Tag Archives: Immanuel

Have You Read What He Said? – A Poem

You think He’s a prophet, a great teacher,
nothing more, nothing less

Seriously?
Have you ever read
the many crazy things He said?

He spoke like a street corner sandwich-board

From that time on Jesus began to preach,
Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.

Or a homeless man rambling on
about angels and demons

The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom.
The weeds are the people of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil.
The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.

He was homeless, with no place to lay His head

No one listens to a crazy man with a sandwich-board
or the homeless man rambling on

You surely don’t call them prophets, or great teachers
just crazy, nothing more

He spoke like a paranoid schizophrenic
certain the ones in power were after Him

We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered
over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law.
They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles
to be mocked and flogged and crucified.

He was plagued by delusions of grandeur
claiming He was God; had always lived and always would
even after He died, He claimed He would rise again

“On the third day I will be raised to life!”
 “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”

No one would listen to someone who made such claims today
They would lock Him in the loony bin, put Him on meds
until He understood He was just a man

The leaders of His day did even worse
They crucified Him because He claimed He was the Messiah
the Son of God

Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man
sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.

Then the high priest said, “Look, now you have heard the blasphemy.  What do you think?”
“He is worthy of death,” they answered.

But He offered some great advice, you say
and spoke of love and forgiveness

That He did, but His advice, His commands
turned many away who thought His teaching too hard

If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. . .
And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. . .
And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out.

He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life,
and I will raise him up on the last day.
For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.

Those who followed Him then, those who follow Him now
do so not because He was a great teacher or a prophet
but because He was who He said He was
Immanuel, God with us
nothing more, and certainly nothing less

Leave a comment

Filed under Faith, Jesus, Life, Poetry

My Favorite Name

This is a post that I wrote the first December that I was blogging. I wasn’t getting nearly the traffic back then that I do now, and since I’m having a little trouble getting anything new written I thought I’d repost this. The timing is perfect because tomorrow is Christmas Eve. It’s the perfect time to ponder Immanuel.

As Christmas is fast approaching, I’ve been thinking about the many names given to Jesus in the Bible. He is called the Son of God, the Son of Man, the Prince of Peace, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Alpha & Omega, and many more. But my favorite name of Jesus is Immanuel. The prophet Isaiah wrote: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14. This verse is quoted in Matthew 1:23 regarding Jesus, and in Matthew the writer defines the name Immanuel to mean “God with us.”

When I look at one of my many nativity scenes, that is what I see: God with us. For thousands of years God tried to get the message across to His people that He loved them and would always be there for them. He spoke through miracles, such as the parting of the Red Sea, and through prophets, such as Isaiah and Daniel. But in spite of all His attempts to get through to them, His people didn’t always get it.

So God decided to become one of us, to be with us, to experience life just as we do. I like the name Immanuel because it reminds me that God loves us enough to be willing to experience all the pain, trials, and heartache that we do, to fully understand how we experience relationships and love. God did this in hopes that we could and would better relate to Him. Because ultimately what He wants is for us to be with Him.

This Christmas, I hope you will feel the blessing of being with God and of God being with you. I hope you will experience the fullness of Immanuel.

Leave a comment

Filed under Faith, Jesus, Life

Like a Snowflake – A 55 Poem

The Form for All prompt at dVerse Poets Pub today, with Sam Peralta once again at the helm, is to write a poem of exatly 55 words. There’s always time for 55 words.  So here’s my Christmas 55.

Like a Snowflake

Like a single snowflake floating down from above
so like the others, but each unique, so the Son of God
came down to earth from heaven above
like us a tiny baby that grew into a man of God
but quite unique, one of a kind, a blessed gift of love
Immanuel, God with us

24 Comments

Filed under Faith, Jesus, Life, Poetry

Rejoice! He Ransomed Captive Israel!

I’ve been listening to the new Jeremy Camp Christmas Album, Christmas: God with Us, in my car this past week. He does one of my all time favorite Christmas songs: O Come O Come Emmanuel. Of course he does an awesome rendition. My son was with me in the car the other day when it was playing and he said, “I love the way he sings ‘Israel.'”

On a side note, my son and I were on our way to a Winter Orchestra Concert at his high school when he said this. I wasn’t thrilled about going because I didn’t expect any Christmas music at all. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I enjoyed the whole show and they played some good old traditional Christmas songs, like Silent Night and God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, as well as two songs from my favorite Charlie Brown Christmas (which I still need to watch this year). The reason was that the orchestra students were told to form small ensembles and to choose whatever they wanted to play. It was such a blessing to see so many of the kids choose some of my favorite Christmas songs.

Anyway, I thought I would share with you Jeremy Camp’s rendition of O Come O Come Emmanuel to get you in the Christmas spirit if you aren’t already. Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!

2 Comments

Filed under Faith, Family, Jesus, Life, Music

God with Us – A Poem

I often ponder the wonder of “God with us,” but especially so at Christmas time. I am in awe of the fact that the God of the Universe, the Creator of all things, He who is omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent, would desire to be with me. It is an amazing thing that Christ has seen fit to dwell in me, and the hearts of all believers, because of His great love for us. Of all the wonders of the world and the blessings in my life to be thankful for, it is this truth of God with us that I am most thankful for.

From a logical perspective, it all seems quite preposterous. If you were God, would you do such a thing? I’m not sure I would. I think I might leave sinful man to his own devices. But thankfully, I am not God; and God is faithful, merciful, and loving in a way I can scarcely comprehend. It is only when I seek Him with all my heart that I can even begin to fathom what He has done, and find hope in what He will do when He returns.

Do you know the Holy One, who longs to be with you? Are you in awe of His majesty? Do you ponder His great love? He is not some distant deity who desires to judge and punish you. He is “God with us.” He is God with you. He alone is the greatest gift you will ever receive.

God with Us

Glory of the Holy One, robed in majesty
Omnipresent King of kings, deserving pageantry
Deity incarnate be, because of love for you and me

Willingly He came to earth, left His throne behind
Immanuel, Son of God, seeking to redeem mankind
To leave mankind dead in sin was not what He designed
His love and mercy, on the cross, there with grace combined

Understanding His great love is for us what Christ desires
Sinners to trust in Him alone is all our God requires

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). Matthew 1:22-23 (NIV).

12/10/13 Update: Decided to link this up for the final dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night of 2013. No time to write a new one, but this is one of my favorite Christmas poems that I’ve written so I wanted to share it and the wonder of Christmas with the folks at the pub.

18 Comments

Filed under Faith, Jesus, Life, Poetry, postaday2011

O Come O Come Emmanuel

We are now in the season of Advent, a time of preparation for Christmas. I decided that for Music Monday during Advent and through the day after Christmas I want to share some of my favorite Christmas songs and why I like them.

The first Christmas song I want to share is “O Come O Come Emmanuel.” It is the perfect song to begin Advent because Advent is when we look forward to the coming of Emmanuel, God with us. I love this song because it reminds me of my favorite name for Jesus, which is Emmanuel. I am always awed by the thought that God would choose to come to earth as a human being, in the body of a little baby, to be with us.

I want to share two different versions. The first is a haunting instrumental version by Casting Crowns. Even though it doesn’t have the words, I can hear the words in my head when I listen to it.

The second version is by Jadon Lavik and is more upbeat, but just as beautiful. I first heard it on a CD of various artists that I bought last year.

I hope you will allow this beautiful song to prepare your heart for the coming of our Lord, both His first coming as a baby in a manger, and His second coming that is yet to be. Emmanuel came to be with you, to know you and that you might know Him. He came to ransom you and me just as He came to ransom captive Israel. He came to set the captives free.

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
Isaiah 7:14 (NIV).

4 Comments

Filed under Faith, Jesus, Life, Music, postaday2011

Prayer – A Poem

Prayer finds me
seeking You for
comfort and healing
here on my knees

As I come to You
my mind is turned
to others who need
what I seek for me

Immanuel, You
are with me now
as I focus on You
instead of my pain

Never to forsake me
You have promised
I find it is true
when You I seek

Check out some other poetry at dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night #15.

10 Comments

Filed under Faith, Jesus, Life, postaday2011

Your Name Is Beautiful – A Poem

My Monday post got me thinking about writing a poem about the many names of Jesus, because the blessings and promises each name holds is something I am very thankful for.

I know initially I was thinking my Thankful Thursday poem would always be an acrostic of a synonym of “thankful” but there just aren’t that many synonyms of that word. Plus God has been reminding me of the many things I am thankful for and different ways to lift up thankfulness each week.

Your Name Is Beautiful

Lamb of God
You came to take away the sin of the world
Simply beautiful

Prince of Peace
You came to leave peace in the hearts
Of those who believe
You are beautiful

Immanuel
You came to be God with us
So we will never be alone
Our life made more beautiful

Son of God
You reigned in heaven
Before coming to earth
You reign there still
Your throne so beautiful

Son of Man
You became one of us
So we would always know
That You understand how we feel
Your compassion is beautiful

Messiah
You were an answer to prophecy
Your story foretold
Israel waited for You to come
Still some didn’t believe
But faith in You is beautiful

Wonderful Counselor
Your wisdom You imparted
To the disciples eleven
And Paul, too
Then sent Your Holy Spirit
So we can see You are beautiful

Alpha and Omega
You created in the beginning
Before the world was known
You will be there in the end
Long after all is done
In between it all You are beautiful

Savior
You redeemed the souls of the lost
Were a willing sacrifice for our sins
Your love is so beautiful

 Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
      and gave him the name above all other names,
 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
      in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
      to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:9-11 (NLT)

10 Comments

Filed under Faith, Jesus, Life, Poetry, postaday2011

Christmas Eve – A Poem

Tonight is Christmas Eve! I am looking forward to our Christmas Eve candlelight service; it is my favorite service of the year. I awoke this morning with the joy and wonder of Christmas in my heart, and the beginnings of a Christmas poem in my head. I hope you like it.

Christmas Eve

Christ is born in a manger
Hallelujah the angels sing
Raising their voices in praise
Infant Son of God Most High
Shepherds in awe this night
Trumpets sound at His coming
Magi come from the East
Arriving to worship the King
Savior of the world, the Word made flesh

Even now
Voices praise Him
Emmanuel

I wish you all a blessed Christmas! May the praises of the King be in our hearts and on our lips this Christmas Eve and beyond.

7 Comments

Filed under Faith, Jesus, Life, Poetry

The Relationship Plan, Part 4

Yesterday was our last official adult education class on Robert Coleman’s book The Master Plan of Evangelism. I summarized our last class here, with links to my blog posts on the first two classes. Next week we are going to do a Bible study of Barnabas who one of our pastors says was the earliest recorded evangelist (besides the original 11 disciples) to implement Jesus’ plan.

So far throughout Coleman’s book the emphasis has been on relationship. Evangelism happens best in one-on-one relationships and small groups. Jesus carefully selected His disciples, spent time with them, set them apart for God’s work, imparted to them His wisdom and ultimately His Holy Spirit, demonstrated the behavior they needed to employ for evangelism, and delegated to them the work of His Father. The next two principles, the final principles, that we learned from Coleman’s book was that Jesus supervised his disciples and He called them to be fruitful.

Jesus’ supervision of His disciples involved a rotation between instruction and assignments. When they returned from a trip He had delegated to them, He would listen to what they had done. If they had been successful, He would rejoice with them and give them praise. If they had failed in some measure or had clearly misinterpreted His prior teaching, He would correct them and admonish them to do better. If they had done quite well, He would move on to more advanced teaching for the next assignment, building on what they already knew but giving them even greater responsibility.

Here was on-the-job training at its best. Jesus would let his followers have some experience or make some observation of their own, and then he would use this as a starting point to teach a lesson of discipleship. The fact that they tried to do his work, even though they may have failed at it, gave them greater awareness of their deficiencies, and hence they were more disposed to the Master’s correction. The Master Plan of Evangelism pg. 85-86.

As disciples of Christ, we must always be more disposed to the Master’s correction. Often that correction comes from the indwelling Holy Spirit. But practically speaking, teaching and correction more often come from more mature Christians with whom we have developed a relationship. We must endeavor to do His work, but we must also be willing to learn how to do it better from those who have learned greater lessons than we have. Sometimes we will be the more mature Christian in a given situation and must do what we can to teach and guide others. But sometimes, we must admit our own deficiencies and seek the guidance of those who know and understand more. In our churches, we must focus on creating relationships with just this type of teaching and learning in mind.

The final principle is that we must be fruitful. Often we think of being fruitful as exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit, “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23. It is true that the fruit of the Spirit is important for the Christian walk. But this is not the fruitfulness that Christ called His disciples to exhibit when He gave the Great Commission following His resurrection. He said, “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19-20. There are four verbs in this Great Commission: go, make disciples, baptize, and teach. What Christ called His disciples to do was to make more disciples just like them, who would in turn make more disciples.

This mission is emphasized even more when the Greek text of the passage is studied, and it is seen that the words go, baptize, and teach are all participles which derive their force from one controlling verb “make disciples.” . . . to build people like themselves who were so constrained by the commission of Christ that they not only followed his way but led others to as well. Only as disciples were made could the other activities of the commission fulfill their purpose. The Master Plan of Evangelism pg. 93.

Jesus did not focus on huge numbers of converts. Rather, He staked all on these few disciples to share the gospel and reach the whole world, one relationship and one disciple at a time. Coleman concludes that the church today does not need new and better programs, “but better men and women who know their Redeemer from personal experience” and want nothing more than to help others experience Him as well. The Master Plan of Evangelism pg. 97.

Discipleship is not easy, but it is exciting! It is a life of passion for our Lord who gave everything for us. In this Christmas season, as I ponder Immanuel, God with us — that Jesus would His wonderous throne in Heaven to walk this earth to teach 12 young men of His purpose (knowing one of them would eventually betray Him), and then suffer death on a cross so that we might have a relationship with our Creator who loves and adores us — I wonder how can I do any less than to go and make disciples. How can I do any less?

10 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Book Review, Faith, Family, Jesus, Life, Service