Previous Posts Next Posts

Watermark Community Church

Jessica Nokes

Jessica Nokes

Today, I have been married to the best co-conspirator and friend, Josh Nokes, for eight years. We have three(ish) children: Beckett (3), Tate (2), and ACE (arrival imminent). We have dogs. I try to love them, too.

Sometimes, I photograph people for money. I love my neighborhood and that I get to be salt and light there. I'm a sinner who struggles with self-reliance and giving grace and mercy. I love to speak the truth; I often forget to temper it with love. I also struggle with vacuuming. Send help. And coffee.

April 23, 2014


Galatians 4:13-31
10 comments Print Print

Galatians 4:13-31

13 You know it was because of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first, 14 and though my condition was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise me, but received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus. 15 What then has become of the blessing you felt? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have gouged out your eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth? [1] 17 They make much of you, but for no good purpose. They want to shut you out, that you may make much of them. 18 It is always good to be made much of for a good purpose, and not only when I am present with you, 19 my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you! 20 I wish I could be present with you now and change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.

Example of Hagar and Sarah

21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman. 23 But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise. 24 Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; [2] she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written,

“Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear;
break forth and cry aloud, you who are not in labor!
For the children of the desolate one will be more
than those of the one who has a husband.”

28 Now you, [3] brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 But just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so also it is now. 30 But what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.” 31 So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman. (ESV)


[1] 4:16 Or by dealing truthfully with you
[2] 4:25 Some manuscripts For Sinai is a mountain in Arabia
[3] 4:28 Some manuscripts we


The views expressed under “Comments” are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Watermark Community Church.
  1. Fidel Garcia

    Apr 23, 2014 08:17

    2. Where are you not trusting God's promises and making your own way by taking shortcuts? Right now I'm working in my sexual addictions, (I just finished Mend in WM, I'm going thru "Living Waters" a close group in Arlington, and I meet with my community group every Wednesday night at WM.) My flesh wants to medicate my fears, loneliness and depression by acting out. Unfortunetly I have short comings, in which I find grace and accountability mixed with love in my community group, every time I medicate it with my addictions, I'm cheating myself from experiencing real healing. I forgot where I read or heard, that "we must not avoid the good pain, because the good pain, God uses it for our good," for those who love God. I need to remind myself that God loves me so much that He wants me to be totally free from my sins, but because He is a loving Father He wants me to experience death to my flesh, because He desires the love He has placed in me through His Holy Spirit to shine in my daily life towards others. "Don't get tired of doing good, because your reward is at hand."

  2. Sue Bohlin

    Apr 23, 2014 08:15

    Great bio, great devo, Jessica! Bless you! I camped out on the phrase "until Christ is formed in you." I learned that the verb is a medical term for the growth of an embryo into an infant, and loved the implication: that spiritual maturity is not some vague, cloud-like essence of holiness, but real growth of the soul that makes us look like Jesus. Just as an expectant mother who wants a healthy baby surrenders to the demands of pregnancy by being intentional about healthy lifestyle choices, we need to surrender and yield to Christ in us, engaging in the spiritual disciplines to encourage spiritual growth. Taking in healthy food and drink via daily time in the Word, taking in oxygen for the soul via prayer, taking in rest via withdrawing from our crazy schedules, taking in social nourishment through connection with other believers.

  3. Eraina

    Apr 23, 2014 07:27

    That was a good [convicting] thought for me about Abraham... that "in both instances, Abraham had a child. But going his own way, instead of waiting for the Lord's provision, caused heartache and despair." I push my own way [renaming shortcuts as "efficiency"]. Thanks for the encouragement that God's plan is to rely on Him in relationship with Him -- and not just an end result [like him having a son -- that wasn't the point]. And I laughed reading your intro. Thanks ;)

  4. Kristen

    Apr 23, 2014 06:41

    Happy 8 years! What a joy and privilege to have been a part of the beginning and to see how God has used you and grown you both. Love your sweet all boy family! Thanks for the reminder today that shortcuts and managing my own stuff is not what God wants. He wants my heart, my full devotion and trust in Him!

  5. Trey Collins

    Apr 23, 2014 06:37

    Jessica, excellent unpacking of this passage and great application also! How difficult it can be to have faith to wait for Gods plan to unfold. Thanks for this sweet reminder. Praying for you today!

  6. Derek

    Apr 23, 2014 06:24

    "My heart wants to challenge the process." Mine too! Thanks for putting words to something I can so often struggle with, Jessica. Great devo today!

  7. HopeH

    Apr 23, 2014 06:22

    Jessica, I can't send coffee through the computer to you this morning here is a great local coffee place in the DFW area to check out. Verse 16 stood out to me this morning. "Have I now become your enemy because I am telling you the truth?" I am a truth seeker and since coming to Christ in the last five and half years I have had to face some some hard truths; which have been spoken to me by people who loved me well in the process. Unlike myself who spent decades being a in your face type person. Those who walked beside me have graciously allowed me to walk through the process of resolving my faith and sexuality. I recently realized after encountering someone who got in my face, that I have changed that I no longer have a need to be confrontational with others. That there is a difference between speaking the truth in love and boldly blasting it in someones face. One requires valuing others and patiently walking beside them as they discover and embrace the truth and other leaves others often wounded, dazed and confused.

  8. Fellow Journeyer

    Apr 23, 2014 05:56

    "Much of You"As Paul was discussing about being "made much of" it reminded me of the beautiful song that Steven Curtis Chapman wrote - here are the lyrics. "How could I stand here And watch the sun rise Follow the mountains Where they touch the sky Ponder the vastness And the depths of the sea And think for a moment The point of it all Was to make much of me 'Cause I'm just a whisper And You are the thunder and I want to make much of You, Jesus I want to make much of Your love I want to live today to give You the praise That You alone are so worthy of I want to make much of Your mercy I want to make much of Your cross I give You my life Take it and let it be used To make much of You And how can I kneel here And think of the cross The thorns and the whip And the nails and the spear The infinite cost To purchase my pardon And bear all my shame To think I have anything worth boasting in Except for Your name 'Cause I'm a sinner And You are the Savior and I want to make much of You, Jesus I want to make much of Your love I want to live today to give You the praise That You alone are so worthy of I want to make much of Your mercy I want to make much of Your cross I give You my life Take it and let it be used To make much of You This is Your love, oh, God Not to make much of me But to send Your own Son So that we could make much of You For all eternity And I want to make much of You, Jesus I want to make much of Your love I want to live today to give You the praise That You alone are so worthy of I want to make much of Your mercy I want to make much of Your cross I give You my life Take it and let it be used To make much of You I want to make much of You Much of You, Jesus Songwriters Steven Curtis Chapman Published by PEACH HILL SONGS;SPARROW SONG

  9. Apr 23, 2014 05:55

    Since we live in a performance-based society, it's so easy to take man's view of us and place them on God. But praise be to God that who we are in Christ is determined by what God has done through Jesus (grace), not by what we do for God (fulfillment of rules or our own works).

  10. Fellow Journeyer

    Apr 23, 2014 05:47

    Simple, straightforward and spot on! Thank you Jessica for the great reminder that "grace-filled living is about what God has done for me through Jesus's death on the cross, and my focus is on Him and having a relationship with Him". Oh I so want to daily make "Much of Him" and remember what He Has Done! All the best to you and your precious family.

Leave a Comment