FOUR WISHES FOR YOU THIS CHRISTMAS FROM THE SON WHO WAS GIVEN
Intro: Suppose an alien from another galaxy came and visited earth during this season of the year. What do you think that visitor would conclude about Christmas? Would it decide that Christmas is about Santa or a Savior? Reindeer or a Redeemer? Jingle Bells or Jesus Christ? In our culture, we cannot seem to agree what to wish others during the holiday now. “Merry Christmas?” “Happy Hanukkah?” “Feliz Navidad?” Instead of objecting to the unbelieving world for wishing others a very neutral “happy holidays,” let us think biblically about some Christmas wishes that God has left for His church. We should expect the unconverted to act like they are unconverted and to leave Jesus out of this time of the year. However, we should expect the baptized to honor our Lord as the only worthy reason for the season. And, it turns out that Jesus has some Christmas wishes for us from the names Isaiah prophesied about Him.
Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
R.G. Lee – Jesus is the only one born with no earthly father but an earthly mother. He had no heavenly mother but a heavenly Father. He was older than His mother and yet every bit as old as His Father.
With more than 250 names and titles of our Lord scattered from Genesis to Revelation, Isaiah brings together 4 in a concise package that appear nowhere else in the Scriptures. Taken together, they encapsulate who Jesus is and what Jesus does.
Because of Who He is, I have four wishes for you this Christmas:
I WISH YOU COUNSEL…
“And His name will be called…Wonderful Counselor”
He is a wise counselor who solves my confusion.
Everyone receives some sort of counsel as they go about their lives. We either drink from the well of godly wisdom or the poison of the ungodly.
Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
Psalm 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.
We live in the day of the therapist. It has been said skeptically that a counselor is someone who will help you organize your hang-ups so that you can be unhappy more efficiently.
It was by a counselor that we fell into sin. Satan got Eve involved in psychoanalysis. In turn, she got Adam involved in group therapy, and together they plunged the whole world into insanity.
Yes, we were ruined by a counselor, but it is also true that we are redeemed by a Counselor!
The opposite of ungodly counsel is the law of the Lord.
Psalm 16:6 The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; yes, I have a good inheritance.
Psalm 16:7 I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel; my heart also instructs me in the night seasons.
Psalm 16:8 I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.
Consider the reach and the durability of God’s counsel…
Psalm 33:10 The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect.
Psalm 33:11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations.
Often, the counsel of the Lord begins with the challenge to change our minds. The reason we need counsel is because, in our fallenness, we get it wrong so much – we need to be reproved.
We show humble wisdom when we ask, “Where am I mistaken? What pitfalls await if I go down this road? Is this a blindspot?”
If we continue in the pride of living by our own wisdom and feelings (common sense), then God will allow us the harvest of the seeds we have sown…
Prov 1:23 Turn at my rebuke; surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you.
Prov 1:24 Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded,
Prov 1:25 Because you disdained all my counsel, and would have none of my rebuke,
Prov 1:26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes
Also in Proverbs we are introduced to the virtue found in multiple counselors filled with the Holy Spirit’s insight…
Prov 11:14 Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.
Prov 15:22 Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established.
Prov 19:20 Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days.
The humble blessing of being reproved and changing the mind under advisement of godly brethren…and the abandoning of making important life decisions privately and in secret…THIS IS THE GRACE OF GODLY COUNSEL!
Hebrews 13:17 Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.
The Lord has given you access to godly counsel in the form of the elders in your congregation. None of them wish to live your life for you, but all of them are pleased to serve Christ by delivering to you biblical counsel for your Christian walk.
So far, no one has testified that they have ever regretted seeking the Lord’s will by inquiring of the elders.
I WISH YOU GOD’S MIGHT…
“And His name will be called…Mighty God”
He is a worthy defender who shelters me from harm.
Our weaknesses magnify His strength. Mighty God means something like “hero-God” or “warrior-God”
God is mighty in creation…
Gen 1:3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.
God is mighty in the heavenlies…
Eph 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
God is mighty in valor…
Psalm 24:8 Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.
God is mighty in wisdom…
Psalm 147:5 Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.
In 2020, I wish for you the moment when all of your ingenuity fails, and all of your plans falter and the only One who can intervene and make it right does it for you. I pray that you will experience the strength of God and the power of His might.
I WISH YOU A FATHER FOR ETERNITY…
“And His name will be called…Everlasting Father”
He is a watchful father who showers me with compassion.
Consider the assurance that possessing eternal life in Christ brings…
John 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator; If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist; If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist; If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer; But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior.
1 John 5:11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.
1 John 5:12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
1 John 5:13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.
I WISH YOU PEACE FROM HEAVEN’S PRINCE…
“And His name will be called…Prince of Peace”
He is a wonderful comforter who clears my conscience.
In Luke 2:14, the angels sang to the shepherds about a child who would bring “peace on earth.”
Anxiety has become a billion dollar business in our culture. We medicate our worries more than we surrender them to God and His will. He wants us to trust Him in the chaotic seasons of life. We can trade worry and panic for peace from God.
Peace when life rages around you…
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
Peace that passes understanding…
Phil 4:7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Peace when considering our life’s mission…
John 20:21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”
Do you have some measure of confusion that needs to be solved? He’s the WONDERFUL COUNSELOR!
Has something made you afraid and you are seeking shelter from the harm? He’s the MIGHTY GOD!
Have you tried to make it on your own and it’s not working, and you need to be rescued? He’s the EVERLASTING FATHER!
Do you suffer from a defiled conscience and everything seems unsettled in your life? He’s the PRINCE OF PEACE!