• Jill Jarrell Newsome

"How Great Thou Art"

This past weekend I was at a church service and our band played, "How Great Thou Art" which is one of my all time favorite hymns. My first memory of that song was when I was six years old and it was played at my uncle's (who was more of a grandfather to me) funeral. The song always brings tears to my eyes. For years the tears were for my Uncle Lonnie, but, as I grew in my relationship with God the tears became tears of gratefulness.


My minister shared a story about a man who always said, "Be sure about Jesus. Be very sure about Jesus." What wise words. Before we can even know who we are, we must know who Jesus is. Before we can know who Jesus is we must be sure about God's word being authority. Matthew 16: 13-18, "When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?" Mark 8: 29, "'But what about you?' he asked. 'Who do you say I am?' Peter answered, 'You are the Messiah.'”


Christ’s birth was miraculous, born to the Virgin Mary, but also his life was full of miracles. He walked on the water, gave sight to the blind man and allowed the lame to walk. Jesus preached and claimed to be the only way for people to be redeemed. Jesus died on the cross for our sins. And three days later He rose from the dead. For us personally, this means we are made right with God. It means we are freed from the burden of trying to be good enough in God's eyes. It means a transformed life. It means not being burdened by our past, our regrets, our failures. By what Jesus did, we are transformed from sinner to saint. Jesus can change our lives for the better which allows us to change the world for the glory of God.


John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." Jesus told us that the only way to the Father (to Heaven) is through Jesus. John 14: 6, "Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Jesus is indeed the Christ, the Son of the living God, our Lord and Savior! As Jude wrote in Jude 1: 24-25, "To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen."


This is why the tears come easy for this song but there is one part that almost brings me to my knees. "When Christ shall come, With shouts of acclamation, And take me home, What joy shall fill my heart! Then I shall bow In humble adoration And there proclaim, 'My God, how great Thou art!'" The joy I have in knowing Who and Whose I am. The joy of knowing I am sure about Jesus! I hope to be here for many years, growing old with Mike and watching our girl's lives blossom. Having faced death before I do know that whenever my times comes I will be filled with joy - the joy of knowing that I will be in the presence of God. As much as I love my family I do believe that when I am in God's presence, I will not miss them because I know I will see them again. Time will not be a thing. Honestly, I believe God is all that will matter. I believe that when I come into His presence I will fall to my knees and proclaim, "My God, how great you are!" I can have peace when my loved ones go home knowing that their hearts will be filled with joy and I can picture them (past and present) bowing in humble adoration!


Are you sure about Jesus? Who do you say Jesus is? The way we answer Jesus has the potential to change our lives. One day, Jesus will ask us all the same question, 'but what about you? Who do you say I am?"

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