Night of Champions Gala
Charlotte Convention Center
11 December 2010
“Unto Us A Child Is Born”
Christmas is in so many ways the most unique day of the year. God expressed His love for us from the beginning of creation, but as often realized He has always “done it His way.” Christmas is another one of those. Let’s take a look at Christmas and a few of the ways this is true.
At the time God chose to come into this world those days were in turmoil as in many ways so is today’s world. We need to go back to history and scripture …totally prophetic at the time written, …700+ years before Christ’s birth, and totally consistent with history at the time of the event.
Look at Isaiah 9:2-7 and highlight verse 6:
2 “The people who walk in darkness
Will see a great light;
Those who live in a dark land,
The light will shine on them.
3 You shall multiply the nation,
You shall increase their gladness;
They will be glad in Your presence
As with the gladness of harvest,
As men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
4For You shall break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders,
The rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian.
5For every boot of the booted warrior in the battle tumult,
And cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire.
6For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
7There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.
Israel was under the heavy hand of Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus and his king Herod. The people were crying out to God to intervene and free them. They were looking for, wanting and expecting the Savior to come as a warrior king or dynamic rebel leader as God had sent throughout their previous history. (For brevity here I will not delve into the history of what is being told about in these verses, but focus on verse 6.)
Today our nation along with most others in turmoil looks to the government to come to the rescue and bail us out, or a great President and political party to overcome the evils of the day holding power.
However, God in His eternal vision and wisdom once again does the unexpected and seemingly ridiculous in mankind’s eyes …He sent a baby! …Government will rest on a baby??? What? That’s crazy!
The entire world of that day missed the whole plan …except a few men who traveled from afar after studying prophetic scripture.
That world, including the very people that should have easily understood, continued to miss the whole plan throughout the next 33 years of Jesus’ life.
Today that whole plan is STILL the same and once again ignored, forgotten, ridiculed and even attacked and murder committed in attempt to wipe out God’s Kingdom. It’s all pretty amazing to me! Two thousand years later and Jesus Christ is STILL the dividing line of mankind and the message exactly the same! (Reference: Matthew 10:34)
When ever we look at the way God planned, and STILL plans to change and save this world we run into the exact same statements He set before us to consider:
1 Corinthians 1: 27 “God has selected (deliberately chosen) what the world considers foolish to put the wise to shame, and what the world calls weak to put the strong to shame.”
* Want to read & understand more of His thinking? Look up Romans 1: 18-32 and 1 Corinthians 1:18-31
We must always remember that HE ALONE is God and Creator, not us. We rarely understand His methods, but I can say that despite this lack of understanding at any given time, …I can also say that I have seen things work out for the better when I have waited it out long term.
Ultimately, the world WILL rest on His shoulders. True: governments today are exactly the ones we ask for and deserve, but not often what we want. However, we rarely seek Him and His counsel and want things or do things His way. We must trust Him and know that He is God.`
Take note at this point that His name will be “Wonderful Counselor”
The word Wonderful means: above the natural – supernatural
The word Counselor means: one whom you would consult to make plans to get us out of the mess we have made when we realize we have screwed up. But THIS Wonderful Counselor deals with the future!
Today, everybody is a counselor. They have read a book, taken a class but nobody has answers for the mess society is in outside of that old-fashioned, ridiculous, one known as Wonderful Counselor.
Let’s look at Psalm 32 quickly:
In verse 6-7 God says let everyone who is faithful & wise seek Me while I may be found; the rising waters will not reach that person because I will be his hiding place; and will protect him from trouble.
In verse 8 God says: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My loving eye on you.”
Then in verse 9 God warns us:
“Do not be like the horse or the mule,
which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle.”
God is not calling us a donkey or other synonyms, but telling us not to be stubborn like a horse or donkey. He’s asking: “Do I need to put a bit & bridle on you to get you to see my way?
He is saying: “Are you sure you want to do that?”
You see God wants to catch us before we make a mess that we cannot get out of. He is the Wonderful Counselor that wants to listen to you with your good in mind.
As you see, God has NEVER changed in His ways in either case. Yet mankind goes about our own ways neglecting the perfect resource we have available to us in every area of our life, our nation, and our world. He never sleeps and is always watching and waiting for us. Will we choose Him or some other attempt to make a difference?
This Christmas and starting the New Year in 2011 think about this:
“It’s not that Christianity or God’s ways that have been tried and found wanting, but that both Christianity and God’s ways have not been tried and relied upon but rarely in our world, especially for centuries now.”
I wonder if each of us can give a Christmas Gift to mankind and the world and turn to trying His way in every area of our lives, …and see how our lives change, …and how we might change and affect others. Can we become world-changers in 2011? We may feel insignificant and say in our mind: What do I matter, I am only one person. However scripture and history bear out that He does amazing things with the most insignificant but willing and faithful people. Let’s be one of them starting today!
For example, most problems are interpersonal so how about praying for people and the strength to forgive instead of hating and striking out.
Silent night? Peace on Earth? Prince of Peace…
Those words are almost oxymoron when you look beyond scripture and compare it with history. Let’s take a brief look at both of these:
Luke chapter 2 speaks of the Lord’s birth and the heavens were filled with multitudes of angels saying “Glory to God
Hmmm… Silent Night. Gotta wonder about that one! …With a multitude of angels praising God in the heavens saying “Glory to God in the highest, goodwill toward men!” and all angelic celebration going on …there was no way it was silent. …as a matter of fact …everything else but!
Now look at Prince of Peace:
I know better than to even think of disagreeing with a multitude of angels filling the heavens saying those words. But when you take a moment to think deeper about the words that promised peace on earth the angels were proclaiming to those shepherds outside Bethlehem. However, never in the 2000 plus years since those words were proclaimed has our world seen peace on earth. It has been rare at best …and then for only short seasons of time.
Wars ravage nations and innocent people’s lives constantly. Child abuse and domestic violence continues to grow exponentially. Human trafficking runs rampant, divorce rates soar, church splits are common, and peace in our restless and wayward hearts seems to be an elusive dream.
Where is the promised peace? We wonder and try to comprehend if that is the case then just what is meant by these promises?
When actually upon reflection we can see that Jesus brought all that is needed for peace in our world. He taught the principles of peace, calling for people to love their neighbors as they love themselves. And as He was leaving this planet, He promised, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you” (John 14:27). He told us to turn the other cheek, go the extra mile, forgive offenses, reject greed, tolerate each other’s weaknesses, live to serve and love one another as He has loved us.
It seems that in large part, peace is up to us. Paul verifies that in Romans 12:18, “As much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” This Christmas, let’s make peace our gift to the world in which we live as we reflect the Prince of Peace.
When we experience peace with God, we can share His peace with others.