Summary: A Christmas message concerning Christ’s roll as wonderful counselor in the Christian life.
Dakota Community Church
December 14, 2008 (pm)
And His Name Shall be Called -
We are taking a break from our Foundational Truth series for the month of December to celebrate the incarnation.
Last week I mentioned that as we walk with God the Holy Spirit within us begins to produce fruit that results in good works that come from faith and are thus acceptable to God. Good works never precede faith because anything not from faith is sin, this is what differentiates between Christian good deeds and the good deeds of unbelievers which God says are like “filthy rags”. Without faith in Jesus there is no earning of God’s favor.
In my talk I mentioned various ways this fruit of the Spirit may manifest itself, feeding the hungry, serving in the Sunday School, visiting the prisoners in Remand, or the sick in the hospital and speaking off the cuff I mentioned perhaps putting a tract in a neighbors mailbox, which is not something I would generally recommend but it just came out.
One youngster in the congregation turned to his mom and said, “That’s a good idea mom, can we put a Trap in our neighbors mail box?”
That may be more insightful than we would like to admit and although it may be a lot of fun it definitely is not the Christmas message we are hoping to promote.
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.
For a lot of people names don’t hold as much meaning as they once did. We name our children now so we can distinguish them from one another when we are yelling at a group. Kathy and I gave our boys Bible names and it seems to us that they have been shaped by them just knowing who they were named after.
In times past people were named based on actual qualities they possessed or were to possess sometimes prophetically from the Lord and sometimes based on the circumstances surrounding their birth. Over the next few services I want to look at the names prophetically ascribed to Jesus in Isaiah 9:6-7.
Last Sunday we looked at some of the “wonderful” qualities of Christ, He is a supernatural son, a sinless man, a suffering servant, and an all-sufficient savior; tonight we are going to look at Jesus our “wonderful counselor”.
We live in a world that constantly seeks sound counsel from qualified advisors.
Internationally the finest human minds are brought togeather to try to bring resolution through wise counsel.
Nationally the PMO is staffed by all sorts of counselors offering economic, social, political, and ideological advice.
Individuals seek out financial advice, marriage counselors, spiritual and health advisors, we look for legal advice and educational guidance counsel.
We all have times when we are in need of the counsel of a trusted friend with a listening ear and some solid experience.
That kind of advisor is not always readily available.
Many of us know what it is to suffer alone in our pain and isolation.
God saw this human need and addressed it in Jesus.
It is a great thing that God went to the trouble of speaking to Isaiah 700 years before the birth of Christ to proclaim that one of the names that would be ascribed to Christ is “wonderful counselor”.
The good news is that to those of us who will come to Him, Jesus stands prepared to be our trusted “wonderful counselor”.
Jesus is our “wonderful counselor” because He is:
1. Entirely capable
Have you ever taken the advice of an incompetent or unqualified counselor? Few things are more irritating than childless people who wax eloquent on parenting, single folks who know all about making a marriage work, or broke financial gurus.
The other day I saw a sign in the rear window of a rusted out 1996 Ford Taurus station wagon that read: “Earn a six figure income from home – Ask Me How”. My guess is the phone isn’t ringing off the hook!
We have probably all been victimized by a self-serving counselor at one time or another but this is not a worry when it comes to Jesus. We do not need to fear a private agenda on His part.
In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.
We are safe taking the counsel of one who allowed Himself to be poured out for us.
How about confidentiality?
You pour out your heart while seeking counsel only to discover that your hidden heart has become common gossip. Over the years as a pastor I have kept secrets that would literally blow your mind. On a couple of occasions however, I have been guilty of sharing something that seemed insignificant to me; but was a major secret to someone who had trusted me, the hurt I caused by my betrayal of confidence was not an easy thing for those people to forgive.