“Destroying Christian Fellowship” ( 1 Peter 3: 8, HCSB ) by Carley Evans


“All of you should be like-minded and sympathetic, should love believers, and be compassionate and humble, not paying back evil for evil or insult for insult, but, on the contrary, giving a blessing, since you are called for this, so you can inherit a blessing.” ( 1 Peter 3: 8 – 9 )

Peter calls us to hold to sound doctrine and so be “like-minded;” but he also calls us to be “sympathetic,” recognizing that on some less critical matters, we may disagree with one another yet with understanding. We decide to be “sympathetic.” Peter calls us to “be compassionate and humble.” Often pride is what separates us from one another. We claim to be closer to Christ than another, and so build a wall — our spiritual pride destroying Christian fellowship.

Sometimes, we even go so far as to insult one another. And, we often pretend that it is because we have a special knowledge to which another Christian is not privy. Sometimes, we go so far as to call another Christian “evil.” In doing so, we “pay back evil for evil.”

Peter calls us to “love believers” and to “give a blessing”: actions which are completely contrary to pride and revenge. As we give blessings, Peter reminds us that we then “can inherit a blessing.”

As Greg Surratt, senior pastor of Seacoast Church, said in a recent sermon, “Blessing follows obedience.”

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“In Living Water” (Jeremiah 17: 7 – 8, HCSB) by Carley Evans


The negative is presented first — “the man who trusts in mankind, who makes human flesh his strength and turns his heart from the Lord is cursed. He is like a juniper in the Arabah; he cannot see when good comes but dwells in the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land where no one lives.” (Jeremiah 17: 5 – 6)

Cursed is the one who puts his trust in mankind. This man is cursed even when good circumstances surround him. He is incapable of appreciating the good in his life.

Blessed is the one who puts his trust in the Lord. “He is like a tree planted by water: it sends its roots outward toward a stream, it doesn’t fear when heat comes, and its foliage remains green. It does not worry in a year of drought or cease producing fruit.”

The blessings come despite outward circumstances because the root is watered by the stream — Jesus is living water. Despite difficult situations in life, the man who trusts in God appreciates the good within.

Rejoice in the Lord! I say it again, rejoice you who trust in the Lord!

‘Sing To The Lord A New Song’ (Psalm 33: 4 – 5, ESV) by Carley Evans


“Shout for joy in the Lord!” (Psalm 33: 1) Our joy is in the Lord. His Word “is upright, and all His work is done in faithfulness.” How can we not be joyful, knowing that our God works in faithfulness and righteousness? God “loves justice.” And, “the earth is full of [His] steadfast love.”

“Therefore the Lord wants to be gracious to you, and therefore He exalts Himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are [we] who wait for Him.” (Isaiah 30: 18) God’s mercy to us emerges directly from His sense of justice! He promises, “You shall weep no more.” God promises that “at the sound of your cry — as soon as He hears it, He answers you.” (Isaiah 30: 19)

Therefore, rejoice! “Sing to [God] a new song!” (Psalm 33: 3) Leave your sad dirge behind. Remember, as David does: “You [O Lord] are a hiding place for me; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with shouts of deliverance.” (Psalm 32: 7)

We are blessed for our “transgression is forgiven, [our] sin is covered.” God “counts no iniquity” against us. (Psalm 32: 1)

Therefore, rejoice! “Sing to [God] a new song!”