“What Jesus Does” ( Jude 9, HCSB ) by Carley Evans


Even the archangel Michael when debating with Lucifer about the body of Moses dares not “bring an abusive condemnation against” the devil but rather says, “The Lord rebuke you.” (Jude 9, HCSB) And we are told to leave room for God’s revenge rather than seek it on our own. God declares, “Vengeance belongs to Me; I repay.” (Deuteronomy 32:35) “No one can rescue anyone from My hand.” (Deuteronomy 32:39)

The right-wing extremist in Norway — whether a nominal Christian or not — obviously did not leave room for God, either for God’s love or His wrath. Instead, he murdered innocent young people and attempted to assassinate the prime minister and harm the government of his own country.

Our nature is to judge and criticize one another, but Jesus tells us, “Do not judge, and you are not judged. Do not condemn, and you are not condemned. Forgive, and you are forgiven.” (Luke 6:37) Jesus tells us, “I say to you who listen: Love your enemies, do what is good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (Luke 6:27-28)

Then, once you restrain yourself from judging the other, once you forgive, once you love and do what is good, once you bless and pray for those who are evil; then God, who sees, is pleased. For you are doing what Jesus does.

“The Word Firmly Fixed” ( 1 Peter 1: 24 – 25, HCSB ) by Carley Evans


After comparing flesh to grass which “withers” and to flowers which “fail,” Peter writes that “the Word endures forever.” Unlike flesh — which is subject to death and decay — the Word of God stands eternally.

 

Recall that “man does not live by bread alone but on every Word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” (Deuteronomy 8: 3)

 

The psalmist asks God, “How can a young man keep his way pure?” And answers his own question, “By keeping Your Word.” (Psalm 119: 9) He says to God, “I treasure Your Word in my heart so I may not sin against You… I do not forget Your Word.” (Psalm 119: 11, 16) “Your Word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.” (Psalm 119: 105)

 

The psalmist recognizes that God “gives [him] hope through [His Word].” (Psalm 119:49) God’s Word “is [his] comfort in affliction; [God’s] promise gives [him] life.” (Psalm 119: 50)

 

The psalmist declares, “I put my hope in Your Word.” (Psalm 119: 81) “Lord, Your Word is forever; it is firmly fixed in heaven.” (Psalm 119: 89)

 

“Beware Of Sheep’s Clothing” (Deuteronomy 18: 15, ESV) by Carley Evans


God warns us not to speak “presumptuously.” We are not to presume that we speak “a word” from the Lord. “When a prophet speaks in the Name of the Lord, if the Word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has not spoken.” (Deuteronomy 18: 22)

God tells us we “need not be afraid of him,” of the one who has presumed to speak for God. (Deuteronomy 18: 22)

God forbids certain practices in the prediction of the future, including divination, fortune-telling, interpretation of omens, sorcery, necromancy, seances. Whereas God at one time spoke to us directly, the Lord says He will provide a prophet who is like Him. He says, “I will put My Words in his mouth, and he shall speak.” (Deuteronomy 18: 18) We are to listen to the Words of a true prophet. We are to test the prophecy and the prophet, however.

Jesus says, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7: 15 – 16) Further He warns, “On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your Name, and cast out demons in Your Name, and do many mighty works in Your Name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness.’ ” (Matthew 7: 22 – 23)

False prophets may very well do “mighty works,” but remain inwardly “ravenous wolves.” The mighty work may emerge from a practice which God forbids, or from motives not at all related to heaven’s calling.

God says, “That same prophet shall die.” (Deuteronomy 18: 20)

“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.