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He Is The Wonderful Counselor

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He Is The Wonderful Counselor

Isaiah 9:2-6

                “I’m sorry you don’t like my Christmas gift,” the aunt said to her nephew, “but I asked if you preferred large checks or small checks.”  He replied, “I know, but I didn’t think you meant neckties.”

                Dad suggested that the family get him a gift that the whole family could get something out of.  So they did.  They bought Dad a new wallet.

                A part of Christmas involves the giving of gifts. We exchange gifts mostly because of our love for each other. Think about what the average person will spend on Christmas gifts this year. Another fact of the gift-giving tradition must come from the original Christmas scene when we learn of the Magi bringing gifts to King Jesus – gold, frankincense and myrrh. Believe it or not, Santa Claus did not create the first Christmas list. God did. It involves four gifts for you and me and all who will receive them. God’s Christmas list for all is found in Isaiah 9: 6. Let’s look at God’s perfect gift made just for you: Jesus is the Wonderful Counselor. I want us to start with verse 2 and first we are going to read it in the NIV and then let’s see how the Message puts it.  The NIV:

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as men rejoice when dividing the plunder. For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor. Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire. 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. (Is 9:2-6)

                Now let’s go back and how The Message puts it:

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. For those who lived in a land of deep shadows— light! sunbursts of light! You repopulated the nation, you expanded its joy. Oh, they’re so glad in your presence! Festival joy! The joy of a great celebration, sharing rich gifts and warm greetings. The abuse of oppressors and cruelty of tyrants— all their whips and cudgels and curses— Is gone, done away with, a deliverance as surprising and sudden as Gideon’s old victory over Midian. The boots of all those invading troops, along with their shirts soaked with innocent blood, Will be piled in a heap and burned, a fire that will burn for days! For a child has been born—for us! the gift of a son—for us! He’ll take over the running of the world. His names will be: Amazing Counselor, Strong God, Eternal Father, Prince of Wholeness. (Is 9:2-6)

                Did you catch the four gifts that God gave us?  We’ll go back to the NIV and it says in verse 6: And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  I want us to focus on just one of those names for the rest of the time this morning, the first one: Wonderful Counselor.

                In the King James Version this name is separated as “Wonderful” and as “Counselor” and that’s kind of what we are going to do here.  I want to take these two names and get the full meaning out of them so let’s think about Wonderful.

                Wonderful: of a quality that excites admiration or amazement.  Do you know what words you can use in place of wonderful?  Words like: magnificent, breathtaking, astonishing, brilliant, great or superb.  All of these words are interchangeable with wonderful – try it – Breathtaking Counselor, or astonishing counselor, brilliant counselor, great or superb counselor.  Wonderful was not just chosen because it was a big word – it was chosen because of its great meaning.  But let’s go beyond that.

                The fact that God sent His only Son to this earth is truly wonderful.  He did not send Jesus here as a time out a punishment, He sent Him so that we could better know/better understand the Father.  To show us that God was just that a Father who loves us very much.  And how does He do this, well think about it:

                Jesus Himself is all of the wonder of God, He is filled and pours out that wonder – the wonder of Life; Love; Forgiveness; Salvation; Hope; Dependability; Grace; Mercy; Truth; Strength, and the list goes on and on.

                It is actually a wonder that Jesus would come to earth in the first place.  Look at Philippians 2 verses 5-11:

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Php 2:5-11)

                We should be full of wonder that Jesus knows each of us personally, He knows our thoughts, He knows our wants our desires just like your best friend – isn’t that who knows you inside and out.  Well that is what Jesus longs to be is our best friend and it’s a wonder that He would want to do that.

                Along with that, it is a wonderful reality that Jesus desires to be a friend to each of us that is why He came to earth, to pay our slave price and set us free to become His friend for all eternity – that’s wonderful!

                But what about that name “Counselor” – listen to these definitions from the Encarta Dictionary: Counselor: somebody, usually a professional, who helps others with personal, social, or psychological problems; a professional who gives advice on such matters as careers, education, or health; a diplomat ranking below an ambassador or minister;  somebody such as a friend who gives advice.

                Add those definitions to the ones we have for wonderful and look at some of what we get: astonishing friend who gives advice or how about a great or superb professional who gives advice on such matters as careers, education, or health; somebody such as a friend who gives advice – those are great names but they are a bit longs so I really like Wonderful Counselor!

                Here’s something else about that name “Counselor” – in the Old Testament, the word “counselor” means “to lead with a plan.”  Jesus stands at the ready to lead your life – if you are ready to follow Him.  He draws us to Himself through His compassion.  And it’s great that when you need a counselor we have one that has been through it all before, He knows how to deal with us and does not second guess us.

                Another thing that makes this counselor different than most of those in our world today is that Jesus has no hidden agendas or ulterior motives in His counsel – He wants what’s best for us!

                Jesus is the best listener Who has ever existed.  And get this: “He is the Way, The Truth, and the Life!”  Jesus as counselor has promised to do something that no other counselor has promised to do – to be with us always!

                Three is a gift with your name on it this Christmas and every day of every year.  It is yours for the taking.  The “Wonderful Counselor” has come for you.  He may only seem like an insignificant baby, but He is God in the flesh.  Let Him hold you.  Allow Him to hold all things together in your life.  Spend time with Him.  He is listening.  Tell Him everything – your praises; dreams; hopes; ambitions; worries; tragedies, disappointments.  Ask Him to lead your life with His plans.

                Let the Wonderful Counselor come to you this Advent.  His amazing help and plan are God’s gift to you.  He will never break, wear out or go out of style.

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