“This Is Love” ( 1 John 4: 10, ESV ) by Carley Evans


Young child playing at ease in a squatting pos...

We talk quite a lot of our love for God. We declare, “I love God! I follow God!” But God, in a succinct statement in a letter likely penned by the disciple whom Jesus loves, reminds us love is not that we love Him but that He loves us. We need to turn our statements around, putting God in the subject slot and ourselves in the object slot. We ought to declare, “God loves me! God seeks to save me!”

“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

Our toddler looks up to us, pulls on our clothes, “I love you, Daddy!” But our love — not the toddler’s —  is the mature love of a parent completely devoted to the child at our feet. The best the child may do is reflect our love back to us. How many times do parents hear, “I hate you!” from that same toddler who suddenly rebels in an attempt to gain attention or some forbidden thing?

This is love — God loves us. He sends His only Son to save us from our sins. Like the best parent imaginable, God protects. And, His protection extends forever.

“A New Commandment” ( John 13: 34-35, ESV ) by Carley Evans


Jesus tells His disciples that He gives them a new commandment. Up until this point, is love not expected? Are we to gather no motivation exists for loving others who are not best friends or family? Essentially, Jesus says this is true. He says:  love each other because henceforth you belong to the same family — the family of God. You are My friends and as such are friends of each other. Treat one another with love just as I love you.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”

So, what makes this commandment new? Jesus, of course. His presence makes His commandment to love one another not like the old commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Christians are to love one another as Jesus loves us — in the same manner: unconditionally.

By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Jesus’ new commandment to love reaches above the ‘golden rule’ to a level previously unknown in the world. The Spirit of the Living God enables Christians to love others in ways beyond their own power. And this love for each other demonstrates to the world that we belong to God.

“Good To Grasp One Without Letting Go Of The Other” ( John 3:16, KJV ) by Carley Evans


Единородный сын. "The only begotten Son o...

What does God love? The gospel of John tells us God loves the world. He loves the world so much that He gives His only begotten Son in order to save those who believe in Him. Those who believe in Him are given everlasting life. With this gift, they escape eternal darkness; they do not perish.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Christians ought to reflect God’s love of the world. True, we are asked to understand that love of the world is enmity with God.

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15, KJV)

Nevertheless, we misunderstand. God does not tell us to shun the world; rather, He commands us to go into all the world and preach the good news to its peoples.

 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” (Matthew 28:19, KJV)

Yet, God warns us:

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

15And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

16And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

17Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” (2 Corinthians 6: 14-17, KJV)

God loves the world; He calls us to walk about in the world, reflecting His love of its peoples. At the same time, God tells us to separate from the world, not to envy it, desire it, follow after it.

“It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other. Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes.” (Ecclesiastes 7:18, NIV)

 

“A Certain Naivete” ( 1 Corinthians 13: 6-7, KJV ) by Carley Evans


Allegorical personification of Charity as a mo...

Charity, continues Paul is not thrilled with sin and falsity; rather charity rejoices in the Truth. Charity stands up under the weight of “all things.” Charity believes “all things;” charity hopes “all things;” charity endures “all things,” lasting forever. Paul writes to the church at Corinth that charity:

 6Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

7Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

A certain naivete exists in the heart of the Christian — we must resist evil, but at the same time not let it embitter us. We must hope for the change that must come to all men and women and children if they are to put evil behind them. We must keep charity in our hearts for each of God’s creation. Jesus says:

“Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.” (Luke 6:37, KJV)

The next time someone runs a red traffic light while I am making a left turn on my yellow light so that we nearly collide, I’m going to trust God’s judgment and leave my bitterness out of my naivete.

 

“Long-Suffering” ( 1 Corinthians 13: 4-5, KJV ) by Carley Evans


William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905) - Chari...

Can you see yourself suffering for a long time under the abuse of a wife or husband? Can you see yourself being only kind to that person? Can you see yourself not envying your neighbor whose wife apparently treats him like a king? Can you imagine never seeking your own welfare? Can you imagine not being easily provoked and not thinking evil of the spouse who abuses you? Can you not think more highly of yourself because you live under the thumb of an abusive spouse?

4Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

5Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.”

“Truth Without End” ( 2 John 2: 8, WYC ) by Carley Evans


His Only-begotten Son and the Word of God 1885...

The author of 2 John says,

“The truth that dwelleth in you, and with you shall be without end.”

Jesus says,

“If ye dwell in my word, verily ye shall be my disciples;

32 and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

36 Therefore if the Son [shall] make you free, verily ye shall be free.” (John 8: 31-32, 36; WYC)

Jesus, the Word of God, the Son of God, the Truth of God, dwells within us. As we dwell in His Word, we become His disciples. As we learn the Truth, the Truth makes us free. And, our freedom is without end because the Son of God makes us free.

“Therefore [Jesus] is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them.” (Hebrews 7:25, NIV)

 

“All Treasures Of Science” ( Colossians 2: 2-3, WYC ) by Carley Evans


English: Joshua commanding the sun to stand still

“be taught in charity, into all the riches of the plenty of understanding [that the hearts of them be comforted, taught in charity, and into all riches of plenty of understanding], into the knowing of [the] mystery of God, the Father of Jesus Christ, 3 in whom all the treasures of wisdom and of science be hid.”

Speaking of “treasures of science,” here’s one for you!

 “12 Then Joshua spake to the Lord, in the day in which he betook Amorites in the sight of the sons of Israel; and Joshua said before the people, Sun, be thou not moved against Gibeon, and the moon, against the valley of Ajalon. (And Joshua spoke to the Lord, on the day in which he delivered the Amorites into the hands of the Israelites; and Joshua said before the people, Sun, stand thou still over Gibeon, and Moon, stand thou still over the Ajalon Valley.)

13 And the sun and the moon stood, unto the time the folk of God had venged themselves of their enemies. Whether this is not written in the book of just men? And so the sun stood in the midst of heaven, and it hasted not to go down in the space of a day; (And so the sun and the moon stood still, until the time that the people of God had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jashar? And so the sun stood still in the midst of the heavens, and it hastened not to go down in the space of a day;)

14 so long a day was not before and afterward (there was never so long a day, before or afterward); for the Lord obeyed to the voice of a man, and he fought for Israel.” (Joshua 10: 12-14, WYC)

The earth orbits the sun; the moon orbits the earth. If the sun and the moon both “stood still,” that actually means the moon stopped moving around the earth and the earth stopped moving around the sun. To make two objects in space remain fixed in place at the same time is quite an undertaking — it seems to me, to keep from ripping apart both the earth and the moon, to prevent the other planets from spinning out of control, to keep the Milky Way galaxy intact, the entire universe needed to be brought to a halt.

God stopped all movement in the universe for the length of a day so as to obtain twenty-four hours of sunlight for Israel to defeat the Amorites.

“Treat Every Man The Same” ( Matthew 5:43-45, WYC ) by Carley Evans


Jesus says God’s natural world treats good men and evil men, just men and unjust men, exactly the same way. The sun shines on both; the rain falls on both. Earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, droughts, lightning strikes, fires kill or injury both. The world is set in motion by God, and His laws for the natural world treat every man the same. Because of this, says Jesus, you also should treat every man, woman, and child the same — never with hatred or disdain; always with love and charity.

“Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say to you, love ye your enemies, do ye well to them that hate you, and pray ye for them that pursue, and slander you [and pray ye for men pursuing, and falsely challenging you]; that ye be the sons of your Father that is in heavens, that maketh his sun to rise upon good men and evil [that maketh his sun to rise on good and on evil men], and raineth on just men and unjust.”

WordPress Stat Feature Addendum


A just discovered stat feature: check this out!

Addendum: Okay, okay — I realize that YOU OUT THERE can’t see my stats!

But, you can see your own — right? Right.

GO TO YOUR DASHBOARD.

Look at today’s posts — the ones which were visited. Beside each post title is a little orange circle (I’m doing this from memory) — or the little stats’ chart image — click on it. Behold, individual post stats show up all the way back to whenever you first published that post.

Pretty cool stuff.

Thanks WordPress!