I'm cheating. This is my lesson for the kids at church tonight. But I wanted to share it with everyone else too. I'm sorry - I know those kids want to celebrate Jesus tonight, but it's hard to do when sugary cookies and shiny presents are staring them down.
So I'll share it with you, and maybe you can remind your kids, too, about the best present we already have been given.
1. A Shepherd.
I am a dumb little lost sheep... without Jesus. With Him? I have direction, purpose, meaning, and a guide.
“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.
2. A Counselor.
(Also known as an advocate, meant in legal terms). There's only one person who can stand in my place in front of the Father to convince Him of my righteousness. That would be the one One who is righteous Himself. Convincing argument, even though I don't deserve it.
"And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—"
3. A Comforter.
True, this is more said of the Holy Spirit than of Jesus, but since they are all One, I know I can see it in Jesus too.
2 Corinthians 1:2
“…Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort”
4. A Brother
I didn't like my brother much growing up. He was mean to me. But as we grew up, I realized that he really would do anything for me. That's what brothers do. Something inside of them is so tied to you that there is never a question how much he's got your back.
"He replied, 'My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.'”
5. A Friend
Really, I have a lot of friends. I have good friends, and even a best friend. But they all have their own lives too. I understand it completely. None of my friends can be just my friend 100% of the time. But Jesus can be. I'm everything to Him. I wish I could be perfect like Him so I could return the favor.
"One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."
6. A Rock
Sometimes eggs are good for you. Sometimes, a new study shows they are bad. There is no consistency in this world! It's obviously not just eggs. I need stability. I need something to always be the same. That's my Jesus.Psalm 18:2
"The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold"
7. A Healer
I don't get sick often, but I hate it when I do. I want to be my best all the time. Sometimes, I do get sick, but so far, I have always gotten better. There may come a day when I don't get better in this world. But I will be way better when that has ended.
"Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security."
8. A Judge
Sometimes life is just not fair. Bad people get away with stuff. I try hard not to get in trouble, so when other people DO, I get irked. Their time is coming.
"He rules the world in righteousness and judges the peoples with equity."
9. A Lord
Thinking I need to explain this one to the kids. A "lord" is the one who takes care of the manor. Like how a "landlord" owns the house and is responsible for it. I am happy to let Jesus have control of my life. I don't really want to own it myself. He would know better what to do with it.
"You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all."
10. A Savior
The bottom line. I might not feel like I am drowning in my sin, but it's like the Matrix. When you come out of it, and see how bad it was, you can hardly believe it. I'm just so glad I will be safely forgiven and free in heaven when that plug is pulled. I will be in reach of my Jesus, and I can't wait to thank Him in person for it.
1 John 4:14
"And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world."
Because I love even numbers and lists!