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May 2, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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This past weekend, we kicked off the most wonderful time of the year with part one of our two-week Christmas series titled, “Noel: Christmas Is for Everyone.” In this message, Pastor Doug breaks down Isaiah 9:6, giving us a powerful and poignant explanation of who Jesus is, what He means to us, and how He can change our lives forever.
Watch the video below to see a few highlights from the teaching and share it with your friends via social media. To watch the message in its entirety, click here.
Wonderful: Jesus Can Help You Get Your Wonder Back: What is wonder? It’s a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration; it’s caused by something beautiful or unexpected. The person of Jesus Christ should always instill in us a sense of awe, no matter how long we’ve been walking with Him.
There is nothing in this world, no amount of biblical knowledge, no amount of understanding, no circumstance that should ever diminish the childlike wonder we should have for the Lord Jesus. Why? Because He is still the almighty and everlasting God of the universe, the One who spoke everything into existence, breathed in us the breath of life, and holds everything together.
And if that weren’t enough (which it is!), the One upon whom the very fabric of existence rests is also the same One who “made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself . . .” (Philippians 2:7–8 NIV).
Have you lost your wonder? Have the disappointments, trials, tragedies, mundaneness, and unmet expectations of life crept in and created cynicism, callousness, or apathy in you? Has jealousy or bitterness infiltrated your life? Consider that your level of disappointment in life is directly related to where you’re putting your hope. Perhaps you’ve begun putting your hopes and expectations upon the shoulders of a significant other or spouse? Maybe on your kids, or your job, your bank account, your government, the Church?
Sadly, this is a recipe for disaster. Why? Because all people, all human institutions, all manmade systems will fail and falter; none will ever fill and fulfill us. But “those who hope in me will not be disappointed” (Isaiah 49:23 NIV), “and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:5 NASB).
Friends, Jesus is the both wondrous and wonderful. He is the perfect Son of God and yet He gave Himself up for us. His power to transform anyone, including you and me, should never be taken for granted or forgotten. And when our hope and expectation is in Him, we will never be disappointed. Be assured in this: “This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God's inner sanctuary” (Hebrews 6:19 NLT).
Counselor: Jesus Can Help You With Your Problems: Hebrews 4:15 (NKJV) declares, “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 2:18 (NIV) tells us, “Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”
There is nothing you can go through, nothing you can experience, nothing in this world that Jesus Christ cannot help you with. He understands everything you’re feeling, everything you’re going through, every obstacle, pain, annoyance, insecurity, fear, blind spot, every shortcoming, all of it . . . and He says to us, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV).
As a wonderful counselor and good shepherd, He is able to lead us green pastures and still waters. It’s in Him that we find rest for our souls, truth, and life. It’s through Him that we experience blessing, joy, peace, and satisfaction. He is the source of wisdom for the greatest and smallest moments of life; He is the well of strength, endurance, patience, longsuffering, and compassion. He knows what we need, He is interceding on our behalf, and He is speaking the will of the Father to us through the Spirit.
What do you need help with in your life this Christmas? Lay it at the feet of Jesus; bring it to the Lord.
Mighty God: Jesus Can Do What You Can’t Do: Jesus is God. “All power is his for ever and ever” (1 Peter 5:11 PHILLIPS). Everything is subject to Him. Let’s be honest, in this world there are reasons to be afraid—sickness, death, loss. We are not in control, we have no power on our own. Our problems are bigger than us, but they’re not bigger than Him!
Strength, power, courage, perseverance . . . it all comes from Him. And the Word constantly reminds us that His power is available to all who look to Him! Psalm 46:1 (NIV) declares, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble,” while Philippians 4:13 (CEV) reminds us, “Christ gives me the strength to face anything.” Nothing is impossible with Him, friends!
Everlasting Father: Jesus Can Give You Unconditional Acceptance: Every human soul longs for the love and acceptance of a Father. And Jesus is the only way we can experience this! Our Savior is one with the Father. He’s the way to the Father. In John 14:9 (NIV), He declared, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” Hebrews 1:3 (NIV) so eloquently describes Him this way: “The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” He goes before you, friends, and He’ll always be with you. He’s the Father of all believers (John 8:58), the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.
Prince of Peace: Jesus Can Give You Peace: Jesus came so we could be made right with God. He came to reconcile us to the Father by bridging the gap and paying the price for our sins. And before returning to heaven He said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you” (John 14:27 NIV). His peace, which surpasses understanding, has the power to guard us, to give us hope, assurance, and rest. He invites us to come to Him for rest, to “cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7 NIV).
Quote to Remember: This Christmas, invite Jesus to show you wonder and trust that He is the God of wonders.—Doug Sauder
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION
As you think about this weekend’s teaching, here are a few questions to reflect on and consider on your own, with your family, or in your group.
1. Can you think of a time recently where you were filled with childlike wonder?
2. How are you keeping the wonder of Christ present in your mind?
3. What do you need help with in your life this Christmas?
4. How are you walking in the acceptance of the everlasting Father?
This Wednesday, we’ll continue our discussion of Christmas as Pastor Duane Roberts joins us from our Boynton Beach campus.
Then on the weekend, join us for a wonderful Christmas celebration as Pastor Doug shares why Christmas is for everyone!
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.