SN – Sunday 26 June 2022
Last week we explored the story of Jacob & Esau
… and how it depicts for us the battle of spirit vs flesh
… with our choices having serious consequences
… either life or death, blessing or curse
… with us becoming slaves to whom (or what) we submit to
… as we become attached to them (as a vine)
… and they produce their fruit in us
We also saw how Esau despised his birthright
… was considered godless and was rejected without remedy
… with even the little he had being taken away and Jacob obtaining it.
Through this we got the context of
… sowing in the spirit and reaping life & peace
… sowing in the flesh and reaping corruption & death
… with a categorical statement that
- – Those who are controlled by the flesh cannot please God
- – While those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God
- … and have indeed crucified the flesh with its passions and desires
We ended up by seeing how salvation is such a gift
… a birthright, for God so loved the world that He gave…
… and when born again in Christ, it is accompanied with numerous blessings into eternity
… but if we despise (like Esau) salvation , not working it out with fear and trembling,
… we can easily loose both the birthright and the blessings
… e.g missing out on the crown of life that is promised to those who love the Lord.
Part of the concluding prayer being
- – Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties;
- – And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.
- – … under the law of the Spirit of life that negates the law of sin and death
Today we continue by exploring the story of Abel and Cain
…in the context of Worshiping the Lord in Spirit & in Truth
Welcome all and be blessed with today’s Manna for Thought
Abel & Cain
>> Operating under the law of the Spirit of life as opposed to the law of sin & death
>> Worshiping God in Spirit & Truth
Genesis 4:3- 7,9 (AMP)
- And in the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground.
- But Abel brought [an offering of] the [finest] firstborn of his flock and the fat portions. And the LORD had respect (regard) for Abel and for his offering;
- but for Cain and his offering He had no respect. So Cain became extremely angry (indignant), and he looked annoyed and hostile.
- And the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you so angry? And why do you look annoyed?
- If you do well [believing Me and doing what is acceptable and pleasing to Me], will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well [but ignore My instruction], sin crouches at your door; its desire is for you [to overpower you], but you must master it.”
- 8. Cain talked with Abel his brother [about what God had said]. And when they were [alone, working] in the field, Cain attacked Abel his brother and killed him.
- 9. Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” And he [lied and] said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”
– By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
Proverbs 9:10 (NKJV)
- – “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV)
- – But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
- – The [reverent] fear of the LORD [that is, worshiping Him and regarding Him as truly awesome] is the beginning and the preeminent part of knowledge [its starting point and its essence]; But arrogant fools despise [skillful and godly] wisdom and instruction and self-discipline.
Romans 10:1-3 (BSB)
- – Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is for their salvation.
- – For I testify about them that they are zealous for God, but not on the basis of knowledge.
- – Because they were ignorant of God’s righteousness and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.
>> The people perish for lack of knowledge and go into exile (captivity) for lack of understanding... Hosea 4:6; Isaiah 5:13
- – yet we have not made our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities and understand Your truth….NKJV
- – Yet we have refused to seek mercy from the LORD our God by turning from our sins and recognizing His truth… NLT
- – Yet we have not wholeheartedly begged for forgiveness and sought the favor of the LORD our God by turning from our wickedness and paying attention to and placing value in Your truth…AMP
1 Samuel 15:22 (NLT)
- But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.
- … obedience and attentiveness (diligence, excellence, purity of heart, fear of the Lord…)
Ecclesiastes 5:1-2 (NKJV)
- Walk prudently when you go to the house of God; and draw near to hear rather than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they do evil.
- Do not be rash with your mouth, And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; Therefore let your words be few.
>> I cant separate my offering from myself…
- Able and his offering were both acceptable to the Lord
- Cain and his offering were both unacceptable to the Lord!!??
… the Lord judges the thoughts and intents of the heart… Hebrews 4:12
>> The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight… Proverbs 15:8
>> The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination: how much more, when he bringeth it with a wicked mind?… Proverbs 21:27
>> The Lord’s discipline & correction
Proverbs 3:11-12 (AMP)
- – My son, do not reject or take lightly the discipline of the LORD [learn from your mistakes and the testing that comes from His correction through discipline]; Nor despise His rebuke,
- – For those whom the LORD loves He corrects, Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.
1 John 3:12 (BSB)
- Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did Cain slay him? Because his own deeds were evil, while those of his brother were righteous.
>>Anger & reconciliation
>> An unjust man is detestable to the righteous, and one whose way is upright is detestable to the wicked….Proverbs 29:27
Proverbs 14:17 (AMP)
- – A quick-tempered man acts foolishly and without self-control, And a man of wicked schemes is hated.
>> Persecution for righteousness….
Matthew 5:21-24 (NKJV)
- – “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’
- – But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.
- – Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,
- – leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother,and then come and offer your gift.
Ephesians 4:26-27 (AMP)
- – BE ANGRY [at sin—at immorality, at injustice, at ungodly behavior], YET DO NOT SIN; do not let your anger [cause you shame, nor allow it to] last until the sun goes down.“Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath,
- – And do not give the devil an opportunity [to lead you into sin by holding a grudge, or nurturing anger, or harboring resentment, or cultivating bitterness].
1 John 3:14-15 (NKJV)
- – We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.
- – Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
James 4:7 (KJV)
- – Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
God does not tempt us to sin…
- But the trial or test is just an opportunity to expose what is not right that is still within us
- and give us an opportunity to deal with it ( the choice to either let it go or still keep it)
- … for God does not wish for any to perish, but that all would come to repentance…2 Peter 3:9
- … as the Lord takes no pleasure in the destruction of the wicked…Ezekiel 33:11
James 1 (BSB)
- 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers,when you encounter trials of many kinds,
- 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
- 4 Allow perseverance to finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
- 12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.
- 13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone.
- 14 But each one is tempted when by his own evil desires he is lured away and enticed.
- 15 Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
- 19 My beloved brothers, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen,slow to speak, and slow to anger,
- 20 for man’s anger does not bring about the righteousness that God desires.
- 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and every expression of evil, and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save your souls.
>> Worshiping God requires the worship in spirit and truth
…..above just presenting our sacrifice and offerings is
… presenting delightful sacrifices offered in righteousness
… holy and acceptable, and according the the will of God.
This entails among other things…
- Loving God with our whole being
- Knowing God and doing His will
- Having a broken and contrite heart
- … with true repentance accompanied with fasting, weeping and mourning
- Obeying the Lord and walking in all His ways
- …listening to His voice and doing what is right
- …listening to His commands and keeping them
John 4:23-24 (NKJV)
- But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.
- God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
2 Corinthians 3:17 (AMP)
- – Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty [emancipation from bondage, true freedom].
Romans 8:2 (NKJV)
- For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death
>> There should be a true and genuine, deep and intimate love for God…
Luke 10:27 (NKJV)
- ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’ ”
Mark 12:33 (NKJV)
- And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
Hebrews 10:8-9 (BSB)
- In the passage above He says, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings You did not desire, nor did You delight in them” (although they are offered according to the law).
- Then He adds, “Here I am, I have come to do Your will.” He takes away the first to establish the second.
Psalm 51:16-17, 19 (BSB)
- For You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; You take no pleasure in burnt offerings.
- The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.
- Then you will delight in righteous sacrifices, in whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on Your altar.
- For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings..NKJV
- For I desire and delight in [steadfast] loyalty [faithfulness in the covenant relationship], rather than sacrifice, And in the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings….AMP
- I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know Me more than I want burnt offerings…NLT
Jeremiah 7:22-23 (BSB)
- For when I brought your fathers out of the land of Egypt, I did not merely command them about burnt offerings and sacrifices,
- but this is what I commanded them: Obey Me, and I will be your God, and you will be My people. You must walk in all the ways I have commanded you, so that it may go well with you
Exodus 15:26a (AMP)
- …“If you will diligently listen and pay attention to the voice of the LORD your God, and do what is right in His sight, and listen to His commandments, and keep [foremost in your thoughts and actively obey] all His precepts and statutes,..
Joel 2:12-13 (AMP)
- “Even now,” says the LORD, “Turn and come to Me with all your heart [in genuine repentance], With fasting and weeping and mourning [until every barrier is removed and the broken fellowship is restored];
- Rip your heart to pieces [in sorrow and contrition] and not your garments.” Now return [in repentance] to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and compassionate, Slow to anger, abounding in loving kindness [faithful to His covenant with His people]; And He relents [His sentence of] evil [when His people genuinely repent].
Deuteronomy 5:33 (BSB)
- You must walk in all the ways that the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.
Romans 2:4 (NLT)
- Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that His kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?
Romans 12:1-2 (BSB)
- – Therefore I urge you, brothers, on account of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
- – Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what is the good, pleasing (acceptable), and perfect will of God.
Cain was given a choice,
… we also have a choice
… where heaven and earth are called as witnesses against us
… having set before us life & death, blessing & cursing
We are urged to always choose the path of life (under guidance of His Spirit), so that we and our descendants may live…Deuteronomy 30:19
>> For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord…Romans 6:23
- He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?..NKJV
- He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you Except to be just, and to love [and to diligently practice] kindness (compassion), And to walk humbly with your God [setting aside any overblown sense of importance or self-righteousness]?…AMP
- – When all has been heard, the conclusion of the matter is this: Fear God and keep His commandments, because this is the whole duty of man.
>> Psalm 19:14
– Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.