Intro: Every day in our devotional time we have an opportunity to respond to Christ’s Kingdom message and Word. I say, “opportunity,” because the gospel is an invitation to enjoy Kingdom living through a relationship with Almighty God—to be filled with real life by welcoming God to live, move, and have His being in and through us—and rule over our lives (Acts 17:28). Yet, instead of responding to God’s invitation and promise to make us in His image by the work of His righteous Hand, we sometimes, by our own will and human strength, try to clean up our behaviors a bit and think that is enough to withstand evil or what God is wanting from us as a response to His Word. Is that attitude really the gospel Truth?
In our passage today, Jesus wants to stress the point that a human being cannot become a vessel that is clean or protected without the indwelling Christ. Religion cannot make us righteous; we cannot make ourselves righteous. Therefore, we are left vulnerable to evil without Christ.
Satan knows the difference between what we can do on the outside to clean ourselves up and what only God can do on the inside to overpower evil. So, evil has no place to enter when we accept Christ’s invitation to live in and rule over us unless, of course, we open the door to evil. The gospel is God’s perfect rescue plan for humanity from evil and eternal judgment! Jesus wants the religious leaders, disciples, and all of creation throughout time to wake up to the Truth about avoiding the works of evil through God’s plan of salvation.
Matthew 12:43-45 NLT
43 “When an evil [unclean] spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert [dry place], seeking rest but finding none. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to the person I came from.’ So it returns and finds its former home empty, swept, and in order [but vacant and unprepared with the Word]. 45 Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before. That will be the experience of this evil generation.”
Prayer: Lord, I pray for our hearts to be prepared, pure, and protected from evil; therefore, we must accept your invitation to have your way in our souls. Rule and reign in us and bring the necessary cleanup to our fallen natures. We are to be new creations in Christ and that means we must reject evil’s temptation so we will not be mastered by it. We proclaim you as our Master, Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.