December Memory Verse

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.
Isaiah 9:6

Isaiah, one of the great Old Testament prophets, wrote these words during the reign of Solomon, approximately 700 years before the birth of Jesus. Think about this for a minute: Isaiah accurately predicted this event seven centuries before it happened. This can only be explained as God speaking through Isaiah about what was to come—His plan for our salvation.

Now, over 2,700 years later, we once again approach another celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior. Each year, we gladly make room for this joyous time filled with family gatherings, inspiring music, and meaningful worship, as well as the secular activities and customs the world has attributed to this holiday. But it may seem a bit more difficult to rejoice in 2020 as we are plagued with physical and societal afflictions such as COVID-19, civil unrest, and racial tensions. Could it be that we are overlooking the obvious answer which has always been before us?

We, as believers, need now more than ever to trust God, to know that He is in charge, and to listen as He speaks to us. We cannot solve these problems without Him. Especially now, let us step back and remember what we are celebrating: the birth of our long-awaited Savior, the Messiah through Whom we gain forgiveness of our sins and the ultimate promise of everlasting life—when we will finally be free from all the infirmities of  this broken world.

In a ministry that spanned three short years, Jesus changed the course of humanity forever. Isaiah predicted the enormity of Christ’s attributes as the Messiah—His ancestry, sovereignty, wisdom, and righteousness. These prophecies are still relevant today and Jesus will overcome!

So, what is God’s message to us as we approach this Christmas season? “Watch and pray” (Matthew 26:41). “Study the Scriptures diligently” (John 5:39). “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts…” (Hebrews 3:7-8). Jesus calls us to live our lives dedicated to faith in Him, trusting that our God is with us no matter how dark the clouds appear on the horizon. We, as Christ-followers, believe in His promises and this makes us heirs to God’s love and eternal life with Him.

Christmas can be a new beginning for each of us. Jesus is born! God is with us! As Isaiah said, “to us a son is given… and he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” How reassuring is that!

by Elder Ken Baldwin