Prince of Peace
“Celebrating and Waiting”
Isaiah 9:1-7

We are in the Advent season. For those of you who didn’t grow up in church or for those who grew up in churches that didn’t observe the Advent season, I want to help you understand the importance of the four Sundays leading up to Christmas. The word Advent comes from the Latin word, “adventus,” which means “coming or arrival.” The Latin Translation of the Bible in the fourth century, the Latin Vulgate, used the word “adventus” to describe the coming of the Son of God, both His coming as a baby born in a manger as well as His second coming. During this month we celebrate the coming of the Savior into our world and we are waiting for His arrival, His Second Coming. We are celebrating and yet we are waiting. This morning I want us to turn to a familiar section of God’s Word. If you will turn with me to Isaiah 9:1-7. Let’s read together. Continue reading “Prince of Peace
“Celebrating and Waiting”
Isaiah 9:1-7”

The Gift of Christmas: Prince of Peace
Isaiah 9:1-7

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What a blessing it has been to spend the last four weeks taking a look at Isaiah 9. I hope you have been blessed and that all of us have come to better understand the One who was born as a Child, given as a Son, and is called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace.” Isaiah delivered the promise of the coming One to those who were distressed, suffering anxiety about their enemies who were plotting and planning their demise, and who would face even more difficult days in the future. The atmosphere was thick with tension and fear and yet the prophet of God stood up and spoke, “Thus saith the Lord…” Listen once again to his comforting words of reassurance that God has not, nor will He ever, forget and abandon His people. Isaiah writes,

1 Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan– 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. 3 You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as men rejoice when dividing the plunder. 4 For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor. 5 Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire. 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. 7 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. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this. (Isaiah 9:1-7 NIV)

Continue reading “The Gift of Christmas: Prince of Peace
Isaiah 9:1-7”

The Gift of Christmas: Everlasting Father
Isaiah 9:1-7

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There are few things as constant as change. Have you thought about it? Take just a moment and think about what has changed since last Christmas in your life. Some of us are working different jobs than we were working at this time last year and some of us are out of a job this Christmas. For some of us, we have had a child leave home that was living with us last Christmas. I have friends who were married last Christmas, but who are now divorced. I have other friends who were not married at this time last year, but now they are married. There are couples who have welcomed children into their homes during the past twelve months. I know of other people who have attended a funeral for one of their kids since last Christmas. There are folks among us who will struggle through this Christmas celebration as loved ones are now absent who were such a strong and comforting presence last Christmas.

For those of you who are thinking about how your life has changed during the past year and you really can’t come up with any big changes–give thanks. If you are still employed—give thanks. If you are still married—give thanks. If you haven’t attended the funeral of loved ones—give thanks. If you are still experiencing good health—give thanks. If life is good right now then enjoy the moment for it will not last forever. Continue reading “The Gift of Christmas: Everlasting Father
Isaiah 9:1-7”

The Gift of Christmas: Mighty God
Isaiah 9:1-7

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There is a heaviness hanging like a cloud over many hearts this Christmas Season. The sounds of Christmas joy are muffled by the kettle drum beats of fear, loneliness, and uncertainty. Hearts that were once full of joy, excitement, and expectation are hollow and the emptiness wrings out the soul. Many are the scenarios that could be shared this morning, but those who are experiencing the emotions that I am describing don’t need a scenario, they are living the story of heaviness as we speak. Continue reading “The Gift of Christmas: Mighty God
Isaiah 9:1-7”

The Gift of Christmas: Wonderful Counselor
Isaiah 9:1-7

 

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Isaiah was a prolific prophet in perilous times. He wrote 66 chapters that are filled with judgment, justice, love, and redemption. Throughout all 66 chapters, through the hard times as well as the seasons of peace and prosperity, there is a thread of hope. Some of the most vivid and awe-inspiring words of hope that have ever been produced are found in the pages of Isaiah. His brilliant and encouraging words are set against a backdrop of politically and spiritually unsettling and disastrous times. God moved upon Isaiah’s heart and he was able to write about God’s promises because he had his mind and heart fixed upon the sovereignty of Almighty God rather than the situations that the nation and the people found themselves enduring. You and I will benefit tremendously over the next four weeks if we will study this passage of Isaiah through and through, but for today we will fix our gaze upon one title that Isaiah gave to Jesus, our Messiah–He is the Wonderful Counselor. Continue reading “The Gift of Christmas: Wonderful Counselor
Isaiah 9:1-7”

When There Seems To Be No Hope
Isaiah 11:1-2

Advent-SeriesThings just could not have been worse. The glorious hopes of the Chosen People of God that the Davidic Dynasty would extend throughout all eternity had come crashing down upon them. The United Kingdom of Israel under David had divided into the Northern and Southern Kingdoms at the death of Solomon, David’s son, around 922-921 B.C. The Northern Kingdom then fell about 210 years later when the mighty Assyrians came in and conquered God’s people. The Southern Kingdom survived the Assyrians, but in 587 B.C. the dreaded Babylonians, under the iron fist of Nebuchadnezzar, came in and brought an end to the Southern Kingdom, the Holy City of Jerusalem, and any hopes the people had for a resurgence of the Kingdom. The Psalmist, in Psalm 137 wrote a psalm of lament from exile in Babylon. Listen to his words. Continue reading “When There Seems To Be No Hope
Isaiah 11:1-2”

Real Peace in a Really Chaotic World
Isaiah 26:3

Once upon a time in a land far away, (that’s the way all good stories begin), there was a man who was deeply troubled. He was a brilliant man. A man with a wonderful wife, precious children, good health, and a great job. The man’s troubled soul resulted not from family turmoil or financial pressure, not from deep, dark-sided sin or an angry mob in pursuit. The man’s troubled soul reverberated throughout his body because he was unable to find rest, peace in his heart. He had traveled the world looking for a place of serenity and solace. He had reclined on sandy beaches, taken in the beauty of the Swiss Alps, gazed at glassy glaciers, and stood in awe on the African plain. No matter where he traveled, no matter what he did, no matter how hard he tried, the man never arrived at the place of peace, serenity, and rest. Continue reading “Real Peace in a Really Chaotic World
Isaiah 26:3”

The Gift of Christmas: Prince of Peace
Isaiah 9:1-7

We are here tonight to celebrate the Gift of Christmas. The One who was born as a Child, given as a Son, and is called the “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace.” For the past four weeks we have been studying God’s message of hope to a people and that were distressed, suffering anxiety about their enemies who were plotting and planning their demise, and who would face even more difficult days in the future. The atmosphere was thick with tension and fear and yet the prophet of God stood up and spoke, “Thus saith the Lord.” Listen once again to his comforting words of reassurance that God has not, nor will He ever forget and abandon His people. Isaiah writes,

Continue reading “The Gift of Christmas: Prince of Peace
Isaiah 9:1-7”

The Christmas Gift: Everlasting Father
Isaiah 9:1-7

There are few things as constant as change. Have you thought about it? Take just a moment and think about what has changed since last Christmas. Some of us are working different jobs than we were working at this time last year. For some of us, we have had a child leave home that was living with us last Christmas. I have friends who were married last Christmas, but who are now divorced. I have other friends who were not married at this time last year, but now they are married. There are couples who have welcomed children into their homes during the past twelve months. I know of other people who have attended a funeral for one of their kids since last Christmas. There are folks among us who will struggle through this Christmas celebration as loved ones are now absent who were such a strong and comforting presence last Christmas.

Continue reading “The Christmas Gift: Everlasting Father
Isaiah 9:1-7”

The Urgency of Prayer
Isaiah 56:1-7

It is good to be back with you after spending a month away on a sabbatical. I have to tell you how appreciative I am for your graciousness in allowing me to withdraw from all of my normal responsibilities so that I could be still for a while to be renewed and refreshed by being in the Lord’s presence.

Continue reading “The Urgency of Prayer
Isaiah 56:1-7”