Jesus was born in a Bethlehem barn because the occupying nation forced his parents to make the journey to be counted for a census. Later, the little family fled to Egypt as refugees. Today there are poor and marginalized people in our community and around the world who need your prayers. Ask God how He would have you serve them in their oppression.
An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy Him.” Matthew 2:13
The news, tweets, and headlines assure us peace is unattainable. We are surrounded by war and offense. Yet Christ’s birth proclaims peace on earth. Let Him transform you and bring peace to your heart. Ask Him, by His Holy Spirit, to change your attitudes and actions.
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased!” Luke 2:14
Expectation of good things to come fill our hearts with delight. Is it possible that the anticipation itself makes what we’ve waited for even sweeter? Make note of some things you are looking forward to. What is it that you are eagerly hoping for Christ to bring? Invite the Lord to encourage your heart in the waiting.
Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord! Psalm 31:24
New parents will spend literally months thinking and even arguing about what to name their child! A name communicates so much about a person’s background, heritage, and even their character. This was especially true in the Old Testament times. In many cases, your name was what gave you identity and often described what kind of person you might become. In many ways, it was your parents’ dream for what you would be like. So, in Isaiah 9 when God is given a number of special names, it is very significant.
It reveals His character and how He relates to His creation.
Last week, we studied the name Wonderful Counselor and learned that He can be relied on to step into our problems and struggles with compassion and power. Today, we will look at the name Everlasting Father. The name “father” brings out all kinds of emotions and memories of our own experiences with our earthly fathers, good or bad. Today, we will learn facts about our Everlasting Father that reveal that He is nothing like imperfect earthly fathers. In fact, we will find that our Everlasting Father is full of love, slow to anger, always present, and will never leave.
What a blessing to have a Father like that!
This message is from Steve Carpenter at our Atoka Campus. If you missed the message or want to hear it again, listen on-line or tune in to our podcast.
God is divine and Holy. If that’s all we could say about Him, we’d wonder how He could empathize with our very real human emotions. God became a man. If that’s all we could say, we’d doubt His power and authority. In Christ, He is fully God and fully human. We have a Sovereign and a Friend with whom we can trust our longings, sorrows, and deepest prayers. Talk to Him today.
I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite. Isaiah 57:15