December 7, 2022
Thank you for being conscious of the need for prayer. We are the body of Christ and are all inseparably connected by His grace. When one member hurts, we all hurt. We pray for ourselves. We pray for our family members. We pray for our local church family. We pray for our neighbors, and today we pray for the prodigals and for the need of revival.
As we enter the month of December and anticipate the day on which we celebrate the birth of the King, let’s consider some of the writers that prophesied directly of this momentous event and person. (With 4 Wednesdays this month, we will look at the books of Isaiah, Micah, Hosea, and Jeremiah.)
Isaiah lived in the city of Jerusalem and spoke for God during the years prior to the captivity of Israel by the Babylonians. The first section of his book (up to chapter 39) was primarily a message of judgement because of their corruption and idolatry. The second half was a message of hope, that God cared deeply for the needs of His people and for His own glory.
God had planned a way to fulfill His covenant promise to His people and use them to bring great blessing to the world. The way was through His only Son!
One of the most beautiful recorded prophecies concerning the coming Deliverer is found in Isaiah 9:6-7:
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
What a glorious prospect for a downtrodden nation! All their hopes and dreams and future blessings were centered on this one beautiful child to be born and son that was to be given!
We, too, as God’s people, rejoice in the fullness of His person. Whether it is on a global scale or personal level, the magnificence of this awesome person reaches each of us. Notice how beautifully He is described:
His shoulders will bear the weight of universal government. The expression “broad shoulders” conveys the idea of handling responsibility well. Many earthly rulers have fought their way to dominance and control. None have been able fully meet the needs of all its subjects. It is the reality of failing men leading failing people.
The child born to Mary was given by God with the purpose of reigning in perfect, glorious supremacy. He can and will bear the responsibility perfectly.
Regardless of the levels of human government that are over you at present, know that our King has come and He is in control.
His name will reflect the vast wisdom of His person. He is the wonderful counselor. Some acquire great knowledge, yet lack the wisdom to put it into practice. True wisdom is from above and provides necessary help for every situation (James 3:17).
The wonder of the gospel is that our Lord Jesus Christ possesses all the wisdom of God, and through Him we have access to it. “And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30 ESV).
His power and authority will enable Him to enact God’s purposes. He is the mighty God. This is the miracle of the incarnation. John put it in clear words in his gospel when he said, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1,14).
The little baby in Mary’s arms was none other than the mighty God. He became one of us, and in doing so, He was able to die and provide salvation.
His heart will display the care of His everlasting Father. He is the everlasting Father. While the trinity displays the uniqueness of each person in the Godhead — the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit — the characteristic of fatherly tenderness is inherent in each one.
Jesus fully displayed who the father is (Colossians 1:15), and is presently engaged in the lives of His people. In each hurt, each care, and each problem and disappointment, He is with us and will provide the care we need.
His cross will provide peace to a hostile world. He is the prince of peace. The world is in such chaos, and evil seems to be so rampant. The death of Christ on the cross was the groundwork needed to bring both personal and universal peace.
In writing to the Colossian believers, Paul reminds them about the work of Christ. He says, “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross” (Colossians 1:19-20).
Peace was made at the cross. Peace can be enjoyed when we put faith in Christ. Peace will be the new norm when Christ returns in His glory.
His reign will increase through the unending ages of the ages. His kingdom is abundant and will continue to grow.
Peace, justice, and righteousness will be central characteristics in the coming kingdom. These are the qualities that will ensure growth and prosperity.
As we anticipate and wait for that resplendent day, let's continue to enjoy and pursue the beauty of our Savior and King!
Love in Christ,
Bryan and Rachel