3rd Sunday in Advent Meditation

1 John 3:8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.

When our Josh was 11 or 12, he used to joke about going all the way back in a time machine to when Adam and Eve roamed the earth. Once he was there he’d then jump out and yell, “Don’t eat the fruit, I promise you, it doesn’t go well!” Even at that age, Josh understood the devastating consequences of their future decision based on an outright lie. Satan, in the guise of a serpent, blatantly contradicted God’s word of truth to our first parents. God minced no words when he said that if they ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they would die. Go crazy with everything else in the garden, he promised, but just don’t eat from that tree.

So what happened? Satan crept out and immediately quizzed Eve about the key command the Lord had given them, and then promptly tells Eve God’s word was not trustworthy. “You will not surely die,” he confidently replied. God is just holding back from you the power to be like him. God is cheating you; he does not want the best for you…

Let’s reflect on just who it is they are dealing with. The Devil is a flat out murderer (he conspired to get Adam and Eve killed), he is the father of lies, he causes our close companions to lift their heel against us, he is the architect of sin, and he is a mutinous rebel against the Lord’s holy law. His purpose is to destroy life: the corporal life and eternal life God has graciously given us. He wants to shut out the light of God’s truth (Christ) – blinding us to the love and hope found only through him. He twists, distorts, and redefines what godly love really is to cause us to attack one another. And, of course, he is the preeminent lawbreaker. These are the horrific things he does which affects us all.

Look up the page to our opening scripture verse from John. Christ became incarnate in this world to demolish the Devil’s work!

Christ entered our existence to up-end everything Satan had been doing. Where the Devil brought us death, Christ gave us eternal, spiritual life. Where our Adversary brought hatred, God’s Son sowed love. Where the Prince of Lies spurred rebellion, our King of Kings compelled obedience. Where Lucifer spread darkness, our Messiah produced the brilliant light of truth.

He threw a gigantic divine wrench in Apollyon’s wicked plans.

The Devil’s momentum has been halted. Jesus is taking back what is rightfully his. And since that time, the fruits of Christ’s Spirit have blossomed across the arid spiritual wilderness of the world. You are part of that blessed growth. However, we can’t be complacent – the works of evil still assemble against us. As Peter solemly warned us:

1 Peter 5:8-9 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.

So, Advent is also a victory celebration of Christ’s power over our enemy. Faith in Him is our great strength to use against what may come. Hold fast to the One who will allow us to prevail!

In Christ’s love,

John