The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Tuesday, 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.
Note: This week we are examining the five descriptive names used for the Messiah in Isaiah 9:6. Today we will consider "counselor".
Message Summary: Today we encourage you to regularly seek His counsel regarding all that concerns you.
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"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:
In ancient Israel, a counselor was portrayed as a wise king, such as Solomon, giving guidance to his people (1 Kings 4:34; Micah 4:9). Isaiah uses this word again in 28:29 to describe the LORD: “This also comes from the LORD of hosts; He is wonderful in counsel and excellent in wisdom.”
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:
"Not often is He called 'Counselor' now. Even God's saints continuously ask of men instead of God, "How may I find God's will?" Conference after conference is held by both the world and the church to find by human wisdom some better plan for earthly government, or for the church, or for the welfare of our earthly life and walk. But how rarely do we bow together or alone to seek that heavenly wisdom, that divine counsel, which alone will enable us to find our way out of the mazes in which we wander. When will His name be joyfully and triumphantly proclaimed as "Counselor" by His people? By you?"*²
Today we encourage you to regularly seek His counsel regarding all that concerns you.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, there are many things that concern us; our family, our spiritual and physical health, our work, our country, our church, the world conditions, and on and on the list goes. As we travel here below we have much to think about, much to decide upon, and questions arise where it can be very difficult to find the right answer. At times it's hard to do the right thing, being uncertain at times as to what the right thing is to do. We know the best place to search is the Scriptures since that is where we find the greatest counsel, and then we seek in prayer the Wonderful Counselor who knows our needs even before we voice them. Sometimes He shows us directly through the counsel in His word, sometimes He guides us with His small still voice, and other times He leads us through godly counsel when we just can't seem to get the answer we need or we don't want to hear the truth such as David experienced regarding his sin with Bathsheba. You sent Nathan the prophet with a somber message that got David's attention since he had shut out Your Spirit's prompting and walked in defiance to the laws set forth in Scripture. Thank You, Father, for sending Jesus, our Wonderful Counselor, who loves and cares for us more than any human agent, and will guide us into His paths of righteousness all the days of our life as we cling to Him. Amen.
Special Appeal: We want to thank all who have financially supported our ministry this past year. We realize there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support at this time but if the Lord would lead you we surely need and appreciate the financial support from our readers and listeners. We typically see a spike in giving at the end of the year for which we are most thankful. Our ministry labor is comprised of half our time to Daily Encouragement and the other half to our chaplaincy ministry to companies for which we receive a fee. Each of these ministries essentially is the same as a part-time job (20+ hours weekly) for each of us. Our goal for many years is that each would provide half of our ministry expenses and income. If you would like to make a donation to our ministry see here for more information.
To donate directly online here. This will open to a page that designates the offering to: WEBER,STEPHEN CHAP, Specialized Chaplaincy Ministry ID: 700001-237376
Please Note: We also provide this familiar option due to the convenience, for international supporters, and for those who may not be concerned regarding receiving an official tax deductible receipt. Click here to donate using PayPal. This will open to a page that designates the offering to: "firstname.lastname@example.org"
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"The Prayer" Video David Phelps & Lauren Talley
"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 from 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."
Resources for Christmas Celebrations
(We will leave these resources posted below our daily messages through Christmas)
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.
Responsive Christmas Scripture readings for church or family:
John 1:1-18 pdf
"O Come Let Us Adore Him" pdf
My First Christmas In Heaven This is a blessed reminder for all who lost a loved one this year. This is the poem that Brooksyne read and wrote about in this message.
Christmas Knowledge Test
We have also posted two Christmas carol quizzes here (scroll down).
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We want to thank all who financially support our ministry. We realize there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support but if the Lord would lead you we surely need and appreciate the financial support from our readers and listeners. Our ministry labor is comprised of half our time to Daily Encouragement and the other half to our chaplaincy ministry to companies for which we receive a fee (of course this percentage of time varies week by week). Each of these ministries essentially is the same as a part-time job (20+ hours weekly) for each of us. Our goal for many years is that each phase would provide half of our ministry expenses and income. If you would like to make a donation to our ministry see here for more information. Donations through my chaplaincy endorsing ministry are tax deductible and will be receipted directly by them. Thank you!
Please Note: Our chaplain agency is unable to provide a receipt if the donation is made through PayPal. However we provide this option due to the convenience, international supporters, and for those who may not be concerned regarding receiving an official receipt. Click here to donate using PayPal.
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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