6-Week Series: Against All Odds

Sermons

Summary: Very heavily adapted message from the series "Prince of Peace" This message focus' on Jesus being our wonderful counselor.

Prince of Peace

Wonderful Counselor

Studying the incarnation through the names that Jesus is called in Isaiah chapter 9. We will also be studying Luke chapter 8 if you want to bookmark that for later.

I have a very electic taste in music. I like music from almost every style and genre. In the case of classical music, one of my favorite Christmas compositions is Handel’s Messiah. I’m sure everyone here has heard it during the Christmas season. What most people don’t realize is that almost its entire text is taken right from the words of Scripture.

In every performance, the pinnacle of the musical piece comes toward the end as the choir sings the Hallelujah chorus. There is this slow build up that crescendo’s into a wave of worship to God. I particularly love when the bass voices sing “And He shall reign for ever and ever.”

During these next four weeks and culminating on Christmas Eve, we are going to look at four descriptions of the babe born in Bethlehem. As we do that, it’s my hope that you will see that these attributes of Jesus are exactly what we need, and what we need to be showing the world about the one we worship and follow.

The goal of this series is to help you take an hour on Sunday and get your mind and hearts off of the commercialism of this holiday and back where they belong- on the wonder of God becoming human a human baby in Bethlehem’s manger.

So as an introduction to this series I want to read you the verses of the bible from which Handel wrote his hallelujah chorus.

Isaiah 9:2

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.

Isaiah 9:6

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.

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 upholding it with justice and righteousness

From that time on and forever.

Let’s pray.

The holiday season brings about a flood of emotional activity. It starts with Thanksgiving, and right after we celebrate how thankful we are, people come materialistic terrorists on Black Friday when they hit the stores to find the biggest deals out there.

Hopefully, amongst all the hustle and bustle of the holiday, it also brings about some introspection.

Personally, I start to think about the following during this time-

- I want to change the pace and pattern of my life.

- I want to be with family and friends.

- But above all- I promise myself something at the beginning of the season- that I won’t let myself get so caught up in the busy-ness of the season that I lose focus on the reason for the season.

And I don’t think it’s just me who feels these things this time of year. I think we all do, don’t we?

I think that somewhere just inside our skin is this thing that wants hope and warmth and security. I think it’s part of the human condition and triggered by the changing of the seasons.

And more than anything during this series, I want to help us all get a little closer to that hope and warmth and security.

I don’t know any better way for that to happen than for us to look at the gift God gave us in letting Jesus be born.

During this time of year we speak of something called the “incarnation”, which is a big word for an even bigger idea- God becoming a little baby in Bethlehem’s manger.

This same God who challenges our imagination and our spirits to believe something so incredible is the same God who wants to show you the wonder of what He can do and who He can be in your life.

If we really believe who Jesus claimed to be, imagine how that would change you: give you clarity, and courage, and understanding, and hope.

When I read scripture and consider God’s sovereign control and plan, I like to believe that God couldn’t wait to write inspire Isaiah to write down the text of Isaiah 9:6 so many years ago. I think He couldn’t wait to tell folks about how wonderful His Son would be to them when He finally came to earth.

God didn’t wait until a few days before Jesus was conceived. He didn’t schedule it a week out, a year out, a decade out, or even a century out. 700 years before Jesus was born, God chose Isaiah, a prophet and said, “Isaiah, write this down and tell people about it. Here’s what My Son is going to be like: he’s going to be a wonderful counselor, a mighty God, an everlasting Father, and a prince of peace to you all.”

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