name of Jesus
Christmas means many things —
lights, trees, gifts, candles — but mainly it means Jesus. He’s
the reason for the season. Forget that, and it’s just a holiday featuring
Centuries before Jesus’ birth,
the prophet Isaiah told of His coming:
“For unto us a child is born,
unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and
his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting
Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there
shall be no end” (Isaiah 9:6,7, KJV).
These words are a message from
God to people who needed a dream of something better than bondage, loneliness,
isolation and defeat. Isaiah says that your disappointment in every earthly
government and its leaders will be replaced by the confident word from God
that His Son Jesus will come to set right all wrongs and give hope, that His
rule will ultimately bring us together as one people.
“His name shall be called
In the early days of the automobile, Henry Ford went on a camping trip with
a few friends. As they drove along, they came upon a man standing beside a
disabled car and they stopped to see if they could be of some help.
“Do any of you know how to
fix a Ford?” the man asked.
One of Ford’s friends pointed
at him and said, “This old fellow knows something about Fords.”
Ford rolled up his sleeves and
soon had the car running.
Thanking Ford, the man said as
he listened to the motor, “It sounds better than it ever did.”
Little did he know that the man who fixed his car was the man who designed
There are a hundred reasons and
more why life breaks down. All of us at one time or another have found ourselves
standing beside our troubles, wondering if anybody could help fix what’s
wrong. There is Someone — both wonderful and a wise Counselor —
in whose image you are made, and from whose wisdom you can draw. He is Jesus.
“The mighty God”
I was heading home on side streets recently and got caught in a traffic jam.
Suddenly in the next block a gigantic gusher of water rose a hundred feet
in the air. A fire hydrant had broken, and the underground pressure sent water
geysers sailing up and bridge-like across the street, making a perfect arch.
The sun’s rays cascaded through the mist and created a sensational rainbow.
So there I sat looking incredulously
into a perfect rainbow water bridge over the middle of the next street. Cars
ahead were turning to avoid the spray. I thought to myself, I’ve
never ridden underneath a rainbow before and probably will never get another
chance. I drove through and felt a surge of joy.
It is a cleansing, exhilarating
moment when we see a positive expression of unleashed power, even in a broken
fire hydrant. “The mighty God,” in His refreshing glory, always
has a rainbow purposefully designed for those with faith enough to risk a
spiritual drenching. It is by faith that we move into the wonders of God’s
might and power.
Matthew Henry says that “as
He has wisdom so He has strength, He is able to save to the utmost; and such
is the work of the Mediator, that no less a power than the Mighty God could
“The everlasting Father”
The Interpreter’s Bible says that it is Christ’s fatherly care
of His people and tenderness toward them that is everlasting. His is a constant
care for those who are His!
When my son Lance was 16, I remember
him getting his feathers ruffled at the dinner table when I told him to count
me out on one of his projects at school. He had missed deadlines, the work
was long overdue, he seemed to care less, and by now that was my feeling,
“Why do you even expect me
to help you at this late date, Lance?” I asked with some frustration.
“You’ve goofed off for a whole semester, and now that the heat’s
on you want somebody to come through for you.”
We talked some more, and then my
son said to me, “I guess the only reason I’m asking is because
you’re my dad.”
He could have given me a thousand
other reasons that would not have worked, but his appeal hit home. What he
needed from me was fatherly care and tenderness toward his needs, not a stubborn
Our Heavenly Father is perfect
in His response of care and tenderness to us. Thankfully, He never shuts His
ear to our requests. He is a Friend and Father with a love for us that neither
time nor death can destroy.
“The Prince of Peace”
One of the 20th century’s most brilliant theologians, Karl Barth, was
once asked what was the most profound theological truth he had ever learned.
“Jesus loves me, this I know,”
The questioner was astonished.
“Do you mean to say that the deepest Bible truth you know is ‘Jesus
loves me’?” he asked.
“No,” Barth replied.
“This I know!”
Real peace comes to the person
who has the boldness to see and believe that God has given a confirmation
of heaven’s family ties to us through His Son Jesus, the Prince of Peace.
“For he is our peace”
“And the peace of God, which
transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ
Jesus” (Philippians 4:7, NIV). This I know. The
angel told Joseph that Mary would miraculously “give birth to a son,
and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from
their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
His name is something you can count
on. His authority, wisdom, power, tenderness and peace are your
Ray Rachels is superintendent of the Southern California District
of the Assemblies of God.
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