Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Christmas Lesson

            The Christmas season is here. Fresh trees for sale, decorations going up, people making plans, Christmas parties to attend and gifts being bought to celebrate this most wonderful time of year. This week I started writing our Christmas lessons for our children’s ministry. The Lord had put a few verses on my heart to focus on this year. The first one was Isaiah 9:6, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given and the government shall be upon His shoulders and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
                Christmas is not about the giving of gifts, it is about the One Perfect Gift that was given to all mankind. John 3:16 tells us that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” Not many people think of John 3:16 as your traditional Christmas verse, but it truly captures the Christmas story.
                We have all sinned. We have gone against God; we have rejected His leading, His love, His care for us over and over again. We have done wrong, all of us have. There are times in our lives when all seems hopeless, that there is no light at the end of this tunnel we are in. But Isaiah tells us of One who is to come who will bring light to our darkness, He will save His people. God will be born in the form of a child and He will save us from the destruction that we deserve.
                The first title ascribed to Jesus in Isaiah 9:6 is “Wonderful Counselor”. Many bibles have a comma between these two words, but they are in fact one word. Wonderful Counselor means that Jesus came to teach us, He is the one with great wisdom and leadership. This also tells us of Jesus’ human side. Jesus was known and is known by many to be a great and wise teacher. Jesus came to show us how to live for God in this body of flesh. He came to be wisdom for us.
                The second title listed is “The Mighty God”. This tells us of His deity. Jesus was God in the flesh, in all His power, in all His might, He was God and is God and forever will be God. It also tells us that God came to fight for our souls. The word “mighty” describes a warrior or a hero. Jesus came to defeat sin and death. He is our Mighty God, our warrior; He is our One True Super Hero!
                The third title is “The Everlasting Father”. This title describes the love God has for us, His people. He could have left us to wallow away in our sins, and destroyed us all. But He chose to come and to show forth His love for us. God, from the beginning has desired a personal relationship with each one of us. He has always desired to shed His love on us, but when we sinned, we caused a divide between us and God. But His heart has always been and always will be to heal that rift and to shower us with His love.
                The last title, the fourth title is “The Prince of Peace.” Jesus came to heal the rift between us and God. We are no longer apart from God, but we now have full access to Him through the gift of Jesus Christ. We have resisted God, rejected God, walked away from God. But God gives us a way to come back. He gave to us a Son, a child, born to bear the sins of the world, born to bear my sins, your sins. He came so that we could have that perfect harmonious relationship with God our Father that was intended from the beginning.
                When God created this world and placed man in it, His desire was to have a relationship with each one of us. But we sinned, and we still sin. We have fallen short of the glory of God. God gave us rules to follow, The Ten Commandments, but we couldn’t keep them, we kept right on sinning and going against God. But we didn’t stop there. We began to blame God for all the bad that was happening to us, even though God clearly tells us that the “wages of sin are death”. We began to see God as a judgmental, harsh, cruel God who was absent from our lives. We walked farther and farther away from Him.
                But God, in His perfect love for us, sent a child to be born with a special mission. Jesus was born to reveal the Father to us. Jesus shows us that God is not mean and cruel; He does not look upon us and wish we were never born. God looks at us with desire, with love, with a hope that we will turn to Him and be united to Him once again. Sin separated us from God, but Jesus came to heal that breach and bring us into personal, intimate fellowship with God.
                Today, this Christmas season, the Lord God is sending out His messengers again to proclaim the good news to us, the good news that Jesus Christ was born, He was the promise gift and we only have to receive in our hearts this precious gift. We have a choice this Christmas season, we can either continue to reject God and suffer the consequences of our sins, or we can accept the free gift of Jesus Christ.
                I pray that this Christmas you will see Jesus as your Wonderful Counselor, your Mighty God, your Everlasting Father and your Prince of Peace. He came so that you could walk in perfect harmony with God. Won’t you accept that gift today?