Mike Novotny - You Can See the Joy God Sees
But every time we open the pages of this book, and not just skim them but really chew on them, meditate upon them, we get one inch closer to the mind, the heart and the thoughts of God. Wow! We are here! Jesus was here, not around here. But here. Earlier this year, I got to explore Israel. I'm sitting, literally, in the place where Jesus' feet touched. I saw some amazing places. The old city of Jerusalem. In the Garden of Gethsemane. Beautiful Nazareth. At the Mount of Beatitudes. Capernaum, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. And I can't wait to share these video devotions with you.
I'm standing here today in Jerusalem. Nope, not a green screen behind me. It's the actual place and it's pretty stunning. If you haven't heard, Jerusalem is a city that's full of hills and valleys. It's a pretty challenging place to run, to walk, to carry camera gear, as our crew knows all too well. But you know when you do the hard work to get to a higher point of elevation, you get to enjoy beautiful views like this. You get to see things you couldn't see before. You get perspective and you see beauty with the panoramic shot. And that's kind of how it is when you and I study this book. You know the thoughts of God, his plans and his promises, are so high and exalted, as high as the heavens are above the earth, God said through the prophet Isaiah.
But Jesus said that every time we study the Word of God, we get one inch, one foot closer to his perspective. I think of the prayer that Jesus prayed just on the other side of this city in John, chapter 17. He said, The word sanctify means to set something or someone apart. And Jesus didn't want you and me to be here with the people of the earth seeing things as they see them. He wanted us to be set apart, or to be set above. And how does that happen? By your word, Father, by your truth.
I know it's hard work to get into the Bible. If you're anything like me, there's a thousand things that can happen to get you out of the habit. But every time we open the pages of this book, and not just skim them, but really chew on them, meditate upon them, we get one inch closer to the mind, the heart and the thoughts of God. And the higher you get in your thinking, the more Godly your world view, the more beautiful things get. The way you see joy, gets even better. The way you see pain becomes endurable. The way you see people becomes inclusive, it's an embracing love.
When God speaks to us in his Word, we know all about forgiveness, we know about Jesus' mercy, we know that our prayers are powerful and effective, we realize there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, and we believe that even if we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we don't have to be afraid. Because God is with us.
So I want to encourage you today to be a person of this book. Let the words sanctify you, set you apart, raise you up to the thoughts of God so that you can enjoy something even better than my view today. You can enjoy life as God sees it. If you're in the Word, keep at it. If you're not, maybe this is God's way of nudging you to get back into it, so you can see the beauty of life from his perspective. That's the lesson we learn here on the elevated heights of the city of Jerusalem.