Tuesday Reflection – August 20, 2019
We all have friends that we really have never taken the time to get to know. It could be someone at work, church or even a family member. We see and speak to them often enough but never take the time to go deep in conversation, to get to know them. There are many Christians whose relationship with God is just like that. You see friends every religion has its god or gods, but what is it that sets the God of the Christian faith apart from other gods. What makes our God exclusively worthy of our worship? I know He commands us to worship only Him, I know he states that He is a jealous God, I know he sets us apart for His glory, but what makes us dedicated participants in this life of worship? I believe we never truly begin to be in relationship with God until we know God. Today’s watchword is a reminder of who Jesus revealed God to be. He is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9: 6.
This is a well-known verse from an equally known passage prophesying the coming of the Messiah. It stands in contrast to the prophesies of doom by Isaiah, brought on by Israel’s disobedience, arrogance and disregard for God. It is a reminder to us that God offers hope even in our most dire circumstances. Our ability to hold to this hope depends on how much we know God. We cannot know God until we become intimate with God. This comes through our physical, emotional and spiritual closeness to God. “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:8). Intimacy with God requires purity. God will not despise a clean hand and a pure heart. Indeed Hebrews 7: 19 explains that Christ is the hope through which we are able to attain this intimacy with God. It behooves us therefore to know Christ. Isaiah describes Him as the Wonderful Counselor. The word translated wonderful is better understood as meaning ‘beyond comprehension or mind boggling’. Counselor was used in ancient Israel to describe a wise king after the likeness of Solomon. Christ is a wise king whose counsel is greater than what any human could give. If we do not have an intimate relationship with Him, we cannot know or experience that level of counsel.
Jesus is also the Mighty God, the El Gibbor. El, the shortened form of Elohim, speaks of the one true God and Gibbor means strength, power or hero. The one who stated in John 8:58 ‘before Abraham was, I am’, the one who walked on water, the one who healed the sick, the one who raised the dead, the one who rose from the dead is indeed our Mighty God and is the one who seeks intimacy with us. As Everlasting Father, Jesus is the Father of all eternity. John 1: 1 – 3 explains this. In the beginning was the Word and the word was with God and the word was God. Everything was made through and by Him. When we know and trust the creator of all things, what will he not do for us? As Prince of Peace Jesus offers to those who love and trust Him a peace that the world may not know or understand. In John 14: 27 he says: ‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.’In a world driven by fear, those who know Christ can experience the peace of being in renewed relationship with God. When we know Jesus, We can trust Christ to listen and offer guidance as our Wonderful Counselor, we can trust Him to take care of us as our Mighty God, we can live by His grace as our Everlasting Father, and we can be at peace in the midst of the turmoil of life, for Jesus is our peace. There are many who can testify to the truth of this today because of their experience. Get to know Jesus friends, and you too can have that intimacy. Introduce or encourage someone in Christ today so that they too can experience God as we have. Amen