GodReflection: Guardrails for Living
. . . 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. 1 John 3:7-8
False conclusions based upon erroneous input by outsiders were on sale to John’s readers.
Like our current political season, a lot of fluff is in the air without any support whatsoever in the reality of authentic facts. It is as if the ability to see truth through the fog is nowhere in sight.
To help his readers remember the facts John reminds them of the deceiver.
So the old apostle John sets in place a guardrail for living—Watch out for the Devil.
The antidote to Satanic beliefs and attacks laid out by Jesus is to focus upon right behavior. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous (1 John 3:7).
Everything Jesus did was right. He cared for hurting people. He fed the hungry. He cried with the bereaved over the pain of death. He pointed lost people to the Father. He prayed. He treated the sick. He taught how to live. Every action of Jesus was right.
[Sidebar: I must note that none of the above serves as the criteria we use today to divide believers. I suspect to do what is right is Jesus’ solution to unite those who attempt to follow Christ.]
The good news is the more I grow into the likeness of Jesus the easier it becomes to identify the voice of the Devil, turn my back on Satan, and swiftly move out of the sound of his voice and out of his reach.
I often stand amazed at the numerous ways I limit the teachings of Jesus. When I read of his promise:
For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
I begin to see that his invitation is more than a call to make my initial commitment.
Even after Jesus takes up residence within me through the Holy Spirit, maybe his desire is not for me to love others out of my own strength. I have too much Adam in me to love some people on my own.
From inside my soul where Jesus generates Holy Spirit Power, he waits with his hand on the doorknob for my knock to request his aid.
He stands listening for my knock on his door again and again to ask for his provision of power to do what is right.
To add strength and efficiency to the guardrail John adds additional Jesus-ingredients to the mix—items he takes directly from the life of Jesus.
Jesus’ ingredients give me confidence I’ve passed from death to life. By the pen of John, Jesus shows qualities and actions found in the lives of God’s children that are absent in the family of the Devil.
These markers help me know to whose family I belong.
- Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.
- We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other.
- This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
- If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?
- God’s children believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.
- The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them.
- And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.
These seven ingredients in the cement of the guardrail shout, “Watch out for the Devil.”
It is up to me to decide that I will guard against the Devil and trust Jesus to truly set my heart at rest in his presence.
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection on Watch Out for The Devil.