Tag Archives: Heaven

My God is…my redeemer Galatians 3:10-14

Galatians 3:10-14 


For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.” The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.”  Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”  He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse

We all live under laws. We have our civic laws, our family laws and even social laws. There are certain things you just don’t do in polite society. Yet we all know the feeling of doing something against the law. All of us have 
done something that wasn’t right. Maybe it was swearing at a loved one, talking back to your mom, cheating on your spouse, or lying on your resume. No matter what it is, I’m sure all of us can think of something we’ve done wrong (if not ask your family – I’m sure they could think of something). Suppose every time we did something 
wrong we lost the parts of your body that were involved in the sin. What parts would you have left? I don’t like to think about it, because I’m pretty sure for me there isn’t much left, but my armpits (though they may have 
caused offenses of their own). 

Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.”

I certainly can’t rely on the law to be justified before God. If I had to go defend myself and see all the crud I have done in my life, having to try to justify those behaviors, I would be laughed out of heaven. But I don’t have to rely on the law to be justified before God. I live by faith, and as it says in the verses above from Galatians, “The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.”” And I guess die by them. But God has given us a way out. He’s given us a Redeemer.

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”

Definition of REDEEM

1a : to buy back : repurchase
  b : to get or win back
2: to free from what distresses or harms: as
  a : to free from captivity by payment of ransom
  b : to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental
  c : to release from blame or debt : clear
  d : to free from the consequences of sin
3: to change for the better : reform
a : to free from a lien by payment of an amount secured thereby
  (1) : to remove the obligation of by payment <the United States Treasury redeems savings bonds on demand> (2) : to exchange for something of value <redeem trading stamps>
  c : to make good : fulfill
a : to atone for : expiate <redeem an error>
  (1) : to offset the bad effect of (2) : to make worthwhile :retrieve
Go back and read those definitions again. Read them with your name inserted in them.
  • Jesus Redeemed (Your Name Here)
  • to buy (Your Name Here) back
  • to get or win (Your Name Here) back
  • to free (Your Name Here) from what distresses or harms
  • to free from (Your Name Here) captivity by paying a ransom
  • to extricate (Your Name Here) from or help (Your Name Here) overcome something detrimental
  • to release (Your Name Here) from blame or debt
  • to free (Your Name Here) from the consequences of sins
  • to change (Your Name Here) for the better
  • repair, restore (Your Name Here)
  • to free (Your Name Here) from a lien by payment of an amount secured thereby
  • to remove the obligation of by payment by (Your Name Here)
  • to exchange for something of value namely (Your Name Here)
  • to make (Your Name Here) good : fulfill (Your Name Here)
  • to atone for (Your Name Here) : expiate (Your Name Here)
  • to offset the bad effect of (Your Name Here)’s sin
  • to make (Your Name Here) worthwhile
  • retrieve (Your Name Here)

I don’t know about you, but I was overwhelmed by reading my name in those definitions. Jesus Christ went up on the cross for us on Good Friday to redeem us. Some ask why it is “Good” Friday when it’s such a horrible event. The list you just read, with your name in it, is why Good Friday is good. Because of what Jesus Christ has done for you. He died and rose again. He conquered death. He has done all of this and so much more.

He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

Why did God die on the cross? So that we might spend eternity with Him in heaven. So that we might be filled with the Holy Spirit and be in relationship with God. So that we would have a future, a hope, and a prayer.


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Posted by on March 29, 2013 in My God is My Redeemer


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My God is My Guide Psalm 73:24

Psalm 73:24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory.

Why is everyone else better off than me? 

Does it ever seem that way to you? It does to me, and it did the writer of the Psalms too. In Psalm 73, you’ll hear the Psalm writer going off on those who don’t believe in God. Why do they get to have all the good stuff? They don’t know God and yet it looks like they get all the rewards.

Here’s how it reads in Psalm 73:3-12 “For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
For they have no pangs until death; their bodies are fat and sleek.
They are not in trouble as others are; they are not stricken like the rest of mankind.
Therefore pride is their necklace; violence covers them as a garment.
Their eyes swell out through fatness; their hearts overflow with follies.
They scoff and speak with malice;  loftily they threaten oppression.
They set their mouths against the heavens, and their tongue struts through the earth.
Therefore his people turn back to them, and find no fault in them. 
And they say, “How can God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?”
Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches.”

They get away with everything

It seems like the rich, the worldly, self-seeking people get what they expect; riches, fame and fortune. And that may be true. They get those things here on earth, but if you don’t put your faith and trust in God, you wont have that for long. “For they have no pangs until death”. 

Until death

They have no pangs until death. But when death comes, those who do not believe in God as their savior will not know about the riches and blessings those of us who do believe will receive. Death is the final say. You know, “you can’t take it with you”!

But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task,
 until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end.

I think this is really interesting. The Psalm writer says it’s hard to understand why the unbeliever, the spiteful towards God get to have it so well here on earth. Where did he go to figure it out? He went to the sanctuary of God. Then it was revealed to him their ultimate end. We too need to go to the sanctuary of God to help us discern the things that are spiritually weighing on us. We need to meet Him in His house and talk with Him. We can talk to our pastors or priests, pray and worship God. In His sanctuary we will have His truths revealed to us so that we too might be reminded of our end – in heaven. We can walk away knowing where we’ll end up when we put our faith and trust in our Lord.

You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory.

Fortunately when we are still and when we are in His sanctuary, God guides us with His counsel. He tells us through His words and sacraments what we need to know so that we might have a full, rich life in heaven with Him. As we remain in God’s counsel, we can rest assured that we will be received by Him in glory. We may not always have it easy here on earth, but this is not our home – Heaven is our home.

That reminds me of an old Hymn – I am but a stranger here – I especially like the last verse where it says, “Whatever my earthly lot, Heaven is my home;”. 

I’m But a Stranger Here
By: Thomas R. Taylor

I’m but a stranger here, 
Heaven is my home;
Earth is a desert drear, 
Heaven is my home;
Danger and sorrow stand
Round me on every hand;
Heaven is my fatherland,
Heaven is my home.

What though the tempest rage,
Heaven is my home;
Short is my pilgrimage,
Heaven is my home;
And time’s wintry blast 
Soon shall be over past;
I shall reach home at last,
Heaven is my home.

Therefore I murmur not,
Heaven is my home;
Whatever my earthly lot,
Heaven is my home;
And I shall surely stand 
There at my Lord’s right hand.
Heaven is my fatherland, 
Heaven is my home.

Actually – After reading these lyrics again and singing it to myself, I think I want this played at my funeral. I love it! And I want everyone to sing really loudly and with conviction! Praise God for the promise and hope of a future in heaven!

Where is your home?


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My God is… a Servant – Matthew 20:25-28

Matthew 20:25-28 – Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Mom, when I grow up, I want to be a servant

Ok, that’s not quite what I said to my parents, but my plan as a child was to become a Lutheran School Teacher (like my dad and mom). I wanted to be like my father who seemed to always be willing to help anyone in need (as long as my mom told him about it – he wasn’t so good at picking up on some of the clues that people needed help). If my father had any thought that someone needed help moving, a ride, painting a room, delivering something or almost anything else, my father would almost always be quick to volunteer.

Called to be a servant

My dad is gifted with a servant’s heart, but we’re all called to be servants. In the verse above from Matthew, Jesus himself tells us that whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave. That’s some pretty powerful words. The funny thing is my father, when he does nice things for others, serving them with love, he doesn’t look for a thank you or pat on the back, but they come. People admire my father’s kindness. They are drawn to him, respect him and trust him. That’s an amazing thing to be able to say about your father.

Follow the example

I have been truly blessed to have a father (and a mother) who have lived their lives as servants. They want to help, and try to help as much as they can. But even without their example, we can all live by the example of Jesus Christ. Here he is the son of God, washing the feet of his disciples. He stopped, healed and talked with those no one else cared about. Ultimately he not only gave of His time, but He gave of His life. He was a Servant who was willing to give up His life that all of the stuff I had done that wasn’t so good would be washed away and forgotten. That I might have eternal life with Him in heaven. I understand that some might die for a great man, but my God died for me. Even though I continually make mistakes and treat those I love with unkindness, and those I don’t love even worse. I pray that I too may become more of a servant. That I might serve others and my Lord, not to get me into heaven, but so I might reflect the awesomeness of my Lord to all those I know. If they ask me why, I will be blessed to say it is because of the example Jesus set for me, and my earthly father who also followed Jesus example.

Whose servant are you?

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Posted by on February 16, 2012 in Matthew, My God is a servant


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God is the Creator Acts 17:24-28

Acts 17:24-28 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth

Amen – Enough said.

He does not live in temples built by human hands

This is an interesting part of this verse, and one I’m sure many of my “spiritual, not religious” friends would point to as a reason they don’t want to go to church. (You know who you are and you know that I love you). It is true that He doesn’t live in a temple or a church. He is not confined by walls or structures. He is omnipresent (everywhere all at once). So you can meet Him in the church – He’s there. You can meet Him in the mountains – He’s there. You can meet Him on the alleys in the inner city – He’s there. But if you’re saying you don’t need a church building to worship or meet with Him, prove it by meeting with Him in other places. Just meet with Him – He’ll be there. (Too preachy? Sorry – time to get off my high horse).

He is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything

This is another amazing part of this verse. Good works are not for God’s benefit. He doesn’t need our help. He doesn’t need us to prove what we believe or to make up for past sins (Jesus took care of that). He does call us to do good works though. I like the way the Message Translation of the Bible puts it (this isn’t a word for word translation, but it puts it in easy to understand language, and sometimes I need that) in James 2:17.

Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?

So am I doing that? Is my faith dead? Do my actions back up my claims? I am constantly at battle with this. I want to do more, but often lack the confidence and boldness that stepping out to help someone requires. Will they think I’m pompous? Will they refuse my help? Will I be more trouble than encouragement? I feel the devil at work in these words. The devil wants me to stay away from the things I’m being called to do, because he doesn’t like empowered people for Christ.

Lord, help me to be more like you. Help me to be bold like Nehemiah, and do what you’re calling me to do.

He Himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else

He’s got me covered. If I think that I don’t have the gifts needed to do what God is calling me to do, that’s silliness, because this verse says He provides everything. He provides even my life and breath. I can confidently go forward knowing He’s given me the gifts I need to carry out what He’s calling me to do.

God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him

Everything God has done on earth has been to draw someone closer to Him. To point us to Him so that we might be in relationship with Him. Not because he forced us to, but because we didn’t turn away from Him when He showed Himself to us through Scripture, Friends and Nature. God wants you to find Him, and He wants me to keep my eyes on Him. Seeking Him and not getting distracted by lies about me not being good enough, smart enough, rich enough or cute enough. He can use me even if I’m stupid, clumsy, poor and ugly. God has a plan for each of us, no matter who we are, a plan to prosper us and not to harm us. He plans and makes opportunities for us to know Him, and that is His ultimate plan for us. To know Him and spend eternity with Him in Heaven.

For in him we live and move and have our being

Are you being called?




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Posted by on December 14, 2011 in My God is the Creator


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My God is … Good Psalm 145: 9

Psalm 145: 9 – The Lord is good to all; He has compassion on all he has made. 

“God is Good. All the Time. All the Time, God is Good”

Have you ever heard that? I believe it. As I start this journey to learn more about God by looking at his attributes as described in the Bible, I decided to start here, because this is the attribute I lean on most. I need compassion from my Good God.

I’m not held accountable for my sin. 

God displays His compassion and goodness in so many ways in my life, but the one that is most important is that I’m not held completely accountable for my sin. Sure there are earthly consequences for my action, but if I were to be held accountable for being the sinner that I am I would be going to hell when I die. I’m not. Not because of anything I did. Not because I’m a good person (thank goodness – because most days someone I know would probably think I’m not), but because he shows me compassion through His Son Jesus Christ my Savior. Because of His Sacrifice on the cross, I get to go to heaven when I die, and that’s an exciting thing to me.

Placed in a Christian Family

But I find that He is compassionate for me in many other ways. Probably one that’s toward the top of my list is that I come from a Christian family. A family who has spent their whole lives in service to the Lord. Both as church workers and just those who care for others, my family has always had their focus on the Lord. That’s a huge blessing. My core family now, my husband, boys and I are all Christians as well. And perhaps this is where the Lord had a lot of compassion for me.

Given a Christian Husband

When I met my husband, I was a teacher in my church’s school. He wasn’t a Christian, and he wasn’t really going out of his way to learn about God. Because of my extensive knowledge of the kind of men I didn’t want to be with, I spotted the right one right away. I could tell he was different. But he wasn’t a Christian. I had been raised to look for a spouse who shared my beliefs. A man who would want to grow in our relationship together and with the Lord. Don’t let this fool you. This girl wasn’t that bright. I wasn’t going to let this wonderful man out of my sight. Christian or not, I was going to take the plunge.

We started dating, but I was very clear, come Sunday morning, you’ll know where to find me. I’ll be at church. He didn’t want to raise any red flags in my mind, so he said he’d like to join me. Then about two weeks after we started dating my pastor asked Don (my husband) if he would like to take an informational class about what we believe and maybe get baptized at the end of it. I thought, “Here we go, watch this guy run. Doesn’t my pastor know I’ve only been dating him for two weeks?” to my amazement, Don said he would like to go, and did get baptized. The Lord was compassionate and gave me the Christian husband I had desired in my heart even though I didn’t choose a man who started that way.

There are so many ways that God shows His goodness and compassion in my life. What are some of the ways He’s showing them to you?


Posted by on July 26, 2011 in God is Good, Psalm


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