GRACE NOTES- PASTORAL LETTER 4.8.24


Dearly beloved saints of Covenant of Grace,
It was a joy to learn, worship, and fellowship over a meal together with you this past Lord’s Day.  I hope you have been well in the time since, and I have been praying to that effect.  As I write this, the sun is shining and the birds are chirping as we make the transition from winter to spring.  It is a blessing – there is beauty all around us at this time of year.  But of course, spring also brings other things some find less desirables, such as pollen and bees.  My oldest has terrible allergies and despises the pollen.  My youngest frequently runs inside, afraid and complaining about bees.  That said, pollen means new trees and flowers, and bees mean something else I love – honey.  Nearly everyday finds me eating honey with at least one meal, and it frequently leads me to think of the way honey is used in Scripture to describe the Lord’s good gifts to His children.
Honey is consistently associated with blessing in the Word.  So, when the Lord wants to impress upon His people of old just how good the land to which He is bringing them really is, He repeatedly describes it as, “a land flowing with milk and honey” (Exod 3:8, etc.).  And, when the people are in the land and coming to make an offering of the firstfruits of the year’s crop, they’re instructed to remember and acknowledge the Lord’s kindness and generosity towards them by confessing, “He brought us into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey” (Deut 26:9).  Honey is sweet and has a  delightful taste.  Honey has the ability to reinvigorate the weary (cf. 1 Sam 14:24-27).  Thus, for God’s people to be in a land filled with honey, freely available, was to be understood as a gift of His grace and a reason to give Him thanks.  Honey, then, is consistency associated with blessing in the Word.
Yet, as sweet as honey is, the Word tell us that there is something sweeter still – namely, the Word itself.  This is David’s Spirit-inspired declaration in Psalm 19.  As he meditated on the goodness of God’s Word, he thought of honey and the delight he had in it.  But the comparison didn’t do justice to just how wonderful, how precious, how sweet the Word of God is to the believer.  So, David took up his pen and put it to paper as something to be sung through the ages that the Word is, “sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb” (Ps 19:10b).  And who, having tasted of its goodness, would think to argue the point?  The Word is without defect in even the slightest decree – it is perfect (cf. Ps 19:7).  It can revive, or refresh, the weary soul ((cf. Ps 19:7).  It can give unparalleled wisdom to those who lack it but desire it (cf. Ps 19:7).  It fills the heart with joy as we ponder the being, attributes, awesome deeds, and righteous rules of our God (cf. Ps 19:8).  It gives us spiritual sight so that we can live well for the Lord in a world where temptation abounds and sin lurks around every corner (cf. Ps 19:8).  The Word is an unshifting foundation upon which to build our lives and eternal hope, never failing or fading (cf. Ps 19:9).  It is absolutely righteous in everything that it commands of us (cf. Ps 19:9).  It protects us from going astray and promises terrific rewards to those who not only hear it, but believe it and live by it (cf. Ps 19:11).  Truly, it is more desirable than gold and sweeter to the soul than is honey to the tongue (cf. Ps 19:10).  Honey is wonderful, but the Word is sweeter still.
I wonder, then: Is that how you think about Scripture?  Can you say, with the Psalmist, in Psalm 119:103, “How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth”?  How would you know?  Well, you would find enjoyment in opening your Bible and reading it, thoughtfully and prayerfully, thinking it over and drawing out all its sweetness, just as one rolls a piece of candy around in the mouth.  You would make it a habit of turning to the Word regularly, and make it a priority to allow that Word to shape your thinking and living, considering this is a blessing and delight, even when it means having to confess faults and make sometimes difficult changes in your life.  You would find yourself agreeing with the Word and thinking of how good and upright it is, even when it cuts against the grain of your sins and humbles you into the dust.  And, you would rejoice to carry its proclamations about the glory of your God back to Him in praise.  Is that how you think about and interact with Scripture?  Do you find that, while honey is indeed sweet, the Word of your God is sweeter still?
To those who so treasure His Word, the Lord makes a wonderful promise.  If we would but listen to Him and walk in HIs ways, then He assures us, “with honey from the rock I would satisfy you” (Ps 81:16b).  Satisfaction – it is an incalculable blessing.  A mind guarded by, and allowed to run freely in the way of, the truth revealed to us in the Word about the Lord, about the world and our place in it, and about eternity to come.  A heart full of gratitude and joy because of what we have learned and are learning in that Word as we receive it by faith and practice it in our lives.  A soul content, even in times of trail, because it knows the One who rules over it all, who has promised to use it for our good, and who has told us what awaits at the end of it all.  Such is the blessing that belongs to those who delight themselves in the Word of the Lord and walk in His ways.  Pray with me that it would belong to His people at Covenant of Grace, as we learn to say in all sincerity, “I love Your Word, O Lord!  Honey is sweet, but Your Word is sweeter by far!”
In Christ,
Pastor Eric
P.S.
Join us for the prayer meeting each Wednesday in the Fellowship Hall.  Dinner is served at 6:00pm, followed by a brief lesson and a time of prayer at 6:30.  Or, join us for prayer each Thursday at 10:30am in the adult Sunday School room.Click Here to Visit Our WebsiteCopyright (C) 2024 Covenant of Grace ARP Church. All rights reserved.
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