(In this latest blog series, I am sharing the stories behind some of my original recorded music. I hope you enjoy hearing the songs and reading the background behind each one. This month I’m sharing some original Christmas songs).

A lesson I have learned and am still learning is this: Sometimes God asks us to do something for Him or others at an inconvenient time.  The big question is how do we respond to Him in those moments?

I was inspired to write the song “You are Jesus” very early one morning—I’m talking 4 am! Warm and comfortable in bed, I had a strong desire to just roll over and go back to sleep.  But I also had a strong sense that God wanted me to write something, so I quietly got out of bed and walked to our living room where the piano waited.

The role of Christian songwriters is to faithfully convey the heart and message of who God is, what He has done for us, what He longs to do in and for each of us, and what He has promised to complete in the future. Many times, songwriters spend agonizing hours over notes and phrases until a composition is ready. Yet, I have occasionally experienced a song fly out of me and onto the page, and this was the case with “You Are Jesus”.  It felt like I was taking dictation from God, who is the Creator of all things— including music. In a few short minutes the song was done.

Since its completion, “You Are Jesus” has been sung at many Christmas services and concerts, and the recorded version is included here with lyrics below. I was asked to sing it at the Mall of America, where a dance group performed a choreographed interpretation of “You Are Jesus” as I sang it. I don’t regret for a moment losing a little sleep so that this song could be written!

I love the hopeful message of this song that brings us to awe-filled worship as we reflect on the beauty and glory of God made flesh in the person of Jesus Christ. The message of Advent —the season leading up to Christmas— is not just to look back in remembrance at the coming of Jesus to the earth. More importantly, it is about looking ahead to the time when Jesus will return and inaugurate a new heaven and earth, free from sin and death, death, disease, and decay. “You Are Jesus” not only brings us back to Bethlehem, but also ahead to the day when Christ returns, and as the Apostle Paul wrote in a beautiful passage:

“Therefore God exalted [Jesus] to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-12)

God doesn’t call all of us to write songs. But He DOES ask us to be present with people, some of whom might be in need. It might be listening to someone’s story, helping a neighbor with a project, bringing someone food, or sitting with someone who is lonely: God will provide the opportunity if we are willing to step out in faith.

Yesterday God put two people my path, neither of whom I previously knew. During a friendly conversation with a man who was visiting an event at my church, he shared with me that he is battling cancer. I asked if I could pray for him, and together we brought his health concerns to the Lord. I believe God brought us together for that purpose, but I had to listen to and follow God’s prompting as I listened to this man.

The other, a woman, shared that her husband is facing a difficult surgery at a nearby hospital while she struggles with ongoing health issues. She told me she hadn’t been to a church in a long time, and I sensed God wanted to let her know He loves them both and is there with and for them. She asked me to pray for her husband, and I silently asked God to direct my prayers and words. I believe God’s power was released into their lives and circumstances through our time of prayer.

God continues to show me that He will empower us with His strength, words and ability to do His work, even if it means stepping out of our comfort zone and taking a leap of faith into a situation he calls us into.

Sharing a song is an easy way to encourage and help someone who’s going through a difficult time. I hope you share the music I put on this site with people that God puts on your heart and mind. Who knows—perhaps someone has come to your mind right now! It might not be convenient to share the link or song, but your obedience to God’s prompting might make the difference in someone’s life.

God bless you this Christmas season!

Chris Atkins

(Note: This blog is part of the ministry of Grace Unleashed, a not-for-profit organization that was founded in 1995. If you would like to partner with Chris with this ministry you can send a tax-deductible donation to: Grace Unleashed, Inc, 802 Winsome Way NW Isanti, MN 55040)

You Are Jesus

Words and Music by Christopher J. Atkins ©2007.  All rights reserved.

Emmanuel, Son of God has come

Promised Savior, King of kings to reign

In silence and in song kneel before Him now

At His birth the heavenly hosts proclaim

You are Jesus, You are glorious

And forever You shall reign

Promised Savior Angels greet You

And give glory to Your name

Jesus, risen Lord, once again will come

Conquering King for all the earth to see

Every knee shall bow

Every tongue proclaim the name of Jesus for eternity

You are Jesus, You are glorious

Risen Savior come to reign

On that day, Lord we will see You

And with one voice we’ll proclaim

You are Jesus, God victorious

And forever You shall reign

Lord we worship and adore You

And give glory to Your name

You are Jesus, You are glorious

And forever You shall reign

Promised Savior angels greet You

And give glory to Your name

You are Jesus

Lord we love you

And give glory to Your name.