AWESOME adjective\ˈô-səm\ something inspiring awe.
AWE noun\ˈô\ the feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder.
By Greg Johnson
The word AWESOME has emerged as an accepted adjective for all things good. I use it liberally. For instance, there is a burger place in our city called The Counter. Have you ever had one of their hamburgers? Are they AWESOME? Litmus test: Do I have “reverential respect” for them? The new Taken movie – Is it AWESOME? It certainly inspires fear, but mixed with reverence? Did you hear the new Mumford and Sons album? AWESOME? Well, it inspires wonder, as in I wonder why so many people like them. Sorry, just keeping it real.
Unfortunately, because the word has become so commonplace, its meaning is diminished. In fact, Jesus probably falls into that category. First of all, He tends to fall in a list of things from a good hamburger to a great new song. Second, we have culturally created a perception of Jesus as our friend, buddy, homeboy, in an effort to make him relevant and attractive to the world around us. News flash: He doesn’t need your help to make him seem relevant– in fact, if you look up AWESOME in the dictionary, his picture is right there! As leaders, we have a responsibility to help our people understand the real nature of Jesus. Here are a few AWESOME attributes to help stoke the fire.
1. JESUS IS GOD. He is not simply God’s son. He is God. Colossians 1:15 says that Jesus is “the image of the invisible God.” That means that Jesus is the full embodiment of God himself. In fact, Hebrews 1:3 says that Jesus is the “exact representation of the Father.” Jesus himself said over and over that if you see him, you see the Father. Contrast that with other world religions. Mohammed – just a man. Buddha – just a man. Confucius – just a man. Jesus – fully man, but fully GOD. Here is the point: Jesus is not our homeboy, worthy of friendship – He is our God and worthy of worship. That’s magnificent, wondrous, astonishing – AWESOME!
2. JESUS IS CREATOR. Again, in Colossians 1, Paul states, “By Him (Jesus) all things were created…” Let that sink in for a sec. If Jesus created it all, then Genesis takes on a whole new meaning to me. Who said, “Let there be light?” Jesus. Who said, “Let us make man in our image?” Jesus. Who walked with Adam in the garden? Jesus. That’s mind-blowing, staggering, amazing – AWESOME!
3. JESUS IS LORD. Paul goes on to say that Jesus is over all things, “…whether power or rulers or authorities…” Translated: Jesus has no equal. Period. A common misunderstanding pits Jesus against Satan. You know, Jesus is on the right (a blonde hair, blue-eyed republican) while Satan is on the left, in an epic battle for supremacy of the universe. (It’s a joke people! Keep reading.) Biblically speaking, however, the enemies of Jesus are his “footstool.” (Mt. 22:43-44). Jesus has complete and utter supremacy of the universe. He is Lord! We can wrangle over political positions on Facebook for the next few weeks until we are blue, or red, in the face, but Jesus is still Lord over it all. That’s formidable, imposing, overwhelming – AWESOME!
So, this weekend, as we convene in our houses of worship, let’s seek to re-capture the true nature of AWESOME-ness as we focus on JESUS, our God, Creator and Lord. And, for the record, The Counter does have REALLY GOOD burgers.
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