These days, hearing someone say the word “awesome” is neither newsworthy nor alarming. I routinely hear teens, young adults, and even older adults use the word. 

In our culture EVERYTHING has become awesome. New shoes are awesome. Cheesecake is awesome. Mobile phones, tablets, and TVs are awesome. Slam dunks are awesome. Actors, actresses, and athletes are awesome. Mani-pedis are awesome, as are new hair styles, tats, and piercings. A new ride, a new job, or a new purse are all awesome. 

But that’s the problem. If EVERYTHING is awesome, then NOTHING is awesome. The word becomes meaningless noise. 

The word “awesome” means to inspire awe, apprehension, or fear. “Awe” is an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, or fear, produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful, or the like.

If awesomeness is about fear, reverence, power, and grandiosity, then it immediately disqualifies things like actors, athletes, TVs, phones, shoes, cheesecake, and other lesser things. They may be clever, exciting, tasty, useful, neat, or skillful, but they’re not awesome.

When our youngest daughter was nine, she was watching TV downstairs. Every few minutes or so, we’d hear her say, “Awesome!” She was watching a show about the wonders of nature. Little did she know it, but her response was precisely what “awe” is all about – a profound, overwhelming sense of reverence, admiration; a sense that one is in the presence of something far greater than self; a sense that this is truly unique and extraordinary. Only an awesome God can make an awesome world full of awesome creatures.

One song says, “Our God is an awesome God. He reigns from heaven above with wisdom, power, and love. Our God is an awesome God.” Moses said: “Who is like You among the gods, O LORD? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, awesome in praises, working wonders?” (Exodus 15.11) The writer of Hebrews said, “Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe” (Hebrews 12.28).

As you go about your affairs today, take a moment to ponder this magnificent and AWESOME world around us that was made by our AWESOME God. If that doesn’t move you, nothing will.