A few nights ago, we were having family devotions and we read about Cain and Abel. As much as I was hesitant to talk about a brother killing his brother to my 4 year old and 3 year old, it’s the Bible and there is always something to glean from it. There is always a lesson to learn.
As we concluded our devotion, I was touched by how much God STILL loved Cain in spite of the sin he committed. How could a loving and perfect God love someone like Cain, who, out of jealousy, murdered his brother?
But then, the Lord reminded me how He loves me in spite of my shortcomings and many failures. They may not “seem” as bad (in my eyes) compared to murder, but sin is sin. And with God, there is no difference between a “little” sin and a “big” sin.
“For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” James 2:10 KJV
In the story of Cain and Abel giving an offering to God, I think we focus on the fact that Abel’s offering was better. But what made it better was not how much Abel offered but the attitude in how he did it. He offered unto God an offering out of a pure heart and a desire to give his best.
“The difference between Cain and Abel didn’t have much to do with what offering they brought. God was more concerned with their hearts. Abel’s heart was focused on giving his best to God while Cain’s heart was focused on being the best before God.” – Sarah M. Wells
I am so guilty of this because sometimes, I am content with giving God my leftovers rather than my first fruits. This may not always have to do with a monetary offering. Giving to God includes the time I give Him and the talents I use for Him.
So what three lessons can we learn from the story of Cain and Abel? (Genesis 4)
1.Our actions can greatly determine our reactions and vice versa. Cain quickly reacted. Because God didn’t respect his offering, He became angry and jealous and out of those two sins, murder resulted. When we fail to think before we act, the results can be fatal. I love the acronym I’ve seen about THINK.
T – Is it True? H– Is it Honest? I – Is it Inspiring? N – Is it Necessary? K – Is it Kind?
Cain probably didn’t even know what an acronym was back then but we do and we can use this one to help us act on our reactions or react on our actions.
2.Unresolved anger can lead to more sins. Cain was jealous that God had respect unto Abel’s offering rather than his. His jealousy turned to anger, causing him to kill his brother. He did not stop at jealousy and anger; he continued sinning by lying when God asked him where Abel was. Sin can become an addiction. If we fail to acknowledge and confess our wrongdoings, we will eventually find ourselves covering up one sin with another and another and so on.
The Bible says in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleans use from all unrighteousness.”
All we have have to do is confess, not to a priest or another person, but to the One whom we have offended – God. Please don’t misunderstand me; when I say not confessing to another person, I don’t mean not acknowledging and apologizing when you’ve done wrong to them. Overall, God is the forgiver of sins and He is the only One capable and able to cleanse us from our unrighteousness.
Ephesians 4:26 – Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
Being angry is ok but we should not allow our anger to consume us because it is then that we are sinning. If we are angry, we should take care of it right away and not allow it to fester.
3.God extends His grace to Cain. God punished Cain. He would get nothing but curses from the ground. He could farm the ground but it would not produce the best. In addition, he was going to be a fugitive and vagabond. Cain realized that his punishment was more than he could bear. But the LORD pulled through for him despite all his sins. God marked Cain to protect him so that no one who met him would kill him.
THAT IS GRACE!
God extended true kindness and blessed Cain by protecting him despite the fact that he did not deserve it.
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
No doubt, at this point in Cain’s story, there was nothing he could do to merit God’s love. God willingly and sacrificially gave His Son that we all might be saved.
Romans 5:8 – “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
I don’t know what it is that you have learned from these three lessons but I hope and pray that no matter what sin you may be struggling with, remember, God can help you overcome it. He can extend His grace to you, no matter how big of a sinner you are. All you have to do is ask Him. If you are unsure about how to do that, I would be more than happy to share how to do so. May today be the day that you experience the amazing grace of God.
Until next time,
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