“His Truth” ( Psalm 95: 10-13, DRA ) by Carley Evans


10 Say ye among the Gentiles, the Lord hath reigned. For he hath corrected the world, which shall not be moved: he will judge the people with justice.

11 Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad, let the sea be moved, and the fulness thereof:

12 the fields and all things that are in them shall be joyful. Then shall all the trees of the woods rejoice

13 before the face of the Lord, because he cometh: because he cometh to judge the earth. He shall judge the world with justice, and the people with his truth.

An appropriate view of God is to recognize Him as Parent. Jesus is smart to introduce God, His Father as our Father when He prays, “Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name.” David calls God “King” and “Judge.” And yes, God is our King and our Judge. But above these roles, He is our Parent. He corrects us like the perfect parent corrects – with justice and love.

And so, the heavens rejoice; and the earth is glad. Everything on the earth is joyful “because He comes; because He comes to judge the earth…with justice, and the people with HIS TRUTH.”

 

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“One Person” ( Galatians 3: 26 – 28, KNOX, WYC ) by Carley Evans


“You are all one person in Jesus Christ.”

“For all ye be one in Christ Jesus.”

So, we are either one person or we are united as one in Jesus. Either way, we “who have been baptized in Christ’s name have put on the person of Christ.” We are “clothed with Christ.” Paul implies we are dressed up in Christ as if we’ve put on a costume for a big party. Yet, he means so much more. The physical properties, the settings in which we dwell no longer matter. That I am female and you are male means little – if anything – in the kingdom of God. For the flesh can not inherit the kingdom. We will all be changed, in a flash at the sound of the trumpet. The mortal will fall away, and we shall be as He is – immortal.

Therefore, the petty differences between us – our gender, the color of our skin, our cultural backgrounds or ethnicity, our station in life, the money we have or don’t have – these things mean nothing. The only thing that counts is our relationship with Christ, that we are indeed one person.

“through faith in Christ Jesus you are all now God’s sons. All you who have been baptized in Christ’s name have put on the person of Christ; no more Jew or Gentile, no more slave and freeman, no more male and female; you are all one person in Jesus Christ.” Galatians 3:26-28KNOX

“For all ye be the children of God through the belief of Jesus Christ. [For all ye be the sons of God by faith in Christ Jesus.] For all ye that be baptized, be clothed with Christ. [Forsooth whoever ye be baptized in Christ, ye have clothed in Christ.] There is no Jew, nor Greek, no bondman, nor free man, no male, nor female [There is not Jew, neither Greek; there is not servant, neither free man; there is not male, neither female]; for all ye be one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:26-28WYC

 

“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.

“Discerning God’s Will” ( Romans 12: 1, HCSB ) by Carley Evans


Paul warns Gentiles not to “be conceited;” not “to be unaware of this mystery:

“A partial hardening has come to Israel until the full number of Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written: ‘The Liberator will come from Zion; He will turn away godlessness from Jacob. And this will be My covenant with them when I take away their sins.’ (Jeremiah 31:31-34)

Regarding the gospel, they are enemies for your advantage, but regarding election, they are loved because of the patriarchs, since God’s gracious gifts and calling are irrevocable. As you once disobeyed God, but now have received mercy through their disobedience, so they too have now disobeyed, resulting in mercy to you, so that they also now may receive mercy. For God has imprisoned all in disobedience, so that He may have mercy on all.” (Romans 11:25-32)

Because of this same mystery, which amounts to God’s extraordinary mercies and His irrevocable grace, Paul urges us “to present [our] bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God; this is [our] spiritual worship.” And although Paul mentions our physical bodies, he moves directly to our minds, speaking of our transformation by renewing them. We renew our minds via the Word of God, fellowship with one another, and prayer. As our minds are renewed, “[we] are able to discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2)

How many times have you wondered what the will of God is for you? His specific will for your life is that you renew your mind, accept the “measure of faith” given to you, and use the natural and spiritual gifts He has bestowed. Paul says not to think more highly of yourself than you ought. He sets out with a list of God’s will for you. Here are a few choice ones:

“Cling to what is good.” (Romans 12:9)

“Pursue hospitality.” (Romans 12: 13)

“Be persistent in prayer.” (Romans 12:12)

“Do not be proud.” (Romans 12:16)

“Outdo one another in showing honor.” (Romans 12:10)

“Be in agreement with one another.” (Romans 12:16)

“Do not avenge yourself.” (Romans 12:19)

“Do not be wise in your own estimation.” (Romans 12:16)

“Live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:18)

 

“Mutually Strong” ( Romans 1: 12, NIV ) by Carley Evans


“I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong — that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.”

So writes Paul to the church in Rome “who are loved by God and called to be saints.” (Romans 1:7) Paul testifies how he prays for them “at all times” and how pleased he is “because [their] faith is being reported all over the world.” (Romans 1:9,8) He is “eager to preach the gospel” to those “who are at Rome.” (Romans 1:15) Paul here implies that in Rome he will find “both Greeks and non-Greeks, both the wise and the foolish.” (Romans 1:14)

The gospel — the good news — is meant to be encouraging! The good news is encouraging to both the Greek and non-Greek, to the Jew and the Gentile, to the wise and the foolish. Therefore, Paul is “not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God.” (Romans 1:16) This power emanating from God saves; His power first saves the Jew, then the Gentile. This power reveals a righteousness also emanating from God, “a righteousness that is by faith first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous live by faith.'” (Romans 1:17) First to last, beginning to end — the power of God provides faith, salvation, and righteousness; and this is the good news!

The gospel – the good news – is meant to be strengthening! The power of God encourages and strengthens “all who believe.” (Romans 3:22) No matter whether we are male or female, Black or White, Brown or Red; no matter our national origin or ethnic descent, we have all “sinned and [fallen] short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace.” (Romans 3:23)

“Where then is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith. For we maintain a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.” (Romans 3:27-28)

“Remove the Unbearable Yoke” (Acts 15: 9, NIV) by Carley Evans


“[God] purifies their hearts by faith. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.” (Acts 15:9-11, NIV)

So says Peter to “the believers who belong to the party of the Pharisees” who are calling for the Gentiles to “be circumcised and required to obey the law of Moses.” (Acts 15:5)

Peter argues God shows His acceptance of these Gentile believers by giving them the Holy Spirit just as He gives Him to Jewish believers. After all, says Peter, God “knows the heart.” (Acts 15:8) James agrees with Peter, speaking before “the whole assembly” (Acts 15:12) that they “should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.” (Acts 15:19) A letter is sent to “the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia” telling them that “it seems good to the Holy Spirit not to burden you with anything beyond” a few things they would “do well to avoid.” (Acts 15:28, 29)

We are able, if willing, to learn a lot from Peter and James. Often we burden babes in Christ and even mature believers with impossible rules, requirements, regulations — you’ve got to do this and not do that or God will not be pleased. We forget God knows the hearts of His people; He knows long before we do who hears and believes the good news. So, let’s not “test God.” (Acts 15:10) Let’s refrain from burdening ourselves and one another with a yoke God has removed.

“Appointed For Eternal Life” ( Acts 13: 39, NIV ) by Carley Evans


Here and there, as I have written before, a single verse in the Word of God presents the good news simply and directly. Paul, while preaching to the men of Israel in the synagogue at Pisidian Antioch, states:

“Through [Jesus] everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses.”

Paul warns the men of Israel not to be scoffers. He tells them the truth — that he had to preach the gospel to the chosen people of God first. But, now that they “reject it and do not consider [themselves] worthy of eternal life” he turns to the Gentiles, functioning as “a light” for them. (Acts 13:46,47)

Paul knows that “all who are appointed for eternal life believe.” (Acts 13:48)