December 6, 2016
A few years ago Darrenkamps, a locally owned grocery store here in Mount Joy where Ester works, had this bright yellow tree with John Deere-themed ornaments! It certainly caught the attention of the shoppers, including the men.
Message Summary: Today we encourage you to regularly seek His counsel regarding all that concerns you.
Listen to this message on your audio player.
“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
Counseling is a popular field of study these days. The desire to help others is commendable. There are all kinds of places to study to be a counselor including college classes, online and correspondence. Just search “online counseling courses” and you will see there are many.
We have appreciated good counsel through the years and also hope we’ve offered some. Some of the best counsel in our view comes from those well along in the race that have the benefit of life experience, along with the wisdom that comes from a steady walk with the Lord. Sadly many discount the value of this type of counsel, considering it inferior to those who have received some type of formal training.
I thank the Lord for good pastoral and common sense counsel from others through the years. It is our view that many seek complicated solutions for answers that basically require obedience to simple advice. In too many cases the “counseling industry” is a huge racket. Now the ads run about addiction counseling supposedly covered by insurance which we hope have helped some. However many of these programs in our observation, during our pastoral years and now in our chaplaincy role, are just revolving doors. The greatest key to overcoming is when the counsel includes emphasis on Biblical principles and above all, a life-changing experience with Christ.
However we all have personal and immediate access to the greatest Counselor. The Scripture teaches in Hebrews 4 concerning our high priest, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time” (verses 15,16).
The Bible study site gotquestions.org has these helpful comments concerning Christ being our counselor:
Jesus is a wise counselor. “He did not need any testimony about mankind, for He knew what was in each person” (John 2:25). He is able to advise His people thoroughly because He is qualified in ways no human counselor is. In Christ is “hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3), including the knowledge of all human nature (Psalm 139:1–2). Jesus always knows what we are going through, and He always knows the right course of action (Hebrews 4:15–16).
Christ’s position as our Counselor means we can trust Him to listen to our problems and guide us in the right direction (Proverbs 3:6). We can be sure He is listening because He told us to pray to Him about our worries (Philippians 4:6; James 1:5). We can be certain He has our best interests at heart because He loves us (1 John 4:19). And His love is so wide and deep (and wonderful) that we cannot fully understand it (Romans 5:8).*¹
We are reading a small booklet during Advent titled “His Name Shall be Called” that features dozens of names and titles of Jesus Christ from both the Old and New Testaments. “Counselor” is included as one of Christ’s titles:
Today we encourage you to regularly seek His counsel regarding all that concerns you.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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“Wonderful Counselor” Video
I have been enjoying a satire blog known as “The Babylon Bee”. They had a post concerning “Multi-Site Church Video Screen Utterly Fails At Pastoral Counseling” in which a couple with marital problems seeks counsel from the pastor they listen to each week on the big video screen in a multi-site church. They sit in front of the big screen and share their problems. Not surprisingly they find a real lacking of two way communication!
*¹ gotquestions.org article on Messiah being Counselor. I have benefitted forom this site for some time now and it has a vast collection of resources easily searchable. As I read the portion in today’s message I noted the last Scripture reference, Romans 5:8.
*² From “His Name Shall Be Called: Inspiration for the Christmas Season”, published by Barbour Publishing, Inc. Used by permission.
This last weekend NFL players were “allowed” to wear cleats with charity messaging. (Normally the NFL regulates every article of clothing to the minutest detail.) I saw an ad showcasing a number of these shoes with one having Romans 5:8 on it. I was curious so I looked up the name of the player.
It happens to be Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz who also has “AO1” on his shoe, which means Audience of One. He explains “It was kind of a motto I picked up early in my career, and I finally put it on my body just to live the Lord as my audience,” Wentz has explained, “whether it was playing football, going to school or whatever I’m doing in my life.”
Each year we share several online resources that we have used over the years and that may be a blessing to families and churches during this Christmas season.
“In Remembrance of Me” pdf This is a passion-filled Scripture reading for two adults. Brooksyne and I have used this reading with great receptivity during Christmas Eve services many years. We suggest, if possible, a musical background as the message is read. It is also a great lead-in to a Communion service. It should be thoroughly practiced and read with great feeling.
“When Christ Was Born” pdf This is an adaptation to the tune of “How Great Thou Art”. It’s a great song to sing as a congregation since most are familiar with and love the tune.
We have also posted two Christmas carol quizzes here (scroll down).