Tag Archives: Son of God

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

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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.

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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

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Where My Love Comes From

I’ve been listening to Third Day’s new album Miracle for a while now. I have to confess that I don’t like this album as much as Move or Revelation, but a number of the songs have really started to grow on me.

One song that I am really starting to love is Your Love Is Like a River.

This life can be hard and we suffer hurt and darkness from every side. We are hard pressed to remain standing through it all. We need love, light, and stability just to survive. God’s love is like a river that never stops flowing if we let it. His love is like a fire that keeps the darkness at bay. His love is like a rock that is a firm and stable foundation for every day.

“My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:2 (NIV).

What this world needs is God’s love and they will know that love if we, His people, let that love flow from our hearts. We must always remember that He is the source of our love. This song reminds me where my love comes from.

Another thing I love about this song is the underlying message of the Trinity — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The river is like the Father ever flowing throughout eternity; the fire is like the Holy Spirit who lights our way; and the rock is like the Son who provides a firm foundation for our faith.

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I’d Rather Be the Moon

Many people desire fame. They want to shine brightly like a star and they will do almost anything to chase the lure of fame. Just look at “reality TV” and you will see the ridiculous things some people will do for fame. Movie stars, sports figures, politicians, scientists, and novelists all seek fame and the fortune that sometimes accompanies it.

But it takes a lot of energy for a star to shine brightly and eventually every star will use up its available fuel and die out. For human “stars” the length they will shine varies. For some fame lasts a lifetime, but it is a lifetime of stress and misery being hounded by paparazzi and fans. For others it amounts to only the proverbial “15 minutes of fame” before they fade into oblivion.

Last weekend on our drive down the Columbia River Gorge to visit family for a belated Christmas celebration, the full moon shone brightly in front of us in the night sky. Occasionally it would go behind a dark cloud but would always emerge on the other side still shining brightly and beautifully. I realized as I gazed up at it that I’d rather be the moon than a star, even a star as bright as our sun. The moon doesn’t use energy to generate light, but rather reflects the light generated by the sun. This is most evident during a full moon, but even during a new moon when we cannot see it, the moon is reflecting the light of the sun on the opposite side.

Rather than have fame of my own, I’d rather reflect the glory and light of the Son of God. If my name be known, I want it to be known as one devoted to Christ, one who reflects His love and mercy into this dark world. His is a light source that will never die and I will be able to reflect that light for much longer than 15 minutes—I can reflect His light for an eternity.

The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.

God sent a man, John the Baptist,to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. John 1:4-9 (NLT).

This is my goal for 2013—to reflect the Light of the Son of God into the world, believing that the darkness can never extinguish it.

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The Reliable Son – A Poem

We are finally having really nice weather here in the Pacific Northwest. I’m even in a t-shirt and capris! The sun is shining and the sky is blue. But as I was sitting on my deck earlier today enjoying the sun, I was reminded that this beautiful weather is only temporary. Yet there is One, the reliable Son, who is not temporary but is forever my Savior.

The Reliable Son

Warmed to the core
as I bask in the sun
spying an eagle soar
high in the cerulean sky

At quarter to four
I’m still in the sun
ignoring each chore
as the day passes by

I always want more
of the beautiful sun
yet knowing in store
is a cloud covered sky

There’ll be rain galore
before we see sun
the deluge will pour
until again it is dry

It has left us before
that capricious sun
hiding when I look for
it high up in the sky

But the Son I adore
who created the sun
forever opens the door
and heeds my heart’s cry

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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)

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Jesus Sets Me Free from My Own Prison

When I first started looking for and listening to Christian music, I came across the music of a band called Creed. They are not technically a “Christian band” because their music covers a number of different themes and they aren’t on a Christian label, but they definitely have some songs that are faith-based. One of my favorites is “My Own Prison.” When I was getting ready for work yesterday, it came on my iPod (currently on shuffle of my Christian playlist). I’ve been pondering doing a post based on this song for some time, and decided today is the day. I found this great acoustic version on YouTube to share. Listen carefully to the lyrics.

Although the band is not a “Christian” band, the individual band members do all identify themselves as Christians. The themes of many of their songs touch on Christian theology and spirituality. “My Own Prison” speaks of the cross as the key to freedom. It is in Christ that freedom is found. So many people live in a prison of their own making. They live in prisons of addiction, hatred, greed, selfishness, and more. They are held captive by sin. They don’t know that there is a way to not only escape, but to be truly free.

Luke records this account of Jesus’ teaching about why He came, as foretold by the prophet Isaiah:

He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
   because he has anointed me
   to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
   and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free, 
   to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 4:16-21 (NIV).

Jesus came to “proclaim freedom for the prisoners” and to “set the oppressed free.” But do we, as Christians, help those who are captive in a prison of their own making find the key to freedom? Or are we so busy pointing out their sins and faults that we forget that we were once like them, if not in degree at least in kind. We were all once sinners in need of grace to set us free.

Worse yet, many Christians continue to live in a prison of their own making and struggle to take hold of the freedom that Christ offers. They hold the key, but instead of using it to unlock their own prison they “drop and kneel” as their demons continue to taunt them, trying to do penance for their own sin. They can’t quite accept that Jesus would and did pay the full price for all their sin. Each new transgression or failure results in a crisis of faith, leaving them locked in a prison of doubt wondering if they are truly saved.

Are you still living in your own prison? If so, take hold of the key to Life itself, Christ Jesus our Lord, and unlock the door. When you walk free, slam that prison door shut behind you and walk with Him who set you free. And don’t forget, when you see others still imprisoned in their sin, don’t judge and point out their sin. Show them the key that will set them free. Tell them that “if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.” John 8:36 (NLT)

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Liar, Lunatic, or God?

There are people and even religions in the world that regard Jesus as a great prophet and an example to follow, but they do not believe that He was the Son of God. These people and religions do not consider Jesus to be God as true Christians do. C.S. Lewis did a great job in his book Mere Christianity of refuting this position that Jesus was just a great moral teacher and example. As Lewis put it, the scriptures allow for one to believe that Jesus was either a liar, a lunatic, or who He claimed to be. He did not leave open to us the option that He was just a good moral teacher.

If you have never read the Gospels and the words that Jesus said, then you might be able to hold onto the notion that Jesus was a great man and nothing more. You might be able to dismiss Lewis’ argument out of hand. But if you consider the things Jesus said and did, you will see the truth of Lewis’ argument quite easily. Because if Jesus is not who He claimed to be — which is God incarnate, the great “I AM” — then He was truly a liar or a lunatic, and no one in their right mind would follow the moral teaching of a man who was either of these things. At least, I know I would not.

The religious leaders of His day clearly understood Jesus to be claiming that He was God. When Jesus said that He was the Christ, the Anointed One, and that He and the Father were one, they were furious. “We are not stoning you for any of these [miracles],” replied the Jews, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.” John 10:33. But if Jesus was not actually God, as He claimed, and if He knew that He was not God, then He was a liar.

But what if He was not God and didn’t know it? What if He was delusional and mistakenly believed He was God? Well, then He was a lunatic. If a person does not believe in the existence of the supernatural and of the devil, then other things Jesus said would prove Him to be a lunatic as well.

 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” Luke 10:17-19.

What’s that? Jesus saw Satan fall from heaven? Either He was the Almighty and really did see this heavenly event occur, or He was a delusional lunatic. If He was the latter, then how can He also be a great moral teacher?

Sure Jesus said to love your neighbors, and to love your enemies. He said to be peacemakers, to not commit adultery, to not murder and not be angry, to forgive as we are forgiven. He did teach some great moral truths that were already part of the Jewish law. But He said and did so much more that simply does not leave open the option of “just” a great moral teacher.

If you are still holding tight to this notion, I encourage you to read the Gospels, particularly the book of John, and then honestly ask yourself whether it is a valid option. The words recorded in John were written by the apostle John, who walked with Jesus on this earth, and then followed Him in faith for the rest of his life. What John wrote was only part of what he saw and heard.

 Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. John 20:30-31.

So who do you believe Jesus is? Liar, lunatic, or the Son of God?

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The Thief on the Cross

In this season of Lent, I begin to look forward to Easter. This is actually my favorite holiday, even more than Christmas. Christmas is the beginning of a wonderful gift from God, but Easter seals the deal. At the cross and the empty tomb, Satan is vanquished and I am redeemed.

I know that the origins of Easter, and much of the current secular holiday of Easter, are pagan and based on Spring and rebirth. But I see past that to the power of God to overcome evil, even the evil within me, through the love and sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.

To see that power, it is to the cross we must come. And usually, when people talk about coming to the cross they are talking about the cross that Jesus died on. But there is another cross, not far from there, that I think we must come to. That is the cross of the criminals that were crucified beside Jesus. These two criminals exhibited very different attitudes towards Jesus. One criminal was proud and insulting; the other humbly understood how different he was from Jesus. Their conversation that reveals these attitudes is recorded in Luke:

One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:39-43.

Today I was listening to Third Day’s debut album, which includes my favorite song of theirs. The title of the song is Thief, and it is sung from the perspective of the humble criminal who hung on the cross next to Jesus.

Who is this man?
This man beside me
That they call the “King of the Jews”
They don’t believe he’s the messiah
But somehow I know it’s true
They laugh at him in mockery
And beat him till he bleeds
They nail him to the rugged cross and raise him,
Yeah they raise him up next to me

My time has come
I’m slowly fading
I deserve what I’ve received
Jesus when you are in your kingdom,
Could you please remember me
He looks at me still holding on and tears fall from his eyes
He says to me “I tell the truth, today you will live with me in paradise”

The first time I heard this song, I cried because I imagined it was me they raised Jesus up next to. After all, the thief does represent all us sinners. And here is this Son of Man and Son of God, who did not deserve the punishment He received at Calvary, being raised up next to us all. We must decide whether we will mock the one who died for our sins, or humbly accept His loving sacrifice. We are all one criminal or the other. Which one are you?

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