So God Gets the Glory (Matthew 5: 16, KJV) by Carley Evans


Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Jesus tells us to let our light shine in a manner before people that they will notice. We are to perform good works which I interpret as works of kindness to others. Our kindnesses should be polite, considerate, generous, loving and done publicly so that people will take notice. But when they notice us, we ought to remind them that we are no better than they are; that our ability to behave in a kind manner — even when we are treated unkindly — is strictly due to the Light within us. That Light is Jesus.

If we shine properly, those who notice us will eventually realize we are not normal human beings, that something is different about us. And they will realize the difference in us is the Holy Spirit and they will glorify God.

“Love, Don’t Talk” (1 John 3:18 HCSB) by Carley Evans


Little children, we must not love with word or speech, but with truth and action. (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

My little sons, love we not in word, neither in tongue, but in work and truth. (Wycliffe)

But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? (King James Version)

Jesus says exactly the same thing as His disciple says. Jesus says that the least kindness you show to the least is a kindness you show to Him – if you visit the prisoner, you visit Jesus. If you feed the homeless man, you feed Jesus. If you adopt the orphan, you adopt our Lord. And so on.

If we talk love but never show love, then the love of God is not in us. Worse, if we talk love and show hate, then our spirit is not of the Holy Spirit but of our own corrupted nature. We are like pigs remaining in our own mud and corn husks.

God calls us to love in action, not in talk.

Looking From the Outside ( by Carley Evans )


Looking From the Outside

Let’s think for a moment about Saul, a persecutor and murderer of Christians, a dyed in the wool enemy of Jesus Christ. Now, why do you suppose God picked Saul? What was particularly attractive about this man? His willingness to be extreme? Maybe. For the task God gives to Saul, I think his zealousness is a good trait. Saul is also smart and knowledgeable about God’s Law, His Word. That had to be attractive to God. Yes? Maybe. But what of Saul’s hatred of the Father’s Son? How could that be attractive to God the Father? Or to God the Holy Spirit? Saul’s hatred of the Son of God had to be offensive to the Godhead!

So, why does Jesus appear to Saul on the road to Damascus?

Doesn’t it indicate God knows Saul’s heart? God knows what anyone looking from the outside could not possibly see – that Saul is ready to become Paul, the great Apostle of Jesus Christ first for the Jews then for the Gentiles.

Next time you start to judge another, stop and think about how you would have judged Paul.

“The Wrath of Man” ( James 1: 20-22, WYC ) by Carley Evans


James warns us to cast aside “plenty of malice” for “the wrath of man” does not work “the rightwiseness of God.” Then he bluntly tells us to be “doers of the Word” so that we do not deceive ourselves. James tells us it is not enough to hear Jesus; we must follow after Him.

Presently we see a great deal of “the wrath of man” as well as “plenty of malice.” Just examine your local newspaper if you doubt this is true. The problem is that Christians are expressing this same “wrath” and “malice;” this is unfortunate as our malice and wrath do not work “the rightwiseness of God.”

We are to be doers of the Word.

1 In the beginning was the word, and the word was at God, and God was the word. [In the beginning was the word, that is, God’s Son, and the word was at God, and God was the word.]

This was in the beginning at God.

All things were made by him, and without him was made nothing [nought], that thing that was made.

In him was life, and the life was the light of men;

and the light shineth in darknesses, and [the] darknesses comprehended not it. (John 1: 1-5, WYC)

Jesus is the Word; and He is Light who shines in darkness. The darkness does not understand ( or overcome ) the Light of Love, who is Jesus.

20 for the wrath of man worketh not the rightwiseness of God.

21 For which thing cast ye away all uncleanness, and plenty of malice, and in mildness receive ye the word that is planted, that may save your souls.

22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

Be like the Light of Love; be the Word.

“A Word That Gives Pain” ( Proverbs 15:1 KNOX ) by Carley Evans


Who of you wants to hear “a word that gives pain?” Wouldn’t you rather be gifted with “a gentle answer?” I bet most – if not all – of you prefer “a word” that gives comfort rather than a word that “fans the flame of resentment.”

So, before you open your mouth to speak, think about whether or not what you are going to say is kind or hurtful. And remember your mother’s – or perhaps your grandmother’s advice: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything.

A gentle answer is a quarrel averted; a word that gives pain does but fan the flame of resentment. 

“What Is Simpler?” ( Ephesians 5: 1, HCSB ) by Carley Evans


“And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgives you. Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children. And walk in love.” (Ephesians 4: 32 – 5: 2)

Imitate God by being kind, compassionate, forgiving, loving. In other words, writes Paul, “walk in love” “as dearly loved children.”

What is simpler?

“In Perfect Harmony” (Ephesians 4: 32, HCSB) by Carley Evans


“Be kind and compassionate to one another.” Be tenderhearted and forgiving of one another, “for we are members one of another.” (Ephesians 4: 25, ESV) Our kindness, compassion, and ability to forgive emerges from God’s kindness, compassion and forgiveness toward us in Christ. As God forgives us, so we should forgive one another.

Jesus teaches,”Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6: 38)

Forgive another, and he is more likely to forgive you. Be kind to another, and he is more likely to be kind to you. Be compassionate and tenderhearted toward another, and he is more likely to be compassionate and tenderhearted toward you.

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other, as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” (Colossians 3: 12 – 13)

“And above all these put on love.” (Colossians 3: 14) Love “binds everything together in perfect harmony.” (Colossians 3: 14)

“Get Dressed Already!” (Colossians 3: 12, HCSB) by Carley Evans


We are “God’s chosen people,” writes Paul. As such, we are heading to a banquet. Paul says, “Get dressed already! For what are you waiting?”

He says to us that we are changed on the inside, and past time to change on the outside!

“Put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, accepting one another.” (Colossians 3: 12 – 13)

Paul expects us to accept one another — not try to change one another. He tells us that “above all, put on love — the perfect bond of unity.” (Colossians 3: 14) In acceptance, we find forgiveness. “If anyone has a complaint against another,” they are to forgive the other, “just as Lord forgives.” (Colossians 3: 13)

“Whatever [we] do, in word or in deed, do everything in the Name of the Lord Jesus;” and as such fulfill the law of love. (Colossians 3: 17) Once we are dressed in compassion, kindness, patience, gentleness, humility and love, our relationships will be dressed for the wedding feast.

“God Is Kind” (Proverbs 21: 21, ESV) by Carley Evans


“Whoever pursues…kindness will find life…”

We speak of God being loving, but how many of us ever say, “God is kind?” The kind person is considerate first. Do you think of God as considerate? As Jesus is the “exact imprint of [God’s] nature,” we might be able to imagine God the Father as considerate. Jesus is certainly considerate of the crowd when He tells His disciples to “give them something to eat.” (Matthew 14: 16)

“And great crowds come to Him, bringing with them the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute, and many others, and they put them at His feet, and He heals them, so that the crowd wonders, when they see the mute speaking, the crippled healthy, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. Then Jesus calls His disciples to Him and says, ‘I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And I am unwilling to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.’ ” (Matthew 15: 30 – 32)

Jesus, the Son of God, is kind. He feels compassion.

Jesus says, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him, and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’? I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs.” (Luke 11: 5 – 8)

Jesus tells us to pursue kindness and find life.

Jesus tells of the persistent widow who keeps coming to a judge “who neither fears God nor respects man.” (Luke 18: 2) The widow is seeking justice, and comes to the judge repeatedly. Eventually, to rid himself of her, he grants her justice. “And will not God give justice to His elect, who cry to Him day and night? I tell you, He will give justice speedily.” (Luke 18: 8)

God, the Father, is kind. He gives us righteousness and life.

“The Peace of Christ” (Colossians 3: 15, ESV) by Carley Evans


Paul identfies us as “God’s chosen ones.” We are “holy and beloved.” As God’s chosen, as His beloved, we are to “put on” “compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.” (Colossians 3: 12) To these qualities, we are to add forgiveness. “As the Lord has forgiven you,” writes Paul, “so you also must forgive.” (Colossians 3: 13)

 

Above compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience and forgiveness, Paul calls us to “put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” (Colossians 3: 14)

In combination with love, we are to “let the peace of Christ rule in [our] hearts.”

Peace should come naturally, says Paul, because we “are called in one body.” Since we are united in Christ, we ought to be at peace with one another.

“Therefore, as you receive Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith…abounding in thanksgiving.” (Colossians 2: 6 – 7)

Remember you are God’s chosen people; “be thankful.”