Friday, December 21, 2012

Wonderful Counselor, part 3


Advent Thoughts  
“Your Statutes are my delight; they are my counselors.”
 Psalm 119:24 (NIV) 

”Your Statutes. . .”The psalmist speaks to God about His Laws. As a child I heard a teacher explain that we had to have rules, aka laws. We have rules in our daily lives; certain professions have codes of conduct.
” . . . my delight.” The writer felt joy from having God’s Law govern his life. Laws in our nation are for the common good. The traffic laws are for our protection; likewise, the law for cars to be insured and the overseeing agency having that information.
” . . . my counselors.” The psalmist carries this thought further by stating God’s Laws guide him. God’s Law educates us on how to live for Him, how to respond to those who taunt us, and how to pray.
In the book of James we read,” If any of you lack wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt. . . .” Have you ever had someone approach you and seek advice about an issue and then, right after you tell them your thoughts, he or she tells you they are going to do what they thought all along? Many times, I found myself angry about this. Can you imagine how God feels when we do that to Him? 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wonderful Counselor,part 2

Advent Thoughts

“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
 The spirit of the LORD will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
 the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD-
“Isaiah 11:1-2 (NIV)

”A shoot. . . “The prophet Isaiah tells the people of Israel about the new life to come from one of their own. This new life is described as being tender-a sprig, something easily broken off. (MH)* A few verses earlier, those against God’s church have been described as a strong bough.  But Isaiah describes Jesus as a new life who, although a sprig, shall be victorious over them. (MH)
“. . . from the stump of Jesse. . .” Jesse was an obscure man, who lived in poverty. “The house of David was reduced and brought very low at the time of Christ’s birth.” (MH) Joseph and Mary were very poor and unknown to those living beyond their village. 
” . . . a Branch will bear fruit.” This branch would blossom (grow) and generate God’s wisdom to the people in Israel and to lands beyond.
”The spirit of the LORD will rest on him . . .” He shall have {all} the fullness of the Godhead resting on Him. This spirit is so great that it is immeasurable. He began his preaching with ‘The Spirit of the LORD is upon me.’ (Luke 6:18) (MH) Can we imagine what could be done in our world if God’s Spirit fell on us?
”the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding . . .”This offshoot would have God’s wisdom and the ability to understand all that He sees. In the Psalms (3:5) we are told not to lean on our own understanding. Ours is incomplete-we only see a small part of what is happening; God sees it all. We only know a very miniscule part of how things operate. God put all things into motion.
” . . . the Spirit of counsel and of power. . .” God is omniscient-all knowing. He knows everything about us and our lives. He gave this Spirit to Jesus. God is omnipotent-all powerful. He has the power to perform any task imaginable. He shared that power with His only son.
*MH=Mathew Henry commentary

Monday, December 17, 2012

Prince of Peace

Advent Thoughts

“For unto us a child is born, to us a child is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God, Everlasting Father Prince of Peace.”
Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)

I first heard this verse quoted at a school Christmas program when I was in the fifth grade. Each time I hear it read or quoted, I find myself loving each name given to the child ‘born to us’.

. . . Wonderful Counselor . . .” Jesus is a source of wonder, a miracle. Who would have come from the glories of heaven as a child born into a poor family but God Himself? He has wisdom to guide us through all the circumstances we face in life.
 “. . .  Mighty God . . . “       God possesses all the might to do for us all we need.
 “. . . Everlasting Father . . .” the child is one who protects us always. He encircles us with His great arms of love and keeps the enemy from inflicting harm on us, His children.
 “. . . Prince of Peace” A friend posted a picture on Facebook that said: “Peace is not the absence of problems; Peace is the presence of Christ. (Sheila Walsh) Jesus gives us HIS peace, not the peace the world gives.  The peace of Christ lasts forever.

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...