Monday, August 24, 2009

Cain Away From The Presence He Needed Most

So what have you been doing lately? Do ya got stuff to deal with or are you doing fine? Things have been kinda normal around here.. yard work, fix it stuff around the house, getting with locals to visit, meetings. Had a great time witnessing to a very honest young person who contacted me today with some great questions about a relationship that meant a lot to her. Bethany (that's not her real name) was open and wanted some Scripture references and prayer... hurting because she basically admitted to having an idol (a guy she unwisely allowed to come first for way too long--sure we see American Idol and not so many statues worshiped anymore but everyone is bent to worship something or someone) that got in the way of her hopes of serving the Lord. I gave her some passages that have really helped me out before... long ago.

Apparently, she has wanted for a long time to get right with God, but on her own terms ..keeping him around. She heard enough truth years ago about a wonderful life that was possible and now it seems Bethany wants to make a break with the old n change for good. She said that she has tried at times to positively influence her boyfriend in the right direction and hasn't ever wanted him totally out of her life before. She was having a hard time trusting Christ enough and felt she needed to just try harder... cuz she had to see Mr Wonderful end up being helped and changed by her. But so far ..after years of him rejecting the things of God, she now feels it's time to simply move on and that he is an idol of sorts and simply in the way of her spiritual progress. "Some people just pull you down so easily." Wanna know why? It's cuz they have a dead human spirit inside. Even real Christians have an old fleshly nature inside and it says yes to what lost people like to do that's destructive.. yup it's right inside with their new nature that wants what will build the person up. Hey, that's why missionary dating simply does not work! Anyways, please pray for her--the puppy love is real to the puppy ya know and God knows all that is involved in this situation. Now on a totally different topic. I had some free time tonight and looked at another person who was having some trouble trusting and putting the Lord first. Here's a devo about Cain that I hope encourages you...

Cain.. Put Himself Away From Real Love

So Cain left the Lord's presence and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden. ~Genesis 4:16, nlt

Isn't that a really sad verse to read? Man, if we don't deal with our sin, it will soon deal with us. Perhaps you remember hearing about Able's bro named, Cain, and how he struggled with his negative attitude? I think many of us have had to struggle with our attitudes at times, and it is so important to deal with this kinda thing quickly.

Take some time to prayerfully read about Cain's story in the Bible—that will help! God tells us how things went so bad for Cain because He cares about us all, but check out whose fault this mess was. It wasn't God's fault as many today would say; He amply warned Cain in advance.

The Bible clearly says, "The Lord accepted Abel and his offering, but he did not accept Cain and his offering. This made Cain very angry and dejected. 'Why are you so angry?' the Lord asked him. 'Why do you look so dejected? You will be accepted if you respond in the right way.." (Gen 4:4-7a, nlt).

God created Cain with precious life beating inside just like He did with you. God valued and loved Cain just the same as every person that He has ever made. Cain was God's property. Yup, he was created for God and the Lord had a definite important purpose for Cain's life He has for you. You too belong to Him whether you willing serve Him or not. Not believing in the Lord or His Word doesn't at all make Him, His boundless love, mercy and the prophecies of the Bible go away. They all just keep being fulfilled by God with 100% accuracy. His people can let us down, but He never does so let's follow Him. So glad He didn't say, "Follow my people!"

And now we find Cain separated from a relationship with God. What a major bummer-drag! Man, I just hate unconfessed sin, people-ward-hate and rebellion—that type of stuff can rip any of us off in a big way! Needless stuff!

Such sin in the heart makes a person so miserable inside in the presence of a holy, righteous just God that their specific sin must either be confessed and forgiven ..or the sinner refusing to receive God's conviction and free cleansing will be soon out of God's presence. Did you know that there is not one Bible prophecy that needs to be fulfilled before the rapture of the church takes place?

God is here with us now and His grace is so available for ..whom so ever will just take hold of it. But many hardened people will sadly view God wrong due to someone falsely influencing them, reject such grace, an find themselves in HE-double-hock-sticks ( know what place I'm talking about here that still brings sharp mocking of scoffers—"How could He?").

My simple point is that God does His very best to solve the sinner's (you and me—all of us) terminal situation, but He will have no one unhappy to be in His holy Heaven. He won't make you break fellowship with spirits of darkness to get right with Him, or make you come home to your loving Father. And to be outside of Christ leaves us only one other sad alternative. Yeah, I don't mind tell you like it is. Please act now! We all must choose Jesus while we're on this side of the sod.

But it's an interesting story huh. Sin was lurking ..temptation was waiting… to attack Cain if you will, and he was instructed beforehand by a merciful God to subdue it. But Cain failed to respond appropriately. Was Cain merely religious and Able was not? I'm not sure, but I indeed want you to know assuredly that God is clearly not religious and there is a big difference between being that way and being truly righteous though it sometimes can be hard for us to tell.

We do know that Cain offered God farm produce and Abel brought several choice lambs from the best of his flock (where of course these lamb's blood was shed).

Then afterward, you remember.. Cain lured his trusting brother off into the fields and then violently murdered him there (vv. 4, 7, 8).

Yeah, you know how killing isn't always wrong (think about war or our police authorities properly doing their job to protect innocent people), but hating people and committing homicide as Cain did.. that is always wrong! Duh!!! What an avoidable tragedy—this guy literally crushed God's heart! Heart broken to the max! Many father's and mothers know somewhat how that feels when their kids make horrendous decisions, maybe not to this extent, but it should give us some compassion for what we fallible humans have put God through over the years. In the 70s I remember seeing Mick Jagger sing sympathy for the devil (what stupid lyrics..), but think we all should sing sympathy for the pain we caused others ..starting with the crucified Lord!

Cain's catastrophic life clearly illustrates a vital lesson for us about guilt being our friend.. about the importance of denying our fleshly nature, about denying our ego, jealousy, animosity and pride. Yes, guilt and sweet conviction of the Holy Spirit are indeed our friends if they drive us to God. I'm so thankful for these gifts!

However, if you or I refuse to turn to our heavenly Father in repentance and full confession ..feeling sorry when we're blowin' in inside ..or outwardly, then guilt will merely drive us away from God ... and eventually to our own eternal destruction. LISTEN, YOU DO NOT WANT THAT—YOU DO NOT WANT TO HATE HIM OR PEOPLE! BELIEVE ME.

"Your hand will find all Your enemies; Your right hand will find those who hate You. You shall make them as a fiery oven in the time of Your anger; the Lord shall swallow them up in His wrath, and the fire shall devour them" ~Psalm 21:9

When being ticked-off at peeps is in your heart, it'll poison all you'll think and do; but when biblical faith is in there, it'll find a way to demonstrate love and it'll keep your heart strong and true.

Have you let a root of bitterness or maybe resentment get in and smolder inside you? What besetting sin of omission or commission in your life ..if left unchecked by you.. will end up ill-effecting and destroying you along with those lives in your family? Any sin can destroy people and so many innocent of it get hurt too.

We've all gotta keep short accounts with Christ regarding any and all sins! And we don't need any other mediator other than Him in dealing with em. We just run (not walk) to God! We never need to treat a sin-habit like it's a cute little puppy or kitten—no it would be more like a rattlesnake goin' for your throat with venomous fangs!

Again, Thomas Brooks taught well that all human acts basically strengthen habits (and I'm sure you already know how quickly a personal habit can be formed). But the more sin is acted on, the more it will be strengthened with you.. bottom-line! Is that what you really want? The good news? Well, it can be that way with our gifts and graces in Jesus as well, Christian. So start up good habits of ministry today instead of in wrongdoing; first in ministering directly to the Lord in worship (for the applause of One) and then minister to edify the saints. Why not? Got a better use of your time?

Many people don't realize that a church-habit can actually be dangerous for the stubborn of heart. To sit week after week under the clear preaching and teaching of the Word of God will only make your heart grow harder and harder .. if you won't take heed or respond in the affirmative. The same sun that melts the wax can harden clay. And the same rain that drowns the rat can make the wheat grow. Solution? Form the habit of regularly going to a Bible teaching church with a humble God-fearing heart (you know there's both good and bad types of fear).

I believe that Cain's bitterness was literally rooted in deep resentment and outright mutiny which outwardly bore sticking rotten fruit ..even in his relatives for generations to follow. Today nations, especially this nation of America abound with fratricide and wrongful killing. Cain's sin of murder, left to run its own course, has only seemed to intensify with each passing generation the middle east is about to explode in war.. until gangs are growing in our cities.. until our babies and the elderly are now in harms way even in America due to "reforms."

Resentment comes from pridefully looking at others; contentment comes from looking away from all the distractions to God.

He was angry and would not go in. ~Luke 15:28

At times our path is rough and steep, our way is hard to see; we ask God, 'Why is life unfair?' He answers, 'Follow Me.'" ~DeHaan

Christian, how do you ever expect to positively influence any sinners or win them to Christ if you stay filled with resentment and hate? Let it all go: forgive from the heart.

Got Qs? Ask at F4S!

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