1 John 3:7-10
Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.
Jesus and the devil are not equals. Jesus is forever and infinitely stronger, wiser and more glorious. The devil only pretends to be strong and wise. His trick, among other lies he tells, is to scatter his temptations all around the world. Everywhere we look we see evidence of the devil’s work. Violence, hate, racism, greed, lust, jealousy are just a few of the devil’s calling cards, and if we focus our attention on the things of this world, we will soon start thinking that the devil is in charge. The truth is, his temptations fool many people. The glittery, seductive things of this world catch our eyes and lure us into the trap of sin the devil has become so clever at setting, ever since he deceived Eve and Adam into eating the forbidden fruit in the Garden.
The devil may seem big and powerful, but he’s no match for Jesus, who came to “destroy the devil’s work.” The issue at stake for us who know, love and follow Jesus is whether we will live with hearts fully committed to our Savior instead of falling for the devil’s lies and the world’s false promises. We have been set free from sin. We have found a more joyful way to live. We have tasted the goodness of God’s love and know for sure that it’s better than anything the devil may offer us.
That’s why John warns us against continuing in habits and patterns of sin. Don’t listen to the devil’s temptations anymore. Don’t fall for his lies. John also cautions us against failing to do what is right and failing to love one another. Some sins are sins of omission, good things we choose not to do. We have been called to follow Jesus, who is greater in every way than the devil. That means turning away from sin so we can do the things Jesus asks us to do. Then we will lead righteous lives as God’s children, and for the times we sin or fail to do what is right, we fall on God’s grace.
Father, thank You for forgiving my sin and for calling me to a new life as Your beloved child. Fill me with strength to resist the devil’s work, and help me to follow Jesus in all I do. I pray in His name. Amen.
Pastor Mike Mirakian