“Love Rich In Insight” ( Philippians 1: 9 – 11, NEB ) by Carley Evans


“And this is my prayer,” writes Paul, “that your love may grow ever richer and richer in knowledge and insight of every kind, and may thus bring you the gift of true discrimination. Then on the day of Christ you will be flawless and without blame, reaping the full harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”

Once again, Paul identifies love as the key to the Christian walk. Love that is rich “brings…the gift of true discrimination.” Love which has “knowledge and insight” makes us “flawless and without blame.”  This sort of love allows us to “reap the full harvest of righteousness” because this love comes through Jesus Christ. This kind of love reflects the “glory and praise of God.”

Love fulfills the law. Jesus tells us this repeatedly. If we love God, we love one another. If we love in this manner, then we are “flawless and without blame.”

Love does no harm.

“If we are in union with Christ Jesus…; the only thing that counts is faith active in love.” (Galatians 5: 6)

“As He Is Holy” (1 Peter 1: 15 – 16, ESV) by Carley Evans


“Be holy in all your conduct,” writes Peter. We are to be holy because Jesus is holy.

“As you come to Him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood.” (1 Peter 2: 4 – 5)

After all, do not forget that “you have been born again through the living and abiding Word of God.” (1 Peter 1: 23) Jesus Himself tells Nicodemus, “Unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God;” (John 3: 3) for “that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3: 6) Once we are born of the Spirit, we cry “Father” to God, looking to Him as a child looks to its own parent.

“David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works: ‘Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.’ ” (Romans 4: 6 – 8)

Paul assures us that we “who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds” are reconciled to God by Jesus’ death “in order to present [us] holy and blameless and above reproach before Him.” (Colossians 1: 21, 22)

Our task is to “continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel.” (Colossians 1: 23)

We are holy because He is holy. This is our hope; the fruit of our faith.

“If Anyone Does Sin” (1 John 2: 1, ESV) by Carley Evans


The author of 1 John writes, “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”

We are not to live in sin, but if we do fall into sin, then we must remain confident that Jesus is advocating for us because “He always lives to intercede.” Additionally, “the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words…according to the will of God.” (Romans 8: 26 – 27)

Jesus — whether standing before His Father and our Father or sitting beside Him at His right hand — is a shield for us from the wrath of His Father. The anger and hatred of sin which God the Father possesses fell upon Jesus’ body as He remained on the cross of Calvary. Jesus did not remove Himself from this suffering, but stayed the course, bearing its shame and the weight of the sin of the world.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1: 9)

“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” (Jude 1: 28)