Recorded on December 9th, 2018
God has experienced everything we could possibly experience in our lives. In Jesus we find everything we could ever need in a counselor.
Transcript of Sermon:
[Music] The scripture is taken from Isaiah 9:6 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 and from John 1:14 the word became flesh and made his dwelling among us we have seen his glory the glory of the one and only son who came from the father full of grace and truth the word of God for the people of God thank you as I was preparing for today it just kept me because this week was full of loss for so many an hour amongst us and and I know that the holiday season for a lot of people is not one that’s full of joy because of whatever they’re experiencing in their life or because of some things that they’ve experienced in their past and when I was looking at the understanding of Jesus as wonderful counselor we’ve seen him as Prince of Peace last week we talked about him as everlasting father today we get to look at him as wonderful counselor and as I studied this the amount of beautiful insight that I think that God is trying to show us with Jesus as counselor is one that I think can soothe a lot of hearts and this season a lot of hearts that are seeking God and a time when life isn’t so easy but before we get into that part I was thinking about counselors and advice and counsel in general and I was thinking about my life and the different times when I’ve had people that have given me really great advice Joe and I in our early Christian journey we were married we had children but there was this one couple at church that kind of took us under their wing which i think is just a beautiful thing for somebody to do and they would just check in with us every once in a while they helped us to learn how to spend our money financially wise they kind of walked us through budgeting and they walked us through how to have a stable life in that way and they were people that gave us great advice consistently and constantly and I always knew that if we needed a word if we needed some a sounding board they were the place to go there were also people in my life who gave me some not so great advice and I think you’ve all probably experienced that probably one that just comes the one that came to mind the quickest was when I was in high school my family life was kind of a mess and it was just really a hard period of time and I decided I was going to move out of my family home when I was at my second semester of my senior year of high school and I went to the counselor’s office at the school and told them my plan and all they said was okay there wasn’t any like well let’s think about this a minute because leaving my family home meant that I was dropping out of high school and all that that came with it and I still think back to that day and I don’t remember who the person was but I just keep thinking there should have been somebody somewhere that said hey Alyssa why don’t you just finish the next four months of school which I eventually did but I just always think about that as a missed opportunity for some sound advice in my life I also went online because I didn’t want to be all heavy today and I know that there’s some funny things that people have done some words of advice that can give us a little chuckle and so when I was looking I found a few pieces of advice that I thought make us might might give us a little joy this morning so here’s some of the gems that I found ready so this was this girl named Alexia said that she put bacon on a pimple that she had because her granny said that it would go away if you just use bacon to cure it she said it didn’t work it grew go figure then there was a girl who was a senior in high school and someone told her that her blinker was out in her car and then it needed more blinker fluid so she went to zone and ask for some blinker fluid imagine how that went for her remember those days of being so naive about beautiful things like that then there was Paula who was driving who had her driver’s permit and she was driving to a light that was turning yellow and her sister who was her teacher and I have to admit I taught my sisters how to drive too and they drive terribly so I obviously did a terrible job but this sister turned her which sister said no cop no stop best advice you ever heard right then there was another woman who said her sister told her that if he drank hot chocolate through a straw it won’t be as hot well she did that and she couldn’t eat for the next two weeks and then finally a woman said her mother always told her to say what was on her mind and she says well that advice is why I was called into HR today you see in this world advices there’s a lot of advice to be had every commercial that we see is advice telling you how your life can be better if only you bought whatever product it was that they are Hawking most TV shows are selling you a type of lifestyle that they think is one that’s good one that you should jump in on most of our friends are willing to give us any amount of advice we want to ask for in fact they give us advice we don’t even ask for sometimes family members are really good at that aren’t they but what we are gonna find today is that as good as it can be advice is something that doesn’t always come with the I don’t know what I’m trying to say there advice isn’t always good we need to be picky about what it is that we choose and though not every example of bad advice in our life is trivial some of us have gotten some bad advice that has led to financial ruin or to something that’s really not great in our lives but truth be told is that we are so foolish that often we follow our own advice don’t we we just do what our hearts feel like doing because we say well if our hearts feel like it then God must really want me to do this but as we’ve seen not all of ice is created equally and what’s worse is that we know this yet sometimes we still seek counsel from though that we know will tell us what we want to hear that’s my favorite I do that sometimes if I’m doing something if I have an idea and I and I really think it’s something I want to do but I’m not quite sure if it’s something I should do sometimes they go to the person that all I know will tell me to do the thing oh sure do it yes that sounds like a great idea have you guys done that once in a while I’m guessing maybe that you have in fact the whole world that we live in today the broken hurting world that we live in today is and a consequence of bad counsel think about Eve sitting in the garden and the snake coming up to her and giving her some really really profoundly he thought good advice telling her that what she really needed in life was to eat that fruit because if she ate that fruit she would get whatever it was she was hoping to get in this life and she took that advice and because of a human beings willingness to take a piece of bad advice we all live in a broken world that god did not intend for us to live in counsel advice is a really important thing the people that we give open our ears for the people that we pay attention to you we should be choosy about we should choose carefully and what we are told in Isaiah 9:6 is that in the coming of Jesus we have ready for us at all times a wonderful counselor so what is it that sets Jesus apart from the average counsel Giver well first we have to look at the fact that he were told that he’s a wonderful counselor and I think we’re really guilty of glossing over adjectives when they are attached to words we just kind of use them I use wonderful all the time to mean just generally good but wonderful is really supposed to be something that is full of awe full of wonder it should tell you that the attributes of that person are astonishing on some level and when we misuse words like that we don’t really read into to scripture what is meant for us to see see what scripture is intending for us to see here is that Jesus is wonderful he is full of wonder and the way that he counsels us the wisdom that he gives us is awe-inspiring it is astounding it is beyond what you could expect from anything else he’s our wonderful counselor so why is Jesus’s counsel so wonderful well I have a few things that we should look at the first thing is is that Jesus’s counsel is necessary if we want to live our best life the life that God created us for if we want to live a life that is full of Providence full of God’s presence then we should be living a life that is the one that God created us for and the only way to find that is to be in communication with God is to follow him as he leads you and it’s not an easy thing it’s not just right there before you don’t have this scroll deliver to your door the day you were born that says okay now if you follow this path everything in life will be fine for you that’s not the way it works we have to have a relationship with God in order to follow the path that he’s set before us now on that note you also have to understand that just because we’re following the path that God has put for us does not mean that there won’t be hard times some of the most beautiful Jesus followers that I’ve ever met in my entire life not beautiful physically but beautiful of heart are ones that have gone through some of the hardest things that I could ever imagine going through in life you see the promise of Jesus isn’t that we will have a life free from trouble the promise of following the path of God is that he will be with us every step of the way that as we experience the trouble of this world that we will be able to experience peace and joy in the midst of the trials and the terror and the fear but that being said there is something that happens when we don’t follow the cancel of Jesus when we go against the thing that God wants us to do when we take a different path we do miss out on something you see when we follow the path that Jesus puts before us we are guaranteed that Jesus has gone before that the path before us God has been there God has seen everything that is going to come your way and he’s going to clear that path for you again not make it perfect but he’s been before you when we choose to go down a path that is not the one that God has choose chosen for us we don’t have that same promise we don’t have the same promise of blessing that is given to us when we follow the path of God and it doesn’t mean that God won’t be with you don’t hear me say that God is with us always whenever we want God to be near us we just turned to him and realize he’s already there we’re the ones that’s created separation between him and us and when we’re on the wrong path or we’re not sure if run on on the right path all we have to do is start communicating with God being with God for him to get us back onto the right path but we have to be in relationship with Jesus in order to know where it is that we should be going second is that Jesus’s counsel is not only necessary but it’s faithful oh it is so faithful see Jesus will never fail to respond to our needs to our questions to our hurts or to our fears and that’s not something that’s promised of any other counselor on this earth see Jesus will always be with us even in times when we feel that there’s a distance between us and Jesus what we need to understand is that distance is usually created by us by our behavior by our lack of consistency of time with him the more time we spend with Jesus the more we get to know his character in his love and his grace and His mercy the third thing we need to know about the wonderful counsel of Jesus is that he is a wise wise soul you see what we get when we get received counsel from Jesus is that we get wisdom Jesus is was and will always be he was there when you were created he was there when the earth was created there’s not a place that Jesus doesn’t know about that you will go there’s not a feeling that you have that Jesus hasn’t had himself and Jesus often uses people in this world to speak to us to speak for him and sometimes it’s hard to understand if that counsel that we’re receiving is from God or if it’s just a human counsel that we’re receiving I told you about those friends that we had that really helped us in life and I never really questioned the counsel that they gave us but I also always took the big decisions to God still when we would speak with them and I would ask them questions or we would say what do you think we should do about this big decision in our life there’s wasn’t the only voice that I heard because I always not always we worked to make sure that we would also ask God those same questions that we would get on our knees and that we would go before the Lord and say this is what we are thinking this is the way we’re feeling lead is this what you want us to do Father and sometimes it takes consistency of being before God in order to hear him sometimes you don’t get an answer on the first prayer sometimes you pray for weeks and it’s in walking by somebody at Walmart who says in random word that lets you know you are on the right track but we need to be before God so that God can show us his wisdom he can show us the path that we are supposed to be going down the best parts about Jesus is wonderful counseling as that it’s full of love you see there’s not anything on this earth that loves you as fully and completely as Jesus loves you Jesus wants you to succeed more than anybody else on this earth Jesus wants to see joy and prosperity in your life more than anybody else on this earth Jesus wants the best that life has to give for you more than anyone else and so when we go before Jesus when we seek the counsel of Jesus what we’re seeking is the counsel of one who loves us more than anything more loves us more than we could ever even fathom and that’s hard for me when you have children and you realize how much love can really look like I mean when you get married you think you get love you think you understand love and then you have kids and you think wow I thought I knew love but love is so much more than I could imagine and if you’re a parent any of you experience that love then you need to understand that the way that God loves you is exponentially more than you love your own children and sometimes I wonder how that’s even possible because even though my children frustrate me like I know we frustrate God and even though we have times when they’re yelling at each other and I want to go hide in a bathroom I still love them more than I could ever begin to express in words and to try and believe that God Jesus loves me more than that that’s hard to understand sometimes but when we go to Jesus for counsel we were going before the one who loves us more than we could even begin to imagine and so the counsel we are receiving is counsel from somebody who only wants the best for us I’ve said it before but it’s one of the the lines that speaks to me most and times when I’m struggling and it’s the idea that maybe Oh maybe following God’s path maybe leaving behind the things of this world that I don’t really want to leave behind maybe that’s simply God’s invitation to his best for us obedience get such a bad rap in this world but what we’re asked for when we follow God we used the word obedience because we’re being obedient and following the things that he’s put in front of us but really it’s just an invitation it’s an invitation to experience the world that he has put before us in the way that he created us to experience it and the last thing that I think we really need to understand about the Council of Jesus is that he cares for us in a way that nobody else can because he’s experienced everything that we will ever experience in our lives and to me that’s the most beautiful thing about the Incarnation that’s the most beautiful thing see that’s why I can’t leave my podium anymore it’s really hard for me not to walk around I’m just gonna tell you that I feel like I’m I’m not gonna do that again everybody’s gonna get mad okay let’s go back to what my favorite thing about Christmas is my favorite thing about the Incarnation is the fact that God loves us so much right John 3:16 that he sent His only Son to come and live and be with us and then to be sacrificed for us but before he sacrificed he lives a fully completely human experience he felt sorrow the way that you and I felt sorrow the shortest verse in the Bible is what Jesus wept and he wept because he felt the depth of despair and sorrow that you and I feel in certain periods of life Jesus has felt anxiety and uncertainty he was in the garden on his knees praying God if it’s your cup if it’s your will Lord please take this from me but otherwise I will do what you’re asking me to do see Jesus knew the pain he was going to suffer jesus knew what coming and he knew the reason why but still he suffered and he had fear and he had anxiety the way that you and I have fear and anxiety Jesus had joy Jesus experienced joy on amazing levels and he had celebration but whatever it is that you were experiencing in your life whatever it is that you’re going through not only are you getting counseled from somebody who’s wise not only are you getting counseled from somebody who loves you more than anybody else could you’re receiving counsel from somebody who’s been where you are right now the best advice that I get in life is when I get advice from somebody who’s been where I am when I’m struggling when I’m hurting when something’s going on in my life I think about my friends who have been where I am and I speak to that person specifically because I know that they have felt what I felt and I know that their love for me their counsel are just being there for me will be more meaningful because they’ve experienced what I’m struggling with we get that from Jesus because when he left his when he left heaven to come and live with us not only did he take on our sin but he also took on living a human life that is full of the ups and downs that we experience how beautiful it is it to know that when you go before him and you lay your heart before him he can come to you hold you and say I know child I know and sometimes that’s the best advice we can get is just being held by one who’s been there who’s experienced it themselves wonderful counselor in Jesus we find everything we could ever need in a counselor this life is not easy this life can be confusing it is often scary and very uncertain this life can sometimes take everything that is good and smash it to pieces and what seems like an instant but but on one cold dark morning or evening day Jesus was born in a stable and unto us was born a wonderful counselor a mighty God the Prince of Peace the everlasting father Jesus is wonderful counselor he has battled this world and he has raised victorious because Jesus has come for us because he is our wonderful counselor Jesus will never let the bad things in your life be the end of the story bad never gets the final word when we follow Christ Jesus wonderful counselor will never let you wander in uncertainty and Jesus wonderful counselor will never let you live your life in fear and doubt and pain Jesus wonderful counselor has gone before you and Jesus is lovingly inviting you to take his hand to lift your face to his and just to receive his love his care and his counsel and the goodness that comes from seeking Him in all things let us pray this season of anticipation Lord is one that we come before humbly because just like the Israelites were in a world that was broken and hurting so too are we in a world that is broken and hurting and without the promise in the hope of a savior this world would be impossible to live well god we thank you we thank you for sending Jesus to love us to care for us to counsel us to show us the path in which you reside God today may we each come to you humbly may we lift our face to you and may we receive your love your grace your mercy and your counsel with open hearts and may your love heal the deepest hurts in our hearts it’s in the name of Jesus we pray you