Sermon Notes: What We Do Matters Most

Note: This coming week’s Bible Study will be on Psalms 119: 1-8

Aleph, as the first letter, can symbolize the primacy of God and the beginning of wisdom. It’s often associated with the teaching that understanding and wisdom begin with a knowledge and respect for God and His commandments.

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭119:1‭-‬2‬ ‭NAS Blessed are those whose way is blameless, Who walk in the Law of the Lord. [2] Blessed are those who comply with His testimonies, And seek Him with all their heart.

James says:

The Word of God (21–27).

  • The Word gives us spiritual birth (v. 18; 1 Pet. 1:22–23).
  • It is like seed planted in the heart that produces spiritual fruit (v. 21).
  • It is a mirror that helps us examine ourselves (vv. 23–25) and cleanse our lives.
  • We must do the Word of God, not just read it or study it; the blessing is in the doing.

“He is already halfway to failure who considers the truth and does not do it. Truth is given, not to be contemplated, but to be done.” F. W. Robertson

James 1:22‭-‬25 NIV

22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

Keeps us blameless

  • Psalms 119:11 NIV I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

Guides our decisions

  • Psalms 119:105 NIV Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

Leads to Success

  • Joshua 1:7‭-‬8 NIV “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 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.

23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.

Reveals ourselves to us

  • Hebrews 4:12 NIV For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Counsels / Guides  us back on track

  • John 14:26 NIV 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.

25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

  • Joshua 1:8 NIV 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.

Bible Study: Intro to Psalms 119

As mentioned Sunday, I plan to walk through Psalms 119.  I plan to do it in segments over a period of weeks…

I am looking forward to the journey…


Psalm 119 stands out in the Book of Psalms not only for being the longest chapter in the Bible but also for its unique structure and profound devotion to the theme of God’s Word.

  • This psalm is an acrostic poem, meticulously crafted with each of its 176 verses corresponding to the Hebrew alphabet.
  • It is divided into 22 stanzas, each containing 8 verses
  • Every verse in a stanza begins with the same Hebrew letter, following the order of the alphabet.

Note: Psalm 119 is an alphabetic acrostic, meaning that its structure follows the order of the Hebrew alphabet.

  • The Hebrew alphabet consists of 22 letters
  • The psalm is divided into 22 sections accordingly.

The central theme of Psalm 119 is a deep and abiding love for God’s law (Torah). It is a meditation on the statutes, precepts, commandments, and decrees of God, reflecting a heartfelt desire to live in accordance with divine will.

The psalmist expresses a wide range of emotions, from:

  • joy and love to sorrow and distress, often in response to their experiences with following God’s law in a challenging world.
  • The psalm extols the virtues of God’s Word, seeing it as a source of wisdom, guidance, comfort, and hope.

Throughout the psalm, there is a recurring emphasis on the practical application of the Torah in the life of the believer. The psalmist frequently speaks of their personal experience with God’s law, affirming its value for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness. This rich tapestry of devotion, personal struggle, and spiritual insight makes Psalm 119 not only a masterpiece of Hebrew poetry but also a deeply resonant and enduring meditation on the relationship between the divine and the human in the pursuit of a holy life.

In its entirety, Psalm 119 is a powerful testament to the enduring importance of God’s Word in the life of believers, inviting reflection, prayer, and a deeper understanding of what it means to walk in the way of God’s commandments.

Precepts, Statutes, and Decrees

Before we start, it is also good to have a grasps on the concept of Precepts, Statutes, and Decrees as they are frequently references throughout the Psalm…

  • Precepts: This term usually refers to detailed guidelines for moral conduct or religious practice. Precepts are specific instructions or directives meant to guide behavior. In the context of the Bible, precepts are often associated with practical rules given by God for righteous living.
  • Statutes: Statutes are often understood as established laws or permanent rules that are set as standards for conduct. In the biblical context, statutes are usually seen as divine laws that are enduring and to be obeyed by God’s people. They often imply a formal written law.
  • Decrees: A decree is typically a formal and authoritative order, often issued by a ruler or governing authority. In the Bible, when referring to God’s decrees, it implies commands that come with the authority of God Himself. These are often seen as non-negotiable and foundational principles or truths established by God.

The differences between these terms can be subtle and can overlap in meaning. The specific interpretation can also vary based on the translation of the Bible and the context in which the terms are used. In Psalm 119, for example, these terms (along with others like “laws,” “commands,” and “word“) are used in a somewhat the same fashion to express the richness and depth of God’s guidance to humanity.   

Sermon Notes: Living in the Will of God

The hope before you (1–12). These people were going to heaven! They had heard the Word and trusted the Savior, and they had given evidence of their faith by their love for God and God’s people. God qualified them (v. 12); they did not save themselves.

The Message

Colossians 1:9‭-‬14 NIV

9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,

  • John 14:26 NIV 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.
  • Romans 12:1‭-‬2 NIV 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.

10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,

  • Ephesians 4:1‭-‬3 NIV As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
  • 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.

11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.

  • 1 Thessalonians 5:16‭-‬18 NIV Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Sermon Notes: The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Luke Chapter 2 describes events around the birth of Jesus Christ, placing these events in the context of the Roman Empire during the reign of Caesar Augustus. This period, known as the Pax Romana, was marked by relative peace and stability across the empire.

  • Roman Rule: The Roman Empire was the dominant political force, with a well-organized system of provinces governed by Roman officials. Judea, where the events of Luke 2 are set, was a part of this empire.
  • Census: The chapter mentions a census ordered by Caesar Augustus, a common practice in the Roman Empire for tax and administrative purposes. This census was a significant event, as it required people to travel to their ancestral homes to be counted.
  • Cultural Diversity: The Roman Empire was culturally diverse, encompassing a variety of religions, languages, and customs. While Roman culture and Latin language were dominant, local customs and languages, like Aramaic and Hebrew in Judea, were still prevalent.
  • Religious Context: Judaism was the primary religion in Judea. The Jewish people were expecting a Messiah, a belief that is central to the narrative of Jesus’ birth in Luke. The Second Temple in Jerusalem was the focal point of Jewish worship.
  • Socio-Economic Conditions: There were significant disparities in wealth and social status. While there were affluent classes in urban centers, many people, particularly in rural areas like Bethlehem, lived in modest conditions.
  • Travel and Communication: Roads and sea routes facilitated relatively efficient travel and communication across the empire, although travel was still slow and arduous by modern standards.

Outline of Luke 2:1-7:

1.Introduction of the Roman Census (Verses 1-2)

  • Caesar Augustus decrees a census of the entire Roman world.
  • This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.

2.Journey to Bethlehem (Verse 3)

  • Everyone went to their own town to register for the census.

3.Joseph and Mary’s Travel (Verses 4-5)

  • Joseph travels from Nazareth in Galilee to Bethlehem in Judea, the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.
  • He goes there with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.

4.Birth of Jesus (Verses 6-7)

  • While they were in Bethlehem, the time came for the baby to be born.
  • Mary gives birth to her firstborn, a son.
  • She wraps him in cloths and places him in a manger because there was no guest room available for them.

The Message

Luke 2:8‭-‬11 NIV

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.

Because of His Love 

  • John 3:16‭-‬17 NIV 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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
  • 1 John 4:8 NIV Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

The Gift is freely given to all

Ephesians 1:11‭-‬14 NIV

11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 

13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

Be sure to tell everyone!

Bible Study: The Reason for the Season

We often hear this time of year, that “Jesus is the reason for the season.” While that is very true, I wanted to take a moment to explore why we need a reason.

1. Introduction to the Concept of Salvation

Key Idea: Humanity’s need for redemption and reconciliation with God.

Scripture Reference: Romans 3:23 – “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

2. The Fall of Man

Key Idea: The origin of sin and its consequences.

Scripture Reference: Genesis 3:1-19 – The story of Adam and Eve’s disobedience.

3. The Holiness and Justice of God

Key Idea: Understanding God’s nature and why sin cannot coexist with His holiness.

Scripture Reference: Psalm 99:9 – “Exalt the LORD our God and worship at his holy mountain, for the LORD our God is holy.”

4. The Prophecies of a Savior

Key Idea: Old Testament prophecies pointing to the coming of a Savior.

Scripture Reference:

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭9:6‬ ‭For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 53:5 – “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities.”

5. The Life and Teachings of Jesus

Key Idea: Jesus as the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies.

Scripture Reference: John 14:6 – “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’

6. The Crucifixion and Atonement

Key Idea: The significance of Jesus’ sacrifice.

Scripture Reference: Romans 5:8 – “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

7. The Resurrection and Victory over Sin

Key Idea: The power of the resurrection and its implications for believers.

Scripture Reference: 1 Corinthians 15:17 – “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.”

8. Salvation by Grace through Faith

Key Idea: The gift of salvation and the role of faith.

Scripture Reference: Ephesians 2:8-9 – “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”

9. The Role of Repentance and Baptism

Key Idea: The response to God’s offer of salvation.

Scripture Reference: Acts 2:38 – “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.”

10. Living a Transformed Life

Key Idea: The evidence of salvation in a believer’s life.

Scripture Reference: 2 Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

11. Conclusion: The Assurance of Salvation

Key Idea: Confidence in the promise of eternal life.

Scripture Reference: 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.”

Key Takeaways:

1. Universal Need for Salvation: All have sinned and require redemption.

2. God’s Provision: Jesus Christ as the fulfillment of God’s plan for salvation.

3. Personal Response: Faith, repentance, and transformation are key aspects of responding to God’s offer of salvation.

4. Assurance and Hope: Believers can be confident in the promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ.

The Message of Christmas

Luke‬ ‭2:11‬ ‭NIV‬‬ Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Christ, the Lord!

Sermon Notes: Seek First His Kingdom

Focus on how seeking first the Kingdom of God applies to students, along with the original contexts of work, family, and daily life. 

Revised Sermon Outline: “Seek First the Kingdom of God in All Aspects of Life”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:28‭-‬33‬ ‭NIV‬‬ [28]  “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. [29] Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. [30] If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? [31] So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ [32] For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. [33] But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 

    I. Introduction 

Central Verse: Matthew 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” 

    II. Understanding the Kingdom of God

  • Defining the Kingdom in a biblical context
  • Cross-references: Luke 17:21, Romans 14:17
  • ‭‭Luke‬ ‭17:20‭-‬21‬ ‭NIV‬‬ [20] Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, [21] nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.”
  • ‭‭Romans‬ ‭14:17‬ ‭NIV‬‬ [17] For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 

    III. The Priority of the Kingdom

  • The concept of “seeking first” explained
  • Cross-references: Matthew 6:25-32 (above), Philippians 3:20
  • ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭3:20‬ ‭NIV‬‬ [20] But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 

    IV. Seeking the Kingdom in Work and Studies

  • Applying Kingdom principles in professional and academic pursuits
  • Cross-references: Colossians 3:23-24
  • For students: Integrating faith in learning, ethical conduct, and academic integrity
  • ‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:23‭-‬24‬ ‭NIV‬‬ [23] Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, [24] since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 

    V. Prioritizing God in Family and Relationships

  • Faith-filled family life and Christ-like relationships
  • Cross-references: Proverbs 22:6, Ephesians 5:25
  • For students: Honoring parents, nurturing faith at home, and building godly friendships

    VI. Living Kingdom Values in Daily Life

  • Implementing spiritual principles in everyday choices
  • Cross-references: James 2:15-17, Galatians 5:22-23
  • For students: Balancing responsibilities, demonstrating kindness and justice in social interactions
  • ‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:22‭-‬23‬ ‭NIV‬‬ [22] But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, [23] gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 

    VII. Conclusion

  • Encouragement to continually embrace Kingdom values

Seeking first the Kingdom of God encompasses every aspect of life, including work, family, studies, and daily tasks. It involves aligning our priorities and actions with God’s will and principles in these areas: 

  • In Work and Studies: Whether in a professional setting or as a student, it’s about performing with integrity, excellence, and a service-minded attitude. For students, this extends to academic integrity, ethical conduct, and seeing education as a means to grow not just intellectually but also spiritually.
  • In Family and Relationships: Creating a God-centered home and nurturing relationships that reflect Christ’s love, whether it’s in the parent-child dynamic, among siblings, or with friends and peers. For students, this includes honoring their parents, contributing to a faith-filled home environment, and cultivating godly friendships.
  • In Daily Life and Social Interactions: Making choices that reflect kingdom values like compassion, generosity, and justice in everyday life. For students, this means balancing academic, relationships, and social responsibilities with a commitment to living out their faith in practical ways.

Seeking God’s kingdom first is about living a life where faith shapes our work, studies, family life, and daily interactions. It’s a journey that transforms our experiences, guiding students and adults alike in cultivating a life that testifies to God’s grace and presence. 

  • Love and Compassion: Show kindness and understanding to everyone you encounter.
  • Integrity: Be honest and truthful in your words and actions.
  • Forgiveness: Be willing to forgive others and seek forgiveness when necessary.
  • Gratitude: Cultivate a heart of thankfulness in all situations.
  • Patience: Practice patience in difficult circumstances and with difficult people.
  • Humility: Recognize your own limitations and value others’ contributions.
  • Generosity: Share your resources, time, and talents with those in need.
  • Faithfulness: Stay committed to your beliefs and promises.
  • Self-Control: Exercise discipline over your impulses and desires.
  • Justice: Stand up for fairness and equality for all people.
  • Peacefulness: Seek peaceful resolutions and avoid unnecessary conflict.
  • Hope: Maintain a positive outlook and trust in a better future.
  • Service: Look for opportunities to serve others selflessly.
  • Stewardship: Care responsibly for the environment and resources entrusted to you.
  • Prayerfulness: Incorporate prayer and reflection into daily life.
  • Empathy: Try to understand and share the feelings of others.
  • Respect: Show respect for everyone, regardless of their background or beliefs.
  • Community Building: Foster connections and support within your community.
  • Mindfulness: Be present in the moment and aware of your impact on others.
  • Discernment: Seek wisdom and guidance in making decisions.

 These principles, rooted in spiritual teachings, can profoundly influence daily decision-making and interactions, leading to a more fulfilling and purpose-driven life. 

Sermon Notes: Paul’s Prayer for the Believer

The two prayers in Ephesians complement each other.

Ephesians 1:15–23 focuses on knowing what God has done for you in Christ

Ephesians 3:14–21emphasizes experiencing His blessings.

  • The first is for enlightenment;
  • The second is for enablement.

The Reason

Ephesians 3:12‭-‬13 NIV In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.

The Message

Ephesians 3:14‭-‬21 NIV 14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.

  • Matthew 6:9‭-‬10 NIV  “This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
  • Ephesians 2:19‭, ‬22 NIV  19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being

  • Colossians 3:12 NIV Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 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,

  • 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”— 10 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.

The four dimensions Paul now presents as the object of such perception are closely linked with the knowledge of Christ’s love. That love, exemplified in Christ’s magnanimity to the Gentiles, is too large to be confined by any geometrical measurements.

  • It is “wide” enough to reach the whole world and beyond (1:9–10, 20).
  • It is “long” enough to stretch from eternity to eternity (1:4–6, 18; 3:9).
  • It is “high” enough to raise both Gentiles and Jews to heavenly places in Christ Jesus (1:13; 2:6).
  • It is “deep” enough to rescue people from sin’s degradation and even from the grip of Satan himself

19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

  • 1 Corinthians 13:4‭-‬7 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.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Love Does Not Boast

The phrase “love does not boast,” found in 1 Corinthians 13:4, provides a crucial insight into the Christian understanding of love. This short but impactful phrase is part of a larger passage that describes the attributes of love, painting a picture of a virtue that is selfless and humble in nature.

Boasting is essentially a form of self-praise or excessive pride in one’s achievements, qualities, or possessions. It reflects an egocentric attitude, which is contrary to the essence of love as described in the Bible. Love, according to this passage, is not self-seeking or arrogant, but rather humble and focused on others.

Several scripture cross-references help illuminate this idea:

  • James 4:16: “As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.” This verse directly addresses the issue of boasting, labeling it as arrogant and contrary to Christian values.
  • Philippians 2:3: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” Here, Paul advises believers to act out of humility rather than conceit, a principle that aligns with the idea that love does not boast.
  • Proverbs 27:2: “Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth; an outsider, and not your own lips.” This proverb from the Old Testament also echoes the sentiment of humility, suggesting that praise should come from others rather than from self-promotion.
  • Galatians 6:14: “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” In this verse, Paul sets an example of what Christian boasting should look like – not boasting in oneself, but in the transformative work of Jesus Christ.
  • 1 Peter 5:5: “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.'” This verse reinforces the virtue of humility in relationships, which is antithetical to boasting.

In summary, when Paul states that “love does not boast” in 1 Corinthians 13:4, he is emphasizing a key aspect of Christian love – its humility. True love, in this biblical context, is not about elevating oneself or seeking self-glory. Instead, it is about valuing others, celebrating their achievements, and humbly recognizing one’s own place in the larger tapestry of life and community. This understanding of love fosters a spirit of unity, mutual respect, and genuine care, reflecting the core values of Christian teachings.

Sermon Notes: Thriving Amidst Envy and Resentment

Title: Thriving Amidst Envy and Resentment

Today, we delve into a challenging yet vital aspect of our spiritual journeythriving in the midst of envy and resentment.

  • In a world where these negative emotions often take center stage,
  • How do we, as followers of Christ, navigate and triumph over them?

Scripture Reading: Genesis 37:4-11, 50:20

‭‭Genesis‬ ‭37:4‭-‬11‬ ‭NIV‬‬ [4] When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him. [5] Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. [6] He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: [7] We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.” [8] His brothers said to him, “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said. [9] Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” [10] When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” [11] His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.

I. Understanding Envy and Resentment

Envy and resentment are destructive emotions that can consume us from within.

  • James 3:16 says, “For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” Envy distorts our perception, leading us to begrudge others’ successes or blessings.

II. Joseph’s Response to Envy

Joseph’s story teaches us valuable lessons in dealing with envy and resentment. Despite being sold into slavery and wrongfully imprisoned, Joseph remained faithful to God.

  • Romans 8:28 reminds us, “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.”

III. Cultivating a Heart of Gratitude

In the face of envy and resentment, cultivating a heart of gratitude is essential.

  • 1 Thessalonians 5:18 instructs us, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Gratitude shifts our focus from what we lack to the abundant blessings we have in Christ.

IV. Forgiveness: The Antidote to Resentment

Forgiveness is a powerful antidote to resentment.

  • Matthew 6:14-15, Jesus teaches, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Forgiving those who have wronged us liberates us from the bondage of resentment.

V. Trusting God’s Sovereignty

In the midst of envy and resentment, trust in God’s sovereignty.

  • Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” God’s plans are higher than ours, and He can turn what was meant for harm into good.

How did Joseph see life?

‭‭Genesis‬ ‭50:20‭-‬21‬ ‭NIV‬‬ [20] You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. [21] So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.

There are also lessons from Daniel’s Story (see his story in Daniel Chapter 6)

  • Steadfast Faith: Daniel’s unyielding faith in God, even in the face of life-threatening circumstances, is a powerful testament to trusting in God’s protection and plan.
  • Integrity: Daniel’s integrity made it impossible for his enemies to find any legitimate fault in him.
  • God’s Deliverance: This story vividly illustrates how God can deliver and protect those who are faithful to Him, even in the midst of envy and resentment.


  • Thriving amidst envy and resentment is not about denying these feelings but about handling them in a way that aligns with our faith.
  • Like Joseph, let us stay faithful, cultivate gratitude, practice forgiveness, and trust in God’s perfect plan for our lives.

Love Does Not Envy

The phrase “love does not envy,” found in 1 Corinthians 13:4, offers profound insight into the nature of true love from a Christian perspective. This statement is part of the Apostle Paul’s eloquent description of love’s qualities in his letter to the Corinthians, where he outlines what love is and is not.

To understand “love does not envy,” it is essential to consider the destructive nature of envy. Envy is a feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to someone’s advantages, possessions, or achievements. It is inherently selfish and contrary to the selflessness of love. In contrast, love is generous and rejoices in the wellbeing and success of others.

Several scripture cross-references help in exploring this concept further:

James 3:16: “For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” This verse underlines the negative consequences of envy, which is antithetical to the order and goodness associated with love.

Proverbs 14:30: “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” This proverb contrasts the tranquility that comes from a contented, loving heart with the destructive nature of envy.

Galatians 5:26: “Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” In this verse, Paul warns against behaviors that are opposite to the fruits of the Spirit, including envy. Love, as a fruit of the Spirit, is incompatible with envy.

Romans 12:15: “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” This verse encourages empathy and sharing in the emotions of others, whether they are positive or negative. This empathetic sharing is a characteristic of love that is directly opposed to envy.

Philippians 2:3: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” This teaching by Paul underscores the humility inherent in love, which is contrary to the self-centeredness of envy.

In summary, when Paul writes that “love does not envy” in 1 Corinthians 13:4, he is contrasting love’s selfless, generous nature with the harmful, selfish nature of envy.

True love, according to Christian teaching, is marked by a genuine happiness for others’ successes and well-being, without feeling threatened or diminished by them.

It is about elevating others and finding joy in their joy, rather than being consumed by a desire to have what they have. This approach fosters community, unity, and peace, reflecting the heart of Christian love and values.