Monday, December 5, 2011

Are you doing well?

For Adam and Eve, there was a little push to commit that first sin. That is the serpent talked them into it...Last week we talked about the consequences of sin. Well with this eating of the "apple" there was also one big thing that happened; the knowledge of good and evil. Well the knowledge of good we can handle, but the knowledge of evil, that is totally different for us. Here is where we all get into trouble. It's true! How many times do we find ourselves thinking bad things? Then we do those bad things or some of that bad things or wish that some of the bad things will happen. Have you ever had your mind wander...and then you are thinking how did I start thinking those evil things. Well it is also tied into the first sin.
Adam and Eve are now out of the garden of Eden and are now on the "Earth". It is different not the same as being in the garden. There is work, sweat, pain...but the biggest thing is that there is no longer walks with God in the evening. Sin does that, it puts a barrier between God and us. Does that mean that God does not want to talk to us? No, it means that He talks to us differently. In our story we have Adam and Eve out of the garden and having 2 sons, Cain and Able. Gen. 4. Now our story goes like this; the 2 brothers bring an offering to God and God has regards for one of the offerings (Abel's) but the other He had no regards (Cain's). Two offerings; we could look at this as strictly teaching...going into what the meanings are... But that will take a long time...And to tell the truth I am not that good of a bible teacher. So with that we will have a narrow focus if you will.
Gen. 4:3-5 "So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the Lord of the fruit of the ground. Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering; but for Cain and his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell."
What I want us to notice here is that Cain bought an offering of fruit and that Abel bought firstling. Or the first. You see God want from us the first fruits if you will. He wants the first. Not the leftovers...Now that has a lot of meaning. Alright, now this may hurt a little but this is what God expects. He is to be first. He is first...So for us that means we must put Him in first place. That is in our personal world, our ways, our thinking...that God is of the utmost. When He said He wants of our first fruits...we give them to Him. When it comes to our ways...we follow His ways...When it comes to service we put our first strengths...When it comes to time, our time, we honor Him first. When it comes to following Gods rules...we follow. Now this is an important concept; that God comes first in everything. That when we do anything for God it has to be of the "first". God is not impressed with the leftovers...He is not impressed with us doing things different from what He has set; even if in our modern times, when it seems better. When it comes to worship, we worship Him. When it comes to thanks for things being done... we thank Him, for He is the one Who does and provides... So guys this is hard! So God first, Including His son and the Holy Spirit. Family next, with our wives taking the lead. Others are next...So many times we get in "trouble" because our priorities are mixed up. Sometimes, We get in trouble because we think that our priorities are right but we are not giving the right amount(money, time, service...) in the right proportion. We cut back in areas...Less time with God. Doing less for our wives and family. Let's face it, it is not easy to be last! We all want to be first or we even might settle for second place. But the truth of the matter is that we are not even third... God had no regard for Cain's offering and we focused on the word, first, that it was not his first fruits. So Cain had a reaction to the way God disregarded his offering. Two things: the first was anger and the second his countenance fallen. When we fall short of something I guess this is what happens. If we are real with our selves we can say, yes this is what happens. Now God sees this in Cain; Gen. 4:6-7a "Then the Lord said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up?" God does ask us the same questions today when He sees us angry...So what do we do, we have a choice or choices to make. We can correct the matter and give of the first. Lifting up God, so He can lift us up. So when need be let us all go back and make it right.

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