Summary: God can and will lead us; we must be willing to follow.
All I Want for Christmas: Wonderful Counselor
December 4, 2011 Morning Service
Immanuel Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK
Message Point: God can and will lead us; we must be willing to follow.
Focus Passage: Isaiah 9:6
Supplemental Passage: Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6 NASB)
Introduction: Introduce the 4 part series, “All I Want for Christmas”: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, & Prince of Peace. Begin with comments about Christmas lists from years past and how they differ today. Comment about getting what is needed, rather than what is always “wanted.”
I. He Hears Us
a. I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me; hear my words. (Psalms 17:6 ESV)
b. This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. (1 John 5:14 NASB)
II. He Understands Us
a. "BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL," which translated means, "GOD WITH US." (Matthew 1:23 NASB)
b. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us,. (John 1:14a NASB)
c. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:15-16 NASB)
III. He Cares for Us
a. "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, 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." (Matthew 11:28-30 NASB)
b. See Illustration Below:
Invitation: We may be tempted to tell God that He simply doesn’t understand. Or we may be tempted to NOT take our problems to God because we don’t think He understands. But, because He “became flesh and dwelt among us”, He DOES understand. Take your burdens, your problems, your concerns to the Lord!
ILLUSTRATION: In his book, The Dance of Hope, Bill Frey tells of a blind student named John whom he tutored at the
University of Colorado in 1951. One day Bill asked John how he had become blind. The sightless student described an accident that happened in his teenage years. The tragedy took, not just the boy’s sight, but also his hope. He told Bill, “I was bitter and angry with God for letting it happen, and I took my anger out on everyone around me. I felt that since I had no future, I wouldn’t lift a finger on my own behalf. Let others wait on me. I shut my bedroom door and refused to come out except for meals.”
The story surprised Bill. Obviously a change had occurred. The student he assisted displayed no bitterness or anger. John traced the change to a challenge from his father. The dad was tired of the pity-party and ready for his son to get on with life. He reminded the boy of the impending winter and told him to mount the storm
windows. He said, “Do the work before I get home or else,” and he slammed the door on the way out.
John reacted with anger. Muttering and cursing all the way to the garage, he found the windows, stepladder,
and tools and went to work. In his mind he thought, “They’ll be sorry when I fall off my ladder and break my
neck.” But he didn’t fall. Little by little, he groped around the house and finished the chore.
That assignment achieved the dad’s goal. John reluctantly realized he could still work and began to reconstruct his life. Years later he learned something else about that day. He learned something not about himself, but about his father. When he shared these words with Bill, his blind eyes misted. He said, “I later discovered that at no time during the day had my father ever been more than four or five feet from my side.”