SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 2010-05-30: "The God Who Writes Your Name"

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The God Who Writes Your Name


          Can you remember your first awkward attempts to write your name? My mother would print it out for me and I would try to copy it. When I went to school, there were lined tablets with wide lines. The teacher taught us to keep our letters within the lines. It took a long time before I did a readable job on my name.

          Writing my name is one thing, but understanding that God has written my name in a very personal place: the palm of His Hands, really moves me. The Isaiah 49:16 passage for this sermon actually records,

“See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands” ( KJV, “Graven”)

The word inscribed actually is best interpreted “engraved” on the palms of God’s hands. Since I spent the first eighteen years of my vocational career working in steel die and copper plate engraving shops, naturally this piques my interest. The Hebrew word is “CHA-QAQ,” (Khaw- kak’) which means “To scribe or to Cut into stone or metal.”

          My eighteen years in the graphic arts trade was as a pressman for the English-made gravure stamping presses. Wealthy people with a lot of money to burn would seek the services of my artesian engravers and my press skills to produce very expensive stationary, mostly for executives and corporate heads.

          Hand engraving into soft copper or cold-rolled steel is one thing, but engraving into a hand? This sermon explores how this is possible from a Biblical standpoint. Plus, I have found ways from the sacred text to honor the brave men and woman who have laid down their lives for the cause of freedom.


Pastor Phil  <><<

May 30, 2010, Sheepfold Ministries

pastor Phil Roland


The God Who Writes Your Name Isaiah 49:8-16 - John 20:24-28

“Even if you FEEL insignificant, God knows who you are and knows where to write your name: on His own hands and heart.”                      Pastor Phil Roland


Isaiah writes to a discouraged nation

He is the Southern Kingdom Prophet – 745-695 B.C.

Lived his life under the Threat of Assyrian Power

Assyria destroyed Northern Kingdom Israel 734 B.C.

Destroyed Southern Kingdom, Judah 701 B.C.



   “But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me, And my Lord has forgotten me."

            A. God had NOT forsaken, nor forgotten them

                        1. God’s Promise, “I will be with you” mentioned eight times

              2. God keeps His promise to Abraham – Genesis 26:3

                           "Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you

                             and your descendants I give all these lands,”

                        3. God promised His Presence to Joshua - Joshua 1:5

                           "No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life;

                             as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor

                             forsake you.”

       B. Often, when you FEEL God isn’t there, He shows up – Isaiah 49:8b

                 “I will preserve You and give You As a covenant to the people, To restore the earth. . .”

                        1. God commissions the Prophet Isaiah to remind them

                        2. God isn’t dead: He still remembers His promises

                        3. You may FEEL forsaken, discarded, worthless

                        4. God’s Promises never fail – 2 Corinthians 1:20

                           “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to

                             the glory of God through us.”

                        5. God RESPONDS to your emotions

                        6. He ANSWERS according to His promises – 2 Peter 1:4

                            “. . . given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature”

            C. Most forgotten population: the Fallen and Living who’ve served

                        1. The brave men and women who have laid down their lives

                        2. They gave their full measure of devotion – John 15:13

                           "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for

                             his friends. “

            D. Memorial Day is a Day of Memory

                        1. Begun by Presidential Proclamation, May 30, 1868

                        2. A memorial is a boost to the memory

                        3. We remember persons or events

The God Who Writes Your Name, cont., p.2

                        4. Who are the persons you remember?

                                    a. Arthur Counsel, Vietnam

                                    b. Orville Roland, Corregidor

                                    c. Lawrence O. Harvey, WWII, Pacific Theater

                                    d. Billy Roland, WWII, Italian Front

                                    e. Joe Remaley, Pacific Theater

                        5. Those are MY NAMES of memory. Who are yours?



    “I will make each of My mountains a road, And My highways shall be elevated.”

            A. What God takes away, He promises a way of return – Isa. 35:8

                 “A highway shall be there, and a road, And it shall be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it, But it shall be

                for others. Whoever walks the road, although a fool, Shall not go astray.”

                        1. “The way back is the way you started: at the Cross”

                        2. You have to GIVE UP the glittering toys of worldly captivity

                                    a. False, Lying Promises of substance abuse

                                    b. Acquisition of wealth and what $$$ buys

                                    c. Desire to run your life your OWN way

                                    d. False belief: SOMEONE ELSE can make you happy

                        3. God’s Map is within you, He’ll be your guide

                                    a. His way is straight and narrow – Matt. 7:14,15

                                       "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is

                                         the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who

                                         go in by it. "Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the

                                         way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

                                    b. His inner voice will guide you – Isaiah 30:21

                                        “Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, "This is

                                          the way, walk in it," Whenever you turn to the right hand

                                          Or whenever you turn to the left.”

            B. God will provide for His captives who are returning home – v. 10

                “They shall neither hunger nor thirst, Neither heat nor sun shall strike

                  them; For He who has mercy on them will lead them, Even by the

                  springs of water He will guide them.”

                        1. God will NEVER lead you beyond the reach of His provision

                        2. God’s Presence and His Provision go together

                        3. His Provision follows His Presence – Matthew 14:17,18

                        “And they said to Him, "We have here only five loaves and two fish."

                          He said, "Bring them here to Me."

III.  GOD WRITES YOUR NAME – Isaiah 49:16a

       “See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;”

            A. God can never forget you, His child -  v. 15

                "Can a woman forget her nursing child, And not have compassion on the

                  son of her womb? Surely they may forget, Yet I will not forget you.”

                        1. Can a mother forget her nursing child?

                        2. Can she ever forget how she birthed her infant?

                        3. She bears the scars both physically and emotionally

The God Who Writes Your Name, cont., p.3


            B. God has devised a way to never forget you

                        1. Inscribed/Engraved is better than a Tattoo

                        2. Cut or incised into the Hand of God

                        3. Engraved into the scars on the Hands of God is your name

            C. Jesus made it plain to Thomas – John 20:24-28

                "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into

                  the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe."

                        1. Thomas found out that Jesus’ scars were real

                        2. He fell upon his face and cried out, “My Lord and my God!”

                        3. Your name is written into the palms of the hands of Jesus       D. His palms are big enough for your name

                        1. Of course He remembers you

                        2. Your name’s engraved on His hands

                        4. It’s carved in blood: His blood of His Cross

            E. What about you?

                        1. Will He remember you?

                        2. Is your name inscribed on His palms?








Memorial Day Sonnet


If Liberty means anything to me, I will remember what my freedom cost, By those who gave their all to keep me free, Whose lives were sacrificed, but never lost. I will remind myself of what they did, And keep them dearly cherished in my heart; Their honor never from me shall be hid And I will know they always did their part To save our nation and its people here, To pledge their lives in defense of our ways, To show that freedom always outlives fear, And sacrifice is hallowed all our days. If Liberty means anything to me, I will remember those who kept me free.


John Stuart 2008 Pastor at Erin Presbyterian Church, Knoxville, Tennessee

Over 1.1 million men and women have died to guarantee our freedom as Americans.  They gave their all so that we might enjoy the blessings of this great land.  Today, we honor their memory and sacrifice.  Thank God for every one of them. We will never forget them.