I am empowered by God because Jesus came to value and serve us.
Read it: Isaiah 9:6-7
Think on it:
Christmas is the time we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Christ Child, to Mary and Joseph. We celebrate the story of the angels, the shepherds and the wise men. Unfortunately, sometimes that becomes the side story, and the Christmas tree, the decorations, the gifts, and the food, take over the celebration. I know that sometimes I forget to really focus on the wonder of it all. I don’t often think about the prophecy of Jesus’s birth told many, many years before He was born. When I do think about the story of Christmas, I tend to limit my thoughts on Jesus as this little child, forgetting who He was in all His completeness (before He was born and after He left this earth), and setting aside the real reason He came to this earth. The story of the birth of Christ can cause us to have a single focus – baby Jesus was born. There is so much more to this story.
Our Scripture passage this week, Isaiah 9:6-7 tells about the coming of this Baby. What I appreciate about this passage is the complete picture this gives us about who He was, is and will be.
- “For unto us a child is born” – Jesus was born as all humans are born. However, because Mary’s conception was a miracle of the Holy Spirit, He was a human but without sin. One theologian put it, “From the production of the egg in Mary’s ovary to the actual birth, the fetal state in Mary’s womb was entirely under the control, of the ministry of the Holy Spirit.”
- “To us a Son is given” – This Son was already in existence before His birth. John 1:1-2 says, “In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word (Jesus) was with God, and the Word (Jesus) was God. He was with God in the beginning.” This Child who was born, was God. Jesus is the earthly child of the Heavenly Father. Jesus was the Heavenly Child of an earthly mother. He was fully man, “a child is born,” and yet He was fully God, “a Son is given.”
- “The government will be on his shoulders” – When this Child was born, He came in all humility. He came the first time to lie in a manger, to be mocked and scorned, to be brutally killed. When He comes again, He will come as a King returning to the throne, from which He will rule over the earth (Zechariah 14:9). Isaiah 9:7 describes the type of kingdom He will establish. It will be a great government, one that is characterized by peace, justice and righteousness, and one that lasts forever. This Child we celebrate at Christmas, will carry this kingdom “on His shoulders” (verse 6) and “the zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish it” (verse 7).
- “And He will be called” – This speaks to the nature and character of this Child who was born. Here is a description of who He was, who He is, and who He will be. This is what this Child offers us today. These are the very things that He has promised us. These are the very things with which the Holy Spirit will empower us.
- Wonderful Counselor – Jesus is a counselor who is truly worthy of this name. He is always on call. He is infinite in His wisdom. Do you need wisdom today? Do you need guidance? Matthew 11:28-30 tells us to turn to this Wonderful Counselor, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
- Mighty God – There is nothing too hard for Jesus. He is all-powerful, all-knowing, ever-present. He tells us this in Jeremiah 32:27, “I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” Are you facing an “impossible” situation? Let the Mighty God empower you through whatever you are facing – He is able.
- Everlasting Father – This Child is our Abba, Father. He is loving, paternal, concerned, tender, faithful, and wise, a provider, guardian and protector. He will be all those things faithfully, forever. Psalm 103:13 says, “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.” Because He is our Father, we have at our disposal all those things that a child receives from their father – a heritage, an inheritance, confidence (Romans 8:15-18). Your Father empowers you with these things. Are you in need? They are there for you to claim as a child of the Everlasting Father.
- Prince of Peace – Even though this Baby, this Son of God, was born in a tumultuous time, He came to bring peace. When His kingdom is established on earth, peace will be the order of the day. Until that time, He brings peace to each person who allows Him to saturate their lives with only the peace He can give. Before He left the earth, He told us, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27) Are you in a tumultuous time? Do you need the peace that only He can give? He has already provided it for you. You just need to accept the empowerment of His peace.
Because the Son of God came to earth as a human baby, we are able to be empowered by God. Because the Son of God came to earth to atone for our sins, by dying on the cross, we are able to be empowered by God. Because the Son of God rose from the grave, and has promised to return to set up His Kingdom here on earth, we are able to be empowered by God.
During this Christmas season, don’t just celebrate the Baby in a manger. Celebrate, also, the Son who was given. This song from Handel’s “Messiah” instills in me that awe, that wonder, and that majesty of the coming of Jesus. It is a majestic song, telling about the majestic Child, the majestic Son of God, who will one day be the Majestic Ruler.
Pray about it:
“Father, thank you for sending Your Son to this earth on that very first Christmas. Thank you for allowing Him to be completely human, yet fully God. Thank you for the promise of the coming of Jesus to set up His kingdom here on earth. Thank you that because He came, I can have a Wonderful Counselor, a Mighty God, an Everlasting Father, and a Prince of Peace. This Christmas, help me to keep the awe and majesty of this event close to my heart, so I can celebrate the real wonder of Christmas. Amen.”
Act on it:
Who do you need to come alongside you and empower you today? Is it the Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, or the Prince of Peace? God has empowered you through your relationship with Him. Today, claim what He has for you.
Be sure to help your child focus on the real meaning of Christmas. Read the story of the birth of Christ to them. Tell them about how His birth was prophesied so long ago. Tell them about the real reason He came. Tell them that He is coming again. Tell them that, in the meantime, He has provided for us and empowers us with whatever it is we need. That is what Christmas is really all about.