an ideal day to think about our accountability to God.
“Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God.” Romans 14:12 NLT
“The devil made me do it.”
Those who are old enough remember the phrase comedian Flip Wilson made popular in one of his comedy sketches. It was one of his trademarks and it was always good for a laugh.
The truth is, the devil can’t make us do anything, although he certainly does tempt us and encourage us. It is when we give in to the temptation he presents to us that we find ourselves looking for someone to blame. How easy it then becomes to turn and say, “The devil made me do it.” Unfortunately, when we try to shift responsibility for our own actions to someplace other than right where it belongs, the phrase is not amusing at all.
Nor is it anything close to the truth.
While God does allow Satan to rule upon this earth for the time being and try to lead us away from Him, it is no one’s fault but our own when we succumb to temptation.
God provides us with the proper protection to fend off temptation and any invasion of evil and we are instructed to “Finally be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:10-11 NASB). If we fail to protect ourselves properly, we have no place to point the finger of responsibility except at ourselves.
But it does not end here on earth. Even though eternal life is a free gift, each one of us will still be accountable to Christ and will be judged on how we have lived our lives on earth. Paul’s words at the church in Corinth teach us to live to please God “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the thing he has done while in the body, good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10 NIV).
God’s gift of salvation does not remove our obligation of obedience from us. While we are forgiven for our sins, we still must be accountable for them on the Day of Judgment, so it is important to not be “flip” about our personal accountability to God (pun intended).
Taken from “TODAY IS….A Gift From God”, (C) 2013 Tony Casson