Sermon Notes: A Well of Hope – Reflecting God’s Joy and Peace on Mother’s Day

The root word for “תקווה” (tikvah), which means “hope” in Hebrew, is “קוה” (qavah). This root conveys the idea of waiting or expecting, emphasizing a sense of anticipation or looking forward to something. It is often associated with waiting on or hoping in God in a biblical context, indicating a deep trust and patient expectation

.Romans 15:13 NIV

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

  1. He is the God of Hope
    1. Expectation of a desired outcome 
    2. He can be counted on to fulfill what yet remains to be accomplished 
  2. He will fill you with Joy
  3. He will fill you with Peace
  4. He desires you to overflow with hope
    1. By the power of the Holy Spirit 

A prayer for Mothers

Ephesians 1:18‭-‬21 NIV

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.

Always Remember

He will equip you with spiritual insight (not just intuition)

  • 1 Corinthians 2:9‭-‬10 NIV However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him—  these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.
  • Romans‬ ‭12:12-13‬ ‭NIV‬‬ “Love must be sincere…” Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”

Always Demonstrates the Attributes of Christ

  • ‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:22-23‬ ‭NIV‬‬  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

Never give way to worldly fears

  • Romans 12:1-2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Never forget the Power of Love

  • 1 Corinthians 13:4‭-‬8 NIV Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.

Always rely on the Power of Prayer!

  • Romans 8:25‭-‬28 NIV But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.  In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.  And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Nun – Psalm 119:105-112

“Nun” (נ) is the fourteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet and serves as the heading for the fourteenth section of Psalm 119 (verses 105-112). Each verse in this section begins with “Nun” in the original Hebrew, maintaining the acrostic pattern of the psalm.

The symbolic meaning of “Nun” can be explored in several dimensions:

Literal Meaning and Symbolism: “Nun” means “fish” in Aramaic, symbolizing activity and life due to the constant movement of fish in water. In the context of Psalm 119, “Nun” can represent the vitality and dynamism of living according to God’s Word. The idea of being spiritually alive and active, guided by divine laws, is mirrored in the section led by this letter.

Continuity and Faithfulness: In Jewish tradition, “Nun” is also associated with the concept of faithfulness and continuity. This aligns with the themes of Psalm 119, where the steadfastness of the psalmist in adhering to God’s laws despite trials is emphasized. “Nun” symbolizes the continuous and faithful journey in the life of a believer who is committed to following God’s statutes.

Falling and Rising: The letter “Nun” has a unique aspect in its mid-word and final forms, where the final form can symbolize a faithful person who falls and then rises, analogous to a righteous person who faces challenges but gets back up. This symbolism is poignant in the section of Psalm 119 headed by “Nun,” particularly in verse 105, which speaks of God’s word as a lamp to the feet, guiding the believer through difficulties.

Protection and Guidance: The shape of the letter “Nun” is thought to represent both faith and the faithfulness of God as a protective, guiding force. This reflects the protective guidance provided by God’s word in the life of the believer, as noted in the verses of this section.

Hidden and Revealed Wisdom: In Kabbalistic traditions, “Nun” represents both the hidden and revealed aspects of wisdom. This dual aspect can be connected to the ways in which the scriptures provide both obvious guidance and deeper, sometimes hidden lessons that are revealed through meditation and study, much like the psalmist describes meditating on God’s laws all day.

In summary, “Nun” in Psalm 119 symbolizes the spiritual vitality and active pursuit of living according to God’s laws, the faithfulness required to follow these laws, the resilience needed to rise after falling, and the deep, sometimes hidden wisdom found within God’s word. These themes reflect the life of a believer who is deeply committed to navigating the complexities of life with the guidance and light of divine statutes.

Psalm 119:105-112: Verse by Verse Analysis

Verse 105:

Text: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

Reflection: The psalmist describes God’s Word as providing guidance and illumination for life’s journey, preventing missteps and showing the right way forward.

Cross-reference: Proverbs 6:23 – “For this command is a lamp, this teaching is a light, and correction and instruction are the way to life.”

Verse 106:

Text: “I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws.”

Reflection: The psalmist commits solemnly to adhering to God’s laws, emphasizing the seriousness with which he approaches his dedication to divine guidance.

Cross-reference: Deuteronomy 26:17 – “You have declared this day that the Lord is your God and that you will walk in his ways, that you will keep his decrees, commands and laws, and that you will obey him.”

Verse 107:

Text: “I have suffered much; preserve my life, LORD, according to your word.”

Reflection: Despite experiencing great suffering, the psalmist pleads for divine preservation, trusting that God will uphold him as promised in the Scriptures.

Cross-reference: Psalm 119:50 – “My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.”

Verse 108:

Text: “Accept, LORD, the willing praise of my mouth, and teach me your laws.”

Reflection: The psalmist offers his praise willingly and asks for further understanding of God’s laws, seeking to deepen his relationship with God through learning and obedience.

Cross-reference: Psalm 51:15 – “Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise.”

Verse 109:

Text: “Though I constantly take my life in my hands, I will not forget your law.”

Reflection: Despite constant danger that threatens his life, the psalmist remains committed to remembering and following God’s law.

Cross-reference: Job 13:15 – “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face.”

Verse 110:

Text: “The wicked have set a snare for me, but I have not strayed from your precepts.”

Reflection: Even when faced with traps set by the wicked, the psalmist stays true to God’s precepts, demonstrating steadfastness in his faith.

Cross-reference: Psalm 141:9 – “Keep me from the snares they have laid for me, from the traps set by evildoers.”

Verse 111:

Text: “Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart.”

Reflection: The psalmist views God’s statutes as a lasting inheritance, finding deep joy and satisfaction in them, more than any material possession.

Cross-reference: Psalm 16:5-6 – “LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.”

Verse 112:

Text: “My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end.”

Reflection: With a resolute heart, the psalmist commits to obeying God’s decrees for his entire life, underscoring a lifelong dedication to following God’s will.

Cross-reference: Philippians 3:14 – “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Key Takeaways from Psalm 119:105-112:

Guidance and Illumination: God’s Word is essential for navigating life, serving as a lamp and light that guides the believer’s path, ensuring they walk in righteousness and avoid the pitfalls of darkness.

Commitment to Righteousness: The psalmist’s firm commitment to obey God’s laws, evidenced by his oath, underscores the seriousness and depth of his dedication to living a life guided by divine principles.

Perseverance Amidst Adversity: Despite experiencing great suffering and constant danger, the psalmist’s resolve to adhere to God’s laws does not waver. His faith provides the strength to endure hardships while maintaining a steadfast focus on God’s commandments.

Joy and Inheritance: God’s statutes are valued not just as rules to follow but as a cherished inheritance that brings enduring joy to the psalmist’s heart. This spiritual heritage is seen as more rewarding and sustaining than any earthly possession.

Lifelong Dedication: The psalmist expresses a lifelong commitment to following God’s decrees, illustrating a continuous and unending pursuit of living in accordance with God’s will, setting an example of unwavering faith and obedience.

Sermon Notes: Our Biblical Response to Living Life

The Past Two Weeks::

  • Identity and Purpose Ephesians 2:10 ‘For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. ‘
  • Being a Living Sacrifice Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

How do we respond?

Galatians 6:9 NIV

‭‭Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

The “Therefore” in Ephesians 4:25:

Ephesians 4:2‭-‬3 NIV

2 ‬‬Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace

The Message

Ephesians‬ ‭4:25-32‬ ‭NIV

Ephesians 4:25 “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.” 


  • Zechariah 8:16: “These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts;” 
  • Colossians 3:9: “Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices.”

Ephesians 4:26  “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,” 


  • Psalm 4:4: “Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent.” 
  • James 1:19-20: “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”

Ephesians 4:27 “and do not give the devil a foothold.” 

Note: The idea of a “foothold” implies that the devil seeks entry points into a person’s life through vulnerabilities or sins that may seem small or insignificant but can lead to greater spiritual harm. This concept is about recognizing and managing one’s spiritual state to prevent negative influences from gaining any ground.


  • James 4:7: “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” 
  • 1 Peter 5:8: “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

Ephesians 4:28 “Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.” 


  • Acts 20:35: “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” 
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12: “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.”

Ephesians 4:29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” 


  • Colossians 4:6:Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” 
  • Proverbs 15:4: “The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.”

Ephesians 4:30 “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” 


  • Isaiah 63:10: “Yet they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit. So he turned and became their enemy and he himself fought against them.” 
  • 2 Corinthians 1:22: “who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a deposit.”

Ephesians 4:31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” 


  • Colossians 3:8: “But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.” 
  • James 1:21: “Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.”

Ephesians 4:32  “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” 


  • Colossians 3:13: “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

These verses and their cross-references highlight principles essential for Christian community life, focusing on truth, temperance, productivity, and kindness as ways to live out one’s faith in daily

What not to do:

  • Live like the Gentiles v 17
  • Darkened Understanding v 18
  • Harden Hearts v 18
  • Loss of Sensitivity v 19
  • Deceive Others v 25
  • Don’t Live Angry  v 26
  • Don’t Steal v 28
  • Don’t Trash Talk (Unwholesome Talk) v 29
  • Don’t Grieve the Holy Spirit v 30

What To Do:

  • Live a Life Worthy of the Calling v 1
  • Be Humble v 2
  • Bear With Each Other v 2
  • Be The Peacemaker v 3
  • Speak The Truth in Love v 15
  • Put Off the Old Put on the New Self v 22 – 23
  • The New Attitude of the Mind v 24
  • Speak the Truth v 25
  • Take Out the Trash v 31
  • Be Kind v 32
  • Be Compassionate v 32
  • Forgive as you have been Forgiven in Christ v 32

Sermon Notes: Being a Living Sacrifice

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2

No Live Stream This Coming Sunday

typewriter with paper

Dear Church Family,

Just a quick note to everyone that while we will be gathering for our in-person services this Sunday as normal, we will not be live streaming the service, as Margarette and I will be out of town attending Matthew’s wedding.

Deacon Jones will be presiding over the service and Paul Rideout will be our guest speaker for the day. Hope that you can make it to the in-person service this Sunday!



Sermon Notes: Identity and Purpose


  • How God sees us (what matters most)
  • How we see ourselves (self awareness)
  • How others see us (community)


  • Life Roles (Who we are)  (Husband / Wife / Child / ?)
  • Vocations (What we do) (Work / Student)
  • Contribution (What we leave) (Serving others / what we leave behind /our Legacy)

‭2 Corinthians 4:18 NIV‬ So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Identity and purpose are often deeply interconnected:

Identity Influences Purpose: Who you are often determines what you find important and what you decide to do with your life. For example, someone who identifies strongly with creativity may find purpose in artistic expression or innovation.

Purpose Shapes Identity: Conversely, the roles and objectives people take on can shape their identity. For instance, dedicating oneself to teaching can strengthen one’s identity as an educator and lifelong learner.

Purpose and Context of the Letter

Paul wrote the letter to the Ephesians to address several key themes and concerns for the early Christian community in Ephesus. This community was a mix of Jewish and Gentile believers, and one of Paul’s primary goals was to foster unity among them, emphasizing that both groups were equal in Christ.

Unity in Christ: Ephesians is well-known for its emphasis on unity. Paul wanted to stress that both Jews and Gentiles were reconciled to God through the death of Christ and are part of the same spiritual family. This is evident in Ephesians 2:14-16, where Paul discusses how Christ has broken down the dividing wall of hostility between Jews and Gentiles.

Identity in Christ: Paul was concerned with helping believers understand their new identity in Christ. This includes themes of being chosen by God, redeemed, and sealed with the Holy Spirit. He elaborated on how this new identity should shape their behavior and relationships within the community.

Living as Christians: Another key aspect of Ephesians is the practical guidance on Christian living. Paul instructed the Ephesians on how to live out their faith in their daily lives, emphasizing moral purity, domestic harmony, and mutual submission among believers, as well as spiritual warfare.

Ephesians 2:10 Direct Context

In Ephesians 2:10, Paul is reinforcing:

  • The message that salvation is a gift from God, not a result of human effort
    • Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”).
  • By stating that believers are “created in Christ Jesus for good works,” Paul emphasizes that their salvation should result in a life transformed by and dedicated to God, which is a natural response to the grace they have received.

The Passage

Ephesians 2:10 ‘For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. ‘

His Handiwork

The Greek word translated as “handiwork” is “poiēma,” from which we derive the English word “poem.” It suggests something artfully created and designed with purpose and care. In the context of this verse, it implies that believers are the result of God’s creative action and intentional design, much like a work of art.

To be God’s handiwork means to be created and fashioned by God with specific intent, reflecting His glory through one’s existence and actions, and living out a life of purpose that He has individually prepared. This concept is a cornerstone of Christian identity and purpose, grounding believers in the knowledge of their divine origin and destiny.

Created in Christ

2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” This verse reinforces the idea that in Christ, believers undergo a profound transformation.

Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” This expresses the notion of dying to one’s old self and living a new life through faith in Jesus.

To Do Good Works

James 2:17-18 – “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, ‘You have faith; I have deeds.’

Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.” James emphasizes that faith should manifest in actions, reinforcing the Ephesians passage about living out faith through good works.

Prepared in Advance To Do

Jeremiah 1:5 – “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.

‭Psalms 139:16 NIV‬ Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.


‭Hebrews 12:1 NIV‬ Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 

‭1 Corinthians 9:24 NIV‬ Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize

‭Philippians 3:14 NIV‬ I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 

Note: Paul’s primary emphasis in Ephesians 2:10 is on the transformative power of God’s work in believers through Christ. His concern is that believers recognize:

We Must Remember That It Is:

God’s Initiative: Salvation and the ensuing good works are initiated by God, not by human merit or effort.

Purposeful Creation: Believers are created anew in Christ specifically to engage in good works, underscoring the idea that Christian faith is inherently active and practical.

Preordained Path: The good works that believers are to engage in have been prepared by God beforehand, suggesting that each believer has a God-given path to follow, which aligns with His will and purposes.

Through these teachings, Paul wanted to ensure that the Ephesians understood their faith as a dynamic and living response to God’s grace, aimed at uniting them in purpose and action under the lordship of Christ.

Key Takeaways

Identity in Christ: Believers are uniquely crafted by God, which affirms their worth and the intentionality behind their creation.

Purposeful Living: Being created for good works implies that Christian life is not passive but actively engaged in practices that reflect God’s goodness and love.

Divine Planning: The idea that these works are prepared in advance shows that God is intimately involved in the life of each believer, guiding and equipping them for the tasks He has set out.

Mem – Psalm 119:97-104

“Mem” (מ) is the thirteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet and serves as the heading for the thirteenth section of Psalm 119 (verses 97-104). Each verse in this section begins with “Mem” in the original Hebrew, continuing the acrostic structure of the psalm.

The symbolic meaning of “Mem” can be understood through several facets:

Literal Meaning and Symbolism: “Mem” represents “water” in Hebrew, symbolizing fluidity, life, cleansing, and power. In the context of Psalm 119, “Mem” could signify the life-giving and purifying qualities of God’s Word, much like water sustains and cleanses life.

Source of Life: Just as water is essential for physical life, God’s Word is crucial for spiritual life. “Mem” in this section might represent the idea that the Scriptures are a vital source of nourishment and growth for the believer, essential for spiritual sustenance and flourishing.

Cleansing and Renewal: Water is often symbolic of cleansing and renewal. This symbolism aligns with the psalmist’s expressions about the transformative and renewing power of God’s laws, which cleanse the soul and renew the spirit.

Depth and Mystery: Water can also symbolize depth and the unknown. This aspect of “Mem” can reflect the depth and richness of God’s Word, which can be endlessly explored and always holds deeper truths to uncover.

Flow and Adaptability: The properties of water to flow and adapt to its container might symbolize the adaptability of God’s Word to provide guidance and wisdom in various circumstances of life. It suggests that the Scripture is dynamic and applicable across different situations, providing tailored guidance that fits the contours of each believer’s life.

In summary, “Mem” in Psalm 119 symbolizes the essential, life-giving, cleansing, deep, and adaptable nature of God’s Word. It highlights how the Scriptures are as vital to the spirit as water is to the body, offering nourishment, purification, and profound insight into living a life aligned with divine will.

Psalm 119:97-104: Verse by Verse Analysis

Verse 97:

Text: “Oh, how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.”

Reflection: The psalmist expresses an intense love for God’s law, indicating that it occupies his thoughts continually throughout the day. This continuous meditation reflects a deep, personal engagement with scripture.

Cross-reference: Joshua 1:8 – “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

Verse 98:

Text: “Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me.”

Reflection: God’s commands provide the psalmist with wisdom that surpasses that of his adversaries. This wisdom is not occasional but constant, as the commandments are a perpetual guide.

Cross-reference: James 1:5 – “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”

Verse 99:

Text: “I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes.”

Reflection: Through diligent meditation on God’s statutes, the psalmist has gained more understanding than his educators, highlighting the value of personal study and reflection on God’s Word over traditional learning alone.

Cross-reference: Job 32:8 – “But it is the spirit in a person, the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding.”

Verse 100:

Text: “I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts.”

Reflection: Adherence to God’s precepts has endowed the psalmist with greater understanding than even the elders, suggesting that spiritual insight is linked to practical obedience.

Cross-reference: 1 John 2:3-6 – “We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands.”

Verse 101:

Text: “I have kept my feet from every evil path so that I might obey your word.”

Reflection: The psalmist has intentionally avoided evil ways to remain faithful to God’s Word, emphasizing the conscious effort required to live righteously.

Cross-reference: Proverbs 1:15 – “My son, do not go along with them, do not set foot on their paths;”

Verse 102:

Text: “I have not departed from your laws, for you yourself have taught me.”

Reflection: Divine teaching has kept the psalmist loyal to God’s laws, reinforcing that his obedience is not just a matter of self-discipline but also divine instruction.

Cross-reference: John 14:26 – “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

Verse 103:

Text: “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”

Reflection: The psalmist finds great delight in God’s words, describing them as sweeter than honey, which speaks to the joy and satisfaction found in scripture.

Cross-reference: Ezekiel 3:3 – “Then he said to me, ‘Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.’ So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth.”

Verse 104:

Text: “I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path.”

Reflection: Understanding gained from God’s precepts leads the psalmist to despise all forms of wickedness, demonstrating how true wisdom influences moral choices.

Cross-reference: Proverbs 8:13 – “To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.”

Key Takeaways from Psalm 119:97-104:

  • Continuous Meditation on Scripture: The psalmist’s constant meditation on God’s law is central to gaining wisdom and insight, underscoring the transformative power of engaging deeply with scripture.
  • Wisdom Beyond Human Teaching: By adhering to God’s commands and meditating on His statutes, the psalmist attains wisdom that surpasses even that of his elders and teachers, illustrating that divine wisdom transcends human knowledge.
  • Delight in God’s Word: The psalmist experiences profound joy in God’s commands,

Sermon Notes: Overcoming Spiritual Dryness

In 1 Kings 19:5-21, we find Elijah at a pivotal point of personal crisis. After a victorious confrontation against the prophets of Baal, Elijah faces severe discouragement and flees from Queen Jezebel’s threats. This passage offers a profound look at how God meets His prophet in his moment of despair.

The Message

Verses 5-7: “Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, ‘Get up and eat.’ He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. The angel of the LORD came back a second time and touched him and said, ‘Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.'”

Commentary: God’s provision of food and water for Elijah is reminiscent of His care for the Israelites in the wilderness, providing manna and quail (Exodus 16:35). This demonstrates God’s holistic care, acknowledging the physical basis needed for spiritual and emotional well-being.

Divine Intervention:God first addressed Elijah’s physical needs. While he slept under the broom tree, an angel touched him and provided food and water for him (1 Kings 19:5-7). This act of care shows the importance of attending to physical well-being as part of spiritual health.

Verses 8-9: “So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night.”

Commentary:Elijah’s journey mirrors the Israelites’ 40 years in the desert (Numbers 14:33) and Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-2), symbolizing a period of purification and preparation for a divine encounter.

Verses 11-13: “The LORD said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.’ Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.”

Commentary: This encounter emphasizes that God’s presence is not confined to dramatic displays. It parallels Moses’ experience on the same mountain, where God also used natural phenomena to reveal Himself (Exodus 19:18-20), but here emphasizes the still small voice, highlighting a personal and gentle communication.

God’s Gentle Presence: After his initial rest and nourishment, Elijah traveled to Mount Horeb and took shelter in a cave. Here, God revealed Himself not in dramatic displays as on Mount Carmel, but in a “gentle whisper” (1 Kings 19:12). This encounter reminds Elijah (and readers) that God is not only found in extraordinary events but also in quiet, subtle ways.

Verses 15-18: “The LORD said to him, ‘Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet.”

Commentary: God’s instructions for Elijah to anoint new leaders and a prophetic successor not only provide direction but also show that Elijah’s mission must continue beyond his lifetime, similar to Jesus commissioning His disciples in Matthew 28:19-20.

Recommissioning:Following this gentle encounter, God gave Elijah new tasks, including anointing new kings and appointing Elisha as his prophetic successor (1 Kings 19:15-16). This recommissioning helped redirect Elijah’s focus from his fears and failures to purposeful action and reaffirmed that his life and mission were far from over.

Verse 21: “So Elisha left the oxen and ran after Elijah. Then he took his cloak and rolled it up and struck the water with it.”

Commentary: Elisha’s immediate response signifies his readiness to embrace the prophetic call. The transfer of the cloak from Elijah to Elisha symbolizes passing the mantle of prophetic authority, reminiscent of Moses passing leadership to Joshua (Deuteronomy 31:7-8).

Community and Succession: By instructing Elijah to anoint Elisha as his successor, God addressed Elijah’s sense of isolation by providing him a companion and successor in his prophetic ministry (1 Kings 19:19-21). This partnership not only alleviated his loneliness but also ensured the continuity of his work.

Key Takeaways

  • God’s Comprehensive Care: This passage illustrates that God cares for His servants’ physical and spiritual needs, ensuring they are fully equipped for their divine missions.
  • God’s Presence in Subtlety: Elijah’s experience teaches that divine revelations are not limited to dramatic events but can also occur in quiet, subtle ways.
  • Continuity of God’s Work: Through the commissioning of successors and new leaders, the story emphasizes that the work of God is larger than any single individual and is meant to continue across generations.
  • Immediate Obedience: The readiness of Elisha to follow Elijah’s call underscores the importance of immediate and decisive action when responding to God’s purposes.

Lamedh – Psalm 119:89-96

“Lamedh” (ל) is the twelfth letter of the Hebrew alphabet and serves as the heading for the twelfth section of Psalm 119 (verses 89-96). Each verse in this section begins with “Lamedh” in the original Hebrew, maintaining the acrostic pattern of the psalm.

The symbolic meaning of “Lamedh” can be explored in various dimensions:

Literal Meaning and Symbolism: “Lamedh” literally means “to learn” or “to teach” in Hebrew. This connection highlights the themes of learning and instruction that are central to Psalm 119. In this context, “Lamedh” represents the learning and application of God’s law, underscoring the psalmist’s dedication to understanding and living out the teachings of the scriptures.

Shape and Representation: The shape of the letter “Lamedh” is unique as it is the tallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet and is said to represent a tower reaching from the earth to the heavens. Symbolically, this can illustrate the connection between human and divine, suggesting that God’s laws provide a bridge or conduit through which humans can reach toward divine understanding and spirituality.

Authority and Guidance: “Lamedh” is considered to signify authority and control, reflecting the authoritative nature of God’s word as a guide for life. This symbolizes the ultimate authority of the scriptures and their role in guiding the moral and spiritual walk of believers.

Heart of Wisdom: In Jewish thought, “Lamedh” is sometimes associated with the “heart,” implying a deep, internalized wisdom. This correlates with the psalmist’s expressions about the depth and richness of God’s commandments, which are more than rules—they are deep insights into life and conduits of wisdom.

Role of Instruction in Spiritual Growth: Given its association with teaching and learning, “Lamedh” emphasizes the ongoing process of spiritual education through God’s word. It represents the continuous growth in understanding and the never-ending journey of aligning one’s life more closely with divine precepts.

In summary, “Lamedh” in Psalm 119 symbolizes the profound relationship between learning God’s laws and reaching towards spiritual maturity. It highlights the role of God’s commandments as authoritative guidance for living, the deep wisdom contained within the scriptures, and the connection they provide between earthly existence and divine truth. Through the lens of “Lamedh,” the psalmist portrays the scriptures as both a foundational learning tool and a bridge to higher spiritual understanding.

Psalm 119:89-96: Verse by Verse Analysis

Verse 89:

Text: “Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.”

Reflection: The psalmist emphasizes the unchanging and everlasting nature of God’s word, highlighting its stability and permanence.

Cross-reference: Isaiah 40:8 – “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”

Verse 90:

Text: “Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures.”

Reflection: This verse connects God’s faithfulness with the enduring creation, suggesting that just as the earth remains, so does God’s reliability from one generation to the next.

Cross-reference: Lamentations 3:23 – “Great is your faithfulness.”

Verse 91:

Text: “Your laws endure to this day, for all things serve you.”

Reflection: The psalmist observes that all of creation adheres to God’s laws, underscoring the idea that God’s ordinances are not only enduring but also universal.

Cross-reference: Colossians 1:16-17 – “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.”

Verse 92:

Text: “If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.”

Reflection: Reflecting on personal hardships, the psalmist credits his survival to the joy and strength found in God’s law.

Cross-reference: Job 23:12 – “I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.”

Verse 93:

Text: “I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life.”

Reflection: Committing to remember God’s teachings, the psalmist acknowledges that these precepts have been life-saving.

Cross-reference: Deuteronomy 6:24 – “The Lord commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the Lord our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today.”

Verse 94:

Text: “Save me, for I am yours; I have sought out your precepts.”

Reflection: Declaring himself to belong to God, the psalmist seeks salvation, grounding his plea in his pursuit of God’s laws.

Cross-reference: Psalm 86:2 – “Guard my life, for I am faithful to you; save your servant who trusts in you. You are my God;”

Verse 95:

Text: “The wicked are waiting to destroy me, but I will ponder your statutes.”

Reflection: Despite threats from the wicked, the psalmist remains focused on studying and reflecting on God’s statutes.

Cross-reference: Psalm 37:32 – “The wicked lie in wait for the righteous, intent on putting them to death;”

Verse 96:

Text: “To all perfection I see a limit, but your commands are boundless.”

Reflection: The psalmist observes that everything else has limitations, but God’s commands are limitless and infinitely profound.

Cross-reference: Ecclesiastes 3:11 – “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”

Key Takeaways from Psalm 119:89-96:

Eternal and Unchanging Word: The psalmist highlights the eternal, unchanging nature of God’s word, which serves as a stable foundation in the believer’s life.

Faithfulness of God Across Generations: God’s faithfulness is depicted as enduring and reliable, extending through all generations and mirrored in the consistent order of creation.

Sustaining Power of God’s Law: Reflecting on personal experiences of affliction, the psalmist credits God’s precepts with providing not only physical but also spiritual sustenance and protection.

Permanence of Divine Commands: In a world where all things have limits, God’s commands stand out as limitless, offering boundless wisdom and guidance.

Resolute Focus on God’s Word: Despite adversities and external threats, the psalmist’s commitment to meditate on and adhere to God’s statutes

Life Through the Holy Spirit – More Than Conquerors

More Than Conquerors

Love (31–39). The Spirit of God makes the love of God real to us (5:5; John 14:23–27). The Father is for us (vv. 31–32), the Son is for us (v. 34), and the Spirit is for us (vv. 26–27). Nothing can separate us from His love. Is there any reason why we should not be “more than conquerors”?

“The Holy Spirit longs to reveal to you the deeper things of God. He longs to love through you. He longs to work through you. Through the blessed Holy Spirit you may have: strength for every duty, wisdom for every problem, comfort in every sorrow, joy in His overflowing service.” T. J. Bach

Romans 8:31: God’s Unfailing Support

Verse: “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

Cross-Reference: Psalm 118:6 – “The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”

Application: Embrace a life of bold faith, knowing God’s unparalleled support makes opposition null.

Romans 8:32: Assurance of God’s Provision

Verse: “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”

Cross-Reference: Philippians 4:19 – “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”

Application: Trust in God’s willingness to provide for your every need, rooted in His sacrificial love.

Romans 8:33-34: Our Righteous Standing

Verse: “Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.”

Cross-Reference: Hebrews 7:25 – “Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”

Application: Rest in the assurance of your salvation and the effectiveness of Christ’s intercession on your behalf.

Romans 8:35-37: Love That Overcomes

Verse: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: ‘For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

Cross-Reference: John 16:33 – “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Application: Stand firm amid trials, empowered by the victory and love of Christ that surpass all obstacles.

Romans 8:38-39: The Inseparability from God’s Love

Verse: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Cross-Reference: Ephesians 3:18-19 – “…may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ…”

Application: Find peace and courage in the unbreakable bond of love between you and God through Christ.

Key Takeaways:

  • Unmatched Support: God’s support is unparalleled; knowing He is for us should inspire unwavering confidence in His providence.
  • Providential Love: The sacrificial gift of Jesus is the utmost evidence of God’s love and a promise of His provision in our lives.
  • Righteous Assurance: Our justified status and Christ’s intercession provide a firm foundation for our faith, free from condemnation.
  • Victorious Love: The love of Christ empowers us to overcome any trial, affirming our identity as more than conquerors.
  • Eternal Security: The certainty that nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ offers enduring peace and assurance.

Romans 8:31-39, with its profound themes of divine support, love, and security, stands as a monumental assurance of the believer’s position in Christ. It encourages a life lived in confidence of God’s unwavering commitment to His people.