“Proof” ( Philippians 1:9-10, WYC ) by Carley Evans


English: Animated geometric proof of the Pytha...
English: Animated geometric proof of the Pythagoras theorem, for reference to proof see Pythagorean Theorem at Cut the Knot

I love the idea of a proof – a mathematical, scientific method of proving a theorem. What proof does the Apostle Paul call us to use in “proving the better things?” He calls us to use charity.

“And this thing I pray, that your charity be plenteous more and more in knowing [that your charity be plenteous more and more in science, or knowing], and in all wit; that ye approve the better things [that ye prove the better things], that ye be clean and without offence in the day of Christ;”

If we have charity then we are “clean and without offence” now and “in the day of Christ.”

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“Through God’s Power” ( 1 Corinthians 2: 14, WYC ) by Carley Evans


 

“For a beastly man perceiveth not those things that be of the Spirit of God; for it is folly to him, and he may not understand, for it is examined ghostly [for it is examined, or assayed, ghostly].”

Perception is everything. The beastly man – that is the natural man – is incapable of seeing “those things that be of the Spirit of God.” Why? Because the things of God are “folly to him.” The natural man is incapable of understanding the things of God. Why? Because “the things that be of the Spirit of God” are “examined or assayed ghostly.”

Therefore, it follows that men and women in their natural state are incapable of discerning the Spirit of God.

What is needed?

The natural man requires illumination. The Holy Spirit must reveal Himself to the natural man so that he or she is able to see and understand the things of God. Why? Because the things which be of the Spirit of God are discerned and understood and appreciated by the very Spirit of God, i.e. through God’s power.

We become the children of God not by the “will of flesh, neither of the will of man, but be born of God.” (John 1: 13, WYC)

 

The Eyes


“Usually we see other people not as they are, but as we are. A person, in a real sense, is what he or she sees. And seeing depends on our eyes. Jesus uses the metaphor of the eyes more often than that of the mind or the will. The old proverb, ‘The eyes are the windows of the soul’, contains a profound truth. Our eyes reveal whether our souls are spacious or cramped, hospitable or critical, compassionate or judgmental. The way we see other people is usually the way we see ourselves. If we have made peace with our flawed humanity and embraced our ragamuffin identity, we are able to tolerate in others what was previously unacceptable in ourselves… Judgment depends on what we see, how deeply we look at the other, how honestly we face ourselves, how willing we are to read the human story behind the frightened face.”

-Brennan Manning

“Of One Will, Of One Understanding” ( 1 Peter 3:8, WYC ) by Carley Evans


Over the last few days during a sometimes heated, occasionally nasty debate with several brothers and one sister in Christ on my own Facebook wall, I wondered how it is that Christians continue to berate and belittle one another in the name of “speaking the truth in love.” I thought about this a lot last night as I was unable to sleep. This evening I see the Bible Gateway verse of the day is:

“And in faith all of one will, in prayer be ye each suffering with other, lovers of brotherhood, merciful, mild, meek; [Forsooth in faith all of one understanding, or will, in prayer be ye compassionate, or each suffering with other, lovers of fraternity, merciful, mild, meek;]”

I thought about this verse again in a different light, perhaps from a slightly odd perspective. When Peter tells us to suffer with each other, he says to be “in faith all of one will” or “all of one understanding.” It occurred to me that perhaps it is not that Peter is calling us to agree, but calling us to recognize that we are all in one will – and who’s will is that?

You know who I am going to say, don’t you? The will, the understanding we are in by faith is not our own or even our brother’s or sister’s will and understanding. Rather we stand together in Jesus’ will and understanding.

 

“Who Is The Innocent In Hands?” ( Psalm 24: 3-6, WYC ) by Carley Evans


“3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord; either who shall stand in the holy place of him? (Who shall go up on the hill of the Lord? who shall stand in his holy place?)

The innocent in hands, that is, in works, and in clean heart; which took not his soul in vain, neither swore in guile to his neighbour. (Those with innocent hands, or works, and with clean, or pure, hearts; they who took not their souls unto idols, nor swore falsely to their neighbours.)

He shall take blessing of the Lord; and mercy of God his health. (They shall receive a blessing from the Lord; mercy from the God of their salvation, or of their deliverance.)

This is the generation of men seeking him; of men seeking the face of God of Jacob. (This is the generation of people seeking him; of people seeking the face of the God of Jacob.)”

I know a little of the liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church; I know the psalms are considered weapons against the forces of evil. As the liturgy progresses with each side of the church chanting the verse to the other side and the other side chanting the next verse to the first side – and so on, back and forth; the sounds rise and form a shield. I’ve personally felt the power of the Word of God in the audible liturgical services at Mepkin Abbey.

Participation in the liturgy, for me, is an honor I wish all Christians might experience firsthand.

In the Christian Book of Prayer this psalm – Psalm 24 – is one that stands out as special along with Psalm 95 and 100 and another I can’t recall right this minute.

God asks us, “Who shall come up here to Me? Who is able to stand in My Holy Place?”

And He answers His own question, “The innocent in hands, the clean in heart, the one who does not lie.”

I know Who that is! Do you?

“All Power” ( Matthew 28: 18, WYC ) by Carley Evans


The Wizard of Oz as pictured in The Wonderful ...
The Wizard of Oz as pictured in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

“And Jesus came nigh, and spake to them, and said, All power in heaven and in earth is given to Me.”

Who comes near? Jesus comes close. He approaches His disciples, i.e. His friends, and He tells them the truth. He assures them that “all” – not some or a little power “in heaven” – but not only in heaven, but also “in earth” “is given to [Him].”

Unlike the Wizard of Oz who is a mere man behind a curtain, Jesus is a man who contains “all power in heaven and in earth.” Rather than hide behind a curtain, Jesus steps out into full view. He says, “Here I Am; you may see Me; you may find Me.” Jesus stands on hilltops and in valleys, places where people can get a good view and where they can get a good touch.

Jesus also assures His friends that this power that He has is not His own; it is a gift of God the Father. Jesus does not dethrone His Father or rebel against Him; He is no demi-god like Perseus is to Zeus.

Beware of those who claim either/or – that Jesus is wizard and/or demi-god. Rather, Jesus is the Son of God.

“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by His powerful word.” (Hebrews 1: 3, NIV)