“Come To Me” ( Matthew 11:28, WYC ) by Carley Evans


Jesus simply says [ to everyone ] that if you ‘travail’ – if you stand under charges, i.e. under condemnation, “come to Me.” When you come to Me, says Jesus, “I shall fulfill you” so that you no longer stand condemned; “I shall refresh you” so that you no longer ‘travail.’

“All ye that travail, and be charged, come to me, and I shall fulfill you [and I shall refresh, or fulfill, you].”

The trick, so to speak, to ‘eternal life’ is as simple as Jesus’ invitation to come to Him. The trick is to realize you ‘travail’ and that “you stand under charges.” Without this simple recognition, going to Jesus is out of the question for the human being is ultimately too proud.

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“A Great Joy” ( Luke 2:8-11, WYC ) by Carley Evans


El Greco, Adoration of the Shepherds lit by th...
El Greco, Adoration of the Shepherds lit by the Christ Child (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The night Jesus is born, shepherds keep watch over their flocks of sheep in the hillside pastures around Bethlehem. An angel of the Lord appears to them, stands beside them. The “clearness of God shines about them” and they are filled with “great dread.” The angel tells the shepherds not to be in dread because he comes with a sermon of “a great joy.” The angel proclaims the first evangelism – that “a great joy shall be to all people. For a Saviour is born to day to you, that is Christ the Lord, in the city of David.”

The angel says this joy is for all people.

“And shepherds were in the same country, waking and keeping the watches of the night on [upon] their flock. And lo! the angel of the Lord stood beside them, and the clearness of God shined about them [and the clearness of God shone about them]; and they dreaded with great dread. And the angel said to them, Do not ye dread; for lo! I preach to you a great joy [lo! soothly I evangelize to you a great joy], that shall be to all people. For a Saviour is born to day to you, that is Christ the Lord, in the city of David.”

The angel tells the shepherds that a token is to appear in the form of a newborn child – one they can find in a manger. Immediately after he speaks, a “knighthood” of heavenly beings appears to praise the Lord. Likely the shepherds are still in dread, but they decide to check out the message of the angel. They speak among themselves, move together to seek out the Christ Child. Only when they find Him do they believe the news of “a great joy that shall be to all people.”

“That Less Famous Verse” ( John 3:17, WYC ) by Carley Evans


Father & Son / Vater & Sohn
Father & Son / Vater & Sohn (Photo credit: Malik_Braun)

Not for judgment — God the Father does not send Jesus His Son into the world for judgment purposes. In fact, that’s completely unnecessary for the world stands condemned already; judgment has been conferred; we are all doomed.

I am convinced if we start with this undeniable truth — that Jesus is a Savior and not a Judge, we might understand the level of His commitment to His Father’s purposes.

“For God sent not his Son into the world, that he judge the world, but that the world be saved by him.”

Jesus comes to earth to save, not to condemn. He comes to seek and save what is lost.

And what Jesus saves can not be lost.

“According To The Scriptures” ( 1 Corinthians 15: 3-4, HCSB ) by Carley Evans


La conversion de Saint Paul by Luca Giordano (...
La conversion de Saint Paul by Luca Giordano (1690), Museum of Fine Arts of Nancy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Paul tells the church at Corinth that which is of most importance — good news that he is given; not a story he conjures but news he receives from God Himself. The truth Paul is given, he passes on to others. He writes:

“3 For I passed on to you as most important what I also received:

that Christ died for our sins
according to the Scriptures,
4 that He was buried,
that He was raised on the third day
according to the Scriptures.”

This good news, says Paul, is “according to the Scriptures.” From before the beginning of the world, God devises His plan and reveals it over time through His Word. God gives this news to Paul on the road to Damascus and through experiences and further revelations. Every piece of information Paul receives, he verifies through the Scriptures.

The key, says Paul, to understanding this good news is to acknowledge Christ dies for our sins, is buried, and is raised again to life on the third day — all “according to the Scriptures.” Amen.

“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.

“Running After Things” ( Matthew 6: 32, NIV ) by Carley Evans


God the Father, says Jesus, knows exactly what you need and exactly when you need it. Each day has evil enough of its own for you to be concerned about tomorrow. Live today, and stop worrying about yesterday and tomorrow!

Jesus isn’t saying not to prepare for your future in that He speaks elsewhere of assessing the needs of a project before you put your hand to do it. Make sure you are able to see it through to completion, or don’t bother to start. But, Jesus is saying not to put things above God. He is saying not to be anxious about what you eat, what you wear, where you sleep, what you own or don’t own. “For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.”

Running after things — isn’t that a common practice!

Walking up Columbus Avenue, Upper West Side, New York, New York — so many beautiful T-H-I-N-G-S for sale in swank shops on both sides of the street; so many quaint sidewalk cafes with delectable menus of scrumptious, high-priced dishes. Life is so short. Solomon says, “So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany [you] in [your] toil all the days of the life God has given [you] under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 8:15)

Jesus is not saying not to enjoy your life. He is saying your life is enjoyable because God knows what you need, when you need it; and He generously gives to you all things. So, “seek His kingdom and His righteousness first.” (Matthew 6:33)