Good afternoon Harvest!
This Sunday we will be singing the story of the Gospel. As you prepare to gather, here are some thoughts to prepare your hearts to worship together:
In Genesis chapter 4, Cain and Abel both brought sacrifices to God. Abel’s sacrifice of the fattened portions from his flock were accepted, but God did not acknowledge Cain’s offerings from the field. If we were to read the remainder of Genesis 4, we would find that God spoke to Cain and warned him against sin. Cain did not heed God’s warning and killed Abel.
I confess that very often I feel like Cain. Why doesn’t God see the work that I do for him? Why doesn’t God pay attention? Doesn’t God understand the time and energy I put into serving?
The difference between Cain’s offering and Abel’s sacrifice is the key to understanding this passage, and it is something that Biblical scholars debate regularly. While I don’t have a Ph.D., I do have a thought that may help us grasp the difference. Perhaps Cain was relying on his offering to buy him favor with God, while Abel brought what he had and gave freely. God hints towards this when he spoke directly to Cain:
“The Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.’” (Gen 4:6-7, ESV)
God told Cain that there are three options:
1. To be perfectly righteous in your action.
2. To fail in your actions and be controlled by sin.
3. To fail in your actions and humbly struggle with sin; ruling over it.
When we bring our offerings before God, we often get caught up in the perfection of what we have done. We beat ourselves up when we mess up, and we gloat when we succeed and are praised. Neither of these are what we are called to do and be as Christians. Instead, we are called to understand that our actions are not perfect and in humility accept the perfect sacrifice of Christ as our own.
Do you feel downtrodden this week? Like you cannot do anything right?
I often do.
Let’s hear the words of the apostle Peter on this matter:
“Humble yourself, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood thought the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 5:6-11, ESV)
Take heart! Christ suffered for you and will strengthen and establish you!
Grace & Peace,
|Songs for Corporate Worship this week:|
|Song of Moses (Oh The Lord Our Strength And Song)||Aaron Keyes|
|You Alone Can Rescue||Matt Redman|
|I Will Glory in My Redeemer||Austin Stone|
|Rock of Ages||Brooks Ritter|
|Let The Nations Be Glad||Matt Boswell|