Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
Did God really say?
Did God really say you shouldn’t indulge in this behavior? Did God really say you shouldn’t live your life the way you want? Did God really say you shouldn’t do whatever makes you feel good? After all, wouldn’t God want you to be happy?
Satan has succeeded with that line of reasoning for centuries. It is a tried and true approach to leading people into sin. It worked on Eve in the Garden of Eden and has been working on mankind ever since. It works on us too. We are too eager to believe that life really is about us and that our top priority is to make ourselves happy. It does not take much convincing for us to make life about our desires rather than what God wants or to make it about pleasing ourselves rather than seeking the good of other people. This is the society we live in, and there is only one way that can end. (Spoiler alert: it doesn’t end well.)
Thankfully there is One who did not believe the devil’s lie. Thankfully there is One who did not pursue his own desires but instead pursued what was best for the rest of us. Jesus came into this world not to look out for himself but to see that we would get what we need. He easily could have made his life all about himself and could have used his almighty power to please himself. But instead, it was all about us. He came to save us, and that meant doing what no one else could. It meant living a perfect life in our place and dying so that we could be saved now and forever.
Because of Jesus, God now really says that we are his forgiven children. He says that through faith in Jesus, we will have eternal life. He says that we are his children now and always.
Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for your selfless work on my behalf. As your forgiven child, help me to live for others and not for myself. Amen.