Saturday, July 26, 2014

July 26 – Undoing the work of the devil

The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.  (1 John 3:8  ESV)

Jesus came to this world to save us from our sins, to die on the cross in our place.  But today’s promise reveals something else — He also came to destroy the work of the devil, which begins with sin and extends to many other areas of life.  

The word “destroy” in the original Greek can be used in various ways, but one of its meanings is to “undo.”  In the gospel of John this verb is used to mean undoing a sandal strap, and at Lazarus’ resurrection, to undo or unwrap the grave clothes.  The imagery of actually undoing the work of the devil, dismantling all he has done in our lives, all the wounds and trauma, the disappointments, the bad habits and bad character traits, is such an exciting thought.  The things that appear to be impossible, that have haunted us continuously for so many years, even our entire lives — can be undone once and for all when we grab ahold of the power and authority that Jesus offers us through His death on the cross.  He came to undo the work of the devil.  He taught the twelve to do the same, as well as the group of seventy, and now as His disciples today, we are being called to do the same. 

An interesting third possible meaning of the Greek word for destroy is “abolish.”  In that sense, we have the power to completely eradicate all the devil’s work with no trace left.  But this can only happen when we have the audacity to believe in big things.  The Lord Jesus promised that we would do what He has done, and even greater things, but if we don’t believe in ourselves as God’s true children, this great promise will never come true in our lives, and the world will miss out on seeing the extraordinary.

For over one year now I have repeated this passage to myself at least three or four times a week, and I challenge you to start doing the same.  If the devil can be determined to see people suffer, why can’t we be even more determined to undo his work in our lives and in the lives of others?

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