Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. People seem nicer, except in checkout lines. Christmas music with words about Jesus gets played in stores other than Chick-fil-A.
And who doesn’t love pictures with Santa?
How do you feel about Christmas? Depending on your experiences growing up, Christmas may not give you the warm fuzzies. Perhaps there is an empty chair around the dinner table.
Regardless of our personal experiences or feelings, Christmas is a reminder that God offers us the opportunity to be led by a Wonderful Counselor.
Isaiah is an interesting character in the Bible. He’s known as one of the Major Prophets and will be quoted in the New Testament over 65 times.
As a prophet, Isaiah had worked with godly rulers and ungodly rulers. In that sense, not much has changed. During the time we’re going to study, Isaiah is working with one of Israel’s most wicked kings – Ahaz.
- Ahaz built temples for his idols.
- He engaged in human sacrifice – his own sons in pagan worship.
- Basically, he had completely turned away from God.
What would you say to the people living in such hard times?
“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” (Isaiah 9:2)
Isaiah reminds us that there is a darkness in the world that we dare not deny. Along with that, like Isaiah himself. we often live in a world that is beyond our control.
Ahaz was a bad man and Isaiah knew that Israel was in trouble. How could Isaiah be so confident that things will turn around? In this darkest of moments comes one of the most important predictions about Jesus …
“6 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. 7 Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)
These titles express what Jesus is to you, in you, and for you.
The first title Isaiah gives to Jesus is this: Wonderful Counselor. Each of these words is important. Wonderful Counselor.
Betrand Russell was British philosopher and well-known atheist who died in 1970. He once wrote that at least half sins of mankind are caused by fear of boredom.
I’m not sure about his percentages, but I do believe we’ve lost our ability to experience wonder. Most people are living on substitutes and don’t even know it. As we approach the Christmas season, perhaps we need to recapture a sense of wonder about Jesus.
We need to appreciate the wonder of his birth. His conception, the circumstances. Wise men, the shepherds, the heavenly host of angels.
Then there is the wonder of his life. Jesus gave sight to blind people and opened deaf ears. He walked on water. He ate dinner with sinners.
Christmas leads us to Easter, the wonder of his death and resurrection. Jesus hung on the cross for six hours one Friday. He exchanged his life for mine. He bore my sins that I might gain his righteousness.
“He was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 1:4)
If there is a dullness in our lives, it is not caused by the circumstances outside us, but by the spiritual condition inside us. When we no longer see the wonder of Jesus, we will live on substitutes by default.
Jesus is truly wonderful. He is also our Counselor. Where you turn for help tells us a great deal about you. The list of possibilities is endless …
- Your pastor
Some of these are better options than others. You need Jesus more than you need anything else. Jesus the Counselor is the best option.
How does Jesus counsel us? There are three basic ways that Jesus helps us navigate the challenges of life.
- The primary way is through the word of God.
- The guidance of the Holy Spirit.
- The counsel of godly men and women.
As we enter this Christmas season, remember this: Christ’s birth is about God reaching out to you.
Experience and Background
- 25+ years of senior leadership experience
- masters in business administration (mba)
- presenter at the WFX National Conference
- former president, Church Planters of the Rockies
- helped start 2 for-profit tech companies
To get a better feel for my style and personality, you can watch past sermons on our YouTube channel.
Need an engaging speaker for your event or conference? At the moment, I am available on a limited basis to speak for seminars, workshops, or worship services. Click here to learn more.
I’ve written a few books that might help! You’ll find books on preaching, leadership, Ephesians, as well as my first novel. Follow this link to learn more.