December 15

“The government will rest on His shoulders…His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!”
Isaiah 9:6a & 7

We talked about the four names given to Jesus – Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. John Piper talks about how these four names meet our four basic needs – the need for wisdom, the need for strength, the need for family and the need for wholeness.

Today, I want us to focus on the verses just before and after His four names are given. The prophet Isaiah declares that “the government will rest on His shoulders” and then follows up the four names by saying “His government and its peace will never end.” The Message Bible paraphrases this as “there will be no end to the Wholeness He brings.” How beautiful a promise!

We all want and need those four names in our lives – wonderful advice and counsel, divine power and strength, a secured eternity in heaven, wholeness, healing and calm. But notice that those desired attributes are preceded and proceeded by His authority. In other words, these names and attributes will be found where He governs, where He is in control, where He is enthroned.

Ultimately, they will be true for everyone everywhere, when Jesus comes to set up His throne here on earth. For now, it is our choice… will we surrender? Will we submit to His governance?

Here’s the thing… so often, we want His reign (all the benefits and blessing of His authority) without His rule (His laws, His standards).

We want the Kingdom without the King. We want the Savior, but not the Lord. We want the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace but not the government. We want His power but not His authority.

When this scripture says “His government and its peace will never end,” I believe that is true on two levels: one, presently. If you or I or anyone submits to Jesus as Savior and Lord, and truly places the governing of our lives, values, choices and everything on His shoulders, accepts Him and follows Him as King, Master, Lord – then His government and peace will never end, no matter how crazy His counsel seems compared to what the world says, no matter what situations or circumstances we face… His peace will never end. Peace means “wholeness” – nothing missing, nothing broken. His rule brings His wholeness to us in the here and now.

Two, ultimately. He will rule for all eternity. He has given us all time and space to accept Him, but His government and its peace will indeed reign forever, whether we have surrendered to Him or not. “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’” (Matthew 7:21‭-‬23 It’s those who didn’t follow God’s laws that will be turned away… simply calling Him “Lord” is not enough. We must accept His Lordship.

My friends, the peace that earthly governments can try to bring is temporary, flimsy, surface and not enough. Our earthly governments will always topple and fall. Why do we look to earthly rulers, whether political or personal, to bring the peace and good that ONLY the government of Christ reigning over us and in us can? His Kingdom shall reign forever, His peace goes into the dark depths of our souls, His throne is forever secured – His rule and authority, when we allow them in our lives, bring such good and blessing and growth and protection to us! Can I encourage you today? If you need or desire His wisdom, His power and might, His Fathering and eternal security, His wholeness and rest… surrender the government of your life to Him. If you want all that His kingdom has, surrender to the King. If you want a Savior, accept Him as Lord. If you need His power, submit to His authority.

We all will surrender ultimately – every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. But we get to choose to surrender presently, and receive all the good that comes with His government.

Prayer: Lord, I recognize that there are times I have wanted the benefits You bring without fully surrendering to You. I come back to that place of full submission to You, my King. Rule and reign in me. Take Your rightful place on the throne of my life. Amen.

If you have read this devotional, and desire to surrender your life to Jesus for the first time, or have realized you need to rededicate your life to Him, simply pray this prayer:

Dear Jesus, I recognize my need, not just for You as a Savior but for You as Lord. I confess that I have sinned, I have ruled my own life and I have not followed You. I need You. I surrender the throne of my life to You. Take the government of my life – I give it to You. I will follow You all of my days. Be my Master. Be my King. Jesus, You are my Lord. Thank You for forgiving me and washing away the stain of all my sin. In Your Name I pray – Amen!

If you prayed that prayer, I REJOICE with you!! Welcome to the eternal family of God! It is so important that you now connect to a good Bible-teaching church and get connected to those who are walking this same path and can help you and encourage you! If you don’t know of a church, send me a message and I can help connect you to one! God bless you!

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