“The Key Truth” ( 1 John 4: 16, HCSB ) by Carley Evans


“And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us.”

Knowing God is love, and that He loves us is key. Some say knowing God is holy and that He expects holiness from us is key; but I say understanding “God is love” and that He thoroughly loves us is the key truth of the Christian life.

Paul prays “that [God] may grant [us], according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power in the inner man through His Spirit, and that the Messiah may dwell in [our] hearts through faith.” Paul prays, “that [we], being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, and to know the Messiah’s love that surpasses knowledge, so that [we] may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3: 16 – 19)

When we know God loves us, then we are “filled with all the fullness of God.” God’s love through Christ Jesus is “our peace.” Jesus “makes of no effect the law consisting of commands and expressed in regulations.” (Ephesians 2: 14, 15) Instead, Jesus reconciles us to God through the shedding of His own blood. His willingness to die for us proves the level of His love for us.

“For while we are still helpless, at the appointed time, Christ dies for the ungodly. For rarely does someone die for a just person — though for a good person perhaps someone may even dare to die. But God proves His own love for us in that while we are still sinners, Christ dies for us!” (Romans 5: 6 – 8)

When it comes to God’s love of us, we do not even need to rely on faith; we have proof. This key truth — that God is love, and that He loves us — enables us to walk through the Christian life with confidence. We have the Lord; what can man do to us?

“Become All Things To All People” (Romans 12: 15, HCSB) by Carley Evans


With those who are happy, be happy alongside them. With those who are sad, be sad alongside them. With those who are rejoicing, rejoice alongside them. With those who are praying, pray alongside them.

With those who persecute you, bless them — “bless and do not curse.” (Romans 12: 14) “Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.” (Romans 12: 21)

With those who have little, share what you have. Open your home; showing hospitality. “Love must be without hypocrisy.” (Romans 12: 9)

“Be fervent in spirit; serve the Lord.” (Romans 12: 11) With those who are lost, reach out to them. “For God has imprisoned all in disobedience, so that He may have mercy on all.” (Romans 11: 32)

“Try to do what is honorable in everyone’s eyes.” (Romans 12: 17)

Paul sets the example, saying: “Although I am a free man and not anyone’s slave, I make myself a slave to everyone, in order to win more people… I become all things to all people, so that I may by every means possible save some.” (1 Corinthians 9: 19, 22)

“Evil Lies Close At Hand” (Galatians 6: 1, ESV) by Carley Evans


Paul calls those “who are spiritual” to “restore” “anyone caught in any transgression” “in a spirit of gentleness.” Some are caught in transgression as one caught in a trap. Others who are free of that trap should assist in that person’s rescue from sin. Yet, Paul warns that the one who is “spiritual” must “keep watch on [himself], lest [he] too be tempted.”

Everyone is subject to temptation; and temptation is not temptation if there is no chance of failure. If the Christian life is as easy as saying, “I am free of sin;” then why is there so much sin in our churches, in our homes, in our children, in our marriages, in our work places? Why do we struggle against the flesh if it has been totally crucified?

Paul writes of this, “I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.” (Romans 7: 21 – 25)

Paul writes, “For whatever does not proceed form faith is sin.” (Romans 14: 22)

And, “do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 14: 16 – 17)

The struggle is to maintain faith, to keep trust in God’s ultimate goodness, to believe that everything works together toward His perfection.