“Time Passed” ( 1 Peter 4:3, ESV ) by Carley Evans


English: Air Force Super Bowl Sunday Celebration

Tomorrow is “SUPER-BOWL SUNDAY” a day of big neighborhood parties, drinking, cheering, bickering, but hopefully not murdering as in the row between rival fans at a soccer game in Egypt recently.

Superbowl Sunday is the anniversary of the day my x-husband told me he was “giving up” on me with plans to abandon me and our children for another woman in the coming fall of 2004. Tomorrow, for me, is forever a blackened day — not a ruined day; rather a day with the shadow of a really big black eye.

“3 For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry.”

Of course, I’m not saying my x-husband is not forgiven. I’m certain God is fully capable of forgiving my x-husband of his adultery. In fact, I am saying that the past is the past. Tomorrow is not a day to bring back “what the Gentiles want to do,” not a time for “sensuality, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties.”

I happen to like football. I don’t idolize it or its heroes. Rather, I enjoy rooting for the underdog. This year, I don’t even know which team that is — I’ll figure it out as I watch the game. If I had to guess, I’d say I’ll be cheering on the NY Giants.

I’ll likely drink a beer, and eat some cheese and crackers. But I won’t be focused on the past or harboring ill-will toward the man I promised to love and cherish til the day I die.

“His Own Chosen Purpose” ( Philippians 2: 13, Daniel 5: 23; NEB ) by Carley Evans


“You have not given glory to God, in whose charge is your very breath and in whose hands are all your ways.”

 

“You must work out your own salvation in fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, inspiring both the will and the deed, for His own chosen purpose.”

 

Paul assures “it is impossible that the Word of God should prove false.” (Romans 9: 6) God does not lie; He is not the author of evil. Yet, all our ways are in His hands, says Daniel. And, Paul writes that “it is God who works in you…for His own chosen purpose.” Paul explains God’s sovereignty in his letter to the Romans. He writes of Rebekah’s children, Jacob and Esau. Despite having the same father, “in order that God’s selective purpose might stand, based not upon men’s deeds but upon the call of God, [Rebekah] was told, even before they were born, when they had as yet done nothing, good or ill, ‘The elder shall be servant to the younger’; and that accords with the text of Scripture, ‘Jacob I loved and Esau I hated.’ ” (Romans 9: 11-13)

 

“Thus He not only shows mercy as He chooses, but also makes men stubborn as He chooses.” (Romans 9: 18) Paul refers us to Pharaoh — how God hardens this man’s heart repeatedly so that he does not let the Israelites leave Egypt.

 

Paul acknowledges that this does not, on the surface, appear fair. But he answers the objection: “But what if God, desiring to exhibit His retribution at work and to make His power known, tolerates very patiently those vessels which are objects of retribution due for destruction, and does so in order to make known the full wealth of His splendour upon vessels which are objects of mercy, and which from the first are prepared for this splendour?” (Romans 9:22-23)

 

“God’s choice stands.. for the gracious gifts of God and His calling are irrevocable.” (Romans 11: 28, 29)

“My Heart Is Awake” (Galatians 5: 16, ESV) by Carley Evans


The answer is simple. “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”

“By faith Moses, when he is grown up, refuses to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considers the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he is looking to the reward.” (Hebrews 11: 24 – 26)

“For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other.” (Galatians 5: 17)

“And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” (Galatians 5: 24)

Yet, “I sleep, but my heart is awake. A sound! My beloved is knocking, ‘Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my perfect one, for my head is wet with dew, my locks with the drops of the night.’ I put off my garment; how can I put it on? I have bathed my feet; how can I soil them? My beloved puts his hand to the latch, and my heart is thrilled within me. I arise to open to my beloved, and my hands drip with liquid myrrh, my fingers with liquid myrrh, on the handles of the bolt.” (Song of Solomon 5: 2 – 5)

“Wise And Foolish Men” (Matthew 2: 4 – 6, ESV) by Carley Evans


Herod the king hears that wise men from the east are searching for the one “who has been born king of the Jews.” These men have traveled to Jerusalem, saying: “for we saw His star when it rose and have come to worship Him.” Herod and “all Jerusalem with him” worry. (Matthew 2: 2, 3)

Herod brings together “all the chief priests and scribes of the people” and asks “where the Christ was to be born.” (Matthew 2: 3) Oddly enough, the chief priests and scribes correctly identify the Messiah’s birthplace as Bethlehem.

In fear for his throne, Herod secretly meets with the wise men and instructs them to find the Christ child in Bethlehem. He lies, saying that he wants to worship the Messiah, too. The wise men set out; the star appears and “goes before them until it comes to rest over the place where the child is.” (Matthew 2: 9) They come to the house where Jesus is with His mother Mary. The wise men fall down and worship the Christ child. A dream warns them not to return to Herod, and they obey. Each returns to his own country.

Joseph is then also warned in a dream by an angel of the Lord, who tells him to take Mary and Jesus and flee to Egypt. Joseph obeys.

“Then Herod, when he sees that he has been tricked by the wise men, becomes furious.” (Matthew 2: 16) He kills all the male children in Bethlehem and surrounding region who are two years or younger “according to the time he has ascertained from the wise men” and their report of the star’s appearance.

“A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, for they are no more.” (Matthew 2: 18)

When Herod dies, Joseph obeys the angel of the Lord again, settling his family in Nazareth of Galilee. “He [the Messiah] shall be called a Nazarene.” (Matthew 2: 23)