When I was a young girl, our home was filled with rich Christmas traditions. From the decorations and food to family and activities, each memory is dear to my heart. I can still recall the aroma of my mother’s sweet potato soufflé drifting through the house and the scent of fresh-cut pine filling our living room.
These cherished memories prepare my heart to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, the day when God gave this world the greatest gift of all—His Son, Jesus Christ.
There was no stress that day in Bethlehem’s manger. No one rushed about to make sure the greeting cards were sent or the decorations were put up just right. The sole focus on that first Christmas was a precious baby in the arms of His mother. That baby brought the greatest joy of all: salvation to the world.
As you read this devotional, I hope that you will take a moment to quiet your heart from the busyness and demands of this season and let the Lord speak to you. I pray that you will respond in praise to Him this holiday season—the way the shepherds and wise men did: “They rejoiced exceedingly with great joy … and they fell down and worshiped him” (Matthew 2:10–11).
Cissie Graham Lynch
Week 3: Understanding who Jesus is
During the Christmas season, some people wonder about Jesus. Maybe you have known Him for a long time, but you find yourself in a valley, struggling to understand who He really is.
In different chapters of my life, I have found my relationship with Jesus changes. According to what I am experiencing, He has been my Counselor, Prince of Peace, Deliverer, and Comforter. He continues to reveal Himself to me in different, yet more beautiful, ways through each stage of my life.
Throughout Scripture over 200 names are given for Christ. Some are titles for Jesus, while others are concepts or descriptions of Him.
The message and meaning of Christmas is spelled out in Isaiah 9:6. The Prophet Isaiah gives four awe-inspiring names of our Lord that encourage us, thrill us, and fill us with hope:
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Each of these descriptions of Christ is reinforced and expanded on through other Scriptures.
Wonderful Counselor: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5).
Mighty God: “But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible’” (Matthew 19:26).
Everlasting Father: “Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist ” (1 Corinthians 8:6).
Prince of Peace: “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross” (Colossians 1:19–20).
The full meaning of these words from Isaiah should give us enough strength, hope, and joy to face any crisis, to endure any sorrow, and to meet any temptation.
How is God revealing Himself to you today?
God, You are El Roi—the God who sees. Help me to see You today and every day. I pray this Christmas season You will reveal Yourself to me in new and amazing ways.
More readings on God’s Names for Week 3
Do you have the hope of Christ this holiday season? Start a relationship with the Savior of the world.
Cissie Graham Lynch is the daughter of Franklin Graham and granddaughter of Billy Graham. She is a ministry spokesperson for Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Cissie and her husband, Corey, have two children and live in Florida.
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