“Wondering” by Carley Evans


Wondering why some Christians are “open-minded” and others are not. Wondering how it is some Christians see Christ as kind and gentle, loving and forgiving while others see Him as mean and angry, hateful of sin and judgmental? How can people who claim to believe in the same God come out so differently after reading the same Bible and praying to the same Lord?
How can some believe God hates sinners while others believe God loves sinners so much He actually DIED for them? How can some believe God wants Christians to stand up against sin to the point of harming other human beings who happen to sin while others believe they too sin and are just as deserving of the same type of “revenge” against sin?
Why do some Christians feel capable of judging other human beings while others feel entirely unworthy of the task?
Oh Lord, help us to know the Truth so it and You may set us Free. Amen.

Advertisements

“One Person” ( Galatians 3: 26 – 28, KNOX, WYC ) by Carley Evans


“You are all one person in Jesus Christ.”

“For all ye be one in Christ Jesus.”

So, we are either one person or we are united as one in Jesus. Either way, we “who have been baptized in Christ’s name have put on the person of Christ.” We are “clothed with Christ.” Paul implies we are dressed up in Christ as if we’ve put on a costume for a big party. Yet, he means so much more. The physical properties, the settings in which we dwell no longer matter. That I am female and you are male means little – if anything – in the kingdom of God. For the flesh can not inherit the kingdom. We will all be changed, in a flash at the sound of the trumpet. The mortal will fall away, and we shall be as He is – immortal.

Therefore, the petty differences between us – our gender, the color of our skin, our cultural backgrounds or ethnicity, our station in life, the money we have or don’t have – these things mean nothing. The only thing that counts is our relationship with Christ, that we are indeed one person.

“through faith in Christ Jesus you are all now God’s sons. All you who have been baptized in Christ’s name have put on the person of Christ; no more Jew or Gentile, no more slave and freeman, no more male and female; you are all one person in Jesus Christ.” Galatians 3:26-28KNOX

“For all ye be the children of God through the belief of Jesus Christ. [For all ye be the sons of God by faith in Christ Jesus.] For all ye that be baptized, be clothed with Christ. [Forsooth whoever ye be baptized in Christ, ye have clothed in Christ.] There is no Jew, nor Greek, no bondman, nor free man, no male, nor female [There is not Jew, neither Greek; there is not servant, neither free man; there is not male, neither female]; for all ye be one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:26-28WYC

 

“It Is Jesus Christ” ( Romans 8: 31-34, WYC ) by Carley Evans


running_water_CEE

“If God be for us, who is against us?

32 Which also spared not his own Son, but betook him for us all, how also gave he not to us all things with him?

33 Who shall accuse against the chosen men of God? It is God that justifieth,

34 who is it that condemneth? It is Jesus Christ that was dead, yea, the which rose again, the which is on the right half of God, and the which prayeth for us [the which and rose again, the which is on the right half of God, the which prayeth for us].”

I admit I’ve never noticed this before – that Paul asks, “Who accuses those whom God has chosen? Who is it that condemns?” And then immediately answers, “It is Jesus Christ, the one who died and rose again and now sits at the right hand of God the Father, who prays for us.”

Jesus condemns us by His death. If there was no condemnation, then He would not have needed to die.

And He justifies us by His resurrection. His resurrection destroys the condemnation.

Therefore, “if God be for us ( the One who was against us ), who now is against us?”

No one.

No one.

No one.

If this doesn’t make your heart soar, nothing ever will.

“A High Calling” ( Philippians 3:14, KJV ) by Carley Evans


surprise • inside
(Photo credit: origamidon)

“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

What’s my prize? I used to buy Crackerjacks and open the box primarily for the little plastic prize sealed in cellophane – a small compass, a tiny magnifying glass, a delicate necklace.
What’s my mark? I used to run the 50 yard dash in third and sixth grades. I remember the command, “On your mark, get set, go” before taking off as fast as I could possibly dash.
What’s my high calling? Pressing forward? Seeking God in Christ Jesus? Is this the prize I was hoping for when I opened the Crackerjacks’ box? Is this the mark where I waited before the race? Am I understanding anything?
I guess it’s not my high calling; it’s God’s. His high calling is fulfilled in His Son, Jesus Christ. Press on to take hold of Him, for He does not fail. He does not break. He does not disappear. He is the mark; He is the high calling; He is the prize.

“Horror” ( Ezekiel 7: 18, KJV ) by Carley Evans


“Horror shall cover them; and shame shall be upon all faces, and baldness upon all their heads.” (Ezekiel 7:18)

“They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed;  their gold and their silver shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord; they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their stomachs, because it is the stumbling block of their iniquity.” (Ezekiel 7:19)

Horror is upon “their whole multitude.” (Ezekiel 7:13) “Destruction cometh; and they shall seek peace, and there shall be none.” (Ezekiel 7:25)

“Now is the end come upon thee, and I will send,” says the Lord of Hosts, “Mine anger upon thee, and will judge thee according to thy ways, and will recompense upon thee all thine abominations.” (Ezekiel 7:3)

If this coming judgment upon the whole of earth doesn’t give you the shakes, I maintain there’s something wrong with your view of God and of your understanding of the state of mankind. Men worship idols and men “worship the sun,” says God to Ezekiel. “They fill the land with violence.” (Ezekiel 8:16,17)

“I will do unto them after their way, and according to their deserts will I judge them; and they shall know that I Am the Lord.” (Ezekiel 7:27)

Paul writes of the essential problem, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing; for to will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would, I do not; but the evil which I would not, I do.” (Romans 7:18-19) He continues with the solution, “Oh wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ, our Lord. So, then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh, the law of sin. There is, therefore, now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 7:24-8:2)

And if that truth doesn’t give you a huge sigh of relief and gratitude to God, then your view of God may be askew.

“We Know And Believe The Love” ( 1 John 4: 16, KJV ) by Carley Evans


One of the saddest personality flaws is the inability to know and believe that you are loved. Janis Joplin had such a personality flaw; she was incapable of believing people loved her. Despite accolades for her music, she lead a barren existence of self-doubt, self-hatred, and abject loneliness. By loneliness, I am not referring to solitude, but to that feeling of complete isolation in the midst of shouting people — people shouting adoration and respect and yes — love. The loneliest moments for Janis were likely those in the midst of her public admirers. Janis also unfortunately did not know and believe the love of those closest to her, no matter how they tried to convince her. She found herself totally unlovable.

The author of 1 John writes that “we know and believe the love that God has to us. God is love.”

What an amazing statement — read it again. “We know and believe the love that God has to [or toward] us.” Why? Because “God is love.” And if we know and believe God, then we know and believe His love. Like Paul reminds, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31) “What shall separate us from the love of Christ?” (Romans 8:35) Essentially, assures Paul, nothing “shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.” (Romans 8:39)

Do not insult God. Do not hold yourself in such low esteem that you fail to realize God is love. Know and believe the love God has toward you! His love does not depend upon you; His love is wholly dependent upon the sacrifice of His Son.

“God Never Surrenders” ( Jeremiah 32: 33, NIV ) by Carley Evans


God bemoans Israel, who are the people of God, saying: “They turn their backs to me and not their faces; though I teach them again and again, they do not listen or respond to discipline.”

I’ve heard parents bemoan their child, “We’ve tried everything, but he ‘turns his back to [us] and not [his] face.'” “We teach [him] again and again, [but he] does not listen or respond to discipline.'”

I’ve heard that a few parents eventually disown or surrender to the child, usually after many many years of frustrating efforts.

But, I know that nothing “will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:39) God never gives up on us.