“Only One Who Is Good” ( John 3: 20 – 21, NIV ) by Carley Evans


“Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” (John 3: 20 – 21, NIV)

The good deeds we do are “done through God.” Our adversary is the father of lies; and “hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” Everyone not aligned with God is aligned with our adversary. These persons “hate the light,” living in fear of it. As our adversary is the progenitor of evil, so is God the progenitor of good.

Jesus says, “There is only One who is good.” (Matthew 19: 17) In response to the young man who calls Him “Good teacher,” Jesus says, “No one is good — except God alone.” (Mark 10: 18) But the young man goes ahead and claims to be good, having kept all of the commandments “since [he] was a boy.” (Mark 10: 20) Jesus loves him, but tells him the truth. This young man lacks one thing. Jesus tells him to sell his possessions, “then come, follow Me.” (Mark 10: 21) Jesus tells us that this young man is incapable of saving himself — neither his obedience to God’s commandments nor his self-righteousness are able to obtain for him the eternal life he seeks.

Only one thing is needed — “come, follow [Jesus.]” Come into the light, leaving behind the deeds of darkness.

Jesus’ disciples are amazed: “Who then can be saved?” (Mark 10: 26)

Jesus speaks the truth, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” (Mark 10: 27)

“God’s Secret Purpose: To Bring Us To Full Glory” ( 1 Corinthians 2: 14, NEB ) by Carley Evans


“A man who is unspiritual refuses what belongs to the Spirit of God; it is folly to him; he cannot grasp it, because it needs to be judged in the light of the Spirit.”

Paul is essentially telling us that without the Spirit of God, it is impossible for man — who is born in a fallen, unspiritual state — to grasp “what belongs to the Spirit of God.” The things of God are “folly” to man; “he cannot grasp [them.]” Man does not and cannot seek God, or comprehend God’s wisdom or purposes.

On the other hand,”a man gifted with the Spirit can judge the worth of everything.” (1 Corinthians 2: 15) Because we are gifted with the Spirit of God, Paul says, “we possess the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2: 16)

And, with the mind of Christ, we understand that “divine folly is wiser than the wisdom of man, and divine weakness stronger than man’s strength.” (1 Corinthians 1: 25) Paul says, “I speak God’s hidden wisdom, His secret purpose framed from the very beginning to bring us to our full glory. The powers that rule the world do not know it; if they did, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, in the words of Scripture, ‘Things beyond our seeing, things beyond our hearing, things beyond our imagining, all prepared by God for those who love Him’, these it is that God reveals to us through His Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 2: 7 – 10)

“Falling Into The Hands Of God” ( Hebrews 10: 30 – 31, NEB ) by Carley Evans


“For we know who it is that says, ‘Justice is mine: I repay’; and again, ‘The Lord judges His people.’ It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

The author of Hebrews calls us to enter God’s rest, writing, “See that you do not refuse the voice that speaks. Those who refuse to hear the oracle speaking on earth find no escape; still less do we escape if we refuse to hear the One who speaks from heaven.” (Hebrews 12: 25 – 26)

Open your ears; listen. Soften your heart; believe. Steel your nerves; walk aright. “Think of Him (Jesus) who submits to such opposition from sinners; that helps you not to lose heart and grow faint. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” (Hebrews 12: 3 – 5)

Admit this to yourself — you struggle against sin. We all struggle at times to cease from our work so that we may enter God’s rest, His Sabbath rest. Jesus gives us help both as an example and via the Holy Spirit who lives within us.

No one should think that God’s discipline is not “terrible.” Via discipline, He molds us like clay into what He desires; after all, He is our Creator. He is God; who are we to question Him? Paul rhetorically asks: “Is God to be charged with injustice? By no means. For He says to Moses, ‘Where I show mercy, I show mercy, and where I pity, I pity.’ Thus it does not depend on man’s will or effort, but on God’s mercy. For Scripture says to Pharaoh, ‘I raise you up for this very purpose, to exhibit My power in My dealings with you, and to spread My fame all over the world.’ Thus He not only shows mercy as He chooses, but also makes men stubborn as He chooses.” (Romans 9: 14 – 18)

“You say, ‘Then why does God blame a man? For who can resist His will?’ Who are you, sir, to answer God back? Can the pot speak to the potter and say, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ Surely the potter can do what he likes with the clay.” (Romans 9: 19 – 21)

Therefore, be grateful that God chooses you. Do not be arrogant, but be humble — knowing that it is truly by God’s grace that you stand in His company, that you find His Sabbath rest.

“He Himself Is The Remedy” ( 1 John 2: 2, NEB ) by Carley Evans


“My children, in writing thus to you my purpose is that you should not commit sin. But should anyone commit a sin, we have one to plead our cause with the Father, Jesus Christ, and He is just. He is Himself the remedy for the defilement of our sins, not only our sins only but for the sins of all the world.” (1 John 2: 1 – 2)

Yes, we sin. And, sin defiles us. But, a greater truth exists: Jesus is the remedy for our sin and defilement. Both are destroyed on the Cross.

“God’s act of grace is all out of proportion to Adam’s wrongdoing,” writes Paul. “For the judicial action, following upon the one offense, issues a verdict of condemnation, but the act of grace, following upon so many misdeeds, issues a verdict of acquittal.” (Romans 5: 15, 16)

Acquittal, a verdict of not-guilty, is the gift of Jesus Christ to those who believe.

“The conclusion of the matter is this: there is no condemnation for those who are united with Christ Jesus, for in Christ Jesus the life-giving law of the Spirit sets you free from the law of sin and death. What the law can never do, because our lower nature robs it of all potency, God does: by sending His own Son in a form like that of our own sinful nature, and as a sacrifice for sin, He passes judgment against sin within that very nature, so that the commandment of the law finds fulfillment in us, whose conduct, no longer under the control of our lower nature, is directed by the Spirit.” (Romans 8: 1 – 4)

God’s Spirit within us directs us. “Thanks be to God! In a word, then, I myself, subject to God’s law as a rational being, am yet, in my unspiritual nature, a slave to the law of sin.” (Romans 7: 25)

The only rescue, the final remedy is Jesus.

“If we claim to be sinless, we are self-deceived and strangers to the truth. If we confess our sins, He is just, and may be trusted to forgive our sins and cleanse us from every kind of wrong; but if we say we have committed no sin, we make Him out to be a liar, and then His Word has no place in us.” (1 John 1: 8 – 10)

As Jesus Accepts You, To The Glory Of God ( Romans 15: 7, HCSB ) by Carley Evans


Paul says, “Therefore accept one another;” and tells us the rationale for doing this, adding: “just as the Messiah accepts you, to the glory of God.”

God gives you both “endurance and encouragement” so that He “allows you to live in harmony with one another.” (Romans 15: 4) He gives you these gifts in order that you are able to “glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 15: 6) And what imputes glory to God? Lo and behold, what brings glory to God is “a united mind and voice.”

Notice it is God who “allows” us to live in harmony; He provides “endurance and encouragement” so that we are able to be “united” in both “mind and voice.” Much of this endurance and encouragement are given to us through “whatever was written in the past…for our instruction.” Of course, the main source of this endurance and encouragement is directly from God, the Holy Spirit who is dwelling within us, working His will through us.

Paul’s “therefore” relates back to his argument that unity among Christians brings glory to God the Father. This is Paul’s rationale for having “a united mind and voice.” As we show the world our unity, God is glorified. Unfortunately, Christians are fragmented into so many denominations with some so adamant that their way is the only way, unbelievers are wary and sometimes downright terrified of all Christians.

Therefore, Paul begs us to live in harmony with one another so that we may glorify God, especially among unbelievers.

“We Live And Move In The Lord” ( 2 Corinthians 13: 13, HCSB ) by Carley Evans


“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”

Grace, love, and fellowship of Jesus, the Son of God, of God the Father, and of God the Holy Spirit are with each one of us. Without grace, we would be damned. Without love, we would be desolate. Without fellowship, we would be alone in the world at large.

Rejoice and claim the grace which Jesus gives to us. Rejoice and embrace the love of God the Father. Rejoice and join together with others to worship God in and through the Spirit of God Himself.

For, we live and move and have our being in the Lord. (Acts 17: 28)

” ‘I Am About To’ ” ( Joel 2: 23, HCSB ) by Carley Evans


God becomes “jealous for His land and spares His people.” (Joel 2: 18) He promises “grain, new wine, and olive oil.” (Joel 2: 19) He says that His people are “no longer a disgrace among the nations.” (Joel 2: 19) God calls His people to no longer “be afraid.” Instead, He calls us to “rejoice and be glad.” (Joel 2: 21)

We are able to rejoice “because the Lord has done great things.” (Joel 2: 21)

He “gives [us] the autumn rain for [our] vindication. He sends showers for [us], both autumn and spring rain as before.” Whether the growing or the harvest season, God provides the refreshment and the sustenance of rain.

God promises to “repay [us] for the years that the swarming locust ate.” (Joel 2: 25) Whatever He has taken from us in His disciplining wrath, He returns. “[We] have plenty to eat and are satisfied.” (Joel 2: 26)

God says to us, “You know that I Am present… and that I Am the Lord your God, and there is no other. My people are never again to be put to shame.” (Joel 2: 27)

“What Is Simpler?” ( Ephesians 5: 1, HCSB ) by Carley Evans


“And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgives you. Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children. And walk in love.” (Ephesians 4: 32 – 5: 2)

Imitate God by being kind, compassionate, forgiving, loving. In other words, writes Paul, “walk in love” “as dearly loved children.”

What is simpler?

“How Much More Are We Saved” ( Isaiah 53: 12, NIV ) by Carley Evans


“For He bears the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.” Jesus bears our sins in His body on the tree; and He lives forever, seated at the right hand of God the Father, continually interceeding for us.

This ongoing intercession of Jesus Christ is our salvation. Without His interventions on our behalf, we would not be acceptable to God the Father.

“Since we are now justified by His blood, how much more are we saved from God’s wrath through Him! For if, when we are God’s enemies, we are reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, are we saved through His life!” (Romans 5: 9 – 10)

This is why Peter is able to say, “Perfect love casts out fear.” No need for fear exists now that Jesus sits on His throne. He has conquered death; and we are made acceptable. Fear has to do with judgment. For us, judgment is complete, having occurred on the Cross.

Not Qualified To Judge ( Romans 2: 1, HCSB ) by Carley Evans


One of the most difficult aspects of the Christian walk is refraining from judging others. Paul states that he does not even judge himself; he puts that ‘on hold’ until the coming of the Lord Jesus at which time all men are to be judged by the One True Judge, even God Himself. Until then, we are called to “judge not” by Jesus Christ and by His apostle, Paul.

Paul challenges us to recognize that we are not qualified to judge ourselves or one another. “For when [we] judge another, [we] condemn [ourselves], since [we], the judges, do the same things.” When we set up ourselves as judges, we are actually judging the Law and the Lawgiver, who is God. Who are we to judge the law and the One True Judge?

“You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law?” (Romans 2: 23) If you claim that you do not break the law and so you are qualified to judge others, you are both lying to yourself and to God. (1 John 1: 8)

“Now we know that whatever the law says speaks to those who are subject to the law, so that every mouth may be shut and the whole world may be subject to God’s judgment. For no one is justified in His sight by the works of the law, because the knowledge of sin comes through the law.” (Romans 3: 19 – 20)

Recognize sin in yourselves — and of course in others — but realize that Jesus died so that we are not judged or judging, but are rather set free from the law of sin and death.

“The one who loves his brother remains in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.” (1 John 2: 10)

Amen!