Tag Archive | wonderful

Bringing the Presence to the Party

A man observed two well-dressed women having dinner in a restaurant. A cake was brought to their table, and because they were obviously celebrating a special occasion, he went over to offer his best wishes.

“What is the special occasion?” he inquired.

“It’s my son’s second birthday,” said the younger woman.

“Well, where is your son?” asked the man.

The women looked at him in amazement, and the mother replied, “You wouldn’t expect me to bring that little brat into a nice place like this, would you???”

Unfortunately, that is how much of our world celebrates the Christmas season — missing the presence of the One who is the source of peace and joy, and Who is the very reason for the holiday.

Too often, we become close with people who seem to enjoy being in our presence, only to find out later that they only want something from us. But Jesus is unselfish in His closeness to us, and His concern for us is abundant. When Jesus comes in, a new miraculous, supernatural, wonderful dimension comes upon your life.

As we celebrate this Season of Christmas, let us start now and invite the presence of the One we celebrate — the One the prophet Isaiah referred to as Wonderful — to be the focus of all we do. Let’s be sure to invite the guest of honor into the festivities, lest we lose the true meaning amidst the gifts, the tinsel, and the lights.

The group Cloverton recently performed a Christmas version of the popular Leonard Cohen song, Hallelujah. I invite you to listen to it, and let it’s beauty and truth resonate in your heart this Christmas season.

TSOCToday’s blog was adapted from book I had the honor of contributing to called The Spirit of Christmas. Other contributors to this delightful collection were John Hagee, Tommy Barnett, James Robison, John Bevere, Creflo Dollar, and Jackie McCullough. If you would like more information about how you can purchase your own copy of The Spirit of Christmas, please call  1-800-877-6493.

Wonderful!

Christmas_Tree_FarmsIn Shakespeare’s classic play, Juliet asked Romeo:

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

In spite of the sentiment in those words, the truth is that we are people, not plants, and our names carry great significance. Someone once said…

“The sweetest sound on earth is your own name spoken tenderly by a friend.”

A Good Name

In biblical times, a person’s name directly indicated his character. If we explore the pages of the Hebrew Bible, we find that the Hebrew word for “name” is shem, the name also given to one of Noah’s sons. This word comes from a root word meaning “to set a mark.”A child was often named according to something that “marked” the child.

Many times a name would become synonymous with fame, renown, and heroic reputation, such as in the case of David. God Himself blessed the name of David, saying,

“I have been with you wherever you have gone, and have cut off your enemies from before you, and have made you a great name, like the name of the great men who are on the earth.” (2 Samuel 7:9 NKJV)

Unfortunately, a name can also come to represent evil. After years of being under the rule of a fiendish queen whose wickedness caused heartache in the land of the chosen people, few Jewish families consider the name Jezebel for their baby girls!

KS12499

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us, a Son is given…
And His name shall be called Wonderful…

Wonderful! Isaiah began his description with this word that comes from the Hebrew people, which refers to supernatural power, something that cannot be explained in terms of human planning.

A great evangelist of the 1900’s was a man named Rodney “Gypsy” Smith. Until his death in 1947, having ministered all over the world, he maintained a glow and an excitement about Jesus that were infectious. One day he was asked how he stayed so fresh in his life and preaching. He replied…

I never lost the wonder!

Gypsy Smith couldn’t get over the wonder of being touched by the God of the universe through the salvation given by Jesus. He often said, “I didn’t go through colleges and seminaries. They wouldn’t have me… but I have been to the feet of Jesus.”

So how about you?

KS12474Have you been to the feet of the baby in the manger who became the Savior of the world? Have you stood, as the shepherds and kings of old, in awe at the wonder of the One called Wonderful? If not, this Christmas season is a great time to start! What better gift to give to the One Whose birthday we celebrate that your own heart and life.

Merry Christmas!

— adapted, in part, from the chapter Call Him Wonderful by Ron Phillips from the compilation book, The Spirit of Christmas (©1999 Thomas Nelson Publishers)