Do you remember the “Flip Wilson Show?”
From 1970 to 1974 Wilson was the host for a weekly television spot where he introduced the viewers to a recurring character named Geraldine Jones. By putting on a dress, along with some carefully crafted padding, then altering his voice to a higher pitch, Wilson also introduced the character’s favorite phrase, “The Devil made me do it!”
The skit was hysterically funny, winning great fan approval. I mean really, it’s not my fault right? I had to do it… the devil made me do it!
Not such an original thought, funny though it may be. This phrase leaps off the pages of an ancient text in a way that draws us all to Christmas. Yes, to Christmas!
If we go all the way back to the Beginning (Genesis) we’ll see the story where God asked Adam why he ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam’s response? That woman you gave me, she…
So God asks Eve, and she responds… Hey it wasn’t my fault, it was that snake who said we wouldn’t really die!
Why didn’t God just give up on the human creatures right then and there, and start again somewhere else in the universe?
They were naked and knew it, trying on their own to cover their nakedness and their disobedient unbelief in God’s word, blaming each other and other creatures for their own miserable choices.
In that moment they were lost, and far removed from the relationship with God they once knew.
Don’t you just love those words?
But God didn’t want to kill them; instead, he had a plan to use this first couple to bless the whole world. So God killed one of His other creatures to make garments for the first couple. [Genesis 3:21]
This event is directly tied to Matthew 1:18-25. God told Joseph about the plan to bring a child into the world through Mary. Specifically God told Joseph to name this child “Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” But why?
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
Here’s the thing.
Adam and Eve knew they were lost, and suffered the consequences of their choices, after making all their excuses to God.
The birth of Jesus now provides for all mankind an opportunity to come back to God.
- Regardless of how far we’ve strayed.
- No matter the things we’ve done, or failed to do.
- In spite of who we blame for our choices, including the devil himself.
We all now have an invitation to come back to God, through Jesus, the Savior of the world … Immanuel, God with us.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.
The truth is the devil can’t make you do anything… including reject God’s love through Jesus. It is your choice alone.
The truth is God won’t MAKE YOU BELIEVE in His Son Jesus… He invites but you must choose to say yes to Him.
Don’t pass the buck anymore… say “yes” to Jesus and His grace and forgiveness today.