“He Bowed Down His Ear To Me” ( Psalm 116:1-2, WYC ) by Carley Evans


Here David presents God the Father as the loving parent who seeks out His child, bows His head downward so that His ear is close by, fully able and willing to listen to His baby’s voice. God even hears and fully comprehends His child’s “inward call.”

Alleluia. I loved the Lord; for the Lord shall hear the voice of my prayer. (Alleluia. I love the Lord; for the Lord hath heard the words of my prayer.) For he bowed down his ear to me; and I shall inwardly call him in my days (and I shall call to him in all my days).

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“Since We Have These Promises” ( 2 Corinthians 7: 1, MOUNCE ) by Carley Evans


The promises Paul mentions in his letter to the church at Corinth are twofold: that God is our Father and that we are his sons and daughters, fully adopted into His family. Paul then proceeds to tell us that these promises are to cause us to “cleanse ourselves from every defilement of flesh and spirit” in a mighty effort to “perfect” our “holiness.”

As a child fears (respects) his or her father and mother, so we are to fear (respect) our God.

Since (echō) then (oun) we have (echō) these (houtos · ho) promises (epangelia,) dear friends (agapētos,) let us cleanse (katharizō) ourselves (heautou) from (apo) every (pas) defilement (molysmos) of flesh (sarx) and (kai) spirit (pneuma,) perfecting (epiteleō) holiness (hagiōsynē) in (en) the fear (phobos) of God (theos.)

“On His Shoulders, Our Guilt” ( Isaias 53:5-6, KNOX ) by Carley Evans


Who does this to Jesus? Is it the Romans? Is it Herod? Is it Pilate? Is it the Jews? (we hear this one, don’t we?) Is it me? Or you? Is it Satan? Is it God the Father?

“and all the while it was for our sins he was wounded, it was guilt of ours crushed him down; on him the punishment fell that brought us peace, by his bruises we were healed. Strayed sheep all of us, each following his own path; and God laid on his shoulders our guilt, the guilt of us all.”

Our sins put Jesus on the cross; that’s certain. But God the Father puts the guilt of our sins on His Son. Otherwise, we carry our guilt to the grave and beyond. Jesus’ bruises – the punishment He bears – free us from the same. Rather than anxiety, we gain peace.

Who does this? God the Father.

Do you suppose the Great Physician then decides to let us fall back into guilt? Wallow around it in like pigs? Shame on us if we even attempt to return to our squalor. For we are washed in His Son’s very blood.

“Living Hope” ( 1 Peter 1:3, WYC ) by Carley Evans


Likely you know already that God “begat us again into living hope” and that He accomplished this through “the again-rising of Jesus Christ from death.” Notice the focus of Peter’s words here – his words focus on the work of God the Father through His Son, Jesus Christ. The power displayed in the resurrection of Jesus from death is the same power displayed in our birth into living hope.

Read it, ponder it, love the wondrous Word of God!

“Blessed be God, and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which by his great mercy [which after his great mercy] begat us again into living hope, by the again-rising of Jesus Christ from death [by the again-rising of Jesus Christ from dead],”

“All Power” ( Matthew 28: 18, WYC ) by Carley Evans


The Wizard of Oz as pictured in The Wonderful ...
The Wizard of Oz as pictured in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

“And Jesus came nigh, and spake to them, and said, All power in heaven and in earth is given to Me.”

Who comes near? Jesus comes close. He approaches His disciples, i.e. His friends, and He tells them the truth. He assures them that “all” – not some or a little power “in heaven” – but not only in heaven, but also “in earth” “is given to [Him].”

Unlike the Wizard of Oz who is a mere man behind a curtain, Jesus is a man who contains “all power in heaven and in earth.” Rather than hide behind a curtain, Jesus steps out into full view. He says, “Here I Am; you may see Me; you may find Me.” Jesus stands on hilltops and in valleys, places where people can get a good view and where they can get a good touch.

Jesus also assures His friends that this power that He has is not His own; it is a gift of God the Father. Jesus does not dethrone His Father or rebel against Him; He is no demi-god like Perseus is to Zeus.

Beware of those who claim either/or – that Jesus is wizard and/or demi-god. Rather, Jesus is the Son of God.

“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by His powerful word.” (Hebrews 1: 3, NIV)

“If You Then…” ( Luke 11:13, ESV ) by Carley Evans


Bartolomé Esteban Murillo - The Heavenly and E...
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo – The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities (The Pedroso Murillo) (1675-82) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesus contrasts God the Father with us in a simple tale:  a human father refuses to give his child a stone when the child asks for bread. Even though the human father is ‘evil’ — imperfect, foolish, wayward, rebellious — he knows how to give good things to his offspring. Jesus says:

“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Jesus seeks to convince us that God is the perfect Giver! The Father’s gifts to us are always good! God the Father’s most perfect gift to us is His own Holy Spirit. Compared to the gift of bread the human father gives, the gift of God the Holy Spirit outshines beyond our understanding.

So, when you ask God for His Holy Spirit, expect this perfect gift. Jesus says this expectation should be natural since you know God is a much better parent than you are.

“Joy Completed” ( John 16: 23 – 24, Wycliffe ) by Carley Evans


“23And in that day ye shall not ask Me any thing; truly, truly, I say to you, if ye ask the Father any thing in My Name, He shall give [it] to you. 24 Till now ye asked nothing in My Name; ask ye, and ye shall take, that your joy be full.”

Jesus says His disciples do not ask Him for any thing in that day — the day of His resurrection, a day in which their joy is complete. They have no need of any thing. From that point forward, Jesus tells us, we are to ask God the Father directly for whatever we need to be joyful. And we are to take whatever it is we need directly from God, who gives us all good things for the sake of His Son, Jesus.

Jesus reminds us God loves us because we love and believe in His Son. We believe the Son comes from the Father; and we know to listen to and follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who emanates from the Son and the Father.

Jesus implies what we ask for should complete our joy.