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“Does the Word of God Dwell in You Richly?” Think about it!

“Does the Word of God Dwell in You Richly?” Think about it!


Please enjoy the “Gospel” as found in the devotional writings and sermons of Pastor Phil Newton of the South Woods Baptist Church in Memphis, TN. Other ministries can be seen at https://www.southwoodsbc.org/current-sermon-series


“The Word Dwelling Richly”


“Your statutes are my songs in the house of my pilgrimage” (Psalm 119:49–56).

With a rhythm of prayer, confessing the Word, remembrance of God’s promises and commands, confessions of sin, weakness, and need, this psalm takes us into the life of sanctification through an Old Testament lens, exhibiting the heart of one who trusts in God’s revelation in Christ.

1. Promises to establish hope (v. 49). “Remember,” he prays, “the word to Your servant,” i.e., the promises of forgiveness, covenant mercies, relationship to the Lord, and eternal heritage. These promises the Lord gave so that the believer might have a constant anchor for daily life: “In which you have made me hope.” The promises of God in Jesus Christ are “Yes” and “Amen” to the glory of God. His promises sustain us in the “now” and assure us in the “not yet.”


2. Revived by the Word (v. 50). “This is my comfort in my affliction, that your word has revived me.” Daily we’re to trek along the path of God’s Word, for the Word is God’s revelation of Himself. This Word’s grand aim culminates in revealing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (John 5:39). Read and meditate, pray and apply. Go to the Word. Be revived.


3. Focus on the Word (v. 51). “The arrogant utterly deride me, yet I do not turn aside from Your law.” The world in godless arrogance, makes fun of our dependence upon God’s Word; yet the path of sanctification always turns us to focusing on the Word. “Sanctify them in the truth,” Jesus prayed, “Your word is truth” (John 17:17). Absorbing the Word shapes, us as Christians.


4. Comfort in the Word (v. 52). “I have remembered Your ordinances from of old, O Lord, and comfort myself.” It’s in what God has spoken, promises and precepts, commands and warnings, that we have an anchor for the soul in life. God has spoken to reveal Himself, direct our ways, and to give assurance of life in His provisions in Christ. In His Word we find comfort.


5. Holy anger at disobedience to the Word (v. 53). “Burning indignation has seized me because of the wicked, who forsake Your law.” We’re told to “be angry; and yet do not sin” (Eph. 4:26). Holy anger at the world’s frivolous rejection of God’s ways should mark us. That’s not vindictive anger, but the kind of anger that drives us to humility at the realization of God’s mercies to us in Christ and bends our hearts to prayer and witness for those living in unbelief. It’s the kind of anger that liberates us from spiritual passivity to act in the Spirit’s power for the sake of the name of our Lord. It’s holy anger that brings us into faithful obedience, as we see our sinful propensities and lean upon God’s grace to live moment-by-moment.


6. Sing the Word corporately (v. 54). “Your statutes are my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.” That “house” refers to the corporate gathering of the redeemed. When we gather, we sing the Word as acts of worship, encouragement, confession, remembrance, and joy.


7. Nighttime meditations on the Lord (v. 55). “O Lord, I remember Your name in the night, and keep your law.” Rather than spending the last moments before sleeping for thinking on trivial matters, we consider the Lord (“name” refers to His nature and actions), which builds in us a heart for obedience. Meditations before sleep often stirs obedience when we arise.


8. Commitment to obey (v. 56). “This has become mine, that I observe your precepts.” Here is holy resolve, a heart confession, as intense focus on obeying God’s revelation. “Precepts” encompasses God’s manifestation of Himself and His ways. Here is no legalist but the life of relationship to the Beloved who has redeemed him. Here is life in Christ’s life.

So, as Paul expressed, let the word of Christ dwell in you richly! (Col. 3:16)


Please visit South Woods Baptist Church at https://www.southwoodsbc.org/current-sermon-series


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