Advent #2 2010
The Government Will Be On His Shoulders
As Christmas is a season of giving I want to help us focus on what we can give Christ this season and for our whole life.
Last week we looked at the phrase, "unto us a child is born" … "unto us a son is given" - in response to that, what can or should I give to Christ. Well the simplest and most important thing we can give Christ is to give him our lives. If you've never given your heart and life to Christ then you must do that.
But that is not the ultimate thing, that is just the beginning of a life lived toward Christ.
Our Text today says "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, Of the Increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and holding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this." Isaiah 9:6,7
Today I want us to focus on this phrase …
"And the government will be on his shoulders"
--<POWERPOINT – NATIVITY SCENE >--
Nativity scene … without Jesus …
- put all the "pieces" in place … this is perfect … now we just need to get a few costumes and we are ready to go …
what's missing? <Jesus is missing from set>
--<POWERPOINT COVER BABY >--
Oh that's ok right? We've got everything else.
We can dress them up and make them look good and no one will even notice that the baby is missing …
"It's alright as long as we have everything else, right?"
"Besides why does the baby always have to be the center of everything?"
- Ok … thank you guys for your help …
I've got to stop right here because I'm right on the edge of blasphemy and it makes ME uncomfortable.
Obviously we can't do a Christmas scene without Jesus …
This idea came to me Friday evening as Lisa and I were in an antique store and we saw these old hand carved wooden nativity pieces … cattle, sheep, wise men, shepherds, Mary and Joseph, … NO JESUS … you are kidding … NO JESUS in a MANGER SCENE?
But sometimes we think we can run our lives, even as Christians without Christ!
Could we do the Nativity scene but put Jesus over in the corner? NO --<POWERPOINT REMOVE COVER of BABY>--
He's got to be at the center, right?
Well … do we sometimes try to live our Christian lives that way?
Can we truly live the life of Christ as committed fully developed, fully devoted followers of Christ without the Lordship and center place of Christ in our lives?
Our text today says … the GOVERNMENT …
1. The Government - RULE
What is GOVERNMENT -
Some of you think government is a synonym for ineptitude or ignorant
Some of you think government is a synonym for invasion of my rights, privacy or just a necessary evil
Alright a little Language lesson … might help us understand this word
The Hebrew word translated here is the word misrah (mis-raw) - means - Rule, government, dominion (supreme authority)
Government is the way it is translated into English here
Suffix - "-ment" - concrete result, object, or agent of a specified action (i.e. an entanglement is the result of something being entangled). It also means - concrete Instrument of a specified action (i.e. entertainment is the means by which I am entertained)
"Govern" - means to exercise continuous sovereign authority over; especially: to control and direct the making and administration of policy
What does Sovereign mean? (One who has sovereignty), and what is Sovereignty?
Well that word is used much today especially in some theological discussions … but let me take a side dash for a minute …
I am reminded of my favorite quote in the movie "The Princess Bride" … "I don't think means what you think it means" –
Many would say that Sovereignty means that God directly controls EVERY thing, every decision, every outcome …
Well … Webster's defines the word this way - Supreme power, especially over a body politic - freedom from external control, one that is autonomous –
So … Sovereignty is One who is completely, in control, doesn't need anyone else in order to be in control, and is the highest power.
It doesn't mean that a Sovereign cannot give certain decisions or control over to another … and not remain Sovereign.
Anyway having defined govern and "ment" as a suffix, we can see a full definition of "government" pertaining to God as:
the concrete result of the continuous supreme power, authority, direction, and control of the administration and decision making in your LIFE
Did you get that … let me say that again …
Government of God pertaining to me and my life is:
the concrete result of the continuous supreme power, authority, direction, and control of the administration and decision making in your LIFE
So … unto us a child is born, a son is given … and the Government … WILL BE …
2. Will Be -
A Word of Prophesy
THE NASB says the government will "rest"
THE YLT says “the princely power is on his shoulders
Hayah - haw-yah - - it means - to become, to be, to exist, to come about
The Government will be, exist, come about, on his Shoulders …
You see I have read somewhere or heard somewhere that "every Knee WILL bend to confess that Jesus Christ is LORD".
The question is a question of WHEN …
If you have NEVER bent your knee in submission to Christ and you wait till then … it will be too late.
BUT Christian, we are going to spend eternity in submission to Christ … and Heaven is going to be a WONDERFUL place.
Why? Because we are going to submit to God's will, ways, and purposes.
So, you want the closest thing to Heaven on earth?
If so, then, surrender to the Government of Christ in your life TODAY
What was the closest this planet has ever had to Heaven? It was the Garden of Eden. Why, because God ruled and reigned.
We say that New Life Baptist Church is to be a Church Like Heaven?
That means that New Life Baptist Church should be a place where the Government rests NOT on the majority vote of the church, not on the leadership of Deacons, not on the direction of a Pastor, but the Government, the rulership, the direction will rest on Jesus Christ.
Writer Dallas Willard, in his book "The Divine Conspiracy" says
"The only place in all of God's creation where his effective will is allowed to be absent is in the heart of man"
Notice I said “ALLOWED” because God is STILL sovereign, still in charge, even when he ALLOWS us to make choices contrary to HIS will
Folks, the Government WILL BE … his … SO … let's just start Eternity practice NOW … Let the Government REST on him
The Government … Will Be / Will Rest … on his Shoulders
3. On His Shoulders - Bearing the Weight
Government … Sovereignty … is a TERRIBLE BURDEN
IT is a HEAVY Weight
Have you ever noticed how Presidents AGE while they are in office. The Presidency is like Dog years. It is amazing how most presidents look older exponentially when they finish service and within a few years, they look younger.
Some of you are old enough to remember Jimmy Carter's Presidency … he only served One Term, and he was a relatively young man in his 50's when he took office. Yet after the Hostage Crisis in Iran that extended for a year, he looked 20 years older it seemed when he left office. To me he looks better today, 30 years later than he did in 1980.
The weight of Government, Sovereignty, is Heavy
You and I were NEVER meant to bear the burden of Sovereignty
Stop shouldering the RULE of your life … give it to Christ
God has given you a Mind, Will, and Emotions, but you CAN CHOOSE, to give back to him the Lordship that he deserves and that he enjoys in every other part of the universe!
The Sun submits to him
The Moon submits to him
The winds are his
The waves are his
The Earth spins exactly as he ordained it to, EVERY DAY, EVERY SECOND
Spring, Summer, Winter, Fall come in that order EVERY year,
Gravity continues to work the same way EVERY time I jump …
Mankind is the ONLY part of God's Creation where the effectual will of God is allowed to be absent … But it doesn't HAVE to be that way
We CAN give it back to him
Jesus will NEVER burden us down
"My Yoke", he says "is easy, and my Burden is light."
It becomes a HEAVY burden when WE get OUT of HIS yoke and bear the weight upon ourselves
Why is his YOKE easy? Because he is on the other side of the Yoke … HE is bearing the weight
We are NOT to shoulder the burden, but we ARE to shoulder the Cross … HIS Cross
What did the cross of Christ represent, that we should take it up? Are we to be the sacrifice of the world? NOOOOO!
His cross is
c. Submission to the Plan of God
Did you know that Jesus did NOT bear the burden of Sovereignty either when he was here on EARTH?
The scripture said the Government WILL BE on his Shoulders.
Why? Because when he was HERE … "He Emptied himself", Philippians 2, of his privileges, rights, and he became "OBEDIENT to death on the cross"
While he was on this earth, Jesus did NOT bear the Burden of Sovereignty
Who Did? God the Father bore the burden of Sovereignty
Jesus Submitted to the Sovereignty of The Father
"I can only do what I see my Father doing" John 5:19
“I can do nothing by myself” John 5:31
"I say … just what the Father has told me to say" John 12:50
He prayed "I have completed everything you gave me to do, I have brought YOU glory" John 17:4-5
Jesus humbled himself
He Became OBEDIENT
He Submitted to the Father … "not my will but yours be done" Luke 22:42
Are you burdened under the weight of Sovereignty in your life? You don't have to be burdened … Is it right for Jesus to be Lord of our lives? YES?
Then is it a sin when he is NOT Lord of our Lives?
"not sure"? –
"that's a gray area isn't it" ?
James 4:17 "to him who knows what is right and does not do it, to him it has become sin"
"How do we do it Pastor? How do we let the Government REST on HIS Shoulder?”
I've already given you action points, let's say it again and make a decision to DO it.
We cannot be HEARERS of the Word ONLY. James says we must be DOERS of the Word. Remember, He says if we are hearers only we are like one who looks in the mirror and walks away forgetting what they look like.
Catch someone looking at their watch sometime, and then ask them "what time is it" 90% of the Time they will look at their watch again. WHY? Because they looked at their watch but they didn't really pay attention
The problem is NOT with the WATCH … the problem is with the Wearer,
The Observer is NOT appropriating the information contained within the watch.
The Problem is NOT with the eyes, it is NOT with the arm, nor with the information, the problem is that the information, that is from the watch, on the arm, to the eyes is not received INTO the brain and allocated into the life.
So … we must be DOERS of the Word of Truth that we hear today.
How? How can we go out of here today with Christ as Lord.
Well He must be IN your Life before He is Lord of your life. So you must give yourself to him and receive him IN
But most of us are already there so how?
- 1. Humble Yourself - The biggest thing there is recognizing what YOU are and what HE is
a. YOU are a Steward
b. HE is Sovereign - King, Ruler, Lord
c. a Steward has been given authority over something that belongs to someone else and surrenders to the will of the Master and seeks to use what they have to bring honor, glory, increase to the Sovereign
- 2. Obedience - well you know what that is, I know what that is, we just need to DO it! --
a. The best thing to do in the area of Obedience is DO the things YOU KNOW he has said to DO.
b. Do NOT do the things he has said NOT to do.
c. Let other things take care of themselves.
d. As you respond in obedience to him and allow him to have control over your life, he will begin to transform you into his likeness.
d. As he begins to do that … he will reveal other areas of your life where he needs obedience.
e. Just keep responding to him in faith and obedience and the government will rest on his shoulder.
- 3. Finally, Surrender, or Submit to the Plan of God.
a. That's what Jesus did every day on this earth, and is evident in the Garden … "not my will but yours be done" -
b. I preached a sermon a many years ago about the Garden. "Dead in the Garden", The battle of the cross is WON in the Garden.
c. Bearing the Cross of Christ is decided on our knees in the Garden.
d. Begin every day saying "Lord, I want to be YOUR agent for YOUR agenda in the World and in MY world today."
e. We need the attitude that says with the old hymn "This is my Father's World"
What happened as a result of Jesus' humility, obedience, and submission?
Phil. 2:9-11 - … God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father"
You can be sure that if you will humble yourself in obedience and submission to God, he will take care of you
James 4:10 - humble yourself before the Lord and he will lift you up
What can you give to Christ today? RULE - Lordship of my Life
Gal 2:20 - I am crucified WITH Christ, yet I live, yet not I but Christ lives in me, and the life I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me
Luke 9:23 - If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me
A.W. Tozer says that people who are Crucified with Christ has 3 distinguishing characteristics
a) they are facing only one direction
b) they can never turn back
c) they don’t have plans of their own
What is My Gift to the Child born, the Son Given? … My Gift should be to
Make him Lord of My Life … what will you give him today?
The greatest gift we could give Jesus is to die to self and live in him but we need to know what that means …
Listen very carefully to me and open your hearts and minds and look deeply into the mirror.
I was reading the writings of A.W. Tozer and he talked about the Old Cross, or the Cross of Christ, and the dangerous “new cross” that is often taught.
He explains that the new cross is a cross of redirection and reformation, but that’s not what the Cross of Christ is.
Christian, if I were to tell someone today that they didn’t need to die to themselves and come to Christ as the only way to salvation, you would rightfully ask me to give up this pulpit, because that is not the truth.
You have heard me say that people don’t need reformation, they need recreation.
Folks Jesus Carried his cross to Golgotha and there He died.
Tozer writes … “The Old Cross is a symbol of death. The man in Roman times who took up his cross and started down the road had already said good-bye to his friends. He was NOT coming back. He was going out to have it ended. The cross made no compromise, modified nothing, spared nothing; it slew all of the man, completely and for good. It did not try to keep on good terms with its victim. It struck cruel and hard, and when it had finished its work, the man was no more.”
Folks, I stand before you week in and week out to preach the truth of the gospel.
If you do not know Christ as your Lord, you need to give your life to Jesus Christ today, open your heart to him and let him be the Lord of your life. Don’t reform, be recreated.
But Christians, we who say we have taken up our cross have to keep headlong down that path
If God says it we need to do it, if he is challenging us to honesty it should be in all things not just as long as it doesn’t cramp our style
If he says to tithe we can’t just start giving a little more and think, oh that’s enough.
If he says to share a witness we can’t say well I’m only going to witness with my life.
We used to sing “I have decided to follow Jesus … no turning back, no turning back”
What cross are we carrying? The Cross of Christ is a cross that dies to self, makes Jesus Lord and is CONVINCED that He is the ONLY WAY
Do you have a gift today?
You who have never given yourself to Jesus …
- Turn from your sin and give him your life of allegiance today
You who are His child but have wandered into the life of comfort and ease who are taking your own path …
- Give him your hand today, repent and follow him fresh and new today, shoulder HIS cross, take his yoke and learn from him today