Isa 9:6 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, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
This well-known verse often gets mentioned at this time of year because it speaks of the coming of the Messiah, JESUS. How exciting! For unto us a Child is Born—The first thing that comes to mind for most people is Christmas, festivities, and gifts. Unto us a Son is Given—Yay, another gift for us, Salvation.
Let’s continue: His attributes are admirable as well as powerful. The Government upon His shoulders—we can’t wait for the day when He reigns victorious. Words like Wonderful jump off the page and give us goose bumps; yes our Savior is wonderful—miraculous and enchanting. Counsellor—we have a wise adviser with words of wisdom for every situation. The Mighty God—we like the sound of knowing He’s in control and that our team wins. The Everlasting Father—we have security in the longevity of our future along with the comfort and love that comes from a True Father. The Prince of Peace—we cheer for our Prince, our knight in shining armor, and look forward to that place of eternal peace.
What a great verse, a perfect Christmas verse, with such amazing promises. Yet we’ve missed the point, if this alone is how we think, feel, and believe. Modern Christianity has made this verse all about us.
Have you ever given a gift that wasn’t appreciated or it was received like it was expected? It’s disappointing, right? You felt like no thought was given to the price or the effort that went into securing your gift. It cost you something and it should be treasured. Even if not monetarily, you gave of your time and energy and you hoped the recipient would acknowledge your value. And even if the gift or time is appreciated initially, after a bit, the same recipient wants or expects more. If we’re honest, most of us have received gifts in the same way or with a lack of appreciation. I’m not casting judgement, but trying to open our eyes to a bigger truth.
Thankfully, God isn’t thin-skinned and He knows we are but fallen creatures. Yet, I want to challenge us to think about His gift to us differently and to act accordingly. Not as a child with a birthday to celebrate; but as His ultimate sacrifice on the cross for our sins. Not as a free gift, painlessly received by a simple prayer; but as a priceless gift that we cherish and nourish on a daily basis. Not as an easy way to live forever, but having an understanding what it means to live for Him here and now. That when things are tough, He is still Wonderful. When we don’t know what to do, His Word is our Counselor. When it looks like the world is on fire, to trust He’s still the Mighty God and in control. That the Everlasting Father isn’t a distant hope but an ever present help in times of trouble. And last but not least, He can give a Peace that passes understanding right here and right now. He IS our Prince of Peace.
Salvation is not owed to us and we certainly don’t deserve it; but God so loved us that he gave us the ultimate gift of His Son as our ransom. That’s how much he thinks of us. That’s how much we’re worth to Him. How much is He worth to us? Are we willing to give our lives for Him? Are we willing to take up our cross daily and make earthly sacrifices because He’s worth that much to us? Let’s give thanks with a grateful heart. Let’s live like His priceless gift is precious to us. We have the privilege of knowing the Creator of the Universe on a personal level, but that should never diminish our respect or worship for Him as the Mighty God.
Arleen Jennings is the author of:
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