Monday, December 28, 2020

Jesus Is Mighty God

  “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given…. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  – Isaiah 9:6

Wow! That was fast, wasn’t it? If any part of 2020 could be considered short, it was the Christmas season. I hope you were able to bask in the enjoyment of the Christmas lights, the music, the movies, the gifts. All of those things are a fun part of the season, and they were much needed this year. But most of all, I hope that Christ was at the center of your Christmas celebration.

While Christmas 2020 is on the books, the Christ of Christmas is eternal. So, I’d like to spend just a little more time contemplating the nature of Jesus, foretold in Isaiah 9:6: our “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” The second title of Jesus in Isaiah 9:6, “Mighty God,” highlights Jesus’ power.

“Mighty” is a translation of the Hebrew word “Gibbor,” which is defined as “strength; power; hero; warrior.” Isaiah 9:6 tells us that Jesus is El Gibbor: the God of Strength, the God of Power, God our Hero, and God our Warrior. Do you need strength in your life? Do you need a hero to deliver you? Do you need a warrior to help you fight and win your battles? Jesus is your man, because Jesus is El Gibbor—Mighty God. The New Testament confirms that Jesus is, in fact, the mighty, all-powerful God who created the universe. “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made” (John 1:3). And “all things were created by him and for him…and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:16-17).

So, how should you and I respond to our Mighty God, Jesus Christ?

1. You should TRUST our Mighty God. It’s not enough to just believe in Jesus Christ. You have to trust in him. After all, Satan believes in Jesus, but he refuses to trust in Jesus. As a consequence, he will never experience the power of Jesus’ goodness and grace. Jesus Christ isn’t just wise enough to give you the solutions to your problems; he is strong enough to carry out those solutions. He is strong enough to deliver you from your problems, strong enough to heal you from your diseases, and strong enough to save you from your sins. So, trust him. Jesus Christ is mighty to save.

2. You should LOVE our Mighty God. When Jesus was asked in Matthew 22:36, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the [Old Testament] Law?” Jesus answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.” And how exactly do we do that? Well, remember that love is not an emotion, although it includes emotions. Love is a choice. Love is a decision. Love is an action. We choose to love Jesus Christ by spending time in his word and in prayer every day. And the number-one way we can show our love to Jesus Christ is by obeying Jesus Christ. We must do what he says. Jesus tells us plainly in John 14:15: “If you love me, you will obey what I command.”

3. You should SERVE our Mighty God. One of the greatest Christians in the New Testament was the Apostle Paul. He was a great leader in the Church. But more than anything else, he just wanted to be a faithful servant of Jesus Christ. He wanted at the end of his life to hear Jesus speak to him those six glorious words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Paul understood that Jesus came to earth as a baby not to be served, but to SERVE. And Paul urges us to follow in Jesus’ footsteps as a servant. As he wrote in Philippians 2:5-8, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant … he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!”

Jesus Christ was born here on earth to be the lowest of the low, to be the servant of servants, because he loved us and wanted to set an example of how we should humbly serve each other. But make no mistake about it: Jesus Christ is our Mighty, All-powerful God. He is our God Warrior. He is our God Hero.

There is no obstacle in your life too big for Him to move. There is no disease in your body that is too advanced for Him to cure. And there is no sin in your life that is too sinful for Him to forgive. As you trust, love and serve him, you can stand and say with the Apostle Paul, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). What a Mighty God we serve!

Dane Davis is the Pastor of Impact Christian Church. Please join us for our online worship service tomorrow at 10 a.m. at, on our YouTube channel (Impact Christian Church), or on Facebook. For more information, visit


Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Wonderful Counselor

 “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given…. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  – Isaiah 9:6

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. And honestly, this year I need Christmas more than ever. I plan to savor every minute of this special season. How about you? I think it would do everyone good to soak it all in. Walk or drive through your neighborhood and look at all the Christmas lights. Listen to Christmas music. Watch some uplifting Christmas movies like “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Miracle on 34th Street” and “Elf.” Bake some Christmas cookies … and bring some to me. Enjoy this Christmas season to the fullest!

But most importantly, keep Christ at the center of your Christmas celebration. Read the Christmas story from Matthew 2 and Luke 2. Talk with others about why we celebrate Christmas. Be a blessing to people around you who are feeling sad or alone. Being a Secret Santa is fun, but God has called you to bring Jesus to those who are hurting.

2020 has been filled with doom and gloom. But God has a plan—a good plan to prosper us and not to harm us, a plan to give us hope and a future. He has a plan to head off the doom and gloom. And that plan was foretold in Isaiah 9, written some 700 years before Christ was born.  God promised His people: “Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress…. in the future He will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan. The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned” (vs. 1-2).

And what’s most amazing of all is who God tells us will carry out His plan: not a massive army, a league of nations or a great political leader. God’s amazing plan rests in the hands … of a child. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (v. 6). This promised child would be a king unlike any other king who ever lived, a lord unlike any other lord who ever ruled. This child would be King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Let’s take a few minutes to wrap our minds around this first kingly title of Jesus in verse 6: Wonderful Counselor. What does this title mean? The word “wonderful” in Isaiah 9:6 is a translation of the Hebrew word “pele,” which is defined as  “a phenomenon lying outside the realm of human explanation; that which is separated from the normal course of events; a miracle, a marvel, something extraordinary, incomprehensible, inexplicable.”

I really like what has to say about the wonder of Jesus: “Jesus demonstrated His wonderfulness in various ways when He was on the earth, beginning with His conception in the womb of a virgin (Matthew 1:23). He showed He is the ‘wonderful’ One in His power to heal (Matthew 4:23) … His perfect life (Hebrews 4:15), and His resurrection from the dead (Mark 16:6). Jesus taught many wonderful things that are counterintuitive to the human mind: ‘Blessed are those who mourn’ (Matthew 5:4). ‘Rejoice and be glad’ in persecution (Matthew 5:11–12). ‘Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you’ (Luke 6:27). Jesus’ kind of wonderful is awe-inspiring and superior to any other kind, for He is perfect in every way (Matt. 5:48).”

Next, “counselor” is a translation of the Hebrew word “yoez,” which means “to advise, counsel, devise, purpose.” In ancient Israel, a counselor was portrayed as a wise king, Solomon, who gave guidance to his people. But Jesus’ counsel is in a category of its own. His wisdom and his counsel are “a phenomenon lying outside the realm of human explanation” -- “a miracle, a marvel, extraordinary, incomprehensible, inexplicable.”

Jesus knows you better than anyone else, because he alone created you. Jesus understands you better than anyone else, because he alone knows every thought in your mind and every motive in your heart. Jesus cares about you more than anyone else, because his love for you is perfect. And he understands the unique circumstances and people around you better than anyone else, because as the all-knowing Son of God, in him “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” So, he is the first one you should go to with your questions. He is the first one you should go to with your problems. And he is the first one you should go to with your depression, anxiety, fears, failures, and your sin. 

Jesus Christ came to earth on Christmas morning to be your Wonderful Counselor. No question is too hard for him to answer. No problem is too big for him to handle. No family drama is too dramatic for him to deal with. No soul is too lost for him to save. There is only ONE Wonderful Counselor, and His name is Jesus. So, go to him this Christmas season.

Dane Davis is the Pastor of Impact Christian Church. Please join us for this Sunday's worship service, online at 10 a.m. on our YouTube channel (Impact Christian Church) or on Facebook. And we hope you’ll join us for our online Christmas Eve candlelighting service, Dec. 24th at 8 p.m.

Monday, December 7, 2020

The Peace of Christmas

 “The punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” 
– Isaiah 53:5b

A wise man once gave a young, discouraged coworker this advice: “The way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the things you’ve started." So the young man went home and took his mentor’s advice. The next day at work the man asked his young friend if he felt more at peace, and he responded, “You have no idea! I went home and looked around the house to see all the things I had started but hadn’t finished. And before I left this morning, I finished off a bottle of red wine, a bottle of white, some cheesecake, a box of chocolates, and the rest of my Prozac. I totally feel at peace!”

Well, that’s not REAL peace, is it? Let’s take a look at the REAL peace that Jesus offers us at Christmas. A marvelous prophecy about Jesus is recorded in Isaiah 53:5, where God tells His people, “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities, the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

Think about these powerful words for a moment: “The punishment that brought us peace was upon him.” The Hebrew word for peace is “shalom”--one of the most important words to the Jewish people. For centuries, orthodox Jews have greeted each other with the one-word greeting “Shalom!” To the orthodox Jew, “Shalom!” is used both for a “Hello!” and a “Goodbye!” But it means so much more. Shalom is most often translated into English as “peace” or “harmony.” But shalom more literally means “wholeness.”

So, when a Jewish man wishes his neighbor “shalom,” he is wishing him wholeness—in his health, in his marriage and in his walk with God. And when God tells us in Isaiah 53:5 that “the punishment that brought us shalom was upon Jesus,” He is telling us that because of our sin, our relationship with God was shattered into a million pieces. Our relationship with God was hopelessly broken. And because our broken relationship was absolutely, 100% our fault, we rightly deserved to be punished.

The wages of sin is death. But because of God’s amazing grace through Christ, we don’t have to experience eternal brokenness and punishment. Because Jesus never sinned, he didn’t deserve any punishment and his relationship with God was perfectly whole. Jesus traded us his reward for our punishment, and his shalom with God for our brokenness. Is there any doubt that Jesus got the short end of the stick on that trade?

When the angels shouted in the Bethlehem sky, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth shalom to men on whom His favor rests” (Luke 2:14), they were talking about wholeness. Yes, they wanted us to know that Jesus offers us peace with God! Yes, they wanted us to know that Jesus offers us harmony with God! But perhaps most of all they wanted us to know that Jesus offers us wholeness with God. Jesus had come into the world to put back together what we had irreparably broken.

But I find it interesting that Jesus, at times, gives a mixed message about the shalom that he brought to mankind. In John 14:27 Jesus tells his disciples, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” But then he says in Matthew 10:34-36, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’”

Well, that doesn’t sound very peaceful, does it? But think about it. When it comes to true peace, the world doesn’t get it. The world thinks that peace comes on the heels of anti-bullying campaigns and by eliminating politically incorrect words from our vocabulary and reducing greenhouse gases. And this Christmas season, many seem to think we’ll have more peace if we stop singing “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” and stop watching “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”!

None of these things can bring true, lasting shalom. Anti-bullying campaigns can’t make a person whole. Stricter emissions standards cannot make a person whole. Only Jesus Christ can make a person whole. That’s the truth. But the problem is, many of our family members and coworkers and neighbors don’t want to hear the truth. So, when we embrace the shalom of Jesus Christ and receive peace with God and peace with others, many unbelievers around us will say, “Thanks, but no thanks! I want nothing to do with you or your Jesus.”

The Prince of Peace came to bring wholeness, but to those who reject Him, he actually ends up bringing division. The Good News of Jesus Christ is rightly called the Gospel of peace. But the Gospel of peace—when it is bitterly rejected—becomes more like a gospel of war. The gospel of peace does not bring peace to those who harden their hearts.

But to those who are willing to accept it, the word of God is clear: Jesus IS the Prince of Peace. Jesus is the only One who offers true, lasting peace—peace and wholeness within our own broken lives, peace and wholeness within our relationship with others, and peace and wholeness in our relationship with God.

Dane Davis is the Pastor of Impact Christian Church. Please join us for our live worship service Sundays at 9 a.m. at 17746 George Blvd. in Victorville. Or, join us online at 10 a.m. on our YouTube channel (Impact Christian Church) or on Facebook.