The black eyes staring back at him are a reminder of all he had to surrender,
He wakes up again at 3 a.m.; this makes it the third time this week.
Not again, get out of my head. Get out of my head, the thought echoes.
But her translucence takes him back to a time of bliss:
I want to win souls for the Lord. That’s what I want to do, he said.
“You win souls by loving people.”
This season is a time for hope. I’ve been listening to a band called Issues lately. In their single “Princeton Avenue” the opening lyrics go: “It’s time for a change! This generation needs a hero!” In a world that celebrates self-destruction, millions are unaware that this generation has a hero, and he came as a baby in a manger 2,000 years ago.
The month of December has to be the biggest celebration of the year on the Christian calendar. Rather than get bogged down with the craziness of holiday shopping, we need to remember the gift we didn’t have to buy: salvation from God. This month represents the birth of a new hope for the world. I was blessed to be able to hear a sermon from Pastor Daniel Sweet at MRBC this weekend over Isaiah 9. For the first time in my life, I understood how important this time of year is. Even 700 years before Jesus was born, Isaiah received the prophecy of a Messiah who would rewrite salvation. Isaiah 9:6 highlights the coming of our Savior:
6For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
1) The baby born from a virgin will be our Wonderful Counselor. He guides our steps and comforts us in the times we are in pain, confusion, and chaos. He rescues us from ourselves.
“I love you, Lord, You are my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my Savior. My God is my rock in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me and my place of safety. I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and He saved me from my enemies.”–Psalms 18:1-3
2) The son of a carpenter is our Mighty God. He fights for us when we don’t have the strength to anymore. He celebrates with us, who, being created in His likeness, are loved by Him.
“For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”–Zephaniah 3:17
3) Jesus is the Everlasting Father. It’s important to remember that when we were broken and defeated, he was there. You may be broken and defeated now, but that doesn’t change the fact that he is here now. The Everlasting Father wants you to join him in heaven eternally one day, and he has made himself available to all. Just like a father would never guide his child into dangerous waters, our Everlasting Father is urging us to follow Him and has given us all that we need to have everlasting life.
“40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” –John 6:40
4) Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace. Pastor Sweet pointed out a great point. In the times of Isaiah, peace literally meant “survival,” people laying down arms and not wanting to kill each other, not a moment of silence or a day at the park. In the same way, Jesus is the means to our spiritual survival. He is our peace in the times of our own warfare, difficulties, and trials.
“Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. 33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”–John 16:32-33
This day is a day to remember everything that we have been given. The world was given a reason for hope when that sweet baby laid in a manger. While many of us are blessed to have family and friends to share this hope in, many have lost hope a long time ago. I am a testament of a new life given to me. I remember when my life had no hope. I remember the days when I was a slave to sin, drug addiction, and the word “hope” meant nothing to me. Those days were only 4 years ago and very dark. I always tell people that I didn’t go looking for God, he went hunting me down. I can never repay the debt I owe him, and He doesn’t need me to; He has given me a reason to live and to hope.
In the words of For Today, “He is here, He was there, He is peace, He is faithful.”
From Zion came our glorious hope. Thank you, Jesus.