“Not If You Commend Yourself” ( 2 Corinthians 10:17-18, LEB ) by Carley Evans


In the corporate world, we are encouraged to “blow our own horns.” Look at Linked-In sometime; and marvel at the self-aggrandizement.

On the other hand, God (through the Apostle Paul) says:

But “the one who boasts, let him boast in the Lord.” For it is not the one commending himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends. 

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“Prepared Beforehand” ( Ephesians 2:10, LEB ) by Carley Evans


The Word of God is clear – all people are created by God in His image. The Word is equally clear that people are created a second time “in Christ Jesus for good works.” ( Hence Jesus’ mention to Nicodemus that he must be born again. ) These good works are ones designed specifically for us as individuals; they are “prepared beforehand, so that we may walk in them.” If even our good works are planned, how is it that we are not planned? Of course we are. What creator doesn’t mold his or her work according to plan? Nevertheless, as an artist renders his or her work, spontaneity surely plays its part. Perhaps God, the ultimate Creator, shows a touch of His own creative spontaneity when He allows His creations to stray off plan. Ever played with your car; ever taken your hands off the wheel briefly to see which way it might head? Ever dropped the reins on a horse and allowed it to go whichever direction it will? Yet, you remain in control of your car or your horse. The steering wheel is right there; so are the reins. God is in control; never fear.

For we are his creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, so that we may walk in them.

“Made Himself of No Reputation” ( Philippians 2: 7, AKJV ) by Carley Evans


That is why God has raised him to such a height, given him that name which is greater than any other name; so that everything in heaven and on earth and under the earth must bend the knee before the name of Jesus, and every tongue must confess Jesus Christ as the Lord, dwelling in the glory of God the Father.Philippians 2:9-11KNOX

For which thing God enhanced him, and gave to him a name that is above all name; [For which thing and God enhanced him, and gave to him a name that is above all names;] that in the name of Jesus each knee be bowed, of heavenly things, [and] of earthly things, and of hell’s; and each tongue acknowledge, that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father.Philippians 2:9-11WYC

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.Philippians 2:9-11AKJV

“That is why,” “For which thing” and “Wherefore” indicate the reason God exalted Jesus Christ above all others. The reason is that Jesus “who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (AKJV)

Jesus’ willingness to humble Himself, to “make Himself of no reputation” is also the reason Paul calls upon Christians to likewise humble ourselves. If we walk about with our noses stuck in the air, who will benefit? Certainly not those who are lost. Neither will our spiritual pride bring glory to God. Note that Jesus’ humility brought glory to God the Father. His willingness to step out of His power and accept human weaknesses – including death – is why He is now exalted above all names.

“I Had A Dream!” ( Jeremias 23: 23-25, KNOX ) by Carley Evans


Water dream
Water dream (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

 

23 God am I, the Lord says, only when I stand near, and not when I am far away? 24 Where, he would know, will you hide so close that he is not watching you, he, the Lord, that fills heaven and earth? 25 No word, he says, but reaches my ears when one of these prophets gives false guidance in my name; I had a dream, he will tell you, I had a dream!

 

The world of the internet with its social media opens my eyes and mental ears to this refrain “I had a dream!” rather more often than when I walk down the street. Often the refrain is “God gave me a dream, and in this dream He said…”

Is this prophecy? I peruse some of these “dreams” occasionally ( not very often ) and always wonder how someone is able to say “this came from God.”

Look at the Holy Scripture. Think how many years and how many men ( mostly men ) read and prayed over it to decide if it belonged in the Canon, if it is actually God’s infallible Word. Then think about that person on Facebook or Twitter whose dream is supposedly from God.

I cringe.