And He Shall Be Called...
Day 1: Isaiah 9:2 says, “The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.” We live in a broken world. Darkness is all around us. Sickness, lies, violence, cruelty, and selfishness are everyday commonplace things. Even worse, we can become so used to this darkness, that we become numb to it. We can become blind to the brokenness all around us. Recollect several examples of darkness you have seen, read or heard about in the last day? We can even become blind to our own brokenness too. How quickly we often overlook or excuse our own dark thoughts, words, and actions. If possible, make the room you’re sitting in dark. Then, light a candle and notice how it affects the room. Read John 8:12 Take some time to prayerfully consider the dark spaces in your life. If you have difficulty, what part of your life is Jesus not present? Where do you separate your faith from your life? Take some time to write down some of your thoughts.
Day 2: Did you identify areas of darkness in your life yesterday? If not, what is the stumbling block? Isaiah 9:6 says, “And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor…” In the midst of darkness God promises to send a Counselor. Read John 1:1-14. The God who created everything became human, and His life has brought light to everyone. Think about this: God became human. We don’t worship some distant strange deity in the sky. Instead, we worship a God that has been hungry and tired. We worship a God who has had to wake up and go to work, walked in the rain, had sore muscles. He experienced the hurt and lost friends to death. We have a God who understands what it’s like to be human. We have a God we can talk to and have a relationship with. We have a real person to counsel us. Jesus is our Wonderful Counselor. Take some time now to worship Jesus. Think about who He is and what He has done for you. Sing or listen to Here I am to Worship by Tim Hughes. Is He one who you can trust to help you in your own darkness?
Day 3: Good counselors can help you identify your issues and can give you a perspective that you can’t see yourself. The reason Jesus is a good counselor is that He knows you inside and out. He knows your motives, hurts, baggage, and emotions. He knows your whole story because you are His creation. Read John 4:1-42. Jesus saw past what the Samaritan woman wanted and helped her to see what she truly needed. Jesus shined a light into the brokenness in her life and showed her where to find true healing and satisfaction. Do we allow Jesus to counsel us in our lives? It is one thing to receive counsel, but it is another thing to accept it and to let it change you. What area(s) in your life could you use counsel, scriptural counsel? Or has He already given His counsel? Maybe it is not asking again but taking the answer He has already given. (Recall Gideon – Jdg. 6) Consider the life issues you shared on Days 1 and 2.
Day 4: How do we let Jesus be our counselor? Read Matthew 7:24-29. Perhaps the most obvious way to let Jesus counsel us is though His own words in Scripture. When people give us advice or counsel do we compare it to the truth in the Bible? When we think we have heard from God, do we compare it to how Jesus counseled us to live? Speaking of Psalm 119:24, it says, “Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors.” God gives us counsel through his Word. What habits exist in your life to help you listen to God’s Word. Do you have a time or a place that you read Scripture? If this is not a habit in your life, set a reoccurring alarm or calendar appointment on your phone this week to remind you to set aside some time to read the Bible. Come expecting God to give insight of Himself and how He made you to live.
Day 5: Do you have someone in your life that you go to for counsel? Maybe it’s a professional, parent, spouse, or friend. Maybe it’s someone in the church. These counselors can be some of the most important and influential people in our lives. As followers of Jesus, we want to take steps to know and become like Him. With Jesus as our example, we too can be wonderful counselors to one another. In the local church, we have the opportunity to give and receive scripturally based counsel to one another. We are to function as the, “body of Christ” to build each other up. (Read Ephesians 4:11-16) Do you have a person in your life who gives you scriptural counsel? Have you spoken with them in a while? Is there someone who you might need to make yourself available to listen to? If not, what steps can you take to begin such a relationship. It won’t happen overnight, but it can happen with intentional effort. Consider joining a small group during our next Connect U on Sundays, January 14 & 21. A trusted friend is of great worth.