Mike Novotny - GOD Is Here! His Presence Is Present
GOD is here! Those three words are so amazing and powerful to me. In fact, they're so amazing I wrote a book about them, called "3 Words That Will Change Your Life". If you want to check out the book, you can run over to timeofgrace.org/3Words Or you can just check out this series, this Grace Talks when this idea was simmering in my heart. I hope you enjoy these messages. More than anything, I hope you enjoy the power of God's presence. Remember: GOD is here. I suppose I shouldn't have cringed when I heard the eighth-graders talking about the joy of heaven. You see, at our church, when our eighth-graders finish their final year of grade school, we have a special celebration of their faith. And we talk about the grace of God, the forgiveness of sins and we make a video of each eighth-grader. And they have to answer the question, "What does your faith mean to you"?
And I sat in the back row and I listened to their response. What they thought faith was all about. And, do you know what they said? Kid after kid after kid, after kid, after kid, after kid, after kid, almost every single kid gave the exact same answer. They said, "My faith means that, one day, I'm going to be with God in heaven". And I wanted to say, "And"? Like, yes, amen, for all eternity, we will be with God. That is such a joyful thing. And we want to celebrate that. But, but faith is not just about the future. Faith is also about the present. I mean, Jesus did not live a perfect life and die on the cross for our sins and rise from the dead just so that one day we could be with God but for now, it's just us. I mean how terrifying would that be?
If you had to face financial struggles and battle cancer and deal with uncertainty at your job. If you had to try to raise kids or go through this life knowing, "Hey, one day there's going to be a great, glorious God with me, but today, it's just me". No, instead, I was thinking about all those passages that don't talk about the future presence of God. But his present presence. That GOD is here. And maybe you've heard of one of the most famous ones from Psalm 23. In Psalm 23, a king named David said, That's an incredible line. He lacked nothing. He had everything he needed. Why? We'll jump to verse 4.
Now I'm not sure if you love grammar, but you should. That's an incredible verb. You are with me. God, I lack nothing. I don't fear anything. I'm going through the darkest valley. I'm in the shadow of death. My enemies surround me. My body rebels against me. But, God, you are with me. My faith says that Jesus died to bring me into your presence. Right now, you are with me. I don't have to be afraid.
And so I want to tell not just the eighth-graders out there, but, but all of us. Your faith means you're not waiting for God to be present. I know you can't see Him just yet, like you will one day. But, right now, GOD is here. Not a small God, but a compassionate, powerful, wise, loving, forgiving God. He is right here with you. He delights in you because of Jesus. And he has the power to fix anything in your life that needs to be fixed. So, let's remember, our faith is not a future thing. It's a present reality. God will not be here one day. By the blood of Jesus, God is here. So let's pray.
Dear God, you're right here in this room. I think of all my stresses. All my problems. The things I worry about. And they're so small compared to your glory. And so I pray that you would help me. That You would help all of us to know that. That You would help all of us to know that. To remember that To remember that and to believe that. To never fix our eyes on the problems tha,t that mess with our heart. Instead, to fix our eyes on Jesus, who is so glorious that he gives us peace. We pray for that peace. Not because we deserve it, but because Jesus is good. And because You're here. We pray this all in His beautiful name. Amen.