I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene

Published 3:00 pm Sunday, April 23, 2023

“Let all the earth fear the Lord; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.” — Psalm 33:8 (NKJV)

Powerful words for a world that no longer holds anyone or thing in awe except itself.

As music often does, the first line of the old hymn “I Stand Amazed in the Presence” caught me by the heart the other day as I listened to David Phelps singing.

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My mind went immediately to the thought: “Do we really stand amazed in His presence? Are we amazed at all by the nearness of our Savior? Are we astonished at the person of Jesus the Nazarene?”

To stand amazed in Jesus’ presence requires a degree of surrender and humility that I’m not sure exists very often in “Christians” today. I think that we are a lot more likely to be amazed (one way or the other) by the preaching, by the song service, by the number of folks in service Sunday morning, etc. etc. etc.

Is it even so that we come to Church services hoping, longing to encounter the Living God? If we are preaching, teaching, or otherwise leading, are we guilty of being concerned with our own agenda, or do we earnestly expect a visitation from God? Could it be that we are more aware of what our friends are wearing and the topic of their conversation than of the Spirit’s whisper quietly stirring in our midst? Are we more concerned about who won the football game than hearing what God is saying to us?

“Oh that You would rend the heavens and come down!” -— Isaiah 64:1-2

Would that He would see fit to burst into our worship services that aren’t and cause widespread order to breakout in the midst of our chaos. Oh that he would exert His majesty upon those services and bring us to the very brink of death so that we could once and forever know that only in Him and by Him is there life at all.

Maybe then we could understand that our sole reason for existence is to do His will, to honor Him with our every thought, deed, and attitude, and to worship Him as He deserves. Maybe then we could sing with conviction, I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene

Rev. Bobby Thornhill is a retired pastor.