Tag Archives: spirit

My God is…not mocked Galatians 6:7-8

Galatians 6:7-8 – Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow. If you sow to your mockingown flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh; but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit.

Do not be deceived; God is not mocked

Is God mocked? Well, yes and no. People try to mock Him, but the truth is, the mocking from those of this world have no effect on God. It’s no skin off His nose. There is nothing we could do that would make God feel bad about Himself. You cannot manipulate God. There is nothing God doesn’t know, and He is not a human who feels insecure just because those who do not know Him speak poorly of Him. God is not going to feel bad because of their bad behavior. He is above all of that.

For you reap whatever you sow

So for those who mock God, it’s not on God, but it’s on them. They are the ones who are separating themselves from the One who cares about them more than anyone else. They reap what they sow. They speak of God with no honor. They defame His name and deny His very existence. They reject Him. Then when He says those who don’t believe won’t get into heaven, they say, what an unfair religion to not let everyone in. It was they who said God did not exist, so for them heaven too must not exist. Their mocking ways have sealed their fate. Their future is bleak. They reap what they sow.

If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh

For those of us who do believe we must be cautioned as well. For we too will reap what we sow. If we’re focused on things of this world (money, prestige, looks and debauchery), we may lose focus on our Lord. The more we replace the focus we should have on the Lord and replace it with other things, the more likely we are to fall away completely from the Lord. Have you ever been in a place in your life where you weren’t making great decisions? Where you wanted to do what you wanted to do and to hell with what anyone else thought? Maybe it was your mom who cautioned you against staying out too late and getting into trouble. Maybe it was being flirtatious with a coworker and becoming numb to your spouse. Maybe it was your disdain for those who cared about the Lord. When we let these things steer us away from our Lord, we risk the full corruption of our flesh.

But if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit.

So what are we as Christians to do? Is it that we must do something to gain salvation? Not really, but in order to not get distracted by this world, we have to arm ourselves against it. We need to sow in the Spirit. We need to continue to give our attention to the things of the Lord. We need to take our minds off our selves and put them back on Christ and others. Not because this earns us salvation, only Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection have done that. The reason we must do these things is so that we don’t lose our focus. so that the devil would not take a foothold in our lives. We don’t want to start to pull away from God. Every relationship takes work. Every great relationship takes an investment from both parties.

God is fully committed. Are you?

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Posted by on May 6, 2013 in My God is not mocked


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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…empowering 2 Timothy 1:6-7


God did not make us timid

2 Timothy 1:6-7  For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

When are you timid? 

Maybe you’re not. I don’t think most people consider me timid, but when I enter a room, I can be quite shy. I’ll be looking around for anyone who makes eye contact that I can comfortably go hang by (sometimes for the rest of the night). I’m not very brave in social situations. Not at all timid once you get to know me, but those first meetings (especially if I can’t remember your name) are hard for me. I’m a bit insecure sometimes.

Why are we sometimes timid? 

I think the reason we’re sometimes timid is because we’re looking for our self-worth in the wrong places. We’re looking at getting our self-worth through other people, our work, our money or position. But in the verse above it seems to be related to the gifts God has given us, and we’re to use those gifts for God’s glory.


What do you think of when you think of power? A super hero? Your boss? Your father? I think in reality power for me is security. Feeling comfortable in my own skin and not being affected (as much) by the negativity around me. The definition of power a few places is to be able to produce an effect. Here it is telling us that by the Holy Spirit we are given the ability to produce an effect. We can be effective for Christ.


I’m sure most of us know that the commandments Jesus talked about were about love: Mark 12: 29-31,  “Jesus answered, “Here is the most important one. Moses said, ‘Israel, listen to me. The Lord is our God. The Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your mind and with all your strength.’ (Deuteronomy 6:4,5) And here is the second one. ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ (Leviticus 19:18) There is no commandment more important than these.”” Giving us through the Holy Spirit the ability to love, God is giving us the ability to fulfill His commandments (ok – not perfectly, but without Him, we’re incapable of true love – loving those who don’t deserve it – as Christ loves us).

Self Discipline

Ok – if you’re anything like me being given the gift of self-discipline is like getting socks at Christmas. Useful, but not very exciting. At least it used to be. I’m finding that as I grow up (yes I’m still working at that) I find being self disciplined helps me avoid a lot of self loathing, a lot of over eating, snapping at my family, being selfish (or at least recognizing it) and loads of other sins I would rather not reveal this morning. Being able to have self-discipline also allows me to focus and keep my eyes fixed on the Lord. Still not perfect at it, but learning to daily seek God is a self-discipline.

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God

Practice, practice, practice. Everything we want to be truly good at takes practice, or doing something over an over again. Have you ever fanned anything into flames? I truly try to avoid open fires for the most part, so this hasn’t happened to me very often, but I do watch Survivor (don’t hold that against me) and it’s really hard work for them to get a fire going. After they finally get a spark, they have to fan it into flames to get a fire worth using started. Our faith is the same way. If we leave it alone and don’t tend to it, it will diminish, or even peter out. But if we fan it into flames, by reading the word of God and renewing our mind we will be transformed. Romans 12:2 says, “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.”

What are you fanning into flames?



Posted by on December 13, 2012 in 2 Timothy, My God is empowering


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My God is…Humble Philippians 2:5-8

Philippians 2:5-8 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

Definition of HUMBLE

1: not proud or haughty : not arrogant or assertive
2: reflecting, expressing, or offered in a spirit of deference or submission <a humble apology>
a : ranking low in a hierarchy or scale : insignificant,unpretentious
   b : not costly or luxurious

Do you know people who are humble?
My Grandma Abresch was humble. She was one of the smartest people I’ve ever known. She used to choose a book from each section of the library (including health and automotive) and read them so that she would be able to have a conversation with anyone she met. She wasn’t an expert on every topic, but she could ask questions that would get the mechanic, nurse, teacher or mother talking. She didn’t ever act like she was smarter than anyone, but she was amazingly smart. She read these books, not so she could be smarter than anyone, but so she would be able to form relationships with them.

Being humble doesn’t mean you’re not important
My grandma was smart, but she was humble. Jesus was God, but He humbled Himself and became a servant. Jesus was not haughty or proud. No where do we hear Him saying, “Don’t you know who I am, why don’t you bow down and worship me?” He did not demand our worship, but instead became a servant, washing His disciples feet, healing others and ultimately volunteering His life so that we can live with Him in heaven.

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage
Jesus had every right to demand submission from those around Him. If He wanted to, He could have made really bad things happen to those who were fighting against His ministry. He had the control of the whole world at His finger tips, but He didn’t consider using being God to His own advantage. How many people do you know who have power choose not to use it to their own advantage. I don’t know too many. There are some, thank God. Each of us have our own sphere of influence, where we can learn to be humble and not push our weight around.

Rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
Ok, I don’t know about you, but this verse is a bit humbling for me. It tells us that Jesus made Himself nothing – human. Humans were the most humbling thing He could become, nothing. He put himself at the bottom of the totem pole. We are at the bottom of the totem pole – we’re human. We need to remember we’re no better than anyone else, and not think that others are there to serve us, but that we are to be like Jesus, humble, helping others.

And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

But even more humbling was that Jesus, in the appearance of a man became obedient to death, and not just any death, but a death that was reserved for the worst of the worst of society. Jesus who deserved our praise and adoration was treated like the lowest of the lowest of the low. He was beaten, stricken and tortured, just so he would tell them what they wanted to hear.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

We are called to be humble like Christ Jesus. What would that look like in our lives? Let’s look at the definition above to get an idea.
not proud or haughty : not arrogant or assertive – This is almost the opposite of what those who want to encourage you to become all you could be would say. They would tell you it’s important to be proud of yourself, and to be assertive, but the best leaders I’ve ever seen didn’t need to lean on their own pride, or be overly assertive. Being humble and putting others needs first is a truer reflection of Christ in our lives.
reflecting, expressing, or offered in a spirit of deference or submission– In our lives today, or at least in my own life, I can often find myself fighting for fairness. Wanting it to be fair (at least if it seems unfair in my direction – I’m less worried if it’s unfair in someone else’s life), I fight hard to make sure I get what I “deserve”. Instead of fighting, I need to reflect Jesus’ spirit of submission thinking first of others well-being.

Thinking of ways we can put others needs ahead of our own, my thoughts go out to those on the east coast. If you would like to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy – here is a link to the Red Cross:

Posted by on October 30, 2012 in My God is Humble


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My God is…the Cornerstone Ephesians 2:19-22

Ephesians 2:19-22 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saintsChrist is the Cornerstone and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

The cornerstone determines how the building will be built.

It was the tradition during Bible times, that a cornerstone would be laid when construction began to help give the building stability. The shape and makeup of the cornerstone would determine how the building would turn out. So naturally the builders would try to find a cornerstone that was straight, solid and could take the pressure.

All of the other stones lean on the cornerstone

All of the other stones lean on the main cornerstone as support. If that cornerstone isn’t strong and resistant to the pressure, the building likely won’t stand for long.

Jesus is our cornerstone

Jesus is what we lean on. He is our strength and our foundation. We need to rely on Him for our salvation. We need to lean on Him for our strength. He takes the pressure for us and helps us to build on what the believers before us have built on Him. Our faith is strong only when it relies on the Lord. He is sound. He is unmovable. He is reliable. He is Strong. So when we’re not, we don’t fall apart. He supports us. He holds us up. He strengthens us so we too can take the pressure.

In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

As a church, when we lean on the cornerstone, Christ, we grow together in our faith and are continually filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit. We must lean on Him, our cornerstone, and encourage those in our church, our families and our workplace to lean on Him too. Sometimes we’re able to do that by letting them lean on us. We know our strength doesn’t come from ourselves. We have a strong cornerstone that keeps us upright and pointed in the right direction, Jesus Christ.

What are you building your life on?


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My God is…Compassionate Nehemiah 9:16-21

Wandering around in the desertNehemiah 9:16-21 – “But they, our ancestors, became arrogant and stiff-necked, and they did not obey your commands. They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them, even when they cast for themselves an image of a calf and said, ‘This is your god, who brought you up out of Egypt,’ or when they committed awful blasphemies.

“Because of your great compassion you did not abandon them in the wilderness. By day the pillar of cloud did not fail to guide them on their path, nor the pillar of fire by night to shine on the way they were to take. You gave your good Spirit to instruct them. You did not withhold your manna from their mouths, and you gave them water for their thirst. For forty years you sustained them in the wilderness; they lacked nothing, their clothes did not wear out nor did their feet become swollen.

Because of your great compassion you did not abandon them in the wilderness.

Have you ever felt abandoned? Was it true? I know that for me there was a time when I felt abandoned. It was around October and November of 2001. Just after the tragedy of September 11. My husband was overseas, and I was home in Tucson (thousands of miles away from my parents and sister), with my twin 2 1/2-year-old boys. The boys wouldn’t sleep. I was worn out. The events in September had drained the country, and I was no different. I was sure the country would go to war quickly, meaning my husband wouldn’t be coming home on time, and I would be stuck with these boys who never sleep. Then it happened. I began to have the symptoms I would later find out were from Multiple Sclerosis. I felt like I was abandoned in the desert. I felt like my husband wasn’t there when I needed him, and my family too was far away. I felt like I was going it alone. Those who should be there for me weren’t. But during that time, the Lord revealed himself to me, and helped me to see I needed to rely on Him, not my husband or family. He sent me great friends who helped me through that time (Kara and Sharon). I believe now, the time in the desert was a truly transforming time for me. Drawing me closer not further away from God.

But they, our ancestors, became arrogant and stiff-necked, and they did not obey your commands.

When you are a Stiff Necked person, you are said to be arrogant or stubborn. I also see it as not being able to change your ways or be flexible. I can think of a lot of times in my life where I was being stubborn or arrogant. I may have thought I didn’t have as many sins as someone else, or that the Lord blessed me more, because of something I did, or didn’t do, but the truth is we’re all stiff-necked at times. Denying the Lord and what he has done for us. We think we know better than God and ask like the Israelites to go back into captivity. We romanticized the past and think that if only we could go back to high school or college. Those were the days. But the truth is all of our problems would follow us through space and time, because they are part of who we are. But God doesn’t hold our stiff-necked ways against us. He is compassionate and slow to anger.

Last night in our Bible Study, we were looking at Nehemiah 8-10, and discussed this portion for quite some time. One of the things we heard from a commentary was that we can not escape God’s discipline, but we also can not exhaust God’s Patience. I found that to be a truly comforting statement. That yes sometimes I get myself into a mess of trouble. That sometimes I find myself wandering around in the desert, seemingly going around in circles. But God is still there. He’s still ready to help me, console me and save me from my sins.

You gave your good Spirit to instruct them.

Lord, You have given me so much. I have been blessed even when I didn’t recognize it at the time. It is true that you have our best interest at heart, and that you will bring us through whatever desert we’re crossing. You’ll provide what we need. Lord send your Spirit to guide me and instruct me as I go forward in life trying to serve you.

Are you stiff-necked?

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Posted by on February 29, 2012 in My God is Compassionate


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