|Volume 23 Number 1 January 2021
God is Not Mocked
“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life” (Galatians 6:7-8). The congregations in Galatia were facing challenges from false teachers, advocating one must observe certain elements of the Law of Moses in addition to life in Christ. Paul didn’t want them deceived into thinking such error was the will of God. People are often deceived into thinking something is right that is wrong (Hebrews 3:13), but God is never deceived, neither about truth nor our motives. God is not mocked, which literally means “to turn up one’s nose in scorn and hence to mock, deride.” To turn away from God, in heart or deeds, doesn’t fool God. It makes a mockery of Truth and of the life we have been called to live. Our lives are to be worthy of the calling of the Gospel of Christ (Philippians 1:27). God knows the difference between a life lived for Him and a life lived for self.
Really, these are the only two choices we can make in how we live. We’re either seeking ourselves or God; we’re either living by sin or by God’s good will (Romans 6:16). Satan would deceive us into thinking we can live for self but please God in doing so. It becomes easy to rationalize how that we want things for ourselves is what God wants for us. On the other hand, there is true joy, peace, love, grace, mercy and life by submission to God’s will and following in the footsteps of Jesus. “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:1-2). God knows if our lives reflect His image or not, if we’re truly striving to be more like Him or simply a reflection of the world around us, hoping, expecting God to not notice the difference and accept it as pleasing to Him.
We can know whether we’re sowing to the flesh or to the Spirit. We must be willing to examine ourselves and our approach to life. Do we have time for anything and everything we want to do but no time for God? Do we look for opportunities to worship and serve God or excuses to avoid it? Do we begrudge the time offered in such but not the time spent pursuing our heart’s desires? Where do our finances go? Plenty for self, little for the work of the Lord? A lot of time for television and other diversions but no time for prayer, Bible study or fellowship? Do we seek the least amount possible to give to God in life while being lavish on ourselves? Is our philosophy of life one that spends most resources for the here and now but little to none for eternity? We can know the answers to these questions, but perhaps the answers keep us from asking them of ourselves. Are we sowing to the flesh, or the Spirit?
It’s a matter of attitude or of the motives of one’s heart that turns us to the flesh or to the Spirit. The psalmist spoke of those who claimed God doesn’t see or know, as if they could deceive God (Psalm 94:7), but we know this isn’t true; He does see and know. The fact that God doesn’t immediately judge us is a sign of His love, not His ignorance. We are the ones who are deceived! Where is there an abundant life, all spiritual blessings, every good and perfect gift, all things that pertain to life and godliness, and the hope of eternity? In Christ! Christ is to be what every aspect of life is all about (Colossians 3:4). As you go through your week, does He enter your thoughts, your motives, your deeds and your life? Jesus Christ gave His all for us, yet we can live in such a way that we mock all of that, pretending He doesn’t know, or worse, that He doesn’t care. Is He pleased with how you live, or does it break His heart?
God is not mocked, because in judgment, it will be evident and undeniable what our true motives were, what kind of life we really lived, either of corruption or for eternal life. The term corruption in Galatians 6:8 means, “spoiling, destruction, ruin, decay, generally a fraying or wasting away.” Satan is mocking us when we live for the flesh, which is subject to decay and destruction. Life focused on the flesh is wasting away to eternal destruction, but life in the Spirit is being renewed for eternal life. Where is your life lived? “The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:17).
Gary C. Hampton
Each time the saints meet produces another opportunity to extend invitations to friends and loved ones. Some may wonder what good it does to invite others to join us.
Two disciples of John asked Jesus where he was staying. The Lord immediately said, “Come and see.” Andrew not only accepted the invitation, but also invited his brother, Simon, who was named Peter by the Master. Jesus invited Philip to follow him the next day. Philip went and invited Nathanael, who lived in the same city, Bethsaida (John 1:35-51). These four, along with eight more, stood up on the Pentecost proclaiming the good news about the resurrected Messiah. About three thousand responded to their teaching (Acts 2:1-41).
Our invitations can similarly impact the lives of untold numbers. An example of this is found in an invitation extended by one Christian girl to her friend to come to a Gospel meeting in Arkansas. The friend attended and obeyed the Lord by putting Him on in baptism. She later moved to Texas, where she met a soldier and taught him the truth. He, too, was baptized into Christ.
He and the young woman who taught him got married. They wrote letters to his parents in Salisbury, Maryland. The parents also learned and obeyed the Truth. The young couple eventually settled in Salisbury where a church exists because of one invitation in Arkansas.
Have you ever picked a dandelion and blown on the fuzzy looking ball? The little white seeds float on the wind, eventually producing many more dandelions. It does not take long for an entire field to be covered.
The Word of God is likewise a seed (Luke 8:11). Let us resolve to seize every opportunity to invite friends and family to attend Bible classes, worship gatherings, Vacation Bible School and other activities in which the seed will be sown. The Lord can produce fruit when we sow and water (1 Corinthians 3:6).