Monday, December 08, 2008

Wonderful Counselor

       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.
       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 9:6-7

Counselor - Even though I know this isn't true, there is something instilled in me that really wants to believe that being a Christian makes life trouble-free. That perspective comes out as "Why, Lord?" as if bad stuff isn't supposed to happen to me or to that nice neighbor or that innocent child. However, the fact that the Christ was called "counselor" indicates to me that trouble is expected. 

Increase... from that time on and forever  -  We talk a lot about expanding God's kingdom but until recently, I was under the impression that we were just kind of getting other people on board for when his kingdom comes. 

The phrase "from that time on" messes up that idea. If his kingdom isn't coming until Christ reappears, then it wouldn't need to continue to "increase," would it?

We can't see it clearly but the Kingdom of God is here. It was established when Jesus Christ humbled himself to become a man. The eternal life-giving source of the Holy Spirit was in Christ making all things new - healing, restoring dignity, uniting Jews and Gentiles. 

Jesus never intended for us to keep hanging out, just telling others to be happy until he comes back and cleans up the mess we've made. No, he said we would do even greater things than he had been doing. (John 14:12) He promised we would receive power when the Holy Spirit comes - not when Christ returns.

Go read about what Jesus "had been doing" in Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. Then cruise through Acts and see what happened after the believers received the Holy Spirit. Now ask yourself, "am I doing even greater things than Jesus did?" 

In today's language, we might also call Jesus our Outstanding Life Coach. Life Coaches are not cheap. It would be foolish to hire a Life Coach and not put into practice what was learned in each session.

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the mission:
PROCLAIM the good news; HEAL the sick and oppressed; BRING JUSTICE
~ Luke 4:16-20

Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing (John 14:12)
~ Jesus 

Copyright 2005-2010 Lisa Biggs Crum
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