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The Son, Part 2

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
December 10, 2021 9:00 am

The Son, Part 2

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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December 10, 2021 9:00 am

As Pastor J.D. continues the series called, Foretold, we’ll learn more about the reign of Ahaz, the King of Jerusalem and an event that pointed to the coming Savior—700 years before the birth of Jesus.

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Today on Summit Life with J.D. Greer. For all of you who are overwhelmed by a problem, for those of you that are confronted by a temptation, you just are having trouble saying no to, I just want you to think about this for a long time. In Christ you have the presence and the promise of the God who holds the whole universe in his hands and the absolute approval of the only one whose opinion really matters anyway. Welcome back to Summit Life with Pastor J.D. Greer.

As always, I'm your host, Molly Vidovitch. We're in a teaching series today called Foretold, and we're looking at some of the Old Testament prophecies that pointed ahead to the coming Savior. Today we're looking again at Isaiah 9 verses 1 to 7, a prophecy that was given during the reign of Ahaz, the king of Jerusalem, about 700 years before Jesus's birth.

Ahaz was facing an impending invasion by the armies of Assyria, and into this frightening situation, God sent the prophet Isaiah to speak. Doesn't really sound like a baby in a manger kind of Christmas story, does it? But the importance of this prophecy, along with so many others, gives us great faith to believe that Jesus truly is the Son of God. So let's dive back into a message that we started yesterday called the Son.

Here's Pastor J.D. Waiting is supposed to be an important part of Christmas tradition because it reminds us that life for the believer is in a posture of waiting for ultimate redemption. In two other times in my life, I remember hating waiting.

The first was the birth of my first baby. Anybody in that situation? It's so slow. You're like, whatever, get here. It's the slowest nine months of my life, but then when you think about it, you don't want that baby to deliver early.

Right? I mean, it may be hard to wait, but there are important things developing in that womb that you do not want to stop, nor do you want to rush them. What if that was God's purpose in what he's doing or seemingly not doing in your life right now? What if the purpose of God in your waiting is to form some very important things in us during this time? That is exactly the analogy or the metaphor that Paul uses in Romans 8 as to what God is doing on the earth. What if there was something that God was doing in the waiting, and yes, it was driving you crazy, but what if he had a purpose in it? Guys, I know we want God to just appear and fix everything, but sometimes God has a purpose in the wait. Things we learn, attitudes that are formed in us, and if we refuse to wait, we will abort the work that God is doing in us. Does that make sense?

One other example. The other time I remember hating waiting was when I got engaged. We had a relatively short engagement, you know, six months or so, but it just was like, why? I mean, we know we want to get married. Why would we just put six arbitrary months in there?

Arbitrary months in there? That makes perfect sense to guys. To girls, they're like, because you've got to plan a wedding, and you can't do that in like a week. I'm like, why wouldn't you do it in a week?

Just, you know, some wings and some big room and invite all our friends. Great. The reason I didn't want to wait those six months is because I don't give a rat's behind about the ceremony. I mean, honestly, guys don't. You're like, just, you know, it's pass, fail. We get married, pass.

We don't fail. That's all I care about. But my wife did care about the ceremony, so she was willing to wait. God cares about what he is doing in you, and so there is the wait as God does that. Guys, God is never late.

He's got it all under complete control. I know you think he's late. Ahaz thought he was late, but he's not. He's never been, never been late. He always arrives exactly when he intends to.

In fact, you know, the Apostle Paul described Jesus' birth in the epistles only one time, and what he said was this, Galatians 4.4, when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son. Fullness of time is a majestic Greek phrase that simply means at just the right moment. If you find yourself in a place where you're having to wait on God, know that God has things fully under control. God will do his work in your life in the fullness of time.

Don't abort what God is doing in you by refusing to wait. Here's our second thing. For now, what you get is Jesus. For now, what you get is Jesus. That's what you'll see here in Isaiah 9. God gives them a promise of ultimate fulfillment in the future. What you get in the present is the presence of Jesus. These next two verses give you four incredible names, verses six and seven, four incredible names for Jesus. They're all relational names, not just descriptions of God's attributes. I'll show you that.

We're going to look at two of them this week, and then we're going to look at two of them the next week. Here's the first one, verse six. He will be called the Wonderful Counselor. Wonderful. Wonderful is a Hebrew word that means awesome, wondrous, awe-inspiring, glorious God.

Jesus would be the incarnation of God's awesome glory, John 1.14. Counselor. Counselor means simply a guide and a help with our problems, our day-to-day problems. And I think it is, watch this, very interesting that these two words, wonderful and counselor, are put together, Wonderful Counselor. Here's the significance of that. The way that God helps us in most of our problems, the way He is our Counselor, is by allowing us to see how awesome and wondrous He is and how valuable that is to us.

Did you get that? I probably better say it again. Counselor is the help. Seeing He is wonderful is how He helps us, that how He is our Counselor. Because the greatest help to us in the midst of life's problems is for us to see the awesomeness of the God, who says He will never leave us and watches over us, to have the assurance of His presence with us and to know how valuable He is to us. You see, a lot of times we come to church asking if God can make our lives better.

You know, I mean, a lot of people come to our church because they have their first kid and they're like, you know, I just really feel like this kid needs a spiritual foundation and so we haven't been in church, so I'm going to go back in church. And you come in to the place asking, can God help us? Can God help our family? Can God help make my life better?

Will God help my marriage? I've told you that's, I mean, I understand the question, but it's kind of like I've told you a kid, a little kid saying, if a nuclear bomb goes off next to me, will I get hot? Yes, you will get hot. But really, the whole experience of being nuclear bombed is not really about your personal body temperature. It becomes a tad irrelevant. Or I've told you it's like an athlete who competes for the Olympics, trains and trains for years and finally makes it to the Olympics and play, you know, qualifies for an event and goes on and wins a gold medal and win the gold medal and they stand up there in that little platform and their national anthem starts to play as their flag goes up and they get this overwhelming sense of emotion and a tear comes out of their eye and a little kid comes up and says, is this fun? Yeah, yeah, it's fun, but this experience is so far beyond funness or it's about so much more. That's the same as you coming up to God and saying, God, will you make my life better? Will you fix my problems?

Nuclear bomb, will you make me hot? You're missing the point. Life's greatest treasure.

Enjoy. Life's greatest treasure and joy is to know him and to know that he knows you and loves you and is present in your life. That doesn't take away your problems, I know, but it completely changes how you go through them. I remember when my dad, my dad had a surgery on his colon years, a few years ago. I've always seen my dad as a very strong man, a guy who had it together and I remember when he came out of the surgery, he was in such intense pain. He looked so helpless and I remember as he woke up out of the surgery and we were there, he began to kind of grope around and call out for my mother. Where's Carol? That's my mom.

Where's Carol? And when she woke over to him and she grabbed his hand, you could see in his pain just this sense of peace come over him. It wasn't that he was out of pain, it's that he was in the presence of the one who had just loved him and been with him and been his love for all of his life. If the presence of someone like that in your life brings comfort, what is it like for God to be there with you through it all? The awesomeness of Jesus to you redefines, doesn't take away, but redefines the problems in your life. And so for all of you who are overwhelmed by a problem, for those of you that are confronted by a temptation you just are having trouble saying no to, I just want you to think about this for a long time. In Christ you have the presence and the promise of the God who holds the whole universe in his hands and the absolute approval of the only one whose opinion really matters anyway. Wonderful counselor.

Here's your next description. Mighty God. Mighty God. The story that came to mind here is where Jesus calms the storm. Mark 4, which I maintain has to be the most under, one of the most underrated miracles in all of Jesus' ministry.

It was right toward the beginning of his ministry. Jesus and his disciples are on one of their folks' boat fishing trips together and there's a terrible storm and they're all fighting for their lives and you recall this if you grew up in Sunday school, Jesus, what's he doing? He's in the back of the boat and he's asleep. He's got the pillow over his head to keep, you know, drown out all the noise of all these disciples who are getting on his nerves. He's asleep and then, you know, here's all the disciples, they're rocking and they're reeling and they're fighting for their lives and finally Peter goes up and says, Jesus, don't you care? Right? You know, by the way, if I were making a movie about Jesus, I would have Will Ferrell play Peter.

I decided that this weekend. I mean, seriously, that makes a lot of sense, doesn't it? Jesus, don't you care? So Jesus stands up, you know, kind of yawns, he's all groggy. He looks out at the storm and the text literally says he rebuked the wind and the waves.

He looks at the wind and the waves, he's like, cut it out! Rebuked. Rebuked is what you do to somebody who is underneath you or subordinate to you. You rebuke your kids.

You will not pee in the sink. I mean, you rebuke them. You rebuke an employee.

You will not show up late for work. This guy rebukes the weather channel. He owns the weather. He just stands up and turns it off. You know, like somebody's car goes off in the parking lot and you're like, whose car is that? And some guy comes out all embarrassed.

Oh, sorry, it's my car. And turns off the alarm. Jesus stands up like, oh, I'm sorry, it's my storm.

Turns it off. And so they say, what kind of man is this that even the weather obeys him? The point was he is a god of unlimited power. Then you see at the end of his life this pathetic scene now at the end of Mark where Jesus literally crawls through the Garden of Gethsemane. Mark tells us that in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus sees something that makes him shrink back in horror and be deathly afraid and beg God to let him out of what is coming. He's so afraid, it's almost like he starts to swoon. Mark said he was afraid unto death that he began to sweat great drops of blood. Three times in Mark 14, he goes to his friends and just says, could you stay up with me?

Which is kind of tender. Seeing the mighty God just need companionship, just need somebody to sit up with him for a while. What was it that he was seeing that caused the mighty God to stagger and be deathly afraid and just need a friend? It was the price of our sin.

The mighty, glorious, wonderful God submitted himself to the weakness and the humiliation of death so that he could purchase our forgiveness and give us an eternal home in heaven with him forever. And you see this shines a new light on his mightiness. His mightiness is not just power over the wind and the waves. It's the mightiness of a love that would do anything to rescue us. The early church used to say, in fact, remember I've told you that I did my dissertation on the early church.

Whenever I mention it, it makes me feel smart, okay? The early church said that the strength of a flame was not shown in how it burned upwards. The strength of a flame was not shown in how it burned downwards. The strength of a flame was shown in if it could burn downwards. When you think about it, you light a candle, that's a weak flame.

It burns fine up, but if you turn it upside down, it won't go down, but you take a blowtorch and you turn it upside down, it'll shoot down just fine. They said that's the way the love of God is, the majesty of God. God's glory was not shown simply by his creation of the heavens. God's glory was most shown in the fact that he came to earth and humbled himself to death so that he could win our salvation. You want to know who Jesus is. He's not just the God who controls the waves, he's the God who was powerful enough to wrestle death and hell on your behalf and willing to do it. And then emerged victorious, wonderful counselor, mighty God, that is what you get in the present.

Isn't that enough? Maybe your health has failed, and I'm not trying to be insensitive. Maybe your dreams have been shattered.

Maybe you have prayed and something didn't happen. Maybe your relationships have fallen apart, but you have Jesus. The wonderful counselor and the mighty God, he is enough. And people for 2,000 years who have suffered have testified that he is enough. And if you are hurting today, I will hope, I hope that before you leave you will let one of us, in whatever campus you're at, you will let one of us show you how he really can be enough for you.

Here's your third thing. The greatest danger for you in the present is that you will replace God with something else. The greatest danger for you in the present, Isaiah 9 teaches us, is that you will replace God with something else. Ahaz wasn't content to trust and wait on God, so he made an alliance with Assyria and he thought, you know what, if God doesn't come through, then at least I've got, you know, Assyria.

Ultimately this alliance, this compromise, as I told you, led to disaster. Assyria turned on them, then Jerusalem turned to idolatry, and ultimately they would all be carried off to exile. All that, listen to this, all that came not from rejecting God, but from supplementing God with Assyria. The greatest spiritual threat to your life is not rejecting God, it is supplementing God.

You see it here in this story. You see it really all over the Bible, like Abraham. Abraham wouldn't trust God to give him a son since he and his wife Sarah were both old as dirt. And so Abraham subs his wife for a young servant girl. Made logical sense, but this was a compromise of faith that ultimately caused Abraham and the rest of his descendants all kinds of problems. Spiritually we usually wreck ourselves not by rejecting God, but by supplementing him with something.

Here's what that looks like for you. Because you are lonely and not content to wait in your singleness, you compromise who you date. Because you are unhappy in your marriage, rather than trusting God and waiting on him, you cheat on your spouse. Because you're not happy with your income and how much God has given you, you go into debt. Because you're angry about your past, rather than trust God and forgive, you harbor bitterness.

Maybe you just have a general dissatisfaction with where you are in life, always trying to anticipate and get to the next stage. For example, I know all kinds of seminary and college students who are like, you know, I just want to have a real job. I just want to be out in the ministry, doing real ministry. And so they refuse to focus on their schoolwork, they refuse to wait, and as a result they miss out on what God wants to do in their lives during this time period.

I know of so many people in our church in that situation. I want to be somewhere else. So rather than trusting God to get you there, you just abort what he is doing in the present. Or get this one, some of you have stopped waiting on God and you just become cynical. Something in life disappointed you, it didn't turn out like you wanted it to. So you're just bitter at the world. You're just going to go through life with this sort of just sour attitude, marriage stinks, happiness stinks, everything. Nobody wants to be around you really. I won't tell you that, but they'll just avoid you. A guy named Tim Keller said that we have four ways of responding to life disappointments.

I'll do this real quick. When something disappoints us in life, he says the first thing we usually do is you try to substitute it for something else. Your wife didn't make you happy, you get remarried.

Marriage doesn't make you happy, you try to find it in your career. That's option one. Option two is you start to blame yourself.

You're like, well, there's something wrong with me. So you walk around with a guilt complex or low self-esteem, think that something's wrong with you. Your third option is you become cynical.

You know, the world just is a bad place, a bitter place, and you just, you have a bitter, sour perspective on life. He says the fourth option is to realize you weren't created to be happy in anything in this world, ultimately happy that is. You realize you were created for another world and you find what you're looking for in God and in the next world.

Confidence in God, patience to wait on him, satisfaction with his presence. This is what makes life stable. Here's what God says to Ahaz in Isaiah 7. I love this. If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all.

Isn't that a great image? If you're not firm in your confidence in what God is doing, your life literally will start to fall apart because, watch this, you won't be firm enough to say no to temptation. You won't be able to say no to bitterness. You'll live with dissatisfaction and despair and restlessness.

You'll go into debt. You'll quit something for where you're supposed to. Believe in what God is doing in you.

Be firm in it and your whole life will begin to take shape. You'll quit being so unstable. God goes on with Isaiah chapter 8 to Ahaz. Thus says the Lord.

I love this. Do not fear what they fear. Don't be afraid of what everybody else is afraid of, nor be in dread. They fear death. You don't need to because I've overcome death. They fear relational breakdown, but you don't depend on relationships for life and ultimate happiness anymore.

They fear financial ruin. I'll take care of you. If you're overwhelmed with a problem, hear the word of God to you right now. God is sovereign and God is in complete loving, tender control over you. And in the fullness of time, He will answer your prayer. In the fullness of time, He will accomplish what He wants to in your life. And in the presence, what you get is the presence of the wonderful counselor and the mighty God. And I'm not trying to be insensitive, but I'm just telling you, you got deep pain in your life, you will find that He is enough. Wonderful counselor, mighty God. He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion. He's not finished with you.

He's not finished with you. If you'll only trust and believe in what God is doing in you. With a message titled The Son, you're listening to Pastor J.D. Greer on Summit Life. If you've missed any part of this series so far, you can listen online free of charge at

All right, J.D., it's back again. It's time for our annual Summit Life Day Planner. This is a staple resource to so many of our listeners that they've come to enjoy and wait for each year. Yeah, you know, there's nothing magical about the new year, but it does present a natural opportunity for reflection.

Right. It's a great time to take stock of your life and set some goals for ways that you want to grow in the coming months. Maybe you want to start reading your Bible every day, or maybe you want to get better at making time to serve others in ministry or volunteering at your church, whatever it is. We hope this planner will be a great tool to help you meet those goals.

Ultimately, the sum of our lives is a bunch of small decisions that we make, and this will help you think through those decisions to ask what is God doing in your life and where is he taking you this year and how are you going to be able to look back on 2022 and say, I use it the way God wanted me to use it. One of the tools in doing that is taking time through a planner like this one to think about the year and to think about what God, what he has set you up for and how he wants to use you. We've included Bible verses throughout the planner that hopefully will remind you to keep Jesus at the center of all your plans and listen to the Holy Spirit and how he guides you. We're also including a one-year Bible reading plan, which is one of the most important tools on my own spiritual walk.

By the way, you can get that as a free download. If you want to go check it out,, you can take a look at that Bible reading plan there. You could also find out about this planner because I think this will be a helpful tool for you as you enter the new year. And as God has blessed you this past year through the teaching on this program, would you extend that gift to someone else by donating today? Your generous support right now is critical to help us not only finish the year strong, but to continue this ministry in the coming months and years. We'd love to have you partner with us. As our way of saying thanks for your support, we'll get you a copy of that exclusive resource, the 2022 Summit Life Day Planner. It is a great tool for busy students, parents, businessmen, and women, anyone really. You can keep track of your deadlines, create to-do lists, and throughout the planner, you'll find Bible verses to help remind you that God makes all things new.

We're even including a year-long Bible reading plan to help you grow deeper in your knowledge of the gospel throughout the year. Ask for a copy of the 2022 Summit Life Day Planner when you donate today at the suggested amount of $35 or more. Call 866-335-5220. That's 866-335-5220.

Or give online at I'm Molly Bidevich. Thank you for joining us today. Remember to tune in again next week to learn how our Heavenly Father can heal all wounds. Y'all, it's Christmas time, so we'll celebrate again with you Monday on Summit Life with J.D. Greer. Today's program was produced and sponsored by J.D. Greer Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-10 09:43:56 / 2023-07-10 09:54:03 / 10

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