“Go On, Then” ( I Thessalonians 5:11 KNOX ) by Carley Evans


I don’t remember the exact date God asked me to do this, but He did. I used to think I must be arrogant to believe God asked me to write about a single verse every day. I used to obey every day but I’ve fallen off now and again only to get back to it, recalling this morning what He clearly commands in His Word:

Go on, then, encouraging one another and building up one another’s faith. 

 

“Foolishness And Evil” (Psalm 7: 14 – 17, ESV) by Carley Evans


Sometimes wickedness appears synonymous to foolishness (as sometimes righteousness seems to wisdom.)

“And on his own skull his violence descends.”

I think of the young man (approximately 18 to 24) who rides his Harley out across the back roads of — say, South Carolina — without a helmet, at speeds he should avoid. The Harley spins out, the young man is ejected from its seat, and “on his own skull his violence descends.”

“He makes a pit, digging it out, and falls into the hole he has made.”

I think of the older man (approximately 35 – 65) who schemes at his place of employment to defraud, embezzle, hide funds who later “falls into the hole that he has made.”

Sometimes, wickedness is synonymous with evil.

“Behold, the wicked man conceives evil and is pregnant with mischief and gives birth to lies.”

True, premeditated wickedness is hard for me to even imagine. The woman who schemes in advance to murder her elderly husband for an early inheritance. The young couple who defraud a home buyer by covering up serious issues such as a poor foundation or black mold. This sort of evil is akin to a bad movie script, not reality. Yet, there are people who plan to commit wickedness.

“I will give to the Lord the thanks due to His righteousness, and I will sing praise to the Name of the Lord, the Most High.” (Psalm 7: 17)

“The Lord’s Purpose Prevails” (Proverbs 19: 20 – 21, NIV) by Carley Evans


“Listen to advice.”

“Accept instruction.”

God says that if you listen to advice and accept instruction from others, “in the end you will be wise.”

You may have many plans in your heart, “but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

“Let love and faithfulness never leave you, bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3: 3 – 6)

God’s purpose prevails; as you acknowledge Him, He makes your paths straight.

“Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.” (Proverbs 2: 7)

Wisdom is “more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who embrace her; those who lay hold of [wisdom] will be blessed.” (Proverbs 3: 15 – 18)

God’s purpose prevails; as you fear Him, He makes your paths pleasant and peaceful.

“You will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble.” (Proverbs 3: 23)

“Hold Fast To God” (Deuteronomy 13: 4, ESV) by Carley Evans


“You shall walk after the Lord your God.”

Jesus says, “Follow Me” to His disciples. He says to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.” (Matthew 9: 2) Some of the scribes accuse Jesus of blasphemy. So Jesus asks, “Why do you think evil in your hearts?” Then he turns to the paralyzed man, saying: “Rise, pick up your bed and go home.” (Matthew 9: 4, 6)

Jesus challenges us: “Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven, or to say, ‘Rise and walk’?”

“You shall serve Him and hold fast to Him.”

Jesus says, “No one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins — and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins.” (Mark 2: 22)

Jesus makes us new creations and fills us with His Holy Spirit.

Jesus says, “There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” (Mark 7: 14 – 15)

“Fear Him and keep His commandments and obey His voice.”

Paul writes for us to present ourselves to God as “slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.” (Romans 6: 19) We are “set free from sin.” (Romans 6: 22) “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6: 23)

Don’t walk in front of God. Step in behind Him, following in His footsteps — one at a time. Walk after Him, fear Him, serve him, obey His voice. Hold fast to God.

“Formed For God” (Isaiah 43: 11 – 12, ESV) by Carley Evans


“Fear not,” says God, “for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are Mine.” (Isaiah 43: 1) God declares: You belong to Him. You are saved; He has marked you with His Seal, the promised Holy Spirit. He says to you, “I Am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” (Isaiah 43: 3)

“You are precious in My eyes, and honored, and I love you.” (Isaiah 43: 4) God tells you how much He loves you. You are akin to His Only Begotten Son. You have a place of honor in His house.

“Fear not, I Am with you.” (Isaiah 43: 5) Since the Mighty God is on your side, what have you to fear?

God says I Am going to say to the four corners of the earth — give up My people. “Do not withhold; bring My sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth, everyone who is called by My Name, whom I created for My glory, whom I formed and made.” (Isaiah 43: 6 – 7) One day, you and I and all other believers marked with His Seal will be drawn together to stand in His glory.

“Also,” declares our God, “henceforth I Am He; there is none who can deliver from My hand; I work, and who can turn it back?” (Isaiah 43: 13) When God has done these works, no one is able to undo them. No one can turn back that which God has purposed.

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I Am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert…for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert to give drink to My chosen people, the people whom I formed for Myself that they might declare My praise.” (Isaiah 43: 18 – 21)

Since you and I are formed for God, let us praise Him. Amen.

“Refuge In A Desert” (Psalm 63: 1, ESV) by Carley Evans


Life here on earth is often like life in the desert — a life without water, without shelter, without the company of friends. David sings to God, “My soul thirsts for You, my flesh faints for You, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”

Despite this desert surrounding him, David beholds God’s power and glory. He sings, “Because Your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise You.” (Psalm 63: 3)

He claims that he will be satisfied as “with fat and rich food.” (Psalm 63: 5) His satisfaction comes as he “meditates on [God] in the watches of the night” or “looks upon [God] in the sanctuary.” (Psalm 63: 6, 2)

David is able to stand in the desert because God is his help, and “in the shadow of [His] wings, [he] sings for joy.” (Psalm 63: 7)

God’s right hand grasps David, holding him steady in the heat, weariness, and dryness of life.

“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.” (Psalm 62: 5 – 8)