Summary: Jesus as our Wonderful Counselor.
Everyone Needs a Counselor
Beartown Road Alliance Church
December 9th, 2007
I spent a good part of this week looking at some long range planning for this ministry. This is not an exercise that comes naturally for me, I tend to think in the here and now, if I’m planning a week ahead of time, I’m doing pretty well! But trying to plan for the next year and the next few years can be a lot of fun. It’s fun to dream big. God has always had a plan for this ministry and as that plan unfolds, we have the privilege of not just seeing what God can do, but being a part of it! God promises to do amazing things through us! He promises to build and grow His Kingdom through His Church! So, as I look back at what He’s done, and look forward to the days ahead, I’m looking for the ways that we can put our ministry in the position to continue to receive God’s best for us. I think it’s vital for a ministry to continue to look ahead.
In college, while I was taking pastoral ministry classes, I remember being taught the importance of thinking long term. My professor said that the single most important aspect to long term planning was communication. You can dream and plan all you want but unless you can effectively communicate your vision and get people on board and excited, you will face frustration when people can’t see what you see. You will not find a better example of how to communicate a long range plan than you see in the prophecies that God gave about Christ. God was the ultimate long range planner. All of history has been moving according to His plan and moving towards the eternity that He planned out before anything on Earth even began! And God knew how to promote His plan! The passage that we looked at last week was one example of the way that God communicated His plan to the people. They say that you need to begin communicating two months ahead of an event if you want people to be aware of it and for it to be a success. But when the event is the single most defining moment in all of history, two months just isn’t enough and God began to communicate with His people through the prophet Isaiah over 700 years before this event took place. The event was unlike anything that had ever happened or has happened since. On a quiet night in Bethlehem, God became a man. Jesus left heaven and His throne above to be born in a stable, to become one of us. This is the event that God didn’t want anyone to miss. This was the event that would mean salvation for all the people. So, He used His prophets to tell the people that His Son was coming.
Over 2500 years ago, the prophet Isaiah wrote these words. “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.
This baby would be known by many different names. Most of us know Him as Savior. We understand that He came to die for our sins and that if we believe in Him, we will be saved and spend eternity in heaven with God. But, what that little Baby would bring to us is so much more than salvation. In this prophecy, we have four incredible names that describe who this baby will be and what He offers to those who love Him and follow Him.
This morning we’re going to look at this first name. As we get closer to Christmas, we need to understand that the Christ Child was born to be our Wonderful Counselor.
I have only been to counseling once in my life. Before that, I had some very interesting ideas of what a counselor was or what counseling entailed. I had just begun my ministry in Ohio and because of all that had just happened with the divorce of my parents and the circumstances that surrounded that, they asked if I would be open to going to a counselor. My first thought was, “I don’t need a shrink!” I pictured myself lying on a couch, telling stories of my childhood with tears streaming down my cheeks as a complete stranger took notes and asked me how that made me feel. After a little prodding, I finally agreed to go and it was nothing like what I thought it would be, it was very beneficial. But there were a few questions that I wanted answered before I was going to trust this guy. I wanted to know what kind of counselor he was, I wanted to know what his qualifications were, and I wanted to know what the benefits were going to be. I wasn’t just going to trust my inner child with anyone!