“Pitched Among Men” ( Apocalypse 21: 2-4, KNOX ) by Carley Evans

A holy city pitched as a tent among men and women and children. In that tent – the new Jerusalem – dwells the living God. He looks like us because we look like Him. With His own hand, he wipes away all sorrow from every heart. All come to His dwelling in perfect joy, to sit at His feet and listen to His voice, the voice that changes wilderness to paradise.

And I, John, saw in my vision that holy city which is the new Jerusalem, being sent down by God from heaven, all clothed in readiness, like a bride who has adorned herself to meet her husband. I heard, too, a voice which cried aloud from the throne, Here is God’s tabernacle pitched among men; he will dwell with them, and they will be his own people, and he will be among them, their own God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death, or mourning, or cries of distress, no more sorrow; those old things have passed away. 

“Why Knock?” ( Matthew 7:7-8, WYC ) by Carley Evans

Jesus says, Ask, and take; seek, and find. But He also says, knock, and watch the door open. Presumably He implies for us to go in once the door is open. Who stands in an open doorway and doesn’t enter the room? I can tell you a story — in hospital, often I stand in the door frame to speak quickly to a nurse about some piece of information without entering the room; I am half-in, half-out. This is to avoid having to put on a gown and gloves. Inconvenience and legitimate caution keep me from going into the room. Most of the time, however, when we knock on a door and it opens, we enter the room. Jesus tells us:

“Ask ye, and it shall be given to you; seek ye, and ye shall find; knock ye, and it shall be opened to you. For each that asketh, taketh; and he that seeketh, findeth; and it shall be opened to him, that knocketh.”

Jesus also tells us:

“Lo! I stand at the door, and knock; if any man heareth my voice, and openeth the gate to me [if any man shall hear my voice, and open the gate], I shall enter to him, and sup with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:19-21, WYC)

Here Jesus knocks, and we open the door. Jesus asks, and takes. Jesus seeks, and finds. We open the gate, and He “enters to [us]”. He “sups with [us], and [we] with [Him].”

I want to focus, for just a moment, on the use of “take” for “receive.” Receipt of a thing is passive, but taking of a thing is active. I like the choice of the word “take” in the Wycliffe translation. Jesus always means for His people to be active, never passive! We are asking, taking, seeking, finding, knocking, going in.

What are we asking to gain? What are we seeking to find? What door are we knocking to open? The Word of God is the best answer I’ve come up with this morning.

“Slight Reflections” ( Revelation 12: 10, NIV ) by Carley Evans

“Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: ‘Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.’ ”


Our adversary and his demons were overcome in heaven, and hurled to the earth by Michael and his angels. “But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you!” (Revelation 12:12)


Have you ever wondered if our adversary approached God before the fall from heaven regarding Job? “One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, ‘Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.” Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him.” (Job 1:6-8)


Why did God allow Satan to take “everything [Job] has?” Yet, command our adversary “not to lay a finger” “on the man himself.” (Job 1:12)


Think of the extraordinary amount of pain existing in the world. Perhaps God allows pain to give us a small taste of Christ’s sacrifice — imagine the glory Christ relinquished; feel the physical, emotional, spiritual agony He underwent in the days surrounding His crucifixion. The pains we experience are a slight reflection of His sufferings.


Job learns to accept both good and bad from the Lord — “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the Name of the Lord be praised.” (Job 1:20)


Our adversary roams the earth, looking for anyone he may devour. He no longer stands day and night at the throne of the Most High, accusing us — for he has been thrown down to the earth. Here he attempts to get us to accuse ourselves, to wallow in shame and guilt, to self-destruct or even destroy one another.


Instead, let us love the Lord our God with all our hearts, minds, souls; and let us love one another.

“Lay Hold Of God’s Power” (Ephesians 1: 18, ESV) by Carley Evans

Paul prays in thanksgiving for his Ephesian brothers and sisters in Christ. He has heard of their faith in Jesus and of their love for one another. He wants each to know that he prays constantly that “the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which He has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints.” (Ephesians 1: 17 – 18)Paul wants us to know, to experience the hope, the richness of our calling, of our inheritance. He wants us enlightened, wise, and knowledgeable of Christ. He prays we will know that God reveals Himself fully to us. Paul prays we will know we are a family, that our inheritance is “in the saints.”

Paul prays we will know “the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe.” (Ephesians 1: 19)

Paul knows that if we lay hold of God’s power, if we believe God is on our side, if we trust our knowledge of Him and the revelation and wisdom He gives us; then we will be able to stand until that day. We will stand in His presence and we will glory in His goodness, mercy, love toward us. We will praise and thank Him, knowing God “made us alive together with Christ — by grace [we] have been saved — and raised us up with Him and seated us in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2: 5 – 6)