Who Can Say? ( by Carley Evans )


 

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“Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?” (Proverbs 20:9, KJV)

 

I’ve heard people say this; I must admit the statement always surprises me. I’ve never said this because I’ve never accomplished this feat. I’m able to say, “Jesus made my heart clean, so I am pure from my sin.” But, I can’t say, I never sin.

To believe you never sin — that’s equivalent to believing you are perfect. You never make a mistake, you never do less than your very best, you never strike back, you never take more than your share, you never speak ill of another, you never go to bed with worry or anger in your heart, you never fail to notice someone’s pain, you never fail to help, you never roll your eyes, you never look away, you never forget to care, you never turn your back, you never run away.

I can not imagine.

I can know that Jesus is such a person. Like the lamb slaughtered as a substitute for people who sin, so Jesus substitutes Himself for me. His death on the cross wipes away my sins, though they be as red as the tide befouled by algae. And so, I stand pure before His Father in heaven.

Not as Good the Second Time? ( by Carley Evans )


Ever seen a movie you absolutely loved? Of course you have — if you like movies, that is. Ever watch that same movie six months later when it comes out on DVD to discover it’s not as great as you remember? Probably.

The second time around, the movie either bogs down somewhere or clips along at an alarming pace. Moments that were funny the first time aren’t as funny the second time around. Scary happenings are no longer so spooky. And you discover the characters aren’t as fleshed out or engaging as they were the first time you met them.

Happily, this is not true with the Word of God. The second time is better than the first time you discover it. Each time you engage yourself in the Word, you find something new, something you didn’t see before; or something you didn’t fully grasp the first or second or third or even fourth time through. The Word opens up like a blooming flower, each petal more glorious than yesterday’s — a flower that never fades or wilts or dies.

The Word gets better with time.

Street Walking with Metal ( by Carley Evans )


This morning driving through one of the most violent cities in the United States I see a man in less than pristine clothes pushing a shopping cart up a slight grade of the road we are both traveling.

I know exactly where he is heading. I know because I drive this same road every work weekday, passing the scrap metal company with its hand painted sign “we buy metal”!

This man who appears both homeless and poor is leaning hard into the handle of the shopping cart because he has propped on its backside a huge sheet of metal, red brown with old rust.

That he is determined to get to his destination is obvious.

What he will be paid, I’ve no idea. What he will do with that money is a guess. Some would say alcohol or drugs; I lean toward food.

But no matter. He is inspiring for I don’t know how long he’s been pushing that heavy cart but I do know he has a quarter mile to a mile to go.

My car isn’t equipped for the size of the metal sheet and I am also certain the man would not give up his shopping cart! How would he carry his next load?

Father God thank You for Your many blessings! Help me to always be filled with gratitude! In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Speaking of Directions


This morning, I’m exhausted from driving 5.5 hrs. to meet my daughter arriving from Japan, then driving back home for 7.5 hrs. Longer coming back because we stopped more times than I did going; and I got us lost once. Interstates that run east and west but are marked west in one location and north in another; east in one location and south in another are — well, let’s just say, yucky! However, getting lost was actually my fault. I took the wrong interstate towards the wrong city! My only explanation — I used to live in that direction.

Getting lost is not hard to achieve. Directions are confusing, especially when you are backtracking. GPS is grand if you have it, and if you’ve set it up properly.

Speaking of directions and GPS, directions for living well are easily found. These are located on a great map in the pages of the Bible. GPS is less easily acquired. GPS is essentially equivalent to God, the Holy Spirit. He is my global positioning system. He always knows where I am, and He knows the direction in which I am heading. He sends me brightly colored, clear messages — even big alerts — to show me the best route for reaching the perfect destination — that’s the destination He has in mind for me, not the one I have in mind for me.

The problem is not the satellite connection, of course, between myself and God. Rather, the problem comes when I ignore or occasionally misunderstand the directing messages; or fail to check those messages against the map — the map being the written Word of God. I say this because, of course, there are many competing messages. Messages from myself, from friends, from family, from media, from FB — that’s Facebook–, from the adversary and the agents of that adversary. Sometimes, as in my illustration of heading in the wrong direction just because I once lived in that direction, I just go backwards or frankly in the wrong direction on the worst path for me.

Then, the solution — yes, you guessed it — is to turn around!