Gift Tags

I’m not really a late night person.  But I do love to laugh.  Ever since we got rid of our cable and switched to Roku, I’ve missed having comedy specials on demand.

Enter Jimmy Fallon’s hashtags segment.  Every Wednesday, he and his team come up with a Twitter topic.  They cull through the best submissions and read them on TV. They’re pretty clean, which I appreciate.  My favorite so far has been #parentfail.

My dad is pretty poor speller.  So one Christmas, my sister had a present under the tree that said, ‘From Satan.’

That one made me laugh so hard I cried.  The jokes abound on this statement.  Don’t open it!  Eh, it’s only a record you have to play backwards to get the hidden message.  Looky, it’s a one-way ticket!  On and on.

It got me thinking about Christmas and gifts in general.  Satan has no good gifts to give us.  Not now, and not in the future.  The Bible says the devil is a liar.

Jesus, rebuking the Pharisees when they tried to test him:  “Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.” – John 8:43-44

I figure if Jesus said it, it’s truth.  But wait, there’s more!

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.  -I Peter 5:8

Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God. – 2 Corinthians 4:4

Obviously, many more scriptures about the devil exist.  But these outline the basic points.  The devil, or Satan which means “accuser”, is a liar.  He deceives.  He brings up our failings on a continual basis, trying to separate us from the Lord and others.  Satan is not for us, but against us.  He rages at Christians the most but against all creation in general.  He despises people, because they remind him of God and all he lost.

Don’t know what I’m talking about?  Here’s the historical verse.

“How you are fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations!
 For you have said in your heart:
‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’
Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol,
To the lowest depths of the Pit.” – Isaiah 14:12-15

Lucifer’s pride lifted him up. He tried to be like God, to get God’s share of worship.  It didn’t go so well. Enraged, he fell from heaven, taking 1/3 of heaven’s angels with him.  He continues to wage war, through subtlety and outright whoppers, on the people God loves.  That’s you, my friend.  He hates your ever-loving guts because you’re made in God’s image, a unique and wonderful masterpiece.

What’s a body to do?  Well, here’s what Paul says.  A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. – Ephesians 6:10-12

Jesus, on the other had, gives most excellent gifts.  He provides everlasting life.  His blood atones for our sins.  The fruits of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control – sustain us and others around us.  Best of all, Jesus connects us back to the Father.  That’s a gift I want to open again and again.

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