adviser? Someone who had all the answers, could help you avoid pitfalls, and would lead you on the path to prosperity? Allow me to introduce you to one of the amazing gifts God gave us through His Son. Meet the Wonderful Counselor.
As my pastor so eloquently reminded us last Sunday, God’s gift to us in the manger cannot be separated from His purpose accomplished through the cross. Even the angels’ announcement proclaiming Jesus’ birth to the shepherds foretold His fate. “Do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11).
Jesus came to the earth to save. He was born to die, a perfect sacrifice that would overcome the power of sin and death and unite us again in sweet fellowship with the God who made us. Not only would His death and resurrection provide for the forgiveness of our sin, but His return to the Father would usher in the release of the Wonderful Counselor.
As Jesus was nearing the end of His earthly ministry, He tried to prepare His disciples for His departure. As you may imagine, they didn’t take it well. I mean, would you? Jesus, the Son of God had lived among them. They repeatedly witnessed the miraculous as God’s power revealed itself throughout His ministry, proving Him to be the long-awaited Christ . . . chains were broken, sick were healed, water turned to wine, and loaves […]

To Us a Son is Given

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
Isaiah 9:6
December ushers in one of my very favorite seasons. The holidays have elicited wonder in me for as long as I can remember. As lights were hung and holly and evergreens made their way inside our home, the joy flickering in my heart told me that this time of year was special. Christmas simply felt different than the rest of the year.
As a child, I looked forward to its advent with great anticipation. The arrival of Jesus’ birthday marked a season of celebration! I loved the family gatherings that accompanied Christmas, complete with caroling, special foods, and holiday smells.
Nothing held quite as much awe, however, as the sight of the gifts spilling out from under the tree. Extended family gathered in our home for Christmas, and large numbers of people meant a large number of gifts! Packages and ribbons beckoned our exploration, and I joined my brothers to examine the name tags, searching for the owner of each new possession. Joy would ripple through me when I found my name. This one’s for me.
And hope would rise to the surface. Perhaps this is the one I have been waiting for!
Do you remember how it felt to experience Christmas with the heart of a child? Can you recall the sensation of sugarplums dancing in your belly, a delightful mingling of anticipation and hope?
For many of us, much of the wonder of the holidays has been replaced by routine, busyness, and—let’s face it—work! Some no longer even experience the thrill of […]