Faithlife Sermons

Advent 2: Mighty God

Advent 2020 CBO  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  34:28
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Mighty God

“And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace.”
Isaiah 9:6 ASV 1901
6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
<Message adapted from the CBO 2020 notes by Cornelius N Atkinson and Robin Munguia.>
In the year 2020, life for the world has been shifted to a new way of living due to Corona-virus/COVID-19. This virus has infiltrated all societies and cultures worldwide. It has changed our normal ways of human interaction, communion, and fellowship with one another.

Managing Our “New Normal”

Because it is a very contagious virus that spreads by human touch and airborne particles, it has changed our practices of connection to a way of interacting that has been called “Social Distancing.” This means that we have to stay six feet apart, even with a mask on. We can no longer shake hands, give high fives or fist bumps, or even hug. And I for one really miss the hugs—as does Bobbi.
We started doing what is called “Elbow Bumping.” How unwelcoming is that? We have a new normal for greeting one another.
We started this adventure at the end of March with a large scale “Stay at Home Order.” Quarantined to our homes for weeks, unable to go out to work, no permission to go to social events, sports events, theatre, entertainment events, and other enjoyable gatherings for fear of spreading the virus. We experienced work stoppages on all levels except those who were considered “Essential Workers.”
Working from home became the workplace norm to stop the spread of the virus. There is an atmosphere of uncertainty in most all sectors of society, in all communities, in all income levels, and among all cultures.
“Flatten the curve” is a term we all have heard a lot. We didn’t used to know what that might be all about. These are our efforts to prevent a large number of hospitalizations or death. Governors, mayors, and health officials, like never before, have been exercising their authority over us in their roles as protectors of the vulnerable. And the stay-at-home order is back. Later on you will hear some numbers that help you know why it is needed.

Where is God?

2020, with our experience of the virus, our pandemic or even,we might say, our modern plague, had many of us searching for answers and asking the questions, “Where is God in this? What is He saying? What is God going to do?”
The church itself is challenged by having normal worship experiences and Bible studies replaced with online worship experiences and small group meetings on Zoom. Some have called this “virtual” church or “virtual” worship. As if we all put on computer gaming goggles to enter into the made-up reality “World of Warcraft”.
This was a challenge for people of faith. The church, at times, felt powerless. It was a challenge to our faith and walk with God. But I don’t buy the idea that our worship is “virtual”. I believe that online worship like we are doing today is still real worship together, as long as we first look to God as the one who is taking all these electrons and stirring them into his special mix that we call online worship. It is still as real as a phone call to our loved ones. But it is different than how we like to do church.
As we prepare to celebrate this Christmas season, we need to take this great opportunity and really celebrate the coming of our Savior. After all the experiences of 2020, and the virus still changing our traditional and social norms, the experience of celebrating the coming of our King Jesus can be a welcome shift!

Experiencing the World Changer

Our text is the Prophet Isaiah’s early birth announcement of the coming Jesus. The First Advent is described in
Isaiah 9:6 ASV 1901
6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given.”
Today, Christians believe that that child is Jesus Christ, whose birth we remember at Christmas.
In this second week of our sermon series Experiencing the World Changer, we are going to examine how Jesus, our Mighty God, changed the World.
The Biblical word used for Mighty God implies a hero, a God who is mighty to save. But unlike the heroes of movies and comics, God’s love is unfailing, and His grace reaches into the deepest darkness to rescue us from our sins.
Isaiah speaks of the coming of Jesus in two ways; first of His humanity (being born) and second of His deity (the Son given to us). The next part of the text speaks of the Second Advent or second coming: “the government will be on His shoulders,” announcing Jesus’ reign as King of kings and Lord over all.
The rest of the verse describe His personal glories, by which we begin to experience our Savior in His deity. What a welcome gift to us in the journey we have been on thus far in 2020.

We Need a Mighty Hero

This has been an unexpected journey of uncertainty, overwhelming emotional swings, doubt, fear, and anxiety. We need our Mighty God to act as our Hero to guide us through these tumultuous times of feelings and emotions. We need a Mighty God as a gift during this season after all that we have experienced and are still experiencing.
Isaiah called Him Mighty God. We can experience Jesus as our Mighty Hero in many wonderful ways; He is wonderful in His creative power with the Father before the foundation of the world. He is wonderful in His birth, in His life, in His death, in His resurrection, and in His ascension to sit at the right hand of the Father.
He is our Mighty Hero as our Savior, our redeemer, and our friend. He is Mighty because, through Him, we have access to eternal life. He is a Mighty God, a true Hero, to have overcome sin, death, hell, and the grave!
A Mighty God, as Isaiah uses it in the text, represents Jesus as the omnipotent and supreme ruler. He has unlimited authority and influence. Talk about a super Hero!
The Mighty God comes to us as the Messiah, in the incarnation of our Hero Jesus Christ, who always was, now is, and always will be fully God. God in all His wisdom, and power, and might. God in all His infinite goodness, grace, and mercy.
The God who has neither beginning nor end of days, who existed from eternity past, and who will exist into eternity. Christ had and has all the power of God, all of God’s strength, all of God’s ability, and all of God’s might because He was and is God. There’s a Mighty Hero for you!
Whatever God can do, Jesus can do because He is God. I believe the excitement “For to us a child is born” is that Jesus will be our Mighty Hero!
He will be mighty for us in our emotionally weakened state, in our government, and as our strength. He sits at the right of the Father saying, ‘not guilty’ for the accusations the enemy makes at the children of God.
So who is this Mighty Hero God? This is . . .

The Mighty God Comes to Exercise Unlimited Authority

Luke 2:13–14 ESV
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
So some shepherds who were tending their sheep in the fields where suddenly awakened and given a show in the skies above them like no one has ever seen before or since. An angel appears to the night watchman announcing the birth of a Savior, the Messiah, the Lord, and then everyone was awakened and the sky was filled with the angels singing “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased.”
There is an old African worship chorus that has three simple truths repeated that say so much.

“What a Mighty God We Serve, What a Mighty God We Serve. Angels bow before Him, Heaven and Earth adore Him. What a Mighty God We Serve.”

This child born in Bethlehem was already the darling of the Heavenly Hosts. They knew who he is, and were looking forward to what he could do for humanity. They knew this baby’s birth was worthy of the highest expression of praise to God. Why?

What does it mean that Our Might God comes with unlimited authority?

Our Mighty God (our Hero) comes to deliver His people from the things that bring bondage to us.
Our Mighty God (our Hero) comes to lift the weight of discouragement that causes us to feel helpless and powerless. These are times when we need to seek the One who has unlimited authority and power to help us.
Dealing with our problems can be difficult and very complex. 2020 brought some major stress and uncertainty to our lives. It even brought stress and uncertainty to the lives of those we may rely on at times to help us. We need someone to help us sort through our issues, our problems, our confusion, our hurt, our pain, our troubles, our mix-ups, and mess-ups.

We Need Our Mighty Hero’s Help

Sometimes we need help to sort things out because it all seems like a storm with wind, rain, waves, and unsettled-ness like the disciples encountered on the lake. They cried out to the Lord as the record reads in Mark 4:35-41). There are times we need a mighty God who can show up and understand our problems and give us a workable solution to bring resolve and peace of mind.
However strong we may be, our physical strength does not compare to the strength of our Mighty Hero God. There are no humans that have all the answers to the problems of our bodies, minds and souls. The Mighty God comes in with unlimited authority to do what it takes to give us the path to victory.
Jesus, the Mighty God, is the hero our world so desperately needs.
The birth of Jesus, Mighty God, was definitely a World-Changer moment.
Our Mighty God, the One Isaiah announced, is the One who can help us through the difficulties of this life. He has all the right answers, at just the right time, and just when we need them. In this Mighty God, we have someone who cares because He understands.
Jesus understands every problem, temptation, and difficulty we face. He is touched by our infirmities, and as we read Peter’s words in
1 Peter 5:7 LEB
7 casting all your cares on him, because he cares for you.
We can know that He cares for us. We can cast our cares upon him. That means we don’t have to carry the weight of our worry, our guilt, our fear, our family, our finances, or any other thing that is weighing us down. He loves us so much that we can trust him to see us through any difficulty.
Paul tells us how to manage this in
Philippians 4:6–7 LEB
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Don’t be anxious, but in everything by prayer and supplication, let our requests be known because He is our Mighty God. This mighty God with unlimited authority operates for our good. He was given to us as a gift, the best Christmas gift you can ever receive. He can be a mind regulator. At times it seems life issues have made us lose our minds. But in Him, and by His spirit, our minds can be at peace because He is our Mighty Hero God.

The Mighty God Can Bear the Weight of the World on His Shoulders.

Isaiah states in the text, “and the government will be on his shoulders.” Sometimes it seems like we are carrying the whole world on our shoulders. We don’t have to.
Whether globally, in our country, in our local area, what happens around us affects us. How real has this been for us in 2020 as we are all a part of a global pandemic? It affects us in a very stressful way. It feels like the weight of the world sometimes. Dealing with the virus makes, for many, very stressful, tension-filled, and mind-challenging times. And we are not nearly over it yet.

Some Nasty Numbers

I am sure as we prepare for this Christmas season, there are many who really don’t feel like getting into a celebratory Christmas spirit. There are many who really don’t feel like singing and celebrating the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus. The weight of the world around us has dampened our spirits as we try to juggle or balance what weighs us down. The concerns of employment, uncertainty, financial resources, and family life, after this interference in our normalcy, feel heavy.

Worldwide: 67 MILLION Cases, 1.5 MILLION Deaths

For me, concern over the rate of illness and death caused by this pandemic drives me to consume whatever information I can. I checked just last night and ran into some mind-boggling numbers. Right now, there are nearly 67 MILLION reported COVID-19 cases in the world, and more than 1.5 MILLION deaths.

United States: 15 MILLION Cases, 290 THOUSAND Deaths

But when it comes to COVID-19, the United States is definitely a World Leader. We have more people infected and more deaths than any other single country in the world. As of Saturday evening, the United States has nearly 15 MILLION cases, and almost 290,000 deaths from Coronovirus infections.

United States: Of the TOTAL POPULATION, 1 of 22 have or had COVID-19; 1 out of 1200 have died. 5 times the rate worldwide.

That means 1 out of every 22 people in the United States has a reported case of COVID-19 infection, and more than 1 of every 1200 people in the United States has died. I told you the United States is a World Leader: Our infection rate and our death rate is 5 times what it is in the rest of the world, on average. Those numbers are hard to digest, if you don’t think with more than 1 or 2 zeros behind a number.

PROJECTIONS ARE EVEN WORSE

But even worse, the projections for the 1st of April 2021 will be almost twice as many deaths than we have now, over half a million, even with as many people as possible vaccinated!
Of course, you can just say you’re tired of it, and if our restrictions let up too fast, the projection is that you can add another 230,000 people will die in the US, making it 3/4 of a million just in our nation, and an extra 800,000 across the world. Even with vaccines.

What a difference a mask can make: Save 50,000 lives

If everyone wears a face covering all the time, it might save as many as HALF a MILLION lives worldwide, and save about 50,000 lives in the US.
Even with vaccines we can’t let our guard down. We are dealing with a dangerous and deadly virus that we cannot see, but we have the power in our own hands to slow the spread. Wash your hands. Wear a facemask. Keep your distance. You have it in your power to make a difference.
I know I didn’t help anyone’s stress level with those numbers. They are easily available on the internet, from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), covid19.healthdata.org and other sites with scientifically derived data.

Our Mighty God is our Hero Who Bears the Weight of the World

But that’s also why we need our Mighty God to come is as our Hero. He can bear the weight of the world and take authority over this pandemic. And he will. For now, be careful, be safe, stay well. Don’t stick your hand in a fire then ask God to take away the consequences. That’s not how it works.
After this virus, what the future looks like has changed so much. People will be trying to rebuild business and renew employment. How we manage our travel and conventions will change. How we see a movie or enjoy a theme park will be different. Of course, even though we look forward to regathering for worship, even church and our family events may be quite different.
We are looking for answers to how the world around us is affecting our lives and the lives of those we love so much. This weight is real and, at times, can be overbearing. Sometimes we put on our best game faces and try to just push through and put a good spin on it. But at other times, the tears flow, we drop our heads in our hands, or just lie across the bed, praying for an answer.

Our Mighty God is Not Overwhelmed

I want you to know that God already knows how and when this difficult season will come to an end. I found the confirmation of this unexpectedly in the passage we studied on Wednesday night, from
1 Peter 5:10 ESV
10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
“A little while” is comforting to me, because of God’s “after” when our Mighty God will restore, strengthen, and rebuild our foundations. Read 1 Peter 5:8-10 and you will see how our enemy wants to devour us, and that the whole world is suffering through this like we are right now. God is not surprised. Mighty God has not lost control.
From the passage in Isaiah 9:6 we see there is an answer for us in “to us a son is given.” It is in the Mighty God, allowing Him to carry the weight, lift the burden, release the pressure, and remove the heavy load. Whenever we need help, because the weight of the world becomes too much, we need a Hero to lighten the load. We need the Mighty God.
>>>Instead of being in a panic, take heart from
Matthew 6:8 ESV
8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
Mighty God already knows what we need.
No matter how strong we are, no matter how mature we are in the faith, no matter how much we pray or read the Word of God, there are times the weight is too much, and we need the Mighty God. When we need advice, when we are searching for answers, it is good to have family to talk to. It is good to have friends we can call. It is good to have mentors to be able to connect with, but even they can let us down and may not have the answer we need.
That is why I am so glad we have the one we know as Jesus, the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, our Hero who will always be there and can never let us down. There’s not a day, an hour, a minute, or a second that He doesn’t know what you need.

The Mighty God Comes to Guide My Path

Mighty God is the supreme ruler who is all powerful to influence not just what’s going on in our lives, but his power stretches out to the whole universe. Isaiah is making an announcement of the coming Savior who will be our Mighty God throughout this life here on earth, no matter the difficult for any of us.
Isaiah said, “For to us a Child is born,” This child is a gift from heaven. But this child is not only given to guide us through life. This child is given to guide us through life AND to lead us to eternity.
Isaiah said, “to us a Son is given,” this Son is the Son of the living God. He is given to us as our Mighty God to guide us through
the steps of life,
the valleys of life,
the troubles of life,
the pain of life,
the hardships of life,
the tough terrain of life,
the letdowns of life, and
the broken promises of this life.
God sent His Son, our Mighty God, to guide and help us through our life’s journeys. Our ways in life are full of potholes and traps, sins and sinners. If we don’t stay focused on out Mighty Hero God, we will find ourselves, over and over again, in dire straits. But when we are in those problems, The Son of God, The Messiah, our Christ is the one who can move us out of our chains and struggles and set us free.
Christ can free the sinner and the one in pain.
He is the answer for the person abused and for the abuser.
He is the answer for the spouse who has been cheated on and for the one who has been unfaithful.
He is the answer for the abandoned child and for the mother or father that has abandoned.
He is the answer for the family who has lost a loved one in a drunk-driving accident and for the drunk driver who took the life.
1 Peter 2:24 LEB
24 who himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we may die to sins and live to righteousness, by whose wounds you were healed.
Jesus himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; because by his wounds you have been healed.
We should look forward to all our encounters with the World Changer, Jesus Christ. There is still work for us to do. There is a message of hope from our Mighty Hero to share, and there is reflection on our own lives that we need to do to be more in the place God wants us.
He is the whole package, Mighty Hero God.
Are we who we really want to be this Christmas? What do we need to do to prepare for the King of Kings in our own lives?
His spirit is a spirit of power, and His love operates in a Mighty way through the life of the believer, for this Mighty God, our Mighty Hero, gives us the
Power to love
Power to forgive
Power to trust
Power to overcome fear
Power to endure
Power to be more than a conquer
Power to have hope for tomorrow
Power to have joy, unspeakable joy

The Mighty Hero God Comes to Our Rescue

I am thankful today for the early announcement the Prophet Isaiah gives us in this text, for it tells of the coming Mighty God, who will lead us through the journey of this life here on earth that will prepare us for the journey of eternal life. This season of Christmas and after all we have experienced in 2020, I am so thankful for the gift of Jesus as my Mighty God and all that He is to me. I am so thankful for how His authority leads me through the life ups and downs when I can no longer make sense of it all, and the weight of it all becomes too much to bear. I am glad to know I have a Mighty Hero God, named Jesus the Christ.
This Mighty God will always be there for you, and if you don’t know Him for yourself today, hear these words: “For to you a child is born, to you a son given, and you no longer have to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders, for He is your Mighty God, to first save your soul and then walk with you through this life journey.”
We are celebrating that the Mighty God was born, Who is the Hero that clears the way to give men and women free access to God and the forgiveness of sins through His blood and death.
This Christmas, will you experience the Mighty Hero, the World Changer?
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